Category Archives: Pecha Kucha x 4

20 slides for 20 seconds each – this Japanese originating worldwide speaker series is a wild ride. here are slides, vids and audio in various forms from 4 different appearances at Pecha Kucha

Forgotten Vancouver Stories (aka Poets, Punks and Revolutions) / collage art boards

Forgotten Vancouver Stories: 1 - Everything is ephemera
Forgotten Vancouver Stories: 1 – Everything is ephemera (maps, tickets, pins, pennants) #daveostory

Artifact dossier: Collage art boards from “Forgotten Vancouver Stories (aka Poets, Punks and Revolutions)” spiel presented in various formats at Pecha Kucha Night Vancouver, All-start edition, and Northern Voice 2013 closing keynote. Video and roundup of both prezos exists elsewhere in this archive.

Each collage “slide” was handmade (obviously) with ephemera from my personal collection (exceptions credited on final “slide”) then, arranged on hemp cloth “storyboards”, photographed by Rachel Ashe, then disassembled. An analog to digital remix of sorts. Presented here in rather large size for your printing/screensaver/ amusement and posterity.

Forgotten Vancouver Stories: 2 - Young time stories
Forgotten Vancouver Stories: 2 – Young time stories

Continue reading Forgotten Vancouver Stories (aka Poets, Punks and Revolutions) / collage art boards

“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

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.

pecha kucha 10 at vogue theatre | canadatalent.com

pecha kucha 10 at vogue theatre | canadatalent.com

Vol. 16 Inspire – pechakuchanightvancouver

Vol. 16 Inspire – pechakuchanightvancouver

In the aftermath of last month’s devastating earthquake, PechaKucha Headquarters in Tokyo is planning a global initiative to raise money for the re-building effort. Many of the 400 PechaKucha cities will host a presentation on April 16th, with all proceeds going to Architecture For Humanity. A similar event last year helped raised money for the rebuilding of a school in Haiti, following a disaster there. You can find out more about our global event here: http://global-day.pecha-kucha.org/

Inspire Japan:
The 20×20 presentations will be focused on 4 main themes INSPIRE, JAPAN, THE ISSUES, RECOVERY. They could be simply about things that inspire us, or Japan how it has inspired you. Great ideas or solutions that help deal with the issues at hand whether earthquake, tsunami or nuclear – and the road to recovery.

PRESENTERS:
Michael Green – MGB ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN
Linus Lam – Artsy-Dartsy
Todd MacAllen – molo design
Dave Olson – Story Maker; writer; producer

Vol. 10 – pechakuchanightvancouver

Vol. 10 – pechakuchanightvancouver

PRESENTERS:
JAY BALMER – Big Park
ISABELLE DUNLOP – Combine the Victorious 
DAVE OLSON – Uncleweed
DANI VACHON – Olio Festival 
GAIR WILLIAMSON – Gair Williamson Architects 
MARTHA STURDY – Martha Sturdy 
DOUG HADDOW – Freelance 
BING THOM – Bing Thom Architects Architects 
PAMELA MASIK – Pamela Masik Studio 
STEPHANIE CORKER IRWIN – NoMoSolo
VANESSA LEIGH – Ion Magazine 
MARC BAUMGARTNER – NowPublic Technologies Inc.

Vol. 20 – pechakuchanightvancouver

Vol. 20 – pechakuchanightvancouver

Observations on Vancouver at PechaKucha Night Vol. 20 | Cause+Affect

Observations on Vancouver at PechaKucha Night Vol. 20 | Cause+Affect

Watch each talk from PechaKucha Night Vol. 32 | Cause+Affect

Watch each talk from PechaKucha Night Vol. 32 | Cause+Affect

“Things I Learned While Hitchhiking” from Pecha Kucha Night, Whistler

You may know, I’ve participated in “Pecha Kucha  20×20” speaking series several times in Vancouver, including in April of 2010 – Apparently Pecha Kucha is pronounced anyway you choose, April of 2011 – Stories from Japan ~ Inspiration in 20 seconds at Pecha Kucha Vancouver – and an all-star edition in February of 2012 – Vancouver Cultural Anecdotes for Pecha Kucha All-Star Vancouver, Leap Day 2012.

I also had the thrill of heading up the road to Pecha Kucha Whistler in April of 2012. Check out this just-released version of my talk and slideshow where I show 20 slides for 20 seconds each and share my views on art, being a creator, and sharing with an audience:

Dave O at Pecha Kucha Whistler

Here’s the intro excerpt for my presentation:

Writer Dave Olson speaks about his personal experiences, explaining his view on art, and how to be a successful creator. He shares his opinions on how to develop and maintain a personal vision, and examines the space where vision and audience intersect.

If my prezo brought you any inspiration at all feel free to give it an applause or share it with your social networks.

A special thanks to Aki Kaltenbach for making it all happen. Read Aki’s blogpost – Six things I’ve learned from Pechakucha night  – to find out more about what Pecha Kucha events are all about.

And to see who else who spoke at the Whistler event, read the Whistler Is Awesome blogpost.