Philippe Petit: ‘Our Senses Are Being Controlled By Technology
PHILIPPE Petit Is talking to the New York Times about his new book Creativity: The Perfect Crime. It begins: “Make no mistake. I frown upon books about creativity.”Is talking to the New York Times about his new book Creativity: The Perfect Crime. It begins: “Make no mistake. I frown upon books about creativity.”
Most books on creativity are written by an author who references all the great creators of humanity — very often Einstein, the Beatles. They’re not drawing from themselves, and these books are usually in the self-help department. And very often, at the end of a chapter, they have an exercise for you to do. I don’t frown upon them; let’s be frank, I hate them.
On his wire-walking:
…two years ago in Washington Square Park. I put a little rope between two trees, and I improvised. If a leaf fell from a tree, I’d stop juggling and play with the leaf. I went to my prop bag and got a little bandage and stuck the leaf back on the tree. People loved it.
I hate all electronic things that are supposed to help the human being. You don’t smell, you don’t hear, you don’t touch anymore. All our senses are being controlled. At the same time, I am a total imbecile because to have a little iPhone that can take pictures, that can find the nearest hospital, that can tell you the weather in Jakarta — it’s probably fabulous…
He famously walked between the roofs of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers in 1974:
When I first touched the twin towers, I looked up, and I realized my dream was shattered. I will never, never, never be able to walk up there. I will never be able to bring a ton of equipment up there in secret. But at that moment, the fact that it was impossible was the whip that I needed to start working on it.
… those towers were almost human for me. I was in love with them, and that’s why I married them with a tight rope.
Walking on a high wire is inherently dangerous, but you’ve said that you prepare so much that death is not a risk. No, it’s not. I think this is very wrong to put your life in danger or to gamble with your life. I cannot do the first step not being absolutely sure that I will successfully perform the last.