I have just returned from the IFVP 2007 Annual Conference (International Forum of Visual Practitioners) — the theme this year was Growing Visual Language. Wow! is all I can say. And more wow! (and I don’t mean the online game, for once, either, although naturally it did come up once or twice in conversation during the conference.)
A few of the highlights for me were Kristina Woolsey’s keynote on Pagespace and Screentime, in which she talked about how we can move back and forth between analog and dynamic modes of expression, using technology to make mediamaking easier; the chili cookoff — as an icebreaker, it rocked, and man was that some good chili; seeing all the different styles of visual notetaking as charts bloomed into color by the hour on every wall; Carl Moore’s $39 challenge; and the Bandelier National Monument visit, injury notwithstanding. But the absolute best take-away was, for me, the new friends I made and the renewed connections with old friends. What a wonderful community!
On Saturday I spoke about digital natives and visual practice. I’m not, by Marc Prensky’s definition, strictly a digital native (yes I am too old), but if you think of digital natives as inhabiting a certain technological landscape or country, I can safely say that I’ve lived there since I was twelve and that counts. I do have an accent, most noticeably when I send text messages (I will keep using whole words), but I can speak the language. So I showed people around the place and handed out tourist visas. Alan, I swiped your 50 tools list and turned the visual practitioners loose on it. Thanks for letting me piggyback on months of your hard work :-)
Because of my sprained ankle I got to give my presentation seated on a kind of tall, wrought-iron throne with one leg propped up, and I think it really enhanced the experience for me. I think that once I am famous and have my own road crew I will demand a throne for each of my speaking engagements. There’s a lot to be said for the free-range, wandering-presenter model of speaking, which is good because it will be a cold day in hell before I have my own road crew, but in the meantime I will remember the glory of this particular setup and forget the sprained-ankle thing.
You can find pictures of the conference on Flickr, and I will post my little 90-second story about Bandelier as soon as I work out how to compress it to something webworthy.