“old skool phunk” — mixtapes then and now at ArtCamp

OldSkool Phunk

So far ArtCamp has been fun, if a little conferencelike for my liking. That was my same problem with Moose Camp. Can we do something besides talk at an unconference?

Not that the talks haven’t been good. I liked Kelly Churko’s riff on Japanese Noise music (pleasant surprise to see him here, met him at a party about six years ago). I am having difficulty processing all of Richard Wright’s conceptual loops on imagery and text, but it’s some kind of far-out work — such as The Mimeticon, a “Baroque search engine”.

Hopefully our own contribution will break the talk and gawk pattern a bit. It was a blast throwing together our materials on mixtapes with Jason and James last night, literally immersed in the media form, surrounded on all sides by James’s awe-inspiring collection of vintage high-end boomboxes and audiophile metal cassettes (which haven’t been manufactured in over a decade). The cumulative effect is so overwhelming it borders on disturbing, as James cheerfully acknowledges. We’ve got a few of James’s prize ghettoblasters here, so if nothing else our session will be augmented by portable sonic phun. And Jason’s research gives us a solid foundation to build on…

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2 thoughts on ““old skool phunk” — mixtapes then and now at ArtCamp

  1. I missed out on Moosecamp earlier this year but I did attend the Vancouver Barcamp a few weeks ago. It seemed a bit conferencey too, which didn’t seem much as an unconference as they hoped to be (although there was a yoga class and a midnight photography walk thrown in).

    I’m not sure at this point exactly what they would do outside of talking, what has your experience been at other “unconferences” Brian?

    (Some notes about Vancouver Barcamp are
    here)

  2. Thanks Patricia — I phrased my post poorly. I should have said “present” rather than talk. Some of the sessions at ArtCamp were open discussions, but I thought there was a natural tendency for a leader at the front to give a lecture, which was my real objection. Our own session went well, but I wish we had generated more activity.

    A couple of sessions broke the mold well — one person led a day-long collaborative drawing exercise for instance. I guess at these events that’s what I find myself wanting is that we will do or build things. Talking has its place, of course.

    Part of the problem with Moose Camp is the traditional schedule grid with timeslots (also at ArtCamp), which in my opinion simply results in an unmoderated conference. I’d like to see a more a more fluid structure. Of course, the risk of failure with these less organized approaches is higher, which is scary…

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