Pecha Kucha

Wed 24 Feb 2010 by Rory Walker

Not even standing room only.

For those not in the know, Pecha Kucha is a simple format evening of
speakers, presenting a series of 20 slides, and then speaking, (or
forgetting their lines, fluffing their cues, and stumbling
incoherently) for 20 seconds per slide, giving a grand total of 6
minutes and 40 seconds per presenter. This is a great spectator sport
for the audience, as you get a brief insight in to a particular
speakers area of expertise or enthusiasm for a brief period of time,
and should you find it not to your liking, well, by the time you've
been to the bar and back the speaker in question will have filled
their boots, done their time, and be out on proverbial parole before
you've got your change. Having seen a feature in the "Basement" arts
email newsletter requiring presenters a few weeks back, I thought i'd
give it a go. If nothing else it'd be nearly half of my alloted 15
minutes of fame, and give me a bit of practice for the remaining 8 and
a bit. I'd heard about the format and considered giving it a go a
while back, but wasn't satisfied with the artwork that i'd have to
show, so waited until I was "resting-between-jobs" and creating work
for myself which I was pleased with before signing up. Naturally once
signed up I did no form of preparation until a couple of hours prior
to the event, whereupon I quickly wrote a brief, and in my eyes
amusing, synopsis of each image, then spent the duration of the
afternoon wondering if I should have done more and hoping that I
wasn't going to let anyone down by being half-hearted about it all.

After meeting a few of the other presenters, the audience filed in,
took their seats and waited, coiled, ready for action / blood / thumbs
up or down / who knows. In fact there were so many in the audience
that not everyone could get in, so my tip to future spectators is to
get there five minutes earlier than you'd have thought sensible,
otherwise you'll be left quite literally out in the cold. There was
an interesting selection of speakers, and what with it being Sunny
Sunny Brighton, the majority were talking about art related subjects.
In fact, looking at the set list sat in front of me at the moment
which gives details of all the presenters and what they talked about,
shows that everyone had an arty topic of some description or other.
Illustrators far outnumbered everyone else, with myself, Nye Wright,
John Watkiss, and Nelson Evergreen talking about various aspects of
our respective arts. Other presenters included Jake Spicer talking
about life drawing, Julianna Sissons talking about the similarities
between medieval and renaissance clothing and her contemporary
knitwear, Jonathan Gilhooly about optical illusions, Das Petrou and
Scott Sansom on filmmaking, and Woodrow Kernohan and Helen Cammock
explaining about the Brighton Photo Fringe. My personal experience of
the whole affair was pretty positive, with plenty of people laughing
at the bits that I wanted them to laugh at, and lots of complimentary
comments afterwards. So despite not being able to read my narration
notes, stumbling over the simplest of sentences, and not facing the
audience, for me the event was a great success. There's a load of
events lined up for the next few months, and whilst I believe all
places are filled up for guest speakers, you could go along and find
out something exciting for the same amount of time it takes to watch
a tom and jerry cartoon and some adverts. And all the entry fee money
went to aid the people of Haiti, so all's good