In a very elegant piece by Rachel Thompson for Mashable I was given the chance to think a little more deeply about an artwork I made recently regarding Trans issues and the way they are covered. The article is great : https://mashable.com/article/trans-media-coverage-fourth-estate/ but I also wanted to share my thoughts in full.
I'm not going to write a big review. I'm not even going to shamelessly recap the stuff we did.
[OK. We had lots of lovely reviews for Belongings. We did talks with the UN for International Women's Day and the sxsw conference centre on Editions at Play project. Hung out for a few days with all our favourite cultural folks (see 4.) My fav moments were meeting a Princess (Mary of Denmark) and a conversation about lesbian detective noire fiction that led to EAP being invited to Frankfurt Bookfair. nb. even royalty can't look cool in VR. ]
But here's the main reason I wanted to write. Sxsw seems firmly in flux, moving away from tech-bro and more into a safe space for tech, politics, hardware and culture to talk shop beneath the din of the music and the films.
"the physical experience is still a post-consumerist's nightmare of over-stimulation, multiplied by schwag, divided by eternal queues.”
I have been 4 times to SxSWi (Interactive) over the last 15years and I have LOW to MEh expectations. It's still, in so many ways, a daily waking dystopia. But I enjoyed the energy and momentum and the people this year - more than before.
4 takeaways to share.
1. SXSWi == Streaming (Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, HBO were HUGE unavoidable presences with big budget engagement). Yes. Bold & CAPS. YT Red (?) or YT Originals were probably there too - but they didn't compete.
2. SXSWi == Politics. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Stacey Abrams, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (??). Beto O'Rourke. Elizabeth Warren and Margrethe Vestager - most (especially the last two) went hard on tech regulation and got standing ovations for it... ACLU had an enormous lot. (?!) NYT, CNN, Buzzfeed, Vice, Vox etc all the left'ish press had their own spaces and talks. (axios on this)
3. SXSWi == international diplomacy. From the UN to EU to Casa Peru. Lots of trade delegations and national 'houses' where previously there would have been technocrat 'houses'. Mainly promoting digital / creative export business.
4. SXSWi == alternative arts culture - yeah, I was as surprised as you. But there was a LOT of interesting conversation with former and future collaborators from all over the world. It was a genuine 'surprise' bonus to being there.
Also - the parties were bigger, louder, and more free food but not as much fun as when you used to end up a random villa somewhere and no one knew why you were there or how to get back... But I could just be old now.
The main thing that remains the same.
1. Overall the sxsw content is still amazingly poorly curated, poorly managed, and poorly chosen (by the public) and mainly involves people in queues waiting for people on stage to stop marvelling that they are there / using oxygen. The conference badge is entirely necessary for every fringe activity / house / event / party however... but that's IT. :\
2. The physical experience is a post-consumerist's nightmare of over-stimulation, multiplied by schwag, divided by eternal queues.
3. Traditions die hard (and this literally happened): tech bro's still standing on street corners doing video calls by shouting and bemoaning wifi while they humble-brag themselves to death and complain bout the "lack of guys" present.
If you want actual detail I have more detail.
(*you don't want more detail)
Recently I was lucky to be asked, via the brilliant Rachel Botsman, to say a few words at the conclusion of the school year. A traditional evening of speeches and awards, of dux and mensch, of beautiful music, welcoming parents and unexpectedly funny teachers. It was, how shall I say… so much more than I had expected. I also didn’t expect to be asked to share my little speech. But, here is it is. (I have removed the swearing).Read More
Her talks at these events are often gloriously tangential meanderings, yet Google Creative Lab and their workings remain something of a mystery—entities that are ever fascinating, yet enduringly hard to describe. Many of the projects are internal, meaning the ones we hear about are the wide-ranging collaborations with cultural organizations and practitioners. The Creative Lab’s overarching aim is to use Google tech and resources “to enable artists, writers and performers to look at new ways in which we can use all these remarkable digital tools to make art, theater, and music.”Read More
A film about how lucky I am to be able to represent, and why I choose to be a visible part of the lgbtqi movementRead More
The 2018 99U Conference theme is about overcoming creative challenges, so we’re asking our speakers to reflect on a pivotal pressure-cooker moment and share how they navigated it.Read More
As someone whose career involves developing potentials for the future of reading, including books which can be “owned” and “borrowed” through the use of blockchain technology; and a novel set inside Google’s street view, both as part of Editions at Play, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to find out which books from the past have impacted the brilliant Tea UglowRead More
A Universe Explodes, by Tea Uglow
Thanks to the ever-rising value of Bitcoin, the blockchain–a secure technology that enables transactions–is becoming common parlance. This experimental e-book from Tea Uglow, a creative director at Google Creative Lab Sydney, explains how it works in an artful format. The blockchain will likely define even more innovations in the future and mastering its underpinnings will be important.
Tea Uglow may have the most important job in the creative industries: to discover the tools of the future designer. “I play with technology not to create new forms of creativity but to augment and influence traditional forms of creativity,” explains Tea, creative director of Google’s Creative Lab in Sydney.Read More
.. To ‘record’ the experiences of the dynamic web is like taking photos of morning dew: fragmentary and one-dimensional, unsatisfactory. The future internet, consisting of machine intelligence communicating with speech rather than all these helpful words on ‘pages’, is even tougher to pin down. Every single web experience is literally performative — a machine pirouetting through a dance of information that is unique to you in that moment and then lost forever.Read More
What is being proposed by Blockchain Book?
An experiment by Google Creative Lab Sydney’s Tea Uglow
Books you have finished reading may be passed on to your offspring or taken to a used book store, but with electronic books, their ownership is rather uncertain to begin with. This is because the reader merely purchases a license. Books from “Editions at Play” launched by Google this spring are part of a project that uses the distributed database Blockchain, which is the core technology behind Bitcoin. Its developer, Tea Uglow of Google Sydney, questions the future of electronic books through her experiment.Read More
..by default I am pro-technology. But I also present as an artist. I’m not a coder, nor particularly good at art, I just like potential. So as soon as I get hold of anything like this I basically try to mess with it. It’s like a default: move stuff about, try and glitch it, warp it, press all the buttons, see what happens.
The very very wonderful Tea Uglow leads part of Google’s Creative Labspecialising in work with cultural organisations, artists and producers, experimenting with digital technology at the boundaries of traditional cultural practice – across theatre, literature, history, cinema, music, science and the circus.Read More