Reasons to be Creative – Day 3 Recap

The last day of Reasons to be Creative started in a pretty up beat tempo. An elevator pitch session where 20 young creatives had 3 minutes to make their mark was not to be missed. Some spoke about a specific project they were working on, others about their work in general and some just had a thought they wanted to share. All their names can be found here. Together they were a parade of young energy and inspiration that started of the day.

I decided to stay in the main theatre where Mario Klingemann was just getting ready to speak about code art. He argued that this kind of art needs to be thought of more like music, than painting. Once a painting is finished, it needs to be preserved and protected. But music is often remixed, sampled or reinterpreted. Much like code art. Mario presented some of his generative code art pieces in many of their versions and remixes. Then he moved on to other ways he uses his code skills. For example, he developed an algorithm to sort over a million images from historical books that British National Library put on Flickr under public domain. And to make his talk even more interesting, Mario gave us a live demo of how he made an industrial robot dance in a shop window.

Speaking about creative ways of using technology, the next talk I went to see had a lot to offer too. Stacey Mulcahy came from software background and met Dave Sheinkopf half way, coming from hardware. They spoke about ‘Hardware for a Soft World.’ In other words physical computing and their crazy Arduino and RaspberryPi based projects. How crazy? Well, taxidermy, cats and conductive thread for example. They made a stuffed cat that you can pat on the back to browse through cat photos on the internet.

Yuri Suzuki is another artist who uses a lot of technology in his work. Unlike the other speakers though, he focuses more on sound rather than visuals. He presented many views on how sound influences our environments and us. In Tokyo, for example, train stations have unique melodies to help you notice when you need to get out. Research showed that these melodies are in correlation with suicide rates of each station. Yuri is exploring these kinds of impacts of sound in his work and he presented a number of examples. His collaboration with will.i.am could recently be seen at Barbican as a part of the Digital Revolution exhibition.

When the time came for the last talk of the conference, I was a little sad that it’s all passed so quickly. But on the other hand, this was the talk I have been waiting for all along. The one and only Gmunk! Since the last time I have seen him speak one year ago, he’s been on a roll. He made music video for Tycho, concert visuals for Beck, tittles for OFFF Cincinnati festival, Adobe logo remix video and of course Box. To everybody’s delight, he spent quite a lot of time on describing the processes and technologies involved in making of this mind-blowing piece. And there was a lot to describe. Industrial robots with screens, camera tracking, bespoke lighting. No wonder he had over 900 slides to fire through in about 70 minutes. He gave away some of his technical tricks but also saved some time to talk about Burning Man, show some kinky images and promote psychedelics.

And just like that Reasons to be Creative was over too soon. Time to pick up my buckets full of inspiration and cary them towards them back home. Hope to see you all back in Brighton 7-9 September 2015! Or if you can not wait that long, be sure to mark you calendars for the next one-day Reasons event on 20 February in London. Follow @reasonsto for details!

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