Last weekend, the Creators Project – an art, music and technology festival organized by Intel and curated by VICE magazine – took over Fort Mason in San Francisco's Marina district. The two-day affair featured art installations powered by Intel engineering in one abandoned port building, while acts like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and James Murphy performed in another.
"We have about 30 of our engineers walking around, talking to the artists, getting inspired," Intel VP of Marketing Johan Jervoe told Rolling Stone. "We wanted to bring these two groups together – engineers and artists – to help drive technology through creative expression."
Chris Milk, the artist behind Arcade Fire's "Wilderness Downtown" interactive video and their LED balloon drop at Coachella 2011, premiered a new installation, "The Treachery of Sanctuary." Using motor-sensing Kinects, the three-piece projection transformed participants into oversized winged creatures à la Black Swan.
Filmmaker Barney Clay projected Mick Rock's original footage from David Bowie in Life on Mars on all four walls of an abandoned firehouse. The raw footage was restored by New York's Cineric and digitalized by the Mill. Clay then edited the video with new experimental visuals and sound effects to create an even more transgressive, warped version of the Thin White Duke. Bowie himself requested that the video only be shown in an art context.
Intel Labs partnered with San Francisco-based creative agency Social Print Studio to create an interactive social media experience at the Creators Project. #Creators Live aggregated photos taken at the festival in real-time and formed a large, ever-changing photo album.
Outside, United Visual Artists modernized the Rubix cube with Origin, a giant 40-by-40-foot metal lattice installation. Each LED pixel was programmed by UVA's own D3 technology and synced to a soundtrack composed by Scanner. Described as an "object that demands to be worshipped," Origin was first installed at Coachella last year.
Finally, on Sunday, the Project invited developer Max Weisel to lead a hands-on demonstration of the first iPad app album, Bjork's Biophilia.
Close to 25,000 tech-hip San Franciscans showed up to Fort Mason over the weekend, while one global superstar, Will.I.Am, made a surprise appearance. The Black Eyed Peas frontman and producer has been working with Intel for the past two years as a director of creative innovation.
"I hunted them down," Will.I.Am told Rolling Stone. "I asked [Jervoe], ‘I want to change the way technology drives my music; are you ready?'"
Intel's answer apparent, Will.I.Am now spends several days a year talking directly with engineers about creative endeavors. Already a partner of Beats by Dre, Will.I.Am revealed further interest in consumer product development. A new tech gadget will be available this year, he teased.
The Creators Project is currently confirming its next dates in France, Brazil, South Korea, China and New York.