Beyond Tellerrand Düsseldorf 2023

by Florian Ziegler

I was so honoured to have been invited as a speaker for Beyond Tellerrand’s Düsseldorf edition. I have known Marc Thiele for over a decade and always been impressed with the calibre of speaker he has at his events.

When Marc messaged me it was to discuss presenting on my year-long Pride project: Pride LMC. I decided to present a session on what I started called Side Quests: Satisfy Your Distracted Self

When I do a session at an event, I agonize over every beat in the story. I practice the entire session multiple times so I am not staring at my screen or confused by the next slide. While I did the same here, I also found myself inspired by the talks on the first day. Aoi Yamaguchi’s talk (which you can watch here) and Gemma O’Brien’s talk (viewable here) in particular made me realize visually stunning work requires a certain level of understanding in how to explain it. Dr. Emily Anhalt’s talk was inspiring for how it made me rethink my mindset.

At first, upon seeing the schedule and realizing I was second last in the lineup, I was bummed out because it meant I’d do exactly what I did; second guess my entire presentation, my way of presenting, my life in general. However, it also gave me the unique opportunity to recalibrate the way the presentation is presented. Taking inspiration from the talks on the first day, I began reconfiguring and practicing my talk.

What does Side Quests mean?

In my life, I regularly improve my career by working on personal projects. If I have an idea and the means to do it, I will. And I call these Side Quests. Most of the projects I won’t finish. Typically, that’s due to me losing focus, having a new idea, learning what I wanted out of the project or a combination of the three. Remember the foam-core 2-axis plotter? DrawBot? Party Glove? No? Well, that’s fine.

The session was an emotional one for me. I hadn’t expressed my perspective on the why’s and what’s of this project. Pride, as an ally, watching the rights of the LGBTQ++ community being stripped away, means more than ever. So while I was so so honoured to be included, the reaction and response to this session was immensely gratifying. It was recorded and Marc posted it to YouTube.

Shooting in Düsseldorf

I hadn’t taken a LMC photo since the WWE shoots. I had accomplished what I wanted and moved on in my head. There was always something else to try but the demands on my time became finding money and I wasn’t being hired to take photos.

When I arrived in Germany, my incredibly-talented friend Mario Klingemann asked if I was going to shoot the light bar. I did bring what I needed to shoot so I said I’d go if he came with me. We went behind the hotel where there was a small man-made pond and park. I was energized by Mario’s curiosity and willingness to learn how the whole process works. I also discovered how much I enjoyed explaining the effect of swinging a light bar in the air and how it is viewed by the camera. “If the lens can’t see it, it’s not there.” was a repeated phrase in how you move the light bar.

by Florian Ziegler

Thank you, Marc.

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