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All Things ART+TECH At FITC 2012
James Fowler
April 17, 2012


The Toronto edition of FITC 2012 starts next week, ready to offer the latest and greatest at the intersection of art, design and technology. The conference whose initials stand for "Future, Innovation, Technology, Creativity" began simply enough more than ten years ago when a group of programmers got together to geek out about Flash. Since then, FITC has exploded into impressive international design and technology-focused events in Amsterdam, Tokyo, San Francisco, Chicago, Seoul, New York, Los Angeles, and more.

Toronto's four day event kicks off on Sunday, April 22 with a series of workshops, followed by three days of lectures and panels. From HTML5 to Kinect Hacks, augmented reality to all the new coding goodies a tech geek could handle, the conference boasts more than seventy guest speakers this year. With presenters as diverse as the topics, FITC is a valuable event for those interested in both the technical and creative aspects of creating in a digital space.

I am attending this year and will be live tweeting from the floor as well as reporting back on some highlights in a future post. For now, here are just five of the presenters to watch out for:


With the 2012 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival launching on April 27, photography fans might want to catch this one. Graphic designer and illustrator Ayaka Ito and programmer Randy Church collaborated on a photography collection portraying human figures in scribbled lines. The two will discuss how they "put their models through the shredder" using a custom Flash drawing tool, HDR lighting, Cinema4D, and Photoshop. The project began as a class assignment and grew into a fully realized series which won an Adobe Design Achievement Award and has been featured in 3D World Magazine and Communication Arts Magazine.


Adobe Fellow Mark Anders will show examples of animations made with Adobe Edge, a tool for creating beautiful animations, transitions, and interactive content using the capabilities of HTML5 which were previously done in Flash. You can download a complimentary preview of Adobe Edge for Mac or Windows here.



We all know Siri, Apple's much hyped voice-controlled "assistant" available for the iPhone 4S, but take this voice-to-action technology into a living or working environment and you get Ellie, a recent personal project by Jam3's Senior Developer Matt Fisher. We've heard about this technology before in the design of smart homes. Ellie, based on 100% open source programming, is designed to listen 24/7 for input and can do various tasks on command. Imagine the capabilities in a museum or gallery setting to enhance both visitor experience and to assist in day-to-day facility management. Good news! When she's ready, Ellie will be released as an open source application.


Interactivity has become ubiquitous in new media and digital arts. Interactive video maker Vincent Morisset is presenting a dance-activated interactive video called BLA BLA in collaboration with Arcade Fire and the NFB. Vincent has worked with Arcade Fire on previous projects including the interactive music video for Neon Bible.


We are seeing more and more mobile applications emerging on the arts landscape. We have our own Akimbo app for getting arts listings and events on the go. The Canada Council has launched its app and OAAG's is on the way. If you've ever wondered what goes into building an app, then don't miss this. Ted Patrick, the Director of Developer Relations at Sencha, will live-code a mobile application with Touch 2.0 from scratch. This is not a slide presentation. Ted will just write code and discuss it. The session will cover the framework and packaging of native apps for Android and IOS. How cool is that?!

I've barely scratched the surface of some of the amazing presenters this year so here is a full list. If you would like to get a feeling for FITC's events, you can check out their videos on Vimeo.

Why should you attend FITC? In their own words, " We'll be covering more topics than ever and we've pulled together a group of speakers who are pushing the boundaries on what can be done with existing tech. FITC Toronto covers the future of everything innovative, technical and creative to leave you informed, challenged and inspired."

If you are attending, tweet us @akimboart with their event hashtag: #FITCTO.


James Fowler worked in public relations with organizations in various industries to achieve their communications goals and streamline their media messaging, monitoring and metrics. James currently maintains a fulltime studio practice in Toronto and has taken a keen interest in social media and eMarketing. He joined Akimbo last spring as Social Media Director.


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Posted by Dan Zen, on 2012-04-17 10:00:43
Great to see the festival mentioned here! I've been going for 11 years - it's amazing. Inventor, Dan Zen,