Day 4 (the final day) at Eyeo is always a little bittersweet, knowing that the great energy one feeds off is about to come to an end. At the same time, there is still one more day of great talks, followed by a closing party that provides yet another opportunity to talk with creative types from a variety of places and backgrounds.
Leading off the day’s schedule was Nicky Case, heretofore unknown to me and perhaps many others in the room. That was about to change, as Case took us on a tour of his personal and professional life, delivered with great panache. Turns out he is a masterful storyteller, embodied by his interactive work on projects like the ‘Parable of Polygons’ and ‘Explorable Emotions’. Every year, there are at least a couple talks that go way beyond expectations, and this turned out to be one of them for this version of Eyeo.
Next up was Beatrice Lartigue, a French artist who walked through a few of her interesting projects, including some interactive installations. Of particular note was an active learning project based on Prokofiev’s classic ‘Peter and the Wolf’.
The afternoon began with ‘Mapping Police Violence’ presented by Deray McKesson and Sam Sinyangwe. McKesson has employed Twitter as a powerful platform for protest, while Sinyangwe has taken the route of documenting police violence by mapping incidents, thus allowing for a more factual approach to identifying police forces with chronic issues.
To cap the afternoon session, Nick Hardeman and Theo Watson of design i/o took the audience through a magical tour of their ‘Connected Worlds’ project, now installed at the New York Hall of Science. This highly interactive exhibit is full of engaging characters that will surely draw children in while simultaneously teaching lessons about interactions with nature.
On to dinner, once again navigating my way to the hot North Loop area, this time to Borough. Borough not only has some terrific food, but also offers a very intriguing wine list with seldom seen options from across the globe. A couple glasses of wine, a delightful halibut terrine, and a very good guinea hen dish later, it was time to head to Nicollet Island for the closing talks and party.
Eyeo veterans Jake Barton and Zach Lieberman closed this year’s festival, with Barton discoursing on memory and future, as seen through a compelling exhibition created for the 9/11 Museum. Lieberman delivered a heartfelt, emotional farewell to his recently departed father, who told him that ‘storytelling is not about technique, but being fully human.’
The final party provided an opportunity to chat with a few more festival friends, prior to becoming a bit melancholy when the realization sinks in that Eyeo is coming to a close for another year. I took one last look at the creative people talking, sharing, and enjoying the scene, before electing to walk back to the hotel. A long walk seemed to be the best way to process my thoughts, think about what I learned and who I met, and how it might inform and inspire my work over the coming months. So long, Eyeo.by