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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Monday, June 29

Innovation can happen anywhere when we remember that we are all in this together

Clay Shirky's May TED talk is well worth your fifteen minutes. Shirky discusses the tremendous impact of all media being digitized while emphasizing that it is the ability of the people to organize, rather than the technological tools, that is truly revolutionary.

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Tuesday, June 16

a useful site for book lovers

Check out The Book Seer created by Apt. Here is the back story

Share your favorite recommendations in the comments.

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Monday, June 15

Influx Curated 2009

The set-up

Ed Cotton curated an impressive group of talented folks and gave them the assignment of sharing inspiration in a five-minute format. They were also asked to invite two others to do the same. Essentially, it was a day of experiencing first-hand~ all the best links from your friends and influencers.

How it played
Fast-paced introductions to projects, collaborations and other labors of love, fantastic group exercises, visual art & storytelling.

The takeaway

Good Things Are Afoot~beyond the magazine, we have all sorts of tools and ways to be forces for good.

Madison Mount, IDEO, discussed the importance of standing for something good in the face of many, many choices and a populace that is increasingly thinking contextually. Mount cited Newman's as an example of how to answer metaissues with the brand.


Kanyi Maqubela, field director of Virgance, described the power of the mob as a force for social good. Virgance is  a platform for social activism that has worked with Carrot Mob and One Block Off The Grid. Read more about their collaborations here.

Emily Piloton discussed  Project H Design is a non-profit coalition that finds design solutions to problems such as the hippo roller  transporting water in Africa, teaching math through playground design in underserved populations in Africa and the U.S..

Jennifer Pahlka from O'Reilly discussed the spirit of internet citizenship. Pahlka encouraged urged us to frequently consider what would a citizen do? Pahlka also suggested that brands begin behaving like citizens.


Paul Kim, Mozilla, reminded us that everyone of us has the opportunity to be a student and a teacher. Kim shared some ways Mozilla has enabled participation. A couple of highlights jotted in my notebook:

Strive to make everyone feel included.
Make it easy for your community to do the easy things.
Allow people to do more.
Enjoy Paul Kim's deck "Three stories about participation"

"We all have invisible rules. Always question those. Always look for them." Gary Hirsch from On Your Feet

Gary Hirsch lead an interesting exercise demonstrating the power and role of the audience in storytelling. Hirsch suggested that in order to engage audiences we do less work, by providing ways to co-create with them.

During the Q & A an audience member asked if there is an overemphasis on being unique?
The answer was an emphatic Yes.

Speaking of Yes. We heard about the power of the word from Chris Barden and Jelly Helm. Chris focused on the power of collaboration when he shared that quite possibly the most inspirational two words are: "Yes, and..."

Jelly's call to action was to judge less. embrace limits. be not afraid. be open. forgive and love. His blog post on the day.

Chris's wife, artist Doris Mitsch contrasted the yes men with her story of saying NO. She took us through a difficult period of feeling blocked as a painter to the beautiul photograpy she is now creating (see photo credit below).


I enjoyed Jeben Berg's YouTube tips and examples. With 15 hours of video being uploaded to youtube every minute, we can all use pointers on how to stand out.

Here are some of Berg's suggestions & reminders for creating successful videos::

~It's not about technology. It's about trust.

~be who you are: enter the conversation organically.

~be thick-skinned: dove evolution eventually embraced the hijacks (after first resisting them)

~don't tease: build with the intent to deliver something phenomenal. over and over.

~create a competition: by our nature we are compete with others. Show people where to play. There is an audience for everything.

~be addicted to love: strike the heart. it will be shared. we love to forward emotion.

~be self-contained: make content that can live on its own.

~think low-fidelity/high concept

"Elevate the writer in all of your means nothing without narrative." - Chris Riley of Apple

Chris Riley, shared the poetry of Ted Hughes and spoke emphatically about the importance of the narrative.

Marieka van Der Poel confirmed the importance of the story in her presentation on trends. But it did not require the talents of a trend forecaster to sum it up. Every presentation in its unique way demonstrated the power of narrative and how it can inspire.

Much, much more happened but these are a few of my selected nuggets. Beyond the quality of the presentations was the great conversation in the line for the women's restroom (there's a simple design challenge for all of you), during the lovely lunch and at the party hosted by Flamingo at The Tipsy Pig.

The day exceeded my expectations and I am again thankful to everyone at BSSP who made it happen. Especially Mr. Cotton. Respect.

Related: Cotton shared 10 themes coming out of Influx Curated.

photo credit: Spring B from Doris Mitsch website.

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Wednesday, June 3

The most important factor for success

This TED talk is a great companion to a recent New Yorker article titled Don't!

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Monday, June 1

make your words meaningful

This example of emotionally intelligent trash can signage is from Daniel Pink's blog.

Pink is the author of The Adventures of Johnnie Bunko and A Whole New Mind, two highly recommended reads.

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Wednesday, May 27

ysabel gray

I'm currently enamored with the sculptural works of ysabel gray

The L.A.-based artist is being featured on juxtapoz online and has a upcoming solo show planned for September 2009.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

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Friday, May 15

Influx Curated

I'm planning on attending Influx Curated in San Francisco on June 11.

Ed Cotton has put together an impressive list of speakers such as Marieka van Der Poel, Paul Kim, Mark Barden, and Alex Madrigal and many more. The selected speakers have been asked to invite two friends and the list has now grown to 30 presenters including the likes of Jelly Helm and Doris Mitch.

The Influx Curated format borrows from the ignite and pecha kucha 5 minute(ish) time-frame. Currently trying not to daydream about it.

Would love to see you there.

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Wednesday, May 13

new search tools

twoogle combines google and twitter for side by side comparison of your queries.

scoopler is a real time search engine that techcrunch recently gave a thumbs up in their post on Real-Time Search-Off that compares new real-time search services one riot, tweetmeme with google, twitter search, friendfeed and scoopler.

And for the backstory on twitter trending topics, check out What The Trend? discovered via @thegirlriot. What The Trend has my vote for site of the moment. How else would I know who Adam Lambert is?


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Friday, May 8

Revolving Storefront

This week's pop up Mother's Day Shop is next month's wedding chapel.

"Thanks Mom" is open through Saturday, May 9 when it will shape shift into a meeting space for the North Brooklyn Public Art Commission on May 11.

303 Grand is a revolving storefront located in Brooklyn, New York. A variety of events have utilized the space since their opening in March 2009.  Street Attack, an alternative and digital marketing agency operates the revolving storefront.

You can keep up with 303 Grand efforts on their blog and/or follow them on twitter

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Thursday, May 7


"Everything You Want Right Now!"is the title of Steve Lambert's solo show at Charlie James Gallery in Los Angeles through June 6 more info and artwork at his website.

found via murketing

Which makes me think about J.J. Abrams Wired article on the power of mystery. Have you read it?

It will make you smile.

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Wednesday, May 6


Amelie director Jean-Pierre Jeunet and actress Audrey Tautou team up for this Chanel No. 5 spot. I love it simply for the nostalgic love of the film it conjures.

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Sunday, May 3

Ignite invites you to get on the mic!

Idea sharing is so 21st century.

If you had five minutes on stage what would you say? What if you only got 20 slides and they rotated automatically after 15 seconds? Around the world geeks, techies and makers have been putting together Ignite nights to share their answers.

Ignite was started in Seattle in 2006 by Brady Forrest and Bre Pettis. Since then, cities such as Boulder, Seattle, Portland, Philadelphia and Sydney have organized free community events.

The second IgniteBend  is scheduled for June 4 at the Tower Theatre.

Presentation submissions are now being accepted. Submissions may be as simple as a brief written explanation of your idea on the ignite bend website or they could take the form of a video. We encourage you to be imaginative and hack the format.

Nine presentations will be decided by online vote and an informal meet-up open to everyone to be scheduled for late May.

All selected presenters will receive an exclusive handmade mug from our sponsor Mug Revolution. Ignite Bend will be webcast live and archived thanks to our sponsors and good friends at Pinnacle Media.

Presentations may also be selected for inclusion in the O' Reilly Ignite Show which highlights a different talk from Ignites around the world for weekly broadcast at their site.

Do you want to get involved but feel a little shy about taking stage? We are looking for additional help to make this FREE community event happen. You can get involved by becoming a volunteer, sponsor or simply spread the good word amongst your social circle.

photo by Buck Heim

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Sunday, March 29

what's your 20?

Being in the know is a tasty thing.

During SXSWi Cupcake Camp founder Ariel Waldman tweeted locations for cupcake giveaways delighting festival attendees. Waldman partnered with Austin's Sugar Mama's Bakeshop to realize her cupcake experiment . Beyond the appreciation of fans, the effort also garnered the attention of cnet news and Reuters, who used Sugar Mama's Bakeshop + Mighty Leaf tweet-up as an example of how small business are generating fans by offering shared experiences.

Why the long line?
The L.A. based Kogi Korean BBQ has over 12,000 people listening for their next location on twitter. As recently reported by springwise and NPR, tweeted locations are met with long lines eager to pay a couple of dollars for tasty tacos. A festive atmosphere and the allure of a shared experience certainly add to the appeal of the affordable cuisine.

Beyond twitter
The rise of location based social networks such as brightkite , services like shizzow and mobile applications extend the possibilities of impromptu events. Curious to see what comes next? Me too.

photo by Vincent Diamante / Sklathill

Monday, March 23

Unintended Disruption

Please excuse me.

I do believe we are what we share.

Yet I've been busy framing my experiences in less than 140 characters (and content re-producing) on twitter.

Actually, there is more to the story. While you were away I was attending conferences, camps and organizing community endeavors.

I did my best to hang with the digitally fluent and geek-hipster crowd at South by Southwest interactive . Admittedly I got a little fan-girl but restrained myself from accosting Henry Jenkins with gratitude and tell me more.

Just prior to sxswi I attended my second cre8camp pdx Cre8Camp PDX 3 The third in a series of unconferences for creative industries professionals. The Portland community of camp-ers is providing a great example of how cross-pollination of ideas works. In the words of their wiki: "The magic happens in the interactions between participants." Inspired by their example, we are collaborating with Oregon Creative Industries to organize Cre8Camp Bend in Autumn 2009.

Finally, I was one of a group of volunteers that came together to stage the first Ignite Bend on February 12. The premise: crowd determined community participants share their burning ideas on stage for the duration of 20 slides that automatically rotate every 15 seconds. A nearly full poethouse was entertained with storytelling that blended humor, poignancy and education. We are currently planning the second event.

It seems I am providing you with a report of sorts. Actually, my intent is simply a re-dedication to

Show. Tell. More. Soon.

Above top photo of final cre8camp schedule by Steve Kemper @stevek
Bottom photo shot by Buck Heim Both photos used with permission.

Saturday, January 3

Architects are the Rock Stars of tomorrow

In November, Influx Insights reported that Shoe brands turn to architects citing
Frank Gehry designing for JM Weston and Zaha Hadid for Lacoste.

Today, Swiss Miss shared the pictured story proclaiming Architects are Sexiest!

As we witness the rise of design who better to be the poster child than architects?

Metropolis Magazine provides good coverage of our ascending stars by focusing on Architecture, Culture and Design and is now available in digital format. Check out a sample of the January 2009 issue here.