Tag Archives: creative social

Making / Hacking Films: Creative Social Sydney

The latest Antipodean Creative Social, organised by Publicis Mojo took place at Finch, a very progressive content production company down here in Sydney. We met with Emad Tahtouh, their Head of Technology, who presented how Finch works with e.g. the Eye Writer in order to explore new creative concepts, innovative production and augmentation of video. Here is a doco of the evening.

To me it is remarkable that Finch invests in emerging and experimental technologies as they relate to video production. And if you look at Emad’s soldering table you know he is a real tinkerer. I’d be curious to know if other production companies worlwide are offering similar approaches. Or is it still left to the digital agencies to bring these new impulses into the video space?

Emad Tahtouh's work space

Emad Tahtouh's work space

Emad Tahtouh

Emad Tahtouh

CS Sydney donning the bipolar glasses

CS Sydney donning the bipolar glasses

Get involved with Creative Social Sydney

We interviewed our speakers Louise and Richard before Tuesday’s get together at MOJO / Amnesia Razorfish and here’s the video of the night, a bit rough around the edges.

Here are also a few snapshots taken during the two talks.

Creative Social at MOJO / Amnesia Razorfish

Creative Social at MOJO / Amnesia Razorfish

Both speakers are keen to take their projects further, so if you are intrigued by their work, identify with their projects and feel like you could contribute, please do get in touch via their respective sites:

Louise Hawson’s 52 Suburbs
Louise is planning to get ’52 Cities’ underway soon, and you would guess she is not talking about 52 cities within Australia. So as per Ben Cooper‘s suggestion, you might see her project gain traction on Kickstarter soon.

Richard Vevers Underwater Sydney
Richard’s project is getting major digital support from BMF through our Creative Social member Aaron Michie. But BMF building a new site won’t be enough, so if you are an agency willing to donate time and expertise in whatever field of communication, please get in touch. The underwater sea life literally needs more visibility.

The next Creative Social takes place at The Hallway, hosted by Jules Hall and Jamie Corker, speaker still to be announced.

Creative Social featuring ’52 Suburbs’ and ‘Underwater Sydney’

I am really excited about tonight’s Creative Social (more on CS below), this time hosted by Amnesia Razorfish and myself here at MOJO. We have the pleasure of welcoming two speakers, both ex-advertising professionals, who explore our home town Sydney in very artistic and unusual ways.

Creative Social at MOJO invite

Creative Social at MOJO invite

Louise Hawson is the author of popular blog 52 Suburbs, a search for beauty in Sydney’s more than 600 suburbs. Her work consist mainly of photo diptychs, taken in documentary style over the course of (you guessed it) one year. The body of work is now being turned into a book (to be released in May as part of Sydney Writers Festival) and an exhibition (to be opened at Museum of Sydney May 14) . Have a peek at the list of suburbs and see if yours has been explored by her.

52 Suburbs at redfern

52 Suburbs at Redfern by Louise Hawson

Our second speaker is Richard Vevers who is a member of Underwater Sydney, a conservation effort for Sydney’s beautiful underwater coastline. He will speak about his passion for diving and underwater photography – and how it took him to get involved in this noble cause.

Nudibranch by Richard Vevers

Nudibranch by Richard Vevers

Creative Social Sydney is a monthly get together of digital CDs and senior thinkers in the industry. We get involved in advising industry bodies such as IAB or ADMA, think about how to get greater and more innovative work out there, have the voice of digital creativity be heard more often, and invite inspirational speakers. Originally started in London by Mark Chalmers and Daniele Fiandaca who will be present tonight as he is in town with HyperIsland. It is now happening in numerous cities around the globe, and the lucky ones even get to travel around and have coffee in other fantastic cities (not us sadly).


Creative Social Sydney: Obama turns Pulp Fiction

Sydney’s Creative Social opened the floor and mic for the latest (and greatest?) from all willing participants. It was definitely cool to see what’s cooking or what has just been released by all the hard working creatives. Russ from Tequila covered his Save Miguel campaign and sneakily handed out Portuguese bottle corks – which become quite a nice toy to fiddle around with. In ten years, when screw-on caps have eradicated these critters completely, I’ ll score big on ebay. 

Original Save Miguel cork

Original Save Miguel cork

Tom from Lowe showed his Tree People, a digitally-led (alas!) campaign which was a timely reminder that not all successful, long-term engagements have to involve the social-glue-meisters from facebook or MySpace.

Ash rightfully lamented the never-ending, guilt-laden path towards updating one’s own agency’s website/portfolio/show reel. Who are we then to judge clients for dragging their feet in updating content? Holler’s way of throwing screenshots up on a flickr group & facebook page is definitely quick (if not glamourous).

I enjoyed Kim‘s FreeYourSkin for Movember sponsor Schick. Their face engine was awesome and made dressing up Barrack Obama with a biker ‘tache good fun. Check his Samuel Jackson-esque mad grin in the gallery – quite a Pulp Fiction experience. “And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who don’t want CHANGE!”

Obama does the Samuel L. Jackson

Obama does the Samuel L. Jackson

I’d be so keen to use this tool for my own virtual participation in this coming Movember, I just cannot convince the missus that sporting real lip spinach is a good idea – despite the worthy cause.

Endless horizons at Creative Social

Not often do you encounter images of striking and unique beauty but Frederick Murray’s large scale photographic work of Lake Eyre (or better of the void, the space) definitely gives you a glimpse of something otherworldly. Tonight, Creative Social hosts Deepend invited one of their favourite collaborators to speak about the images he creates in solitude and in the middle of absolute flatness with nothing but a 360° horizon.

Salt 151, by Frederick Murray

Salt 151, by Frederick Murray

all right reserved by Frederick Murray, linked to from images for sale on artnet

Working in the desert for weeks with nothing other than the automatic shutter clicking (for time lapse footage) can make your mind wander to far away places. It sounded like a “2001 – Space Odyssey” state of being, you know, the psychedelic end bit, not the “I’m sorry, but I cannot do that, Dave” moments. Russ thought of plenty of opportunities to interact with an audience while working and making a documentary about it (twitter from a satellite phone anyone?). I would be keen on new ways of presenting the work.

Luckily, Frederick has his own views and doesn’t have to listen to us nerds… He shot and produced an HD documentary of his process and time on Lake Eyre, mostly in still frames with hardly any panning of the camera. Judging from the teaser he showed us, it is going to be pretty engaging. It is going to headline the Adelaide Film Festival documentary section in february of 2009 and as far as I understand, it is going to air on the ABC after that.

Frederick’s new project involves taking photos of what he calls ‘the new landscapes that global warming creates’, e.g. the Murray River bed drying out or Tasmania’s deforestation. Beautifully shot yet obviously ambiguous in their effect on the viewer.

Surfacing digital in physical: summary of Creative Social

Yesterday’s Creative Social talk by Dan Hill saw a good turnout and a very lively debate; When there is so many talented and smart people in one room, one shouldn’t be wary of digital creativity in Australia. I post Dan’s presentation here in combination with a short run-through interview-thingy I did with Dan beforehand. After 17 minutes we started talking about how his work at Arup is shaping up and what Australian developers and politicians are doing in the field of using digital for triple-bottom-line sustainability (economic, social and environmental).


Obviously Dan’s slides make more sense when you have been a participant of the evening. You can listen to the MP3 of our chat by opening this MP3 page in a separate tab: https://archive.org/details/DanHill_at_CreativeSocial

Then click your way through the PDF accordingly. Dan is mainly following his slides from the presentation as he speaks.

Links to sites and videos (in regards to the slide numbers):

04 City of Sound
21 Traffic visualization in Madrid
21 Bicycle tracking in Barcelona
22 Bicycle tracking in Paris
23 Taxi tracking in LA
26 Zurich trains map mashup
27 Helsinki city transport in real time
28 Cisco sponsored wired bus
29 The Living (architecture) in NYC
30 Mapping excitement of pedestrians on a London map
34 City of Sound: visualizing energy use in houses
36 Helsinki: visualizing emissions via laser projection
37 Stamen: Visualizing data in SF train station
40 MIT Tinkerbell: way finding via lights
44 City of Sound: expressive facades
51 Daisy: robotic flower
63 World maps based on internet acitivity and access density
68 Tactical sound garden: leave sound traces

Again, apologies for making you, the user combine audio, slides and links on the fly. I hope non-participants still find it useful.

Audio file of my chat with Dan Hill:
Surfacing Digital in Physical – how data is changing our streets and cities‘ (MP3)

I also captured some reactions from the creatives present, namely Tim (EuroRSCG), Paul (White Agency) and Ben (Host).

Audio file of Creative Social: reactions and comments to Dan Hill’s talk on ‘Digital in Physical‘ (MP3)

Surfacing digital in physical: How data is changing our streets and cities

On Thursday May 15 I have the pleasure of hosting the next Creative Social, the global digital collective/get-together brought to Sydney by Profero.

I invited the immensely thoughtful Dan Hill, who was leading the design on BBC’s and Monocle‘s web sites before joining Arup in Sydney. Dan writes amazingly dense blog posts on City of Sound and I tend to read them after work as I am otherwise not able to catch enough time or head space. My former St.Edmonds Lab fellow Dave King confesses to actually printing them out.

But enough of this intro, I am making him appear to be an über-bookworm while in fact Dan is a very inspiring and resourceful mind. Dan previews his talk with the following:


Surfacing digital in physical: How data is changing our streets and cities

image of Melbourne by Wanderungen

The streets are now alive with data, invisible but all pervasive. Buildings can now talk to each other and virtually every object that comes within range, human or not. Given this new potential, how do we design better streets, better buildings? How should we see the street as a platform? What are the creative challenges now that we can make things talk?

We’ll pause to consider the volume of data already immersing our streets, before moving on through a whirlwind global tour of best practice in:

* designing digital systems for physical spaces;
* interactive architecture and new materials in facades;
* sensing the digital traces left by people in cities;
* new wayfinding and transit systems;
* the interplay between mobile devices and streets


I am sure the talk plus questions and discussion will be pretty inspiring for all of us. His post on how a game like GTA adds to the “visualization” of Los Angeles (just like Chinatown did as a movie) is definitely a good intro to Thursday’s event.
Santa Maria in GTA
image of GTA by Dan Hill

For those who would like to learn more about Dan’s work on media design / webcasting, this is quite a treasure post on the design process and brand building at Monocle.com and this one documents the work on “re-inventing radio” at the BBC a couple of years earlier.

image of Monocle by Dan Hill