Debbie Millman knows how to conduct an interview.
Ai Weiwei knows how to navigate interrogation.
Their pairing on a recent episode of Design Matters made for a few golden moments:
Millman: I was wondering if you have memories of the first time that you remember being creative.
WeiWei: I never think I have been creative.
WeiWei: It’s true.
Millman: Do you remember the first piece of art you ever created?
WeiWei: Maybe next year, I will do something. But, not now.
Millman: You write about how you believe the best things that happen in our lives and the moments we treasure most are those when we don’t consciously understand ourselves.
Weiwei: Which is true. Like now. I don’t understand why I’m sitting here.
Millman: Are you having any fun at all?
Weiwei: Yeah, it’s nice to be here.
Millman: What would you like to be asked?
Weiwei: I’d like to be asked what I’d like to be asked.
Millman: [to audience] We’re having fun. [to WeiWeii] Do you mind if I quote something from your book?
Millman: You detail how hard it is to measure–are you bored?
Weiwei: No. No, I’m trying to be creative…but of course, anything creative always comes from boredom.
Millman: So, you’re bored.
Weiwei: I’m being creative.
Millman: I see why you’re a good blackjack player.
Millman: Let’s talk about hope.
Weiwei: That’s easy.
Millman: You’ve said the consequences of hope are to show the condition of our heart…
Weiwei: That will end up tragic.
Millman: […] Why is it tragic?
Weiwei: Because being real can be very damaging and can be very tragic in our society.
Millman: Then why even think about hope?
Weiwei: As humans, we constantly make mistakes. Think of hope as one of them.
Millman: You think hope is a mistake?
Weiwei: Most likely. I cannot say every hope is a mistake.
Millman: What are your hopes?
Weiwei: I hope that hope is not a mistake.
Me too, WeiWei. Me too…