Northern Voice Visual Recap

Northervoice 09 is now history – thousands of tweets, images and blog posts. It is time to reflect a bit. I enjoyed every minute of NV again – there is something warm and welcoming about it. I don’t mind the bits of chaos. I love the diversity – especially for a tech oriented gathering. And there are plenty of women! It was another visually oriented gathering for me. Continuing on from my “writing on the walls” from ’08, I again did a lot of visual work in this digitally focused gathering.

On Friday, as already noted, I ran a lightening fast Graphic Recording 101 session which was pure joy. There is a video here. And lots of pictures on Flickr. It was great to hear people say they not only enjoyed it, but were able to move their own practice forward. Yay! More hands on pen and chalk! We started by drawing circles using our full bodies, then horizontal lines, then text (with the tips about headlines the width of your palm, text the width of 2 fingers), then the terror zone – human figures. We practiced start people and squiggle people. The the final burst of color with the application of chalk. It was glorious how color brought even simple practice sketches to life. It was a think of beauty to watch. The artifacts we left behind were then a backdrop for the Photocamp session. Fitting, eh?

A first for Northern Voice, I graphically recorded a keynote – and what a performance it was to try and capture! The seriously funny Rob Cottingham had the capacity crowd in stitches talking about the funny side of social media. I had to draw as fast as the wind. It ended up being two panels, even though the keynote was just under 45 minutes. Thanks to Roland Tanglao for helping get up a second sheet.

It was interesting to think about the process. Prior to the talk all I knew was the title and©Tris Hussey, 2009. Non-commerical use permitted with attribution that it was mostly stream of consciousness stand up comedy with some “serious stuff at the end.” I got this information from 5 tweets from Rob, so you know the information was under 700 characters. 😉 I’m glad I just went with the flow. It was risky, but fun. I had thought about some sort of timeline image in advance, but that would not have worked. And because they ended up having me draw from the front of the room right behind Rob and under his slides, this felt a bit more like preformance art than just graphic recording.  (Some coverage of the keynote here, here and here.)



Photo by Tris Hussey on Flickr cc some rights reservedAfter it was over, I needed to go outside and lay on the grass and have a quieter conversation with a friend. I felt like I had just run a race, or taken a really hard yoga class. I was physically tired.

Later I noticed something as I skimmed the Flickr pictures tagged “northernvoice09” — the vivid social media chart was behind all the subsequent speakers. It provided a different sort of backdrop and I found great pleasure in that. (Photo by Tris Hussey)

I had the great pleasure of being on a “trio offering” with  Barbara Ganley and  Laura Blankenship. Our topic was “Doing the Limbo: Navigating the space in between – Create relationships, not distance.” How is that for a long title? Sheesh, what WERE we thinking?

We wanted to give an experience of boundary crossing, so we startePhoto by choconancyd the session with a paired drawing exercise (for details, see  here and here) for the technique I learned from Johnnie Moore.) The basic premise is without talking, people take turns drawing facial features until they have created a shared face and named it, one letter at a time.  As always, this great exercise gets people interacting with each other and then people are amazed at how they let go of their preconceived notions about drawing something and how beautiful their images are.

Then we moved into videos from Barbara and Laura which again set a very multisensory tone – images, poetry, music. As we moved into conversation, I then captured the conversation visually. We wrapped our session with an invitation for everyone to come down front and dance!

After the session the three of us sat down, along with my friends Dave Pollard and Sue Wolff, and did a debrief of the session. We all really enjoyed it and realized we opened a huge pandora’s box that we could not even begin to explore in a 40 minute session. There was so much everyone wanted to say. How about a whole day? Sue twittered out our comments. Later, Laura blogged about it here. I’m waiting for Barbara’s blogged reflections.

The Livescribe notes The last experiment of Saturday was with Alan Levine using his Livescribe pen/paper to visually annotate his presentation, which itself was on the role of visuals in blogging! For the details, see Nancy LiveScribed Me on Flickr – Photo Sharing

By the end of the day, my chalk was down to the nubbins! It was visual, collaborative, somewhat chaotic and fun.

Just in — Laura made a “Thank you NVoice” video!

Doug Symington Mashes Us Up

Doug uses A N I M O T O to mash up photos and music to document a panel Chris Lott organized at Northern Voice 2008 on “The blog is dead, long live the blog!” It was fun graphically recording a geeky session. Now it is fun to see Doug’s take on it, months later! Woo hoo!

David Sibbet: visual cartographer at TED 2008

Oh, I want to watch this!

David Sibbet: TED2008: The Big Questions

This from David:

We’ll be doing this using the latest Wacom Cintiq tablets and beta versions of Autodesk’s Alias Sketchbook Pro. Our drawings, some 5-15 for each speaker, will be saved and accessible on a huge portfolio wall with multi-touch capability. If you’ve seen the movie Minority Report,or used an i-phone, it allows that kind of manipulation of imagery. You can pinch-reduce pictures, rotate them, sort them, move them around — all by touch.

I don’t know what we will produce, but it will be integrated into a book about this year’s TED, focusing on the theme The Big Questions. We’re calling ourselves “visual cartographers,” and I’m focusing on making not only the big questions, but the patterns that connect these ideas visible.

Reflections on Our “Drawing Together” Session

Argh, I have been wanting to finish this blog post. Work is crazy, so I can’t be as complete as I’d like to be, but I have to get this out. There is so much incubation going on in my head about visuals, and not enough time to release it all into the wild!

This past week as part of the Future of Learning in a Networked World 08 “event” we did a session on Drawing Together Online. Leigh Blackall arranged for us to use Otago Polytechnic’s (corrected – thanks Leigh) Elluminate room. Elluminate has a shared white board. Hmmm… possibilities. Could we draw on paper then take digital photos or scans and upload to Flickr? Draw together on the white board? The key was I wanted to create an irresistible invitation for everyone to draw something during our hour together.

We started off with a few ruminations and images from me. Leigh gave us a short lesson on drawing human figures then we just jumped in. And the white board became the center of attention. At first it was chaotic. Then we played with constraints. A theme. A request to work smaller and slower. We reflected on how we felt looking at the images. How we felt when we could not find space to make our mark, or when it was erased by someone else – and not being able to know quickly who it was. We talked about our inner censors, keeping us from drawing. How they came to us as childhood melted into adulthood.

I had a great time. For me, it was a wonderful session. The Elluminate Recording is here. A montage of some of our drawings is below as well as a link to Flickr: Photos tagged with drawingtogether

I invite any of the people who played together that day to share your impressions as well. Some of us said we want to do more exploration of drawing together online. YES!

1. flnw_ambivilance_2, 2. Commute, 3. flnw_coffee, 4. My Texturized Cofee Picture, 5. cogdog’s texturized coffee picture, 6. flnw_boundaries, 7. flnw_ambivilance, 8. I Need MORE COFFEE (PicNik-ed), 9. Our first collaborative drawing, 10. I Need MORE COFFEE, 11. Coffee, 12. Our first collaborative drawingOur Images

While we are thinking about visual thinking together, here is another amazing link of a video that really uses visual thinking, from Christian Nold at PopTech. follow that link to take a look at this video. (Edited to remove the embed because it kept auto-playing, driving some of us nuts.)

FLNW Event January 16 – Drawing Together Online

On Wednesday, January 16th at 22:00 GMT (check your local time) I’m throwing in a contribution into the online portion of the Future of Learning in a Networked World 2008 gathering. Why don’t you join us?

We have a FLNW Slide Sets space on Slideshare and I just uploaded the images I plan to use for this totally off-the-cuff experiment of drawing together online. Here is what I wrote as a teaser:

This is not a talk by any stretch of the imagination. It is an invitation to draw together to exercise our visual thinking. I have been doing F2F graphic facilitation work and it taps into something that I often feel missing online. So can we talk together, draw together then share our images to add to that conversation? What might happen? Let’s play.

See http://flnw.wikispaces.com/flnw2_itinerary for the full FLNW 2008 schedule, both online and on the ground in Thailand. Here is the Elluminate URL we’ll be using for the actual session. (Thanks, Leigh!) And here are the images…