Experiment: Mindshare



What do you get when you throw in curiosity, technology, inspiration, music,
art and liquor into a petri dish?


To find Inspiration through "Enlightened Debauchery"

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One evening a month at the Lacy Studio Lofts.
The minds of Douglas Campbell and Adam Mefford


The moment I hung the ID tag around my neck I was swept up like a ball bearing in a pinball machine. This is what it would be like if the internet jumped out of the box and grabbed your arm for a trip into Alice's Wonderland of ideas and madmen. There was an interactive game of Bubbles created by Eric Gradman, next to a computerized Foos Ball game by uWink, outside DJ Android Cartel's music was amplified by the surrounding warehouses like giant boomboxes.

The speakers that evening was a potpourri consisting of William Kohnen and his Submersibles, Eric Gradman's robots gone bad, Brent Bushnell of uWink playing with his food, Lynn Langit of SmartCare/Zambia shared her brains and Will Watkins showed us how to create a species of Hedonistic Sodomites.

Questions for Douglas Campbell of Mindshare:

What connections have been made so far? Have there been any inspired ideas or projects because of it? (either personally, and/or others)

A great question. There's a bunch of questions floating around out there. There's also people with a bunch of answers. I'm inspired by trying to connect the people with questions to the people with answers. While it's hard to quantify exactly what Mindshare has directly affected I can tell you that I'm starting to see the repercussions in a variety of areas; facilitating professional partnerships, inspiring ideas and solutions from unexpected avenues, and the forging of a more energized and talented network in the LA area.

One of our first 2008 Mindshare's showcased the talents of Caitlyn Carradine .She showed us slides of her process from a particular project that wound up as a billboard on Sunset Ave! The following week we staged a performance at Mindshare's space and she sold more than 5G's of paintings!

In the future we'd like to have more concrete examples of connections, ideas and projects that Mindshare has spawned. We're looking at various ideas for making Mindshare more 'results-oriented' in an effort to further define the event's validity.

Why is Mindshare so Valuable?

In it's current incarnation, we're not making out like bandits financially. Most of the ticket price covers the bar and logistical costs. Where we really profit is in social capital. On a personal level, I've made countless contacts that directly increase my resources and abilities. From design to business, from tech to spirituality, numerous disparate aspects of life are represented at every event! I call this the "Chocolate Covered-Pretzel Effect". Just like the candied treat keeps your tastebuds guessing, "Sweet, crunchy, SALTY! WHOA!", Mindshare offers the brain a similar experience!

It amazes me every month when attendees come up to me and say: "Thank you so much! This is unbelievable, I never knew this sort of thing existed in LA! I'll see you next month!" That feels pretty fantastic.

What is a favorite moment from a Mindshare event?

Wow, tough question! There's nothing for it but to give you a few:


One of the most intellectually stimulating moments was when a futurist and a scientist got into a heated debate on the feasibility of the Singularity - and the ability to digitize our consciousnesses! After some time a Russian philosopher got involved and suggested that John Smart, the presenting futurist, would probably be happier dead than voice his 'far-fetched dreams of living forever!'. I stepped in at the right moment, lauding the differences of opinion present at Mindshare!


A CalTech scientist by the name of Tristan Ursell presented on the evolution of color and illustrated many of his points with visual illusions. His final illusion consisted of showing us a negatively colored landscape for a short time. The next slide was a brightly colored version of the same image. We were instructed to quickly look away and then back to it; in fact it was in black and white all along!


Last month a speaker canceled on us last minute. Rather than just fill the gap with tunes from our resident DJs Android Cartel, Harb Sidhu offered to freestyle alongside with them on the Tabla - a classic Indian drum set. This created an unexpected and exciting effect - maybe the world's first!


Each month we showcase new technology and interface exhibits. In August we got our resident hardware hacker to show his latest game: Brain Pong. Yes, I used the keys and he only used his brain - AND HE WON!


We got a escape artist from LA's Magic Castle to come show us some of his tricks. Rather than escape from situations, as expected, he proceeded to put a variety of things up his nose; and ice pick, a meat temperature guage and for the grande finale, a condom which he inserted in his nose and coughed out of his mouth - INFLATED! He had to leave shortly afterwards: "the spermicide always plays havoc with my sinuses!!"


One of our biggest selling events (what a surprise!) showcased Satine Phoenix, an adult fetish film star. Some critics initially questioned what sort of event this REALLY was, but I stood fiirmly to my belief that all types of minds were ripe for sharing at Mindshare. As it turns out, the well-spoken Satine had repeatedly spoken at UC Irvine to their Psychology students. At Mindshare she shared an insight into her life in porn and how she differentiated sex 'at work' and sex 'at home'. Eventually I had to forcefully stop the questions - everyone wanted to know more!

What could be the future of Mindshare?

Some people have compared the position of Mindshare with the what was going on during the Age of Enlightenment; small groups gathering together to cognitively and expressively question the world around them. It's paramount that we, as intelligent humans, remain curious and excited about our existence. It's Mindshare's aim to offer a forum to inspire that energy while simultaneously fostering and enriching our local community.


If you like your school of thought and attitudes shaken up and refreshed, then Mindshare is the event to be at. To find out about Mindshare's next event click here.


Eric Gradman and his Robots Gone Bad
Photo: Jake Ogle


Douglas Campbell in striped suit with other Mindshare revelers.
Photo: Four Eyes Photography


Photo: C. Wygal

Photo at top: Curious Josh

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