If brevity is the soul of wit, it is the heart of 20/20 Columbia.
The brainchild of Roger Cook, German professor and chair of the film studies committee at MU, 20/20 Columbia is a free bimonthly event where the city’s most inspired thinkers and doers come together to present their next big ideas–in 400 seconds or less.
The presenters–scientists, inventors, artists, architects, designers, activists, writers and farmers, to name a few–come to the show with 20 images related to their idea. Each image is projected onto a movie screen for twenty seconds, and the speaker uses that precious one-third of a minute to discuss the slide’s relevance before it’s on to the next one. The end result is a super-concentrated cocktail of ideas that keeps everyone in the room on their toes.
Ragtag Programming Director Paul Sturtz summed up the idea behind the events in an interview with the Columbia Tribune: “I think there are lots of interesting things happening all the time in Columbia and at the university, but that there haven’t been many accessible events that attempt to create collisions between people who live or work in different ‘silos.’”
With the help of a Mizzou Advantage grant, the first seven Columbia 20/20 screenings were a rousing success. With attendance topping 100, the Columbia 20/20 project exceeded the capacity of the Rag Tag Cinema, requiring a venue change to the larger Blue Note. Columbia 20/20 is a forum where local culture and creativity mingle with Mizzou ideas and expertise. Several members of the Mizzou faculty have already made presentations, starting conversations on subjects from anthropology to astronomy.