Tonight, David Byrne presented I ♥ Powerpoint at the annual Marshall McLuhan Lecture to a whole bunch of excited New Yorkers. I was able to snag one of the free tickets and watch Mr. Byrne wax poetic about the PPT.

David Byrne presenting

I'll be honest, although I was curious what he had to say about Powerpoint, I was more interested in gawking at him. In that regard, the presentation was a success. He was pretty awkward on stage, but in a cute puppy dog/little kid way. He would often laugh at jokes before he told them or without telling them at all. It detracted from the actual information he was presenting, but it made the event a lot more exciting.

His love affair with power point is two-pronged. Aside from creating art with it, he also is interested in its usage in both unusual and everyday scenarios. The slide you see above was something he actually found on the web, which is hilarious. He showed one or two that were built with humor intended, but my favorite stories were both related to NASA.

The first was about an astronaut with whom he was emailing while his friend was up in space. The astronaut sent him a PPT presentation that showed aerial photographs with krazy fonts describing them (i.e. showing a photo of Argentina and adding labels like "That's a glacier!"). Another was a Powerepoint sent from Houston to Cape Canaveral that explained why a certain mission was bound to fail (I think), but the presentation lulled them a bit and it helped to pacify the situation.

David Byrne is an amazing person, but I don't know if I would want him to be my professor. Still, his atypical demeanor resulted in an entertaining Q & A session when someone decided to turn their "question" into a bit of a rant. If you get the chance to see this talk you should go see it, especially if you are a Byrne freak, like myself.

p.s. the photo is one of the first I've taken with the s710a. It's not so hot in low light, but it was handy to have.