— ≈boldkick≈ (@_boldkick) June 10, 2016
This pirate is 45. No big #UW45 shindig this year, but if you feel like giving me a present, I made a registry for your consideration:
1 visit someone having a tough time – mentally physically emotionally- give them no advice, just be with them. Calm
2 make me a wikipedia page with talks, publications & media – vain perhaps but also handy
3 buy megaphonemagazine.com from a street vendor. 2 bucks goes far – also quality read
3 give time music and/or tools to musicheals.ca
4 buy a soup and sandwich for ____
5 mail a postcard to a friend in a foreign land
6 share something you’ve made – paint, music, poetry — with me &/or everyone
7 go see a local band, pay the cover & buy a shirt
8 register to vote & help friends do likewise
9 call your nieces & nephews — tell them things their parents cant like “your parents are awesome”
10 climb a mountain, cross the sea with little or no money & tell me the story
Singalong with Dinosaur Jr., Freak Scene:
So fcked I can’t believe it
If there’s a way I wish we’d see it
Just dont let me fck up will you
Cause when i need a friend its still you
Smoking jackets, pajamas and vinyl also accepted.
Sometimes speaking for the day-job and spieling for the personal self cross over a wee bit despite my efforts to separate. For Social Media Unplugged, i was ending the day for a sold-out theatre of keeners who’d digested a massive variety of information from ROI to NPOs.
As such, i laid down a mix of practical social media campaign tips contextualized through my pro activities as well as some historical discourse to articulate the importance of storytelling, earnest participation and driving the bus. Included fanzines, CB radios, telegrams, hockey, king tut and more.
When used strategically, social media tools are a powerful asset for bringing attention to your campaign, event for initiative – But you must first create a sustainable plan and choose the right tools which allow you to quickly spread messages, spark conversations and track results.
Experienced community marketer Dave Olson will share practical tactics gathered from years of grassroots promotion in diverse industries, including tips for real-time monitoring plus implementing emerging mobile and geo-location technologies into your plan.
Note: was front-paged at Slideshare.net in the “How-to & DIY” section.
Word of the People
Last, but certainly not least was Dave Olson, Community Director of HootSuite (@daveohoots). By the time he got on stage the conference was running late and we were all on our 9th hour but his humour and ability to engage the audience brought us all back of life, it was awesome. He enlightened us with the lessons he learned from building a HootSuite community of over 1 million users, these lessons were…
1. Begin with listening
2. Participation is Everything – track and monitor everything and be everywhere – where ever people are talking about or asking questions about what you are doing, be there, always and measure everything.
3. Community Manager as a Party House? Keep people on course, guide them where you want them to go, and be the driver of an exciting bus.
4. It’s all about the story – the tools may have changed but people will still engage in an interesting story.
5. Interestingness – you have to have it.
6. Go Where the people are – go talk to the people, hang out with them on their terms, play their game.
7. Speak their language.
8. Build a posse.
9. Close the loop – bring them back to the main group, back to the community.
10. Let robots do the work.
The best was clearly saved for last. […] The bulk of Dave’s presentation was about creating a sustainable plan for your engagement strategy. He also touched on the various listening and monitoring tools that businesses can use. He encouraged businesses to listen, participate, and to “go where the people are”. Also, businesses should measure everything – number of retweets, mentions, etc.
Though I by no means wish to discount the presentations by the other presenters, the last presenter of the day was Dave Olson (@daveohoots), Community Director of Hootsuite, and he managed to re charge a crowd that I received quite a lot of information already.
And closing us off was Dave Olson who talked about his social media tips which included making sure you’re listening as opposed to just writing/sharing, being an active participant, keeping things interesting, the importance of using hashtags, writing/speaking in your target audience’s language, building a posse, letting the robots do the work (ie. RSS), and measuring everything.
- Social media concept is not new — CB radios could be compared to Chat Roulette, scrapbooks to Tumblr, telegrams to Twitter, etc.
- Listen — set up your dashboard to monitor all conversations about your company, learn what people are saying and how they are talking about your company and use their language to communicate with them
- Participate — reach out to critics, respond, monitor all mentions
- Ensure your story is compelling and interesting and give people the tools to share your story
- Go to where the people are and invite them to you, don’t just broadcast randomly
- Close the loop — when people create content about you, share it!
- MEASURE EVERYTHING!
Social Media Marketing Unplugged – LINNEA CARMEN’S THOUGHTS AND DISCOVERIES
New connections are made everyday, and these connections are facilitated so easily with all of the tools provided on the internet. In my eyes, the most useful tool to organize all of these valuable connections is Hootsuite, which was praised about by the beloved speaker, Dave Olson. (Gotta love the owl!)
Props to Jamil Rhajiak for snaps in tough light
KetanJogia Jan 31, 1:46am via Web @daveohoots Thanks Dave for your awsome talk on Saturday. You were definitely inspirational.
KatieRaeH Jan 30, 11:21pm via HootSuite @DaveHoots great presentation at #smunplugged You should be a comedian, seriously! Too funny!
jason_baker Jan 30, 9:34am via HootSuite @KashifPasta @nenshi In otherwards, don’t just grow a community. Foster it! As @daveohoots says, become the bus driver!
DianneChow Jan 29, 11:34pm via HootSuite Working on @sm_unplugged notes. I remember all the jokes but none of the facts. Elijah (Suzuki) & Dave Olson #Hootsuite pee-in-pants funny!
JessGrey Jan 29, 6:47pm via TweetDeck Best storyteller of the day was @daveohoots, but definitely learned a bit from everyone. #smunplugged
KrystalGabriel Jan 29, 5:49pm via Twitter for iPhone #smunplugged build a posse, close the loop, multiple touch points is key! @daveohoots
JillBenedict Jan 29, 5:41pm via Twitter for iPhone @DaveHoots provides metaphor of the day – community manager is like a bus driver #smunplugged
Leading up to the event, James from Hello Vancity shot a impromptu video interview with me sharing thoughts about social media, Vancouver and storytelling.
On the first Saturday of 2011, i ventured out to the glorious UBC campus on a stunning Vancouver day to spiel at the Student Leadership Conference with a talk called “Hitchhiking the Boardroom – Leadership Lessons from the Road“.
Basically, I outlined various traits and skills about leadership – most of which i’ve exercised at my day job – and explained scenarios from past adventures which taught (or allowed me to practice) these skills.
For example: Patience while arriving in Japan learning no language, or the importance of escape plan when confronted with an un-savory ride.
Allowed me to share the lost years of roaming and experiment with some new metaphors. In all, some fun storytelling to a full room (off-mic and off page).
I’ll compile the Twitter (great) feedback eventually, but here are a few key artifacts so far:
1) The slide deck featuring photos of hitchhiking signs from journeys past as well as anecdotal snaps
2) An article from the Vancouver Sun which i’ll liberally excerpt from for the preservation of the record.
Vancouver Sun Article
Dave Olson community director of Vancouver technology company, Hootsuite, says leadership skills are best learned when you’re out of your comfort zone. Photograph by: Jason Payne, Vancouver Sun
Conference speaker Dave Olson, who is community director of Hootsuite, a young local technology company, believes that leadership is learned by getting out of one’s comfort zone both pysically and mentally.
Leadership in fast-paced technological world is all about teamwork and camaraderie. Leaders must learn to trust, delegate, experiment and refine, he said.
“A lot of the things we experience living an adventurous life teaches us practical skills when leading fast paced groups,” Olson said. For Olson, that meant travelling. “Other people can learn the same feeling of openness when volunteering to work with handicapped kids one summer. For me, I learned about openness by sticking out my thumb.”
At Hootsuite everyone works in one big room and “everyone’s opinion is valid,” Olson said. “There are not a bunch of egos. We cross over and share skills across the department.
“You definitely have to cultivate that atmosphere,” Olson added. “You have to have something that brings that to life. [And] it starts top down.”
I proceed with this round-up trepidatiously as i tend to look forward to what’s next and try to temporarily forget recent projects once complete. Also, i am (somewhat) hesitant to ramble on about myself (sorta). But, as a note to future self, and for a record of gratitude, here is an endlessly incomplete collection of events, incidents and anecdotes from this past year (pardons in advance for any omissions).
Interested in any of these topics? Rather than me including the handy links (like i probably should), i encourage you to poke around and discover the artifacts and collections about any topics, adventure, project listed… doing so will allow me to share this sooner and move onto the next thing (plus *everything* would end up linked).
I’ll also include a few meditations and manifestations for the 2011 so you can ask me, “hey dave, how’s it going with those things you mentioned you’d do in 2011?”
The other day, i recorded a wee festive video messages to say thanks for letting me participate in your life and thanks for being part of mine:
Healing: Abdominal surgery (2nd in years), challenging recovery was significantly aided by kindness and traditional Chinese Medicine (thanks Drs. Trauben & Ying & Nagy)– tried to enjoy films during recovery but, due to pain, watched WW2 movies and documentaries to feel camaraderie from injured comrades
Speaking: Shared my stories on stages including… Pecha Kucha (Fck Stats, Make Art, remix’d), Word Camp Vancouver (Art and Tech) – thanks Duane/Dale/Johnx2/Rebecca, Social Media Camp Victoria (for day-job), plus lecturing classes at BCIT, and TNMH spiels at Capilano University 2x, Fresh Media (also a podcast lecture at this one i think… ) – Also Northern Voice video about finding voice/creativity, etc. – thanks for Andrew Lavigne, Julie Szabo, Monica Hamburg and all who showed up to watch while i lay upon a davenport
Wrangling: True North Media House – survived the tension and negativity to create a social movement of documentation, reporting, funtimes, internationalizing and explore the issues about modern media and global mega-events… from prosestors to journalists, we didn’t fit in anywhere but ended up “being” a story. Interviews/coverage in PBS Media Shift, CBC Radio multiple times, and dozens of other outlets
Internationalizing: Also Olympics in general as a fan saw a handful of freaking awesome hockey games hanging with my face people drinking tall cans in parks, meeting visitors, finding new pubs and parks, riding the bus with happy people, hugging strangers
Documenting: Along the way, i created a bucket load of Olympic Outsider podcasts on-the-go with instant publishing to bring all of you along
Documented: The With Glowing Hearts filmmakers followed me around for much of the above and combined my story with others to make a remarkable soliloquy about a city in change and various approaches to dealing with it
Awarded: Choogle On awarded 3rd place (4th kinda) in Georgia Straight’s Best of Vancouver which is kinda neat. Made a few more episodes (though many are hidden currently)
Yup, always on the go… here’s where (and of course there are podcasts from the trips so you can come along in my backpocket):
Austin for SXSW for the 3rd time – getting more local, finding face cafes, greenbelts with yoga tattoo artists, hidden bars and bar-b-ques. hectic fun hanging with industry luminaries where you can’t tell the millionaires from the bankrupt. Also made podcasts to detail the nuances and form an audio quest guide for rookies and chooglers. also broken leg cyborg rescue mission – cheers to John Biehler, Nadia, Flanders, Amber Case and Dave Delaney + Pugz and Laurie
Toronto including Hockey Hall of fame for 1 rapid hour, wandering new streets, cafes and bars – Canada is different there but some charming people amongst the bustle and smoke
Seattle to Subpop meeting superhero: Mudhoney’s Mark Arm, enjoying the backroom tour and going home with a box of CDs (thanks Dean for making it happen)
Festivaling: Komasket Music fest interviews with great bands and enjoyed vibe of small time fest (see also articles in Vancouver observer) shisha tents with tea, lake canoes paddles, redemption song outdoors, couch green room “backstage” – note: Bocephus King is giant and enjoys swimming. Extra thanks Kazia and “Family Man” Barrett
Roadtripping: Trip to Nelson for Christmas Day lighthouse ferry ride, soaking in a hot springs cave, local organic Nelson beer in a haunted hotel and snowy day drives + met harp/hashman Xomaha. Made a video to tell you i like ya (above) – plus a stop at Duhkabour museum (near Castlegar) in search of Draft dodger statue (a story for another time ( someone wanna fund my trip and article?))
Writing: Along with meta coverage, interviews, and miscellany, articles and essays abounded! including pieces in:
- RAIN – an interview and art piece about my personal artistic journey
- Vancouver Observer – dossiers about the inaugural SeaBus voyage, summer festivals, train travel and Remembrance day ++
- Megaphone – Let’s Get Lost, a tour of forgotten Vancouver counter-culture landmarks
- Inside Vancouver – Vancouver Tourism featured vancouverite sharing my fave activities, places and tips
- Exode – Serialized Letters from Russia (in a stylish manner)
- Granville (Varley forthcoming) – this is a big one which is a true labor of affection
+ Blogging: was “official” blogger (along with Bob from VIAwesome) at TEDX Vancouver and documented a bucket full of talks including Nardwuar and Josh Fox
Culturing: Going the Opera – twice(!) including a contemporary Canadian opera and a more trad Italian preceded by rainy night fun with draft beer and raclette at German festive market with Chris and Cinci
Meeting: Getting friendly with the CBC Radio 3 crew – admire/enjoy what they do + props to Grant Lawrence for book/tour/blog/etc.
Rocking: DOA at Anti-Olympics show with KK, Bev et al, with me in lanyard, pins, Canadian flags and assorted spangles at the Rickshaw – see also: Misfits with mon ami Scales – UPDATE: Vampire Weekend outside Malkin Bowl with a spiked bubble tea
Partying: UW 40 party with so many friends, a whole pig and endless beer and tropical drinks the next morning in the wrecked campground – also a skunk & many fine ales for later – special thanks to analog lisa and R&B Brewing – So pleased Bev Davies came and gave me a treasured gift
Officiating: Conducted a wedding (for Kemp and Sheila) and wrote a celebratory prose with influences from Walt Whitman to Gibran to Chili Peppers
Transcending: Levon Helm with brother Dan on a perfect night with a perfect buzz and all time hero with surprises including Elvis Costello. Also, during Olympics, watched Wilco rock a long, sophisticated set in a drizzly park – really started the good feelings as fireworks reflected in Yaletown and so on… (many other bands included The Stills again)
Camping: Owl Creek Howl year 3 – sitting in stream, beers around lantern during fire ban and making funny-ish videos for Lt. Magnum with Scales and Mariska
Sporting: (drunken) Whitecaps games, (expensive) Canucks hockey, BC Lions at Empire with Dad and brother) and baseball parks around BC including Vancouver Island
Exploring: I was on the bridge for the new SeaBus’ inaugural voyage along with my pal Miss604 – took a week to stop smiling (or was this last year?), Culture Crawl to Boris and Rachel’s, day-trips aplenty to hidden neighbourhoods and dozens of walks on the Varley trail
Sunsetting: Possibly last trip to Olympia for some time. Cashed in Last Word Book credit and last coffee card on a iced chai after a hardworking weekend winding down Zhonka office with Unabonger
Remembering: Observed Remembrance Day at Japanese Cenotaph at Stanley Park with co-conspirators KK, Trauben and Lis. Followed by rainy hike and plenty beers to the Legion hall for Lt. Magnum (now Commander) Brother who made it back and forth to Afghanistan safely – chance to record some fun videos and learn more about contemporary military life and culture (see also: podcast and Vancouver Observer article)
Celebrating: My pal Derek kicked cancer’s ass for another year and i went to his birthday party and danced in his parent’s swinging party room
Visting: Maddog Maccarthy, international man of silicon up from Pacifica for Greek food and Lendog up from PDX for whirlwind hockey and beers and buddy Banghi up for CDN Thankgiving (it’s a tradition) with giant bottle of Bishmills in tow
Working: You prob know i have a wicked job at which i work hard and experience personal satisfaction and significant results and enjoy collaborating with many dear colleagues – i also appear frequently in podcasts, interviews, articles etc. discussing the concerns of the company and observations of the industry but you can find those on your own
Friending: I started a list of all the people i didn’t already explicitly mention… but this will take all day so i’m taking a hike… consider yourself admired
Words & Music: This is where i’d tell you what i read and listened to but skipping this too…
Beers and Meals: ibid (see untappd.com)
2011 is bound to be full of surprises, but there are many things i must do personally to ease my mind (i.e. taxes and biz and exercise), and many i am so eager to do to fill my soul (writing, making), and many which fit in-between (web remaking, archiving).
Here are most:
- Shut down Zhonka gently – tough one and overdue
- Do my taxes early and pay off CRA
- Establish new web *everything* – it’s all a mess, all of it
- Archive all podcasts (and release purchasable collections?) – related to above, move audio to archive.org
- Craft 5 great fictional-ish stories (flash flood, caye caulker, taos incident,
- Participate in a sport(s)/activities frequently (snowshoeing, x-country skiing, trail running, tai chi, inline hockey, swimming)
- Attend SXSW music as well as interactive
- Refresh wardrobe (new thrift store shirts/pants (possibly in Austin, Texas)
- Make a quilt from old t-shirts
- Get to know Vancouver Archives, Museum of Vancouver, Vancouver Art Gallery
Shouldn’t be too hard, right? Give me a hand won’t you – especially with the pleasant parts. UPDATE: Need to see a dentist multiple times and aim to drink more water.
Next big projects: Revisit the Festival Express remix of a train trip across Canada teaching about wonders of personal expression and media; begin Ole Dead Gramps audio remix project (maybe); revisit Clayoquot Rainforest Dispatches to include others’ stories; make Bev. Davies interview into something.
Poet Randall Maggs discusses his book “Night Work” about the troubled soul of legendary hockey goalie Terry Sawchuk plus the nuances of story-telling, conversations with goaltenders, Sawchuk’s Ukrainian heritage and convergence of history and hockey with host Dave Thorvald Olson at the Robson Square covered outdoor rink in Vancouver following a poetry reading promoted by publisher Brick Books.
Lace em up for Poetic Stories about Goalies – Postcard #62 (.mp3, 36:02, 33MB, stereo)
Episode cover art designed by Bread the Producer, photo by Dave O
Apparently Pecha Kucha is pronounced anyway you choose – 20 slides for :20 seconds
Held in around 300 cities, Pecha Kucha originated in Tokyo and now spreads like a erstwhile secret society into the creative underbellies of boroughs and urban centers where architects, world changes, artists, poets, musicians and survivors face the audience under pressure to inspire, amuse, inform, and/or educate ~ but mostly inspire ~ through their story. The Vancouver incarnation is wrangled by Cause+Affect.
I am now in the club, April 7th i was 3rd up after rad skateboard/snowboarder/game designer legend and a Scotslady who’d just sung for the attendees and before two hip architects, Gair Williamson and Bing Thom.
I spieled forth a version of my F*ck Stats, Make Art/Greeks to Geeks/Sparking Creativity riffs but added a few new slides and no old-timey suitcase – no time for props to soliloquies. Rapid fire style – hold on because the slides are rocking by – the crowd enjoyed the anecdotes and the time flew by – afterwhich i settled in to check out the rest of the remarkable people with amazing ideas.
Andy Chung writes:
Pecha Kucha 10 in Vancouver is this Thursday, should be fun. I haven’t really heard of anyone in the line up, so it should be fun going into it with no expectations.
update: Pecha Kucha 10 was awesome. The stand out talk for me was by Dave Olson.
Raw Bean recaps PK in the Coke and Count Chocula blog post, Out and Aboot:
Sometimes it’s hard to remember or tell what someone does and that was the case with the next guy Dave Olson. But he was hilarious! I’m pretty sure he was the one that said “don’t be precious” which we wrote down.
… and shared a photo and a video clip:
Give Music blog writes Please Continue Supporting the Arts:
It was great to attend Pecha Kucha Vancouver last night to hear individuals such as Dave Olson on his theories of art, Bing Thom on his theatre design for Washington DC, Stephanie Corker Irwin on nomosolo offline dating, andPamela Masik on her efforts to raise awareness through painting. The format of Pecha Kucha really allows for community sharing at a very personalized level. Arts was featured and culture is what it’s all about, so that’s an inspiring place from which to post about supporting the arts. Thanks Vancouver.
kempedmonds shot a bit of video:
MarkBusse attached a photo:
kk Dave Olson just killed it at Pechu Kucha Night Vancouver 10. Hilarious, poignant & totally inspiring. Fuck stats, make art! #tnmh #pkn 8:20 PM Apr 8th via TweetDeck from Financial District, Vancouver
SimoneKaminsky @uncleweed Haha, you did! I like your perspective. You were funny and motivating, thanks! @shaaarrr: D. Haddow was another fave of mine too! 10:31 AM Apr 9th via HootSuite in reply to uncleweed
Totally, Bob! I kept thinking the same thing throughout the evening. Especially because what was shared by the presenters was so personal and also indicative of the paths they each chose, the choices they made (as Pamela Masik spoke to) that brought them to where they are. I especially loved Dave Olsen’s presentation (how galvanizing!) and Marc Baumgartner’s perspective on “context.”
Great night. Very inspiring.
Dave Olson and Bing Thom had me laughing AND inspired. What a truly awesome night.
Thanks to all the folks who came up afterwards to say thanks and tell me what they are up to and to everyone who chimed in with Twitter/Facebook/SMS/Flickr etc. love – my words are nothing without ya and you now know how i much i value chronicling events with artifacts so thanks for making stuff.
The presenters included: Jay Balmer, Isabelle Dunlop, Dave Olson, Dani Vachon, Gair Williamson, Martha Sturdy, Doug Haddow, Pamela Masik, Bing Thom, Stephanie Corker Irwin, Vanessa Leigh and Marc Baumgartner.
Source: PechaKucha vol 10! | VIAwesome
Amongst my recent trips, interviews and publications came a very special treat – a pull-out insert and stream of consciousness interview in RainZine. As a lover of deliberate, tactile arts and crafts and compelling content, RainZine – produced by Carla Bergman and Anita Olson – is an ideal manifestation with photos artfully placed in with black corners, paper matched with content like wine and cheese, even hand-pasted-in CDs for bonus bits which the atoms can’t carry.
In The Resistance Issue! Number 4, I worked with Carla and Anita to create a pullout insert called Flying High – a boardgame-inspired personal art history i glued up from stacks of source materials – each square has a story. They photographed and distributed as a pull out piece along with the interview by Ms. Olson pasted below. The finished piece feels like an old-timey broadsheet which poets, folk singers and activists would share throughout the countryside in olden days – i feel part of that lineage.
The tome, alas, has switched to permanent hiatus mode after 4 splendid issues but no worries, these passionate creators are up to all sorts of other endeavours. In particular, Carla ringleads (is this the correct word?) The Purple Thistle – a program and facility for young artists which needs a spiel of its own to recount the perfect afternoon i enjoyed teaching a group of remarkable youths about podcasting (audio and video to come at some distant point on the horizon).
After first meeting Carla and Anita during the “Phone for Fearless” campaign via Raincity Studios, they hopped on board my jalopy train of story and spiels at Northern Voice 09 where they caught my Letters from Russia and Rock N Roll Photography gigs.
We quickly realized all share a love of scissors, glue, tea and laughter as key ingredients to making art. I proudly wear my Rain pin on my coat and am often blamed for heralding precipitation but rather i am an advocate for radical art in nature.
Rain also published a dossier about Letters from Russia in issue 3 where i shared pages with my good pals photographer Kris Krug and painter/designer Jer Crowle. This time the issue is stocked with skill includes poems from C.R. Avery, a mixed media singer/beatboxer/writer who played the release party evoking memories of Tom Waits.
So in tribute and thanks to RainZine, here’s the interview with Anita which i’ll always remember at Arbutus Coffee shop (after forgetting where i’d really booked the meeting), afterwork on a blustery autumn night with warm beverages and a cassette recorder – truly thanks Carla and Anita for bringing the Rain down on me.
Who is this Dave Olson Guy anyway?
by Anita Olson from RainZine Issue #4
Last fall I had the pleasure of chatting with this Dave O guy and was reminded of a sociology paper I wrote about how the Internet fosters multiple selves (not to be confused with multiple personalities, of course). The basic idea is that the self is not a singular but rather made up of a compilation. Sherry Turkle, a big smarty pants at MIT, wrote a book called Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet, discussing how “the Internet has become a significant social laboratory for experimenting with the constructions and reconstructions of self that characterize postmodern life. In its virtual reality, we self-fashion and self-create.”[place number 1 here for footnote] In other words, the computer helps us see the multiple selves we posses and can help foster their development. Sitting with Dave O was like sitting with a Turkle case study.
Dave O is an artist, writer, poet, painter, drawer, collager, podcaster, speaker, hockey fan, tree hugger, pot advocate, hiker, documentarian, blogger, storyteller, office worker, daddy, husband, activist, teacher, do-gooder, and sauna sitter but I reckon that there is probably more in him that I missed. Many know him as the infamous Uncle Weed or simply as Dave O…and of course there’s Dave Olson.
Using the Internet, Dave has created different personas each capturing a certain audience. Whether it’s talking bud with Uncle Weed, rattling hockey stats as Dave O, or reading literary essays by Dave Olson, he has a lot of virtual ground covered. But having an audience is only half the tale; Dave would like “a paycheck to go with it.”
In the two or three hours spent with Dave so many stories flowed that I can only fit a tiny fraction of what was shared that evening. I hope to have highlighted Dave as the artist he truly is. Who better but to have Dave’s own words to describe his artistic process, a new project and how he perceives himself as an artist. The following is an excerpt from an autumn chat between RAIN and Dave O.
What he’s recently been up to…
[I’ve been working on] some recordings I made in 2006 while visiting the Clayquot Sound area. I was at the blockades in 1993 near Tofino. I was a young 20 something year-old and I stood on the blockade lines and watched everyone get arrested…and out there on the blockade lines I learnt a lot of pivotal lessons, and it’s really what got me into hemp and alternative fibers and peaceful activities and bringing people together rather than squabbling. I realized out on the blockade lines, the environmental advocates and the loggers both wanted the same thing. They both wanted the trees, they just wanted them for different reasons. These guys wanted them for jobs so they could buy TVs and RVs and those guys wanted them so they could feel good about breathing air. But we need to find a solution so we can all just get along.
So, over the intervening years I hear all this news that it had been turned into a UNESCO world heritage site and I was like, “we won and we changed the world”. So I pack up the family (in ’06) and it’s going to be great, it’s going to be like eco heaven. But when we got out there it was industrial tourism. Fucking RVs, provocatively named resorts, swimming pools and Jacuzzis everywhere. While we were there, the city of Tofino ran out of water and they packed up and stopped commercial usage. All the hotels had to pack up all the people and send them home. And I just happened to be there. And because I’m the kind of guy that takes a bag full of books with me on vacation and paints, I just used this as a sort of a catalyst to make a huge amount of paintings and my little recordings. The water outage and my whole tension about the area gave a spark to the whole thing. I brought all these files home and I totally stressed myself out on this vacation because I wanted to document all this injustice of the world and then I misplaced the files. [They were] missing for quite some time….on another computer on another thing…anyway I finally found the files and thought, this is what I gotta do; I gotta find how to make these into something.
So over the last month I’ve made them into a nine-part podcast series called “Rain Forest Dispatches.” It’s a combination of me reading essays, me kind of running on spiels, my own personal frustrations with things, then flashing back to the blockades, and then visiting the friends of Clayquot Sound Organization and having some interviewee conversations. I was wondering what to do with them…it’s hard editing your own audio. For one, you sound like a chipmunk and two, it’s like, “shut up, we get it dude”. I needed something to break it up and stretch it out and the stories were all told out of sequence too. It was totally non-linear but then I started to put together a few bits and pieces of music. A young lady named Becks from Vancouver Island made a song called “Lonesome Traveler” and it was…perfect. I made a little introduction with seaplanes and sounds of waves lapping against the shore. And then I found this guy William Whitmore Elliot. It sounds like he’s an old 75 year old man from the delta but he’s this nice young college boy from Iowa, sings these great blues songs. And our pal Geoff Berner in “Light enough to Travel” where he sings about smashing the windows of logging companies just to get a little release and these pieces just came together. Labour Day weekend I locked myself in my studio and just edited audio and I started releasing them. I’ve got five of them out now.
How he describes himself and what he does…
I make mixed media story packs…I’m a story maker rather than a storyteller. To describe what I do, it’s not really performance art and its not really spoken word and it’s certainly not slam poetry. It’s more like I sit around a campfire with a very focused conversation about things because everything I do is very, very deliberate…and my presentations, in order to make it look like I’m making it all up, take a tremendous amount of work.
I’ve made a deliberate point of knowing how to write in every style. Everything from press releases, expository and free prose, and that is what keeps me employed.
I’m a private man and separate my family and day job from the Internet. I only share bits of myself that other people may find compelling in one way or another.
I like sharing stuff…I just don’t like organizing it to share it.
But Dave’s work is organized in the virtual world. He has a wicked website, www.uncleweed.net where there are links to numerous podcasts, blogs, poetry, essays, pictures, films, paintings, a resume and more…a virtual adventure well worth diving into!
*On the front of this lovely little insert is a bit of a timeline Dave whipped up for RAIN titled “Flying High.” It displays his eclectic style and the thoughtful intention he pours in all of his work. Sharing parts of himself, from a scrawny kid, where he’s lived and traveled, paintings, writings and up to what he’s currently been doing covers this aesthetically pleasing and informative piece.
1 Life on the Screen. Simon & Schuster. New York: 1995