Back from Groningen, and my mind is full of all sorts of crazy ideas after GOTO10’s mini festival. Although mini in size, the quality of this event was very high.
The day after arriving, Gabor and I did our best to introduce our workshop participants to livecoding and fluxus, from the basics of scheme to some more visually juicy aspects:
The next day the roles were reversed as we took part in workshops lead by some of the previous day’s participants. This was the ‘speed geeking’ event, we had 30 minutes to learn about a new project and contribute something towards it before moving on to the next. We looked at games as explorations of the struggle between supermarkets and open markets, by playing and helping to refine the rules of a boardgame prototype designed by Selena Savic. There was also a creative strategy involving recycling digital trash by Loredana Bontempi called ddump. I recycled a presentation using open office into a glorious piece of digital art. Then Emanuele Bonetti showed us a new way of sharing image references called pickpic which promoted online collaboration. This was a good format for fast presentation of ideas – I think the time was short enough to keep it slightly chaotic and therefore giving it a fresh, informal feeling.
On Saturday there were talks themed around ‘Hocus Pocus’. Martin Howse discussed the concepts surrounding his island2 installation which was being shown in the sign gallery. He took us on a journey through ideas of protected or hidden spaces including stenography, kernel security rings and software design tied to themes of vampirism, pornography, plague and classical concepts of concealment. Dmytri Kleiner gave a talk looking at how political ideologies tend to attach to different network topologies, what it could mean to be a venture communist and why the world needs them. Finally Florian Cramer made a passionate call for digital art to return to the critical, comparing the work of Constant Dullaart (superb name for an artist, can’t be real) with Heath Bunting’s Own, Be Owned, or Remain Invisible.
I have some footage of my performance, but it’ll have to wait for the moment. I should also mention Breakfast club – which was an approach to try and document discussions about the previous day’s events the morning after. The theory being that you can lure people into a situation involving cameras and microphones by the deployment of freshly baked croissants first thing in the morning. This worked well to get discussion going between the different groups, and is something I’d like to see used more at other events.