Exploding Art Mimbulus Mimbletonia style

A blog by Julia Felix about experiences on the CAMS New Media in NYC and Europe study abroad program.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Oh No!!

Well, we only did one thing today really, and that was go to NextFest. John asked us to pick an exhibit there and write a couple of paragraphs about it, but I can't quite figure out how. I want to talk about all the interesting things that were there, and I have about 30 pictures of everything. So this should be interesting.

After a night of hardcore partying, almost everyone managed to get up and meet at 9:45 to go to NextFest, which took place in the Javitz convention center. John picked up our tickets, handed them out, and we were off to explore.

And now I'm going to write the longest sentence in the universe.

There was a cool harp made out of lasers that people could play, some kind of light up blocks, a cool fog screen thing, a "Media Mirror" that projected what was in front of it in the form of little tiny live television feeds, a cool space-time spandex pokey screen, a projected dandelion that blows away when an infrared hairdryer is pointed at it, a bunch of interactive projected games/images that move when a person tries to push them, Coca-cola Blak (eeew), some kind of underwater diving suit that was basically made so people can take oil out of the ocean floor, robot dancing follows, some kind of blinking robot xylophone, mechanical hands, therapy baby seals that squeek when you poke them, another mirror type thing with little discs, electronic prostitute shoes, a robot Albert Einstein, electronic people that read your blog outloud for you, a program that searches the internet for images based on the captioning on whatever channel you're watching, a weird circle bike/car thing, and a really cool musical light thing that the creator admitted was just an excuse to use Toshiba stuff since they were his sponsors. *Catches breath* Actually, that wasn't as long as I thought it'd be. Picture time!

Even though I just discovered my new love of Mirror like electronic things, now that I know how they work, they don't seem as interesting. Especially since now I've seen four of them in the last two days. No, by far my favorite thing in all of NextFest was Laptop_Orchestra by a nice guy named Paolo, who seemed to be one of the only people in all of NextFest who actually wanted to tell me about what he was doing. Even though the poster claimed it to be "an interactive synthetic instrument," Paolo told me that it wasn't so much an instrument as a media project where a person could create images and tones in any way they wanted.

Here's how it works (sort of): There are 15 laptops set into a table, each programmed with different algorithms that cause them to make different patterns on the screen when activated. They are activated with touch sensitive "stem tops" (long antenna like things) that are arranged in the same order as the laptop screens. Each time the stem tops are touched, the screen makes an image that has a corresponding tone, creating a very nice image and sound piece which has absolutely no purpose other than to be beautiful. And that, I've recently discovered, is my favorite kind of thing. Paolo actually explained to me that he was being sponsored by Toshiba and basically made Laptop_Orchestra because he needed to use their product. It just proves my point that sometimes people make the best things when they aren't trying to.


Anonymous Badgwell said...

Yay I found your blog! I appreciate how long it takes to update with long entries. Ganbatte. It's really hard to keep them interesting. But all I really have to say is KIKURENSHUUUUUU!

12:01 AM  
Anonymous Mararrrr said...

It's really weird, I feel like lots of the stuff you've explained that is "new technology art", as I will call it, I read about in Wired magazine. And I've only ever read like, two issues, ever. It seems like such an unlikely place...

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Matej said...

I am so envious you got to go to NextFest. I read about it in the last Wired and it seemed awesome. And now I am just jealous. Could you send me some bigger pictures?

12:42 PM  
Blogger superclosetnerd said...

Updating my bookmarks... see you're still here. Looks different than I remembered. I've updated my stuff too - candle making

2:33 AM  

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