C2: Brain-powered

C2 team

The Brain is where words are formed into thoughts

C2 has its own version of Times Square this year. In collaboration with the Center for Data Arts (CDA), a research laboratory and design studio within The New School in New York City, the C2 content team has been gathering the language that emerges from our packed schedule of speakers, workshops, masterclasses and social media channels this year to create a moving, visual “information theatre” – all in real time.

This continuous live-coding event takes place in what’s been dubbed “The Brain,” located beside the Agora in the Hangar among our labs. Just look around and you can’t miss it: words dancing on LED tiles and a grid of screens above our Aquarium radio room. It’s an impressionistic montage, which aims to capture the “soul” of C2 as it’s happening.

Feeding The Brain

Throughout the three days of the conference and visible to all, this visually stimulating design combines machine intelligence (natural language processing, machine learning and generative composition) with active human control (live note taking) to create complex, meaningful experiences out of what would otherwise be unstructured data streams.

To craft this collective experience, the CDA applies its expertise working with data in live environments with an ambient soundscape of clicks, whirs and flutters – also mixed on the spot – that reinforce the visual movements and effects.

The “Brainers,” taking notes from various points in the C2 ecosystem, will work with CDA’s interdisciplinary team to feed The Brain, engaging in a continuous, live experiment in the midst of the conference and developing new software and visualizations as they go. Brainers are part of The Minutes, an extensive content capture initiative led by the C2 editorial team, which you can learn a bit more about in this talk given by our editor-in-chief at Dynamic/MTL.

Tapping into the big ideas, creating spontaneous connections and finding emerging relationships between people and content with the help of technology and talent is what C2 is all about, making The Brain – apologies in advance – a no-brainer.