I’ve been procrastinating about blogging recently, SOON CON actually happened the same weekend as the mushroom hike that I blogged about 2 weeks ago! It’s the Southern Ontario hackerspaces Conference, and it moves around – this year it was put together by Site 3, and held at the Bell TIFF Lightbox in downtown Toronto, on the same day as Nuit Blanche, the annual art night here in Toronto.
I had a great time at SOON CON, including at the pre-party the night before, actually held at Site 3. There were lightning talks and a fire spinning show. For SOON CON itself, I gave a 30-minute talk about Libraries and Makers, which is a real change-up from my normal talk (about wearable electronic senses). I got into this topic myself when Fiacre invited me to give a talk at TEDxLibrariansTO, a locally-organized TED-style event for Librarians here in Toronto. And I’ve continued to think about that stuff ever since. It would be super cool to have more maker-type stuff happening at libraries, especially because many high-schools have completely eliminated all maker-type classes (no more shop class, no more mechanics class, no more hands-on anything, basically). So I gave my pitch to a bunch of makers, and started some interesting conversations, and that continues to move forward slowly.
I was very sad when Natalie’s “Many Tamagotchi’s Were Harmed in the Making of This Presentation” was canceled (apparently she had some kind of issue that prevented her from coming to the conference at the last minute), that was going to be my favorite talk; her talk about Tamagotchi’s last year was EPIC. I did really enjoy Kevin’s “Introduction to Fireworks” talk, and Adam’s keynote “Dropping out 101: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Abandoning a Career and Becoming a Fulltime Maker” was excellent. Lots of people learned how to solder on the interesting LOL-shield based badges. You can see the few photos I managed to take, mostly of the demo room: Flickr: SOON CON 2011.
Nuit Blanche was spectacular this year, it was still fairly cold, but not nearly as cold as last year, so I think the turn-out was much higher. I personally had a much better experience this year as well, mostly because I knew so many more makers and artists in the city. There were four installations where I knew the artist and I made sure to check out each of those: the Heart Machine, Shannon’s Firefly’s, Future Forward, and Satellites of Love. I’m pretty happy with my photos from the night: Flickr: Nuit Blanche 2011. The image here is actually a shot from a laser show in front of city hall – I can’t believe this photo was even possible! The night ended for me with these HUGE dancing rocks, which was everything the artist promised (“mystification”) and more. But the Heart Machine was the real winner of the night – large amounts of FIRE is just the awesomest thing 🙂