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June 15, 2012

Zach Lieberman's poem to the endless frustration and reward of interactive art

photo from Zach Lieberman and Golan Levin's REFACE project. Photo lifted from http://thesystemis.com/projects/reface/

At the just-concluded eyeo festival in Minnesota, renowned interactive artist Zach Lieberman gave a moving poetic address to all those flailing in the vaguely defined constantly changing world of interactive art. A world rife with "memory leaks, compiler error, uninitialized variable, lighting, bad lighting, someone trips on a cable, plugged into the wrong socket, don't have the right adapters, projector is broken, missing flights, getting lost, loosing stuff, batteries run out, logic errors and syntax errors."

He did a great job inspiring everyone in the room. Read the whole thing, and be re-inspired too. Here's an excerpt…

this is a love letter to those who are on the frontlines, and if you are not on the frontlines, an invitation to join us. What I say to students is the world is hungry for ideas. We need you.

This is A love letter to those who are conquering quaternions, who are mastering matricies, who are decoupling and recoupling, who are soldering with their right hand, eating a sandwich with their left hand, on hold with digikey, to those who are writing code in taxis, who are pulling from git in the airport, whose hotel rooms and office rooms and bedrooms look like warzones, to those who are in the zone, out of the zone, trying to find the zone - to the countless hours of determination, will power, and ingenuity that go into working with this medium.

and so I say: go.

press play.


turn on the power, turn off the lights, turn on the lights, open the curtain, open the doors, start the show, invite people, post the video, send the link, push the code to git, hit save, hit run, run with it.

go with it.


what is the worst that can happen?

Zach's posted the full thing on github (which BTW may be a first, using github as a repository for an inspirational address).

If you want to learn more about the great work of Zach Lieberman and his collaborators, check out his site at thesystemis.com.

Comments welcome via email to comments-at-spurgeonworld.com

Posted by Chris Spurgeon at June 15, 2012 07:47 AM