Sunday, March 14, 1999

SXSW Exhibit Hall Does Not Disappoint

From there I checked out some of the Exhibition Hall booths and found some great groups! Namely The Robot Group (, which has been in existence for 10 years and is focused on promoting the development of blending art and technology and sharing their creations with the world. So here you have about seven men and one woman sitting and building robot arms, tinkering with gadgets, operating remote controlled trucks with cameras attached. Sharing their booth was Brooks Coleman of the Art Bra. Brooks designs bras out of metal, plastic and wood to form avant-garde breastplates. Models have worn his creations in the city and just maybe there'll be a mini fashion show at an upcoming Cocktails With Courtney. But I think I'll wait till the warmer weather.

Another fascinating group was the Brain Actuated Technologies, Inc. Their Brain Actuated Music 2.0 for Win95/98 uses a headband with three sensors that detect electrical signals on your forehead from subtle facial movements and brain activity. Connected to an interface box, the energy from your forehead is transferred to your computer and decoded into music and mandalas. This high tech experience is also a very organic one. Christian Berg, musician and scientist told me a bit about this as a gentleman was exploring new physic dimensions with it.

One of the larger booths was housed by Novare (, a large Dallas-based complete new media solutions company combining serious technical expertise with an artistic eye. After meeting Eric Olsson and Ean Schuessler, who were quite knowledgeable on several "scenes" in Texas, and having a fruitful discussion, I had the opportunity to join them for a delicious Tex-Mex food at Churra's Grill. Ean spent some time telling me about the origins of Debian Linux (, a form of Linux started by Debra and Ian Jackson, which launched with one password and literally overnight had over 100 accounts and developed software living on its server. Now there are over 2200 software packages developed for it. Ean and his girlfriend also have some notoriety for their Disturbathon events. You can find out more about this neat couple at (