SXSW diary: celebrity ghost writers and spoken word from geeks

Laura Jordan Bambach, chief creative officer at Mr President, is on the ground in Austin at South by Southwest Interactive. She'll be sharing her highlights this week in a daily photo diary.

Talk of the day: Ghosted: Access and Authenticity in a Ghostwritten Age, Dr Hannah Yelin and Jess Greenwood, RGA

In an age where celebrity exposé and confession are driving mass media –  where social media gives audiences the access to celebrities' real lives, and the expectation of entitlement to these stories – this talk discussed the weird, problematic power dynamics between celebrities and their ghost writers. Whether that's in memoir or in the daily performance of social, the fantasy of access to a celebrity's authentic self written through the lens of the ghostwriter skews the story, in potentially violating ways. Absolutely fascinating!

DR Hannah Yelin and Jess Greenwood (RGA)Dr Hannah Yelin and Jess Greenwood (RGA)

Fun of the day: #TechOff –  Growing on the success of Hackney House, we have British House this year. A great showcase of British innovation, and also possibly our greatest SXSW 2017 import: TechOff. For those who have never been to a London event, this mad cross between performance poetry and thought leadership around tech is a competition for the best spoken word performance from the world of geek. All in high energy, five-minute sessions. It sounds bonkers, and it is –  there are Luchadors, a live backing DJ and a brilliant MC in there too. The final is Monday night and I can't wait!


Experience of the day: Phenomenal installations and interactive art around the venues. Particularly moving is "POV" by Nick Verstand, Nikki Hock and Pandelis Diamantides, a 15-minute 360 light and audio show that creates such a sense of meditative mindfulness I plan to go back there every day to shower my brain with calm. And another, TOKI, by Akinori Goto, uses 3D printed forms and light to project the moving human form.


Swag of the day: Finally, after checking Snapchat constantly for a SnapBot appearing in Austin, it landed! Cue jumping in a cab and racing across town as fast as possible to get my hands on a pair of Snapchat glasses, which are still unavailable in Europe. Can't wait to get them back to the crew at Mr President.


Subscribe today for just $116 a year

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to , plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a subscriber


Don’t miss your daily fix of breaking news, latest work, advice and commentary.

register free