Where art, technology (& hipsters) meet [photos]

This weekend, San Francisco’s first Creator’s Project — a collaborative program between the media company Vice and Intel (s INTC) — kicked off, showing off works of art that incorporate technology, software and connectivity. Johan Jervoe, VP of Creative & Digital Marketing Services for Intel, explained that The Creator’s Project was developed three years ago as “a way to use technology to push art forward.”
To me, the event was refreshing in terms of seeing San Francisco, and the tech community, get some long-needed cool factor. Everyone knows “San Francisco is the tech capital of the world,” as Vice founder Shane Smith said in a press event on Saturday, but many of us can agree that San Francisco can be lacking when it comes to design, art and, for lack of a better word, hipness.
But San Francisco’s sold-out Creators Project had hipsters, musicians, and artists in spades. The program featured a dozen installations focused on art that leverage technology — from the web to connectivity to sensor networks to video to AI — to inspire and innovate.
For example, upon entrance to the festival, you immediately came face to face with the massive (10 meter by 10 meter) LED-flashing, metal-framed, audio-filled Origin cube, which previously was featured on the stage of the music festival Coachella. Created by the Cambridge-based United Visual Artists, Origin uses software and AI to manage the flashing LED lights and ambient audio sounds to create a sense of “a being” that “demands to be worshiped,” explained artist Ash Nehru.
Other works of art included in the program were a video installation that deconstructs live broadcast video on the fly using analytics and visualizations, and a piece that invited viewers to interact with LED magnetic blocks (real live pixels writ large as the artist explained) that connect via infrared. Check out my photos of the projects to get a feel for how technology can be used for art (and not just commercial aims).