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SXSW: “Nothing is true. Everything is permitted. Not!”

February 14, 2011

A march at last year’s SXSW.

This year’s SXSW is coming up in Austin, Texas and I’m fondly remembering memories of my long ago first SXSW experience to prep for this one.

I first discovered SXSW as a freshman in college, tagging along with my more hip,  “on the down-low” friends- where I had some great times, although admittedly making some rookie mistakes.

No Age, at my last SXSW experience

SXSW is different from other music festivals in that it explores many technological aspects of the live music and film scene, especially in the last few years. Having hosted one of the first Twitter announcements in 2007, it has become a conglomeration of the latest technology, film, music and arts.

This year, I’m older and wiser, having had the pleasure of discovering the “Interactive” element of SXSW.  Interactive Talks invite people that are interested in learning and discoursing about topics of interest with others of the same passion.

Below are some topics that have caught my eye for this year, although I’m working up to the day I will eventually have a badge (and not just hop onto all of the free shows): 

Nothing is true. Everything is permitted. Not!

“In art, what is left out is as important as what is included. Can the rules of making art help us make more useful technology?”

This presentation explores culture and technology together as opposed to one or the other. The element of revolution seems to be ever-present in both, whereas for example- Lady Gaga, number 1 on the Billboard charts, has used her eccentric modern style as the basis of the new Polaroid sunglasses camera, and much more. Exploring such comparisons as “The Assassin’s Code” with the death of God making art possible and the network making technology possible, the discussion goes in-depth toward concepts such as minimalism and philosophy in art toward writing, editing, designing, as well as writing novels, films and music.

Finding Music with pictures: Data visualization for discovery

This presentation is interesting in that it explores how oftentimes “the music isn’t enough” (not to be depressing or anything) and images really lure audiences in and help them decipher through the millions of albums in the entire music-sphere. Similar to a blog post where it’s pretty mundane without links and images (you’re welcome), music must have some aesthetic value to become interesting to listeners.

Can the Internet make us happy?

Exploring a deeper psychological function of the Internet, this presentation seems most interesting since I am pretty much an addict now. What are the implications of Tweeting and Tumblring and Facebooking and Myspacing our personalities or brands for the world?

Although SXSW doesn’t have an Open Mic night, I’m interested in exploring the musical and technological trends this year. To create a broader picture of some of the fabulous events that are going on, the Media Innovation Party with free beer, media discussion and food truck cuisine sounds awesome.

Explore more events and Interactive talks here! Have an awesome SXSW everyone!

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