Arts & Technology Morning Merge at Animation Conference
The worlds of technology and the arts converged under one roof at Miami-Dade College Wolfson Campus during the Breakfast with the Arts & Technology. The morning was part of the sixth edition of the two-day MIA Animation Conference & Festival.
After grabbing a plate from the buffet breakfast, attendees settled in to listen to a panel of leaders from Miami’s arts community. Moderator Leigh-Ann Buchanan, executive director of Venture Café Miami, introduced guests Howard Herring, president & CEO of the New World Symphony; Michelle Alberty, senior vice president of production & development for Viacom International Media Networks The Americas; and Dr. Eldredge Bermingham, chief science officer of the Patricia & Phillip Frost Science Museum.
The trio of panelists were asked to speak about specific events and initiatives that showcased how their organization brought the arts and tech worlds together.
One question by Buchanan: “How do you create accessibility?”
Bermingham was first and spoke about Dr. Judy Brown, whose work in the education department at the Science Museum went into underserved communities and created access for those who most needed it.
Michelle Alberty of Viacom mentioned bringing students into the studios for tours and offering them internships. “Our internship program has grown tremendously,” she said.
Howard Herring was asked about the Symphony’s popular Wallcast concerts, and he spoke about the importance of retooling and reimagining them to keep things fresh. Once they get the formula audiences love they continue using it. And because of their diverse programming, which also includes the late-night party Pulse with DJs, he added “we have between six and seven diverse audiences.”
The New World Symphony and Science Museum actually collaborated on an event, where the audience at the museum was watching Symphony musicians while simultaneously seeing how the musician’s brains were working.
“That event re-imagined the relationship between sight and sound and all the Symphony musicians are very interested in this,” said Herring.
As the discussion continued, the panelists shared insights into unique challenges shared by both the tech and arts communities. At Viacom, Alberty said they created an app so mobile device users can see their content while Bermingham went a bit further.
“The real challenge to animators and gamers is how do they create these platforms? How do you turn a community into a crowd,” he asked.
For the New World Symphony, Herring said they regularly examine what works as content and what works best in silence.
The talk then shifted to storytelling and specific institutions, to which Alberty replied that they take collaboration to another level. “we merge all the learning tools, that’s why we have built our studios, so we can further our collaborations,” she said.
One such example was the MTV Unplugged concert by Colombian artist Juanes at the New World Center in front of a crowd of 700 — Viacom later created a video thanks to their in-house studio.
Finally, all three panelists agreed that the eyes of the world are on Miami and what is happening in the city. Bermingham said, “Miami right now is dynamic, how we’re building things … is why we need to think of our geographic location and its tropical aspect.”
According to Herring, “the classical world is looking to Miami to see what we’re doing and we need to be aware of that and realize that our performances may end up being showcase elsewhere.”
Closing out the morning in true tech fashion was keynote speaker Aaron Parry, chief creative officer and EVP at Deluxe 3D, who has created 3D conversions for more than 30 films including “The Avengers,” “The Polar Express,” “Iron Man 3,” “Jurassic World” and “Everest.”
He gave audience members a glimpse into the future, speaking about new television sets being developed that will no longer require viewers to wear 3D glasses. Also, how stereo and virtual reality are both expanding into the medical field and people are creating virtual showrooms.
“3D is great for emotional connection with characters in the movie,” he said. “The ‘Lego Movie’ is a perfect example of that.”
The morning then concluded with attendees invited to tour the MIA Animation Campus at Miami-Dade.