Sunday, February 1, 2015

People Make Art: The Bay Lights


We forget: people make art. They make art with computers now, yet hands and skilled people who climb walls, bridges and towers MAKE the making of art. We forget, raising funds is NOT the artwork – though it is an ART! – yet, people make it, pull it, scrape and bake it – and in the “Night Kitchen” has come The Bay Lights which launched last night.

Last night I was not feeling well, and sold my ticket for a boat. Then I thought, how could I NOT bring my 7 year old out – in the rain – to see magic?  We peeked over the San Francisco hills to see the bridge start to shine. Then, my son and I drove down a wet Embarcadero to look at a bridge make patterns of water, fish, sounds of the sea. We did not say much, we just drove. Then, my son opened the window, the rain slightly drizzling his face, and I looked through the rear view mirror watching memory implant itself into him: a bridge lit up as art – as life.

For weeks, people ran LED cables up and down each line, with gusting winds, hard hats and the harder bay below. People have pushed and pitched and made argument for the upside of art for tourism and local business (while ALL the while reminding everyone the critical nature of art on the planet ;) . The artist, Leo Villareal, kept to himself and designed and made it ready. And, in the end, last night, no one looking at the bridge was thinking about “upside” or commerce, I HOPE, I assume everyone was doing what you do when you see art become part of your home, your life, your city: you breathe it in, you feel yourself in space – your brain and mind altered to imagine what you might do in your life – or, on your planet.

Me? When I drove home, I looked out that rear mirror and saw myself. I had left my whole body in the spaces between the idea of the lights, and the beauty of the hard work. I had left my body between the rain and the feeling of my adopted city. I left my hands with the hands that put the lights up. I left my mouth and lips and kisses amongst those who had fought hard to have a bridge that is public art. I left myself, with myself: because I am now part of that art.

This morning, I thought of those guys in their hard hats who went up and rigged the bridge to shine: heros.

And it continues, I think of  all involved, heroic with that fabulous Left Coast, “See, it’s possible!” moxie — we’re good at that here. Here, in the night kitchen – in the place of the Bay – and lights.

** Deep respect and love to friends who made this happen, Amy Critchett, Christina Harbridge and Lisa Patlis (and all those on the team that made art blend with science in dark of night)…


Estonia….coming soon…first Inventio!Brains…

February 19, 2013 by  
Filed under art and technology

You’ve all been very kind – I promised a 3rd post, then I ran off to Estonia to be part of a think tank, then I got a cold. Then, I ran to LA to launch GGI’s Indiegogo Inventio! Challenge: Glassify and a beautiful birthday celebration for Dr. G, and a meeting of amazing people (THAT will also be a post).

But, here is a Glorious picture of Estonia at 8:30 am!

Later this week, a post co-written by my new buddy and partner in crime Nils Roemen and I will be coming to talk about our experiences in Estonia for both the think tank on social movement engagement and the Let’s Do It World - Clean World conference 2013.

After — I get back — from LA tomorrow.

See, there’s a pattern.




Reflections #2: You Can’t Save the Planet with a Corp Comm Plan

January 17, 2013 by  
Filed under Futurism, technology

So, where were we? Ah, we have become, as we know, salespeople: or, at least we seem to think like salespeople because we use in our day to day language words like “ROI” “Upside”"Get to the bottomline” and, my favoriate, “Monetize”.
Yet, since this is a three part post (Please click for the first Reflections #1: F.U.D – How we are “Messaging” out the planet) let me recap the ideas of Messaging and FUD:
Messaging and FUD. Let’s break that down:
**Messaging is a communications tactic to make sure that what you are selling, and who your company is, is clear to your target audience. Ideally, it makes it so easy that they will buy what you are selling, or simply see you as superior to your competitor.
It’s that simple. Now, F.U.D.
** F.U.D = FEAR URGENCY AND DOUBT.  F.U.D is one of the most critical elements of sales we have for it ensures that every interaction a salesperson has employs or reminds the buyer that they should be afraid (to miss out, to drop out of the market, to loose their job, etc) while adding the urgency to buy (Buy now so you don’t fail sooner) and doubt (herein lies the art – how do you imbue or pull out the doubt of your buyer, so much so that you find they will do ANYTHING to make a deal with you?)…F.U.D is the power-tool of modern selling and capital attainment.
Ok, you have these two. But, we’re not stupid are we? We can see that these two tactics are deeply based on an end goal to “close you”. So, why did the entire environmental movement, and much of the WORLD regardless of profit or non-profit status, buy into these techniques. How did we become Global salesmen?
The core to having a clear message and the employment of FUD is to promise the person on the other side (buyer) that you are there to HELP THEM.
Let’s keep this in mind for other posts – but they late 20th century defined itself as a “helping” time – technology “helped” people, new medicine “helped” people, and even self help “helped” people. All we wanted to do was help. Yet, “Messaged FUD” (as I will call it) is at the core of this generational execution of mass distributed capital gain, and it is, to say the least,  super creepy and needs to go away.
Why? Because of the words “Message” and “Fear”.  These are concepts for corporations only. And, on a planetary level, let’s remember one simple thing: the earth is not in the businesses of quarter over quarter growth. Nor is social justice. Nor are women’s rights. Nor poverty reform. Nor community redevelopment  Change is not a quarter over quarter business – in fact, it’s not a business at all: Justice is not a ponzi scam, but corporate FUD can’t help but be in the game to get your goods.
And, unfortunately, thousands of consultants gave their time in the 1990′s, often for free, to teach anyone who would listen about “messaging” “target audiences” “Urgency” “Fomenting the Crisis” and, under it all, how to sell fear to get the “client” to react….give their money…or, perhaps EVEN “change their behavior”.
It is a crisis of reflection to say that we have become corporate communicators in all walks of life, and that we have built a world where we message fear – to everyone – like professionals. We now know how to sell everything to everyone: ideas, pain, suffering, art, childhood, clothes, and desire. We are trapped, for the moment in our training to sell based on the assumption of fear based consumer spending.
The GOOD NEWS! Neuroscience. THE SCARY NEWS! Neuroscience. THE POSSIBLE WAY OUT! Neuroscience. THE REAL WAY OUT! Love.
More on this, soon…