Thursday, March 22, 2012

Join Leading Digital Media Innovators at the 2012 Woodstock Digital Media Festival, June 22-23, in Woodstock, Vermont

Join leading digital media innovators from the arts, business, education, and non-profits and explore some of the most important and influential work being done in new media today at the 2012 Woodstock Digital Media Festival, June 22-23, in Woodstock, Vermont. 

WOODSTOCK, VT – Long known as a destination for fall foliage and winter skiing, Vermont will be the place to go for all things digital this summer, when the leading innovators in new media gather on June 22 and 23 in Woodstock for the 2012 Woodstock Digital Media Festival. This year’s Festival builds on the success of the 2011 inaugural event, which brought together more than 150 artists, entrepreneurs, non-profits, academics and the public to explore the art, the apps and the ideas shaping new media and its influence on how we interact, work and play in a digitally connected world.

The Woodstock Digital Media Festival is a forum and exhibition that offers digital artists, businesses and educators the opportunity to present their work and interact with their peers as well as with the general public. The Woodstock Digital Media Festival includes:
  • Panel discussions with nationally recognized digital artists, journalists, academics and entrepreneurs.
  • Participatory “explorations” with digital media innovators that take advantage of Woodstock’s intimate and beautiful setting to demonstrate how new media and apps are changing people’s everyday lives.
  • An exhibition of the latest in digital media art, this year exploring the theme MICRO, and the range of impressions and emotions around technology in our lives.
  • The Festival’s gala event on Saturday evening, presenting the work of digital media visionaries from around the country.


“We wanted to bring people from the different worlds of digital media together in a new way and in a unique environment,” says Woodstock Digital Media Festival organizer, David McGowan. The Festival showcases the most interesting and important work being done by today’s leading digital media artists, entrepreneurs, and researchers, McGowan says. “Woodstock offers not only a beautiful, natural setting but a wired town center where we can create a fantastic digital campus for the weekend,” he adds.
“We wanted to bring people from the different worlds of digital media together in a new way and in a unique environment. Woodstock offers not only a beautiful, natural setting but a wired town center where we can create a fantastic digital campus for the weekend.” Festival Chairman, David McGowan
Joe McKay is the Festival’s curator and an Assistant Professor of New Media at Purchase College in New York. “New media artists and storytellers are concerned about how we steer ourselves through the maze of digital media that surround us,” McKay says.

McKay believes that Woodstock is a great environment to explore issues around new media. “On the one hand, Vermont can be seen as an oasis away from a technological and fast-paced world,” he says. “Yet that very same technology has allowed Woodstock to remain both rural and connected. So it’s a great place to have the conversation about the effects of digital culture and new media on our lives,” McKay says.

“Particularly for the art world, where historically the sense has been that if you are not in New York, you are not relevant, holding a digital media art exhibition in Vermont is both provocative and predictive of the possibilities inherent in new media and digital media art,” McKay says.


The 2012 Woodstock Digital Media Festival sessions include:
  • A panel discussion on current issues and innovations in digital media art with leading curators and critics including Barbara London, curator of the MOMA Visual Media Center; and Paddy Johnson, founding editor of the blog,
  • "Telling [TRUE] Stories,” with innovators in non-fiction narrative forms including Dan Archer of, who creates non-fiction, journalistic comics on human rights and social justice issues, and Annie Correal, a New York-based journalist who manages the online storytelling platform,, which is pioneering a new form of participatory journalism.
  • “Play for Life,” with pioneers of the ‘serious game’ movement including the Emergent Media Center at Champlain College and the Tiltfactor game research lab at Dartmouth College demonstrating and discussing how they are tackling social issues through digital gaming.
  • The popular “Digital Vermont” session, held at last year’s Festival, returns again this year to focus on the achievements and current issues facing the digital media sector in the state. 
During the day on Saturday, interactive “explorations” will use a hands-on approach to showcase new possibilities created by digital media, such as:
  • A “Digital Bird Walk” in the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Park with Kent McFarland of the Vermont Center for Eco-Studies and Charlie Rattigan of Green Mountain Digital, publisher of Audubon Guides and other nature and wildlife mobile apps.
  • “Mapping the Accessibility of Woodstock” with Jason DaSilva of AXS Map, using an innovative app to create crowd-sourced, real-world accessibility information on a building-by-building basis.
Festival exhibitions will showcase new art and innovations, such as:
  • The MICRO Exhibit at Artistree Gallery.
  • Saturday evening’s performance and reception at the Billings Farm and Museum featuring digital media innovators from across the country. Presenters include Scott Kraus of the New England Aquarium in Boston, who will demonstrate the Aquarium’s app, FishBlue, which uses digitally crowd-sourced data from marine fishermen in maintaining sustainable fisheries in the Atlantic.
  • “Under the Tent” on the Woodstock Green the traditional farmers’ market takes on a new form with digital media producers and app developers offering demos, screenings and art happenings of their work and products.
The Festival opens to the public on Friday evening, June 22, with a free MICRO Exhibition Opening from 8:30-10:30 p.m. at the Artistree Gallery in Woodstock. On Saturday, June 23, informational sessions at the Norman Williams Public Library and the Woodstock Historical Society, as well as outdoor Explorations in and around Woodstock, are all free and open to the public.  Saturday evening’s reception and presentation is a ticketed event from 8:00-11:00 p.m. at the Billings Farm and Museum.


In addition to the Festival’s chairman, David McGowan, and curator, Joe McKay, the 2012 Woodstock Digital Media Festival is organized by a diverse and accomplished group of advisors drawn from different worlds of digital media:

Townsend Belisle is Executive Producer at Haystack Needle LLC, and a strategic producer of creative media specializing in digital marketing and communications strategy. He is also a leader of Wireless Woodstock.

Emily Bell is Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism and a Professor of Professional Practice at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Bell is a leading media commentator in the U.K., writing about broadcasting and media policy issues.

Mary Flanagan is a Professor of Film and Media Studies and the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor in Digital Humanities at Dartmouth College. Flanagan is the founding director of Tiltfactor Laboratory, and recognized for her theories on playculture, activist design and critical play.

Kristin Lucas is an Assistant Professor of Studio Arts at Bard College, and a digital media artist addressing the complexity of our relationship to the digital realm. Her artwork is represented by Postmasters Gallery and her videos are distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix in New York.

Roger Neal is the Executive Director of NYC Media Lab, a public-private partnership launched by the City (NYCEDC), NYU-Poly, and Columbia University, and encompassing all the universities of NYC. NYC Media Lab tackles the big questions facing the media industry today by generating research, knowledge transfer, talent development, R&D, and new business models.

Marcin Ramocki is a new media artist and documentary filmmaker whose recent projects have been exhibited in MoMa NYC, Whitney Museum, Wexner Center, ArtMoving Projects and Pacific Film Archives. Ramocki teaches Digital Media at New Jersey City University, and is a founder and curator of vertexList art space in Brooklyn.

For more information and updates on presenters/sessions, and to purchase tickets, visit Find Woodstock Digital Media Festival on Facebook and follow @WDMFestival on Twitter. 

Visit our Woodstock Digital Media Festival press page to download a copy of this release.

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