The Technology in the Arts conference is a hit — at least with me. It is indescribably refreshing to be among other technologically-inclined folks who work in the arts, just like me. I realize that this is the real, secret reason to go to these conferences, to maintain your tribal membership and get your annual secret decoder ring (talk about useful technology), but it’s one thing to know it and quite another thing to experience it.
Enjoyed a very chatty lunch with Dee Schneidman of the New England Foundation for the Arts, whom I had met once before a year or so ago. Our organizations are similar in many ways, and so the bulk of the (highly enjoyable) conversation consisted of one of us verbalizing a challenge we are facing, to which the other would respond I know!
Speaking of satisfying, my first workshop of the day was a nice, juicy, hands-on crash course in podcasting that resulted in my walking out of there thinking I can totally do THAT! We played around with a short MP3 file in Audacity, created a musical intro with podsafe music, even bleeped out an (actual) expletive. Very fun, very demystifying, lots of information in a short, entertaining format.
Then, after lunch, we were treated to a keynote talk by Jake Barton of Local Projects, the design studio responsible for Story Corps, the National September 11 Memorial Museum, and more unspeakably interesting projects. The thought that kept running through my mind during his presentation was this is making me feel like this is the best and most exciting possible field to be in right now.
And what more could you want from a keynote? Free chocolate?
This was followed by a delightful dinner with Len Edgerly, coincidentally also affiliated with NEFA, with whom I shared still more commiseration, brainstorming, and twitter accounts. Both this conversation and a few earlier in the day stirred up some interesting new thoughts on scaling some of the bigger, broader-brush-stroke technologies like Digg and Twitter into a more locally-focussed application that I plan to develop my thinking on a little and post about later. Right now, more ruminating and tossing around of wild ideas is called for.