“20x20” Visions At BAR

by Elise Granata | August 30, 2009 4:01 PM | | Comments (1)

pechkachuka.pngPresent your passion. That’s what Greta Hotopp told Kieran Coleman about his presentation at the first Pecha Kucha night in New Haven.

At first, Coleman raised an eyebrow. He had told her he couldn’t disclose anything in the works about PolisWind, his New Haven-based company which focuses on renewable energy for an urban environment. But Hotopp’s alternative made things easy for Coleman. “I realized I could talk about wind turbines, innovation … the stuff that gets me going,” he said.

Like Hotopp herself, Pecha Kucha originated in Tokyo. The nights — billed as “creative people talking about creative things,” in short, visual presentations — are now held in crowded rooms in cities throughout the world. After exposure to these, Hotopp thought the shoe would fit in New Haven.

The plan at BAR last Wednesday night was for an audience to watch 10 presenters sift through 20 images, each image appearing on a projector screen for a mere 20 seconds. This “20x20” pact is one of the many attached to the contract Hotopp signed in order to host the night in New Haven. The event must be held in a bar or a space attached to a bar, the contract ordered. The host must have another occupation.

DSCN4203.JPG“Having done it now, I know exactly what each of these rules is about,” said Hotopp, pictured here with Ben Berkowitz of SeeClickFix. “It’s supposed to be social. It shouldn’t be someone’s main job.”

The evening held enough promise for organizers to schedule another on Nov. 4.

“We want New Haven to be as sustainable a community as possible, with economic diversification and opportunities,” Hotopp said. “It helps to know who is doing what in the area.”

PechaKucha08_26_09_jw%2016.jpgHere, Gretchen Cobb presents on the Prefab innovative, modern home model. Zehra Kuz, of Oasis Design Lab, juxtaposed yesterday’s architecture with the present. Berkowitz walked through the process of SeeClickFix. Dr. Chris Breuer, pediatric surgeon at Yale, spoke on the possibility of tissue engineering, indicating the labeled heart on the screen.

“I didn’t fully understand all of [the tissue engineering presentation],” said Bill Brown, director of Eli Whitney Museum. “But I want to understand it.” It’s reactions like these that Brown himself, working closely with Hotopp and other members of the museum, tried to generate within the crowd.

Several presentations were put on by businesses.

“I think it veered a little bit to the side of self-promotion,” said Helen Kauder, former director of Artspace. She wasn’t sure if the event focused solely on the ideas.

Aaron Goode, also in attendance, broke it down to a simple truth: “The proof is in the pudding. Over 200 people are here for something that’s never been done before.”

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Posted by: Ben | August 31, 2009 11:49 AM

Fun Event!
Thanks Greta.

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