Pecha Kucha, which means “chit chat” in Japanese, is an evening of creative inspiration originally imported from Tokyo in 2003. Currently there are over 700 chapters in cities all over the world. The challenging Pecha Kucha format involves 10 local speakers chosen from a variety of disciplines who are allowed 20 slides a piece set on a timer of 20 seconds per slide. The fast-paced “20 X 20″ presentations, just over six minutes per person, make for a thoroughly entertaining night of insight, artistry and passion. The Austin chapter was founded by Herman Dyal and Carla Fraser, and Lana McGilvray and Pentagram partner DJ Stout took over as directors in 2011.
Stout and his colleague Stu Taylor at Pentagram’s Austin office started designing original posters for the events with Pecha Kucha volume 10, which was staged at a rock ‘n’ roll hot rod customizing garage called the Austin Speed Shop, and they have now completed the poster for Pecha Kucha 18, to be held this week at the Livestrong headquarters in East Austin. Over time the commemorative silk-screened posters, which always feature the names of the 10 guest presenters, have become collectors’ items in Austin.
One of the traditions of Pecha Kucha is that each event is held at a different location, often at unique and off-beat places. Some of the previous Austin venues have included an abandoned power station, a modern furniture showroom, a former Goodwill Industries building, a vintage theater at a Freemason’s lodge, a millworks, an old office supply warehouse, an advertising agency’s lobby, the Austin City Limits sound stage, under a tent pitched in the parking lot of Pentagram Austin’s offices, and even a downtown alley.
Pecha Kucha 18, which will be held this Thursday, November 21 at 8:20 PM, at the Livestrong Foundation headquarters, is part of the annual week-long E.A.S.T. (East Austin Studio Tour) event. The last several Pecha Kucha events held during E.A.S.T. were in old abandoned buildings, so McGilvray and Stout and their curatorial board thought it would be an interesting change of pace to stage Pecha Kucha 18 in Livestrong’s beautiful, refurbished building designed by Lake/Flato Architects.
“Obviously the former Lance Armstrong Foundation’s controversial namesake has fallen from grace, but one of our upcoming presenters, who has endured a life-changing cancer scare themselves, is going to talk about the assistance and support they recently got from the Livestrong Foundation,” says Stout. “I guess you could say that Livestrong is still living strong for a lot of people.”
The Pecha Kucha Austin 18 roster of speakers includes radio personality John L. Hanson Jr. (aka John E. Dee “The Black Prince”), filmmaker and photographer Andrew Shapter, vintage motorcycle guru Alan Stulberg, abstract painter Court Lurie, hot-rod portraitist George Brainard, singer-songwriter Carrie Rodriguez, taco connoisseur Mando Rayo, sign-painter Joe Swec, the creators of the THIRST project, and the legendary Texas artist Bob “Daddy-O” Wade.
Pecha Kucha, which roughly translates to “chit-chat” in Japanese, is a creative speaking event that originated in Tokyo. The unique format, a kind of speed-dating version of a TED talk, requires each of 10 guest speakers to develop their presentations within the strict parameters of 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide. The slides are set on a timer out of the control of the presenters, so the cumulative effect of 10 short presentations, just over six minutes each, leads to a fast and furious evening of entertainment and creative inspiration.
Pecha Kucha was originally brought to Austin by Herman Dyal and Carla Fraser, and Pentagram Austin partner DJ Stout and Lana McGilvray became the directors in 2011. Three or four of the events are organized every year, and to date there have been 16 Pecha Kucha evenings in Austin, with number 17 on the way this Thursday, April 18th. McGilvray and Stout took the helm at PK 10 and for that program Stout and designer Stu Taylor designed a poster that was given away at the event. The two Pentagrammers continued to design posters for every Pecha Kucha evening after that and have now created a series of eight collectible posters. All of the posters have been silkscreen printed by Tony Diaz of Industry Print Shop, who just happens to be one of the 10 guest speakers at the upcoming PK 17.
Continue reading “Gallery: Pecha Kucha Austin Poster Series”
Pentagram’s Austin office invites you to join us for Pecha Kucha 16 this evening, March 11, at 8:20 pm. Tonight’s event, the 16th Pecha Kucha held in Austin, is being touted as “The Unofficial Kickoff to the South By Southwest Music Festival.” The event will be held under a big tent in the parking lot of our building at 1508 West Fifth Street and is free and open to the public.
Pecha Kucha is a unique speaking format that features ten presenters from a variety of creative endeavors. Pecha Kucha, which means chit chat in Japanese, originated in Tokyo and now has chapters all over the US. The Austin chapter was originally founded by Herman Dyal and Carla Fraser and is now co-directed by Pentagram partner DJ Stout and Lana McGilvray. The challenging speaking format allows each speaker 20 slides which are set on a timer, beyond their control, of 20 seconds per slide. The unique format forces the presenters to tell their story within a six-minute time slot, and the combination of the quick narratives and the variety of disciplines makes for a very lively and enlightening evening of entertainment. The Austin event, which is free and open to the public, routinely attracts a crowd of 400 to 500 people.
Tonight’s lineup of local presenters takes on a distinctly South By Southwest theme. “SouthBy has been getting bigger every year and has become internationally recognized so we thought it would be cool to do a SXSW Pecha Kucha,” says Stout. “We’ve got speakers representing all three of the main SouthBy categories, interactive, film and music.” This evening’s presenters are music composer Graham Reynolds, singer-songwriter Charlie Faye, music photographer Mathew Sturtevant, animator Ron Pippen, pianist Patches King, guitar slinger Lance Keltner, music poster artist Noel Waggener, painter Jan Heaton, tech-wiz and philanthropist Richard Bagdonas, and rock and roll legend Jon Dee Graham.