Every year, like clockwork: TOCA ME, the design conference in Munich – a beloved fixture in the calendar. On March 4, 2017, the Old Congress Hall was once again all about art and design. And about dreams worth consistently pursuing with full commitment until they become a reality.
„I’m a constant maker” (Joshua Davis)
‘If everything comes too easy, it just becomes boring.’ New Joshua Davis passionately combines technology and art. He paints with sound and light, combining creative and analytical concepts to create beautiful psychedelic patterns. The fascination of the never-ending journey drives him, always experimenting with new and unknown things.
Light designs for bands like Nine Inch Nails, Naked, or Phantogram, the Prix Ars Electronica 2001 Golden Nica for ‘Net Vision / Net Excellence,’ and exhibitions in the world’s most renowned museums are the result. For the Super Bowl 2016, he designed the Super Friday Night für Pepsi und Pharrell Williams with resounding success. His personal highlight at this year’s Super Bowl 51 was being able to showcase his oversized light designs for all three days.
You can follow Joshua Davis’ work and its stages on almost all social networks. At TOCA ME, he loudly encouraged not hiding behind paralyzing perfectionism but to attract attention and uncompromisingly showcase projects in all media. To put it simply: ‘work in progress is progress.’
‘You are your own enemy! You need to get rid of yourself! Come out of there!’ he yelled to the audience as the final speaker late at night. He’s absolutely right.
Gmunk – first seen at TOCA ME in 2009 – was there again this year, playing the part of the creative to the hilt. The only speaker comfortably seated in a lounge chair, always with a ready Wodka Tonic. The top visual and design director talked extensively about the course of his ‘therapy’ – how he tries to escape creative boredom and always tries new things: ‘You must be in love with creation, not with recognition.’ It seems he loves both very much.
British Humor and Tomorrow’s Innovators
Seb Lester is a calligraphy artist, type designer (including the legendary Neo Sans typeface), and social media star. The book ‘The Graphic Language’ by Neville Brody was the catalyst for an amazing career. While the first typeface published by Seb Lester sold just seven times, major brands like British Airways, Apple, Nike, Intel, The New York Times, and NASA are now his clients.
Dominic Wilcox’s art objects already impressed me at TedxVienna 2016. Whether it’s shoes with integrated GPS to find your way home or other crazy ideas – there’s simply nothing that doesn’t exist in Dominic Wilcox’s mind. With the „little inventors” project, he inspires the innovative thinkers of the next generation and realizes their fabulous ideas.
Designer and filmmaker Keiichi Matsuda has been working on ‘Mixed Reality’ for eight years, experimenting with how the real space can interact with digital media. Armed with knowledge of architecture and an interest in digital culture and society, he seeks to expand the boundaries of what is possible to the point of discomfort. Keiichi Matsuda opens a provocative window into a future world that doesn’t seem so far away.
In fact, we’re already in the midst of it – with all the gadgets that monitor our health, make decisions for us, and explain how we feel and what’s best for us. Digitization has already begun to change our ability to feel empathy. Thoughts of further possible effects send a chill down one’s spine.
The Best for Last
and his talk ‘Machine Learning & Art’ were – for me – the best of the day. Machines are ‘fed’ with knowledge and begin to recombine it. Just like humans do. We simply create new combinations from the knowledge we’ve acquired. This means we can’t create completely ‘untouched’ new ideas; we can only arrange what we already know into our own ‘thing.’ Looking at the digital transformation, it becomes clear how much humans and machines are alike in ‘thinking’ and how important it is to constantly ‘feed’ ourselves with new information. Mario Klingemann gets specific: ‘We are in the midst of the digital transformation, and much will change and dissolve. No one needs to be afraid, but everyone should be as prepared as possible.’
After the so-called Small World phenomenon (we’re all connected within 6.6 degrees, the everyone-knows-everyone law), he constantly feeds the computer with new information. From this, the computer continually develops new orders. It’s fascinating to watch how an algorithm connects and interprets formal information. For all interested parties, there’s a talk by Mario Klingemann on the subject at this Link (from 5:20 bis 25:30).
Dream BIG, TOCA ME.
Until next year!
gil com | creative identity and beyond
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