Patrick Courrielche is an American media entrepreneur, writer, and arts advocate known for his citizen journalism and pioneering the Pop-up retail trend. He has written articles for and appeared on a variety of media outlets. His writing has led to the White House issuing new federal guidelines, and the international music industry suing a website for copyright infringement.
While working as an applied physicist for aerospace firm TRW Inc., in 1997 Courrielche started the now ubiquitous pop-up retail trend - or short-term sales spaces - with an event called the Ritual Expo. Initially a nightclub-meets-shopping experience, the event would eventually focus solely on creating temporary shopping experiences during the day and was initially called the "ultimate hipster mall." The event was known for attracting style brokers and cultural influencers in Los Angeles. According to Courrielche, he started his pop-up retail stores with smaller, hard-to-find clothing manufacturers because large corporate brands did not immediately find value in the new concept. That all changed with the 2000 publication of The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. In his book, Gladwell emphasized the importance of connecting with "influencers" to sell a product or service. Companies began contacting Courrielche to create pop-up stores to reach these influencers, and he eventually sold the Ritual Expo to the creators of Lollapalooza and began working with Levi Strauss, AT&T, and Motorola to execute pop-up retail stores all across the US that featured their products alongside smaller fashion brands and artworks by Shepard Fairey and Dave Kinsey. Courrielche is now referred to as "the parent of pop up."
In 1998, Courrielche started a lifestyle marketing & PR firm, Inform Ventures, with his future wife Adryana Cortez, and in 2003 began work with Toyota launching its new youth brand Scion – considered culturally significant for its use of the arts in attracting customers. He handled Scion's public relations and promotions during the launch, created and produced several branded-entertainment films, including a 2004 docudrama featuring Questlove from The Roots and a 2007 short-film featuring Biz Markie, and in 2005 helped create and launch Scion Audio/Visual - one of the first brand-funded record labels. The launch was highlighted as "the most successful automotive brand launch in the history of the auto industry of North America," with several books and researchers publishing analysis on the launch for its novel approach.
Along with his wife and business partner Adryana Cortez, Courrielche created, produced, and wrote a semi-scripted 2010 series of global warming debates between global warming proponents and skeptics, and moderated by comedians Sarah Silverman, Andy Samberg, Jamie Kennedy, Tracy Morgan, and singer Mark McGrath.
In 2012, he created the first luxury automotive publicity campaign featuring a gay married couple, Simon Doonan and Jonathan Adler.
In 2016, Courrielche helped create a 16,500-square-foot creative venue blending fashion, art, food, music, and technology in the Meatpacking District, Manhattan. The venue includes a café, restaurant, and event space and will launch in 2017. The outfitting cost alone for the venue is going to be approximately $19.5 million.
In 2009, he wrote a series of op-eds critical of the White House using the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to promote proposed federal legislation. During a conference call organized by the White House and the NEA, officials from both requested that the members of the arts community on the call create art that aligned with proposed federal legislation that was at the time being debated nationally. Many of the participants in the call played critical roles in candidate-Obama's presidential campaign. Courrielche argued that it appeared to be an inappropriate use of the NEA. Many in the media agreed, citing it as a possible violation of the Hatch Act of 1939. Courrielche made multiple media appearances discussing the White House effort, and after public and congressional pressure grew as a result, the White House issued a statement acknowledging regrets and issued new guidelines on how federal grant making agencies interact with grantees. Additionally, a White House appointee resigned. Internet publisher Andrew Breitbart called Courrielche a "maverick citizen journalist" as a result of his work on this story.
In 2010, Courrielche wrote a three-part series investigating the Climatic Research Unit email controversy, delving into the origin of the controversy and the scientists and global warming skeptics involved. The Climategate controversy began in November 2009 with the hacking of a server at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) by an unknown attacker, copying thousands of emails and computer files to various internet locations several weeks before the Copenhagen Summit on climate change. Revealed during the email controversy was a bubbling conflict over the scientific peer review process, or the evaluation of work by one or more people of similar competence to the producers of the work (peers). The established peer review process constitutes a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field. Courrielche argued that the content of the emails revealed in the email controversy, and the mere fact that the emails were divulged to the public, highlighted a breakdown in the peer review process and revealed a new process he calls peer-to-peer review - or a process where an amorphous group of intelligent online observers attack and review a scientific study in search of errors. A writer for the UK Telegraph called it a "superb and profound piece of investigative journalism." Courrielche's investigation and essay was covered by a wide assortment of media outlets and books.
In 2015, Courrielche wrote a long form story "St. Nicholas: The Birth Of A Social Weapon" on the origin of Santa Claus and introduced the concept of a "social weapon" - a packaged idea, message, or product that is used by an individual or group to advance their cause. Courrielche argued that New York City elites crafted Santa Claus from St. Nicholas, a widely known patron saint, to stabilize a city plagued by annual misbehavior every December. Santa Claus was then used as a "social weapon" by merchants, craftsman, city rulers, parents, newspapers, and others to benefit their endeavors. The essay was added to the St. Nicholas Center's resource on the Origin of Santa Claus.
On August 3, 2016, Courrielche published a long form story entitled "Stream Ripping: How Google/YouTube Is Slowly Killing the Music Industry" that looked at a growing trend of alleged "music piracy" enabled by stream ripping sites - websites that rip audio from streaming music sites like YouTube - that was slowly killing the business of selling songs. The story featured YouTube-mp3.org - what Courrielche called the most highly trafficked stream ripping website in the world - and followed its founder Philip Matesanz in his creation of the site as well as his early conflicts with YouTube and its parent, Google. By tracking the former and current success of USA for Africa and it's famed song We Are The World, the investigation showed how the music industry was being negatively affected by stream ripping sites like YouTube-mp3.org and highlighted how YouTube-mp3.org and Google profit from the practice of stream ripping through advertising. "After a short visit to YouTube-mp3.org, 'We Are The World' can be downloaded for free," wrote Courrielche. "USA for Africa receives nothing. But Google gets its cut of the advertising." On September 26, 2016, the international music industry, including all of the major music labels and music industry associations, sued Philip Matesanz for what it characterized as massive copyright infringement and profiting on stream ripping through advertising. The site reportedly became nonfunctioning on October 13, 2016.
Appearances in the media
- Courrielche was featured in the New York Times best-selling book Righteous Indignation.
- Courrielche appeared in the book Definition: The Art and Design of Hip-Hop.
- He appeared in the book Dissed Trust: America's Crisis of Truth, Faith, and Freedom.
- Courrielche appeared on Fox Business on May 6, 2011.
- He appeared on NPR on September 23, 2009 regarding the White House's use of the National Endowment for the Arts.
- Courrielche appeared on CNN to discuss the White House's use of TV shows to promote the Administration's health care reform proposals.
- Courrielche appeared on Fox News discussing the Obama Administration's use of Hollywood to push health care on TV.
- Courrielche was cited in the book This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture.
- Courrielche and his reporting on the Climatic Research Unit email controversy appeared in the book The Sciences' Media Connection - Public Communication and its Repercussions.
- He appeared in the book Music Marketing for the DIY Musician.
- Courrielche appeared in the book The Corruption Chronicles.
- Courrielche and his reporting on the Climatic Research Unit email controversy appeared in the book The Climate Files. The Battle for the Truth about Global Warming by UK Guardian climate reporter Fred Pearce.
- The book "Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are" by NY Times author Rob Walker discussed the "unusual" way Courrielche helped launched the Scion brand.
- His story on the media dust up regarding muni bonds was featured in Reason.com.
- Courrielche's arts advocacy was featured in an essay in the Moral Liberal entitled "The Doom of Modern Art."
- He appeared on the Drudge Report for his essay critical of a documentary based on a Howard Zinn book.
- He was included in a Wall Street Journal feature story.
- Courrielche's arts advocacy was featured in the UK Guardian.
- Courrielche and his reporting on the Climatic Research Unit email controversy appeared in a ten part series published by the UK Guardian
- His argument regarding the role of artists in keeping power in check was featured in an essay by Professor Kathleen Keys entitled (PR)OBAMA ART & PROPAGANDA: UN(PRECEDENT)ED VISUAL COLLECTIONS OF HOPE, PROGRESS AND CHANGE? for The Journal of Social Theory In Art Education.
- Courrielche's concept of a new scientific peer review process he calls peer-to-peer review was cited in the Sociology of the Sciences Yearbook.
- Courrielche's arts advocacy appears in the book When Politicians Attack: Party Cohesion in the Media by Tim Groeling, Chair of the Department of Communication Studies at UCLA.
- Breitbart, Andrew (April 15, 2011) "Righteous Indignation" https://books.google.com/books/about/Righteous_Indignation.html?id=SUPaO3y-hqkC&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button#v=snippet&q=%22Courrielche%22&f=false
- Cey Adams with Bill Adler (October 14, 2008) "Definition: The Art and Design of Hip-Hop" https://books.google.com/books/about/DEFinition.html?id=CWUcMvHGRZYC
- Demersseman, William (September 22, 2010) "Dissed Trust: America's Crisis of Truth, Faith, and Freedom." https://books.google.com/books/about/Dissed_Trust.html?id=sQWIqJim8jIC&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button#v=onepage&q=courrielche&f=false
- Blair, Elizabeth, (September 23, 2009) NPR. "White House Cautious Over NEA Politics Flap" http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113135814
- Williams, Juan, (August 19, 2009) Fox News. "Is Obama Administration Using Hollywood to Push Health Care on TV?" http://www.foxnews.com/transcript/2009/10/19/obama-administration-using-hollywood-push-health-care-tv/#
- Phillips, Whitney (2015) "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture." https://books.google.com/books?id=B4weBwAAQBAJ&pg=PA214&dq=courrielche&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZ8MjyhMTNAhVR9mMKHQ4PCAYQ6AEIMjAE#v=onepage&q=courrielche&f=false
- Borg, Bobby (2014) "Music Marketing for the DIY Musician: Creating and Executing a Plan of Attack on a Low Budget." https://books.google.com/books?id=aeCRBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA8-IA37&dq=courrielche&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZ8MjyhMTNAhVR9mMKHQ4PCAYQ6AEIODAF#v=onepage&q=courrielche&f=false
- Litton, Tom (2014) "The Corruption Chronicles: Obama's Big Secrecy, Big Corruption, and Big Government." https://books.google.com/books?id=foe4AwAAQBAJ&pg=PA220&dq=courrielche&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZ8MjyhMTNAhVR9mMKHQ4PCAYQ6AEILDAD#v=onepage&q=courrielche&f=false
- Cavanaugh, Tim (March 31, 2011) "Cavanaugh-Gasparino Rematch Like Chuck Wepner vs. Gerry Cooney" http://reason.com/blog/2011/03/31/cavanaugh-gasparino-rematch-li
- Beading, Robert F. (January 3, 2011) "The Doom of Modern Art" http://www.themoralliberal.com/2011/01/03/the-doom-of-modern-art/
- Moynihan, Michael C. (December 9, 2009) "Will History Channel and/or Matt Damon Get to the Bottom of 9/11?" http://reason.com/blog/2009/12/09/will-history-channel-andor-mat
- Taranto, James (October 16, 2009) "Taking On the 'Democrat-Media Complex'" http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704471504574451703003340362
- Wilkinson, Chris (September 9, 2009) "Noises off: Is theatre part of a political plot'" https://www.theguardian.com/stage/theatreblog/2009/sep/09/theatre-political
- Keys, K. (2010) (PR)Obama Art and Propaganda. Un(precedent)ED Visual Collections of Hope, Progress, and Change? The Journal of Social Theory In Art Education (30) (R. Sweeny, Ed.). 116-134. http://scholarscompass.vcu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1369&context=jstae&sei-redir=1&referer=https%3A%2F%2Fscholar.google.com%2Fscholar%3Fq%3D%2522Patrick%2BCourrielche%2522#search=%22Patrick%20Courrielche%22
- "Scientists' Blogs: Glimpses Behind the Scenes". Sociology of the Sciences Yearbook: 273–289. December 1, 2011. doi:10.1007/978-94-007-2085-5_14.
- Groeling, Tim (2010) "When Politicians Attack: Party Cohesion in the Media." https://books.google.com/books?id=aZTKmdTDNs0C&pg=PA210&lpg=PA210&dq=cnn+courrielche&source=bl&ots=S644EQf7o2&sig=17UXV17SY0LfFXLcm-tmM02OB54&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjO---YtcbNAhVM6GMKHbPPBzo4ChDoAQgbMAA#v=onepage&q=courrielche&f=false
Courrielche graduated from UCLA in 1996 with a Masters of Science degree in applied physics. He married entrepreneur, marketing strategist, and writer Adryana Cortez and lives with her and his daughter in Los Angeles.