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Esphere – what is the world coming to?

November 26th, 2010

Filed under: TECHNOLOGY


The crowd gathers at the espheres conference, Klokgebouw Strijp-S

I’m sitting in the Klokgebouw at the STRPFestival Esphere Conference and am a bit overwhelmed about the world as we imagine it, at least, how the folks on the stage are envisioning it.

Artists, bionic men, gamers
What we’ve been crammed to the gills with is the convergence of myriad art and technology investigations by artists and scientists at the forefront of their fields. So far, Aaron Koblin – self-professed 50% nerd and 50% artist – has baffled us with the scale and number of his co-creative data visualisation projects. Professor Kevin Warwick has shared his experiences of being the first cyborg on earth and I’ve just finished listening to artist Gordan Savicic talk about gaming vs cheating, and how he hacked Facebook by buidling web 2.0 suicide machine to help you delete a Facebook profile.

The Esphere conference goes to extremes

Koert van Mensvoort speaks to Aaron Koblin

Aaron has almost inspired me to have a go on the Johnny Cash Project and illustrate a frame for ‘Ain’t no grave’ video – the results are ever evolving and involve people to pay tribute to the memory of their hero. How is this useful?”I’m not interested in research or solving problems. The job of the artist is to provide enjoyment and to ask questions – not to focus on economics or finance.”

KevinĀ  says that enhanced humans of the future will not be interested in communicating with “regular” humans with only five senses. People with super sonic and infra red detecting abilities will be able to communicate with each other, on a much deeper level than humans – that un-enhanced non-cyborgs will be “embarrassed” by their limitations. When asked who in the audience would like to be injected with a chip, I kept both hands firmly down.

Lorna Goulden, from Philips Design, believes that there is such an over-emphasis of technological development that there is a risk of losing balance in really implementing the Internet of Things.

Geert Lovink is on stage now, saying that many people have different ideas about what the Internet of Things is as a concept, and that we will also shape it for the future. “Our influence, no matter small, even as artists in this obscure building in Eindhoven, should not be down-played.”

It’s a little messy around here – visitors to the exhibition area are deep (vocalising) in their experience of visiting the installations in the area I’m sitting in the Sidetrack #II. I have lost concentration, but I’m soldiering on.

Whatever we do, we’re part of the process
Even my being here today is part of the process, I guess. In my small way, while watching where the world may be going in art/technology I’m a co-creator of it. (Even though I’ve been sitting on my hands and just been an observer/twitterer/blogger).

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