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June 17, 2011

Digital Media Festival Tomorrow... in Woodstock?

Woodstock Woodstock, VT: A lovely town, but not exactly a hub of cutting-edge tech trends. Except for tomorrow, when it hosts the Woodstock Digital Media Festival, a celebration of new media, digital art and innovation.

The morning session starts things off with a pair of panel discussions. Christine Paul, the curator of new media at the Whitney, will lead a panel with digital artists on current issues in new media art. Simultaneously, Seven Days online editor Cathy Resmer will lead a Vermont-centric panel on the challenges and opportunities of creating digital media in the Green Mountain state. Panelists include founder and editor Anne Galloway, Green Mountain Digital founder Charlie Rattigan, and eVermont director Helen Labun Jordan. 

A pair of interactive workshops follows. Participants can take part in a "mapping party" with, or go on a digital nature walk with the National Park Service and the founder of the Project Noah app. In the afternoon, digital artists set up shop in a number of venues in downtown Woodstock, showing off and discussing their work.

The festival ends, ironically, with presentations at the historic Billings Farm and Museum. The evening event features a performance by "post-cyberpunk electronic musician" Nullsleep, whose music the festival's website describes as "a combination of distorted synthpop, electro, and industrial produced with repurposed low-bit electronics." Not what you usually expect to find at the Billings Farm... So there you go.

In addition to the panels, workshops and exhibits, the festival is aiming for "A Critical Mass of Color". Color is a much-hyped app that creates proximity-based photo albums. It raised $41 million in venture capital before it even launched. But the problem is that the entire app is based on a group experience, and if you're the only person nearby who's using Color, you might feel kinda lonely. If everyone at the festival uses Color, everyone gets to discover the true possibilities of this app — and won't feel the pangs of early-adopter loneliness.

Sounds pretty fun, right? It all begins tomorrow at 10:30 am and goes all day. Ticket prices depend on what you plan on doing, but many events are free. Find out more at the Woodstock Digital Media Festival website. See you there.

Update, 6/21/11:

So, how was it? Click here for more festival coverage.

Oh, that's what that was. Tip to the wise: if you hold an event, try for a little publicity. A sign would have explained why there were 5 or 6 people sitting in a box on the library lawn yesterday.

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