Tuesday 23 March 2010


Did you know that there isn't a page for 'hackfest' in Wikipedia? How can I explain this concept without that essential resource?

Quite easily, really. A hackfest is like the technology equivalent of a working bee. People come together in a certain place over a certain period of time and apply their skills and enthusiasm to improving or creating something - usually, in terms of code. See the DigitalNZ hackfests as an example.

The New Museum is running a version of a hackfest, where 7 artists are being paired with technologists for a day to make something.

It's an interesting idea, but there are two things that are a bit of a shame:

  1. You can't seem to watch the pairs work (usually, people can wander in and observe these kind of things). Instead, they're presenting their work at an event at the New Museum on 17 April.
  2. Tickets to the event start at US$75 for a student/artist* discount, and rise up to - wait for it - US$350. Yowzers.

*When I saw this, I wondered if New York has an artist ID card, and, if so, whether it gives you discounts on the subway.


staplegun said...

Ew, quite! (New Museum) It would just be like coming to see some commissioned works being unveiled. So much these days is about being (well, at least feeling) embedded in the process (as well you know), rather than just consuming the output. It's part 'experiencing the experience' and part voyeur.

Though I guess you don't get to watch the 48 hour film fest teams in action (well, sometimes you catch them at it). However there are usually some film crews following some teams around, and you get to watch that later.

I guess if they showed footage filmed of them at work during the day I might not feel cheated?

Maybe it just never occured to the organisers - maybe people in the visual arts aren't used to thinking of their creative processes as a performing art?

staplegun said...

Oh, and I was disappointed to see there still isn't an entry on Wikipedia for 'hackfest' after you found the opportunity to contribute to that worthy literary tome ;)