15 October 2011
On Sept. 28 2011 I was fortunate to partake in OpenOttawaLibre 2011, an “unconference” that brought together a diverse group of “creatives” from the business, technology, and art sectors in Ottawa. Although the agenda of the day wasn’t entirely clear until the event started – in true “unconference” style – the day was actually a facilitated discussion workshop featuring multiple streams of interest, all derived from the central question:
what do we need to do to create a place that sparks opportunity for creative thinkers to collaborate and innovate for a better Ottawa?
From a general networking perspective, OOL11 proved to be a productive opportunity to meet new people and organizations with overlapping interests and mandates in the city – one particular example standing out being the desire expressed by many groups and individuals to have an Ottawa-based electronic arts festival. Although Ottawa is a relatively small city, it never ceases to amaze me how isolated different groups with similar agendas seem to be here; OOL11 provided a great meeting ground for such groups to discover one another. The enthusiasm generated at the event was also contagious, and served as a valuable reminder of the creative potential in Ottawa; I wish there were more events like OOL11 to help bring a unified focus to our efforts.
From a personal perspective, I was happy to bring new exposure to Artengine’s Electric Fields festival to a targeted, interested audience, as well as meeting a new group of potential collaborators from The City of Ottawa’s Community Arts Program, The Ottawa Art Gallery, and Apartment 613.
I was further fortunate enough to be one of 4 artists invited to showcase technical artwork. I chose to show Electric Tenement (the working name for the lighting tower debuted at Urbana 2011), programmed to react to tweets tagged #OOL11 (shown in the opening photo, above).
Guerilla Magazine wrote a feature on the piece and its role at OOL11 here.
Many thanks to Julie Dupont and Caleb Abbott at The City of Ottawa for all their hard work! Make sure to check out the OOL11 webpage for more info and ongoing discussions.