Banff Digital Media 2020 Summit, Day 1

bow river

A tame stretch of the Bow River

I was surprised to wake to a light snowfall after my first night at The Banff Centre. I’ve been invited to participate in the two-day Digital Media 2020 Summit, and arrived a day early to collect myself and orient to this spectacular mountain oasis nestled in the Bourgeau Mountain Range of the Canadian Rockies.

hudson's bay

an appealing window display at the Hudson’s Bay Company in downtown Banff

After breakfast I hiked to the town of Banff, toured the Hudson’s Bay Company store and the town’s two skate shops, then continued on to the bank of the Bow River, where I picked up a trail that meandered along its shore, over cliffs and falls to the forest. The air was tinged with sweet cottonwood despite the late season snow, and I felt revived and refreshed from the high altitude exercise.

banff kinnear centre

The Summit will be held at The Kinnear Centre for Creativity and Innovation

The group of 44 participants will assemble for the first time this evening for a general orientation. It’s a diverse crew from an international pool, representing the realms of technology, education, government, business, and cultural production. As the only one present for whom digital media is an adjunct to an art and design practice, I’m happy to be a bit of an outlier to the conversation. As a maker, I see the possibilities inherent in open/crowd sourcing, social networking and cloud streaming as extensions of my toolbox as I design and make tangible things and places. For me, the collaborative, public nature of digital media is very much a contemporary manifestation of a traditional craft ethos and methodology.

In the near future, as more people make more of their lives public, I anticipate the types of innovation in digital media will shift away from the form or interface and towards the content and quality of the narrative, and that technological innovations will increasingly emerge from our collective desire to lead interesting and meaningful lives, especially the more they are on view. I can anticipate an era of bold experimentation in visual narrative.


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