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David Gessel's slides

7:30pm Wednesday
18 November 2009

2169 Mission
San Francisco, CA


FREE ADMISSION but donations appreciated.


Anselm Hook - Augmentia - Scratching the surface of Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality has unusual implications compared to other recent trends. It involves our physical bodies and puts those bodies at risk; issues of trust, locality, utility and meaning - which were always there in the net - are being magnified. Different technical disciplines, from GIS to game development are suddenly colliding. Even writing an AR app is unusual compared to writing ordinary apps. Anselm will talk about his experiences and what he's hoping to see AR deliver.

Anselm Hook is a social systems developer. His longer term interest is in building digital models of communities, policy, watersheds and ecosystems to help people make better decisions. He helps run and the upcoming on Dec 5. You can find him at and

David Gessel - Stalking Slanderizing Trolls

A talk sharing some lessons from running trying to keep the problem users of the intertubes from plugging things up while servicing the occasional legitimate concern. A review of their efforts to balance free speech and legal obligations while providing solace to the offensensitive. Some sanitized anecdotes to illustrate the subtleties. A summary of the processes they've come up with.

David Gessel is the VP of product development for Tsavo Media, the lead technology advisor to Strategic Social, a founder of New Systems Associates which operates, and SRL crew back to 1990. Previously he was a VP in the tech/VC group at American Capital where he participated in over $1.6B in transactions, founded the consulting firm Black Rose Technology, co-founded keyspan instruments, was a member of the research staff at Interval Research Corporation, a scientist in Apple's Advanced Technology Group, and has a degree in physics from MIT.

Shelly Farnham - Steve the Robot H.E.Ai.D.: a Large Scale Generative Music and Laser Play Space (presenting with Peter Brown)

In the modern era, the process of cultural evolution has been accelerated by technology. As we integrate technology into our collaborations, these collaborations become their own persistent meta-beings comprised of both technological and collective biological parts. With Steve: The Robot H.E.Ai.D., a H.uman E.nergized Artifical i.ntelligence D.evice., we explore the idea that the next step in our human evolution is when these meta-beings wake up, become in some way self-aware, and start speaking to us, its individual nodes, within its own larger brain.

Steve the Robot H.E.Ai.D. was a 35 foot, interactive, collaborative installation at a Burning Man 2009 that allowed people to create sound together, using video sensors to collect people.s motion and interactively generate music, voices and lasers. Learn more about Steve here: For this presentation Shelly and Peter will discuss the process of making Steve, and the underlying software that made Steve possible. Steve was created by the UberGeek team, a group of artists and engineers in Seattle, Washington.

Shelly is a social media researcher and artist. She has a PhD in Social Psychology, and worked in R&D labs both at Microsoft Research and in the startup world. She organized Dorkbot in Seattle for several years before her recent transplant to the bay area to take a job at Yahoo. Peter is the CTO of a small startup company, Pathable.

Gian Pablo Villamil - 360 Degree Panoramic Video Without the Megabucks

Gian Pablo worked on a panoramic video installation about New Orleans, shot using a panoramic video camera and projected in a circular theater. Normally this would cost an immense amount of money, but by taking advantage of newest tech, and applying some clever hacks, it was possible to create a powerful experience for the viewer with a lot less budget. This opens up the possibility for far more experimental and creative use of the medium. Gian Pablo will discuss how they went about capturing, editing and projecting panoramic video footage, with practical tips and info.

Gian Pablo Villamil has worked in the technology and telecommunications industry for 16 years, and is now using technology to make art. After stints at Accenture and Cisco Systems, and a lot of travel, he recently finished a Master's Degree at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program. There, he developed techniques for, among other things, immersive video projection, generative music based on video, and a number of unique-sounding electronic musical instruments. He is interested in creating powerful experiences by using technology in unexpected ways, and in helping other artists do the same.

Please mail Karen Marcelo (dorkbotSF [at] dorkbot [dot] org) if you would like to open dork (10-15 min mini-presentation)

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