Fck Stats, Make Art at SxSW, March 13, 2009 was a big day for me speaking to a load of my pals and smart/interesting folks at the big crazy con-fab. Where i really dialed in my schtick with the old-timey suitcase fulla treats and “paper point” collages to direct the story.
That night, saw Black Angels rock Psychedelic fest, had a sip of whiskey and a lil puff o something with them afterwards. Met the marvellous queen of Austin Kim Eitze, rode in a magic pedi-cab and rode that good vibe through days of hi-jinks leading to the next few years of rocking so many speakings gigs including TedX, Pecha Kucha x4, Northern Voice, Assoc of Alt Newspapers, and a return to SxSW for “Crowd Sourcing Projects like Tom Sawyer“.
Anyhow, always more to say but came here to share a roundup of the Fck Stats Make Art gig with a buncha snaps, tweets, blogs and whatnot. I have a great hat from David White and a best shirt ever and of course a smoking jacket and pipe cause im not a savage.
With Canucks’ (NHL ice hockey team) rookie Quinn Hughes looking likely to best a long-held team record for points by a defensemen, seems a good idea to share this snap of me with the strapping gent who’s record may fall (plus this is 7 years to the day as though that matters).
[update: march 12/13 – NHL season indefinitely paused so Lidster’s record may yet stand for a bit due to this shortened situation]
This oak tree of a dude is Doug Lidster, long-time NHL player and at the time of this snap (March 2013) on coaching staff of Dallas Stars, since then has had another stint coaching with Canucks and no doubt other gigs.
He graciously came out to support #Hoothockey – a charity street hockey event put together at the noted SxSW event in Austin, Texas by Hootsuite (note colleague Connor Meakin between our shoulders) and Richard Loat spear-headed Five Hole for Food campaign. March 11, 2013 for the record.
In brief, various company-sponsored teams paid admission to compete in games played in a “rink” of inflatable boards – Dallas Star sent along this great space plus various side-games, a trio of cheerleader (note: i should include that pic too!) and more. The money and 7,500 lbs of food were in-turn donated to the local food banks. Lots of fun of course and lots of “internet famous” types joined in.
My frequent collaborator and co-conspirator on many adventures Kris Krug has a new website. KK is a Vancouver-area based photographer (he lives on idyllic Galiano Island) with creds ranging from conferences to rare bird docs on remote islands to sojourns in distant countries spreading goodness.
We’ve done many projects together over the years including Frederick Varley Vancouver-address photo essay, trip to Jamaica, several SXSW and Gnomedex geekfests and all sorts of goofing around in unusual circumstances.
Kris Krug’s Flickr archive is majestic and his new website is a replacement for his previous iterations which were hijacked via an SMS hack in 2018. So frustrating and a reminder to solid up your security (including SSL) and ensure you are working with a reliable host and domain registration provider (i use Laughing Squid and Gandi for the record).
There are many posts in this archive under the Kris Krug tag as well including lots of Olympic social documentation stuff around the True North Media House project, TEDx events at which we were the “official” documentation squad, longboard hockey for Heads Magazine and a panel about Rock n Roll photography with legend bev. davies.
From SXSW 2008 – amidst sirens and Austin, Texas 6th St. street noise – comes an interview with filmmaker Erich Weiss premièring “Hori Smoku, Sailor Jerry” about the originator of contemporary tattoo-ing – and iconoclastic libertarian American – Norman Collins who combined Japanese technique, Polynesian traditions, and American motifs in Hawaii during WW2.
The interview delves into the the “screwed, boozed (blued), and tattooed” wild culture as a million sailors and soldiers descended upon the idyllic islands (especially Hotel Street), plus Mr. Collins’ complex life, the artistic lineage of Sailor Jerry, rivalries and legacies of various tattoo artists/legends, mentorships of Don Ed Hardy and others, and the remarks about “fad” tattooing and (lack of) regret.
9 years ago today, I presented “fuck stats make art” to a full house at SXSW, scored hash brownies and MDMA in Austin, drank whiskey backstage with the black angels. 11 years ago, signed up for Twitter. Also brother Bob’s birthday.
These days, a challenge to just get out of bed for a cup of tea… I’m really trying to “move on”, find “acceptance” and “close the book on old life” but it sure the fck ain’t easy with such wild & fulfilling actions in my past
In 2016, I presented a “Lunch and Learn” to the staff of Giftbit (formerly Kiind) about social marketing, culture building, community sparking, and start-up life – also managing events and improving copywriting and oh yeah, media relations.
In brief, I wrote out a batch of topics on paper cards, tossed them on the table and invited the assembled folks to choose. As such, the talk is spontaneous, fast-paced and offers a load of practical advice, interspersed with anecdotes from companies at which i toiled including Hootsuite, Elastic Path, Raincity Studios and various others endeavours.
Our platform and infrastructure makes digital gift cards more cost effective, simple, and smart.
As a B2B marketplace for selling, sending, and purchasing digital gift cards, we deliver fully-branded, trackable digital gift cards that allow you to send incentives and rewards by email or by a unique link to a recipient. For all gift cards that go unclaimed, funds are returned to your account.
Day two or three, depending on how you count ‘em, of my 3rd quest to South by Southwest in Austin Texas… And I gotta say, it’s shaping up just fine man. You know, I’m keeping up a solid effort and fully professional about spreading the love of my job, and that’s going really well. Also very important to maximize the party and good times, and that, too, is progressing suitably well.
Despite shaking off some nasty flu and general haggardness from excess travel and in general just haven’t taking very good care of myself, and then coupled with some disorganization and long stories about things that didn’t get printed and didn’t get delivered and stuff, yeah it’s rolling along just fine.
Recap: Last night down at the Gingerman, one of my favourite beer drinking places (which has moved around the corner to a location that might even be finer than its previous, though I’m really surprised that’s even possible because that old location was just fine).
Yesterday I rallied up after my slumber and scarfed down some nasty coffee and went down to the Hideout Coffee Shop. I met up with this nice Canadian lady that I met every time that I’m down here and as soon as I walked in the door she said, “You’re here from Canada” and I’m like, “Yes I am!”
It was packed and hectic. Just like last year, I was late for these migas breakfast burritos laden with a bunch of leftover odds n ends shit: egg, cornflakes, etc. Tasty. I really needed a good proper breakfast! Where should I go? She told me some directions to this place and I thought I was going off track but then it all came together and I got some wicked blueberry pancakes at the Counter Cafe with poached eggs just the way i like em.
If you’re not careful you end up living on appetizers, which is why today I’m on a quest for a proper breakfast, so again, I am in some dire need of sustenance – need to nourish the body to nourish the soul. At the Hideout I got a big giant smoothie. It was quite charming.
Then, at the convention centre, I stood in line and got my badge! You gotta have a badge. If you don’t have a lanyard, man, you don’t belong.
Then I rallied with some buddies and we sat on the lawn drinking Sobe green tea. I had some Japanese envelopes from my papery stash — back from 1983! I was fortunate to be able to augment my stash with some more packets from a Japanese dollar store in Tinseltown. So I sat with some buddies (John and Jason) and I filled these wee dossiers with stickers, tattoos, pins and sealed my card in. It was like a bundle of diplomatic goodness. Good time doing arts and crafts in the sunshine.
Then I found a little table to setup. I was curious about a press release I had put out so checked on that while thinking about issues about privacy, elitism, notions about early adoption, etc.
Then I headed off to Mellow Johnnies — it’s a bike shop, a complete beauty. It wasn’t super fancy but it felt really comfortable. They had smoothies and maps for local riding routes. I could see how you might like living here with all the distances to ride. There’s not really mountains — not by the B.C. definition but long roads to ramble.
Anyhow, this particular meetup event at Mellow Johnny’s had to do with my professional capacity. The people/hosts knew what I was doing with day-job and knew what we were up to and we had some intelligent discourse about this particular topic.
But, my highlight was sharing these envelopes with all these people. And explaining the love and care that went into those things and they opened them up with excitement and questions. Cheap and Cheerful marketing success.
How an unlikely mix of nerds, rock-and-roll hippie freaks, and business suits grew into the tech worlds most-talked-about annual gathering.
When South By Southwest Interactive launched in 1994, there wasn’t much to it: a couple hundred participants and a handful of panel discussions, all crammed into a few rooms at a Hyatt in Austin. Back then, the festival was really only half a festival—as evidenced by its title, SXSW Film and Multimedia—and was eclipsed by the vastly more successful SXSW Music Festival, from which it had spun off.’
Today, SXSW Interactive welcomes more than 30,000 registrants to Austin each March and has become a coveted launching pad for startups (including Twitter and Foursquare), a hunting ground for tech investors, a laboratory for forward-thinking ideas, and a lavish five-day party that’s often referred to as “geek spring break.”
MEMORABLE PANELS FROM THE FESTIVAL’S FIRST DECADE:
1. INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR MULTIMEDIA (1995)
“What will be possible as … we move toward an age in which text, graphics, audio, and video will be simultaneously delivered to our desktops?”
2. NET SURFING: WEB BROWSING (1995)
“Sample the high-octane Internet environment by taking a Net cruise.”
3. THE WEB IS DEAD? (1996)
“Is Marc Andreessen the next Bill Gates? Or is [it] the other way around?”
4. ANARCHY (1997)
“New communication technologies heighten the potential for both social rebellion and government control.”
5. STREAMING VIDEO TECHNOLOGY (1999)
“How streaming video … will impact our traditional notions of home entertainment.”
6. WEBLOGS (2000)
“How and why weblogs are changing the way we express ourselves on the Internet.”
7. WEARABLE COMPUTERS (2001)
“The next generation of computers will be a fashion statement embedded directly into your clothing.”
8. THE REVOLUTION ISN’T OVER (2002)
“In the wake of the tech meltdown, there are still numerous new trends and opportunities.”
9. HOW TO FUND A SMALL INTERNET BUSINESS (2003)
“The heady days of high-dollar venture-capital investment may be over, but…”
10. THE IMPACT OF WI-FI WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS (2003)
“The number of Wi-Fi hot spots will explode … making Wi-Fi the peoples choice for connectivity in the future.”
Photo by Gary Miller
But its two-decade history suggests the now-famous festival is quite a bit more than that. Within SXSW Interactive’s march from obscurity to prominence is the story of digital culture itself. SXSW was a hive of activity for early web denizens and hackers around the turn of the century, and a birthing ground for the social media revolution that reshaped modern life in the second half of the ’00s. Its emergence from the shadow of the music festival it grew out of mirrors the transformation of geeks into modern society’s newest rock stars.
A glance at the résumés of the dramatis personae enlisted for this oral history speaks to SXSW Interactive’s remarkable breadth and scope: In among the technologists, bloggers, investors, and founders of companies such as Flickr, Twitter, and Foursquare are billionaires and a homeless man, rock stars and a pedicab driver, comedians and civil servants. “Something really interesting happened when you brought together all these people with very different backgrounds, interests, and expectations to mingle and get drunk and sleep together,” says Lane Becker, a blogger and entrepreneur, who has missed only one SXSW since 1997. “That is pretty much how culture happens.”
This is their story: a topsy-turvy, occasionally sad, sometimes contentious, frequently messy, but ultimately triumphant chronicle of how what began as little more than an afterthought grew into one of the most important cultural and economic incubators of the new millennium.