‘Flash in the Can’ Creativity & Technology Conference :: Anthony Eden

2005, Toronto Canada

Overall the conference, and my involvement, was a great success. I completed a presentation on REMworks, a game development and deployment toolkit developed by Alex Mayhew and myself (which began as a Crossover/SAFC initiative). The presentation was well received and was given an attendee rating of 8.4 out of 10.

More importantly the conference facilitated the development of several relations that I hope to utilise in the future.

The time spent in Toronto and at the festival allowed me to learn a lot about Canadian business and production practices. I was able to discover different ways of thinking about computers as an artistic medium. I know have a greater understanding of the scope of my medium, which reflects directly on my current level of inspiration and artistic sensibilities. Being engaged in a global network of media and technology practitioners also gave me a greater understanding of how the Australian industry fits into the greater global industry. The Australian industry is small and therefore has a significantly smaller resource pool than countries such as Canada. While this poses obvious hurdles it also offers some distinct advantages, some of which I realized as a byproduct of attending the conference. The greatest noticeable advantage is that Australia has a more national sense of community whereas Canada tends to have pockets of community in relative isolation to each other. Amongst other things this facilitates greater attention to national arts and culture.

During the conference and for a short period afterwards I was privileged to spend time with several significant people and companies. The time spent has opened a myriad of doors to future opportunities for both Australian colleagues and myself. One of the best examples of this was my meeting with Don Present of Learning Agents. Don is developing a project and infrastructure to facilitate the communication of theology and cultural information of indigenous communities throughout the world. Don is interested in using my knowledge of information systems to assist with the development of a software and kiosk solutions. This project holds particular relevancy due to my relationship with the Queensland Government and their indigenous health communications mandate. It also holds relevance to groups such as UsMob. I have continued to communicate with Don and have made him aware of the projects currently underway in Australia specifically those pertaining to indigenous culture. Don is hoping to make this a UN affiliated project, which could result in significant budgets as well as global exposure.

I was also able to spend time with Xenophile Media to discuss the possibility of collaborating on the Beethoven Hair project. Xenophile media already have an established relationship with ANAT, the AFC and SAFC and are currently working with these groups through a co-production treaty to develop AU/CA co-production model. Not only is it important for all involved to be exposed to external resources and influences but it is exceptionally important for me, as a practitioner, to be across the current state of co-production and funding. The time spent with Xenophile was (apart from being a lot of fun) an excellent educative process.

DesignAxiom is a Toronto based applications development company with whom I have been collaborating for some time. I was able to meet them in person for the first time, discuss our collaboration and talk about new collaborations. We are now working together in doing some R&D in mobile game deployment platforms and game development. By researching 3G technologies in a country that has a greater 3G deployment than Australia’s places me well for the future development of the Australian telephonic content industry.

Carla Diana is a woman from Southern American and is currently researching alternative input devices. I spent some meaningful time with Carla discussing the possibilities of various technologies and continue to do so via email. I have since purchased some control board technology from a US company and have been asked to present my research at a Technology and Robotics conference in New Zealand in October this year. I have also been able to incorporate this newfound knowledge with the work that I have been doing with Abuzz Technologies in Australia.

After my presentation Paul Ortchanian of Reflektions approached me. Paul came to me as an admirer of my work and offered a number of suggestions as to the possible directions of my research. I have been aware that my work has been well received in other countries but this was the first time I had experienced it first hand. After a lengthy conversation I became to realize, more so, how powerful design mediums are and how much of an emotional impact your work can have on others on the other side of the globe.

Learning Agents – http://www.learningagents.ca
Xenophile – http://www.xenophile.ca
DesignAxiom – http://www.designaxiom.com/
Carla Diana – http://www.carladiana.com
Reflektions – http://www.reflektions.com

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