Visionary Expo 2009

October 12, 2009 at 10:20 pm (Art, Florida, Miami, networking, social event, South Florida, Uncategorized) (, , , )

Visionary-Expo

This weekend the DoubleTree Miami Mart Hotel & Exhibition Center played host to Visionary Expo. What is the Visionary Expo you may ask? Here’s what the website tells us: “Visionary Expo is the first tattoo and art festival of it’s kind concentrating on visionary art, tattooing, music, and performance art. The world’s finest tattoo artists and painters will be there fused in live painting sessions…”

As soon as you approached the entrance of the exhibition center the hum of tattoo machines let you know what this expo was about, but throughout the weekend the show had several other artistic expressions featured. Artwork by Chet Zar was shown in one booth, and local graffiti artists Crome, and MSG Cartel were on hand with Eazy Street Gallery. In the back of the room painting seminars went on all weekend. There was a fashion show, contests, core suspension show, and even ongoing circus performances by Cirque Du Macabre from Florida Circus Art School,LLC.

The show included tattoo artists from around the globe, including Taiwan Tattoo. South Florida was represented very well with artists Federico Ferroni, Miki Foged, Dicky Magoo, and shops like Chico’s Marked 4 Life, Black Sparrow Tattoo Company, and Salvation Tattoo Lounge among others.

The show was an interesting experience. I only attended on Sunday, so I missed some of the more interesting performances. Next time they have a show I’ll have to check it out before the last day.

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Art + Design Night – October

October 11, 2009 at 11:35 pm (Art, Art + Design Night, Art Event, Branding, Design, Design Events, Florida, free, Gallery Opening, Graphic Design, Illustration, Miami, networking, News, Social Events & Networking, South Florida, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Miami-Art+Design

October’s Art + Design Night in the Miami Design District proved to have something a little different this month – live entertainment with tribal drumming, classic violin, and spoken word poetry. While walking toward 101/Exhibit to see the Insomnious exhibit by Jason Shawn Alexander we heard the melodic chant of Dismas Gestas. They were standing on a corner with a gathering crowd who was watching them chant, play, and dance with fire.

In the Buena Vista building two new shows had their opening night. “Transcience”, a photography exhibit by Chris Kircheimer opened in Emena Spa, and “Beyond Wonderland” by Orhan Cileli debuted in suite 120. “Beyond Wonderland” had some great artwork inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Each piece was beautifully executed with dramatic detail and twisted humor. Suite 120 also featured the work of Enrique Machad. His pieces demonstrate great kinetic energy by showcasing wave patterns created by multicolored silicone forms laid over a colored background. The Buena Vista building also played host tothe exhibit: Bad Brilliance Miami featuring “The Faces of People He Met There.”

Other things of note were Doug Bloodworth’s amazing oil paintings and the music of Amereida outside of Art Fusion Gallery. We did not make it to the district in time to see WHIRL CRASH GO! at Locust Projects, but it sounded very interesting: “The TM Sisters will present a novel production including their personal athletic skills in synchronized swimming and roller skating.” – I would have liked to see how synchronized swimming and roller skating combine, but we will be left in the dark on this one (unless someone posts a comment to explain.) We also missed out on getting to  Swampspace to see Jukebox, an installation of hand-cut collages created on the back of vintage 60’s and 70’s LP sleeves

The Art + Design Night Gallery Walk is always an interesting experience. Many of these exhibits will be up throughout the month, so encourage you to go. Gallery Walk occurs the second Saturday of each month, making the next one November 8th from 7 to 10 PM. Check the website for details.

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Can’t Email That Important Client? Facebook Them!

October 7, 2009 at 10:19 pm (marketing, networking, News, social media) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Rose Brand's Crystal Series at the University of Tampa

Rose Brand's Crystal Series of stretch fabric at the University of Tampa

Through my blog and twitter updates I have cited many case studies of social media as a networking and branding tool, way to maintain community involvement and policing, and even a case or two of how it can make you unemployed or put in jail. But I saw a tweet on September 25 that gave social media a true business-to-business validation. The tweet came from @Rosebrand and simply stated,  “Just used facebook to communicate with a client regarding an emergency order. Was not able to connect via phone or e-mail but FB worked!” This got my attention.

Here’s the back story – who is Rose Brand: “Rose Brand is the leader in flame retardant fabric, theatrical draperies and production supplies for entertainment, schools, events, exhibitions and houses of worship.” If you have attended a concert, corporate event, tradeshow, or theatrical performance, chances are you’ve seen their work.

…And now for the story: Toward the end of the day on a Friday a member of the Rose Brand West sales staff received a call from a major scene shop in Las Vegas. They had ordered a large amount of NeoFlex, which can be considered a specialty item due to the specific parts and pieces needed. Unfortunately the contact information on the order, and the contact for the project were not one in the same. Thus conventional communication methods – phone, fax, email, smoke signals, semaphore, etc – were rendered moot. Due to the time difference the East Coast office was closed, and the original sales person was unable to be reached. In addition to these communication problems, the item in question was only available from the New Jersey warehouse. Rose Brand operates two warehouses, one on each coast, but they have a vast inventory so some items are only available through one warehouse.

So how does social media come through and save the day? The client contact in this case is a “friend” on Rose Brand’s Facebook Page, and happened to be online at the time. A quick message was sent via Facebook that explained the predicament. That message led to the acquisition of the proper contact information and then a call from the client – 5 minutes later, problem solved. As a Rose Brand representative stated: “In this case Facebook proved to be invaluable. As the end customer was on location and time was running short, it might have been impossible for the client to be reached during normal business hours.”

Social media for the win!

In early 2009 Rose Brand created a Facebook page and Fan page. The company, and members of its staff, are connected to TheatreFace, ProLightingSpace, LinkedIn, and other social media forums. Like many other companies Rose Brand is finding that there is no exact science to the way social media is used, but the real-time learning and conversations that it provides proves invaluable in the day-to-day, business-to-business world.

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Your Future in All 3 Dimensions

October 6, 2009 at 11:39 pm (Design, technology, Uncategorized, Video Game) (, , , , , , , , , , )

DSC_0705

A brave new frontier is making its way from science fiction to science fact – 3-D TV, interactive holograms, and even altering reality as we see it.

Wired magazine produced a piece today about 3-D technology that explores the pros and cons of past, present, and future 3-D viewers. The article divides the technologies down by viewing mechanism – Color Filter Glasses, Shutter Glasses, Polarized Glasses, and No Glasses. No glasses?!? That’s right, the article mentions that LG, Sharp, and Phillips are all looking, or have looked, at creating a 3-D viewing experience in your home. This concept is by no means new to the television viewing audience. Home Improvement had an episode back in May of 1997 with portions of Tool Time, the show within the show, in 3-D. Most recently During SB 43 a trailer ran for Dreamworks Monsters vs Aliens and an ad for Sobe Lifewater. The week of the big game NBC’s show, Chuck, became the first TV show episode to be entirely done in 3-D. While we praise them for trying the effect was less three dimensional and more nauseating due to the color filter glasses, among other things.

There are some other technologies out that can give a more holographic effect rather than 3-D.  Adaptations of the pepper’s ghost effect are being seen more frequently like Musion Eyeliner 3D, which has been used at the Grammy Awards. Holographic effects have even entered the realm of a truer three-dimensional walk around display, think of Darth Sidious’ hologram in Star Wars, or Tony Stark trying on parts of the Iron Man suit in 3-D real-time space. Two technologies making this kind of action happen are Cheoptics360 by viZoo and an “Interactive 360˚ Light Field Display” developed by The Graphics Lab at USC back in 2007. This last technology has been developed further since 2007 and can now provide real-time teleconference capabilities, though the result reminds me of the  home videos Chief Anderton watches in Minority Report.

Yes, kids, the world around us is becoming more interactive. Before you know it television won’t just be High Definition, it will be Three Dimension High Definition. Designers will be able to show their designs as actual 3-D objects, and through augmented reality we will be able to bring our new found 3-Dimensionalisation into the real world. Who knows, all we need is an omni-directional treadmill and maybe one day holodecks will be a reality.

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Target Infringes on Coach’s Fringes

October 5, 2009 at 11:53 pm (Branding, Design, Florida, News, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

coach-target

Want to buy a Coach purse but don’t want to spend the cash to get a Coach purse, just head down to your local Target store. Wait a minute, something doesn’t sound right. As one person put it on The Purse Forum: “Why would Coach put out a $10,000.00 bag, but then turn around and put their bags in Target?” It sounds like Coach was asking itself the same question, but failed to give itself an answer, thus an inquiry arose.

According to CNNMoney.com Coach is suing Target Corp. for $1 million dollars claiming that it sold knockoff purses that were eerily similar in design and pattern to Coach’s trademarked intellectual property. Stylist.com reports that Target Corp. is not the only one in Coaches sights for trademark legal action. “– Brown Shoe Co. Inc, parent company of Naturalizer, was also accused of copying the “Ergo” pleated satchel […] in June of this year…”

This marks at least the second time that Coach has sued Target Corp. for selling counterfeit versions of its purses. In 2006 the two companies went head-to-head until the suit was dropped citing that the purses were authentic and Target Corp. had purchased them “at a major department store liquidation sale.” The lawsuit was eventually dropped.

So is this just another misunderstanding of licensing laws, or a veiled attempt to cash in on another brands image? I’m sure the courts will decide, we can be certain of one thing – as Sylist.com said “in this industry, imitation is clearly not the highest form of flattery.”

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AmEx – Turn That Frown Upside Down!

October 4, 2009 at 11:17 pm (advertising, commercials, Design, marketing, TV advertising) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I think this new spot from American Express is both clever and fun – I mean, who doesn’t like anthropomorphosised products? I know when I look around I see faces on many different products, and it looks like I’m not the only one. American Express took this idea and added a story around it. I like the frowning shower curtain and how the hanger is swinging in the “…they can be stolen” shot, as if the item was just taken. Toward the end of the commercial there are two shots are nearly perfect – one is a smiling chair (0:33), the other is filmed on a boat (0:45). Not all the images are clearly faces, at about 48 seconds in to the commercial there is an image of a baggage claim, which is a little too obscure, it took a few viewings to determine where the face was hiding. The music, an excerpt from Suite for Cello No.1 in G Major by Johann Sebastian Bach, was perfect as it can conveys both a somber tone and happy tone equally.

This ad has stirred a little controversy since it came out last month. Many praise it for the simplicity of the imagery, beautiful tonalities of the music (excerpt from Suite for Cello No.1 in G Major by Johann Sebastian Bach?), and simple message, but some are crying foul. The photographic duo of brothers Francois and Jean Robert have produced 3 books – Face to Face (1996), Faces (2000), and Find a Face (2004) – which show everyday objects appearing as faces. There are individuals who are claiming that this ad is a blatant plagiarism of the Robert’s photographic genius; the brothers are not a part of these accusations at this time. Below are images from both the commercial and the works of the Robert brothers – remarkably similar I must admit.

Whether you look at this spot as a beautifully simple expression of everyday objects set to a story, or as an offensive piece of derivative commercialization, you have to admit that the use of such pedestrian objects in a creative way is well done. I enjoyed the commercial; it has entertained me, and even if it is not an intentional piracy of Francois and Jean Robert’s work it has at least introduced me to it, and for that I am grateful.

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The Emperor Workstation – How Geeks with Money Get Things Done

October 2, 2009 at 11:51 pm (Design, technology, Uncategorized, Video Game) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

This video is of the Emperor Workstation being exhibited at the International Consumer Electoronics Show earlier in the year. I must say it is an impressive display, and somewhat familiar. I, like many of those who commented on the video, thought of doing a similar set up. I had the whole thing sketched out to be built in the closet of my room in college, but laziness took over and it never made it to fruition …Not that it would have been nearly as cool or finished looking as this beast of a workstation.

The Emperor Workstation has 3 monitors, but can be upgraded to include 5. You can get it in different colors and with different features, and it can be run through a desktop or notebook; it has built in speakers and a sub woofer, a power seat, and even rotates! The only unattractive part of this workstation is the price; weighing in at $40K I think I would want more that just a cool looking apparatus to sit in. It is an interesting concept with a nice execution; I really like the scorpion’s tail mechanism along back, but I don’t think I’ll be running out to purchase one anytime soon.

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RefreshMiami

October 1, 2009 at 1:37 am (Design Events, free, marketing, Miami, networking, social event, Social Events & Networking, social media, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

refreshmiami

Tonight’s RefreshMiami was a little different. Apparently the hotel it is normally held at is under new management, and ill informed of the tech community’s monthly meeting. Luckily Windisch-Hunt Fine Art Gallery stepped in and allowed the group to use their beautiful art gallery for the evening.

The goal of tonight’s event was to answer three questions:

  1. I’ve got an idea, now what?
  2. I’ve got a company, who can fund it?
  3. I’m up and running, now what?

So in the adaptive spirit of our newfound meeting place we all sat around for story time.

First up was Startup 101 with attorneys Gaida Zirkelbach, Esq. and Nicholas Robbins, Esq. of Gunster, Florida’s Law Firm for Business. Together they discussed what is needed to start and protect a business and other intellectual property. We discovered the difference between ©, ® and ™, the different types of investors, and parts of contracts, privacy statements, etc.

After the legal discussion the guys from Worsterer.com took the reigns and told us about their company, and how three former Yahoo employees formed it. They dispelled some good tips about defining a business plan, checking your software, and testing your product.

It was a good and informative meeting. Thank you to all the presenters, and especially Windisch-Hunt Gallery for letting us use their space. Hope to see you at one the next events: Southwest Florida Code Camp, Wodpress Meetup, and Twineup Take 2

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