Tuesday, March 28, 2000

Robotic tonic

In an odd way an animated kitchen appliance is relaxing. I know because I played with two on Tuesday night, March 28th. Now before you start getting ideas in your head--they were art installations by a student in NYU's ITP showcase. The blender and toaster were wired and light sensitive, so when I flashed it (with a flashlight) it operated itself across the stage.

The stage was set at Tonic on the Lower East Side for the SubDigital.org party. This conglomeration of new media minded entrepreneurs, artists, writers, filmmakers and others was hosted by the tried-and-true trio of RedFilter, InSound and MP3Lit. William O'Shea, Ali Afshar and Steve Weiss were text-book hosts. They introduced around guests who would benefit from knowing each other and made sure the evening ran smoothly.

Jen Lewin of Blueink.com was the other ITP installation -- she designed a harp that has lasers for strings and uses a small processor and midi commands to play. I chatted for a bit with Mark Singer of Togglethis and Nigel Wright of Shift magazine when Syl Tang of HipGuide showed up with attorney Havona Madam. Also upstairs, Daniel Holton-Roth of Broome Street Media educated me on his community site for filmmakers and awesome office space. Andrew Goldstein, reporter with Time magazine, Ed Halter of the NYUnderground Film Festival and Ari Paparo of Blink.com were there with friends and mingling with the artful crowd like Genevieve Field of Nerve and Danielle Chang of Simplicity.

Although it was quite dark, you could still make out a few faces. I met Marina Barinova of Deutsch Bank, Matt Wishnow of Insound and Dan Koetter, the newest Redfilter hire. I was ready to go, but there was a steady stream of creative media people streaming in.... the toaster was going to be busy tonight!