Eyeo Festival and Northern Spark

A bit belated, but I figured I had might as well make a post on here and share some things. Back in June, I attended the Eyeo Festival for the second year; then the following night I stayed up with the rest of Minneapolis to enjoy Northern Spark. I’d like to share some photos and information about a brief project I completed for Northern Spark.

Eyeo kicked off at night this year. As a local, I was really excited to finally get inside the old Jeune Lune building. The night was filled with spectacular presentations and a real highlight was when Tangible Interaction’s Zygotes got released into the audience. Local artist and musician John Keston provided excellent music for the night. The following 3 days were amazing and its the guests that come to Eyeo that make it so fantastic. I really enjoyed making new friends and catching up with old ones. The photos below include Jeune Lune on opening night, Robert Hodgin’s excellent presentation (of which, he posted source for on github), Jonathan Harris’ touching presentation on the importance of narrative and finally Andrew Bell’s presentation on creative coders in the industry.

Northern Spark 2012 was the 2nd annual “nuit blanche” in the Twin Cities. Starting after 9pm and ending around 6am the city was covered in art projects and the Minneapolis skyline became illuminated with projections. I helped the Northern Lights organization celebrate the support from others that made the event possible.
Along St. Anthony Main, next to the Pillsbury A Mill, we presented the names of the supporters with the duration-shown being based off their donations. The installation also displayed the thousands of live tweets about the event. While at the pre-party above the Mill Ruins, I took the photo below, the white crate under the water tower on the other side of the Mississippi is where it was displayed.

The A Mill to the left was projection-mapped for another project, it was mesmerizing to see this historical mill flooded with color and video. My project was not the most aesthetically exciting experience, just a little ode to the people that made that night great.

The “Wall of Supporters” was a fun opportunity to use some of my favorite technologies in the context of an installation. Previously I have built software installations with Processing, OpenFrameworks, or maybe even Flash; this time it felt like a great idea to build this installation on a web-stack.
I used Node.js, and MongoDB, for managing the supporters and building an admin tool for scheduling the event. With Node.js, I used ntwitter to hook up to the Twitter streaming API and pushed that to the browser using WebSockets via Socket.io. The display was simply a webpage in Chrome set to “presentation mode”. I used DOM elements, JavaScript and some CSS3 for the display and any animation.

This last bit of information is really what I am excited about. I love the web and have dedicated a lot of time into developing my own tools and processes, primarily in JavaScript as have so many other people. I see the realm of installations ripe for becoming increasingly web-based in technologies and I plan to have more news related to this in the future.

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