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The Record-Breaking XOXO Festival Returns to Cross-Pollinate Art and Tech | Underwire |

How did I not know about this event?! And right in my backyard!

Last year, the XOXO festival and conference made waves in the arts and tech world, becoming the highest-funded convention ever on Kickstarter after raising $175,000 and bringing together 400 artists, technologists, and makers in Portland for a four-day celebration of “disruptive creativity.”

The conference returns to Portland this weekend for its sophomore iteration, which will likely determine whether the success of the festival — the brainchild of Andy Baio and Belfast Build conference founder Andy McMillan — is a one-time fluke or a sustainable phenomenon. WIRED sat down with XOXO co-organizer Baio to talk about where XOXO is headed, and what it means for independent creative culture and commerce in the digital age.

The goal of XOXO, says Baio, is to bring together independent artists and the developers building the platforms and systems that can enable them to operate outside of traditional production and distribution models. “First and foremost, XOXO is about independence. It’s about artists and hackers and makers that are using the internet to make a living doing what they love independently without sacrificing creative or financial control.”

XOXO focuses on the intersection of art and tech, and its speakers straddle both worlds: developers and coders who use tech tools to build communities and arts platforms; artists and musicians who self-publish online. Long-term, says Baio, he hopes to see the fest foster cross-field collaborations, and change the shapes those collaborations can take. “You are starting to see a really interesting trend, which is not just coders that are working on stuff for artists, but artists that are then entering into startups.”

more via The Record-Breaking XOXO Festival Returns to Cross-Pollinate Art and Tech | Underwire |

I want details! I have several articles linked below, but I want to hear about it from you! I want write-ups! Reports! Pictures! Did you go? Leave your feedback about your experience in the comments below, please!



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.