Tuesday, August 19, 2008

ISEA Conference 2008

During the Malaysia trip I came to know about this conference on Electronic Arts and this year it was being hosted in Singapore. My visa was still valid and so I decided to drop in. The conference was scheduled from 25-30 July but I could manage to reach only on 27th just in time to attend the last Keynote of the conference by Prof. Lawrence Lessig, the father of the Creative Commons project.

He talked about creativity, culture, technology & law and the complex probabilities of their interactions. Apart from the concepts he had to share I was astounded by his style of presentation where his slides (with just one word on each!) just flow with his speech and emphasize what he is talking about. The way he captivated the audience was really worth an experience!

I found a couple of his talks hosted on the web. He talks about the same topics in his fascinating style which is sighted in best examples of presenting.

The conference was distributed across a bunch of venues. The best I thought was ADM, NTU. I really liked its ambience.

All throughout the week there were a LOT of researchers, artists & designers who shard there work in 30 minute talks. But at a time there were at least 5-7 talks happening and the toughest thing to do all throughout the conference was to opt one of them to attend.

There were a lot of interesting talks but I cannot go in details of those. But unlike other conferences, there were a lot of exhibitions apart from the talks. I was able to check out the ISEA juried exhibition apart from the partner exhibitions: Experimenta Play ++, Lucid Fields, Cloudland & Relocations.

The ISEA juried exhibition was curated at the National Museum of Singapore. A stupefying white structure that basked in sunlight...

..but in night it changed colour every 30 seconds! And each looked equally beautiful!

So coming back to exhibitions..some of the exhibits really amused me. There were a bunch of interesting exhibits at ADM based on touch interactions.

There was one which generated music from the positions of your feet. Infact the music you hear in above videos is actually coming from this artwork which was exhibited just nearby.

Some of the partner exhibitions also had some appealing exhibits.

The Shy Picture by Narinda Reeders & David MacLeod.

A playful installation disguised as a photoframe...it amused everybody so much that they repeatedly played with it for a while before moving on..

Another interesting one at Experimenta Play++ was Immersion by Angela Barnett, Andrew Buchanan, Darren Ballingall, Chris MacKellar & Christian Rubino.

Projection of an underwater scene on the floor which invited the onlookers to get immersed in the world down below the surface...

Charmed by Priscilla Bracks, Gavin Sade & Matt Dwyer.

I could not shoot the video but you can watch it here.

Where in the world am I? by Dominik Bastianello was the most interesting one I found at Lucid Fields. It was an interesting take on the Theory of Relativity..

Another one was Kubic's Cube by Pablo Ventura.

A performative Installation with Kubic acting as a dance-machine, a cubist kinetic sculpture and an instrument of rhythmic movement. It was huge and while interacting with it to an extent felt like I am standing near a Transformer.

There were some other research projects also exhibited at ADM.

This one was for children to learn name of objects, how they are spelt and how they look...it was like a virtual interactive encyclopedia to play with!!

In the ISEA juried exhibition the most amazing I thought was Quartet. One has to just stand and move his hands like a conductor of an orchestra..the motions were detected and the instrument were played by machines..pretty neat execution I must say.

It was quit an inspiring experience to see for real and interact with some amazing artworks...and meeting so many interesting people...especially after finishing master's of Interaction Design and knowing that there are a many stimulating things to look forward to.

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