NSB Logo

Douglas Coupland

Artist, Author & Innovator

Douglas Coupland is a novelist, visual artist and designer, who became the voice of a generation with his novel Generation X and who has expanded his globally respected perspectives on life, art and technology through his voice and visual works ever since.  He expresses what he sees in both low and high culture, technology and its impact on human evolution and our existence.  Douglas is widely viewed as one of the ‘most original commentators on mass culture of the late 20th and the 21st century.’ He recently completed two years as an artist in residence with the Google Cultural Institute in Paris. The Director of the Institute commented:  “…he’s one of the most impactful people around. We just jumped at the opportunity.”

Vancouver, BC, Canada

Presentations

Coupland on Creativity
While in art school, Douglas Coupland had a profound realization – he wasn’t being taught how to use the full capacity of his brain. Inspired by this revelation he began exploring new ways to arrange sensory input to boost his creative potential. One of the world’s most acclaimed creative minds, Coupland’s work spans visual art, design, screenplays and literature. His work reflects the day-to-day aspects of life back at us in mesmerizing ways, revealing deeper cultural meanings. Using examples from some of his previous, award-winning endeavors, Coupland will share insights into his creative process. He’ll demonstrate how seemingly mundane sources of inspiration can lead to profound work. Coupland will explore his unique approach for gathering inspiration, nurturing ideas, and developing artistic consistency, focus, and execution. Audiences will leave this presentation more in-tune with their creative voice and equipped with a framework to help boost creative output.

Creative Advocacy
Coupland’s exhibition ‘VORTEX’ shed light on the issue of ocean plastic pollution. As a multi-disciplined artist, he creatively blends mediums, materials, cultural mindsets and current events to weave compelling narratives that get people thinking, talking and paying attention. Coupland draws examples from his globally respected career as an author, designer & visual artist to discuss creative approaches to draw attention to issues most important to your audience. This presentation will inspire you to embrace alternative and innovative approaches to raising awareness, promoting participation, and raising funds to change the world. Coupland will work with organizations to create custom messaging that resonates with the intended audience with industry relevant examples and strategies.

Coupland’s Voice – On Technology & Our Superfuture:
In today’s ever-changing world filled with innovative new products, the ever-pervasive presence of technology can feel overwhelming. Through his novels and media appearances Douglas Coupland has been a leading commentator on technology’s impact on our society for almost two decades. In this thought-provoking presentation, he unveils some hard-hitting truths about how technology is shaping the way we think. Coupland argues that we shouldn’t kid ourselves into thinking the future has yet to come. It’s here now and isn’t going away. For all its drawbacks, technology is a very powerful and that can change lives for the better. The future is digital, nothing can stop that fact and Coupland encourages us to start embracing it. This presentation can be customized to explore some of the business trends that organizations need to look at adapting to including working hours vs. free time, robots, automation, new job categories, skill development & more. This presentation will challenge you to rethink your perception of our superfuture. In the words of Coupland;

 “[I] wonder if the most important thing we could invent right now would be a technology that takes away our bottomless fear of missing out, our need to read the latest news update, our latest hook-up or our latest upgrade. What kind of technology would that be? How would it free us from our current superfuture prison? How could it convince us that everything is OK? How do we invent our way out of this mess?

Custom Presentation:
Work with Douglas Coupland to brainstorm an experiential talk related to cultural mindset, current events and creativity.

  • He’s one of the most impactful people around. We just jumped at the opportunity.

    - Director, Google Cultural Institute, Paris
  • After his Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture gave rise to a moniker for a generation, he has produced a widely praised and startlingly original body of work…an accomplished visual artist and designer, Douglas Coupland continues to take risks as a literary artist rather than rely on his reputation as a pop culture analyst.

    - Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence
  • Coupland provided “...fascinating insight into how technology is changing our everyday lives, how we think, how we approach work, and how our brains are hardwired.

    - Konica Minolta
  • He's one of the "most original commentators on mass culture of the late 20th and the 21st century.'

    - The Canadian Encyclopedia

Summary Profile

Douglas Coupland is a novelist, visual artist and designer.  He expresses what he sees in both low and high culture, technology and its impact on human evolution and our existence.

He became the voice of a generation with his 1991 novel, Generation X, and since then has published more than a dozen novels and short story collections as well as several works of nonfiction, including a 2010 biography of Marshall McLuhan. He has written and performed for England’s Royal Shakespeare Company and created a 13-episode TV series based on his novel, jPod

An art school graduate, in recent years he amplified his visual art production and his work has been central to numerous international solo and group shows, including works in the exhibition ‘Electronic Superhighway’ at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, and Bit Rot at the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, and Villa Stücke in Munich.

Coupland is a contributor to the New York Times, e-flux, DISonline, Artsy, Vice online and has a fortnightly column with the FT Weekend Magazine in London. In 2015-16, he spent two years as an artist in residence with the Google Cultural Institute in Paris. The Director of the Institute commented:  “…he’s one of the most impactful people around. We just jumped at the opportunity.”

Coupland is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy, an Officer of the Order of Canada, and of the Order of British Columbia, a Chevlier de l’Order des Arts et des Lettres and receiver of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence.

His LG Award cited: “After his Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture gave rise to a moniker for a generation, he has produced a widely praised and startlingly original body of work…an accomplished visual artist and designer, Douglas Coupland continues to take risks as a literary artist rather than rely on his reputation as a pop culture analyst.” 

Sample works:

Everything is Anything is Anywhere is Everywhere:
His visual exhibit ‘Everything is Anything is Anywhere is Everywhere’ at the Vancouver Art Gallery, The Royal Ontario Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art was described as the first major museum exhibition of one of Canada’s most celebrated artists. Divided into five sections, the exhibition addressed the key themes Douglas Coupland uses to probe modern life, including By using imagery and objects laden with symbolic meaning for Canadians, Coupland created a “secret handshake” not easily understood by others, questioned whether ‘Canadianness’ should still be defined by a relationship with nature, wondering at the frailty of some of the national systems that bind us together, and considering the possibilities of the future.

Bring me the Head of Vincent Van Gogh
For his 2016 installation of ‘Redheads’ he crowdsourced the globe searching for Vincent Van Gogh lookalikes.  The project and resulting 3-D scanned bronze sculpture was revealed in spring 2017, at a special pre-conference adventure for attendees of the TED conference in Vancouver Canada.  The project is meant to trigger discussion about new relationships between science, art and globalization.  Coupland explains: “…redheadedness is the most recent successful human mutation – there is no way of telling when a gene is going to change, and what sort of characteristic it will bring about. This genetic magic is a microcosm of the way in which all life on earth changes with time. I want this first bronze piece to be eternal but I also want it to be imbued with the twenty-first century.”

Berlin Stage Spotlight:  
In 2017 he was commissioned by Konica Minolta to speak to their Spotlight audience in Berlin, where he provided “fascinating insight into how technology is changing our everyday lives, how we think, how we approach work, and how our brains are hardwired.”

https://t.co/x7rhltngi5 (2018-11-04 10:10:30)
Or should I say: Nobody believes in polls any more. (2018-11-02 06:07:38)
Observation: Nobody believe polls any more. (2018-11-02 06:06:24)