OPENING PERFORMANCE

OPENING PERFORMANCE

d3Horse

Karen Graham is a dancer, choreographer and writer. She's been a featured dancer with world-renowned post-modern choreographer David Gordon for more than 20 years, and is the recipient of the 2002 New York Dance and Performance Award for Sustained Achievement (BESSIE Award). Karen toured Europe with Baryshinkov's White Oak Dance Project, performing in the work of Lar Lubovitch and Mark Morris, and has been a special guest in a wide variety of projects in dance, theater, and film. Most recently she developed movement for, and appears in, John Turtorro's new work, Romance and Cigarettes.

Karen founded d3Horse in 1998 to explore issues of transition and identity through an integrated use of dance, theater, music, and text. She is very pleased to have created A New Life especially for the opening of this year's PUSH conference.

Dan Illian is known for his range, humor, and power as an actor, whether in post-modern or classical interpretations of plays such as Checkov's The Cherry Orchard, the International Theater of New York's Medea, or Lars Noren's The Last Supper.  A member of The Guthrie Theater Acting Company for four seasons, Dan has spent the last then years on stages from off-Broadway to Turkey to La MaMa. He recently appeared in the independent short film The Interpreter, and will begin shooting the independent feature film Jim, in the starring role this fall.

Illian has worked with d3Horse since its inception and is looking forward to performing again in Minneapolis for the premiere of A New Life.


BLURRED REALITIES / Virtual Verite

PUSH 2006: A New Life, Session 1

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Welcome to the alternative reality of the virtual world, complete with its own economies, games, etiquette, big players and big questions. What does it mean that more and more of us are living life through our fingertips and our imaginations? We'll take a look at where this fascinating and ambiguous new take on reality is leading us.


DAVID ALLEN

Widely recognized as the world’s leading expert on personal and organizational productivity, David Allen’s twenty–five–year pioneering research and coaching of high–performing professionals have earned him Forbes’ recognition as one of the top five executive coaches in the United States. Author of the best–selling book, Getting Things Done: the Art of Stress–Free Productivity (“GTD” as the method is popularly known), David has shown millions how to transform a fast-paced, overwhelming, over-committed life into one that is balanced, integrated, relaxed, and effective.

A consultant, educator, and popular keynote speaker to such diverse clients as Citigroup, General Mills, Stanford University, New York Life, Microsoft and the US Navy, Mr. Allen continues to enjoy delivering his often sold–out Getting Things Done seminars to ever–expanding public audiences in cities throughout the United States and Europe. Fast Company Magazine called David “one of the world’s most influential thinkers” in the arena of personal productivity, for his outstanding programs and writing on time and stress management, the power of aligned focus and vision, and his groundbreaking methodologies in management and executive peak performance.

David is the founder and President of the David Allen Company, whose inspirational seminars, coaching, educational materials and practical products present individuals and organizations with a revolutionary new model for winning at the Game of Work and Business of Life. He lives in Ojai, CA with his wife Kathryn where, when he is not tending to his bonsai trees, spinning around in his suped–up MiniCooper, and other recreational pursuits, he continues to write articles and essays that address today’s ever changing issues about living and working in a fast paced world and attaining a work–life balance.


MARSHA KINDER

Marsha Kinder is a Professor of Critical Studies in USC’s School of Cinema–TV where she has been teaching international film since 1980. In 1997 she became Director of The Labyrinth Project, a research intiative on interactive narrative at USC’s Annenberg Center, producing database documentaries in collaboration with independent filmmakers (Pat O’Neill, Carroll Parrott Blue and Peter Forgács) and writers (John Rechy and Norman Klein). Working at the pressure point between theory and practice, Labyrinth has specialized in two subgenres—digital city symphonies and interactive memoirs—that have been exhibited at museums and festivals worldwide and have won major awards (the Jury Award for New Narrative Forms at Sundance, best overall design from New Media Invision, and the British Academy Award for best Interactive Design in the Learning Category). Kinder is now producing on–line courseware on Russian Modernism, with a role–playing game at its center called “Montage” and a series of interactive installations that combine science and cultural history. The first of these projects, “Three Winters in the Sun: Einstein in California,” appeared at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles as part of a large travelling exhibition on Albert Einstein. Two others on neuroscience are now in development: “A Tale of Two MAOs: The Neurobiology of Anxiety and Aggression,” and “Tangles: Unravelling the Biological and Cultural Mysteries of Alzheimer’s Disease.” Also a cultural theorist and film scholar, Kinder has published over 100 essays and ten books, including Blood Cinema, Playing with Power, and Kids’ Media Culture. She was the founding editor of Dreamworks (1980-87), and since 1977 has served on the editorial board of Film Quarterly. In recognition of her innovative transdisciplinary research, in 2001 she was named a University Professor (an honor bestowed on only 17 USC faculty), and in fall 2005 was appointed USC’s Associate Vice Provost for Research Advancement in the Humanities.


FENG MENGBO

“...I’d rather be considered a game artist than a Political Pop artist...This doesn't mean that I don’t care about history, simply that I can’t be responsible for it.”

Feng Mengbo is one of China’s leading new media artists whose work uses the styles and structures of contemporary electronic games. He combines this with cultural influences of China, from traditional opera legends to more recent stories from the Cultural Revolution and Hong Kong action cinema. Mengbo has worked in paint, video and more recently digital media, to produce narrative pieces, full of computer game images, mixed with symbols from communist China. Since 1996 Mengbo has worked with computers, not as a passive player, but making CD–Roms and games. The first CD–Rom piece by Mengbo was “My Private Album” in 1996, which is an interactive family photo album. Following that he has made a series of interactive multimedia works using the structures of commercial software with Chinese themes such as “Game Over,” “The Long March,” and “The War of Resistance against Japan.”

The interactivity is not the point of computer art for Feng Mengbo; the key is communication. He feels that such exchange substitutes for emptiness in contemporary life, replaces the common faith in myth, and illuminates the theater of the mind. His work has been shown around the world and won several awards, including the prestigious Prix Ars Electronica 2004 for best interactive art.

JULIAN DIBBELL

Julian Dibbell has been called "our hot link to the intricacies of cyberspace" (Kit Reed). He is the author of My Tiny Life: Crime and Passion in a Virtual World, an account of his time spent living in a virtual community and the role it played in his "real" life. Dibbell's newest work, Play Money: Or, How I Quit My Day Job And Struck It Rich in Virtual Loot Farming, is a wild ride to the outer limits of the virtual world where real money meets fantasy gaming (expected release July 2006). Dibbell's writing has appeared in Details, Spin, Harper's, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Le Monde, The Village Voice, and Time. Currently a contributing editor for Wired magazine, he lives in South Bend, Indiana.


MARK McCAHILL

After receiving a bachelor's degree in chemistry at the University of Minnesota, Mark took a job doing analytical chemistry and analyzing the results on the campus mainframe. In 1989, Mark lead a team at the University of Minnesota that developed one of the the first popular Internet e–mail clients (POPmail) for the Macintosh (and later the PC).

In 1991, Mark led the original Internet Gopher development team and helped invent a simple way to navigate distributed information resources on the Internet. Internet Gopher’s menu–based hypermedia paved the way for the popularization of the Web and was the de–facto standard for Internet information systems in the early–to–mid 1990s. In 1994–95 Mark’s team developed GopherVR, a 3–D user interface to Internet Gopherspace.

Mark’s current interest is in applying the lessons learned from the first generation Internet information systems to Croquet. Mark is an assistant director at the Office of Information Technology and leads a group of developers supporting online instructional software systems.


DAVID SMITH

David A. Smith is the chief system architect for Croquet. The Croquet project is the culmination of David's work on 3D component–based architectures for the development and deployment of complex peer–to–peer environments including interactive entertainment. His first experiments in multi–user systems and interactive environments laid the groundwork for much of the architecture and user interface of Croquet. David is a co–founder and CTO of Qwaq, Inc., a Croquet Internet services company.

He is also co–founder and CTO of 3DSolve, Inc., the Simulation and Learning company. David created a number of ground–breaking interactive 3D applications including: “The Colony”, the very first 3D interactive game and precursor to today’s “first person shooters” like Quake... except Colony ran on a Macintosh in 1987. “The Colony” won the “Best Adventure Game of the Year” award from MacWorld Magazine and was declared one of the “Top 10 Mac Gaming Thingies of the Past 1,000 Years”. In 1989, David used the technologies developed for the game to create a virtual set and virtual camera system that was used by Jim Cameron for the movie "The Abyss". Based upon this experience, David founded Virtus Corporation in 1990 and developed Virtus Walkthrough the first real-time 3D design application for personal computers.

Walkthrough won the very first “Breakthrough Product of the Year” from MacUser Magazine, and Best Drawing Package from PC Computing Magazine.

David co–founded Red Storm Entertainment with Tom Clancy, and Timeline Computer Entertainment with Michael Crichton. He also co–founded Neomar, a wireless enterprise infrastructure company.