Tag Archives: poet

Let it Rain ~ “Flying High” boardgame-inspired art & interview in DIY Zine

Flying High by Dave Olson – as appeared in RainZine #4

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).

View from my Seat by Bev Davies (at Northern Voice 2009)

analoggirlheartsyellowpaper

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.

three iterations of a dossier
Letters from Russia dossier for RainZine in 3 iterations

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…

DAVE O

[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…

DAVE O

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

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Hitchhiking to the Boardroom – Presentation Pitch for SXSWi10

Dave Olson at SXSW F@ck Stats Make Art 2008
Find the plane where Awesum & Audience intersect

Here’s my (Dave Olson’s) submission to SXSW Interactive 2010 – Starting August 10, you’ll have a chance to vote for SXSW Panels and Presentations until Aug. 28th and your vote constitutes a portion of the selection process along with staff and an advisory board.

After the enjoyment of presenting F@ck Stats, Make Art spiel at SXSWi 2009 (which garnered favourable reviews BTW), I mulled over my options and have some pretty entertaining in mind which will entice me to dig deep in my older travel files and more modern Internet biz binders of artifacts to support my story-telling.

For F@ck Stat, Make Art, i went fully analog with no projectors, laptops etc. but this time i will  use some photos to share what i have in mind including stories from time spent as mushroom farmer in Japan, beach club host in Guam, searching for the kind in Palau, gathering grapes and chestnuts in Germany or following the Grateful Dead through the hinterlands of America in a VW bus.

Listen to a recap of my SXSW 2009 core conversation and after-hours hi-jinks in SXSW Stories from Middle Earth – Choogle On #79 podcast.

Also for your voting consideration:

Art = craft + intent x integrity
Art = craft + intent x integrity

Details of pitch:

Title of panel or presentation (maximum 8 words):

Hitchhiking to the Boardroom

50 word description of this panel / presentation

Not all business lessons are learned in an MBA program, nor management skills gained in seminars. This inter-disciplinary conversation distills a decade of working odd jobs in 20+ countries, followed by 14 years of Internet biz endeavors, into unique problem-solving skills as well as inspire attendees with a replenished toolbox of usable tactics.

10 questions that will be answered in this panel / presentation

  1. How can I reach the top without a fancy degree?
  2. Why should you bring “yourself” to work?
  3. How do you diffuse a$$holes (especially when they are your boss)?
  4. How can I find mentors, teachers and miracles?
  5. How can I develop recession-proof business ideas?
  6. What are the advantages of communicating with an audience in their language?
  7. Why should I forget pre-conceptions and surprise myself?
  8. Why is an inter-disciplinary perspective important?
  9. Why should I consider hitting the road (and not look back)?
  10. How can I figure out what truly matters to me – and make it happen?

50-word bio for this speaker

Dave Olson is a world-traveling renaissance guy who has published essays, poetry and fiction, wrote and produced a documentary film, and traveled to 20+ countries working jobs from mushroom farmer to private beach club host. An experienced story-teller, Dave’s presentation style is unique, visually compelling and free of jargon, cheesy buzzwords and bulleted lists.

get out of the cublicle you deserve more!
get out of the cublicle you deserve more! (photo KK)

I am qualified to speak on this topic because:

{pardon the 3rd person} An experienced media pundit, Dave made dozens of TV/radio/newspaper appearances discussing web media technology, public policy activism, entrepreneurship, hockey and more on outlets ranging from CBC to BBC to High Times.

Most recently, he’s worked as a professional web community builder and marketing evangelist for a variety Vancouver web companies.

He regularly speaks at events and conferences about using technology to enable artistic expression and using social media for social change.

He graduated in 2004 from the noted Evergreen College in Olympia, Washington with a degree in Inter-disciplinary studies after studying public policy, philosophy, global affairs and writing – he also attended the Universities of Utah and Guam.

A podcasting pioneer, Dave creates several long-running series including Postcards from Gravelly Beach – a spoken word literature show, Choogle on! – gonzo international sound-seeing adventures, and Canucks Outsider, a wildly-popular audio magazine about Vancouver hockey culture.

Has this person spoken at SXSW before?

Yes – See the recap of F@ck Stats, Make Art at SXSW 2009

Spieling to the People of SXSW 09
Spieling to the People of SXSW 09- photo by KK

The scales of sharing - Free for Taking or Dont Take
The scales of sharing - Free for Taking or Don't Take

Recent Publications:

  • Depth Perception (poetry) – 2009
  • Letters from Russia (epistolary lit) – 2006
  • The First Rule of Longboard Hockey is … – Heads Magazine 2007
  • Rebagliati Positive for 2010 – Head Magazine 2006
  • Zen Rambling in Japan – Heads Magazine 2006
  • Hemp Culture in Japan – Cannabis Culture 2000

For Your SXSW Voting Consideration: