10/26/2012 04:16 pm ET Updated Dec 26, 2012

Highlights From the Leaders in Software and Art (LISA) Conference 2012

The inaugural Leaders in Software and Art Conference, LISA 2012, was held at the Guggenheim Museum last week. Isabel Walcott Draves, the founder of LISA, stated that her objective was to create a forum that brings together experts from the technology community and the arts to exchange ideas, find ways to collaborate, and share their work with a broader audience. The conference included panel discussions, presentations, and Laurie Anderson and Scott Snibbe as keynote speakers. Judging by the attendance and the enthusiasm, LISA 2012 was a great success.

Focus on Software: Revolutionizing Electronic Publishing
LISA 2012 started with a Salon held at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) / Tisch / NYU the evening prior to the conference. Two projects were presented at the Salon: The Magic Book Project and "Liber Amicorum" ("Book of Friends").

The Magic Book Project is an innovative project in the field of electronic publishing, developed by Dan Shiffman (faculty), Rune Madsen (adjunct faculty), and Steve Klise (resident researcher) at ITP. The Magic Book Project allows authors to design and publish their book in a variety of formats (e.g., PDF, HTML) from a single book source document as well as style everything using CSS. The Nature of Code by Dan Shiffman is one of the first applications of the Magic Book Project. The book is about computational simulations of natural systems using Processing. Topics include vectors, physics, complex systems, fractals, and machine learning. The entire book can be read online for free and all source files for building the book can be downloaded.

"Liber Amicorum" is another innovative project in the field of electronic publishing. Its most innovative feature is its ability to dynamically change content. As described by Andrew Odewahn, Chief Technology Officer at O'Reilly and Rune Madsen, the developer, it is a collaborative community-driven project that aims to create a useful resource for software artists. The project has currently three main parts: (1) Organizations: An overview of innovative work in the field of software and art, (2) Tools: An overview of various tools such as the Kinect, 3D printers, and Arduino, and (3) Projects: Case studies of projects in the field of Software Art. The book's source materials are all hosted in GitHub, the popular site for sharing open-source projects.

Focus on Art: Transforming the Museum Experience
GalleryOne, presented by Jake Barton, principal at Local Projects, is a project that reinvents visitors' experience at the Cleveland Museum of Art. GalleryOne enables visitors to explore and creatively engage with the museum's collection using a wide array of innovative interfaces, including body detection technology that allows them to interact with figurative sculptures, and touch-based technology that allows them to explore the museum's collections based on various themes. The project also features ArtLens, an iPad app, that allows visitors to scan artwork throughout the museum and create custom tours that can be shared with family and friends. GalleryOne will debut at the Cleveland Museum of Art in January 2013.

The LISA meetup group meets regularly in New York City.