resonate 2014, Belgrade, 3-5 April 2014

This weekend saw the third incarnation of the resonate taking place in Belgrade, an annual confest

"bringing together artists to drive a forward-looking debate on the position of technology in art and culture."

Technology, Art and Culture in a single tagline? That totally sold it to me and my good friend and partner in crime Jan back in October already. We had clearly had no expectations whatsoever, and that (again) turned out to be the best starting line.

What stuck

Most of the presentations I attended were showcasing previous work of the presenter. So I was able to take in a constant feed (or flood, rather) of projects, visual input, ideas, and failures as well. This is only a small selection of some great content:

Cyril Diagne

Cyril Diagne is part of LAB212 and was the opener of the first conference day. I was impressed by the creativity as well as the simplicity of his approaches, best shown in his Starfield project, which let's you swing through the universe; or Appel d'Air, an interactive installation for kids 2-4 (if that video doesnt crack you up at 0:25, you have no heart :).

Douglas Edric Stanley

Douglas was talking about a lot of crazy stuff, but what really stuck was his report about Eniarof, a festival somehwere between burning man (without the hippie/carneval stuff) and experimental tech laboratory, where people could basically suggest any idea without any limitations (cock fighting machines!). He also introduced me to the concept of unterplay - game principles so simple you could hardly call them games.

Julian Adenauer

As part of Sonice Development, Julian showed a lot of cool projects (sadly, most of them in a rush at the end of the talk): the FacadePrinter, the Vertwalker an (my fave one) the Umbreally Display. An interesting learning was, how one project lead to the other and as with the case of the Vertwalker now make for a possible product as well.

… and so much more

I was also impressed by the museum based work of schnellebuntebilder, the incredible work KimchiAndChips put into their live installation or the wonderful presentation of selfiecity by Moritz Stefaner. Make sure you check out the programme if you want to learn more.

My take away

As an artist who feels drawn to all things technology, but from a rather painterly path (as opposed to a data-driven or code-driven path), here's my learnings in terms of how to break the this-is-what-I-want-to-do-BUT barrier:

  • commerce can feed you well
  • commerce cannot steer what you do
  • document it! document it! document it!
  • create in iterations: think game levels
  • it will need time
  • hard work makes the difference
  • it is more important than the other stuff

Oh. And then there was Belgrade.

Photos by Heike Roegler

What an amazing city. The war is only 15 years in the past, but I have rarely visited a place with so many kind people, who felt not broken, but experienced. A great mix of cultures and styles. You will find modern buildings, historical sites and bombed places while passing from one block to another. Parks, cafés, good food and 24h Kiosks. And Niam Niam.

I sure hope to be back for resonate 2015.