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Dorkbot NYC March 2007

Went to the monthly Dorkbot NYC meeting tonight.

Dorkbot is a social group that showcases the work of artists who use technology to express their ideas. It’s a good way to experience new media projects directly from the folks who create them, and a source of inspiration for those of us who want to play in those spaces.

Tonight’s presenters consisted of a painter who mixes physical painting with video to create images that evolve through time from non-linear images or clips superimposed on his own rendered image of the scene.

Another presenter photographed herself every hour of the day for 18 months. The resulting collection of photographs was then interpreted in a number of ways, from a linear timeline of her life, to a series of retrospective sequences paired with photos of her surroundings at the time of each photograph. The work was most impressive, not merely for the discipline required to photograph oneself so often, but because the material was so rich and flexible for interpreting and expression. She was certainly an extreme case of lifelogging, and carried it off very well indeed.

The final presenters were a team from Spain who approached equity trading firms to express the volatility of equities markets in an artistic medium. Their work was of particular interest to me. Some of the projects they showcased involved the 3D visualization of market data, something that is surely very common for commercial purpose, but probably not so common when mapped to bird metaphors or music. The core idea behind their work was highlighting the volatility inherent in the markets. I was naturally interested only in how they chose to represent that in metaphorical concepts.

Finally, a visiting musician using analog music serenaded the group. He was in the US from another country and planned to perfom street music using his novel analog instruments. It’ll be interesting to see someone on the street musician circuit that isn’t carrying around a cheap mass-market synth for once.

If you’re in New York next month, check out the Dorkbot NYC meeting, the first Wednesday of every month at 7pm. Details here: http://dorkbot.org/dorkbotnyc/about.shtml

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