Static Photography just returned to Vancouver from the 2009 Gnomedex conference that was held in Seattle, WA. Organized by Chris Pirillo from Lockergnome, Gnomedex is an annual technology geekfest that brings the brightest from the online world to talk about the advances that the internet is having on its surrounding world, online and offline.
Some great highlights from the stage of Gnomedex 9.0 :
Phil Plait gave a great talk on skepticism as a practical filter in the ever-growing internet culture of information overload. Debunking the notion that skepticism is not the act of non-believing but merely fact checking before believing, Phil cited some examples of viral news spreading without initial fact-checking. This was a great talk for skepticism is often an untouched concept in the digital world where sometimes people jump before looking. :)
Bre Pattis is the inventor of the Makerbot. The Makerbot is an open-source 3-D printer that challenges every artist and technologist on the concept of making something printable. Printing 3-D objects as large as a cupcake, the Makerbot is an open-source project which encourages its users to create and add to the printer. Bre talked about an intern at Makerbot who created an add-on piece for printing with icing. Yum!
Mark Glaser is a journalist that works with PBS. He spoke on the idea of hacker journalism which is based upon the concept of citizen journalism. While citizen journalism opens up journalism to everyone, hacker journalism opens up the idea of news portals with local niches to everyone. He encouraged people to document the news that they wanted to see and to expand what is possible for news coverage in their own communities.
Jay Grandin and Leah Nelson are the dynamic duo that act as an integral element to Giant Ant Media , a video production studio based in Vancouver. Discussing their accidental personal entrance into the world of viral videos, they talked about how that entrance led to the beginning of the documentary journey through Myspace and their fervent online fans. They ended their talk with the moving trailer to their new documentary titled Bongo , about street hustlers turned MCs.
Drew Olanoff gave a moving presentation on a very intense, emotional topic. Diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer in March, Drew has turned his cancer viral in a social awareness digital campaign called Blame Drew's Cancer . His talk detailed his personal journey with cancer, the support from the Livestrong Foundation and how supportive the online community has been. There was a not a dry eye in the conference room after his talk.
Amber Case is a cyborg anthropologist from Portland. Amber studies the effect of human interaction with cyborgs and how the relationship of the two has become so intertwined. Her presentation on Prosthetic Culture focused on human modifications that pushed the definition of cyborg technology in a relatable format.
Another highlight during the Gnomedex conference was not even associated with the actual conference! Internet icon Robert Scoble and Seattle-based international photographer Chase Jarvis organized a bright and early 7 am photowalk on the Friday of the conference. Notably well-organzied photowalks often draw crowds of 20 or so photographers, but this particular one attracted around 50 photographers from the Gnomedex conference and the local Seattle area. We took a walk around the Gasworks city park and snapped some awesome shots in the early morning. Chase had one of his interns carrying around lighting equipment which created some of the best shots of the day. Static Photography's studio manager Danielle Sipple gracefully modeled for the early morning photographers as well! Thanks Danielle!
This year's conference theme was Human Circuitry which let to various talks about the intersection of technology and humanity. The speaker list was full of knowledgeable participants in technology talking about topics such as trust, skepticism, 3-D printing, social change, cyborg anthropology and much more. Having attended the last 5 years, Kris Krug is an alumni to the Gnomedex conference community.
Kris had the opportunity to present a photo recap of this year's conference as the closing keynote. With the ability to create his recap with imagination, he chose to give out Gnomededx awards using photos he had taken during the conference. The awards had fun and endearing titles which brought back memories from the fast-paced information laden conference. Bre Pattis , who is the maker of the Makerbot , helped make special 3-D tokens for the award winners.
This is not Kris' first time speaking at Gnomedex. Last year at Gnomedex 8.0, he gave the opening keynote with a talk about photography tips for photographers of any experience level. This talk proved to distinguish him as an un-official conference photographer and helped to aide all of the participants in shooting the best photographs they could during the duration of the conference itself. It definitely left an impression on many of the participants and set the ground for this year's closing photo recap.Static Photography definitely had a lot of fun at Gnomedex 9.0! We have all the photos up on Flickr from this year's conference. See you next year!
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