Blog, the vibrant annual art, design, and technology festival in Belgrade, brought together over 72 speakers and performers to showcase, discuss, reflect, and hang out - a huge success. Up for inspiration and surprise, I was fortunate to be part of it for two days while taking in the atmosphere and some great presentations. From this admittedly small sample (the festival runs for five days!), here is a list of my personal highlights:

  • Adam Magyar, Photographer
    Beautiful, still and moving imagery of people, using high-speed cameras as single-line scanners, which renders a timeless decomposition of the human condition within the absolutely ordinary (waiting for the metro, taking the stairs, walking down the street). Watch him present here.
  • Jesper Kouthoofd, Teenage Engineering
    Stylish Swedish company making beautifully and exquisitely designed, interactive products: the OP-1 programmable synth; the OD-11 retro-futurist speaker; their brand-new line of affordable micro-sequencer/synths: Pocket Operators. All with an outrageous eye for detail in form, content, and use. Music, gadget, and design lovers revel in it. Perhaps you do, too?
  • Moritz Stefaner, Truth and Beauty
    Data designer working alongside scientists to make new data mash-ups, like On Broadway in cooperation with Lev Manovich, that (re-)construct reality by juxtaposing and layering images, data points, twitter streams, and official statistics. Such work advocates that science and art can work together on equal footing - and make brilliant designs, too.
  • Max Hattler, video artist
    A must-see digital artist who is developing overpowering visual compositions, loops, and animated films with incredible details that draw you in, and in, and in. See for yourself - and imagine your screen is BIG. One older work, still great: 1923 aka Heaven.
  • Playmodes Audiovisual Research
    Secretly, I still admire well-done projection mappings, turning (not so) ordinary buildings into stories in light, sound, and overwhelming experiences. Playmodes has done this to perfection. They use and make their own open source software, their own hardware, and shape and expand their field brilliantly.
  • Ruairi Glynn, Interactive Architecture Lab
    Mixing architecture, psychophysics, cybernetics, robotics, and performance, Ruairi is a master of cross-overs. Alternating between science, art, and craft, he showed and impressive portfolio and kinetic sculptures from the the Interactive Architecture at the Bartlett, where he teaches. Lucky students!

Besides these, I attended some more commercially-oriented presentations by Tellart, FIELD and Artificial Rome - visually stimulating, but not my cup of tea. A visit to the very engaged Hacklab Belgrade completed my crash visit - warmly recommended, inspiration guaranteed.

See you in Belgrade.

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