During my stay in Ghent there was so much rain, I managed to do some work on kohi in the hotel room. This being a self-commissioned project, it can hardly be named work in any of the regular meanings of the word.
Tuesday I travelled onwards to my AirBnB in Paris in the area of Porte de Saint Ouen. A neighborhood far away enough from the city center to be cheap and colorful (a bit like Delfshaven), but just inside the Péripherique boundary so not too threatening.
On Wednesday in Paris I went to La Gaîté Lyrique where a Joust tournament was due to take place. We had a lot of fun playing for an hour or so with all comers. I was going to visit la Gaîté anyway to see the games by Eric Zimmerman and Babycastles and as a nice addition I got to play Fez on one of the consoles they had on display.
La Gaîté Lyrique has as their tagline: ‘Révolutions Numérique’ which translates to Numerical Revolutions and nicely symbolizes the time we are living in right now. The venue hosts a number of events based in art, games, music and net culture that seem to be perfectly in tune with the Zeitgeist but also have the production values to appeal to a large audience. I wish a reboot of the Dutch electronic culture venues may approach this level.
On Thursday I did some preparations for my presentation in Helsinki at the end of the week in some beautiful but horribly expensive Paris cafés like Les Arts et Metiers and in the evening I met Peter Robinett and his sister at the University of Chicago’s Paris Center. There we listened to a lecture on Baudelaire and the bourgeois experience of the city in the 19th century.
I will also be giving a small workshop on Civic Hacking at the Campus Party where I will be sharing all the tricks we used with Hack de Overheid in the Netherlands and which we hope to deploy across Europe to make government more accessible and accountable using the internet.
Friday I flew to Helsinki for my first time over there. Helsinki is a lovely city though a bit empty in July and the Pavilion for the World Design Capital is a beautiful venue.
Also the video report of our last hackathon in the Smart Project Space in Amsterdam was posted:
Saturday we attended the presentations on Transmedia storytelling with again a great report by Jasper Koning on VPRO’s Netherlands From Above project and on Sunday we presented for the social cities program.