Last October I attended BoCon, an “open source arts” conference held in Boise. I enjoyed BoCon, probably as much as any conference since CodeCon. Good mix of talks and performance, great space, and the first-time organizers (Joseph Coffland & co.) pulled it off without a hitch as far as I could tell.
I gave the first talk, covering as much open source, arts, and business related to Creative Commons as possible, slides here.
Boise musician and jack of all trades James Stevens gave a talk on “open source for musicians” based on research done for the talk. I was pleased to see that he discovered most of the major sites and tools I know of and presented them accurately.
Alex Feldman gave a talk on the history of open source, including much pre-history I was not aware of, e.g., a source clearinghouse within NASA called COSMIC, about which I could find nothing on the web. Feldman’s talk made me hope someone is documenting this pre-history.
Caleb Chung and John Sosoka of Ugobe gave talks on Furby, Pleo, and making stuff with electronics that moves generally. Animal pets only have a few generations before they are replaced by artificial pets that perform utilitarian functions in addition to providing companionship and don’t eat or produce feces.
Chung is hyper, and the world is probably a better place for it. “Art is the experimental end of design” is perhaps the most memorable quote from his talk. On the other hand, his slogan for pitching some sort of multimedia institute to Boise State is “I[daho] is for innovation.”
On that note, I have never before encountered the level of boosterism from locals that I did in Boise. They are very convinced that Boise is a place with great promise, reflected in everything from several ethnic restaurants doing well in downtown this decade to white supremicists being sued out of northern Idaho to Californians moving in. Boise does feel like a nice place. Reno sans tawdriness was my initial impression.
Friday and Saturday evenings concluded with music, including nerdcore performances from Beefy, MC Router, and MC Plus+ with DJ Lord Illingworth. They seemed to really enjoy the camaraderie of physical proximity. Whoever did the programming had a very good idea.