REZcast: Behind the Scenes at the 2015 NAKFI Conference

In this episode of REZcast we interview xREZ Art + Science Lab members Sam Johnson and I-Chen Yeh on their personal experiences traveling to the 2015 National Academies Keck Futures Initiative Conference in Irvine, California. Their job: to assist Professor Ruth West with exhibiting the immersive art-science installation ATLAS in silico.

From preparing the ATLAS system for the conference to on-the-spot troubleshooting with other exhibitors at the event, these two computer science students take us behind the scenes to explore the before, during, and after of NAKFI’s first art-infused conference and the Creative Disruptions exhibition.

Listen to an excerpt:  “I think that programming is art.” –Sam Johnson

Listen to the full podcast below!



From the podcast:

“If you wanna get technical i think that programming is art… Programming is just reduced to a combination of logical problem solving and data structures and finding ways to efficiently use hardware to solve a problem…I’m a musician, I’ve done visual art, and programming is no different. You’re given something to do and there’s an infinite number of ways that you can do it, and you can really be creative…

“In programming if you do one thing, you’re going to be using that thing a year down the road on the next part of the project, so you’re sort of building this big complex machine as you go. And so you learn that each part of that machine is really important, and so you take a lot of care in how you design the data structures and how different parts communicate with each other. There’s no physical parts involved, but there’s virtual parts involved, so I consider it an artistic process.” –Sam Johnson


Learn more about the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative:



xREZ Art + Science Lab

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xREZ Art+Science lab forges productive paths that harness the unique creative forces found only at the intersection of the arts, sciences and humanities to open new portals of imagination, knowledge and communication.Our goal: alter the landscape of human endeavor to create transformative impact on our world and our future.

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