Entries tagged "SXSW"

How do you know you matter?

I just got an email from a conference that made me sad. It was only two sentences long. It was a dismissal in the guise of being a favour. It showed me that I didn’t matter to this person professionally anymore. We are done.

It hurt. It still hurts.

When I started out there years back I was just doing what was fun. I never thought of myself as in any kind of “in crowd.” Some people told me then that I was some kind of miniature celebrity in a miniature world. I didn’t see it. But I did feel like I belonged. I felt like I was with my people: the kind of people who were excited by ideas and who said to the new person who showed up at lunch “come on here and sit down.”

This is making me re-think how I learned that what I had to say mattered.
It mattered to me that what I had to say or who I brought together mattered to others. A conference or a show or an audience.

I’m having to learn over and over that what I have to say or do has to matter to me first. it sounds so simple and perhaps brain-dead to you that this is a thing to know or to learn. But it is for me.

In every world I’ve been in: artistic, entrepreneurial, or political everyone wants to know what people like. The truth is that even in the worlds that consider themselves “indie” they care. For me independent performing, publishing, creating business was about being able to follow the creative impulse you have. It was about an environment that preached and modeled empowerment.

You *can* do this.

You are allowed to do this.

I’m the kind of girl who needed to hear that. You can always tell who else needed to hear it: they’ll say it to anyone else, anytime.

Great encouragers of others always need encouragement.

People are always talking about themselves. Always. Whether we know we are talking to ourselves is another story.

I’ve never been a big triangulator of creative talent. Either I like your stories, your voice, your perspective, your jokes, your vulnerability or I don’t. I don’t like it because someone else does (no matter what any database, social media platform or popular kids table might say).

It never made a lot of sense to me to like someone because they were popular. That was true in junior high and it’s true when it comes to indie art too. I’m not interested in someone because they’re alternatively popular. Truth is, the people whose work I often love are often dismissed. But I don’t love someone’s voice or work *because* they’re dismissed. I love what resonates with my heart. That’s all.

It’s easy when I think about other peoples’ work: Justin Vivian Bond, Patti Smith, WhoopDeeDo.tv , Paul Mooney. The kind of folks I want to interview for my news upcoming subvert podcast (you can also follow @subverting on twitter). I’ll be subverting the SXSW conference live with impromptu gatherings. Add me on twitter and foursquare to join. I want to see what’s in your heart.

So why am I afraid of what’s in mine?


Recent interviews: Internet Collaboration and why SXSW fun is good for art and business

I recently guested on Feast of Fun, a delish gay podcast hosted by the adorable Fausto and Marc. That’s Fausto’s sister above who came to their queer meet up at this years SXSW. We talked about canv.as, Color, and what makes web apps, sites , parties and the Internet great : collaboration.  Of course we meandered into Ani DiFranco, Kirstie Alley, Rosie O’Donnell and how to pick up a nerd.

I was also part of a Business Insider piece about SXSW, written to justify partying as work. SXSW has had a huge impact of my life  and my work. It has certainly got some new issues but I still found it really worthwhile and energizing to be there.  The place now does have massive attendance and it’s crawling with marketing and old school media companies trying to be all Internet cool now. But I actually found that I learned something from this. More on what that is soon.

The End of Shame, or Getting Over Oversharing

I hosted this conversation at SXSW 2011 with Melissa Gira Grant, Cindy Gallop Jeff Jarvis and many other participants formerly known as the audience.

There has been a real backlash against openness as the word “oversharing” implies. As CNN noted, I think an “oversharing” accusation is often another persons way of saying “what you are saying is making me uncomfortable.”

Handling out feelings and learning how to be in public space together is what much of my work is about. I believe it’s a lot of what the shifting economy is about too. As I told Umair Haque in our TummelVision conversation: “We’re not going to think our way out of this economic/cultural place. We’ve got to feel our way out.”

The End of Shame conversation happened because it was the one Melissa most wanted to have and it was one of the bright moments of SXSW for me this year. It was a room of incredibly smart and interesting people who taught us more than we shared. And we know how to share.

Collaboration: My Rocking 2011 #SXSW Panel

Girl Walk // All Day

A recent delightful collaboration between remixing dancer Anne Marsen, videographer Jacob Krupnick and of course the music of mash up maestro Girl Talk.

Collaboration has been the key to indie success in the era of the web. It’s the key to how we make now: with each others stuff: music before us, an “audience” of co-creators. What’s the key to great collaboration?

I’ll explore at SXSW 3/15 11:am with amazing panelists, genius Allee Willis (September, Neutron Dance), Mary Jo Pehl (Rifftrax) and Kenyatta Cheese (Know Your Meme, Rocketboom) and you baby, you. I run “panels’ like I run my shows which means they are large, intimate conversations and we get into the nitty gritty. No turning away from what’s unsaid.

Allee alone is working buying a ticket to Austin and a hotel room for 2 days. Seriously. She’s one of my great creative inspirations and I couldn’t be more excited and honoured to have these folks together. Do not miss this conversation we’re craving.

The SXSW week in a nutshell

What follows is an ungrammatical list of sorts. It reflects the elated tiredness. This is why I’m waiting until after a short break to energize and collect my thoughts to dig into the deeper stuff about SXSW and the video.

Here is a short, hazy trip through my happy mind:

Launched a new web site for The Heather Gold Show, 4 shows in 2 cities. Great, packed shows. One was live-blogged on Valleywag twice as it happened and was declared “The best panel at SXSW, ever,” one show included getting to sing Flagpole Sitta with Jonathan Coulton, then following on the show withSean Nelson, one of the guys who wrote it.
We will have some great video up soon.

 8 tacos. endless numbers of great geeks and conversations, 1 movie about Humboldt County (so-so), 1 short video made in our apartment last summer about mannequins (awesome),


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