EYEO Festival

I’ve just landed in LA after a good 5 days in Minneapolis for EYEO Festival.


First off, what a conference. The range of venues, the speakers, the free beer (free!), all the book giveaways, free t-shirts, stickers, the countless awesome conversations I had, the many awesome people I met, and the incredible amount of presentations and ideas leaves me with a real giant sense of inspiration.

I just can’t say enough good about the festival. In particular to the organisers, Dave Shroeder and Jer Thorpe, whom also graciously allowed me to perform at the closing night party at Nomad Pub. There’s the sense at EYEO that your mingling with some of the world’s best creative minds – which is humbling but also quite intimidating.

But to go from what is mostly an online understanding of creative code culture, to being able to ‘hear’ artists views in person, to see them in person and put a face to the artworks you’re so familiar with – it’s a really great way of your mind putting all the pieces together, which in the non-linear hyperlinked context of the net can sometimes seem a little broken.

Dave and Jer are such a generous and open team. Which is really nice to see the way open source software can translate to open social participation IRL.

And you kind’ve see a little more than just the public works that someone puts on a folio online. You get the inner workings of the mind of each artist, their process, their motivations.

I took the Creative JS workshop and the HTML5 workshop with the Google Data Arts team. It might have bee nice to offer day long workshops so the presenters don’t feel they have to be so rushed and cram everything into 3 hours. The Data Arts team kinda handled this nicely by simply offering some tools to jam with, and canvassing the room offering assistance to anyone who needed it.

Another thought I had was trying out something other than panel discussions – which seems to be a conference format that never really gets hacked too much. Maybe trying a new thing altogether – where the conversation is basically opened up to the audience within ten minutes, and all panelists act as quides and moderators for the exchange. Often there’s time for questions at the end – and not enough time – but also ‘comments’ tend to be shunned in this format. Maybe it’s time to let the comments flourish, and move from panel focus to open conversation sessions.

Night time keynotes where alway at a fresh new venue in Minneapolis, which was a spot on move that got everyone seeing parts of the city they might have otherwise missed.

Great talks by Casey Reas, Robert Hodgin, Kyle McDonald, Andrew Bell, Scott Snibbe and the awesome generative sculptures, shades and puzzles by Nervous System.

I also found out about some nice little tools like Sublime, and EasyEars.js. In particular Reas exploration of one line of C64 code in a new upcoming book was an interesting piece of research. And Robert Hodgin’s physics influenced work was a delight for everyone in attendance.

Andrew Bell’s list of languages toward the end of his talk certainly made me take stock think about how and where to place my time and energy. But also, the whole conference in general has really re-ignited my interest and passion for code. Which over the coming months I think will see a range of new explorations on this site. It’s actually taken me many years just to work out what languages do what, to understand when, where and how what tools will be useful for the kind of work you want to do.

That’s kind of clear to me now, in processing(+js), Javascript, in add-on tools like three.js and easyears. Along with Quartz composer in my live sets, I really feel this range of tools is the world I want to explore for the foreseeable future. And I’ll definitely be returning to Minneapolis next year for the 3rd iteration of EYEO. Hopefully then, I will have a compelling project in the works that I can share with this resonant and progressive community.

More photo’s and words up on scroll-type : here :

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