Aug 15, 2006

ZeroOne goes down as a hit

Source: The Mercury News
Written by Mark de la Viña

For a brief, digitally charged moment — OK, for seven days — the ZeroOne festival turned San Jose into the nation’s art and technology capital.

Beyond that, “ZeroOne San Jose: A Global Festival of Art on the Edge” helped lay the groundwork for “branding” the city as a digital arts mecca, said Dan Keegan, executive director of the San Jose Museum of Art. By the time the smoke had dissipated and the monitors were unplugged, the festival had drawn an estimated 50,000 people and generated attention from around the world.

This time, ZeroOne was paired with the 13th International Symposium of Electronic Art, a biennial gathering of scholars and artists from around the world who present papers on art, science and new technologies.

ZeroOne organizers hope to make the arts festival a biennial event based in San Jose.

Perhaps the biggest hit of the festival was a half-dozen cacophonous, fire-spewing robots from the Survival Research Lab of San Francisco which attracted more than 2,000 to a parking lot next to the McEnery Convention Center. A Commonwealth Club-sponsored speech by video arts pioneer Bill Viola also drew crowds.

Exact attendance figures are impossible to calculate, said Steven Brewster, an economic development officer for the city. Still, he added, “it was a true success. It further positioned us on a international stage, it showcased what we do best here in Silicon Valley, which is innovation of technology, and it tapped into the digital culture that grew up and exists here.”

At the opening festivities Aug. 8, about 500 gathered for a reception; 1,500 attended a meet-and-greet at the museum and another 1,500 watched as Akira Hasegawa’s “Digital Kakejiku” projected an ever-changing array of colors and patterns onto City Hall.

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Check out a narrated slideshow of some of the exhibits by The Mercury News

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