Later this week, I’ll be traveling to the UK. First, to present at the always excellent Flash on the Beach conference in Brighton. I’m excited about this year’s event where, in addition to the usual suspects, organizer John Davey has added some new names.
I’m particularly looking forward to see Karsten Schmidt (aka Toxi) present. I am an admirer of Karsten’s work and couldn’t get through a day of Processing without using one or more of his fantastically useful libraries. I’m also looking forward to Andy Polaine’s session. Andy is a writer and researcher who will share some insights learned from his PhD project on interactivity and play. Add to that a new math-themed session from Mario Klingemann, and I know I’ll be leaving Brighton with a full brain.
After Brighton, I am in London for 4 days, where I will try to sneak into ThisHappened, and likely check out a few other events during London Digital Week. If anyone has any suggestions for shows/pubs/exhibitions to check out while I’m in London, let me know.
On Wednesday I had the chance to talk at Flashbelt, a web media conference that I have been presenting at every year since 2004. I talked about data – how to get it, how to use it, and how & why it’s becoming more and more a part of our lives. I walked through some of the process behind my NYTimes API visualizations, my recent Wired UK NDNAD piece, and Just Landed.
I really enjoyed giving the presentation, and it was great to speak to a lot of interesting people at the conference before and after the talk. As promised, I’ve posted a .ZIP file with some simple Processing files to get you started exploring with the NYTimes ArticleSearch API – the link for that along with some other resources that I mentioned during the talk are listed below.
Some of you may be aware that this year’s Flashbelt conference ‘featured’ a controversial talk by Hoss Gifford. I’m not going to talk about my reactions in detail in this post as my intention here is to simply share some information related to my presentation. However, I will say that I believe that there is no room at all for content that is in any way demeaning to women at Flashbelt or at any other event. It’s inexcusable. I’m saddened that this happened – but was heartened this morning to read this very thoughtful response and call for discussion from conference organizer Dave Schroeder, along with some of the people who very rightly brought this issue to a public stage earlier in the week. It’s well worth a read.
Back to the resources. Here are a couple of images that I wanted to show in my presentation, but somehow forgot to include. The first is an abstract visualization of the word ‘organic’ in the NYTimes between 1981 and 2009. The second is a radial visualization of mentions of the Yankees & Mets in the same paper over the same period of time.
Finally, a list of links:
Please let me know if there’s anything I’ve missed. As always, I’d love to hear any feedback and suggestions from those who were in the audience. I’m already looking forward to next year!
** note: Photo above is not the official conference venue. It is, however, the spiritual heart.
Flashbelt is a new media conference that happens every year in Minneapolis – this year it runs from June 7th to 10th. I’m going to skip the paragraphs and paragraphs I could write extolling the virtues of this unique and engaging event, and instead, offer an invitation:
Come to Flashbelt. I’ll give you free stuff.
This year I’ll be talking about my work with The New York Times & The Guardian‘s newly-released APIs. I’ll talk about my inspiration, walk through my process, and I’ll show everyone how to easily get into experimenting and working with these fascinating repositories of data. I’ll even show some top-secret new work that I’ve been developing just for the conference. I’m really excited about this presentation.
Every year I leave Flashbelt event feeling inspired, and having met dozens of interesting people doing amazing work. The event is so much more than just a Flash conference – it’s a meeting-of-the-minds for new media creatives of all stripes.
The conference is a great deal – and there are only 400 tickets to be sold. Airline fares are cheap these days, you have some vacation time booked off – so head over to the website and sign up.
To sweeten the deal, a guarantee: If you buy a ticket to Flashbelt after reading this post, drop a comment below. I’ll give you a limited edition NYTimes 365/360 6″ x 6″ print. Also, I’ll be sure to say hello.
I’ll be in good company at the TOCA ME Design Conference in Munich in March; other speakers for this one-day event include Joshua Davis, GMUNK, Joel Gethin Lewis and Strukt. The program combines a day of presentations, an exhibition of local and international artists, and of course a chance to meet and converse with a host of interesting people. I have heard nothing but great things about TOCA ME and I am very excited to be a part of this year’s event. TOCA ME Design Conference, Munich, 03.07.09
A month later, I’ll be heading down to Florida for this year’s warmest Flash conference – FOTB Miami. The average temperature in Miami in April is 76º, which certainly seems appealing given the chilly weather that has assailed North America lately. On top of the climate, Conference organizer extraordinaire John Davey has put together a great program for this 3 day event. I’d list the names here, but there are too many – check out the site for all of the details. The conference is an excellent value, and a rare chance for those of you in the Southern USA to get to a Flash conference without a lot of travel. Get your Early-bird tickets now, and your drinks-with-umbrellas-in-them in April! Flash on the Beach Miami, South Beach, 04-06.09-04.08.09
Fall is sneaking up on us fast, and with it comes two brand new Flash conferences that I will be speaking at: Flash on the Beach, and Flash on Tap. At both conferences, I will be presenting a new session titled Emergence, in which I will sneak peak some brand new work, and talk in detail about my ongoing Colour Economy project. Here’s the session description:
Emergence refers to the way that complex systems and patterns arise out of relatively simple interactions. In this session we’ll look into some of the ideas behind emergence, and will explore in detail the role it plays in the creative process. We’ll talk about the effects of emergence in a variety of diverse areas, including economies, ecologies, and, of course, barrooms. Along the way, I’ll show a variety of new generative works which tread into emergent territories, and will unravel some of the underlying code that brings these projects to life.
Flash on the Beach is actually in its second year, though this will be my first chance to attend. Held in Brighton, UK, the conference is attracting a big range of speakers, with Flash favourites like Brandan Hall, Mario Klingemann and Robert Hodgin being joined by some interesting outside speakers, like artist Jonathan Harris (wefeelfine.org). Word from the organizers is that there are only a few tickets left. Last year’s event garnered rave reviews from pretty much everyone involved – I am hoping that FOTB08 will bring more of the same.
The new kid on the conference block is Flash on Tap. Yes, this conference is exactly what you (and I!) hoped it might be – a conference combined with a beer festival. The three day conference is scheduled with mornings of one-hour presentations followed by afternoon keynote sessions on the second and third day – the first day consists of workshops. On all three days there are beer-themed events in the evening – beer tastings, parties, and other events. Not surprisingly, the flash/beer combo has attracted a stellar list of speakers – though I noticed reading the bios that a few of the speakers don’t drink beer at all! Scandalous! Flash on Tap runs October 7th, 8th, and 9th. You can register for the conference on the website.