As Beth already noted—and yes, that WAS a shameful cover, Time—tonight marks Providence’s fourth Pecha Kucha (say it with me: pih-CHA kih-CHA) Night. Pecha Kucha is Japanese for the sound of conversation, and if you don’t practice saying it correctly, the whole group will be forced to recite it every time. (Plus, if you say “PET-cha KOOTCH-ah,” someone may mistake that for a very forward invitation and throw a drink in your face. No one likes to waste a drink.)
At PKN, 8-12 presenters speak for 6 minutes and 40 seconds each (20 slides, 20 seconds per slide). After attending several sessions, I can say the concept works well, which is reassurance Pecha Kucha doesn’t really need after successfully pulling these off in 196 cities worldwide since 2003. The time limit keeps any Chatty Cathys in line, and the mix of designs and projects ranges from fun to weird to flat-out awe-inspiring. Some of the ideas for solutions to 21st-century problems make me proud of our local designers, students, and instructors, and if you just want to show how pretty your art is, heck, I’m more than happy to learn about what you do and what inspires you.
If you’re not a polished professional or didn’t go to RISD, don’t worry; no one will laugh at you. The supportive attitude of the crowd and the enthusiasm of folks who line up to present will keep this going for a long, long time. There’s also a different theme each month, which helps connect the presenters even while their material is so varied. Tonight’s presenters include Matt Grigsby, Alida Sun, Gabriel Feld, Arley-Rose Torsone, Amy McDermott, Josh Silverman, Donald Richardson, and Yarrow Thorne. They seem like a diverse crowd, but they’ll all present something related to exploration, which just has to be fun.
And yes, I’ve whined about the long stretches of schmoozing at PKN (a full hour before the presentations and another 45-60 minutes halfway through), but I am just not a schmoozer. For those who are, it’s not a bad opportunity to network or just chat about shared interests while the anti-socialites grab themselves a drinky-poo.
Tonight, doors at 7:20 p.m., Local 121, 121 Washington Street, Providence (event is free, drinks aren’t)