Posts Tagged ‘branding’

Imaging Accountability and Authenticity

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

McGrath Farms

In the pretense of living in the now, it is not that uncommon for both people and business to overlook the manner in which they are able to affect things on the global stage. The connection culture of today, brings with it, an ever greater demand for accountability.

Accountability is one of “those things”. It is a tenet which is (hopefully) acquired at some stage in a person’s life, and (again,hopefully) as they grow, and the scope of the world in which they live enlarges, it scales. If it does not, you really could see some larger scale problems arise.

In his blog today, Seth Godin writes on going Beyond  Geography.  A lot of us who are connected to Seth via his groups: Triiibes, Linchpins or Krypton College, have been watching him expand the scope of his work, and are finding it a large and scalable resource in the building of our own projects.

Something many do not know about my work (I am a surf photographer right?) is that due to my connection to our world, and manner that I experience it, that I am frequently asked to engage in organizational development for scalable concept Companies and Organizations.

Recently, after a number of things came to light in a project which I was heavily invested in over a period close to two years, and just as it appeared I had brought funding and some needed structure to the company, I resigned. Why? Accountability. Whose? My own. I could no longer be on “that team” and do what they needed me to do. So I left. The act of doing so of course, is like tearing a piece out of one’s life. But when that portion threatens to corrupt the whole, we must make a choice.

Right now I am involved in the development of a total of six, large concept, scalable companies in my work.

One which I am Co Founder of, is the Oceanlovers Collective, which is a concept company designed to connect people who love and know the Ocean, to a world which does not have the first hand understanding which the Ocean Tribe possesses.

The idea behind the company, is to develop Ocean themed media and products which reflect the Authenticity of the Tribe members, and convert both the intellectual property and any profit into benefit, for Change Agents around the world. Oceanlovers is a connector.

Oceanlovers

The other projects range in interest from benefit driven Non Profits, Technology based solutions for Global Scale Environmental challenges, to product based Companies who want to increase their level of connection and authenticity, as they pursue market traction and growth.

Of course in between all of this, lies my ongoing Editorial work, as well as my work with Corbis Images.

In each and every one of these projects, the most recurrent themes are Accountability and Authenticity.

Because without those two things as siblings, nothing scales correctly.

It is frequently said that a picture is worth a¬† thousand words. Indeed. I frequently state in public speaking forums “A Photo can tell a thousand lies. Wouldn’t you rather it communicate some Truth?”

For an Artist, indeed for all who choose to communicate the creativity which love causes to flow through us in our work, it is our own hearts which we must diligently watch over.

It is illustrated to me repeatedly in all these things, that it is a battlefield out there.

The best that we can do is to not become a victim of that.

Accountability is our shield.

Aloha nui loa.

Bali

Fore

Thursday, February 24th, 2011
 Sculptural Elements

Sculptural Elements

This is number five in the series on Loves. It is actually entitled Four. (Really.) If you understand the play on words with the copy title “Fore”, well then, you “get” Art and Artists. That is a good thing. We like it when people get us. It is why artists do what they do. ART is our love.

Robb Havassy just left, after a 30 hour visit. When he had arrived, I was working through a series of images where I had been subtly taken by surprise at how the ocean had sculpted rather unique looking gems my Canon 5DM2 had managed to catch, while I happily and possibly very quickly, was ducking in to, or out of, a waterbash.  (reads: having fun)

Robb fronts a huge collective of people who have several things in common. The principle of which, is that they are artists, who comprise the cultural tableau that is Surf Culture. One of the interesting things to me about Robb is his surfboard collection. I have taken to calling them bastard children. 350 surfboard sculptures produced by a Corporation, to sit in mall clothing stores across the US.

The children are copies of a surfboard Robb had left at the home of a well know photographer and friend of his. As circumstances would have it, the board was left by Robb as a sort of gift to the photographer (along with a painting) and had been used in a shoot. Then later, copied “to a T”, and placed in stores to help brand and authenticate a company whose modus was “borrowing” from surfing to brand themselves, because in fact, contrary to surf theme inspired companies, this one was completely disconnected from surfing. They were a clothing company. They do not surf nor contribute to the culture. They take. That is their History. Robb’s experience was simply one of many examples the the Company’s branding modus.

Corporate Disclaimer

Corporate Disclaimer

Here is the funny part. On top of coming to Ventura to hang with designer Donna Von Hoesslin and I (creative sparks fly), work on Surf Story Volume 2 (which should publish late 2011), Robb was in town to pick up the first surfboard he had ever shaped, which was produced at the shop of Dennis Ryder.  (If you do not know about Dennis, you really should. Not only is he a historic figure in Ventura Surf Culture, but is a pioneer in surfboard design development.) But Robb was also getting another shaping lesson from me, and doing board# 2.

What got me excited, is that he brought two of the bastards up with him! I had never seen them. You see, Robb got those 350 surfboards back AND a small settlement in a suit against that apparel company. This was the catalyst for our meeting awhile back.

Robb and his bastard children.

Robb and his bastard children.

It had been the proverbial young David, taking on a sage old Goliath. Robb had used the proceeds to fund Surfstory Vol 1, his statement on the authenticity of Art and Culture. That is a done deal. But 350 bastard children remain in a storage unit in OC.

Robb, Donna and I, and now some of the leadership in Project Kaisei, have been brainstorming concepts whereby we may utilize the bastards,  which could really now be construed as cultural effluent, with faux fin boxes and foam gouges where the company logo was removed, and place some value back into the world with his collection of plastic trash.

This resonates with me because I have built close to 40,000 real surfboards. That translates to 40,000 people who developed a relationship with the ocean on something my hands and heart helped conceive. These mall store boards? Though replicas of Robb’s board, they were merely store fixtures, some even with leash plugs built into odd places, to be used for tie down points as the boards sat in malls, silent icons to materialism and faux lifestyle, whispering sweet lies to all who admired what they thought that the bastards stood for. The irony of this hit me instantly when first I heard about Robb. Surfboards are symbolic of people- surfers. They are meant to be magic carpet vehicles¬† to adventure in a watery wonderland.

We became fast friends of course. All of us.

But that is Art, and why Art, is one of my many loves.

Cosmos

Cosmos

Seth Godin has this to say about Art, Artists and Artistry. Simple brilliance. His Art inspires me.

Richard Lang is one of the many bright lights, who as an artist, is collaborating with us on Project Kaisei, plastics awareness, and changing the world through Art. Here is a fantastic video which illustrates how he and his wife Judith do that.

Art is for everybody and can be produced by anyone. Here is a great example of that.

The imagery below in the gallery is a small sample of a collection of refuse. I say trash, because I had overlooked these images in first edit of the collection I just built here in Ventura, California, in what may be a historic benchmark for the ocean this Jan-February, 2011.

I did not frame or intend to build these. They just happened as a result of an accord between perfect meteorological conditions, pristine ocean, and me swimming 57 times with my camera in 34 days. Spawn of my world.

Click on any of the images to toggle through as a slide show.  Foreward!

Surfing Is

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
David Pu'u, Self Expression

David Pu'u, Self Expression

The motivation for this piece began with the publication of the following story in the WSJ, to which I contributed an image of my girlfriend Donna Von Hoesslin. Read the comment section, post story, and you will see a diversity of opinions (including mine) that are quite revelatory about each person‚Äôs point of view regarding surfing. Those statements reveal everything about those people’s depth of involvement with the ocean. The commentary engaged me.

I have always been a surfer. At four years of age I knew that goal was what my life would be about. To know the ocean, (and to surf) became my path.

In a lifetime of study and involvement in all things water and ocean related, I learned many things about the ocean that never cease to amaze and moderate me as a human being.

Waterwoman, Hailey Partridge

Waterwoman, Hailey Partridge

Water has got to be the single greatest creative foil for mankind ever. It always wins. (You cannot compress it.) It is alive. Within it, and especially the sea, is contained the genetic signature of all life, which ever existed.

But what I find remarkable, is that as a Hawaiian, my ancestors gifted the sport, and the resulting culture that arose, for reasons many may not readily comprehend. I have long been convinced that surfing and the resulting relationship with the ocean serves to be a mirror of who and what a person is. In it, is a near perfect reflection of everybody’s true compass heading for their lives.

As I document and observe the people involved with the ocean, to me, the depth of every single human being is readily apparent by seeing how they relate to water.

In  a world of people aspiring to be called: surfers, surfriders, eco warriors, watermen, and all manner of ocean branded things, it is readily apparent, what surfing is to those people. You can always tell who really comprehends the ocean,  and whether that person is there to simply use it to brand their movement or maybe just find a means of validating themselves.

Hard to fake it with something so vital and alive as the sea. She always triumphs. Even if her own time frame is an eternal one. It is we who fade into her, and eventually she is us.

Performance as a Mirror of Involvement

Performance as a Mirror of Involvement

Seth Godin was thinking along similar lines today. His Blog.

My ancestors knew exactly what they were doing.

Like the ocean, truth is eternal.

Carmine Rush

Carmine Rush

Best to embrace it.

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

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