Pecha Kucha! (pih-CHAA ka-chaa, my attempt at phoeneticizing it. Sort of like a Kung Fu sneeze.)
So, in the midst of the closing week of school, I went out to Martyr’s pub for Pecha Kucha… As if life wasn’t hectic enough! But, I Pecha Kucha-ed in moderation; we only stayed for the first half. I’ve been to one other episode of PK, at the Hyde Park Art center a few years back. Neither one disappointed. The tagline is ‘an antidote to lectures’, and it really is. To my understanding, the term Pecha-Kucha is pretty much the Japanese equivalent to “chit-chat” and the premise is this: there are maybe 10 or so lecturers. Each gets to present 20 Power Point slides, at 20 seconds each. Sound dull? No way. Luckily the presenters (And M.C.’s) are pretty radical people:
We saw Deb Clapp, who presented an awesome Seussesque poem lauding the amazing established and upcoming Chicago theater scene. Made my Chicagoland heart thump with pride- Yay! Awesome Chicago!
Zack Ostrowski made an impression (Don’t click if vulgar language offends): I think he’s a music producer in Chicago- definitely a performance artist! One of his exhibition openings involved attempts at breaking, breaking, and or setting several Guiness records (With a real-deal offical present): The world’s tallest stack of rap cassette tapes compiled in under two minutes, the most Whoppers caught in mouth in under one minute, and the most eggs broken on head in under one minute. He got the crowd going with raucous applause at the end…
Charlie O’Geen, an architect who documented in photographs the radical deconstruction of a house he bought deep in Detroit for $1100.00 “Yes, folks, that is one-one-zero-zero dollars..” It was amazing to see what a house of quality construction will withstand: he suspended the first floor completely from the beams of the second… after removing huge triangular sections out of the main house walls. I love that that somebody called this anarchitecture!
Obi Nwazota had some trouble with the slides- but that was kind of nice too, to see that we all understood the difficulties of presenting, and it made it all the more approachable. He owns http://www.orangeskin.com/ , a Chicago resource for modern international design. He discussed the parallels of contemporary design with traditional African designs for furniture and textiles. Man! There is this woven couch that I want now!
Patty Huber works at Groupon as uh… a radical do-gooder, I guess! 😀 Basically she is coordinating the business world and philanthropy, but she discussed her vision board and all of the goals, including bike commuting (Yay, Chicago!) and some of the volunteer and community building things that she does.
And quirky humor with Michael Savona, an art director and designer- very funny night light designs, and other interesting off-beat products. I liked his presentation style too.
Then, there was the beer-break, and it was time for us to go. I still had school the next morning, and a fundraiser on Thursday night to go to too!
If you have a chance to get to a Pecha Kucha, it is a lot of fun, and I hope to be back at one soon. There also is some kind of Guerrila Truck Rally coming up that involves Pecha-Kucha…. you never know what exactly to expect, but it is probably pretty cool and inspiring.