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Wednesday, Feb 4 2009
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Amnesia Bar in the Mission District holds its open mike and its karaoke event on the same night every week — Tuesday. Week after week, the place is packed, because people want to share. They want to do something onstage, so badly that they'll even sit still for other people doing something onstage. It's the same all over the city, and all over the world, wherever a stage is made ready for the public. (And Tuesday must be a long, long shift for the bartender.) But these types of events are conducive only to writers, musicians, and comedians, mostly. Artists' Television Access has a monthly film open mike, but other than that, open mike nights are limited to what can be performed live and quickly. At Pecha Kucha, though, the open format is extended, via PowerPoint, to visual artists — it was invented by architects in Tokyo who had no place to show off. Pecha Kucha, Japanese for "chatter," has rules: Each person gets 20 slides, each onscreen for 20 seconds. That's it. Don't argue. But whether you're a font nerd, an outgoing graphics guy, or a fledgling fashion designer — the event is design- rather than fine-art–oriented — the screen is yours. (Presenters sign up in advance; this month's spots are closed, but see the site for next month.)
Wed., Feb. 18, 8:20 p.m., 2009

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Hiya Swanhuyser

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