Yesterday I kicked all work in the morning, and right before lunch I rushed to Roppongi Hills where Howard Rheingold was presenting the publication of the japanese version of Smart Mobs alongside with a Smart Moblie workshop and a very quick presentation by Anthony Townsend on how they worked on NYCwireless.
Well, I had read Howard's book a while ago, and in a way I found it pretty inspiring. I did find it a little rehtoric though and was expecting a little bit more from his presentation, but unluckily and though previsible, all it was was a quick intro to what's on the book.
Because the main room was packed, I was sent to a second room where we could see a live broadcast of what was going on the other room. Audio was intermitent so I could listen to only half of all presentations, and I runned out of batteries right when they published the url for a live chat to participate on the Q&A - so no asking questions for me;P
Besides being a full-time online celebrity since the pre-browser era, Howard is best known for his focus on the social and cultural implications of how we adapt to new technology and how new technology adapts to us rather than just pointing out technology per se.
As soon as I get some time I'll try to give the book a little review. Now be aware, his style is very flambuoyant, but I guarantee you'll get sucked into it - I'm always half way into another of his works.
Below I post some of the works I was able to assist to and found mostly interesting at Siggraph last month.
This are presentations/installations I assisted in the first 3 days. Considering that this is a huge event, and the fact that I missed the last 2, this is probably less than 1% of what happened there this year.
every work in this pavillion was really inspiring, these are some of them:
The Augmented Composer Project: the Music Table
Body Brush - review at cnn
Food Simulator - review at bbc
The Dimension Book
The OmniGlobe; a selph contained spherical display system
Real time motion capture for Interactive Entertainment
ILM on creature critters & clones
Computer Animation Festival
All of it was awesome - I should have bought the DVD!!!
Building Physical Interfaces; Making Computer Graphics Interactive
Cross Cultural User-Interface Design
What I whish I could have seen:
All web graphics presentations.
Augmented Reality presenbtation by Nasa Ames Resarch Center
Computer Graphics for Large-scale Inmersive theaters
Finding Nemo; Story, Art, Technology and Triage - a presentation by Pixar Studios
All art installations starting on the 4th day
The Matrix Revealed - presentation on Reloaded SFX backstage.
As you can see, the scale of this event is huge. I will make sure next year in L.A. I assist to the full 5 days of it. Not a single minute can be wasted there. Of course, if you are a digital craftsman be sure to submit your work there! deadlines are probably closing in january, and if your work is selected, among others, you may get passes for the full conference!
Never had better times. Siggraph was a blast, this conference was a real eye opener, too much to see, feel, experience, learn there. Though the conference lasted 5 full days, I only spent 3 days there. Why? well I'm still asking myself that. I had thought 3 days would be enough and I could enjoy 2 more days at my parent's place in Argentina that way. Well, Argentina was real fun too, never had so much meat and wine in my life, but unluckily the party at Siggraph seems to have started on the 4th day. Though I was able to meet up with other friends over there, participants of the web graphics category, Branden, Joshua, Grant, Robert, they where all having their presentations the last two days. I was really looking forward to meet them all. Well... bad planning, I promise I will do my homework and check the conference schedule first next time before planning.