Thursday, November 26

Cross Culture: art + bike love

My interest in cyclocross goes back awhile. So much so that for the past eight years Mike (the racer) and I (the dabbler + fan) have been making Autumn pilgrimages to the western side of our state and beyond to watch people ride, suffer and support one another in the incomparable Cross Crusade series. Thus, the news that Bend is hosting 2009 + 2010 Cyclocross Nationals (thanks again Visit Bend et al.) inspired an immediate call-to-action.

This event would have to be accompanied by an all-out community celebration of bike culture. So it was that I contacted Doug LaPlaca who had been contacted by Henry Abel and a co-conspiratorship began. What goes well with Cyclocross? Beer, Coffee, Belgian Waffles, Pommes Frites and Bob's Red Mill Hot Cereal. But beyond the obvious, we believe that the arts also go quite nicely. Henry and the Webcyclery crew expanded their film night vision and began imagining all the possibilities for the December event. Meanwhile I pursued the idea of a community bike art walk that would revel in the goodness and beauty of the bicycle. With the support of Sweet Pea Cole and Lynette Braillard as well as everyone included on the list below, Cross Culture: art + bike love was born.

On Friday, December 11 from 5-9 we are celebrating art + bike love with the participation of local businesses and Oregon artists:
Tracy Smith + Urban Beauty Bar
Lisa Pounders + Cowgirl Cash
Wade Beauchamp, Amy Castano + John Paul Designs
Hunter Dahlberg + Oxygen Tattoo & Art
PDX Cross, Gary Bonacker + tbd loft
Chris & Sweet Pea Cole + Ranch Records
Nikki Hoke + Thump Coffee
Brian Bulemore + Lone Pine
Alan Brandt + Bellatazza
Bridget McGinn, Jim Riswold + Hot Box Betty
Collective exhibit + PoetHouse
Kaycee Anseth-Townsend + Clutch
Byron Roe + Foot Zone
Sara McPherson + Volcano Vineyards
Alex Reisfar + Velvet Bend
Taliah Lempert + WebCyclery

Live music performances are planned at tbd Loft, PoetHouse, myc yoga, Volcano Vineyards and The Wine Shop with additional announcements on the way. Follow crossculture09 on twitter for the latest.

photo by pdxcross at tbd loft on December 11.

Download the 2009 Cyclocross Nationals Event Guide Here

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Wednesday, November 4

the new song and dance

A group of local cyclists got their Thriller on in Bend, Oregon last Thursday.

Moonwalk Flash Mobs and thriller dances aside, there seems to be a growing interest in getting in touch with our inner Astaire.

With three nights of dance competitions between two networks, television programming provides empirical support for my observation that popular culture has embraced song and dance.

Is this simply fallout from the American Idol phenomenon or is there something more? 2008 film darling Slumdog Millionaire finished with a Bollywood dance routine, Disney's High School Musical franchise has launched Zac Efron's career as tween heartthrob. Glee brings giddy affection for 80's mash-ups with a thirtysomething teacher eager to bust some of his own moves.

Branded Flash Mobs, Improv Everywhere Missions and even Oprah surprises employ song & dance to entertain and provide a shared experience.

What about you, have you noticed an increase in song and dance?

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Friday, October 2

Thursday, September 17

Did You Know

via Kyle

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and he can write a good song too!

David Byrne gets my vote for bike geek of the year.

The musician, artist, advocate and author continues to find new inroads into the cycling world with a new book titled Bicycle Diaries; a city tour addressing Cities, Bicycles and the Future of Getting Around and advising on Bike Rides, an upcoming show at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum.

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Monday, September 14

getting unstuck

Portland Creative Conference 2009

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Sunday, September 13

Practicing Resurrection

So, friends, every day do something that won't compute~Wendell Berry

Creative Conference 2009

Again I traveled to Portland for another opportunity to listen, be inspired and observe the talents of a creative community that is distinct from my own.

So it was, that my Saturday morning began by thinking about accelerating change with Dan Wieden.

As society begins to awaken to the exponential growth of information technology, our most valuable asset is the ability to lead a creative life. This is the hypothesis put forth by Mr. Wieden.

Yes, but how do you do it?

Share some of your magic Dan.

And he does. He tells the stories and rolls the film.

Having the freedom to fail is the key, he says.

He says that he subscribes to the notion that children should be praised for making mistakes rather than for their knowledge.

He shares his past demand: Fail three times.

And this idea, oft expressed at W + K, that while you were sleeping the world you knew changed. Today your job is to find out how.

Later, as he recited from a recent creative brief, a gorgeous manifesto for Levi's current Go Forth Campaign, I was moved to imagine how I might do more.

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Wednesday, August 19

Polaroid Love

Another documentary worth writing about,  TIME ZERO: the last year of Polaroid film is scheduled for release in 2010.

found via Hey Hot Shot a Jen Bekman project. If you are not familiar with 20 x 200, you should be. But that's another post.

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Cultural examination

Kevin and I have been discussing the fundamental changes in which the communications ecosystem is evolving. New tools have emerged amidst drastic cultural changes. Or is it the tools that are shaping the ways in which we view the world? Cause and effect continue to reverberate. To wit, the phenomenal surge in video uploads post iPhone 3G phone. Or the recent Mashable article announcing that the iPhone is rivaling the Canon EOS as the number one camera on Flickr.

Regardless of the chicken & egg, what we know is that it is time to get experiential. People want to participate and look for ways to get involved with their passions, connecting with others who share their interests.

Along with this shift there has been an increased prioritization of culture. Why is this? With the old practices of command central falling by the wayside, how do we best disseminate our messages? Previously, the limitations of communication (cost, control) relied on a game of numbers. This model focused on minimizing risk with measured placements against the middle mass of a brand's target -- maximizing reach with a silver bullet message. As opportunities and platforms for communication increase and interactions are made possible, decentralized efforts must be shared amongst the collective, increasing the importance for everyone to be steeped in the culture. Now, more than ever, it is important that brands know thyself.

Culture (third definition, wikipedia) the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization or group.

What do you think?

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Monday, August 10

Henry Jenkins

Many of you know my appreciation of Henry Jenkins. Here, the author and Director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program, cites examples and discusses the current shift towards Participatory Culture.

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Tuesday, July 28

Wednesday, July 8

micro-volunteer opportunities

Smartphone volunteerism provides a call to action for our participatory culture. Read more about on-demand volunteerism at their website.

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Thursday, July 2

I shared it on NPR

One of my favorite brands, National Public Radio (NPR) offers a great example of how to integrate new practices and respond to cultural changes. Their social strategy includes numerous podcast offerings, twitter, facebook and their own social network. Many of the NPR correspondents have personal twitter feeds and incorporation of tweets is increasingly common on programs such as Science Friday.

Mashable recently spotlighted the public radio station in their post 'Why NPR is the Future of Mainstream Media' detailing their commitment to hyperlocal reporting.

With the rise in citizen journalism it is increasingly important to have a commons, a trusted source for many to get their news. NPR has maintained a standard of journalistic integrity that continually impresses me. I have heard claims of liberal bias and others concerned that there may be a push to become increasingly conservative but personally, the trust I have invested in NPR remains well intact.

Efforts to extend opportunities for spreadability are enhanced with their offerings of customized podcasts. By embracing interactivity, NPR maintains cultural relevance. The old "I heard it on NPR" may just become "I shared it on NPR" a true sign of the times.

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Tuesday, June 30

recommended website

Sputnik Observatory

"Sputnik Observatory is a New York not-for-profit educational organization dedicated to the study of contemporary culture. We fulfill this mission by documenting, archiving, and disseminating ideas that are shaping modern thought by interviewing leading thinkers in the arts, sciences and technology from around the world. Our philosophy is that ideas are NOT selfish, ideas are NOT viruses. Ideas survive because they fit in with the rest of life. Our position is that ideas are energy, and should interconnect and re-connect continuously because by linking ideas together we learn, and new ideas emerge"

image from their site

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