Happy Thursday everyone!
Sorry for the lack of a post last week. The life of a college student necessitates studying and taking midterms quite often, especially in Ohio State’s quarter system. Unfortunately, the quarter system here is facing its demise this summer and OSU is switching to semesters in the fall. I digress.
With the (relatively) warm weather we have had in Columbus lately, I am getting the spring bug early and along with listening to mass quantities of 90s music, I’m developing an insatiable thirst for pretty much any art form. I have no idea why it happens with the return of less-frigid temperatures, but so is life.
Along with the monthly Gallery Hop event in the Short North (first Saturday of every month – it’s basically the bomb.com), one of my favorite happenings in Columbus is Pecha Kucha. After learning how to pronounce one of the coolest names in the history of ever, you can pick up on the goings on in Columbus through the presentations.
Pecha Kucha mini-FAQ lives at the bottom of this post.
In short, the way it works is presenters organize a slideshow of 20 images and give themselves 20 seconds to comment on each one. The results can vary, but some turn out as point-blank presentations while others weave the photos into a captivating story. I personally enjoy the humor-laced shows the most, but each one has its value.
One of my favorite aspects of Pecha Kucha is the diverse group of people you find at the event. You get your artsy type, but the suit-and-tie people of downtown Columbus come along, as well as a handful of college students and everyone between 3 and 90 years old (granted, I’ve never seen a 90 year old there, but I would bet it has happened). It makes for a great place to people watch, whether it’s before it starts or between presentations.
Or you could network. I prefer people watching.
Pecha Kucha Columbus started in February of 2007, four years after the vision was created in Tokyo in 2003. That makes this year the fifth anniversary of the event and the celebration last Thursday did not fall short of awesome.
Along with a super group of presenters (including one of the coolest I’ve seen in architectural photographer Brad Feinknopf), the bash featured musician Enrique Infante and the band Coal Fired Bicycle along with a table of the most fantastically decorated mini cupcakes. The top it off, it was hosted by the Columbus Museum of Art.
And the CMA is totally rad.
The remaining presenters included Oron Benary with Simply Living, OSU medical student Danny Ash, Dwight Heckelman of Groove U, Jess Matthews from Consider Biking, Steve Shapiro with The Educational Council, Mark Farmer from Team 614, and Scott Vayo of BPM Productions.
Pecha Kucha has a solid list of frequently asked questions (conveniently, 20 questions) on its website, www.pecha-kucha.org, but I’ve picked a few that really sum it up well.
01. What is PechaKucha 20x20?
PechaKucha 20x20 is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images forward automatically and you talk along to the images.
02. Who invented the format?
The presentation format was devised by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture. The first PechaKucha Night was held in Tokyo in their gallery, lounge, bar, club, creative kitchen SuperDeluxe in February 2003 Klein Dytham architecture still organize and support the global PechaKucha Night network and organise PechaKucha Night Tokyo.
03. Why invent this format?
Because architects talk too much! Give a microphone and some images to an architect - or most creative people for that matter - and they'll go on forever! Give powerpoint to anyone else and they have the same problem.
08. What can people present?
The key to a great presentation is to present something you love. Most people use PechaKucha Night to present their latest creative projects or work. Some people share their passion and show their prized collections of Nana Mouskuri records, other share photos of their latest site visit to a construction site or their recent holiday snaps. We always recommend people go and see a PechaKucha Night before they apply to present to get a good feel of what it is all about.
18. Was PechaKucha the first format like this?
That's a good question. We have all heard of elevator pitches, a presentation so short you could pitch it to someone in an elevator, well 20 seconds x 20 is a bit longer than that, but the idea is the same short concise presentations. As far as we know PechaKucha was the first to put a limit on the number or images, number of seconds - and the all important auto forward. No 'next slide' or 'go back one please' at PechaKucha Nights. There have been several, rather sly - and not so sly imitators including Talk20 and Ignite - but PechaKucha was there first, seven years ago!
You can keep track of the next Pecha Kucha Columbus event by following the group on Twitter @PechaKuchaCMH or on Facebook at Facebook.com/pkcolumbus. Hopefully Columbus can enjoy five more years of Pecha Kucha. Any kind of celebration of the public forum is a valuable commodity in my eyes.
Hopefully I’ll see you at the next event!
Catch you next month Columbus,
IF YOU CAN DO ONE THING THIS WEEKEND, DO THIS:
Well, breathing is encouraged this weekend, but also check out the Ohio X Southwest event at Ace of Cups Saturday night. The show starts at 7 p.m. and features some of the very best musical talent in Columbus.
The event calendar on the SBB page here has more info on the event and a bunch of others coming up.
How are you going to spend the last weekend of February?