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 BelfastBuild 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.”
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!
“Sonic Bloom” is a solar-powered work of art created by Dan Corson on behalf of City Light’s Green Up program, which supports the development of new renewable energy sources.
“It was exciting to be able to sculpturally showcase solar generation in a more unique and playful way that goes beyond standard rooftop installations. While we can’t actually see electricity, we can see the effects of it through these dynamic flowers both day and night,” artist Dan Corson said. “Working with Pacific Science Center and Seattle City Light allowed me to continue my exploration of green design and new technologies and how these tools can frame and amplify the natural world and our shifting relationship to it.”
One misconception of solar power is that it can only be used in bright, constantly sunny places. But that’s not entirely true; even places like Seattle or cloudy, drizzly Edinburgh, there are lots of opportunities for solar power. And what better way to celebrate the sun than through art?
As a dazzling addition to the Edinburgh Arts Festival, artist Karen Forbes designed and built this glittering glass pavilion to celebrate the sun, light and optics. Situated at the base of the Melville Monument in St. Andrew Square Gardens, the Solar Pavilion is composed of nine segments forming a semi-circle in the center of the park. On display for the month of August, the pavilion works in conjunction with the obelisk tower as an informal sun-dial to mark the passage of time. The prismatic temporary pavilion will serve as the focal point of the festival and a space for artists talks and gatherings for the rest of the month.
China has been producing some cool architecture the last couple of years, from the Beijing stadiums to this:
“Floating” above the city of Xiamen, China like a cloud, this lofty museum takes art and culture to new heights. The brainchild of MAD Architects, the structure’s organic, molten metal shape is mirrored, reflecting the beauty of the surrounding environment right onto its walls. The museum will make good use of the city’s sunny climate by placing solar panels on its roof, and because it rests upon 5 relatively slender “legs,” residents of the city still have space to enjoy the natural landscape of the park-like site.
Question: which one of these is NOT the name of Frank Zappa‘s kids
Answer: Lunar Cubit.
It’s actually the prize winning design of the “land art generator initiative” announced on Valentine’s Day this year:
While the people of Egypt are anticipating a bold new future for their country, thanks to the powerful protests by demonstrators in recent weeks, an American artist has been recognized for his exciting plan to bring future-minded energy of a different sort to the Middle East.
Robert Flottemesch and his team of collaborators received the Land Art Generator Initiative’s grand prize last month for the design of Lunar Cubit, a blueprint for a 50-meter-tall solar paneled pyramid surrounded by eight 22-meter-tall pyramids, each of which represents a different phase of the lunar calendar. The intended construction site is five kilometers from Abu Dhabi’s international airport in the United Arab Emirates, the host country of the World Future Energy Summit, where the prize was presented. Flottemesch accepted the award with his landscape designer Johanna Ballhaus, his artistic consultant Jen DeNike, and Adrian De Luca, who helped develop the project’s data monitoring system.
Making use of the design template left by the ancient Egyptians was a longstanding goal of Flottemesch’s. “Ever since I visited the pyramids when I was much younger, the mystery that has surrounded them and the scope of the engineering has been something that I find quite significant,” he tells PLANET.
This amazing modern home in Northcote, Melbourne, features a building envelope that was carefully shaped to ensure maximum sun exposure in the backyard. The owners wanted to be sure they had full sun exposure in their garden to be able to grow vegetables year round, so Australia-based firm, Harrison & White focused upon smart solar design as one of the home’s most important strategies. The architects used a technique called “reverse shadow casting” to design the exterior and included sustainable materials like recycled plastic decking for the shade screen.