Week 156

Igor reflects on a weekend spent at retune conference.

Over the weekend, Johannes and I attended the retune 13 conference.

It’s always a nice change of pace to both attend an intellectually stimulating event and sleep in your own bed. Even in Berlin one doesn’t get to do that very often.

To my dismay, I’ve only learned of retune shortly after the second iteration of the conference happened last year. Dismay, because there are currently very few conferences that are of any significant interest to me and it turned out that retune is one of those.

Addressing questions at the core of technology, culture and art, retune primarily managed to jolt my brain, stimulate it by confronting me with people of amazing intellect and abilities as well as to give me a coherent framework to address the issues at hand.

On Friday, when the first speaker asked the crowd who was an technologist, who was an artist and who was a designer, I couldn’t raise my hand at any of those questions. With Third Wave, we fit into none of those drawers and I feel very comfortable with accepting that. Our strength is derived from our ability not to be any one of those disciplines, but knowing and understanding them and their implications onto everything that is happening.

That being said, there is a reason why we tend to quote James Bridle so often. His argument, well known to regular readers of this blog, is that we lack a language for a networked, complex world. As for so many, this is also of big frustration to us. Both individually, but especially as a company. Why do people need us? And how is us being interested in the themes discussed at conferences like retune or resonate relevant to what we do for our clients?

There is only a fleeting understanding of what it means to live in a networked world. We all embraced the Californian Ideology without knowing that we did. We are facing the necessity of reverse engineering the consequences of this world that we all helped to create.

One of the outcomes should be a massive, almost unquestioned embrace of the fact that the world is in fact complex. When Germany overwhelmingly elected Angela Merkel to lead the country into the future, what Germany actually voted for is the preservation of a status quo. Not that it is not understandable why people would want that, it’s just not possible anymore. Most people struggle immensely with that despite the fact that they can feel it in the air, in the fabric of things that none of the things can really be as they were anymore. If anything, one should admire Angela Merkel for getting so many people to trust her to preserve them from the complexity of the world. Unfortunately, and this is a spoiler, she won’t be able to.

With that, I want to point you to the things that some of the speakers have been speaking / showing at retune. Enjoy.

Julian Oliver

Web: http://julianoliver.com/output/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/julian0liver

Known for:
Newstweek: http://julianoliver.com/output/newstweek
The Transparency Grenade: http://julianoliver.com/output/transparency-grenade
No Network: http://julianoliver.com/output/no-network

Critical engineering: http://www.criticalengineering.org/

The Critical Engineer considers Engineering to be the most transformative language of our time, shaping the way we move, communicate and think. It is the work of the Critical Engineer to study and exploit this language, exposing its influence.

James Auger

Web: http://www.auger-loizeau.com/

Known for:
Carnivorous Domestic Entertainment Robots: http://www.auger-loizeau.com/index.php?id=13
Afterlife: http://www.auger-loizeau.com/index.php?id=9
Sublime Gadgets: http://www.auger-loizeau.com/index.php?id=24

Jeremy Bailey

Web: http://jeremybailey.net/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/jeremybailey

Known for:
His works on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/jeremybailey06
VideoPaint 1.0: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oQ821cQjyc

Scott deLahunta

Web: http://motionbank.org/

Known for:
A Choreography of perception, of attention and relation in time and space: http://scores.motionbank.org/dh/#set/sets

Olof Mathé

Web: http://olofmathe.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/olofster

Known for:
Art Hack Day: http://arthackday.net/
Related: http://vimeo.com/45841989

As far as I know, all the talks have been recorded. I will make sure to give a shout out as soon as they are available on the retune conference website.

Next Conference 2012: Post-Digital

Earlier this year we had the opportunity to work with SinnerSchrader on their Next Conference, where I curated and hosted the track The Social Layer. Today, the team announced Next12 with the overall theme “Post-Digital”, and we are glad that we can – again – contribute.

Earlier this year we had the opportunity to work with SinnerSchrader on their Next Conference, where I curated and hosted the track “The Social Layer”. Today, the team announced Next12 with the overall theme “Post-Digital”, and we are glad that we can – again – contribute.

Experiments

This year we will be hosting not one, but two tracks. Without going into too much detail yet: We’ll come up with some fun & interesting things, some of which will be more on the experimental side. I’m glad to say the Next team trusts us on this one – we’ll make the best of it.

Berlin Web Week

In 2012, Next and republica will move closer together. Under the label Berlin Web Week, both events (and many more) will take place from 2-9 May 2012 and in the same location. Make sure to plan on some extra time in Berlin next year. We’ll definitively be around.

The official Twitter account of Next is @nextconf. We’ll keep you updated here and on Twitter about our ideas.

Disclosure: SinnerSchrader is a client of Third Wave, and we were hired as curators and moderators.

The Social Layer: Next11 Presentations

The videos of all Next Conference 2011 presentations are available online now. Here we collected the talks from the Social Layer track that we curated this year. Enjoy!

Check out all Next11 videos here.

Next Conference 2011

On May 17/18, SinnerSchrader’s Next Conference comes to Berlin, this year with the guiding theme Data Love. We curated the Social track, called The Social Layer, which I will also host on May 18. The premise we worked on was this: Social Media as a stand-alone complex is dead – everything from services to products to whole companies will have a social layer built right in, as a core that permeates everything.

On May 17/18, SinnerSchrader’s Next Conference comes to Berlin, this year with the guiding theme Data Love. We curated the Social track, called The Social Layer, which I will also host on May 18 (schedule). The premise we worked on was this: Social Media as a stand-alone complex is dead – everything from services to products to whole companies will have a social layer built right in, as a core that permeates everything.

Wo we started looking for speakers who could share insights about exactly this and were really happy to see a great line-up emerge, including Mike Arauz (Undercurrent), David Noël (Soundcloud), Cornelius Puschmann (University of Düsseldorf), Amanda Rose (Twestival), Will Sansom (Contagious Magazine), Matt Stinchcomb (Etsy), Bastian Unterberg (Jovoto), Birgit Gebhardt (Trendbüro), Matt Gierhart (Ogilvy Action), Jochen Adler (Deutsche Bank), Michael Trautmann (kempertrautmann) and Florian Steps (Vodafone).

On the Next website you can find a full list of all speakers as well as all fellow curators.

If you happen to be at Next, make sure to say hi. I’ll be on the stage for all of the second day (May 18), and available all of the first day (May 17). Igor and Johannes are also going to be around for most of the time.

On the road: NYC, SXSW

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be on the road to meet folks and go to SXSW. March 5-10 we’ll be in NYC, from March 11-15 at Austin for SXSW. If you want to meet up, ping us!

Dopplr Travel Plan

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be on the road to meet folks and to attend SXSW. Here’s our rough schedule to make it easier to meet up.

March 5 – 10 we’ll be NYC. Sunday we’ll be at Transportation Camp East. The rest of the week we’re going to be around to meet and talk. Brownie points for proposing a meetup in a great coffee shop.

March 11-15 we’ll be headed for Austin to attend SXSW, where Igor hosts a panel (“How does SciFi influence our future cities“) with Harvard professor Jo Guldi and Adam Greenfield of Urbanscale.

Afterwards we’ll be back in Berlin at least for a little while. If you’d like to meet up, get in touch!

Cognitive Cities is a wrap!

As we wind down from the Cognitive Cities weekend, we’re rubbing our tired eyes and asking each other “Did this really happen? Did it really exceed all our expectations?” The answer is – Yes, indeed, it did. Thank you.

As we wind down from the Cognitive Cities weekend, we’re rubbing our tired eyes and asking each other “Did this really happen? Did it really exceed all our expectations?” The answer is – Yes, indeed, it did. We had an absolute blast having you all as our guests. We’re super grateful for your participation, your enthusiasm and your feedback.

How we got here

When we started the Cognitive Cities blog, it was just a place of a few friends to share their findings about this emerging topic around cities and technology with each other. We are all geeks and were thrilled about the new possibilities of using our smartphones and other gadgets to interact with our urban surroundings.

The more we dived into the field, the more excited we became by the opportunities of all kinds of disciplines involved like architecture, design, mobile, city planning, politics, gardening and technology in general. Finally, being interested in everything made sense. Unfortunately, almost nobody else in Germany seemed to know about this field. So we decided that the best way for us to push it forward was to organize a conference.

Photos, videos, slides

We’re now trying to connect all the conference documentation and artifacts to make sure that the content and conversations continue and expand. While we’re compiling a comprehensive list of the coverage as well as our own videos (soon on the CoCities website and Twitter), here’s a first glimpse of what has been popping up on the interwebs.

There’s a Flickr group where you can add your photos from this weekend here:

Some of the presentations are on Slideshare already (more soon):

KS12 also did an interview with our lovely moderator Ben Hammersley:

Future Perspectives TN2020: Ben Hammersley from KS12 on Vimeo.

Connect

The conversations started at CoCities shouldn’t fade anytime soon. Make sure to connect to the other attendees. A good place to start are the Facebook event page and Lanyrd.

Thanks!

There are so many people we want to thank for making this possible, we can only highlight some of you. First of all, our speakers: thank you so, so much for agreeing to pitch in on this one. We really appreciate it. Second, a big thumbs up to all of you who attended and participated, either live at one of the conference days or by contributing online. Third, a big thank you to our sponsor smart, without whom CoCities wouldn’t have been possible and our media partners. And last but not least the whole team, all of whom put in tremendous efforts without any financial rewards – CoCities was truly a work of passion: Yourneighbours, Martin Spindler, Fabian MürmannMarkus Reuter, Axel Quack, Wiebke Herger and our lovely volunteers.

Feedback

We don’t want to miss the chance to hear from you about what worked and what we could do better next time. We’ve created a short survey with just four questions. It would be great help if you could take a couple of minutes and let us know what you think.