Hugs and Kisses Goodbye: Live from XOXO 2014 (Episode 93)


Jen Bekman, Zoë Salditch, and Mike Merrill were our guests live on stage at the XOXO 2014 festival in Portland, Oregon, as part of the Story evening that also featured Hrishikesh Hirway’s Song Exploder, featuring a song by The Thermals; John Roderick (The Long Winters) interviewing Chelsea Cain; and Harmontown with Dino Stamatopoulos.

Jen Bekman founded 20×200 in 2007 to provide art at accessible prices. She spoke about her in work in 2012 at XOXO. Then she had a terrible, no good, very bad year. For a lot of reasons, she can’t discuss the particulars of what happened, but she had to reboot 20×200: its site, its technology, its art, and its trust with existing customers.

If you have beautiful digital art, you need a place to display it. That’s the idea behind Electronic Objects, a massively funded Kickstarter project from a month ago. But Zoë Salditch‘s interest is less in the technology than the uses to which people will put it. In the midst of producing their EO1 model, they have artists in residence working on concpetual ideas and are considering one future for their hardware as a platform for art — maybe 20×200 and EO have a lot in common?

With most people, saying “I can buy and sell you” is a boast about one’s own ostensible net worth. With Mike Merrill, it’s the literal truth. Mike is a publicly traded company, and shareholders can vote on the course his life takes, including how he pursues romantic interests. Shares in KMIKEYM have traded as high as $25 and typically change hands in a band of $5 to $10. Volume is low.

This is our last regularly scheduled episode as we go on hiatus and consider a path forward. Keep watching this site and @newdisruptors for news about future projects.

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