Marcia Hansen

Creators Project 2012 Opens in San Francisco

The third year of the Creators Project kicks off in San Francisco on Saturday and Sunday, March 17-18. If you’re not familiar with it, the Creators Project is a creative partnership between Intel and VICE that explores the boundaries of art and technology.

I visited the event grounds at Fort Mason yesterday, and it’s an inspiring walk among the exhibits to experience first hand what artists and engineers are able to do when collaborating together. When I was finishing my undergraduate degree I had an opportunity to take a web design class that brought together engineering, art and english students to create web sites. But that was back in the early days of the web. Things have advanced quite a bit since then.

In particular, some creatives are incorporating gestures from the viewer turning what was once primarily a reflective inner experience into an active collaboration between artist and participant. Other artists/engineers (what’s the best descriptor when they blur the edges?) give music visuals in a web browser, or turn data into sound and 3D images. Still others work to explain what’s happening in film.


For example, the Meditation installation by Minha Yang, a Korean artist, creates red ripples on screen that are serenely evocative. However, as people step closer to the three speakers embedded with infrared cameras and sensors, their movements trigger the ripple display in more freeform enticing imagery.

There was a line to walk into Origin, a 3D metal cube 40 ft x 40 ft. LED lights and electronic music by Scanner merge into a light sculpture. When participants walk into the cube they become part of the live performance created by United Visual Artists.

Another compelling exhibit, soundQuake, visualizes earthquake data in 3D and banjo notes. With the advent of webGL and Chrome this type of project becomes possible. Kyle Warren spoke about the project in one of the panel sessions, The Creative Potential of the Modern Web, that was a winning project of Art Hack Weekend in San Francisco by he and his teammates, Danny Bowman, Lisa Hiatt, Chris Delbuck and Barry Threw.

Another winning project from Art Hack, Audio Shaker Toy, visualizes mp3 files in the web browser. Ryan Alexander explained the project that brings audio and the web together, without using Flash. Also part of the team are Syed Reza Ali and Gabriel Dunne.

People stopped to sit and watch Strata #4 by Quayola, that turns classic works of art by Rubens and Van Dyck into geometric shapes. This remixing of traditional artwork with digital experience makes it new again, but also could expose tension or harmony, depending on your perspective.

Casey Roadarmor made me glad I hadn’t put an ad out on Craig’s List. A Partyline is created when the program that he, Brandon Liu, Elle Sakamoto, and Angelo Hizon developed, calls people and puts them on a telephone call together. The program keeps the participants at 40 for a minute or so and then begins to drop them one  by one. Luckily, they wrote the code in such a way that once they call you once, you won’t be called again. It’s dark comedy in a web browser that will make you laugh or groan, or both.

Don’t miss the screening of Internet Rising by Andrew Kenneth Martin, Marina Eisen, and Alex Eisen. It’s a philosophical discussion of the Internet and what it enables. The film raises such questions as when we transfer more of our consciousness to the Internet, will the collective unconsciousness lead to amazing new things? Will the Internet become global consciousness? In the past we’ve considered what is good for commerce, but the filmmakers suggest the new question will be, “What’s good for cyberspace?”

If you have time to head out this afternoon, enjoy the exhibits that blend art, music, and technology. There is also street food and party beverages to enjoy. More info at The Creators Project site.


Marcia Hansen

About Marcia Hansen

Marcia works as a digital storytelling marketing strategist for iQ and the Intel digital newsroom. She joined Intel in July 2010 after her pioneering work in social media at Allstate Insurance. She loves words, movies, photos, and world travel. Marcia holds an M.A. from the University of Missouri where she completed a thesis on digital literacies.

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