Tag Archives: northern voice

Riff: Event Wrangling & Community Magic

(CC) Randy Stewart, blog.stewtopia.com. Feel free to use this picture. Please credit as shown.
If you are a person that I have taken a photo of, it’s yours (but I’d still be curious as to where it is).

A riff in reply to a conversation with Isabella Mori and others (FB iirc) about the notable conference/event/happening called Northern Voice and the reasons it sparked such goodness.

My thoughts about what makes events successful and satisfying: 

It starts with people wanting to be “part of something bigger than themselves” but then must be coupled with the reality of “getting things done” from logistical standpoint.

This is where communities so often struggle/fall apart with diverging visions – once dreaded money enters the scenario, the fun dissipates.

With this is mind, I find the best solution is finding ways to do things for “cheap and cheerful”… like in someone’s cabin, outside in a park, whatever venue is free, or no venue at all (as we did for True North Media House during the Vancouver Olympics).

As far as this organizational wrangling goes, (and this is something Northern Voice did so well), is having well-delegated committee to move things along.

I do know that there was different strong opinions within the organization, which can be useful, but as soon as any organization starts going to much into the “philosophical” boundaries of the event and/or starts pandering to sponsors, rather than letting the event happen organically (“event” being used very loosely here and could be replaced with campaign, activation, happening, be-in or whatever), the magic dissipates.

Northern Voice was magic because of the freeform parts like “Moose Camp“ and there was an element of randomness which was embraced rather than resisted.

Sponsorship was lightweight and clear and not over-bearing, and the fact that “almost anyone” could be a presenter was super important as many people had their first chance to express some selves in front of a crowd at that event.

This is a big difference from the various models of “sponsors get to speak” or a bunch of free speakers and then paying some out-of-town knucklehead to show up and do their stump speech and fly out immediately afterwards. #NotAGuru

The other part is of course is the undefinable “moment of time” which provides a container for the magic to happen.

In this case, we were obviously on the verge of something new and undefined and unbearably interesting. Certainly this timing is hard to duplicate except when the gut/heart/head all tell you the time feels right – and looking at these warm sentiments expressed by such lovely people here, maybe this is a time in which something is needed (again).

“It” will be different sure, but the difference makes it unique for its moment in time and the community which builds around it.

And remember, this doesn’t have to turn into an organize/branded/annual/sponsored event. It can just be a “potluck/salon/hang out” with wisdom sharing baked-in.

My experience wrangling suggests: Keep *it* lightweight, as simple as possible, focused on the one critical thing (personal expression or what have you…) rather than let the organization organize for the organization’s sake and get bogged down in the *business* of the organization.

Riff: Podcast non-best practices / to S. Pratt

In a message to Steve Pratt, a podcast producer and former of CBC Radio 3 who gave a stellar speech about “building the worst radio station” (at Northern Voice conf 2009) meaning breaking all the ‘norms’ to create something special (which he and colleagues did and got hosed anyhow).

Now with a podcast for brands company, he’s fantastically successful and podcasting is somehow a big deal (i was a wee bit too early and erratic) – i wrote him this note in reply to a post about “best practices” for podcasting at some point and some place. Can’t really recall where and when (not recently) but hey, here it is for the record.

Bonus: photo by Liz Hargreaves of “Steve Pratt prior to his talk Making the Worst. Radio Station. EVER. Here seen chatting with Robert Scoble and Kris Krug” 

Liz Hargreaves “Steve Pratt prior to his talk Making the Worst. Radio Station. EVER. Here seen chatting with Robert Scoble and Kris Krug”

Ergo:

Meaning to mention: I use the wisdom gained from your legendary “how to make the worst radio station in the world” talk when making my podcasts as-in: I never bother to give a URL, no sponsors, no endless reminders to subscribe and review, no “shout outs” – much of the time I forget to even tell the title of the show… This is what meta-data is for right? I mean people are smart… They found your show after all, I don’t need to rub it in and remind them with all the self referential “meta banter”.

I think: Audiences are self-organizing, and they know what to do – so, treat them with respect, keep em sincerely interested and all the rest falls into place. Fck stats, make pods.

Anyway, you are awesome, carry-on.

Punk Art Photog / bev. davies – Choogle On! #122

Punk Art Photog / bev. davies – Choogle On #122
Punk Art Photog / bev. davies – Choogle On #122

In-depth discussion with rock art photographer bev. davies including: hippie days with Neil Young and Joan Anderson (Joni Mitchell), shooting punk pioneers DOA and Subhumans, Motörhead in a park, David Bowie in a stadium, Brian Jonestown Massacre flipping off crowd and so many more.  Also stories from backstage with Iron Maiden and Twisted Sister, Nardwuar collaborations, Duran Duran posing at soundcheck, and remarks about various Vancouver venues.

Plus insights about role of photographer as artist, conundrums of accreditation and access, reasons for a long hiatus, crafting the perfect shot, shoes versus sneakers, origins of calendars and exhibits, and plans for a book. Recorded August 2010 in Strathcona, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Load your film for: Punk Art Photog / bev. davies – Choogle On #122 – (59:35, .mp3, 85MB) Continue reading Punk Art Photog / bev. davies – Choogle On! #122

“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)

Forgotten Vancouver Stories at NV13 – Annotations, Remarks, etc / artifact roundup

Sparking Creativity by Taking Risks and Practicing Craft

Originally published in “Uncle Weed’s Dossier” in Vancouver Observer on May 23rd, 2010, Republished here intact for posterity.

##

Austin TXDave in TorontoOver the past few months, I’ve traveled to a handful of cities and read multi-disciplinary artist David Byrne’s charming discourse about urban planning and culture from the seat of a bike called “Bicycle Diaries.”

Byrne’s international input sparked me to share and compare observations about the environs of TorontoSeattlePe Ell WA, and AustinTX.

However, instead of expository writing comparing these cities, I ended up under the care and scalpel of UBC hospital emerging with scars on my belly and ideas spinning while convalescing on the couch. While floating in and out of lucidity, I came across a fresh notion to share some thoughts about my personal creative journey.

Dave Olson On the Road

So, checking my faux-humility at the door, I sought to lay out my thoughts for the attendees of the grass-roots organized personal expression conference Northern Voice in video form.

While i was a little medicated during the filming, this hazy feeling seemed encourage the spirit of a couple of my heroes Hunter S. Thompson and Jack Kerouac to come along for the ride.

In short, since I was a wee gaffer, I’ve made stuff – While many others do the same, mine were all made to be shared. As such, they were publications rather than ephemeral arts and crafts.

My creations span technologies from ditto machines (you remember that smell of the fluid) to real estate office Xerox copiers to doing 3 months hardtime at a Kinko’s night shift just to use the new colour copiers after hours to make poetry chapbooks. Here’s proof:

Pig Express #2 P.1 VOM fanzine #2 with Ramones january in the hotsprings

me and ole dead Gramps

I also owe some of my compulsive documentation-ness to my ole dead Gramps who hit 67 countries, plus an extended roadtrip with a 17 yr old version of me, before packing it in for good.

My notebooks chronicling the trip (at his insistence) list cafe menus, gas stops, Anasazi ruins and Mexican motels is tucked in my files waiting to take form.

By writing any/everything with the express intent to share — including usually more private discourse like college papers and travel journals — I oblige myself to step up and express with vigor.

As I spiel forth in the video, my key words of advice to all creators are to: a) take risks; and b) constantly practice your craft.

The authour taking risks at a young ageTurn off the TV, find your happy place (my reminders live on the walls around me), and — to paraphrase a Hemingway quote i saw on a coffee shop chalkboard in Manazanita, Oregon — “Write for yourself, Write for others”

By doing so, you and your audience (no matter the number) will build a symbiotic relationship to spur your artistic pursuits and spread joy which will impact for years even decades, not just fifteen minutes of fleeting disposability. Channel your anxieties and prepare to share — indeed your painting is done once you put it under glass.

So, pop some corn and come on up to my place and be sure to take of your shoes – I haven’t the time for sweeping.

Dave Olson’s ‘Storymaking’ Spiel from Northern Voice 2010 pt 1

Dave Olson’s ‘Storymaking’ Spiel from Northern Voice 2010 pt 2

Note: Both these videos are viewable in full screen HD with stereo sound

Credit

Shot and edited by Andrew Lavinge who, along with colleague Jon Onroy, chronicled the impact of the Olympics against a backdrop of social media and social justice in a film project called “With Glowing Hearts.”

See also: Dave Olson and others in True North Media House webisode from With Glowing Hearts

Music

The Numbskulz (Pe Ell, Washington) “Doggie”

The Black Tories “Pretty Like Gasoline”

More

Curiosity seekers can view a variety of interviews, prezos, anecdotes and incidents featuring me from conferences, bur rides and boardrooms talking about creativity, literature, revolution and good times on the Spiels and Stories playlist at YouTube.

Blurb

In a field trip to his home studio in Upper Lynn Valley, North Vancouver, storymaker Dave Olson (AKA UncleWeed) extols keys to creativity and shares creative project examples from childhood to present and explains how each creative endeavour contributed to his stream of mixed media personal expression and shares key influences via shelves full of heroes.

“Finding your Voice” Storymaking Spiel from Northern Voice 2010

On a field trip to his home studio in Lynn Valley, storymaker Dave Olson discusses his creative process and thoughts about how to spark new ideas and craft interesting artifacts.

After welcoming you like Mr. Rogers, he plays records, pours tea, shows static montages from Palau, and pulls out all sorts of projects from grade school country reports to Cannabis Culture articles. Finally he shows books by heroes who provided solace and wisdom and then sends you back to the bus stop.

Filmed, Directed, Edited etc. by Andrew Lavigne
Music by The Numbskulz and Black Tories

Presented at Northern Voice personal expression conference in Vancouver, Canada, May 9, 2010.

More: Remarks, reviews and artifacts of Storymaking at Northern Voice

Entry #32 Human Being Journalism | the duane storey

Duane’s thoughts about social media and Olympic as well as True North Media House. Shared here in full for the permanent record.

Entry #32 Human Being Journalism | the duane storey

Here’s real link to my Podcasting prezo from NV07 in Belated, but Joyful, Podcast Mop-up w/ audio

Some handy tips & pics

daveo: Video about Citizen Media and the 2010 Olympics at Northern Voice 2009

In case you missed it ~ Video about Citizen Media and the 2010 Olympics at Northern Voice 2009 http://ow.ly/gNC9 #TNMH