Sadly Valentina and Nuno couldn’t come and present the project with us, but overall the paper session and our Play with Fire presentation went very nicely. It started with Bin Jiang’s presentation of his Ecotopia concept, a really thought provoking idea to build structures that host a countryside ecosystem inside a big city, fostering self sustainability and jobs for urban communities. Our presentation also fostered some interesting discussion on forest fire paradoxes, the unstable balance of nature without human intervention and some valuable references and figures to help consolidate the ongoing research.
It was good to get feedback on the project concept from Julian Oliver regarding facts and figures of forest fires and the effect of human intervention on natural cycles, and from Lindsay Grace later on regarding the concept’s “interesting tension”.
After the session we also met Lorenzo Taiuti, Valentina’s thesis advisor in the Fine Art Academy (way back more than a dozen years ago) who dropped by to see his old student presenting, showing that ISEA’s ability to attract a widespread community of digital art practitioners can be a forum to meet old friends too.
And last but not least we also had the pleasure of having Anna Barros dropping by our session to say Hi.
The rest of ISEA program was very good and it was really hard to balance it with all the unmissable historical locations, art exhibits and events vying for our attention in Istanbul.
Among the highlights were the fantastic keynotes by Oliver Grau, Roman Verostko and Sara Diamond, the two Art Market boat cruises on the Bosphorous for the networking and project presentations, and Jenny Leary‘s workshop on how to make magnetic latex impressions of your credit card.
It was also great to meet again so many friends from my recent stay in LA, like Jenny Leary, Sci|Art colleague Pinar Yoldas, and Melissanthi Saliba. It was also really nice to have the chance to meet personally Victoria Vesna‘s Art|Sci collaborators Roy Ascott, Sara Diamond and Christiane Paul.
The Portuguese participation at the conference was very strong, with really nice work presented by Ricardo Lobo from AZ Labs, Ana Carvalho, Miguel Carvalhais, Helder Dias, Margarida Carvalho, Maria Manuela Lopes and Paulo Bernardino, and the other Nuno Correia ;)
Overall we had a fantastic time at ISEA2011 and we hope to be a part of this community again next year in Albuquerque. Many thanks and congrats to the Artistic Director and Conference Chair, Lanfranco Aceti, for the excellent work and kindness during the event and also the whole process. As for Istanbul, it’s definitely a city to return to someday to pick up on all the wonders left unseen.