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Meet The Winners Of Art Hack Weekend

Image courtesy of Eyebeam

When we dreamt up the idea of hosting a hackathon with an arts focus—in collaboration with the innovative art and technology center Eyebeam—we wanted to see how participants could harness the creative potential of emerging technology to create new artistic experiences or new ways to experience art. Since most hackathons are so business-focused, we weren’t quite sure what would happen when we paired up artists and technologists, put them in a sandbox for two days and asked them to play nice.

The hackathon attracted more than 50 artists, designers, coders and tinkerers who came to experiment with different ideas that didn’t necessarily have a place in the world of pragmatism we typically live in. When they went around the room introducing themselves on Friday night, it was astounding to hear the level of talent in the room. Everyone there had ideas, initiative and skills to offer, not only to their own team mates, but to their greater hacking community. Despite the “competitive element,” the vibe of the hackathon was very generous and supportive.

As Sunday’s 5 PM deadline approached, the sounds of drilling, cranking, twitching robotics and the murmurings of final compromises and decisions filled the air as the teams prepared to present their 15 final projects to friends and curious onlookers. Each team had three minutes to quickly explain their project to the audience and a panel of judges that included The Creators Project’s Julia Kaganskiy (Global Editor), and Ciel Hunter (Creative Director), Eybeam’s Amanda McDonald Crowley (Executive Director), MoMA’s Kate Carmody (Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture & Design), and the artists Taeyoon Choi and Rashaad Newsome.

Though there was quite a wide range of innovative projects, ultimately only two teams were declared the winners and will receive a $2500 development stipend, 8 weeks of studio space at Eyebeam, and the opportunity to debut their finished works at our New York event this October.

Read our in-depth weekend coverage here and check out the full list of projects below.

WINNING PROJECTS

Dis-Kinect: Ahmad Saeed, Ronald AngSiy, James Donovan, Mario Gonzalez, Jonathan Landau, Eric Stallworth and Guojiam Wu

Image courtesy of Eyebeam

Dis-Kinect encourage all to disconnect from reality. Users make movements in front of a Kinect system that then moves a real life puppet in a symbolic gesture that references the way our online identities take on lives of their own and distort our true selves. The users try to create music with their movements. After use, it becomes a clash of controlling the puppet and the system to make the right music, while quickly realizing the futility of such process. The performative installation is captivating, intriguing, and engaging.

Free Fall High Score: James George, Logan Best, Michael Zick Doherty, Helen Mair, Maria Mendez, Juan C. Müller and Caitlin Morris

Free Fall High Score is the first in a line of antagonistic mobile device apps. It encourages you to drop your device from high places in order to achieve the longest duration of free fall. The app records a video of the fall and uploads it to the global competition page.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Can We Talk?: Zack Gage

Can We Talk? is a chat program for having serious conversations. It seeks to eliminate some of the ambiguity that exists in normal text chatting programs.

Casual Encounters: The Game: Kaho Abe, Jon Cohrs, Amelia Marzec and Aaron Meyers

Casual Encounters: The Game is a game show based on the Craigslist category of the same name. Contestants have to match the photo appearing on the screen with one of three Craigslist post titles as quickly as possible.

Globe: Matthew Conlen and Nova Jiang

Globe is a physical interface in the form of a world globe. The globe allows users to navigate to a certain part of the world and view real-time news headlines from that geographic region. By interacting with the project, people may gain a better understanding of the intricacies of global politics.

Send to Receive: Crystal Butler, David Wolf and Jonathon Vingiano

Send to Receive is a continuously drawn work of digital art generated by a computer program. Viewers can interact with it through text messaging, and the program will use natural language processing to interpret the message and alter the piece accordingly. While the primary installation will be a gallery projection, it will also be viewable on the web and smart mobile devices, allowing users to alter it from any location with an internet connection and receive a texted response containing a link to a snapshot from the visual they create.

OTHER GREAT PROJECTS

BIL: Fred Ellman, LaTeisha Moore, Eva Neesemann and Margaret Plaisted

Imbuing dollars with an emotional value transcending the monetary, BIL encourages New Yorkers to slow down and reflect on the transient nature of currency, people and time within the city. BIL is an iPhone app experience that uses image recognition and GPS technology to follow the movement of a single dollar. The bill’s serial number works with a user’s location to reveal a site-specific New York story, which becomes intertwined with its physical journey as well as richly layered with the multimedia memories it accumulates along the way.

Capitol Conquest: Jonathan Wohl and Andy Dayton

A physical video game interface for a battling, two-party U.S. Congress. It’s fun for the whole country!

Cycles: Mark Stafford, Meredith Fitzgerald, Saaid Sabet and Narayanan Ramakrishnan

We are using electronic waste and active circuitry to describe the life cycle of our digital, virtual and physical environments by culling information from local (physical proximity) and global (by analyzing sentiments in tweets) sources.

Git the diff: Zeeshan Lakhani and Russell de Moose

This app takes in two (for now) audio files recorded by the user, makes calls to a newly-created API, and creates an audio file representing the pitch differences between the two tracks. Way more to follow.

Hit Counter IOS: Zack Gage

Hit Counter IOS is a re-imagining of my old Hit Counter project. It asks users to hang their iPad or iPhone on a wall in a frame, transforming their device into a physical installation object. It shares its viewer counts with other users over the internet as well as keeping track of each users own viewer count, submitting these individual counts to Apple’s GameCenter for users to compete on a ‘Best Curator’ high-score list.

Lazer Badger Handball: Matt Parker, Jeff Howard, DJ Lee, Taraneh Fazeli

Have you ever wondered what would happen if the Wii got it on with the Kinect to make a motion-sensing love child? Lazer Badger Handball, that’s what. Try out this game of 3D handball with a little help from your friends on Facebook.

Spazzlerz: Danielle, Vincenzo and Jon

An interactive art installation and iphone application that allows users to interact with a set a character in their make believe environment.

The Factory: Zack Freedman, Maria Michails and Olov Sundström

The Factory is a human-powered economy that conceptually positions human expenditure (labor) as the fundamental resource to the market. The project streams data of stock fluctuations which are then processed and linked to the RPM’s being generated by the user. The data is seen on the monitor and then interpreted by a printer to create a two-dimensional visual on a calculator scroll paper.

Traces of Dance: Irena Romendik

iOS application that allows one to create personal dance notations. Users can draw over live video, and an app makes a snapshot of that activity. Things that are being recorded: time code, frames of original video and personal notations. The next stage will be a player of all those records.

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