It's a concept that is probably meant to leave you feeling intellectually stimulated and inspired by the creative genius of others.
The Whangarei adaption of the famed Pecha Kucha left me feeling lighter from the hilarity. It felt more like attending a good selection of stand-up comedians than thought provoking intellectuals. That is not to denigrate the ideas and processes each presenter went through to concoct a feast for the packed Old Library venue on Rust Avenue.
The concept, I love it! It's been around since 2003 and came out of Tokyo but is now practiced world-wide. It's taking all the best bits from interesting talks you've been to in your lifetime, editing out parts where you wanted to fall asleep and creating a 6 minute flashback extravaganza.
I'm not sure my eccentric description really gives you the idea.
Pecha Kucha is a presentation format for creative work - Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein-Dytham Architecture came up the concept in '03.
So essentially, you rock on up to a venue, it's like a sit-down event. Presenters show a slide show of 20 images, each of which is shown for 20 seconds - giving a total presentation of 6 minutes and 40 seconds. There can be up to 14 presenters, but around 8 is common.
Events have tended to have a design, architecture, photography, creative art leaning, but the New Zealand adaptations have moved slightly outside of these mediums I'd say.
Pecha Kucha has been popular in New Zealand for some years but it's only recently arrived in the Far North.
Tonight in Whangarei, twelve speakers and a feast for everyone. I captured all but two. At first glance the list at the bottom of this post seems a bit bland. This was a far from dull evening.
Mistress Read showcased her rare obsession with paint-by-numbers 'masterpieces' collected from every nook and cranny of New Zealand. She has an intimate relationship with the crudely painted and coloured images of ducks over the lake - 'found in Christchurch in 1981 and cost me $3' and the 'iconic Pania of the Reef' bearing noticeably little resemblance to the image we all loved and knew. Ducks, Swans, the Queen and ending with a quote to reiterate New Zealanders love affair with tack and kitsch by Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
Maureen Adair looked other-worldly from the outset in her turquoise gown, perhaps she'd dropped into the room from space to deliver the Pleiadian message in 6 minutes and 40 seconds. I can't say I really learnt a whole lot from that one other than that Pleiadians are supposedly just like you and I and David Bowie, especially in the form of Ziggy Stardust, is definitely Pleiadian in Maureen's view.
Rachel Wellword was a landscape architect in the Middle East, she came up to the mic in the full black ensemble worn by your average women in the Middle East, the audience laughed. There was a re-occurring theme in her designs rich sheiks, their sons, palm trees, water, palm trees, sand dunes, palm trees, a bit of grass, pools and more palm trees. She could laugh about it too.
The highlight for me, Neil the projectionist. A self-proclaimed comfortableness with his toy collecting fetish. Toys from the 1960's some from shows I've never heard off. A ray gun from the 1930s, it had to be sold during the war to contribute to the metal shortage, he found his Dad a replacement for his 70th birthday. So his obsession was clearly handed down, perhaps it was genetic. He had original toys, some still in boxes, Thunderbirds, Star Wars. Last, but not least an image that will stick with me. Johnny Depp, Edward scissor hands in the freezer carving ice sculptures of Winona Ryder next to the Sara Lee cheesecakes.
I wish I had that picture.