HAPPENINGText: Nicolas Roope

Portugal is a pretty small place; 9 million people small to be exact. Like other southern European countries they’ve not got too into the internet. I put this down to the fact that say in Scandinavia there’s 3 hours daylight in the cold long winters so you sit inside messing around on the net. Down south it’s warm and sunny so why would you sit in the dark with your PC when you could be arsing about in the sun?

Anyway I went down to talk at this thing called CAT. It was a pretty small affair but there were a few people who I’d always wanted to meet. By now everyone is bored of JODI as they’re quoted and displayed in every art web book I’ve seen. They were there and the work they’re doing is still very interesting. They’re putting JODI-esc graphics on top of the quake source code made available this year. The familiar quake environment becomes disjointed hard-edged, blocky, black and white blocks and pixels, the sounds are no longer of monsters but of electronic pain; bleeps and scraping sounds, so you know that something bad is happening to you.

I also met LIA who worked with Dextro collaboration on There was an exhibition of her work as part of the CAT thing. It took an hour to go through all the work; she’s been pretty busy. LIA first studied music, then fashion and finally ended up coding, falling in love with maths. You can see all of this in the work.

LIA talked about how good the scene was in Austria and how the web design/art community was very supportive.

Hans from Etoy was there although I didn’t catch his talk. I caught up with him later though for some local ales in a fine street full of late night bars. He’s trying to blur the divide between art and business. It was too late and I’d had a few too many beers for that kind of discussion.

It’s always good to see the people behind the names. The thing that still strikes me is that they’re all really dedicated to what they’re doing not the hope of fame or riches. One day it’ll all be different I’m sure. After all the net’s the new rock and roll right?

As you may have noticed my postings have got later and later. Understandably my dear friends at shift are pissed off. Truth is, the London office of Oven that I set up last year is now 50 strong and growing and as you can guess that leaves me little time to get involved in what’s going on in the London scene. Basically I’m becoming a bit of an old geezer who’ll soon be driving an estate (station wagon), listening to Fauré and paying a bit too much attention to my dog.

In short I’m handing off London to a brighter web junkie who’s liver’s strong enough to take all the boozing and late night that come with being a shift corespondent.

I guess I’ll still do special features from time to time. Also you’ll see the odd ramblings on k10k.

Later readers.

Text: Nicolas Roope

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