i'll be in belfast, northern ireland friday morning for TN2020 (more info on noneck.org) and need a place to stay for one night. anyone have a spare couch for one night?
first, i'm spit polishing my thoughts for my "omega-th" dorkbot nyc presentation. tomorrow's presentation will be light hearted and quite bitch'n. from 19h00 (7pm) on, i'll be at location one fighting my fears and reminiscing about my journey around the world. afterward, i'll head over to the tank (the arts space not the drunk thing) and see my living liberally buddies, mike and his shinny new book. i hope you can attend one or both!
oh, if you're looking for photos from last friday's brooklyn coworking open house / "work at jelly" session - check day 238 photoset on flickr.
ALSO, last night i had an awesome opportunity to hang out with the UnionDocs crew for their screening of sleepwalking through the mekong. the film highlights dengue fever (the band, not the illness) mini-tour in cambodia. while the Q & A session got hot and spicy, i enjoyed seeing Pheom Phen and found myself missing the other-side of the world. if you have a chance, check out UnionDocs' documentary bodega series and if you can, try to catch dengue fever!
- other thoughts -
it is hard to believe that just seven days ago i arrived back in nyc. honestly, it's been a totally weird experience. not really knowing how things would pan out, i spent two nights on my friend's couch before moving to an undisclosed apartment in the lower east side (ps - i've been asked not to say the exact location. which i totally respect since i'm living rent free; utilities not included).
now, i feel a bit settled and find myself applying for a multitude of jobs, and exploring
first, it was the world economic forum's global fellowship program - i should stop here and explain this decision - if you don't know the controversy, let me lay out some lines... WEF is criticized for creating programs and projects that in the end hurt more people than they help. WEF is also criticized for creating a global conference - DAVOS - where many backroom conversations foster many more questions than answers. all-in-all, i feel that their work, their programs, and their general perception of life can improve.
while change is not easy, i know we can revolutionize everything we touch. using a bit of WEF's language and looking through the lens of the past seven months, i see a strategic framework that any organization can use. for-profit - not-for-profit - there is a framework for production and equality. without a doubt, i firmly believe in the opportunity to advance the seven topics through research.
also, over the past week, i've also applied to oxford university's research fellowship and Google/YouTube's Non-Profit content manager position. while i have a dwindling set of funds and want to dedicate myself to the long term cultivation of all the things i see - i have just a few short days to make some critical decisions that will impact the next few months and determine the rest of my life...
the first decision - i've decided to help Brian Conelly, from alive in baghdad, to explore the development of a video advocacy organization. this non-profit will be named "alive on earth" and will pull in the best and brightest video talent to understand the sphere of video advocacy and community journalism. ranging from curriculum, open source tools, volunteer translation and consulting - we are casting our nets and thinking about the next 10 to 15 years.
the second decision - i'm going to finally get my hack license. no, it's not some weird provincial ability to pillage bodies from nyc. a hack license will allow me to drive an NYC yellow cab. yup, i'm thinking of becoming a taxi cab driver. while there's a long list of things i have to do and i think the cost of testing, forms and junk will cost me around $1k, i'm writing out a proposal that just might score me a sponsor and get you a camera behind the front seat of a taxi cab! ;)
microphone photo by hiddedevries
i now have four speaking engagements lined up...
new york city, usa
2 feb 2008 - as detailed in yesterday's post, starting at 5pm (18h00) i'll be talking into a bottomless barrel of booze. (facebook event info) you are all invited to help me conclude seven months around the world! if you can't make it, buy me a virtual beer and contribute!
6 through 8 feb 2008 - i'll be at the LIFT conference pipping out the merits of free culture and the global empowerment. while i will be giving a five minuet speech, i'll also be giving a three hour workshop! (don't think i'm wealthy, i'm working barback at this conference. i still have $700 to fundraise, help a bro out?)
new york city, usa
5 march 2008 - dorkbot nyc, location one, soho, @ 7pm - my buddy douglas found an opportunity for my goods to be shown in-front of nyc's largest geek community! (meetup is for nurds, dorkbot is for geeks! this is all tung and cheek, we'all b family!)
15 - 16 march 2008 - barcamp nyc 3. without a doubt i'll be presenting something...
not an alternative, brooklyn, ny - upon my return in late feb, we're talkin an evening conversation with drinks, DJ's, and a chariot with seven horsemen... ;)
i'd love to crash SXSW interactive or the film segment. then again, so would the rest of the world... if you think i'm worthy. please bless me with your grace.
if you have a class or community group that would be interested in having me connect via the tubes, i'd love to connect the dots.
photo from punkjr on flickr
item #1, advice from my father.
today, i received a few inspirational notes from my father... while i know they are a bit muffled in verse, i was able to hear the sweet tone of loving comfort. let me hum a few bars...
"don't stop thinking about tomorrow. don't stop it'll soon be here. It'll be better than before. why not think about times to come, and about the things that you've done..."
yes, sometimes it's hard to distinguish between my father and fleetwood mac...
the past year has taught me more lessons than i could have possibly dreamed. those dreams found people who not only believed in exploration, but believed that collectively we can accomplish our dreams. though every hello, hug or heaping plate of food, we did it. collectively we've explored the internet world, but we're not done yet.
now i find myself in a precarious position. every night, i dream about the places i've been and the things i've done. painfully, i roll and roll debating endlessly what's the best way to engage the world within this dream, and how to make a living. i checked my bank account and only found $75... but more on that later...
so now, here i am back in america trying to understand everything i've done and make sense of where i'd like to see the world... honestly, it's stressful carving out a grandiose vision of the future based on seven short months. any-who, so work for the children's book presses on...
item #2, my nyc return.
after thinking that i should call my good buddy jonathan, i carelessly blasted out an email routing people to a bar which in perfect pursuit of happiness should be at the end of places to experience in brooklyn. don't get me wrong, it's not a bad place... it's just a better place to end the night. in lew of this miss judgement, jonathan and i are crafting a triumphant return to brooklyn. (btw, you might remember jonathan as the partner of val; the two glorious hosts at the start of the journey...)
yeah, so i'm returning to NEW YORK CITY on saturday, FEB 2nd at 3pm (15h00). well, that's when my plane lands... i'll then find my way onto the subway, down the long corridors of the MTA and then into the arms of a few friends. while i'm jazzing my way back to billyburg, i need you to grab your camera and some ridiculous looking outfit and make your way to the hipster capital of the world.
starting at 5pm (18h00) you are invited to meet me at 303 bedford ave, brooklyn, ny. the bar is/was called wells, but don't worry about a thing. we're commandeering the sound system and maybe brute forcing a discount (thats'a joke, jon is a bartender and we might get a sweet deal if enough people show up). afterward, we'll saunter over to IONA and then over to the keystone bar of the night, SPUYTEN DUYVIL.
item #3, the future as mentioned in the past.
as my around the world journey ends, a new one begins. i am so poor you won't believe how poor i am. over the past two months i've spent less that $600 USD to get by. for the past month, i've been beggin for handouts and frothing at the mouth for free food. i've max'd out my only credit card (actually i owe them $800 in late charges). i've got $75 bucks in my checking account, and $8 dollars in my wallet.
if you look at my ticker, i still have $700 USD to fundraise (which won't even cover my credit cards, but i've called them and they "kinda understand")... and if the phone call from my roommate is any indication my housing situation, i'm gonna need to kick in close to $900 in rent...
so what does this mean to you, the reader... well, one thing... my life has taught me to follow my heart and build on what i've learned. next week, when i land in a foreign country without a euro in my pocket, i will proudly stand in front of some of the world's smartest and extoll tales of our journey together. (for you geeks out there, LIFT is like TED but for normal people.)
if you haven't pre-purchased a copy of the luck of seven children's book, i hope you consider contributing $11.11 USD. if 70 people purchase a copy, i won't ask for another cent... (that's until i start the mel brooks swag campaign) if you've contributed and can contribute a little more, that would be awesome! thank you for making dreams come true!
a big thanks to the most recent contributors - KUSHTRIM XHAKLI, Megumi Nishikura, and Joe Vieira.
(btw, i'm also need a job, if you know of anyone who's looking for a well skilled student of new media, send them my resume...)
for the past two years, i've had the unique honor to help participate in one of the awesomest conferences on this planet - LIFT. if you've followed my writings, you'll see that in 2006, not only did i couchsurf for the first time, but i really had no clue what i was doing in geneva. during the first LIFT, i had formulated the idea for this trip, but took it as a toung and cheek project.
fast forward a year later to feb 2007, i had come full circle - not only was i going to go around the world, but i also found myself helping the LIFT gang conduct an unconference of sorts, aka the open stage. as we muddled though workshops, long winded prose and off the cuff presentations, we survived no worse for wear.
now it's 2008 and the day LIFT starts, i will celebrate my seven month anniversary traveling around the world. (thank you for the free ticket! laurent and team LIFT, this is such an awesome gift! btw, i should also thank my father for this airline miles!)
too boot, bread and butter (the awesomist organizers) are continuing on their social participation experimentation by hosting workshops, an open stage and are now adding organized discussions and a venture night! so instead of getting all pomp, and writing out some wild-eye "this is the way world should work" paper, i'm proposing the following workshop.
title: "how to harvest the seven chakras of the karma economy" or "how to travel the world for less than $10,000 USD" or "revolution 3.14, how we've built a karma economy"
background: on 07 july 2007, i departed new york city for a journey around the world to learn from the world. affably named "on the luck of seven" or "luck of seven." this was an open-source journey documenting free culture, social innovators and global change. for seven months, i attempted to stand on the seven contents, dive into the seven oceans, and contemplate seven topics of freedom on $7,777 USD. of which those $7,777 was raised by small dollar donors contribution $11.11 USD to pre-purchase a children's book detailing seven lessons learned while traveling the world. while on the way, i documented the journey through stories, photos and videos.
though hospitably, donations, mutual projects, connections and friends, our stories merged into one. as i wandered the earth, my broad shoulders bore seven topics of freedom: free culture; free and open-source software communities; couchsurfers, bloggers, fellow travelers and vloggers; agents of progressive social change; unconfrences, coworking and meetups; happenstance, and climate change. all-in-all, this is was a 21st century anthropological view of the personalities in physical / digital world we cohabit.
for the first thirty mins, we will play an amazing game meeting fellow workshop attendees.
for the next hour, we will ride the roller coster. first, we will start the journey describing the background and then tear into the gear, research and findings. afterward, we will turn inward go through the highs and lows details successes and failures. without a doubt, you will have a hands-on opportunity to see the nuts and bolts of a global anthropological exploration.
(10 min coffee, tea, cigarette break)
for the second half, we will discuss the karma economy and then break out into teams to brainstorm the creation of new organizations or plan luck of seven season #2. <- it's totally up to the audience ;)
(ps, i'm still working the "this is the way world should work" paper.)
with a dirty collar, slight taint of unshoweredness, and a backlog of stories to tell, photos to upload and episodes to publish, i've arrived at opencraft with omar. regardless of the outstanding bills of the day, today will be MAGICAL. here in cairo we will talk about drupal tuning, LAMP stack, linux, apache, MySQL, PHP, and most importantly the Drupal API.
i now have my presentation schedule for TOL's new media essentials course. while it's still subject to change, i will at least get one night to decompress from my initial new york city departure and a sleepless night in pamplona.
on tuesday, the 10th, i'll be speaking quite a bit. the first two sessions will be discussions, the impact of web 2.0 on advertising, business and politics; then in the afternoon, how to build a community for your project. in the early evening, i'll have an hour long workshop on Assignment Zero and the technical components of building a citizen journalism network. on wednesday morning, i'll have the honor of presenting a talk on the global blogosphere while evgeny discusses the local blogosphere.
without a doubt, the research for these conversations will be daunting, but no fear. you will get to see it all right here.
i have enormous amount of gratitude to all who helped assemble last night's lab.session. christina ray and the whole glowlab crew unveiled a wonderful spread in an intimate setting. surround by the avant-garde, i couldn't have asked for a more magficicant room. after spending two days running through every conceivable slide, comment and potential conversation piece, last night's q & a session took me down an unusual path. in someways, it emboldened some thoughts, destroyed others, and created a more welcoming mental space. thank you pernod and michael~david vineyards for the social lubrication.
thank you all who attended, as my first public presentation i was scared shitless. between the droplets of rain, i feared the worse. in solace, my friend, lucia rollow, told me every would be fine. little did she know that this marauding conversation would lead into the wee hours of the morning. fueled by rich beverages, delightful caramel cheese and my nervous energy, i could haven't have asked for a more comfortable space to discuss the shackles of this project.
if i start to think about the path and the intersections of people, places and things, there is no better place than to think of than the internet. as an intersection of all the minor things to the mainstay of the global economy, we have transcended a point in time where exposure is a business. as i pondered about the best question last evening, i once again balanced the age old question "what is the balance of living your life online?" like any relationship, you voluetnarly provide information to others. in a relationship, devoid of one particular person, we find our self in a global outpour of thoughts and emotional reason.
we now find that this global outpour is commerce. a very successful commerce. these outputs of human emotion now sustain a multi-billion dollar industry. as every year progresses and new tools allow for easy convergence between thought and dissemination.
as i spoke at liberty, i began to wonder how did we enter into a time warp. my bedroom presentation, only took 20 mins... yet, when i stood in front of 20 friends and strangers, i stumbled onto a path. a path that marauded into a never ending combination of statements. oh how, twisted it seemed to cross the point of no return and take something so simple and make it completely convoluted. in hindsight, those in attendance could not have offered more welcoming thoughts and questions. i am truly in debited to those of you who attended and saw past the sweat and awkward phrasing.
for who where not fortunate enough to sit through the three hour long event, you missed me maturing 30 slides into a 40 min presentation. blinded by the projector, first i outlined seven explorers (don quixote, snoopy, le petite prince, christopher columbus, neil armstrong, my grandparents, my parents). then, i moved into a point by point walk through of the project. cursing my tongue-tied presentation, i concluded with hour and a half long question and answer session.
as this morning's hours floated by, i continued to ponder the confinement of exploratory topics. as i desire to be free and explore those things around the world that are free, yes, i can see how some may consider these topics as confinement. at the same time, i see them as a palette to paint. i take this journey from a first person perspective confined to the limitation that is my own mind.
but i do not see them as limitations. i see a canvass. while i am using a similar technique employed by many, i am subverting myspace as my central point of conversation. i refuse to use fully embrace the tools that are contrived and well worn by other explorers. i fundamentally feel that this project should show alternatives to the mainstay of myspace generation.
once from the couchsurfing "marketing" community and then again last night, people feel that this is "tightly marketed." i'm not sure to take it as a complement or as a dig. i personally feel that if it was successfully marketed, i would have all $7,777 and a line of sponsors out the door. though in the same vain as four eyed monsters who have been highly marketable, they too are in debt. (btw, if you sign up for an spout account, you can help mitigate their debt.)
in today's age with the notion that a single journalist has to be a camera operator, writer and editor, no longer do we have a single focal point for the journey. there are many viewpoints to perch. each one has it's own story. each one is it's own compendium of art forever referencing each other.
i agree with christina's that this is a "highly networked" project. i have thought over the evolution from an art project to a social media project to a digital anthropology exploration. the transition arose slowly, first from a social entrepreneur conference at harvard. then it took a new spur after podcamp. the idea of taking art, social art, holistic digital art, etc.. and melding it into a loose business plan isn't too farfetched. i wish there was more time focus directly on the work, but a fear of production, but more importantly, post-production looms over my head every morning, noon and night.
from that perspective, using modern marketing antics to change the world isn't a bad thing. hell, i think that more people should be thinking twice about the bill of goods that are blindly sold. we have a unique opportunity to change the world. if we don't find away to "sell" others a viable alternative we are doomed.
...and speaking of doomed perspectives, there were many questions that arose from the concept of failure. "what if this happens? what if that?? what if you go over budget? what if your bag is stolen? what if you don't make your brother's graduation? what if you take 8 months??"
well, i could quote bob dylan's visions of johanna - "Inside the museums, Infinity goes up on trial" but one thing is clear. what ever happens on the road, is part of the story. i think that is the true beauty of the story... being able to travel to the intersection of order and chaos is a magnificent thing. stepping into the unknown can never be learned from an FAQ. one must accept agility as your best friend.
next tuesday, 12 June, i am fortunate enough to have the honor in helping rekindle this year's glowlab speaker series. while normally, i would cast the door open and invite all of you, space is limited to 15. RSVPs are on a first come first serve. if you are interested, drop me a line at press(at)noneck.org
also, there is good chance that club of seven member, Tracy, will send some award winning bottles from Michael David Winery. can you believe that they have two wines that fit Lo7's motif, 7 Deadly Zins and 7 Heavenly Chards... perfect... just perfect...
from christina ray, the founder and director of glowlab...
In 2003 I started a series of artist presentations that were held in local bars in Williamsburg. One artist would informally present his or her work to a small audience of about a dozen invited guests and after the presentation the group engaged in lively Q&A/discussion over drinks. We enjoyed talks by artists including Swoon, Lee Walton, Bill Wasik [flash mob founder], Jonah Brucker-Cohen, and more. The salon-style setting was perfect for some really engaging conversations. After a while I became too busy to continue this series, but I've really missed it and have decided it's time to commit to bringing it back. This re-launch will roughly coincide with the re-launch of the Glowlab website happening within the next few weeks.
Lab.Sessions will now be held monthly at Glowlab's Williamsburg studio, which has been redesigned to include a small gallery space presenting a changing display of artists' works. We're currently exhibiting new pieces by Kurt Bigenho, Bethany Bristow, Marisa Olson, Mark Price, Josh Goldstein, Heather L. Johnson and additional artists. Here's a look at the space [photos are from a recent event we did for this year's Gel Conference]: http://flickr.com/photos/glowlab/sets/72157600311414219/
I'd love to have you attend this Lab.Session, featuring the fabulous Noel Hidalgo.
Please let me know as soon as possible if you can make it. RSVPs are taken on a first-come, first-served basis up to about 15 people and we do have an ongoing waiting list, so the event will fill up quickly. If you'd like to bring one guest, please include their name when you RSVP.
if you would like to attend please email press(at)noneck.org
Glowlab Lab.Session . June 2007
date: Tuesday, June 12, 2007
location: WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN
8:30–10:00pm: artist presentation followed by Q & A and conversation
yesterday it was pouring rain. though this rain was not your ordinary rain - filled with cats and dogs, the rain contained an unusual assortment of information...
at my usual watering hole, an unusual individual passed along a droplet of information that has soaked my soul. it's almost like a dream come true. imagine hitching a ride from london to mongolia in a car whose engine contain half the power of my camelpak... so what's a liter of power in english measurements? think of a fiat, citron or an old mini... in other words, a compact. a EUROPEAN compact. some call them micro cars. others, daily transportation. for a small group, at max 180 people, it will be home and a haven for an international rally that spans from the uk to mongolia. insanity right!?! hells yeah.
organized by the league of adventurists international LTD, 60 cars will leave on july 21st from london. these rebells from around the globe have three weeks to make their way across five "routes" and then end up in mongolia. nothing gets my heart beating like a good car race. nothing gets my heart beating faster than a bunch of lunatics attempting feats of nobility and self determination. nothing will make my heart beat faster than one of the teams contacting me asking for a third driver!
which then got me thinking about a "me" vs "we" factor. right now, public response indicates people think this trip is a cool "vacation" vs "adventure." without having an explicit charitable organization or partnership, it's been hard to convince my reluctant compatriots that this is not a "vacation." heck i had one friend outright question my manifesto's authenticity. not that i have one... nonetheless, i am searching for the right opportunity, partnership, marriage, etc... non-profits, media agents, and others... nothing is too crazy, as long as you don't compromise my integrity and my content.
then somehow the question of integrity carried me down a stream of consciousness back to february... in a mildly cold geneva surrounded by snow barren alps, i questioned what is digital integrity? but it's more than integrity, my real question lies in the existence of what is a digital soul. back at LIFT, sister Judith Zoebelein, holy see, spoke about the internet as a conduit for modern theistical practice. i think that our online existence is an extension of our physical existence. in this place we can explore freudian thoughts, interact and fill the void that a modern organic existence creates, and really understand that our identity wether organic or synthetic is an embodiment of our organic nature. (whew..)
personally, i've always tried to keep my self on the same plain of existence - synthetic or organic... i am the sum of all my parts, but because of my mental space has been growing further than my ability to type and express my thoughts, i'm finding my self in a fractured digital existence.
inherently our online existence is divergent though the plains of participation - flickr, myspace, del.icio.us, twitter, last.fm, etc... they force us to segment our flow. this segmentation provides us the ability to manifest many different personalities. historically, i've attempted to keep a unified existence. online or offline, my worlds collide through a curated view of self. while i am the one who builds the profile, my friends, number of friends and my quality of self is there for perceived through these mediums.
with an infinite number of mediums, these inadvertently give us digital fragmentation. painfully, i now find my self in an altered existence with friends that are unrecognizable, relationships of no value and an overwhelming amount of data. sure, some may boil it down and say that it's a form of internet ADD. when it comes to my own understanding of things... i feel a bit scattered, and concerned with having a life that is inflated.
i'm sure you've all heard the statement, "he looks good on paper..." well for years i've frequented bars and had a persona for my bar existence, then i had my office life, another for scooter subculture, another for political events, etc... and what i find painful is that this is the type of existence i've had since high school... and while i always felt light and nimble, it also felt somewhat superficial. my friends where never given the proper justice, time or love. as for love, let's just say that though it all, i've had my ups and downs... in the end, i can look at a diversity of existence and experience. in the end, i am happy but now on an never ending quest for more.
ironically, the online model i follow is no more different than my physical existence. changing one social networking bio, leaves others disconnected from the current "reality" and presents an alternate universe. in the end, preferences left on one site will attract a different group of followers than what is featured on other sites.
it really does freak me out that i'm bothered by these disparaging profiles of existence. i know they are who i am, or whom i once was, but are they really who i am now? there are many ways to look at these online identities... some see them as time capsules. others, facets of expression, and yes, i know that i'm lumping in many thoughts here... but when i think of my online existence and maybe this is more of a traditional perspective, i want to see an honest reflection of how i view my life, but in reality images are built on how others see your actions...
imagine a figure skater who is just starting to spin. as the figure skater obtains balance, their arms are extended out. as the speed increase, arms withdraw and body mass is concentrated... speed increase and beauty is displayed.... not that i'm a fan of figure skating, but currently that's my perception of digital participation.
fundamentally i am conflicted. instead of being spread across a multitude of plaines, should i scale back? should i seriously consider revoking social networking profiles, firing all friends, and placing a tombstone as an image?
some people call this digital suicide... especially in light of this journey, but there is another argument that resonates... if we give away our own "labor" what protection do we have? on friday, trebor schultz made this his central argument... he waxed on that "we are labors in the digital factories of participatory culture."
this armchair philosopher is not intending this treatise to be a political argument. that conversation will come later, but as i wade though this river of thoughts i find THE real argument... i am asking for your fellowship. i am asking unknown people from around the globe to be my eyes, my ears, my hands, my beds and my wallets. i'm asking you to join me, rebuke the thoughts and notions of mental tyranny. let's go fishing beyond the borders of existence and see the connectivity of all things.
this past weekend, i helped host drupalcamp nyc 2. once again, i was in total awe of organic conversations convening to network, discuss and hammer out problems. then this evening, i attended one of the first offical SXSW interactive happy hours, and once again was in total awe. the power of convening is one thing, but the power to network is a whole nother world.
isn't it time that conferences realize that their true value is conversation not broadcast?
on the way out, i had to profusely thank Megan Adams for taking the leap of faith and hosting this party. without fan fair, 60 or so people got together, mingled and chatted about why they would be attending SXSW. as long as i wasn't talking to a recruiter in some snazzy outfit, i was having a blast. thank you SXSW, i'm glad to know that you "get it!"
as for fundraising, we are $164.43 short from reaching $777.77, our first fundraising goal. as promised by my good friend kris swanson, once the chipin widget says $777.77, he will match all previous donations! that's roughly 14 more people!
maybe we'll reach that goal with in the next day or so. tomorrow night, i'll be presenting at the SF vlogger meetup. yeah!?!?! how freaking cool is that!
place your luck on seven and donate today!
thank you weekend donors!
- Sabrina Wells
- Enrique Montalvo
- Michael Meyers <- thank you for your generous donation!
- Andrew Hoppin
I've been sitting on my inaugural post for too long. It's been over a year since I first conceived of this, and despite all of my work on paper, I still can't think of an opening. Time and time again, I mention the same words over and over... seven, seven, seven...