TED2008

Bruno Bowden + Rufus Cappadocia: Blindfold origami and cello

Filmed:

After Robert Lang's talk on origami at TED2008, Bruno Bowden stepped onstage with a challenge -- he would fold one of Lang's astonishingly complicated origami figures, blindfolded, in under 2 minutes. He's accompanied by the cellist Rufus Cappadocia.

- Engineer and origamist
An engineer with Google (he helped build Google Earth), Bruno Bowden is also an enthusiastic folder of paper. Full bio

- Cellist
Globe-trotting, genre-hopping cellist Rufus Cappadocia plays the music of our sphere. Full bio

Hello everyone.
00:12
And so the two of us are here to give you an example of creation.
00:13
And I'm going to be folding one of Robert Lang's models.
00:17
And this is the piece of paper it will be made from,
00:21
and you can see all of the folds that are needed for it.
00:24
And Rufus is going to be doing some improvisation
00:27
on his custom, five-string electric cello,
00:32
and it's very exciting to listen to him.
00:35
Are you ready to go? OK.
00:40
Just to make it a little bit more exciting.
00:43
All right. Take it away, Rufus.
00:45
(Music)
00:47
All right. There you go.
02:40
(Laughter)
02:43
(Applause)
02:44

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About the Speakers:

Bruno Bowden - Engineer and origamist
An engineer with Google (he helped build Google Earth), Bruno Bowden is also an enthusiastic folder of paper.

Why you should listen

Bruno Bowden was part of the team at Keyhole, the company that built EarthViewer -- a groundbreaking (and addictive) piece of software that lets you fly smoothly over an image of the globe assembled from satellite photos, and then zoom in on your own house. When Google bought Keyhole, Bowden helped turn the software into the indispensable Google Earth. Recently, he's moved over to the Google Gadgets side, helping to build more gotta-have-it technology.

He is also an enthusiastic student of the new origami, as practiced by masters such as Robert Lang.


Rufus Cappadocia - Cellist
Globe-trotting, genre-hopping cellist Rufus Cappadocia plays the music of our sphere.

Why you should listen

Rufus Cappadocia uses his cello to play the music he hears around the world, filtered through the music in his head. A dedicated musicologist, he has played and studied deeply in many genres, from Haitian voodoo music to Indian ghazal, from Celtic to Balkan. The rich, jazz-inflected sound he pulls from his instrument (which he started playing at age 3) is a passionate through-line in all his work.

Cappadocia writes, records, and plays live, both solo and in several groups -- including Bethany & Rufus (Bethany is Bethany Yarrow, the daughter of Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary) and the Vodou Jazz Ensemble.