The Sheep Market

I’ve been immersed in hi-tech today at PICNIC08, a huge design and innovation conference being held over 3 days at the Westerpark Gasfabriek in Amsterdam.

Somehow I managed to get myself a press pass for the event, which plays host to a quite dazzling array of Web 2.0 gurus (already), corps, labs and testbeds and, of course, laptops. I’ve never seen so many laptops, all in their natural environment, like a little flock of white sheep …

An aspect of the conference I’m impressed with is the efficiency of the timing and multimedia aids.
One of the highlights of the day was hearing Aaron Kolbin talk about his project The Sheep Market. Actually, it wasn’t so much what he said but how he presented it.

Koblin showed off his work on a gigantic Ground-Control Houston sized screen that kind of just hovered there behind the stage. It was a great setting in which to play segments from his ‘video’ (actually, all done with lasers) for Radiohead’s new single (can’t remember the name but from the second, poorer side of In Rainbows).

All in all, very visually stimulating stuff. Tomorrow sees the announcement of a 500,000 euro (that’s about a million AU) ‘Green Challenge’ prize.

I wrote a short article about the four finalists for the Boomerang media crew, who are producing a conference/newspaper magazine each day this week.

So, I’ll be back there tomorrow with my laptop and phone and camera and recording device but what I’m really waiting for is Friday night, when there’ll be a gigantic laser show, interactive dancefloors and probably about three tons of dry ice filling up the cavernous steel dome of the Gasfabriek itself.

Stuff the laptop twitters, I’m wearing mirrorshades.

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