Stinky socks. Talking dogs. Dancing jelly beans.
We got to see all of the above — and more! — at the SIM Centre‘s inaugural show + tech. Show + tech is a chance for members of Vancouver’s business, art and technology communities to connect with the faculty, students and staff at Emily Carr, and to discover one another’s projects and passions. Tonight’s gathering included digital artists, web developers, curious onlookers and Emily Carr President Ron Burnett.
We heard about 6 different projects, all on the theme of “what I did on my summer vacation”. Each presenter shared a single image, slide or video clip that illustrated their latest creative or professional project, and gave us a quick 5-minute rundown of what the project was about before taking a few questions. Then it was on to the next!
E-mail us to let us know if you want to attend the next show + tech, or if you have a project you’d like to present. We’d love to hear about the creative digital endeavours outside of Emily Carr as well as within the university.
Here are the projects we heard about tonight:
Diana Burgoyne: Flap
Feet don’t smell as bad as you think. That was one of the insights we took from Diana Burgoyne‘s presentation of Flap, an installa
tion that she created in partnership with New Zealand artist Raewyn Turner. These two artists believe that exploring our sensory associations is another way to understand our cultural identity, and developed a collaboration to give that notion visceral form. The project collected 25 pairs of socks from Canadians — Diana asked a variety of family and friends to wear socks until they were intolerably stinky — and placed them in jars in gallery that also contained 25 pairs of socks from New Zealanders. Each jar was rigged so that gallery visitors had to lean in perilously close to trigger a jar opening…whereupon they’d get a whiff. The big surprise, Diana told us, is that people dove in for a bigger sniff than they were obligated to take…and that the stinky socks were mostly not that stinky.
Lauren Bacon: datadotgc
The geek-tastic datadotgc is a project for anyone who hates to wait. Here in Canada, we’ve been waiting for the government to introduce an open data strategy like the United States’ data.gov or the UK’s data.gov.uk. Lauren Bacon of Raised Eyebrow web studio showed us what happens when people stop waiting and take matters into their own hands: this summer, Lauren and her collaborators worked with a team of Microsoft developers to create a working beta that can take data like a list of Edmonton’s historical buildi
ngs, and turn it into a sortable, mappable resource.
Leslie Bishko: Body Buddies
What’s missing from a 3-person Skype conference? Once you get past two participants, you can’t do video, so you lose the entire repertoire of non-verbal communication. Leslie Bishko and her collaborators have tested an alternative in Body Buddies, a system of avatars that supplements a Skype call with gestures and body language. No more communicating with disembodied voices: Body Buddies lets you incorporate meaningful social signals into your voice-only communications.
Sean Arden: Best Before
If you’re the only person using your computer right now, you are way under capacity: Sean Arden and his collaborators were able to support 64 gamers on a single dual-core computer. Throw a few of those computers together, and t
hey were able to get 200 gamers simultaneously playing their parts as little jelly beans in a giant, movie theatre-sized video game. Their show, Best Before, launched at the Cultch in Vancouver before touring worldwide.
Maria Lantin: Breath I/O
We don’t consume media: we breathe it in…and out. That’s the insight behind Breath I/O, a collaborative art project presented by one of its creators, IDS Director Maria Lantin. Breath I/O is a virtual reality sculpture that projects video imagery onto a stereoscopi
c 3D model of living, breathing lungs, accompanied by breath sounds and the whispered inner dialogue (“I like it. I like it. I don’t like it. Like me!”) that narrates our subjective experience of social media and life online. Maria showed us the latest iteration, which she worked on during her Oboro residency this summer, and which she displayed with a snazzy laser projector that can project onto curved surfaces…like the 3D fabric lungs currently being created for the project by Emily Carr grad student Katherine Soucie.
Julie Andreyev: Remote monitoring
If your dog barks when there’s nobody there to hear it, does it make a sound? That question is not exactly what drove Julie Andreyev‘s summer explorations, but she’s in a good position to offer an answer. Julie’s exploration of animal consciousness in *glisten HIVE has evolved into an investigation of the latest generation of options for remote monitoring while you’re away from home, from webcams that stream to our iPhone to a dog tag that gets your puppy tweeting.
Rachel Kroft & Shelagh McLellan: A digital resource directory for Emily Carr
One of the standout projects at last year’s grad show was Lisa Fraser’s BearHug, a pressure vest for autistic kids who find calm in a tight embrace. Lisa’s project faced a common challenge here at Emily Carr, where student and faculty projects often require an eclectic, unusual and highly specialized set of resources and services. But when students succeed in tracking down the shop with that programmable embroidery machine, or the guy who knows how to do a certain kind of welding, that information may leave the school with them. By creating a digital resource collection that integrates with the university web site, Rachel and Shelagh hope to build a directory of suppliers and expertise that can help students, faculty and other members of the artistic community.
Of course, no show + tell would be complete without juice + cookies, so once our minds were blown we had a chance to kick back, meet each other and start finding potential intersections. We hope you’ll join us at our next show + tech for even more stories and inspiration from the place where art and tech collide.
Thanks for putting this on Alex! It turned out really well. After the talks I learned about breath sensors from Diana Burgoyne and plan to try them out as an interface. Wouldn’t have happened without this meeting.