Spotlight on: Tami Evnin

Tami Evnin is a designer, coder, and a member of the class of 2011 hackNY Fellows. This spring, she installed #FEEDmixer, an interactive show and party space for SXSW,  as part of the FEED art show put on by the Brooklyn design studio, Learned Evolution. What was the experience like? Tami gives us a peek into the process.

I was there as part of a group of Parson’s students exhibited in the show. There were 6 large LCD screens displaying our work. Three were facing the street and three were facing inside the exhibit. Mine was on the front window facing out to the street. The concept of the exhibit was about Twitter.

There were two modes of display. One mode was passive data visualization of the trending topics in Austin. Flocks of birds flew across the screen where each bird represented 100 tweets and the numbers of birds were determined by the trending topics.

DJ Booth
The other mode was a DJ console where users could live-mash Tweets, video, and audio at the console. There work is displayed on the large LCD-screens in front of them. We got to collaborate with some amazing people on this display. Eclectic method and [namethemachine] did the DJing and the live video manipulation. We made custom video content for the work and programming exhibit to pull in video, audio, and overlay the twitter data.

The whole show went on for all 10 days of south by southwest. During the day, it was an art gallery and at night, we hosted huge parties. The evenings were especially popular.

I worked with three other women. It was our first time formally installing artwork. We were involved through Learned Evolution. They put on the gallery and reached out to us in early February. They asked us to incorporate Twitter and put us in contact with the other artists.

We worked on the code for the project for about a month because we needed custom built software for all the interaction. We hooked up the hardware in about two days when we got to Austin. All the content ran through our code so our work determined the overall look of and interaction in the exhibit.

I really enjoyed all the layers that went into making the exhibit because I got to work with new technologies like midi controllers and video splitters I wasn’t necessarily exposed to in school projects. It was very satisfying to see all the puzzle pieces come together the day before the show.

Overall, it was a great experience. I collaborated with people with great energy and I’ve come away with good relationships. It was my first time seeing my work in public. Understanding how to make a public exhibition happen and knowing that I can earn an income through installing art puts becoming a professional artist on my radar.