Edition #1, 10.2010
designer and museographer
Edition #2, 01.2011
Edition #3, 02.2011
architect and conservationist
Edition #4, 05.2011
Mathias Echanove, Rahul Srivastava urbanologists
Edition #5, 08.2011
Edition #6, 01.2012
screenwriter, photographer, film maker
Edition #7, 06.2012
Edition #8, 09.2012
Edition #9, 10.2012
poet, cultural theorist, critic, and curator
Edition #10, 03.2013
policy expert: internet censorship + freedom
Edition #11, 07.2013
actor, director, social activist
Edition #12, 08, 2013
Edition #13, 12, 2013
Edition #14, 12, 2013
photographer, film maker
Edition #15, 03, 2014
Edition #16, 09, 2014
actor, director, trainer, writer
Edition #17, 02, 2016
novelist, short story writer, poet, editor
detective, travel writer, literary critic, columnist
Edition #18, 06, 2016
founder-writer, Native Place, information and experience designer
film maker, photographer
The Making of the San Francisco Edition
The MAD Salon can be infectious, but never commercial. It has the potential to spread in organic ways, as is evident in the genesis of it's San Francisco (SF) avatar.
The SF edition of the MAD Salon is curated by IDEO designers, friends and (at one point) roommates - Priti Rao and Annette Diefenthaler. The duo launched the SF edition in 2014 and hosted a series of editions at their lovely home in the historic Alamo Park neighborhood.
Prior to moving to San Francisco, Priti was in Mumbai and attended the Mumbai editions of the Salon at Sid and Suz’s residence. Quoting Priti: “Personally for me, my best memories of Bombay were the MAD Salons at Sid and Suz home. It was so cosy, I met the loveliest people. I liked that it welcomed everyone, there was no charge, and the hosts made the food themselves.
We haven't managed to do a second meal tradition yet here in San Francisco, but everything else is pretty much the same. I think it's a fairly non-western concept to offer food to 40 peeps each time. But over time, we've developed an informal team who do cocktails and take care of dj-ing, make invites.
If I hadn't found the perfect partner in Annette who was equally MAD in saying yes to the idea this would never have happened, and despite our crazy schedules we still somehow manage to make it happen!”
As for Annette, here’s what she had to say:
“We started doing MAD because we both were new to the city (San Francisco) and wanted to meet interesting people. We loved the idea of being able to connect with other people through interesting conversations that were stimulated by an awesome speaker. We asked our speakers to share less the result, and more the process of their work – questions they work through, the behind the scenes, which lead to the most interesting conversations.
We intentionally look to find a mix of topics – more and less serious, some more artsy, others more intellectually complex. We intentionally curate the audience to be a) only few (active) IDEOers, and b) people who will enjoy connecting with each other. Doing intros in the beginning has unearthed really fun connections between people at the event.”
2nd Anniversary of the Mumbai Edition
Photo Credit Aparna Jayakumar
The second anniversary edition of the Salon took place on 20 October 2012. The MAD Speaker for this special edition Salon was poet, cultural theorist and curator Ranjit Hoskote who spoke about the Biennale as a cultural catalyst. Ranjit has been, among other things, the co-curator of the 2008 Gwangju Biennial in South Korea, the curator of India’s first-ever national pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale and is a member of the international advisory board for the 1st Bergen Triennial, Norway.
The MAD founders and devotees couldn't have hoped for a more fitting second anniversary edition. Somewhere between 35 to 40 people showed up. It was a MAD with many firsts - not counting precocious young Reza (all of 7!) who opened the Salon with his introduction of the 16th century Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo and Venice.
This was longest and the most animated MAD yet. It was also the only one with an intermission. And unlike most such gatherings that lose steam after a break, this one actually picked up energy, like a second wind. Audience engagement was palpably higher. By the time, the MAD crowd wound up with some espresso and cake it was midnight.
Ranjit (Hoskote) blended right in and did not mind the fact that the Salon spilled over a bit on both sides - both in terms of time and people and the discussions. This is exactly how the MAD Salons are intended to be.
Riyas (Komu), artist and co-founder of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale was there too and so was Nancy (Adajania), cultural theorist and Joint Artistic Director of the 2012 Gwangju Biennale - which made the Biennale discussion come full circle.
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