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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Seven on Seven

I had an opportunity to attend Seven on Seven, an event at the New Museum. The idea: pair up seven groups of one artist and one technologist. They were given twelve hours or so to create a project, and today they presented their findings. Each group was given 20 minutes to present with 10 minutes for questions.

The projects were as varied as they were fascinating. They were all in various levels of completion and success: some only managed to compete a full day of research, and some managed to complete a full project. Every project left me with things to think about, and some 

Here are short (and completely unfair) descriptions of the projects, just to give you a taste of the variety:
  • An umbrella with identity; it communicates and broadcasts its locations, images and audio at all times. Take it, leave it, it passes on to someone else.
    • The best part about this project was talking with the team afterwards. I spoke with them about a project I plan to take on this summer, and they gave me great ideas.
  • A new feature on Wordpress: Fun Mode.
    • Man, one of these days I should move to Wordpress, though not necessarily just because of Fun Mode.
  • A mechanical device that only changes when nobody sees it: this might have been my favorite because they actually dared to build something physical.
  • A proposal for allowing users to swap identities on Twitter. This was simultaneously wonderful and utterly preposterous.
    • The first half of the presentation I kept thinking about the film Bubba Ho-Tep: if only Elvis did this instead! The second half of the presentation I thought about my "The Real Mark Jackman" project, which was all about assuming my friend's identity on the web.
  • A video immersion project based on two key constraints: ten second clips identified by three labels only.
    • The two collaborators commented on how much they enjoyed working together and that they planned to keep building on this project.
  • A marketplace for guilt and absolution.
    • Nothing particularly concrete came from this, save a fascinating collection of data using Amazon's Mechanical Turk.
    • Best comment of the day referring to how easy it was to get information out of the Mechanical Turk: "People bared their souls for two cents."
  • An analysis of mental health that was, to be honest, a little difficult to follow. But they shared some of their research which was well-presented.
Congratulations once again to the presenters.

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