Vladimir Franz at TEDxBrno. The professor, composer, painter is in the running to be the next president of the Czech Republic.
TEDx speaker runs for president: Vladimir Franz, an opera composer, painter, professor and TEDx speaker, is now third in the running for the next president of the Czech Republic, with elections taking place this week.
The first-time candidate has never held a political position, but decided to run after fans of his work started a “Franz for President” initiative, says the Associated Press. He received 88,000 signatures from voters in favor of his inclusion on the ballot, AP reports, far more than the 50,000 required by law.
In 2011, he spoke at TEDxBrno, held at the same theatre where he debuted his 2009 opera, Valley of the Dry Bones. At the event, he gave a talk entitled, “Soustavně upadající víra ve vzdělanost a vědomí souvislostí na přelomu tisíciletí” — or in English, “Steadily declining faith in education and awareness of context at the turn of the millennium” — on the importance and purpose of art in society, over time and today.
Asking potential artists to keep the “magic” in art, he proposed art as a potential salve for the onslaught of information overload people face in the 21st century. He warned of the danger of societies adopting a view of art that is too calculated or scientific, because, he says, “as opposed to science, art is badly measurable…suggesting scientific methods to art is nonsense [and then] art becomes…[merely] a chain of information.”
This is a message that seems to be in key with his slightly-unorthodox political views: embracing intellectualism, artistic values, and rejecting the current state of Czech politics. This, and his slightly-unorthodox “look” — a body covered head to toe in tattoos (which gained him the nickname “Avatar”) — seem to have made him a superstar of the media, with articles popping up all over the Internet.
Vladmir Franz at TEDxBrno: Steadily declining faith in education and awareness of context at the turn of the millennium
It’s yet to be determined whether Vladmir’s views on art, politics, and new ideas will grant him a position as the next Czech head of state, but the curious do not have long to wait: the first round of official elections in the Czech Republic take place this Friday and Saturday, January 11-12, 2013.