February 27th, 2014

Mill+ creative director Carl Addy has just returned from FITC in Amsterdam. The festival, now in its 7th year, opens its doors to creative technologists, designers and developers from around the globe. The two-day conference features talks from a host of world-renowned speakers and creative thinkers and this year Carl was invited to talk. We caught up with Carl to get his highlights from the event.

FITC - Future. Innovation. Technology. Creativity -  is the perfect balance of innovation and art, bringing in experts from the fringes of digital, installation, film and design.

I have the visual beast that is Gmunk to thank for my experience at this year’s FITC festival. Last year when we were both talking at the Semi-permanent Stockholm event, he recommended that FITC's founder Shawn Pucknell get me over for the Amsterdam event, and I’m glad he did!

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My talk featured the best of global Mill+ projects and also some in-depth discussion about how we approach creating the work. The thing I love about doing these talks, is the opportunity to spend time with some of the most talented people in the world. Getting to sing karaoke at 3.30am in a dingy Amsterdam bar with a peer group of creative ninjas is a rare treat, so worth the hangover.

Amsterdam was amazing as usual. I always enjoy the upright genteel cycle practices that are a far cry from London's self-defence regime we call commuting.

Although I wish I had caught more speakers, these are some of my highlights:

Mario Klingemann aka Quasimondo

Mario is half artist, half code genius. I loved his prolific "just get it done" approach to creating. His #bl1million project really resonated with me. He has written applications to search and categorize the image library of etchings and drawings found in the British Library's archive of books that has come into the public domain…. sound complicated? It is - but thanks to Mario, us visual junkies can now search it with ease.

Sara Blake

I found Sara's process of creating lavish texturally rich illustrations to be insightful. Her work categorizes and displays a trend amongst most speakers: Ignore the money, invest in your personal work and that will define a market.

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Myron Campbell

Myron wants us to embrace ugly. What he means by ugly is pushing yourself into the uncomfortable area of spontaneity and unknown. Embracing growth and discovery through randomness and different practices.

He also discussed the importance of personal practices outside of the profit margin. He shared some interesting examples by some well-known brands of building this development time into their businesses.

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Sougwen Chung

Sougwen is an interdisciplinary artist who… makes different stuff… The light-footedness with which she hops between technology and traditional art practices is dizzying.

This was the first time I have heard her talk and hearing her intellectual exploration of her art is inspiring and rich.

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There were so many good moments.

Check out the scientist Timothy Marzullo's commercially available Neuroscience kits that use electrode technology to interface with robotics and audio here.

And as for Gmunk… just go watch him already! Buy the man a drink and talk some shit with him, it will enrich your life.

Thanks Carl for sharing your Karaoke tales! Find more info about the festival and its speakers here.