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AETHER: Is the Medium Still the Message?

Design Kompany & Orangutan Swing

Thursday, April 12, 2012 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EDT)

AETHER: Is the Medium Still the Message?

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Type Remaining End Quantity
NYC Creatives, Business People, Students & Dialogue Seekers 29 Tickets Ended Free  

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Event Details

Thursday, April 12 in New York

Event flierA conversation about things unquantifiable. 

—before quantum physics, there was a theory that there's this physical stuff through which light passed.

If modern conversation is light, how does the aether shape its quality?

AETHER is a roundtable dialogue: a circle, with a panel picked from diverse backgrounds, who will anchor, but not driver,  an improvised conversation.

Come to listen or come with opinions to share. Everyone will have a chance to speak.


  • Ben Popken

    Ben Popken is the former managing editor of, a leading consumer blog started by Gawker and sold to Consumer Reports in 2009. Starting in 2006, Ben and his team built the blog up from zero to international renown, promoting true customer service horror stories from his readers and giving them tools for solving their consumer complaints on their own. Now a freelancer, Ben is a contributor to and, and a startup and blog consultant. Ben Popken has appeared on The Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, NBC Nightly News, Nightline, 20/20, Fox Business News, Bloomberg TV, All Things Considered, To The Point, Marketplace, On The Money, CNBC, CNNMoney, and The Brian Lehrer Show, and others, has appeared in articles in The New York Times, FORTUNE, Chicago Tribune, Business Week, Brandweek, The Columbia Journalism Review, etc and so forth. He enjoys performing improv comedy, playing soccer, and living in Brooklyn with his wife.

    On twitter: @bpopken


    Michael Neff

    Michael Neff is an artist, designer, and photographer living in Brooklyn, whom we met at one of our roundtables in Seattle and kept in touch with ever since. He is known for The Night Shadow, an ongoing project in which he outlines shadows with chalk and photographs the result. Neff edits NSFW Magazine with photographer and writer Mark Velasquez. Michael is an alum of the Rhode Island School of Design and co-president of theRISD NY alumni club.

    On Twitter: @heyneff




    Andrew Marshall

    Andrew C. Marshall [Drew] is the principal of Primed Associates, LLC, an innovation consultancy. He lives at “the center of it all” in NJ and works with clients across the USA. Prior to founding Primed Associates, LLC, Drew spent ten years with Princeton-based management consulting firm Kepner-Tregoe where he rose to become a partner and the chief innovation officer. He co-hosts the weekly innovation-focused Twitter chat, #innochat, produces Ignite Princeton and contributes to the Innovation Excellence and Collaborative Innovationblogs.

    On Twitter: @drewCM


    Dan Blank

    Dan Blank is the founder of, which provides writers and publishers the strategy and tactics they need to impact their communities and build their legacies. He has worked with more than 500 writers, a wide range of publishers, and regularly speaks at conferences about branding, content strategy, social media, and marketing. You can read his blog at

    On Twitter: @DanBlank


     Scott McDowell

    Scott McDowell works with teams and leaders to generate organizational potency. He can take the risk out of hiring your management team. His best clients like to tango or tussle, but usually not both. Andy Warhol was right: “Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.“ Scott once produced MTV’s 120 Minutes and currently hosts the weekly freeform radio show The Long Rally on WFMUHe blogs.

    On Twitter: @mcd_owell


    Rick Liebling

    Our moderator for this event, Rick Liebling , is the creative culturalist at Y&R Advertising. He works across multiple teams and disciplines to help accounts understand the changing nature of consumer behavior and the ways in which brands and consumers create and interact with culture. Rick has more than a decade of experience working with some of the most recognizable global brands. Most recently, his focus has been in the digital realm, working with clients to develop integrated marketing programs that leverage digital, social and mobile platforms. He has acted as a Social Media community manager, driven creative ideation and led teams on year-long campaigns, all with an eye on delivering results that align with marketing and business objectives. Rick is heavily involved with the social media, branding, marketing and advertising communities, maintaining an active blog, frequently guest blogging, contributing to books and has moderated a panel on crowdsourcing at the 2010 CLIOs. He was also featured as one of 10 candidates in Grant McCracken’s book, “Chief Culture Officer.” He has spoken at Social Media World Congress on gamification and will be discussing SocialTV at the upcoming 2nd Screen Summit in Los Angeles as well as at the Millennial Mega Mashup in Miami this May.

    On Twitter: @Rick_Now


    Ariana Page Russell


    Ariana Page Russell creates images that explore the skin as a document of human experience, using her own hypersensitive flesh to illustrate the ways we expose, express, adorn and articulate ourselves. Ariana lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. In 2005 she graduated from the University of Washington, Seattle with an MFA in photography. Recently she's had solo exhibitions at Magnan Metz in New York City, Platform Gallery in Seattle and Lisa Sette Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona. She has also shown at SHOWstudio SHOP in London; Henry Art Gallery, SOIL Gallery, and Gallery 4Culture in Seattle; MEME Gallery in Boston; and Schroeder Romero and Tompkins Projects in New York City. Recent press and publications include the Huffington Post, Seattle Times, The Stranger, Photo+ Magazinein Korea, ABC News 20/20,Magazine in China, and the monograph'Dressing'  published by Decode Books.

    Ariana's Web site is here.


    Carlos Mare

    Carlos Mare aka Mare139 is a 2011-12 New York University Steinhardt Hip Hop Education Center Scholar in Residence at where he is also a teaching artist. Mare139 is a cultural ambassador who widely recognized for his creative talents as a sculptor and lecturer, he lends his voice to the pursuits of living fully expressive and productive lives through the arts.

    A NYC based sculptor/painter who in 1985 pioneered a novel version of urban graffiti as modern sculpture. Throughout his 28 year career as a sculptor, Mare139 has consistently brought innovation to the genreʼs aesthetic and vocabulary. His admiration of early Cubist, Futurist and Constructivist sculpture inspired the investigation of merging aesthetics between 'graffiti' styles and the vision of such movements. 

    Carlos Mare began his creative career during the formative years of NYC subway painting of 1975-1985 (the Golden Era), he was among an elite group of artists who paved the way for the transition off subways and into the gallery world. His peers include, Dondi White, Jeffrey 'Case2' Brown, Juan 'Crash' Matos, Randy 'Kel First' Rodriguez among others who left an indelible and influential legacy on modern urban art. 

    Exhibiting and lecturing throughout the US and Europe he lends voice to importance of arts advocacy and art literacy to ensure and promote the rich cultural legacy of urban arts. His works have been exhibited at The Grand Palis in Paris, Whitney Museum at Philip Morris, Brighton University of Art -England, The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art- MoCA and El Museo del Barrio in NYC. 

    In addition Mare139 sculpted the award for the Annual BET/Black Entertainment Award, recipients include Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Prince, Jay Z, Prince Snoop Dog, Beyonce, Kobe Bryant, and many others. He earned the prestigious 2006 Webby Award for his launch of the Hip Hop documentary Style Wars website. In 2006-07 Mare139 worked closely with Actor/Director Robert DeNiro on the film The Good Shepherd as a documenter of ʻthe making of the movieʼ and as member of Mr. DeNiroʼs editing team. His writings have been published in collaboration with Martha Coopers brilliant photo book Street Play that documents the imaginative ʻplayʼ of children in NYC during the late 1970ʼs. His writings capture the creative play and dangers of his youth in the South Bronx. 


    Mare139's Web site



    More about Orangutan Swing, including updates for AETHER, here.

Have questions about AETHER: Is the Medium Still the Message?? Contact Design Kompany & Orangutan Swing

When & Where

Bryant Park
1 500 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10110

Thursday, April 12, 2012 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EDT)

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Design Kompany & Orangutan Swing

Design Kompany is a two-person studio that designs dialogue. We make great conversation fluid, so we get to potent concepts. That's where we build designs for brand identity, and locate the words to best describe what our clients do in ways that are compelling and authentic, too.

We started in Raleigh, NC, as undergraduates in 1995. After 10 years in County Cork, Ireland, as well as Seattle, we're back and amazed at the local evolution in Durham, NC.

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