Lexington Native Amanda Palmer Invited to Speak at TED 2013

The 'alt-rock icon' will be one of 70 speakers at this year's conference, titled 'The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered.'

Amanda Palmer, the artist and Lexington native, has made the list – the list of innovators and influentials invited to speak at this year’s TED conference.

As the Globe reported earlier this week, Palmer will be one of 70 speakers at this year’s conference, titled “The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered.” Palmer is, perhaps fittingly, listed on the roster for the session titled “Disrupt!”

According to her microbio on the TED website, the “alt-rock icon … believes digital content should be free, and that artists should be directly supported by fans via a ‘patronage’ model.”

About that: Palmer, formerly of the Dresden Dolls, recently showed what a modern, Internet-aided patronage model could look like by raising more than $1 million for her latest music project through a Kickstarter campaign.

On her blog, Palmer wrote that being invited to give a TED talk is “huge” for her:

Me speaking at TED is the equivalent of… A violinist having her first solo concert at carnegie hall. Or an athlete getting invited to the Olympics. Or like … anybody on Earth being asked to give the commencement speech at Harvard. Or a person who’s always wanted to be in “Disney on Ice” finally getting hired by “Disney on Ice.”

And that, while unsure exactly what she’ll do/say/sing/perform, she’s pretty sure it’ll include something about crowdfunding and sharing arts on the Internet:

I know basically what I want to talk about. I mean, it’s obvious.

 Something about me, and probably me as a street performer, and about you, and about crowdfunding, and about love, and about how there’s a new currency of connection and type of exchange on the net that could revolutionize the way we make and support art on the Internet and in the world. Something about how things have to get less locked up, not more, and about how artists need to learn to ask, and audiences need to learn to give, and how the system needs to allow for and encourage all of this.

Also, there’s a chance Palmer’s “talk” may not be a talk at all. It could be a mini ukulele opera.

TED2013, “The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered,” is from Feb. 25 to March 1. For more on TED2013, check out the TED website.


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