Do you have a TEDTalks tattoo?

In talking to our readers and speakers, a fascinating fact emerged: At least two people, two different people, have tattoos inspired by a TEDTalk. The same TEDTalk: Rives’ “Mockingbird” remix of TED2006.

There must be more. So, a pledge: For every TED-inspired tattoo we hear about, I have promised to donate $1 to the Kickstarter campaign of Rives’ choice. He’s already made $2.

So let us know: Do you have a tattoo inspired by a TEDTalk? Hit the comments below, or tweet to @TEDNews with pic and the name of the inspiration.

Read more about Rives’ fan ink below …


From the in-box:

A few months ago I came across your website looking for more of your work and I saw that someone had gotten a tattoo based on your mockingbird poem, and it was absolutely beautiful. I decided to try and come up with one on my own similar to that one. So I did. I’ve never gotten a tattoo before and never thought I would ever get one either, but after three months of planning and deliberating, here it is: I hope you think it’s a good homage to your talent and I hope you like it personally.


O’s tattoo is multi-multi-referential, turns out. It borrows from another tattoo I posted back on July 12, 2009 (mouseover the image above for a comparison or hit the archives for the post; scroll down). Both tattoos were inspired by the mockingbird poem I performed at the 2006 TED Conference and O’s version even includes a curlicue quotation: It is the voice of life that calls us to come and learn. That line, which is in my poem, isn’t mine–I’m quoting this talk by Clifford Stoll. Right at the 15:00 mark he tells a story about climbing the University at Buffalo clock tower as a student and finding the line there, inscribed on a bell. And I just now visited the Hayes Hall Tower Clock and Westminster Chime website where I discovered that Clifford misquotes slightly–the actual line is “I am the voice of life; I call you: Come and learn.

So O’s homage is a tattoo inspired by a tattoo inspired by a poet quoting an astronomer paraphrasing…a bell.

[Quirky postscript: Veteran reader AW points out that I have my own bell tower inscription adventure in this YouTube video I made at a French artist colony in 2007. If you hit the link, the page favorites three other videos, including the TEDTalks trailer in which I perform a snippet of “Mockingbird” and which (coincidentally?) has as its placeholder image…a photo of Clifford Stoll.]