Farmhouse Conf 2

Mapping Stories in a Backyard Under an Avocado Tree

At The Farmhouse


Farmhouse Conf 2 is a 1 day / 1 track backyard storytelling conference in Hollywood, CA that brings together people from a variety of backgrounds and influences. The speaker list is an even split between 5 men, 5 women. The model is simple: amazing people telling incredible stories.

10 speakers - 5 men, 5 women. No slides, no projector. Just awesome people telling incredible stories. All telling half hour stories on the theme of: Mapping. Catered vegan breakfast, lunch and dinner is provided (Doomie’s, Veggie Grill, Cruzers Pizza). After Party with Mates of State. Open bar with free booze provided. Vegan cupcakes and cookies by Clara’s Cakes. The attendance is limited to 100.

The big vision is to get amazing people together, inspire them, give them time and space to cross pollinate... then watch what great things come from it.

Attendees are welcome to camp in the backyard if you bring your own gear (tent, sleeping bag, etc). There will be no room in the house for attendees to sleep over. Plan accordingly.

Goodie Bags

All attendees will receive a bag full of goodies. Each bag will include:

Tara Brown
Mapping the LA Tech Scene

Tara Brown
Recently Tara wrote a popular post on Forbes about how LA is going to take over the Silicon Valley as the hottest place to run a tech startup. This post received both positive cheers from the LA startup community and guffaws from Silicon Valley. In her talk Tara will talk about the history of the LA tech scene and map out where the startups and money guys (VCs, incubators) are within LA County.

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Tara Tiger Brown has designed, developed and led innovative software development projects for 15 years. Her primary focus has always been on excellent user experience, anywhere data access, online communities, and open platforms.

She is currently immersed in a startup she co-founded, Teach Me Stuff, a digital media learning (DML) platform that matches interest-driven learners with mentors and coaches.

Previously she co-founded Noot, a real-time interactive mobile sports game and before that worked at Shazam, Topspin and Microsoft.

She’s passionate about getting more women into the technology field via the ladies technology group she founded, LAdy Tacos and as a contributor for ForbesWoman.

In an effort to showcase the soft spoken tech scene in LA, she wrote the Forbes piece Why Los Angeles Will Outpace Silicon Valley As The Tech Startup Capital and is currently working with startups and startup spaces to give LA a louder voice.

In her spare time she works on ridiculous things like: Cat Workout; crowd-sourced music videos: We Are The Doorways; and storytelling: TransmediaLA.

Greg Bennick
The Map from Trauma to Survival

Greg Bennick
Greg will be speaking about the map from trauma to survival that One Hundred For Haiti is exploring as it starts a new program called “Moto Logistics” as a development initiative in Haiti. The program might serve as a model to anyone doing development, social, or relief work anywhere in the world as a means of creating jobs and new opportunities from the standpoint of SELF empowerment rather than imposed empowerment.

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Greg Bennick is the singer of the hardcore bands Trial and Between Earth & Sky. He is the founder and executive director of One Hundred For Haiti, a development and relief organization focusing on bringing opportunities to people in post-earthquake Haiti. He co-founded The Legacy Project a multi-year initiative to explore how people transition from massive trauma on a social scale to a point of finding reconciliation and justice. He co-produced a number of documentaries which have been seen globally including the multi-award winning “Flight From Death: The Quest For Immortality”. He speaks to audiences around the world, full time, and is based in Seattle WA.

The Map versus the Territory

What does Twitter have to do with anarchist revolution? More than you might think, even if you think immediately of Egypt and Tunisia. Brian will discuss how the radical demands of the previous generation have been integrated into today's economy, how activism and technology influence one another, and how competing cartographies of power are racing to define the future.

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A longtime contributor to the notorious underground publisher CrimethInc., Brian has organized on a national level within the anarchist, anti-globalization, anti-war, and Occupy movements. In the course of the resulting adventures, he has breathed tear gas for days on end, faced felony rioting charges, and lost friends to the bullets of Mexican paramilitaries. Recently he has traveled the Americas and Europe speaking on grass-roots social movements and anti-capitalist strategies, appearing everywhere from the School of Fine Arts in Athens, Greece to the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, but chiefly outside the academy at occupations, social centers, and union halls.

Maggie Mayhem
Navigating The Gender Landscape

Maggie Mayhem
Do we have a gender orientation or are we gender orienteering? In this talk, Maggie Mayhem will talk about how the hardware and software behind our gender assignments, identity, and presentation and demonstrate how male and female are just two potential points on the compass.

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Maggie Mayhem had no idea that when she signed up to volunteer 5 hours a week at an HIV testing clinic in 2003 that her experiences would disrupt her life plan to pursue a career in law and turn her into a full time sex educator, HIV prevention and harm reduction specialist, and activist. By 2006 she was coordinating the University of California Free and Anonymous HIV test program and setting her sights on lifetime pursuing social justice.

After graduating from UC Santa Cruz she relocated to Oakland, CA and accepted a position as the HIV Senior Specialist at Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco. She spent the summer of 2009 doing grant work in HIV/AIDS prevention and care in Bagamoyo, Tanzania and resigned from her post at Larkin Street Youth Services to in 2010 to volunteer with disaster relief in Leogane, Haiti.

As an activist for sex positivity, Maggie also produces adult films that challenge gender and sexuality norms as well as unfair and exploitative industry practices. She works within a small community of queer identified indie performers and producers who are cultivating a sustainable model based on collaboration, communication, and authentic depictions of sexuality and desire. If you search for her on Google, be prepared for links that are NSFW and for an 18+ audience.

Nova Han
How Einstein Led Me to Bliss, a Carnie Kingdom, and Pioneering New Methods in Video Mapping

Nova Han
In her talk, Nova will discuss how Einstein inspired her to follow her ultimate happiness and how that chain of events opened up door after door, leading her to her next destinations in life. She will discuss her adventures as a successful circus carnie and how that brought her to a place of pioneering new methods in performance art using interactive video mapping. Nova will discuss where she sees the future of entertainment and how it will be changed forever using advanced technology. We are inventing the future now.

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To navigate and create, unique and explosive art has been the life quest of Nova Han since she was a little girl. From visions of ultimate beauty to the genuinely twisted and obscure, Han's curiosity takes her viewers past conventional horizons, and makes them step courageously past it, beckoning the brave to face their own truths.

Han now tours the world, shaking up the masses and bringing raw art to the stages. She has spent the last 7 years running the world renowned cirque troupe, Lucent Dossier Experience as the Tech Director, Producer, Choreographer and Performer. She has now started her own interactive video mapping performance art troupe called Wilderbe.

Her work has been featured at the Coachella: Music and Arts Festival (6 yrs), The Official Grammy's Celebration (3 yrs), Electric Picnic in Ireland (5 yrs), Lightning in a Bottle (6 yrs), Boom Festival in Portugal, Optimus Alive in Portugal, Summer Sonic in Japan, Electric Daisy Carnival (3 yrs).

She has also been seen on networks such as MTV, BRAVO, VHI, Fuse TV, Spike TV, KTLA and Univision as well as a featured guest on the Ellen De Generes Show.

Nova Han's Production background includes working for Kevin Lyman founder of the Van's Warped Tour and Billboard's top 50 most influential people in music history as a Producer and Office Manager, as well as working for Madison House as a Producer and Creative Consultant.

Han's work has been featured all over the world including, England, Ireland, Italy, France, Portugal, Japan, Guatemala, and Canada.

Eric Gradman
There’s No Map for Inventiveness

Eric Gradman
Getting from an empty piece of paper to an interactive marvel is never as simple as going from point A to point B. The places you wind up on the journey are all part of the fun.

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Eric Gradman is an inventor and entertainer who makes others see technology as magic. He has a colorful history as a circus performer, professional whistler, roboticist, and rapid prototyper. He co-founded Doppelgames, a Los Angeles location-based gaming studio.

He is also one of the founding members of Syyn Labs, a group of artists, thinkers, technologists, engineers and scientists who build and twist together art and technology in original inventive ways. From its humble beginnings as "a drinking club with an art problem" the group's work became a viral sensation in 2010 when it co-directed OK Go's This Too Shall Pass music video, which has been viewed over 35 million times online. Its unique assembly builds creative contraptions and interactive installations that encourage audiences to play together by lowering social barriers.

The Syyn Labs members have designed and developed an elaborate portfolio of proprietary technological marvels including the DNA Sequencer, ArtFall, an interactive whiteboard; Rubens Tubes, a sound-reactive fire sculpture; Sonic Stalagmites, painting with sound and the Cloud Mirror, which uses augmented reality to bring an event's badges to life.

Their exhibits have been showcased in commercial spots for Comedy Central, Disney XD, Google and Young & Rubicam, and exhibited at LACMA and the Santa Monica Glow Festival. Syyn Labs has also be featured extensively in the media, including WIRED, The Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, CNN, the Los Angeles Times.

Jenny Ryan
Culture Reboot: Mapping Open Spaces and Collaborative Practices in the Emergent Network Economy

Jenny Ryan
We are entering an era that calls for an end to scarcity and individualism toward collaboration, communalism and a commons-based economy. Working together with hackers, makers, neotribalists, activists, technologists, and other edgy thinkers, Jenny seeks to create a new kind of ethnography founded in co-creation, mobility and multimodal documentation. Her current efforts are directed towards building the digital infrastructure for the project, as well as preparations for a 6-9 month multidisciplinary field study to initiate direct collaboration with primary partners and establish a network including all involved parties. (

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An incorrigibly nomadic cyberanthropologist gone gonzo, Jenny Ryan recently dropped out of graduate school to more fully tune in to emerging movements rooted in the shared struggle to reclaim the commons, create public spheres through the cultivation of open spaces, and enable direct democracy through principles of federation and open source or Read/Write culture.

Her past research ranges from an extensive ethnography of online social networking (The Virtual Campfire), to digital literacy skills for the 21st century (with Howard Rheingold), to the legal and ethical dimensions of problematic online content (with danah boyd), to posthuman anthropological explorations of how the dead live on online.

In her spare time, she makes websites for her superhero friends, helps to organize an emerging Oakland hackerspace (Sudo Room), and acts as a connector of aligned humans, groups and projects.

Simone Syed
Mapping a Way to the Stars by Disrupting the Status Quo

Simone Syed
As the private sector gains momentum and mastery of the technology capable of continuing NASA’s legacy of human space flight, we find that the general public has lost the awe and inspiration that space once held. By disrupting the standard ideology on what space means and who is engaging in this unfolding story, we can reinvigorate the human spirit of innovation and exploration— and in the near future give all who desire, a chance to explore the stars for themselves.

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Simone Syed is particularly interested in building better futures. As an entrepreneur, product storyteller, community builder, and technology forecaster, she has been able to create value in the industries she thinks are most interesting and impactful.

Simone has co-founded BIL Conference, H+ Club, and LA Space Salon. BIL Conference is the open source, participant powered answer to the TED Conference Series, wherein BIL pilfers TED’s attendees, sponsors, and format to Set Minds Free by merging innovation and community to change the world. Her other community building efforts are cool too.

Simone has disrupted the financial industry by co-founding a mobile payments system called The mobile app pivoted into GammaPay after getting funded and incorporated many different currencies to pay anyone, anywhere, with anything… including sheep! The project was abandoned when the founders decided that they didn’t want to go to jail because the banking industry was annoyed that the app worked outside of the current financial system and government referred to bitcoin as a competing currency.

Simone likes disrupting popular notions of what health and science are. PaleoDream is seriously healthy ice cream made using liquid nitrogen and rocket power. WeScience crowd sources high-quality clinical trials performed by citizen scientists to find out what therapies actually work. GeneBook is a facebook/23andMe mashup to help you find a perfect partner through histocompatibility and social data.

Simone is busy with her new company BlackStarr, which specializes in integrating space and biotechnology into popular culture. BlackStarr is currently working on producing a Discovery Channel show as well as collaborating with Bill Nye the Science Guy, Virgin Galactic, and SpaceX to disrupt Hollywood.

Many of Simone’s antics are documented in Wired, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Reason Magazine, NPR, Technology Review, and The Huffington Post.

Mitch Artman
Falling Off the Map: The Skid Row Life-Cycle

Mitch Artman
Skid Row is more than just the down-and-out neighborhood of Los Angeles: it is a necessary and nearly deliberate outcome of city planning. The intersection of poverty, racism, mental health, housing, drugs, violence, family breakdown and recovery create a sub-culture and governmental response that both eye each other with mutual suspicion and accusations of futility. This talk will consider some of the more common life-courses individuals in Skid Row take to obtain basic needs, particularly as they relate to mental illness, which for most is inextricably linked with their reasons for both not being able to escape Skid Row, and paradoxically, their best chance for escaping.

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Mitch Artman worked as a special education teacher for inner city children in Brooklyn before becoming a social worker in Los Angeles. He works for the county’s Department of Mental Health as a “Psychiatric Social Worker”, which means doing therapy and case-management for 200 people with mental illnesses. He loves his job.

Marc Horowitz
Mapping with Wit(z)

Marc Horowitz
Marc will discuss three of his projects that deal with the idea of mapping via travel, both physical and virtual. 1) The National Dinner Tour, a project where Marc wrote “dinner w/ marc 510-872-7326,” his name and cell phone, on a dry erase board featured in a Crate & Barrel catalog. He eventually received over 30,000 calls from people wanting to dine with him. As a result, He traveled the US in a tiny RV for a year dining with strangers. 2) The Signature Series, where Marc signed his name on a US map and then drove that route, “improving” towns along the way. For example, he started the first ever Semi-anonymous Nudist Colony in Nampa, Idaho and buried an entire town's problems in Craig, Colorado. And 3) Google Maps Road Trip, where Marc and his friend Pete Baldes virtually traveled across the US entirely on Google Maps using the arrow keys to drive.

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Marc Horowitz is many things: a virtual cross country explorer, a comedic performance enthusiast, sheep shearer, social experimentalist, one of People Magazine’s 50 most eligible bachelors, and possibly the first would-be inventor of a brick-house, diesel-truck, hybrid helicopter.

One of his most recent digital adventures landed him on NPR’s Weekend Edition — discussing the Los Angeles to Richmond, Virginia road trip he and friend, Peter Baldes, took via Google Maps without ever leaving their homes. Prior to that, Marc was challenged to live 168 hours straight in a Nissan Sentra for the “Seven Days in a Sentra” national ad campaign.

Before his Nissan project, Marc spent the better part of an entire year traveling around the country having dinner with strangers he met out of a Crate & Barrel catalog. After that, he drove the shape of his coast-to-coast signature on a US map, improving towns along the way. These improvements include starting an Anonymous Semi-Nudist Colony in Nampa, Idaho and burying an entire town’s problems in Craig, Colorado.

Other projects include: the Talkshow247 internet broadcast, a 24/7 three month long lifecast; his involvement with The Center for Improved Living, The Me & You Show, the Human Video Game experiment; and well, you get the idea. Marc is a busy man, with many talents.

His work can be seen at

Farmhouse Conf 2 Alumni Follow-Up

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