Last year in early July, i was totally fed up with art, technology, festivals and talks. Only thing i was dreaming about was reading crime stories while eating my own weight in chocolate and figs. Yet, in mid-July i flew to Huddersfield to attend another new media art conference. Its name was We Love Technology and surprise, surprise, i found it nearly as exciting as a novel by Minette Walters combined with a box of Marcolini.
This year Lisa Roberts and her team at BLINK are busy preparing the second edition of We Love Technology. The event will take place on July 12 and people like Andy Gracie, Mirjam Struppek, Mathias Fuchs, Usman Haque, Julius Popp, have been invited to talk about interactive architecture, sound and games. The best thing about WLT is that the gathering is small enough to allow every participant to get to know the others over the picnic, workshops, performances and breaks (i think you can still get some entries.)
I asked Lisa to tell us more about WLT07:
You’re organizing for the second time “We Love Technology” in Huddersfield. Why Huddersfield? Why should people interested in tech-art put the city on their map?
Huddersfield is a big town with equally big ideas and a distinctive and active new media scene. It hosts The Digital Research Unit which is packed with sound artists, games hackers and performers, designers and technologists who generally mistreat and reappropriate technologies.
There is also a 3 month artist-in-residence programme for international artists. They take their experience of Huddersfield with them but often maintain their link through successful partnerships, as in the case of Dan and Tuomo and Tile Toy.
This year WLT will explore interactive architecture, sound and games. What made you choose these particular fields? What do they have in common?
Just to get the ball rolling I chose loose themes from the latest, most interesting and active areas of creative technology, but more than anything I try and bring together a good mix of entertaining speakers who are willing to share their ideas. I have learnt not to over-engineer events as a bit of edginess keeps people from dropping off, especially after lunch. You also have to remember that most of the people who come to WLT will get more ideas from 30 mins of web surfing than 3 days of formulaic conferencing. So it’s important to keep it moving along.
Last year was the first edition of WLT. What have you learnt from last year that you will definitely repeat this year? And what will you avoid this time?
It can get very warm in July so you need to give everyone plenty of opportunity to break out, breathe and discuss the good stuff in a mix of outdoor spaces. We hope to keep in the picnic element that went down so well last year. I really wanted to showcase some of the great audio performance stuff happening now so the evening session has extended to include some very special drumming from derehctub’s Jaxson Payne.
I suppose the main change is that WLT07 is enveloped by a series of three-day hands-on technology DRU workshops where you can learn how to build electronic instruments, take a walk through environmental microbiology networks and modify computer games software.