Thursday, January 3, 2008

Day One, Fri 30 Nov - A Fairlight Fetish

The first event of the Byte Me! Festival was ' A Fairlight Fetish', a showcase of vintage audiovisual equipment at the totally gorgeous Perth Town Hall.

If you're wondering where the source of this 'Fairlight Fetish' came from, here's a video of Jasper, aged about 10, playing with a Fairlight CVI at Scitech:

But I digress, so back to the event...

Chrism and Fenris and Jasper VJzoo at Fairlight Fetish Night at Byte Me! Festival 2777

First act of the evening was the wonderful Chrism and Fenris, who used Commodore 64s and various other equipment in a glitchy, experimental audio exploration. Yours truly, VJzoo's Kat and Jasper, did the visuals. We cheated a little and served the loops off a laptop, as with such long hours preparing for the running of the Festival we'd had no time to prepare our creative materials, such as VHS tapes to serve loops from. Apart from that though, we used vintage equipment - the mighty Fairlight CVI's, and an old-skool Panasonic AVE-7 mixer. Thanks to Sam Lambency for the pics. You can see more of them at our Flickr.

VJzoo and Chrism and Fenris at Fairlight Fetish Night at Byte Me! Festival 2709

Here's a track from the desk recorded live at the event:

Next up was the surprise VERY special act (and now, won't you be kicking yourself that you weren't there?)... it was Tom Ellard of Severed Heads! He played an awesome set, which he's uploaded to his website: His video's not embeddable, but his site is really worth a visit anyway. But the Paleolithic DVD there if it's still available - some great vintage Severed Heads performances dated 1982-1994.

Tom Ellard, Severed Heads at Fairlight Fetish Night at Byte Me! Festival 2797

Tom's performance was bloody brilliant, and had the international audience enthralled. You can watch it online so I don't need to tell you how great it was, you can see for yourself.

Last act of the night, in a bit of a denouement as Mr Ellard was being overly modest and didn't want to be headlining act as 'it was the Fairlight's night' - DJ Michelle Rogers (Perth) and VJ MoRpH (Sydney) in an ambient set with lots of Brian Eno etc. Poor MoRpH isn't used to such a slow place - he usually does big events at the Horden Pavilion, outdoor festival like Big Day Out etc.

VJ MoRpH at Fairlight Fetish Night at Byte Me! Festival 6524

DJ Michelle Phillips at Fairlight Fetish Night at Byte Me! Festival 4630

All in all, we had a wonderful night playing with some great old audiovisual equipment. Feedback from the audience was very positive, especially the surprise appearance by the Aussie AV legendary act Severed Heads.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Come to Byte Me! Fest - only a few days remaining...

Attendances have been really low for Byte Me! Fest events - which is kinda sad for the speakers that we've dragged all the way out here to talk to the Perth Digital Content community.

So, deal is - for remaining events, if you pre-buy a ticket through BOCS, I'll give you a free beer or wine or arrival. Yep, bribery. The only way to get Perth geeks away from their screens!

See for details and booking, or pop into the Perth Town Hall to talk to me - that's where all the events are.

The remaining events are:

Tonight (Thurs) 6-9pm - From Far Far Away - Sue Erokan from Dreamworks (US), Martin Davidson from FinnCragg. Animation Show n Tell. $19/$9.50

Tonight (Thurs) 9pm-midnight - Plug n Play International. VJs from around Australia and around the world - best chance you'll ever get in Perth to see what VJing is in it's many varied forms. Hands on, you get to play. $8/$5 (or free to stick around if you come to the earlier talk)

Saturday 1-4pm FREE Unravelling the New Media DNA. Megan Elliott from X|Media|Lab, our popular Keynote Speaker returns to expand on her talk about the US Wirters strike and other issues for digital content developers. Joined by Raphe Patmore and Jinnan Cai from award-winning Perth web 2.0 startup Buzka. Please RSVP.

Saturday 6-9pm From Dubai to Skull Island - Paul Van Ommen from Weta Workshop (NZ), head of Miniatures on King Kong is joined by locally-based but internationally acclaimed architectural animation company Last Pixel. $19/$9.50

Saturday 9pm-midnight FREE Closing Party - Audio Cephlon, DJ Jim from Loungerama and a whole bunch of VJs from Plug n Play will be playing. Please RSVP.

Sunday 1-4pm BarCampNano - FREE - AWIA, the Australian Web Industry Association, will be running an Unconference showing some of the great web stuff going on here in Perth. Please Register online.

Sunday 6-9pm She Got Game - Robin Hunicke of EA Games (US) and Stephen Grant from the animated TV series Dogstar (just started on the Nine Network). $19/$9.50

During the day, we have Nullarbor games to be played in the Interface, the cool bluetooth-game Ghost Town and the Get Reel on loop in the foyer, showcasing a wide range of world-class WA-made animation from many different fields. That's all FREE.

So PLEASE get off your bum and come on down to a session. If you're reading this, it's highly likely you're eligible for concession (eg your cousin's wife's neighbour is a member of WAnimate or whatever) and remember, if you pre-buy through BOCS I'll give you a FREE DRINK. Yes, a FREE DRINK. *sigh*

meow & ciao,

kat black =^..^=
~ a festival of digital creativity ~
1-9 December 2007, Perth Town Hall

PO Box 565, North Perth 6906, Western AUSTRALIA
Landline: (61 8) 93285727 Mobile: 0402 786 353 Skype: katblack66

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Showbags Get Stuffed!

Thanks to the hard work of our wonderful bag-stuffin' volunteers - Justin, Madeline, Adelaide, Lisette and Fiona, over 1000 Digital Careers Showbags have been filled with course brochures from various universities and colleges. Thanks to Plaza Imaging for letting us use their training room - the air-con sure was appreciated in the 4 hour stuffin' session :)

And my, my - aren't the bags stylish! They'll be given out to people attending the Get Reel screenings and other events as appropriate (ie, if you're interested in a career in digital content, ask for one).

If we have any leftovers after BM!F, they will be distributed to interested Secondary Schools - so let us know if you'd like some sent out. A few country schools have already said they're very interested in the Festival but can't make it to Perth due to the expense/distance - so this is at least something to show students some of the study and career options available in this field.

Thanks to Clayton's Bags for doing such a great job so quickly - and printed in Australia too, woo hoo!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Byte Me! Festival Monster Press Release

The inaugural Byte Me! Festival, a celebration of geek creativity and digital content, commences in just over a week at the Perth Town Hall.

If you're interested in animation, games development, visual FX for film and TV, 3D modelling, social networking and other web 2.0 applications, digital art and media, VJing or pretty much any way digital technology can be used to create, visualise, entertain, simulate... then this is for you.

You can download the full Program and buy tickets at but here's a summary of what will be on:

Friday 30th Nov - Perth Town Hall
9pm A Fairlight Fetish - vintage audiovisual showcase featuring Chrism and Fenris making music on Commodore 64s, MoRph and VJzoo with their collection of Fairlight CVI video synthesisers from the 80's and 90's, and other surprise very special guests. $19/$9.50

Saturday 1st Dec - Secret CBD location
8.30pm Live Cinema - VJing grew up, went to school and this is what it became. Using the same tools and techniques developed in nightclubs, live video performance has now become a recognised artform. Some of the very best in the world will be in Perth to collaborate on this event - a large-scale outdoor video projection performance unlike anything you've seen here before. Solu (Finland/Barcelona), (Turkey), Jean Poole (Melbourne) and local practitioners VJzoo will be performing at a secret CBD location to be announced on the website on the day. Bring your own chair, beanbag or cushion, and the performance will start at dusk (about 8.30pm). This is a family friendly event - bring a picnic supper, but NO ALCOHOL. Free.

Sunday 2nd Dec - Perth Town Hall
11am Business Models for a Digital Landscape - the serious side of the digital content revolution - how can digital content creators make a living in this new world? What are the challenges and the opportunities? Presented by the AFTRS Centre for Screen Business. $19/$9.50

Sunday 2nd Dec - Perth Town Hall
3.30pm An Animated Life - Melanie Beisswenger (Germany) will share her experiences as an animator on a wide range of projects, from animating on TV commercials in smaller studios to work on large feature film productions such as Happy Feet. Randall Lynton from Liquid Amber Design (Perth) will discuss his work as the award-winning animator of Ransis and Alee and Suicidal Balloon. $19/$9.50

Sunday 2nd Dec - Perth Town Hall
6pm Official Opening - by Invitation only, for Industry VIPs and Media. The Festival will be officially opened by The Right Honourable The Lord Mayor, Lisa Scaffidi and The Honourable Francis M Logan BA (Hons) MLA Minister for Energy, Resources, Industry and Enterprise. Keynote Speech of the Festival will be delivered by Posie Graeme-Evans, producer of McLeod's Daughters, co-creator of Hi-5, best-selling novellist, lyricist and all round dynamo. There will be a screening of the Get Reel to show you the great digital content being created here in WA.

Monday 3rd Dec - Perth Town Hall
6pm Figwit - Lord of the Rings Fan Doco - Australian Premiere Screening and Director Q+A. How did a non-speaking extra in Lord of the Rings become a cult star in his own right? If you've heard the story of Figwit (Frodo is Great... Who Is That?), now you can see the documentary and hear from the film-maker Stan Alley (NZ) in this tongue-in-cheek exploration of online fandom featuring Bret McKenzie from Flight of the Conchords .
LOTR costumery encouraged for this Green Carpet screening! $19/$9.50

Weds 5th Dec - Perth Town Hall
Music Video Art Panel and Show n Tell. With the Perth music scene getting so much attention, it's time for the film and art scene to step into the same limelight. 'Music Video Art' will be a night of screenings and discussion into the collaboration between Perth artists from different fields, and creating large scale projects that break new ground. Hosted by WA film-maker Mat de Koning. $8/$5

Thurs 6th Dec - Perth Town Hall
6pm From Far Far Away
First in the Byte Me! big-screen Show 'n Tells by people in the Industry. Some of these talks will be a bit technical, but they'll all be aimed at a non-geek audience. Think of it like the 'Making Of' extras on a DVD, except - you get to ask questions! This session's speakers are Sue Erokan from Dreamworks Animation (USA) who worked on the Shrek movies and Martin Davidson from animatED publishing company FinnCragg (Perth) $19/$9.50

Thurs 6th Dec - Perth Town Hall
9pm Plug n Play is a regular, hands-on audiovisual jam session where VJ's, electronic musicians, AV acts and other audiovisual geeks come along and show off their skills, style and equipment to each other. If you've ever been interested in VJing, this is the night to come along. Newbies are VERY welcome! Mix with local, interstate and international VJs, talk to them, have a play with their equipment. $8/$5

Saturday 8th Dec - Perth Town Hall
6pm From Dubai to Skull Island - Visual FX Revealed. Creating Fantasy Worlds, from Digital to Analogue. Perth-based 3D graphics studio Last Pixel will take you behind the scenes on some recent international projects, then Paul van Ommen (NZ) will discuss his role with Weta Workshop, and with The Miniatures Unit that created and filmed the models for King Kong and The Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

9pm Closing Party (Invitation Only) International and local festival guests will perform for the entertainment of volunteers, sponsors and other Byte Me! buddies. Get involved to get invited! Volunteers are still needed for both day and evening shifts during the Festival.

Sunday 9th Dec - Perth Town Hall
1-4pm BarCampNano - Perth is rapidly becoming known as a hotspot for great web 2.0 startups and the most active blogging community in Australia. BarCamp will feature short talks by some of the most exciting web-based businesses in a casual, fun Show n Tell style. Free, but online Registration required

Sunday 9th Dec - Perth Town Hall
6pm She Got Game (He Got TV) - Robin Hunicke is the Lead Game Designer on MySims at EA's Sims Division. In her copious spare time, she's finishing a PhD in Computer Science at Northwestern University, studying Artificial Intelligence and Video Games. Robin will be joined by Perth animator Stephen Grant who will talk about his work on the animated TV series Dogstar, shortly to commence airing on the Nine Network, and a range of other Australian and international projects $19/$9.50

Daily 2-9 Dec - Perth Town Hall
Various Times Get Reel
is a collection of Western Australian digital content that covers a wide spectrum - from animation to ads, from 3D fly-throughs to games development, from engineering to education, from virtual safety training to visual FX for film and television. We're aiming to show you the variety of work being done, the rich diversity of jobs and the international opportunities that skills in digital content development can open up. $8/$5 (includes free Byte Me! Bag with info about digital careers).

Daily 2-9 Dec - Throughout CBD, start at Perth Town Hall
10am - 5pm Registration, play any time. Ghost Town.
Giant Dice's new innovative game of urban exploration played with the help of your mobile phone, is being unleashed on the streets of Perth for one week, starting December 2nd, 2007. The game uses a mashup of technology (bluetooth, SMS and VOIP) and the physical world. Free.

Daily 2-9 Dec - Perth Town Hall
10am - 5pm The Interface. Talk to people about the Festival and digital careers. Play some WA-made computer games, get some free content for your mobile phone. Free.

Daily 2-7 Dec - Kurb Gallery, Northbridge
Sun-Thu: 1-6pm, Fri: 1-8pm Heartlands What are the photographs you have taken that are close to your heart? This was the question asked for Photographers In Perth's showcase event for the Festival. Free.

Thanks so much to our wonderful sponsors for keeping these events affordable, or even free - City of Perth, BHP Billiton, Department of Industry and Resources, Central TAFE, Murdoch University, Curtin University, SAE Institute, the ICT Industry Collaboration Centre, Women are I.T., FORM, Giant Dice, Big Thinker Films, the Australia Business Arts Foundation and many more organisations and individuals who have helped to make this crazy hare-brained scheme actually happen.

Staff, students and members of all sponsors and participating organisation are eligible for concession price on tickets, as are all teachers and careers advisers.

The daytime events are ideal for school groups; evening events are licenced to serve alcohol, so minors must be accompanied by a guardian (although the events are still appropriate for all ages).

More information regarding each event, as well as high resolution images available for use by the media are available at the website

Given that the Festival starts very soon and we are VERY late in finalising the Program and starting to get word out, we'd really appreciate you passing this on to your networks!

meow & ciao,

kat black =^..^=
~ a festival of digital creativity ~
1-9 December 2007, Perth Town Hall

PO Box 565, North Perth 6906, Western AUSTRALIA
Mobile: 0402 786 353 Skype: katblack66

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tickets on sale...

The first couple of events are now listed with BOCS Ticketing. Other events will be added in the next week as details for each are finalised.

One of the first to be ticketed is the Australian Premiere of Figwit, a LOTR-fan doco. My guess is that will sell out pretty quickly, since there are only 240 seats - so get in quick if you fancy donning an elf-costume and walking down the Green Carpet for that one.

(hint: even if you're not into Lord of the Rings, if you're a Flight of the Conchords fan, you won't want to miss it...)

Also happening at the moment - the Get Reel is open for submissions of WA Digital Content:

Our main target audience for that is secondary school students, teachers and parents, to show the variety of careers available in the 'Digital Content' field. Ticket sales for that are already available too. The screenings are in the daytime, mostly through the week 2-9th Dec.

Also, for the same reason, I've increased the number of 'Expo to Go' Byte Me! Showbags to 1500, so if your business or institution would like to give me materials to stuff them with, drop me an email. Schwag, info about courses and careers... the idea is to give them a bag of stuff that they *would* take home from a Digital Careers Expo - but without the noise and expense of the Convention Centre ;)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Perth Massive - sign up now

Not part of Byte Me! Festival, but an 'affiliated event' that we encourage BM!F visitors to get along to. It's free, so why wouldn't you go?:

MASSIVE 2007 : 6pm, December 4th

The 6th Annual Digital Content Industry End of year Celebration

Be MASSIVE! Free Entry! Register Now!
MASSIVE is an annual end of year celebration for the hard working people in the Creative, Digital and Computing related fields. At it's heart, MASSIVE is a reflective social event which salutes you, your work, your colleagues and your industry.

Designers, architects, web developers, film and television, gamers, academics, photographers, animators, authors, programmers, scientists, researchers, musicians, marketing, advertisers, artists are all welcome.

Be part of this year's celebration by registering your name on the entry door. Register here:

Your name will be put into the draw for prizes on the night and the first 100 people to register are eligible to receive a MASSIVE t-shirt. (t-shirt offer is subject to sponsorship funding). In keeping with MASSIVE tradition, food and drink will be served on the night thanks to our sponsors.

Sponsorship : Want to be really MASSIVE?
If you are interested in sponsoring MASSIVE 2007, view the Sponsorship Packages here and contact the MASSIVE committee on All contributions
must be in by Friday the 23rd of November.

Industry groups represented at MASSIVE
MASSIVE welcomes industry groups

* ACM SIGGRAPH : Professional Chapter : Perth
* AWIA : Australian Web Industry Association
* Australian In Front
* DCIRG : Digital Content Industry Reference Group
* DLF : Digital Labourers Federation
* IGDA : International Game Developers Association : Perth Chapter
* One Twenty : Perth researchers, developers, gamers Group
* Orange Zucchini : Perth Design Student Community
* PIGMI : Perth Independent Game Maker's Initiative
* PIP : Photographers in Perth
* Sumea : Australian & New Zealand Game Developers
* WAnimate : West Australian Animation Association

MASSIVE also welcomes delegates from the GRAPHITE 2007 international conference
, Byte Me! international festival and Nullarbor 2008 Mixer.


MASSIVE 2007 :
MASSIVE 2007 is organised by ACM SIGGRAPH Perth

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Volunteers wanted... must be willing to give up having a Life for next 6 weeks

Wanted: Committed volunteers to do specific tasks for BM!F. And I don't mean people who decide to go out partying on the weekend instead of doing a task they promised to do - this means 6 weeks of sustained, directed effort. The reward is being part of getting this awesome event off the ground, and also making a network of contacts that would usually take you years to accumulate.

So, would you be interested in taking responsibility for collecting content for the Get Reel? - would really suit someone wanting to get a foot in the animation/3D door...

Or, doing the Program Layout (all you graphic designers - this could be a great project for your folio)...

Or, marketing and events management-type tasks...

Or, schools liaison (any teachers on the list?).

And so it goes on. Your committed help would be hugely appreciated and I'm sure it will be very rewarding. I'm talking six insane weeks ahead of us though, so the half-baked need not apply :P

PS - the callout for less-committed volunteers (eg for hanging out in the Interface talking to people, or doing door-bitch duty at events etc) will come later.