Friday, 18 January 2013

Now you see it

I don't know if it's just great branding or really something different, but I love the idea of Pop-Up Magazine.

The concept comes from San Francisco journalist Douglas McGray who in 2008 looked around at the continuing separation between different kinds of 'content producers' (print journalists, radio, filmmakers) and wondered what would happen if you remixed a magazine as a stage performance.

Pop-Up Magazine could be seen as part of the burst of new formats - Ignite, TED, Pecha Kucha - designed to bring performance to presentations, to give a little hook beyond the usual lecture or address that turns a talk into an event.

As an article in Mother Jones notes, Pop-Up Magazine might be a little unusual in that it asks attendees to be in the moment:
Pop-Up remains that rare had-to-be-there experience—no photos, iPhone videos, or live tweeting, please. "We thought, 'Well, let's just make the show for the people in the room,'" McGray explains. "It was nice to just ask people to unplug for a couple hours. A friend of mine was sitting in the balcony and he said it was maybe the only time he'd ever been to a live thing where he'd look down in the audience and he couldn't see a single glowing screen."
The pressing need of the device generation to insta-archive our lives fascinates me (I'm still collecting ideas and snippets for my Ben Cauchi talk), and I have to remind myself occasionally to put down my phone and pay proper attention, not broadcasting attention (that alert but superficial kind of attention you pay when you're skimming for the best soundbite to tweet or the best angle to photograph).

Speaking of which, posting here is going to get lighter over the next five weeks or so. I have this rather amazing new job to continue to come to grips with, four extracurricular deadlines to hit, and February is the usual lovely and exhausting pile-up of Kiwi Foo and Webstock. I'll probably be cutting back to one or two posts a week, but try to ramp it back up in March. I'll see you round.

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