Christopher Baker

Flashbelt: Day 3

20 June 2007

Day three at Flashbelt was quite enjoyable.

Andr̩ Michelle showed off some of his AS3 audio projects including 5plice, an online audio editing, remixing and sequencing and sharing suite written in AS3 for Flashplayer 9. I was impressed by the small footprint, responsiveness and sound quality produced by the libraries, but was less interested in the concepts behind 5plice. The need for online audio editing is in question for me Рand sites like Freesound fulfill my need for hours and hours of free CC audio.

That brings me to GMUNK. GMUNK is a motion graphics superstar. His motion work might best be described as a detailed, vibrant, seizure-inducing spectacle, propelled by an endless series explosions (literally) – as recorded on a shaky handicam. GMUNK’s presentation was as energetic as his work and he struck a nice balance between showing the work itself and revealing some of his simple animation techniques in Maya.

The day of speakers was concluded by a Zen-like presentation from Jared Tarbell (1,2 and 3). Jared has been producing algorithmic art for some time now and more recently began to focus on his commercial work at Etsy. His presentation was essentially a review of fundamental generative techniques (i.e. repetition, recursion, etc) with some lovely examples. Much of the nature-inspired work he showed was circa 2004 and I’m curious to see what he does next. A brief conversation at the afterparty led me to believe he will be integrating some sculptural elements into his work soon.

All in all, the conference was enlightening. I was left convinced that the meeting would have benefited from less code-sharing and more idea generation and open discussion. Perhaps it is an artifact of my current educational pursuits, but I feel that within such a computer-literate group, direct “show me your code” discussions should be minimized. Instead, I feel that it would be more useful to step back, put down one’s tools (Flash, Processing, etc) and make more room for brainstorming, idea generation, concept discussion and talk of the future. The net and technologies are, and will continue to, change and these are the people that can and should be thinking about how those changes will affect us.

Flashbelt: Day 2 Urban Echo in Copenhagen