“Space” rocked

Back, now, from Boston, from Nurri’s GSD talk and a thoroughly dense and delightful 36 hours in the company of some intensely creative people. We basically set out trusting that any event curated by with the participation of Bryan Boyer could not fail to be anything less than impeccable, and we were not disappointed, from the choice of presenters to the speakers’ dinner to Fish‘s note-perfect Star Wars-meets-AC/DC event posters. (If nothing else, I’ll be tasting the other night’s wood-grilled sirloin with foie gras butter in my dreams for years yet to come.)

Given that I literally own something on the order of a third of the books they’ve published in the last five years, Irene Hwang’s exploration of Actar‘s process and philosophy was intensely interesting to me. Brooklyn Foundry‘s articulate Brian Lemond and John Szot delved into some of the tensions between architect, client, and audience expectation that emerged in their building-scale motion-graphic project for Gucci’s Ginza flagship, while irrepressible N. Rain Noe gave us an inside look at some of the thinking behind the gorgeous Theme magazine. And I thought Nurri’s Tokyo Blues work looked incredible projected on a single seamless screen/wall twice as large as life.

The one major disappointment, frankly, was Groovisions. The renowned Japanese motion-graphics aces do turn out some incredible work – among other things, you just knew I’d have a weakness for anyone who loves Helvetica as much as I do. But even with a skilled and friendly translator close at hand, they chose to say nothing about their work (“This next one is also a plan-view animation,” and so forth) and unassed the AO entirely within minutes of clearing the podium. I don’t even think any of the organizers managed to talk to them, let alone presenters or anything so humble as an audience member. Bad form.

But seriously, that was the one blot on an otherwise splendid event. Especially after having come fresh from DUX, which felt a little diffuse and discombobulated, my sense is that the organizers managed to craft something with an ideal power-to-weight ratio. Congratulations to Bryan, to AsiaGSD’s Helen Han, Daisuke Hirabayashi, and to the entire dedicated, friendly crew of volunteers. I’d happily come see just about any event you chose to put on. And, yes, many thanks for the heads up: but for a deeply unfortunate lack of gin, Rendang was a much better choice of farewell-dinner venue than Wagamama. : . )

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