Category Archives: Talks + Presos

multi-media artifacts from presentations, lectures and speaking gigs – for personal, artistic, or professional edification. find vids, audio, photos, slides and audience remarks and reactions

“On the Road to Creativity” talk notes (Pecha Kucha NIght, Vancouver, 2010)

Dave Olson - Story Maker/Writer/ Producer (uncleweed.net) speaks at Pecha Kucha - photo by Melissa Gedney

What follows are my notes for a talk called “On the Road to Creativity” for Pecha Kucha Night Vancouver. The format includes 20 slides for 20 seconds each, auto-changed. As such, the pace is brisk and a bit of a high-wire act. No audio/video exists but there is a “roundup” of photos, tweets, and other artifacts including the hand-crafted “paper-point” collage slides. See “Consider Perusing” below.

1 – On the road

I’ve spent much of my life wandering around the globe working odd jobs including mushroom farmer in Japan, grape picking in Germany, beach club host in Guam and even following the Grateful Dead – all these experiences provided lots of time for thinking mostly about the meaning of art and importance of documentation – here’s what i cam up with

2 Art makes the future

while the history we learn is laden with the stories of kings, conquerers, popes and rulers, the only reason we know anything about how people lived, loved and thought is because artists took the time to chronicle the the stories through paint, words, carvings, and song. From the earliest cave painters to bloggers, there is vast evidence for the importance of storytelling.

3 Art Craft Schwag

No doubt today like olden times, there is a tremendous amount of disposable pop culture created to satiate common interest but the best stuff created by diligent artisans rises above the layer of schlock into the territory of craft and then transcends into a rarified area of art which will last centuries rather than 15 minutes. But who decides what is art? And don’t give me that “i know what i like” answer.

4 Craft + Intent

Instead I’ve made a formula to sort out these largely subjective criteria – first off, take Craft – skill honed from thousands of hours of consideration, then add Intent – which, while subjective, can be gauged by heart of the creator, and then multiplied by the artist’s Integrity as seen by an audience. The audience who truly breathes life into a story, no matter the medium. This formula doesn’t work for you? Cool, make another, but be sure to share. Art does not live in a vacuum, art yearns to be shared.

5 Audience / Awesome

But this can be tricky for artists who must balance their internal desire and, dareisay mission, to create authentic art with the often debilitating practical need to make a living. I’ve found that my projects which garner the biggest audience, are not necessarily the ones which i maximize my artistic potential – find where you audience and awesomeness intersect and try to find a way to hang out there.

Here’s how:

6 Upgrade your Heroes

First upgrade your heroes – history is scattered with underknown world-changers, and the present is too. Dig beyond pop culture, politicians and sports personalities to find remarkable predecessors to your work – for me, my heroes range from writer of “Confessions” and “The Social Contract”, Jean Jacques Rousseau, to current day punk rock photographer bev davies. Who are your historical dopplegangers?

7 Personal Archaeology

Next, embark on personal archaeology – dig into your closet to find forgotten dreams from those black white photos you took in yellowstone to graduate thesis to 4th grade book reports to your journals from hitchhiking down the coast. Take the risk to share these artifacts with your small slice of the world and let them breathe life into your work.

8 Embrace Translucency

Transparency isn’t interesting – instead share the parts of you which are compelling and you are capable of backing up – accept risks but protect the parts of you which are too delicate to expose. Create interest through scarcity and self-editing and be prepared to deal with any reaction which comes along.

9 Express with vigour

You are an expert on something, don’t rely on others to create the historical record – everyone has access to remarkable publishing and promotion tools so step it up and dig deep to tell your unfiltered opinions and don’t let cynics bring you down – if you can’t surprise and impress yourself, no way you can evoke emotion from an audience.

10 HST

I think of “Express with Vigour” as the “Hunter S Thompson rule” – while his reputation has been somewhat maligned through hollywood movies, the fake Doctor was the finest social commentator since Samuel Clemens and offered significant discourse about Jimmy Carter, Hell Angels, 9/11 – and did it with a significant buzz – but always had a job because he expressed himself wisely and vigorously.

11 Cross Training

Now sometimes the pressure to create awesomeness can be debilitating – staring at a white sheet of paper and all that – rather than stressing, experiment with other mediums and get interdisciplinary with cross training skillz and your stories will manifest through the other tools – i contend V. Van Gogh c/would’ve made it as a writer if the painting hadn’t worked out.

12 Don’t Get Precious

With all this goodness you are creating, it’s easy to get protective of your thoughts and work. Rather than waiting for someone to make you an offer you can’t refuse, share your work openly and willingly – learn about creative commons, find collaborators, encourage remixing and your work will create a culture of its own. It’s not always fair but it is usually fun.

13 Ignore Gatekeepers

The established business models for artists are relatively modern and designed to create value for the shareholders of corporations. The goal of landing a major label record deal or a big publishing advance are no longer needed or valued – be your own imprint, chart your own course, the gatekeepers may look intimidating but they are made of stone so walk on by.

14 Cross Pollinate

When your work is released to the world to an audience – no matter the size – you’ll see a culture begin to grow around it – In the hills of Japan, I learned that once inoculated, Shiitake mushrooms propagate their culture from one log to the next – as the older logs rot away and stop producing, new logs down the line are fruiting fungus. Ditto with your audience.

15 Get more drummers

One dude drumming alone can make some noise but is not a party – recruit more drummers to amplify your story in their own way and spread your message across continents and oceans while building relationships and playing well with others. More fun, more effective plus you need others to have your back from time to time. Your momma told you are 1 in a million – that means there are at least 30 people just like you in Canada alone – go find em.

16 Formula for creativity

The old Edison maxim suggest success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration – this isn’t my formula – my formula for creative expression is 80% meditation, 10% execution and 10% inebriation – what i mean by that is the real work comes in the white space of life where you contemplate your story – the inebriation part is about pushing yourself to where you get a little scared.

17 Collect notes along the way

Travelling light means not accumulating much – for me gathering ephemeral objects along the way can be a short cut to remembering where you were mentally, emotionally, artistically decades later – a train ticket or dried flower can leap you back to a place in time which can benchmark how much you’ve remained the same while constantly evolving and spark new creative pursuits.

18 make it for yourself

Everyone else is just eavesdropping – this ain’t your job – its for love not money so make it exactly how you want it. Push out the nagging naysayers in your noggin and create something with integrity and for the love of all things decent, don’t cheese out for the quick win. Be sell out proof and make things you’ll want to read when you are old and grey.

19 Reap Rewards

Making stories for the future isn’t a way to gain the material trapping of perceived success. You may never see your reward beyond the admiration of a small tribe of others – but that’s enough. Success will be a surprise you likely don’t expect. Don’t wait for your ship to come in, instead realize it might get lonely out waiting for your bus to roll in so get comfy and settle in.

20 Hang loose

I’m dave, i’m all over the internet – i have a killer job so you can’t hire me but you can buy me a beer – thank you and hang loose vancouver

“Art Technology Are Old Pals” Talk Transcription (Wordcamp Vancouver 2010)

Transcription of a talk called “Art and Tech are Old Pal” at Wordcamp Vancouver in 2010. Video no longer exists (thanks to blip.tv) but audio exists, as does a “round-up” of photos, tweets, artifacts, and so on. See “Consider Perusing” below.

Dave: I bet you’ve had a lot of knowledge today, so you’re probably pretty exhausted.  I’m pretty wiped out but that’s mostly from the speaker’s dinner last night.  Thanks to the organizers for bludgeoning us the night before.  I really went there.  This will be fine.  I’m just going to pop in for just an hour or so.  It turned out to be longest bus ride of my life on the way home.  Overall, we’re good.  So, Mr. John Biehler on keyboard. [applause]

So, I do my best thinking in the bath because you can’t do anything else.  When you’re in the bath, there’s really nothing else you can do.  You certainly can’t use your iPhone unless you put it in a little Ziploc bag.  You shouldn’t be using your laptop.  That’s just dangerous.  I can’t use my vaporizer because I’d be electrocuted.  So really, all that’s left to do in the bath is thinking.

Recently, I was in the hospital.  Hit me the slide there, John.  While I was recovering and having my scrambled eggs and stuff like that, I got to thinking about what a strange conundrum.  What a strange piece of place of history that we live in with this tool.  I was thinking about coming to talk to you guys.  I had to have something because I really couldn’t think about it because I really couldn’t do much of anything.

I started thinking about how weird it is that all of a sudden art and technology were seeing these fruitions of time where all of a sudden a lot of you are making tools, writing codes, I went and sat in some of the things, and John’s talking about Map and all the new innovations of WordPress 3.0., I use the free WordPress.com, so I’m just letting you guys figured out how to build the tools.

But, all of a sudden, we’re replacing time that guys are making tools.  You’re also expected or in some way producing content for these things.  All of a sudden, you have this new publishing platform in front of you.  I started thinking, because I’ve always been caught in space between art and technology as evidenced here with my King Tut exhibit there, that was pretty good and that’s the important part of taking risks, just proof and point about when you make art, you got to take some risks.  

Continue reading “Art Technology Are Old Pals” Talk Transcription (Wordcamp Vancouver 2010)

“Fck Stats, Make Art” Talk Transcription (Northern Voice 2008)

Dave Olsen Reads Rousseau

What follows is transcription of a talk called “Fck Stats, Make Art” at Northern Voice, 2008 in Vancouver, BC. Original audio (record by Jay Stewart who is identified as Speaker 1 below) exists, as does a “round-up” of photos, tweets, artifacts, and so on. See “Consider Perusing” below.

Speaker 1: We’re at Northern Voice 2008 in Vancouver BC at the University of British Columbia Forestry Science Center and I’m about to record Dave O’s presentation.  What is the name of the presentation?

Speaker 2: Fuck Stats Make Art.

Speaker 1: Fuck Stats Make Art.  It’s going to be a little bit controversial because he’s going to give a call to up the ante on quality of stuff people are posting.  He’s like, “It doesn’t matter if people are looking, it matters if it’s good content, that’s more important.”

Speaker 2: Certainly good content comes first and then you really [inaudible 00:01:06].

Speaker 1: I don’t need to know when people’s cats are going to the bathroom.  I see a lot of that on Twitter and other sites and stuff, you know?

Announcer: So, it’s my pleasure to introduce one of my best friends here Dave Olson.  He also works with me at Raincity Studios and I’m really excited that you guys get to hear him talk today.  I think this talk would be quite a bit different from everything else that you hear at Northern Voice.

I dragged, Dave, kicking and screaming in the world of Google Analytics and I just didn’t get it, just like every moment I spent either looking at my viewers or attracting new ones is one less moment I’m writing or doing something else that I love.  So, I always respected that about him.

He’s a poet, a filmmaker, an author, photographer and many other awesome things.  Anyway, I’ll leave it up to him to go with the rest.  So, welcome to Fuck Stats Make Art.  

Continue reading “Fck Stats, Make Art” Talk Transcription (Northern Voice 2008)

“Are You Worthy / Greeks to Geeks” talk transcription (Wordcamp Whistler, 2009)

IMG_0051

What follow is a transcription of a talk called “Are You Worthy – Publishing from Greeks to Geeks” at Wordcamp Whistler in 2009. Video and audio exists, as does a “round-up” of photos, tweets, artifacts, and so on. See “Consider Perusing” below.

Speaker: We really hoped you enjoyed today and I think you’re going to enjoy this last session.  I’ve been looking forward to it since we started planning this.  So with that I’m going to turn over to Dave Olson, he’s going to ask you, “Are you Worthy?”     

Dave: So, it’s the end of the day, my brain is a little stretched — a lot of input, a lot of stuff.  So, if you feel a little antsy, because frankly taking notes — I don’t know if I’m going to say anything that’s really worth taking notes.  

I’m just putting this out there, if you want to come and sit down here or you want to pull your chair over, I’m an old hippie, so I was on dead tour.  It’s all right you can come and sit down if you want.  No big deal by the way.   I’ll give you a moment to do that.  

My ulterior motive for asking you to do that is that I didn’t bring anything to put on the projector.  But I have lots of little odds and ends here.  So, you’ll get a better view if you come and sit up front.  That’s the way I like it — special shout-out to the ladies right back there.       

I almost said I didn’t make any slides but I did make two slides here because people are always telling me that, “Dave, we really like your presentations, but damn it, would you give us a bulleted list?”  

Continue reading “Are You Worthy / Greeks to Geeks” talk transcription (Wordcamp Whistler, 2009)

Revolutions, Punks & Poets: Vancouver’s Forgotten Stories

Storymaker Dave uncleweed Olson shares an eclectic variety of stories from Vancouver’s counter-culture history on a stage adorned with a record player, campfire & cub scout blanket, art easel, flowers and an Expo 86 mug – plus pulls artifacts from an old-timey suitcase to illustrate forgotten past of a city which is/was much cooler than most realize.

Presented at Northern Voice, June 2013 in Vancouver, Canada, his 11th presentation to this noted personal expression conference (and his last talk before a medical “retirement”).

Filmed by Bruce Sharpe and Andrew Lavigne
Edited, Directed, Produced by Andrew Lavigne (also: With Glowing Hearts and Generation Social).

Music: Derek K Miller (RIP) “(You’re the) Big Sky”

Dave uncleweed Olson shares Forgotten Vancouver Stories
Dave uncleweed Olson shares Forgotten Vancouver Stories

 Topics:

  • Frederick Varley – Group of 7 painter who lived in Vancouver for 10 years
  • Grateful Dead – (tried to) play free shows at Second Beach and Kits Beach in 1966
  • Bob Masse psychedelic poster artist
  • Gastown Riots, March on Blaine, Rock Against Racism
  • bev. davies – rock n roll photographer, community chronicler, punk rock mom
  • Blues in Vancouver – Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee at the Bunkhouse
  • Vancouver punk rock glory days DIY spirit and fanzines (+ final days of The Clash and importance of ephemera)
  • Clayoquot Sound logging blockades
  • Jake Milford and the Canucks recruiting Swedish players in the 1970s
  • United Empire Loyalists + Burner Boys bringing jam band culture
  • Venues of note: Afterthought, Retinal Circus, York Theatre, the Cave, the Bunkhouse
  • Cubscout campfire blankets
  • Howard Hughes, Errol Flynn
  • ++ bits of Kris Krug, Bob Kronbauer, Rebecca Bollwitt, Dan Mangan, Jason Vanderhill and campfire helpers: Mark Blevis, Kemp Edmonds, John Biehler, James Lester, Ariane Colenbrander, Nicholas Demers

Continue reading Revolutions, Punks & Poets: Vancouver’s Forgotten Stories

Personal Publicity Story at SFU – Roundup #TPOPS

Internet Has a Short Memory – Artifacts from #SMCamp 2016

Creative Social Publicity and Promotion – SFU, 2016

sfu-class

From time to time, I visit various classes associated with B.C.’s Simon Fraser University’s fine publishing program under the stewardship of Suzanne Norman. This time around, the class was something about personal publicity and brand building. As such, I share anecdotes gleaned from Hootsuite and dozens of other personal social and community projects from over the years of activism, media outreach and marketing.

Download Creative Social Publicity and Promotion – SFU (1:56, 80MB, .mp3)

More: Roundup of artifacts from Creative Social Publicity and Promotion at SFU

Regarding Pecha Kucha Night Vancouver – Letter to Cause + Affect

Global Pecha Kucha Night - Inspire Japan

Hello Cause + Affect / Steven Cox and Jane Cox,

Speaking to smart audiences is a thrill for some, a terror for others, and a wee bit of an addiction for me.

Over the past several years, I excitedly and anxiously seized the chance to present at your Pecha Kucha Vancouver events *3* times (a record?):

my first foray stepping onto the 20×20 stage – still an bit of an unknown wildcard – was to share my “Fuck Stats, Make Art” spiel in which i share almost everything i’ve learned about creativity with purpose in 6:40;

then called into action to support my beloved Japan with stories id really never shared (and really want to share again) and, as it turns out, you asked me without realizing i spent years wandering the backs roads, and hidden villages of ancient Japan (which showed great confidence in what i bring to the stage despite being terribly hungover);

finally, “batting cleanup” at the 20th instalment – the All-Star edition- which (frankly featured some comically underprepared speakers), was a public speaking pinnacle for me equalled only by SXSW.

The legendary stage at the Vogue, an engaged audience, a gracious introduction welcoming me with a busted foot and resultant cane, a blue curling sweater and a brand new hat, to share “Lost Vancouver Stories” was truly a night i’ll fondly remember, despite the seemingly endless wait sipping tallcan beer, before my slot.

For all of your generosity of skill and the spirit you put forth, i offer my sincere thanks and congratulations for a fine job which you can reflect upon with pride (and exhaustion no doubt) – not sure what becomes of the series now but you’ve set a high bar and created a magnificent historical record for a city in transition who is honestly trying to figure out who “we” are and what “it” is.

I fondly shared the stage with some remarkable folks who are genuinely effectuating positive change in the world (as well as a few true oddballs) which all added to the ragged and nuanced majesty of the events.

Now as my life situation has changed with a weird health conundrum, i am especially grateful you threw down the gauntlet as i am not sure when or if i’ll be up for such a performance again as i try to patch myself back together.

Vancouver (and me) are better for your risk and dedication. Sit back and enjoy a tasty beverage and hugging kids.

Fondly,

daveo/uncleweed (from elsewhere)

## For Reference ##

Dear friends of PechaKucha Night,

We started PechaKucha Night in Vancouver in 2008 to bring people together. At the time, Vancouver lacked a vehicle for self discovery. There was just not enough awareness of the amazing people doing creative things in and for our city.

Now, almost 8 years on, we have produced 38 Volumes and put almost 500 different speakers on the stage in front of over 35,000 people. To our surprise, the series has grown a committed following that verges on cultish. 

As PechaKucha Night grew, dozens of new community events sprouted throughout Vancouver. There is now no shortage of places to go to hear about the wonderful things happening in our incredible city.

Given our long run and the new cultural landscape of the city, it is time to pass on the PechaKucha torch and give someone else a chance to bring fresh new people and ideas to the stage.

We’re not done creating experiences that catalyze our city’s creativity and culture. That’s what we do. That’s who we are. But we started PechaKucha to fill a need that is now well served and it is time for us to focus on something new.

To be the first to know about it, sign up for the Cause+Affect newsletter.

We have informed PechaKucha headquarters in Tokyo of our decision and offered our help in selecting our successor. If you’re interested in taking the reins, please contact Johnny at PechaKucha HQ.

We look forward to watching this event evolve here and around the world, and will continue to support the many other great community events that surround us. 

It has been an incredible ride and we cannot communicate how much it has meant to us and how touched we are by those of you who enjoyed it along with us. 

Thank you to all our speakers. Thank you to all our musical guests. Thank you to all our partners, venues and volunteers. And most of all, thank you. This event became what it was due to the love and support of our community.

From Steven and Jane and everyone at Cause+Affect, this isn’t goodbye. This is ‘see you later.’

It has been our pleasure.

We filmed many of the more recent events. If you want to relive the magic, check out our Vimeo page.

Keynote Aboard a Boat with Dave Olson and Greg Gunn – Experience Tectoria

keynote on a boat

On a private yacht with special access to the Victoria naval base, respective VP’s of Community and Business Development at HootSuite, Dave Olson and Greg Gunn, jointly delivered a keynote speech for Experience Tectoria, an event designed to highlight Victoria’s tech sector.

A lively crowd who actively participated in the stories with heckles and laughs, a steady supply of Hoyne beer, plus a pod of Orca whales breaching and interrupting the talk… all made for a memorable Sunday afternoon.

Come Aboard for: Keynote Aboard a Boat with Dave Olson and Greg Gunn  (.mp3, 51:42, 75MB)

Note: Audio extracted from iPhone video shot by Jose Albis – thanks!

Continue reading Keynote Aboard a Boat with Dave Olson and Greg Gunn – Experience Tectoria