Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Berkeley Big Bang: Day 3

June 3 was the last day of the Berkeley Big Bang and a celebration of forty years of Leonardo.

Introduction: 40 Years of Leonardo

Stephen Wilson kicked off the event with refections on the 40 years of Leonardo - the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology. He wondered “How will the Journal survive?” given the mounting language and production issues.

He then presented a review of computers and art thirty years ago (the time he joined Leonardo and today. I can quibble with facts. He twice mentioned Wired magazine when I believe he intended to say Byte magazine. He talks about the lack of art in the computer field in 1979, yet Melvin Prueitt’s books on computer graphics had already entered their Dover reprints stage of life by 1974. But I cannot dispute his conclusions: the world of art and computers has grown from a smaller and lonelier place to a huge place that nonetheless has issues such as still being marginalized.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Berkeley Big Bang: Day 2

The reason you go to an event like BBB is to listen to highly educated people expound in a highly intelligent manner. You hope, if the wind is blowing in the right direction, that you will understand what they say and, fidgeting with talisman, that they share ideas that are thrilling. With those thoughts in mind let’s double-click on Berkeley Big Bang: Day 2.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Berkeley Big Bang: Day 1

Today was the first day of a three day “Berkeley Big Bang” event at the Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA). There were two events and each was quite special. The first was Lynn Hershman Leeson: Virtually Everything, Virtually at the PFA cinema. This was an eight hour marathon showing 16 Hershman films dating from 1977 to 1994. The first three hours (which I watched) provided a glimpse as to why she has attained the stature she has as a filmmaker and as an artist and as, well, an impresario of wonderment.

Up to now my contact with her work had been through her project in Second Life: Life to the Second Power: Animating the Archive in which one of her collaborators is my friend Henrik Bennetson of the Stanford Humanities Lab. So I was delighted to see that Ms Hershman appeared on the screen as RobertaWare, her Second Life Avatar, and gave us a tour of the Dante Hotel while the speaker, Steve Seid, introduced the program.