The Program

Thursday, November 14th
• Thursday / 8:00 — late / The Engine Room & Devil’s Advocate
A meet & greet, get your badges, and hang and have-a-beer kinda thing. Get out of work mode, get out of airplane mode, and come join us for a casual, social “Welcome to this INST-INT” party.

Improvised electronic music performed by John Keston:,

Friday, November 15th
9:00am – Doors Open at Walker Art Center
• Friday / 9:00 — 9:45 /

9:45am – WELCOME – Team INST-INT –
• Friday / 9:45 — 10:00 / Cinema
Show up, check in and get your badge if you didn’t the night before. Have a coffee. Meet someone. The Cinema doors will open at 9:30. Get your seat.

10:00am – Session: Sketches to Projects – Karolina Sobecka • Flightphase
• Friday / 10:00 — 10:25 / Cinema
It’s easier to start projects than to finish them, so this talk is a look at the process of transforming projects from the mess and flux of initial experimentation into their final form. It is a look at the creative process to flesh out the promise of the initial ideas, what happens after the broad strokes and before the final touches, based on examples and insights from personal and collaborative work.

10:30am – Session: From Prototyping to Public Spaces – Mouna Andraos • Daily tous les jours
• Friday / 10:30 — 10:55 / Cinema
For the past three years, Daily tous les jours’s focus has been on creating engaging collective experiences that can inspire in people a sense that together we can achieve greater things than individually. But as we take to the streets and head out to reach and engage as wide an audience as possible, new constraints and challenges arise.

I’ll discuss the process behind bringing experimentation and prototyping into the public space – and how these constraints can help focus on the essence of the experiences you hope to create.

11:00am – Session: Why Physical Experiences Matter – Alex Beim • Tangible Interaction
• Friday / 11:00 — 11:25 / Cinema
A young man stands near the front of a raucous concert. He films the performance, viewing the entire show through the screen of his iPhone.

This simple social situation is all too familiar. While we all have technology that simplifies our lives, connects us and takes us to incredible places, it also isolates us from each other, our inner selves and our immediate environment. It captures the moment, but doesn’t allow us to be in the moment. It propels us forward, but discourages the here and now. And so, we have reached a point where we need to deeply question the purpose of technology and the kinds of experiences it creates, rather than simply accepting every new thing as progress. Do we want to live life within the virtual confines of a touchscreen, or create and delight in one that is rich in deeply felt connections and tangible experiences?

11:45am – Panel: – Alex Beim • Tangible Interaction, Karolina Sobecka • Flightphase, Mouna Andraos • Daily tous les jours, Steve Dietz • Northern
12:40pm – LUNCH BREAK
• Friday / 12:40 — 2:00 /

12:55pm – Attendee Show & Tell
• Friday / 12:55 — 1:45 / Skyline Room
Here’s the chance, and the stage, to show us what you’re working on. Bring your laptop, a VGA adaptor (if you need one/have one – we’ll have some too), and we’ll give you 5 minutes to bring us up to speed. Sign up via the whiteboard at the registration area before noon. Sign up is first come, first serve. Projects, not pitches, are muy, muy, muy preferred. This is a great way to meet people, find potential collaborators, get some feedback, and just generally jumpstart conversations. Don’t be shy.

2:00pm – Session: && ! || – Eric Socolofsky • The Exploratorium
• Friday / 2:00 — 2:25 / Cinema
Installation design draws from too many disciplines to count. From spatial design to interaction design, programming to physical fabrication, project management to brand and content considerations, the world of physical/digital installations requires generalism in a way perhaps no other field does. How do we multi-hyphenates manage to keep a foot in each of these camps when most of us only have two legs? And how do we avoid tripping over all those feet when we use them to walk into an altogether different field?

2:30pm – Session: Learnings from Web Lab – Matt Cottam • Tellart
• Friday / 2:30 — 2:55 / Cinema
Web Lab is a year-long exhibition at Science Museum, London, featuring a series of interactive Chrome Experiments that connect massive online and in-musuem audiences to bring the extraordinary workings of the Internet to life. The exhibition was invented by Tellart and Google Creative Lab and was designed and built in collaboration with Universaldesignstudio, B-Reel and Karston Schmidt.

Matt will present Web Lab from its origin sketch and through its design and development process to illustrate some of the major design constraints encountered along the way. These include personalisation versus privacy, social presence versus protection of kids onsite, consumable materials and environmental impact, latency, remote maintenance and take-away creations. 

3:00pm – Session: Proceed with Excitement! – Michael Szivos • SOFTlab
• Friday / 3:00 — 3:25 / Cinema
We often find ourselves solving two different problems when we engage a project. The design of the project itself and the system needed to fabricate, activate, or visualize the project. Most of our work is also physical and very site specific. It is easy to be seduced by the precision of the computer, but the real world has much more interesting tendencies like gravity, wind, pressure, excited children, etc. As we build our installations we rely less on precision and more on improvisation and intuition to address the reality of making them. These two problems not only require different skills but also a different mindset altogether. This talk will address how we reconcile this split personality and how we address the idiosyncrasies of the real world.

3:45pm – Panel: – Alexis Lloyd • New York Times R&D Lab, Eric Socolofsky • The Exploratorium, Matt Cottam • Tellart, Michael Szivos • SOFTlab
• Friday / 5:00 — 7:30 /

• Friday / 7:15 — late / Walker Garden Cafe
Come on back after dinner to the Walker and have a pre-more-talks drink on our lovely sponsors at the Developer Evangelism Team at Microsoft. Thanks and Thanks!

8:00pm – Session: Behavior – Stuart Wood • Random International
• Friday / 8:00 — 8:50 / Cinema
I will discuss behavior as a core concept of rAndom International’s practice: instilling a sense of ‘life’ in the inanimate, simulating natural phenomena and exploring the responses of both objects and people within immersive environments.

9:10pm – Session: 5000 First Impressions – Jared Ficklin • Frog
• Friday / 9:10 — 9:50 / Cinema
For a bit more than a bright decade visitors to Austin TX from around the world experienced a hyper social digital experiment known locally as the frog party. At its pinnacle this event held every March as the opening to SXSW Interactive involved 1 acre, 7000 people & 160 linear feet of bar. Attendees were subjected to dozens of interactive installations all designed to twist their minds laterally toward some thought about the current state of technology…

..all in exactly 3 hours.

The perperation was months of crazy ideas and sweat equity with world class talent and an underdog budget.

This is the story behind the party, the formulas it ran on and the small things learned over the years. We will cover things we learned in executing the installations, but also little things like how signage strategy can help press coverage and exactly the distance a tent needs to be from a fence in order to keep fully grown and supposedly responsible man who is probably a Tech Director at some big company from peeing back there.

Saturday, November 16th
9:15am – Doors Open at Walker Art Center
• Saturday / 9:15 — 9:50 /

9:50am – GOOD MORNING – Team INST-INT –
• Saturday / 9:50 — 10:00 / Cinema
Note that the building opens a little later today. (15 minutes later). Grab a coffee. The Cinema doors will open at 9:30. Take your seats. The second morning is also the last morning. Fooey – time flies.

10:00am – Session: Intimate / Immersive – Mary Franck
• Saturday / 10:00 — 10:25 / Cinema
From minute to monumental, video installations allow for different visual composition than conventional screens. This talk will scratch the surface of historical context, science and composition theory for experiential media.

10:30am – Session: Biomorphism – Mike Tucker • Universal Everything
• Saturday / 10:30 — 10:55 / Cinema
How does one evoke connection and empathy in the virtual? In this talk we’ll explore the curiously simple requirements to build compelling characters from the abstract.

11:00am – Session: Backup Plans – Camille Utterback
• Saturday / 11:00 — 11:25 / Cinema
How do you deal with the unexpected when designing and installing media installations? More importantly, are there any best practices to anticipate and mitigate the negative effects of the unexpected? In Camille’s career as an installation / public artist, the unexpected has run the gamut from architectural constraints, to building codes, to construction delays, to difficult project managers, to aesthetic issues, to information access, to changing and obsolescing technology. She will discuss lessons learned, and try to lay out some helpful tips for proposals, contracts, budgets, maintenance, and back up plans of all sorts. At their best, creative back up plans ultimately allow for more risky work.

11:45am – Panel: – Camille Utterback, Jer Thorp, Mary Franck, Mike Tucker • Universal Everything
12:40pm – LUNCH BREAK
• Saturday / 12:40 — 2:00 /

12:55pm – Attendee Show & Tell – Round Two
• Saturday / 12:55 — 1:45 / Skyline Room
Here’s the chance, again, and the stage, to show us what you’re working on. VGA adaptor (if you have one – we’ll have some too), and we’ll give you 5 minutes to bring us up to speed. Sign up via the whiteboard at the registration area before noon. Sign up is first come, first serve. Projects, not pitches, are muy, muy, muy preferred. This is a great way to meet people, find potential collaborators, get some feedback, and just generally jumpstart conversations. Don’t be shy.

2:00pm – Session: Digital Emulsion: Articulating Form in Physical Space – Kimchi and Chips
• Saturday / 2:00 — 2:25 / Cinema
Code has become the principal constructive material of our society, causing an increasing public literacy for the digital. There is an appetite for the immaterial properties of digital phenomena to transition into our physical deviceless reality, creating new types of objects and environments in galleries and public spaces. Kimchi and Chips will discuss the approach of artists to articulate form in space, and the movement for a new mutable Digital Physical. 

They will also reveal the Digital Emulsion body of research, which exploits digital light as a semi-material to articulate digital visual mass into physical space, building a liquid suspension of the imaginary within the physical environment using digital light as a semi-material.

2:30pm – Session: Fairy Tale Interaction – Eric Brockmeyer • Disney Research
• Saturday / 2:30 — 2:55 / Cinema
Story telling is integral to the development of interactive technologies. Our work has focused on the creation of new interactive sensors, haptic devices, and displays which parallel stories that continuously evolve based on both technological discoveries and business needs. To achieve this flexibility and vision, our interdisciplinary team of artists and scientists bring their unique perspective to each project.

3:00pm – Session: What Do The People Do? – Tom Igoe • Arduino / ITP / Make
• Saturday / 3:00 — 3:25 / Cinema
In the past decade or so, the speed of innovation in media technology has skyrocketed. Media installation ideas that were pipe dreams ten or even five years ago are reality today. Yet, what we ask of visitors to these installations hasn’t changed a lot since Myron Kruger did his early interactive computational media experiments in the late 1960′s. We’re still waving at the machines. Despite the technological advances, or perhaps because of them, media designers don’t spend enough of our imagination asking ourselves, “What do the people who will be part of this installation do?” We think a lot about what the stuff will do, but not much on what the people will do — what actions they’ll take, what prompts or motivates those actions, and how we make a narrative from those. In this talk I’ll discuss lessons learned from watching students create physical interactive work.

3:45pm – Panel: – Eric Brockmeyer • Disney Research, Kimchi and Chips, Phoenix Perry, Tom Igoe • Arduino / ITP / Make
• Saturday / 8:00 — late / Nye’s Polonaise Room
We’ll wrap up INST-INT together. Nye’s provides the atmosphere.