Last week I was one of the lucky few to attend Eyeo Festival, a creative code / data visualization / digital artist convention in Minneapolis. It was a great event that reconnected me with some old themes and see a lot of new work from the world’s practicing experts in new forms of visualization and interactive art.
I wish I had a single word describing the conference subject. Part of it was explanations of visualization work by leading experts like Amanda Cox of the NYTimes, Nicholas Felton, or Viegas+Wattenberg. Part was discussion of more artistic projects like the storytelling work of Jonathan Harris, the generative jewelry of Nervous System, or the interactive media pieces of Scott Snibbe. And there was some inward-looking criticism and discussion of digital arts from Paola Antonelli and Marius Watz.
But really Eyeo was an intimate gathering of a bunch of programmers and artists who are the first generation for which the Internet and personal computing are assumed, part of our everyday worlds. Eyeo was a family gathering for the folks who combine the technical capability of informatics with an æsthetic impulse. There’s a significant new worldview that comes with the computer and the Internet; the folks at Eyeo are reflecting that view with beauty.
Assuming there’s an Eyeo 2013, sign up fast; this year sold out in six hours. Part of the magic is it’s an intimate event with as much socializing and lecturing, it can’t really scale.