Calgary to Newcastle

Jer on stage

I’ve spent the last 8 weeks or so traveling around, doing a lot of speaking and teaching. Below is an overview of some of the places I’ve been and things I’ve been doing.

First stop was the Alberta College of Art and Design, where Adam Tindale arranged for me to teach a workshop on Processing. Adam has a good thing going in Alberta – his students were great, and despite it being at the very end of the term we had a good turn out and I think people learned a lot. While I was there, I had the chance to see Adam perform live, which was a definite highlight – he mixed generative music with sets of abstract geometric forms live-coded in Processing.

I left Alberta and headed east for FITC in Toronto, where I gave a presentation titled ‘Hacking the Newsroom’. I also had the opportunity to sit on a panel organized by Tali Krakowsky, called ‘Storytelling: Absorbed, Obsessed, and Immersed’. I was humbled to be included in this group with John Underkoffler, Alex McDowell and Ben Kreukniet. You can read a good overview of the panel and our discussions here.

From Toronto, to Prague, where I was part of Transistor 2010, an event themed on digital archival run by a Czech new media organization called CIANT. The event was hosted at Prague’s famous FAMU school – many thanks to Eric Rosenzveig who invited me to take part and to Barbora and the staff at CIANT for taking care of me!

MultiMania is a free one-day conference that is organized in Kortrijk, Belgium by the lovely and talented Koen de Wegghelaire. Yes, you read that right – free. Not only that, it’s a huge event, held in a sparkling new conference centre, and packed with excellent presenters. I was really, really impressed. Again, I talked about data visualization, with a focus on some of the projects I have done with the NYTimes APIs.

Those of you who have read my blog for any period of time will know that I am a big fan of Daniel Shiffman, who teaches at New York’s ITP. Daniel’s book, Learning Processing, is not only the best Processing text out there, it’s the best ‘learning to program’ book that I have ever encountered. I was thrilled, then, to be asked last minute to join Daniel for a ‘Processing Salon’ in Amsterdam, at Mediamatic. The event turned out to be very popular – 160+ people crowded into the space to hear the two of us talk about our work in Processing. This was the first – and probably only – time I’ve spoken in a space where a plywood bike track snaked its way through the crowd!

Finally, I made it to Newcastle last week for Thinking Digital. Thinking Digital is a three-day event held at The Sage Gateshead, a very distinctive building just across the equally distinctive Millenium Bridge from Newcastle. Thinking Digital is loosely styled after events like TED and PopTech, bringing together speakers from a variety of disciplines – the TDC10 lineup included an origami expert, a mathematician, a comedian, along with the usual mix of ‘social media experts’ and ‘branding experts’. It was a really solid event – organizers looking for a model of a well-run conference should look to Herb Kim and his Codeworks team.

I am in the process of getting the three (four?) versions of my presentation up on SlideShare. In the meantime, if you attended any of these events and have questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment or to get in touch via e-mail.

My whirlwind of speaking behind me, I’ll be spending another week in the UK before heading back to North America for FlashBelt. I’ll be in London from the 9th to the 14th – if anyone fancies a pint while I’m there, let me know!

4 thoughts on “Calgary to Newcastle”

  1. Your presentation at Thinking Digital was great, Jer! Inspired me to try my hand at Processing again after crashing and burning quite spectacularly last time… 🙂

  2. It was cool to finally see your Hacking the Newsroom presentation all the way through. And enjoyed hanging out in Kortrijk. See you in a couple of weeks at Flashbelt.

  3. Thanks for stopping by at ACAD. I've since picked up a book on Processing, Arduino and openFrameworks and I'm really looking forward to a summer learning how to program. Your workshop was absolutely invaluable to me.

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