Pecha Kucha (which is pronounced not like how you’d think it is) is pretty much the most fun thing I’ve ever done, ever. Okay, there are maybe one or two things that beat it narrowly, but it was seriously good, and I can’t believe I will have to wait until January for another round.
What is it? Various presenters (mostly designers) show twenty images and talk about them for twenty seconds each, resulting in a series of six-minute, forty-second lectures on things as varied as Route 66, public sculpture, a budding non-profit that hopes to help kids with their writing skills, the abridged life story and inspirations of a couple who design clothing and own a cupcake shop, and some kind of architectural parametrics thing that was over my head. Etc. It also is an event made vibrant by creative people — they’re not just the lecturers — they’re putting it on, they’re in the audience. The room pulsed with mind-blowing smartness, quirkiness, and fun. Wow.
The guy who spoke on Route 66 did so in a deadpan manner in spite of the appearance in nearly every photo of his seemingly levitating friend. Rumor has it he also hosted “Twin Peaks” nights at his home, which consisted of short talks (by him) on each episode, followed by the episode (or maybe in reverse order), for the whole series. Also: I believe he works for NASA. Wow.
I knew like 30 people there. Okay, not 30. But somewhere in the 10-15 range. People I didn’t expect to be there, for the most part, but people whose crazy, alive minds I admire. I almost feel like I can claim some of that energy by proxy, but I mostly feel like a groupie. At least it’s a group worthy of groupie-ing
I kind of want to do one of these presentations. I kind of want to build my next professional presentation in Pecha Kucha style. That could almost happen next week, when I get to guest lecture (!!!) in a couple of library science classes, though I think I’m expected to talk for a little longer than 6 minutes and 40 seconds. I’m not sure cataloging standards lend themselves to that sort of format. But I might try it anyway. Maybe a 1/2 Pecha Kucha talk…?
If you’re in Denver: The next one will be in January. If you live elsewhere, there just might be Pecha Kucha in your town. I am not sure the coolness of Denver’s Pecha Kucha can be generalized to all Pecha Kuchas, but it’s probably worth checking out (and at worst you’re out a few bucks and an hour or two of listening).
Ooh: and they take your picture at the end! On the Denver Pecha Kucha homepage is our group portrait in which we wrote our first initials with our cell phones. Nice, huh?