I've booked the Conway Hall. Interesting 2011 will be Saturday the 18th of June. But I think this time it'll be a bit different.
Boring, Playful and The Story are all now much better 'people talking about stuff' events than Interesting. Better curation. Better organisation. Better names. And I don't want to organise something similar but not as good.
After cancelling Interesting last year we eventually rushed together a last minute Papercamp. And it was great fun. Less listening to talks, more doing stuff. Less yammering, more hammering. (Though quite a lot of wondering around chatting to people while doing the stuff)
So, this year it's going to be more about activities than talks. And it's going to be divided into sections run by different people.
Leila's going to host an hour or so of 'hacker circus'. I'm hoping this will involve teaching us all how to pick locks.
And Chris is going to be host a molecular gatronomy session where he'll get everyone to spherise food.
And there'll be some music stuff. And I'm hoping Matt will be getting us building towers from tubes and catching eggs dropped from the balcony.
I don't know yet, really. If anyone has any ideas about activities we should do, please let me know.
But probably, because we'll need more room, there'll be fewer tickets on sale. And the tickets might be a little more expensive because we'll be providing you with ingredients or locks or arduinos or something. And we might ask you to bring cooking equipment or ingredients or musical instruments with you.
I'm really selling this aren't I?
Anyway, like I say, that's the rough plan. I will let you know more. Tickets on sale soonish.
There will still be bunting.
I've got to do a talk in a couple of weeks and I think it's going to be about screens. A varient on this piece from The Observer but perhaps a bit more optimistic.
So now, of course, I can't help seeing screens wherever I go. This is possibly the cheapest I've seen to date. A Sponge Bob "Multi Image Projector Pop" (that's what it says on the side).
It's like a small, cheap, externalised ViewMaster, without the 3D. Or something. It's a sweet dispenser with a screen built in as the disposable gimmick.
That's the future for screens - disposability. Ubiquity through gimmickry.
I think Matt talked about this during his Royal Institution talk. The way that toys have cutified over the years - our predisposition for big eyes and bright colours 'evolving' each generation of toys to be cuter than the last. (See, for instance, this post about the cutification and sexualisation of My Little Pony).
We saw these Yoo Hoos in Hamley's window. I like the look of them. But I can't help wondering how outlandish they'd have looked 20 years ago.
I think I remember watching The Man Who Fell To Earth late night on BBC2 at some point in the 80s. when there were only 4 TV channels in the UK. I don't remember being hugely impressed with the film but Mr Bowie's growing collection of TV screens bowled me right over. Given how much it's stuck in my head I'm surpised I only dug it out again the other week.
They seemed to represent such profligacy and power. All those screens! All those channels! How much you would know if you watched them all! What a way to live a life. This was probably the same phase of life where I wanted to be Clive James - watching TV all the time and being witty and clever about it in The Observer.
In my head his final assemblage of screens filled a room - vast, blinking, unknowable. Actually, now, it looks rather pathetic. You see bigger displays in shopping centres. Just twelve channels.
A few years later we went to Graceland and I remember being similarly impressed by Elvis' TV Room - and that only featured three channels. Perhaps it was the simultaneity of it that was so thrilling. Three screens at once!
These days you need a full-fledged mission control, or the Eye of Cy from Interface to deliver the same effect. Maybe that's what I'm trying to build.
I was watching 2010 the other day (a year late, typical) and I couldn't help noticing the design of the instrument panels - all those buttons in blocks of colour. I'm not sure I've ever seen anything that looks like this. It's beautiful. Does this pattern ever happen in real life?
The closest analogue I could think of is Roland's habit of doing something similar with drum machines and I guess some editing desks and keyboards do this a bit. But I've never seen anything this extreme.
I'd rather be in this Soviet sweetie box than the antiseptic restraint of the Discovery.