Creative Director & Adventurer
Morten Kirckhoff is a creative director and partner at one of Denmark’s top creative agencies and furthermore a board member og Adventurers’ Club Denmark.
Together with his childhood friend Jan Elhøj, Morten travels all over the world to visit abandoned places. Their adventures started out as a hobby, but today Morten and Jan are publishing books and giving talks about their experiences.
The phenomenon is called Abandoned or Urban Exploration, and it recieves still more interest all over the world.
For Morten and Jan it has become about more than just the adventure they go on themselves. Their experiences have made them aware of the current history of Europe, a history of both development and decline.
What are you going to talk about in your TEDx talk?
When I was 8 years old, I trespassed an old abandoned industry-mill in the suburb, where I grew up. Standing in there, in a place, where everything was left behind – like it was frozen in time – awed me. Everything was still there, even though the mill was closed 10 years ago. Tables, chairs, shelves with books, an old phone, papers. It was covered with dust and spider web, but it was like visiting a secret world.
Later in life, I took up photography and starting documenting these places. And over the last decade I traveled 35 countries, with the sole purpose of trespassing and documenting abandoned places.
This year, a rumor of abandoned space shuttles in Khazakstan appeared, and as the first non-russians, we decided to try to find them, planned to get there, to get in and get out. Risky and crazy, but worth the while. I’ll share my thoughts on how and what that experience was like.
What can people take with them when they have watched your talk?
That even though every ‘white spot’ on the planet has been discovered, traveled and is most likely visible on Google Street View, there is some new white spots emerging – and adventures lies right there.
What does “Into the Wild” mean to you?
Into the wild is a metaphor for an unexpected adventure. When travelling, you can either follow the beaten path – or you can immerse into something unexpected.
An adventures often lies in what happends when the plans end. Then you enter the wild, where all senses are activated and traveling gives a rush.
How do you connect your talk to the theme?
Trespassing a Russian military Spacestation, in Kazakstan, should do it 😉
What is your favorite TED talk and why?
Simon Sinek’s on Why. At that time I was working with major brands, and the talk made it clear how vague a lot of business and brands vision/mission statements were. His simple talk made a global impact on marketeers.
What/who inspires you – and why?
People who do real things – and talk afterwards. Not the other way around.
What did you feel, when you found out that you had been chosen to do a TEDx talk?
A great chance to spread some inspiration – and kick ass!