Technology

Tech, art, creativity combine for an inspiring week

 

ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

Binsen Gonzalez’s Our City Thoughts, a new digital media organization, is all about creativity, inspiration and community connection, so it is only fitting that the nonprofit will be publicly introducing itself this week, amid Miami’s biggest celebration of the arts and all things creative.

OCT, the group’s digital media platform at ourcitythoughts.org, will tell the stories of Miami and its people through a video series, written narratives such as Q&As and organization spotlights, and live events. OCT will highlight the work of innovators, creators and thought leaders transforming the region, and it will welcome interactivity. “The sky’s the limit with the creativity the team has,” said Gonzalez, 25, who grew up in Miami, has experience in digital communications and was part of the City Year national marketing team.

The OCT team has been hard at work this year making two-minute videos, writing posts and taking portraits of some of the community’s most inspirational leaders. Last week, the organization learned it was awarded $75,000 in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to further its mission.

For the public launch Friday night in The LAB Miami’s new Idea Garden in Wynwood, expect an interactive multimedia experience, see the traveling “Cube” where stories can be told, and hear a panel discussion about Miami’s future. Because space is limited, tickets are required and at press time there was a wait list.

In honor of the launch, we asked Gonzalez some questions about creating Our City Thoughts

Q. Why is OCT needed in our community?

A. A region is a lot like a person. As it grows, it needs to find a more authentic and mature identity. Imagine all our thoughts as personal expressions of Miami’s psyche. The way a person or region feels about themselves is the way the person confronts life and challenges.

I deeply believe Miami is ready to have a real sense of confidence beyond its sexy looks and beautiful shores.

I believe a great majority of the community feels this way. It is time and the need is real for us to share our city thoughts of who we are, where we came from, and where we are going. That last part is especially important for growth. You can’t improve if you don’t know who you are.

Q. What is your vision?

A. We want to capture hundreds of city thoughts, engage people from all over the world to join the discourse happening in Miami.

We are a global city; we want every kid in the suburbs to understand what that means for Miami and for her. Through digital media, we can break physical walls and barriers. Every person in Miami should know what eMergeAmericas is trying to accomplish, and every child in Miami should have access to the transformation in culture happening at downtown’s waterfront.

Our vision is to create a platform that transcends cultural, economic, and informational divides. OCT needs to speak to everyone and anyone willing to put in time to make Miami better. And there’s no better way than through the power of a story.

Q. What features of OCT should not be missed?

A. Beginning next year, we will launch the two-minute video series featuring some of the most committed and innovative people in our city. Another one of the coolest elements of our grassroots efforts is the CUBE, a fully equipped video booth that will be moved across the community to capture the thoughts of people all over Miami. Not only will it be a sight to see but the ability to share your thoughts will be empowering. And it helps us — we believe that some of the best ideas are available at street level.

Read the full interview with Gonzalez, including what inspired him to undertake this project (hint: Iceland is part of the answer), on the Starting Gate blog on MiamiHerald.com/business. Click on the blog’s Q&A category to find it quickly.

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The entrepreneur as art: Get inside the head of an entrepreneur through cartoonist and author Hugh MacLeod’s first one-man show.

“I’m Not Delusional: The Art of the Entrepreneur” is a tribute to the emotional journey of the entrepreneur.

“We believe that America’s new fascination with entrepreneurship is due to the fact that entrepreneurs are changing the landscape of this country. There has never been a better or more interesting time to be an entrepreneur, and Hugh is the only artist capturing the zeitgeist,” said Jason Korman, MacLeod’s business partner and CEO of gapingvoid, which provides companies with messaging, internal culture and leadership tools.

Success, failure, sacrifice, thrills, desperation, passion, fear, doubt, reinvention. “The idea is that entrepreneurship is about all of these emotions and challenges every day... or nearly so,” said Korman. “We want people to come away knowing that entrepreneurship isn’t simply about business plans and execution, but a mindset and life changing commitment.”

MacLeod’s art — 300 images — can be seen at The LAB Miami much of this week except for Wednesday when it is closed for a private event. Find out more at gapingvoid.com.

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The world according to Glass: SIME MIA, a digital business conference supported by the Knight Foundation, will bring together some of the world’s most innovative technologists, media executives and venture capitalists Tuesday and Wednesday. And attendees will get to experience what artist David Datuna says is the first Google Glass activated contemporary art.

In a Q&A on the Starting Gate blog, Datuna was asked how Google Glass will change the way the audience experiences his “Viewpoint of Billions.”

In Datuna’s words: “The 12-foot American flag I created for this project is ... designed in a way that an audience wearing Glass and an audience without can both have unique experiences. ... Glass will unlock a narrative beneath the lenses through video and a variety of immersive experiences. The audience will be able to interact with and respond to the work in a totally different way. The flag will also communicate directly with its audience prompting questions through the viewfinder of Glass. If you opt in, the total experience is recorded though the built-in camera in Glass, and cameras in the artwork. The see-you see-me outcome is archived and sent out via social media to share with the world. You could almost say it has a mind of its own.”

The public viewing will be at 97 NE 40th St. in Miami’s Design District Wednesday through Sunday. There will Glass devices on location for the public to use and become part of the experience. Find out more at datuna.com.

Read the Datuna Q&A and more about SIME MIA on Starting Gate.

Follow me on Twitter @ndahlberg

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