Gnomon Live 2016

Gnomon Live 2016
March 15, 2016 Gnomin

With this first Gnomon Live Australia, Alex Alvarez curated a program for our region that would explore skill sets across production areas, selecting artists who are committed to pushing the boundaries in their area of expertise. Each was astoundingly proficient with the complex technology required of them. Some, even, with the ability to hack the protocols of this technology to improve their efficiency. They were, however, far more than just great technicians. Each approached their work with an intelligence, sense of humour and a passion that was infectious. They were awesomely talented.

The comments in this gallery speak for themselves. So thank you to Alex Alvarez, Dylan Ekren, Devon Fay, Brandon Fayette, Jonathan Berube and Alex Cancado for generously sharing your wealth of knowledge and giving us the opportunity to see inside your exceptional work. You will see from the photos and comments that those who attended left inspired and better informed and it was loads of fun.

Importantly many who attended appear motivated to continue to strive for excellence and that will contribute to the growing capability of our region. It was great to meet so many of those who attended and to be immersed in their passion and enthusiasm for the projects they are working on and the future they strive for. We hope that this program will in some way contribute to their continued ability to flourish. So in response to the positive feedback we are excited to announce that we will be hosting another Gnomon Live Australia in March & April 2017 in both Melbourne and Sydney!

We would also like to thank Simon Rosenthal of Iloura, Emily Harridge of Visual Playground, Aaron Grove of Blowfish Studios, James De Colling and Scott Vandonkelaar of Zero Latency for presentations that gave us a look  inside some of our local studios, and the crew from Rising Sun Pictures who joined the networking sessions. All shared opportunities that exist for artists in the Australian industry across film, TV, games and VR. It was an insightful conversation between Joy Lea and Giselle Rosman that gave us a great opportunity to explore Joy’s career pathway as she establishes herself as an accomplished artist across mobile and console games.

We have seen the opportunity for artists and designers explode in the entertainment industry and become one focus for our Government’s vision for economic development, particularly in Victoria. This comes out of the massive and growing influence of games, the dominance of the special effects laden block buster in Hollywood feature films and of course the new immersive experiences that are coming from virtual reality. We also know that the knowledge and skills required to thrive in this area are complex and the conditions are constantly and rapidly changing.

The technologists tell us that Twitter will go by the way of Myspace within 5 years and Snap Chat is replacing Instagram, that Facebook will be the disseminator of content for the elderly. And that we should all fear the powerful immersive experience of virtual reality that is to become the future of our education.

If our world is a village, gossip is the disseminator of our stories, but when our world is global then technology the disseminator. Whilst we are constantly racing toward the next medium of communication gasping to keep up, in the end, what really matters is the quality of the content we disseminate.

And so then the importance of our content creators.

Whether creating the detail of grass that contributes to the simulation of our fragile environment or the world’s we escape to, our fears that are manifested in the monsters of fiction, the humanism of characters, the unrequited love that reminds us of our need for connection, or the metaphysical that helps us negotiate our corporeal existence… what matters is that it is good content.

Good content honours our stories. It helps us to find a pathway through our lives. It is considered and rich in perspective.  It takes time… but there isn’t a lot and ultimately it takes passion and that can be hard to maintain.

We make it sound like a big responsibility and I guess that is because we think it is. Thus why we wanted Gnomon Live for our content creators. As we do, through Ideas on Design, we wanted to connect with those who strive for excellence and have great inspired tips for weaving this magic. As always we wanted to do so in a way that offered value to those who engage in our programs. Alex Alvarez and Gnomon were the obvious partner and the outcome speaks for itself.

It was a great venue to host this event and we respectfully acknowledged the traditional owners of the lands, the Kulin Nations and the Wurundjeri people from whom we were able to draw on the strength of more than 1000 generations of arts practice. The Abbotsford Convent, a beautiful and relaxed environment for a weekend event, was established as a home for abandoned and unwanted girls and those considered by the State to be in moral danger and thus provided a context for an industry, like most, where women have not always been made to feel welcome. It was noted rightly so that women in our speaker lineup were significantly out-numbered. That is because women make up only 20% of the entertainment art industry and probably far less than this percentage are in leads roles as our talented presenters are. So we were pleased to have many women in the audience and whilst we know there is much more to do in support of them it was important to both Ideas on Design and Gnomon that they were made to feel very welcome. In our feedback, for one, this issue feels a little tedious as it has been a focus for much recent industry discussion. But in relation to the comments, many of which amount to little more than hate mail, that Dylan Ekren shared in his talk in reference to his Hipster Witch, an image he created for our event, it is obvious that the issue is worthy of continued consideration.

Of course these events never happen without the hard work and support of many people. Elise and I would like to give a big thanks to everyone who has helped. A special thank you to the volunteers and interns who helped stage a seamless experience. (Apart from the chairs apparently. We went for the Salvador Dali approach… he wore his shoes one size too small to stay alert but next time we promise to go for the Piero Gatti approach if you promise to stay awake. By all accounts that should be easy). A special thanks to those who supported the program, The Collie Print Trust, The Embassy of the United States, The Aldephi Hotel, StormFX, ACMI, ArtStation and The Foundry. You are an important part of ensuring these experiences are accessible.

We will seek ways to stay connected with Gnomon, LA, throughout the year. So stay connected with us for updates.

Otherwise see you next year 🙂

Kristin McCourtie

Photo Credit. All gallery images unless otherwise noted are the work of Cassandra Downs