The Studio of Eric Valosin

Saturday, November 2, 2013

LISA 2013

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the Leaders in Software and Art (LISA) conference, held at the New School. 4 amazing panel discussions on archiving and collecting digital work, the open source movement, DIY start-ups, and commercial creative coding, plus 17 "lightning talks" by the top new media artists and thinkers out there!

Got me really thinking about the challenges for preservation and migration that exist in an ever-changing digital landscape. There was a theme among presenters in which it consistently took between 20 and 41 years between making a cutting edge tech piece and placing it in a collection! (see Lynn Hershmann Leeson, who was working with artificial intelligence and interactive installations in the 60's!!) What got me was that when the collector came a-knocking, the things were still working!

Sophia Brueckner singing code

Josh Davis

Panel with Kegan Schouwenberg, Bre Pettis, and Gabriella Levine, moderated by Sunny Bates

Jamie Ziegelbaum sharing an interactive light installation during a panel with Barry Threw, Margaret Brett-Kearns, and Vivian Rosenthall, moderated by Chick Foxgrover

Every presenter was off the charts amazing, but particularly of note (i.e. google them right this instant):

  • Claire Bardainne (whose unbelievable interactive video performance workwas referred to by the other techies as "wizardry")
  • Josh Davis (did the visualizations for Watson, the jeopardy computer that beat Ken Jennings)
  • Luke Dubois (co-author of Jitter and does unbelievably clever work compiling, recombining, and systematizing internet data)
  • Yucef Merhi (poet and hacker artist who got Damien Hurst's credit card information and signed him up for a subscription to ArtForum)
  • Jake Lee-High (who's created viewer-responsive weather systems, an augmented reality device that creates a fully immersive virtual world that allows him to play God, and turned every car on 6th Ave into a BMW, not to mention just a really nice guy)
  • Bre Pettis (extraordinarily witty and over-productive founder of MakerBot)
  • Sophia Breukner (who's modally sung lines of code, and then a code that sings itself, immediately peaked my interest. Love her work!)
And after all was said and done, couldn't have asked for a better ending to the night, in a speak-easy bar inside Woolworths with a DJ and sound visualization projection, having a drink with media theorist Lev Manovich and talking philosophy and theology with other artists!

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