My TEDx Talk

I’m happy to report that my TEDx talk from last year is up. (Thanks TEDx Phoenix!)

Aside from just showing/explaining pictures, the talk makes the case for creating absurdist/surreal work that disrupts our preconceived notions about the world through small, intimate experiences. This type of work can defy conventional expectations by presenting the hidden “talents” of everyday things that we easily take for granted. On a handheld level, these projects rail against unnecessary/unhelpful assumptions—the kind that lurk in the unexamined, quotidian corners of our day-to-day. In these very places of non-examination, the tiniest of subversions can open up small, alternate realities and become amplified into (modest) conversion experiences about our surroundings.

The talk aims to articulate that idea. I wouldn’t say that this idea presents itself in the foreground of everything I make, but it is a consideration… (And this is the second time I’ve ever been on a stage, so even though I am smiling: it was terrifying!)

The talk was so short and paired-down that I didn’t get to thank anyone or cite sources or influences, so here’s a little bit of that!:  Here is the link to the large-scale NY Times collaboration, where you can read stories from the Utopian future circa 2008. That project was organized (and largely written by) the Yes Men and Steve Lambert, although there were probably 1000+ small contributors. Daniel made the paper’s layout, typography, etc. look just like a real NY Times. Reaction footage came from Joseph Huff-Hannon‘s videos, mostly… (I think) Thanks Jeff Rutzky for introducing me to the looping card format and helping me make my desktop cutter work, which has been the source of many hours of frustrating but fulfilling experimentation. Thanks Daniel (and friends) for providing me with feedback on how to translate my ideas into plain english. Photo credit goes to @goproaudio aka Nick Taylor.

 

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56 Responses to “My TEDx Talk”
  1. Very inspiring Kelly! Great, great talk!

  2. Anita Eradla says:

    Very inspiring Kelli…Thank you.

  3. Austin P says:

    This was a really great talk! Im so glad that I got you speak live.

  4. evasardina says:

    this was the first time i heard about the NY Times project and i must say its just awesome. thanks for this amazingly inspiring talk!
    greetings from slovenia
    eva

  5. Amazing work and fantastic ideas!! Wish we could permantly change the news to an ideal alternate world!

  6. Mark says:

    Thank you this. Ive work in advertising, on the account side, for 25 years. My wife trained as an illustrator, stared as mechanical artist (Im sue you dont know what that is) became an art director, who became a copy/art creative director. She taught me to love type, white space, line weight, x height, the very elements of what appears to be order on a page but disrupts the eye and the mind to stop and learn. She recently passed away. Your presentation at TEDPhx reminded me why I married her. My first gift to her was an antique type book. Thank you.

  7. Tyler Norris says:

    Great talk, Kelli! Youve definitely challenged me to think more disruptively!

  8. Martina says:

    That was a really good presentation! You are so great! Whoop whoop!

  9. Kelli says:

    Thank you all so much for the compliments. I’m so grateful that you took time to watch and and found it meaningful.

    Let me know if you have any suggestions, critiques, ideas… things I should read… etc…

  10. Felicity says:

    You are a sparkling gift to the world Kelli.

  11. Patty says:

    Great TED Talk. Keep up the good – disruptive – work!

  12. Wow, this was perhaps the most inspirational message I’ve heard in a while, came here via a mention at swiss miss. It is a powerful message I am sharing with fellow educators and my design students. Teh awesome!

  13. Niki says:

    // Thankyou so much Kelli for this amazing Talk!!
    it’s just inspiration overload// <3

  14. Jacquelyn says:

    Loved your talk! You are so inspiring and talented : )

  15. leisai says:

    what an inspiring talk! Thank you so much :)

  16. Amy Randolph says:

    WOW! This was wonderful! Thanks for sharing your insight and your humor and your expression of something meaningful.

  17. msk says:

    Just saw your talk on TED – wonderful! I hope your mind works in this way for decades to come! Wonderful!

  18. Tonette says:

    Hi Kelly, I saw your TEDx talk and I was speechless! Your work is really awesome and I’m sure many artists were inspired after watching. Congratulations and keep doing great work!

  19. doug havens says:

    This was a great talk – I can relate to the terrifying part – but you were great – I’m inspired and it helped me articulate some of what I do in my own thought processes.

    Congratulations on so many great projects -

  20. Ellen says:

    Truly inspiring! So lucky I stumbled upon your presentation. (And BTW, you didn’t look terrified at all!). Your talk made my 2 hours of mindless surfing worthwhile.

  21. That was amazing, thanks for all you do, best 16 minutes of my day :)

  22. Brad Dunn says:

    I loved the TEDx talk. I have shared it with several in my family. The idea of disruptive wonder is similar to an idea that I got from my parents except without the wonder part. My father always spoke of the irrational man. Someone who did not accept status quo as good enough. My mother always told me not to take the soap which was a reference to the Holocaust. It was meant to convey the idea that you shouldn’t just follow the crowd and accept the unacceptable. Your talk conveyed these ideas with wit and elegance. Thank you for your effort.

  23. ziryab says:

    Luv’d it! The world is an ocean of creative possibilities few dare to explore beyond :D
    peaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace

  24. Tom Harrison says:

    Design is incredibly important to me. Because it is so elusive. To me.

    I read Design of Everyday Things and cringe when it is profanely referred to as DOET. Can you say: miss the point?

    I design and develop software. My designs are sublime. They are often met with deaf ears. Or dumb. Like a joke: if you have to explain…

    Anyway, I was thrilled by your TED talk. I did not laugh out loud, I clapped. COL.

    Tom

  25. Kelli,

    What a wonderful speech,
    What a creative person you are,
    What a presentation skill…
    Ahhhh
    :-) )))

    Actually, I had my speech at TEDx about creativity back in February.
    Would be happy if you see that. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qULiMev7Hug

    …And is there any way to get that audio wedding card?

    :-)

  26. Kim says:

    Hi Kelli,

    Just watched your TED talk and was moved to tears. Another nut i thought, but a nut with courage and that has kept her sweet side. At the age of +- I picked up the courage to be nutty again. Seeing your work made me realize that i have a lot of catching up to do. Thanks for the inspiration and the sweet flavour of seeing the world in a very personal way and expressing that.
    Kind regards
    Kim

  27. nassos says:

    Your presentation is one of the most inspiring things I have seen lately. It is now standard material for my classes, as I have showed it in my students as an example of pure creativity, even if it is about another discipline. Especially for Greeks, that are under a state of nation wide mass depression, this is helping to motivate a lot! Thank you. N.

  28. Aki says:

    I came to here instead of illsnorenaked.com after watching this amazing talk.
    Extremely inspiring and creative ideas! Thank you for being so awesome :D

  29. Jonathan Lin says:

    Hello Kelli! Fantastic TED talk! I was strongly influenced and inspired by the things you said, and am so taken by your wonderfully creative reshuffling of the letters in your website! Very original and great! Thanks again for the talk – it was such a pleasure!

  30. Linda says:

    Hi Kelli! I watched your TED talk and I was very inspired by the way how you work with concepts and produce wonderful design outcomes. My brain picked up so many strings of inspiration that I couldn’t fall asleep from the sheer excitement ;) Well, I thought about it for a few days and decided to base my next project (design of a chair) on your “disruptive wonder” idea. I’ll keep you posted :D
    All the best. You are wonderful!
    Linda

  31. Jacqueline says:

    Happy to say I’d visited the Kelli Anderson site and been on the KA bandwagon after she’d been mentioned in my graphic design class. All prior to seeing her TED talk while browsing through the TED website. Great talk, Kelli, I’m glad you were able to share what we do with others. It is important, I thank you.

  32. Rob says:

    Inspiring, refreshing and funny! Thanks for the disruptive wonder.

  33. so excited about this. inspired today, thank you!

  34. Thanks Kelli for such a fun and inspiring talk. It goes to show that artists/designers are not flocks of sheep, but rather agents for change and insight. I enjoyed it so much!!!! keep on mixing things up!

  35. Elle says:

    Hello, :)
    I just wanted to say that I loved your talk!! It was so inspiring and I loved your whole concept.
    I take graphic design in high school, and while I’m not exactly a designer, I loved the way you presented the way you design. In a way I think it’s sort of the way I live, refusing to be standardised and “normal” like everyone else and trying instead to look at everything differently, but I’ve never really looked at it in the same way as you.
    Anyways to stop my rambling, I now have the phrase “disruptive wonder” stuck in my head. I love it. It rings like a bell, it just sounds so cute and cheeky and so pretty, and I will definitely be sharing this video with everyone I know.
    Thank you!

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