I recently made a short trip to Amsterdam and had the opportunity to speak at Pecha Kucha. I really like the PK format and have spoken at a few of them, and I think in way they take the temperature of the creative scene of the cities in which they are run. PK Amsterdam is run by duo Jeroen Beekmans and Joop de Boer behind the creative agency Goldstromen. Appearing to be some kind of design master minds, they also run this fantastic blog called Pop-Up City which documents ideas that “shape the future city”, manifested as a diverse profiling of international trends in technology, street culture, architecture, design, sustainability and all sorts of high-brow lo-fi DIY interventionism. It’s really great and worth subscribing to!
PK Amsterdam is held in the location Trouw which was previously a newspaper factory, now containing a restaurant and multi-purpose venue club space. The reconverted building retains its original industrial aesthetic (read vast slabs of concrete) and the club features a multi-coloured neon light configuration which anchors the echoing of the various different indirect and ambient lighting scattered throughout the complex. All in all it made a very comfortable venue to watch the speakers and hang out before and after for the large crowd of almost 400 who turned up to see the presentations.
The presenters mostly came from Amsterdam except myself and one other artist from Rotterdam and below are some of the speakers whose work and projects I found particularly interesting, but you can find the full list of speakers from the night at the PK Amsterdam website. I really enjoyed the diversity of the presenters, which included artists, graphic designers, a bike called Arnold, a high school teacher who writes a blog of the things his students say to him, and a guy who played the Jewish Harp, which sounds like the love child of the didgeridoo and harmonica. It was pretty cool.
|Artist from Rotterdam Daan Den Houter|
|Arnold the bike who told us about his international travel.|
|Rick Companje from Doodle3D who had created a tablet to produce 3D printing which kind of looks like an Etcher Sketch but then converts the 2D drawing into 3D and then can immediately be printed as a 3D object, really great!|
During my stay I also checked out the Droog Hotel and independent project space called Amstel 41 to see exhibition EVERYTHING SEEMS TO HAPPEN TO ME, ONE CATASTROPHE AFTER THE OTHER by Swedish collaborators Emilia Bergmark and Loui Kuhlau, as well as so many flowers!
Next stop - Moscow, Russia to teach a workshop at the British Higher College of Art and Design at the end of the month.