When it comes to creative forums of expression, perhaps no other means is as democratically open and universally feasible as Pecha Kucha.
What started off as a fledgling experiment in mixed media has turned into one of Taos’ hottest tickets, attracting audiences of all ages, professions, and backgrounds.
Pecha Kucha Night returns for the eighth installment of its Taos series today (Nov. 8), 7 p.m., at the Taos Community Auditorium, 145 Paseo del Pueblo Norte.
Pecha Kucha Night No. 8 will feature presenters Mark Goldman, Ginger Mongiello, David Pérez, Michael Simone Regnier, Matthew Ryan, Krystina Siebenaler, Jenny Kostecki-Shaw, Ellie Starishevsky, Robbie Steinbach, Gary Yamane, and Pratik Zaveri.
Pecha Kucha was originally developed in 2003 by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham Architecture in Tokyo, Japan. It was realized that Tokyo, like many cities around the world, had no public spaces in which people could openly share their work.
Klein and Dytham held the first Pecha Kucha Night at their club Super Deluxe in February 2003 and since then the concept has gone viral, spawning replica events in over 500 cities around the globe.
The premise behind Pecha Kucha is 20 separate images displayed on the screen for 20 seconds each, culminating in an intrinsically unique and personal presentation. Some presenters choose to exhibit a completed project, their artwork, an experience, or an idea. While the image is being displayed, the presenter explains what the audience is viewing and what it means. The 20 image/20 second format ensures that the presentation is concise and moves along in a standardized, rapid paced fashion.
While the idea may sound similar to your typical corporate office presentation, make no mistake, Pecha Kucha is anything but mundane. No subject matter is off limits or taboo meaning that the range of subjects presented are as wide ranging and diversified as the audience in attendance. Presentations in the past have varied from off the wall comedy to intimately sincere and personal revelations. What can easily be said about Pecha Kucha Night is that you never know what to expect or how you will be surprised.
A brief intermission half way through through the evenings presentations will allow audience members to mingle and chat with each other and presenters. Food will be provided by Dara Thai and drinks will be offered by the Taos Ale House. Musical entertainment will be provided by a Taos High School band called Life Support.
Aside from attending previous Pecha Kucha Nights, none of the scheduled creatives have presented at the event before, ensuring a fresh round of talent and new topics to share.
“I had never heard of Pecha Kucha and when I did a little research about it, I was fascinated by the idea,” says painter Ginger Mongiello. “I was invited to present my artwork and I plan on playing impromptu piano music during my presentation rather than verbal dialogue.”
Mark Goldman is the chairman of the green technology program at University of New Mexico-Taos and will be presenting the programs latest developments in environmentally sound and affordable housing. “What I will be discussing is green architecture and how we are trying to blur the lines between design elements and construction,” explains Goldman. “I’m honored to be participating in Pecha Kucha Night to share what we are doing for the future.”
While some of the presentations focus on that which is artistic or scientific, others delve into that which concerns the human experience. For many years, Matthew Ryan has been practicing gamma wave healing which concerns the rearrangement and distribution of energy within the human body.
“What my work is about is modifying and correcting energy at the DNA level using sound and light,” explains Ryan. “It’s interesting to see our scientific community catching up to what we have been practicing for some time. I am very honored to be invited to share my knowledge with the community.”
Locally, Pecha Kucha Night Taos was established by Richard Spera and Matthew Thomas who continue to be the primary organizers behind the event and who say the feedback from the community has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic. “We’re headed back to the (Taos Community Auditorium) for Pecha Kucha Night No. 8 and, as always, I say this one will be the best,” says Thomas. “We have a very diverse group of creatives and we hope that many people will come out to share in this community event.”
Doors open to the auditorium at 6 p.m. Admission to the event is $7 at the box office on day of show only. Visit online www.pecha-kucha.org/night/taos/ or call (575) 758-2052.