One of the most exciting conferences in Toronto, and arguably the world, is coming up. FITC, The Technology and Creativity Conference (April 27-29th, 2014) is all about some of the things I love most about tech, including the use of new tools and web applications to harness creative expressions across many diverse industries. From sessions focused on film and TV to web development, there are a bunch of sessions I’m excited to attend this year, but first, here’s a brief overview about what makes the FITC so great.

The range of topics covered at the festival by leading industry professionals (art directors, filmmakers, web developers, creative coders, and visual artists) include talks on design and inspiration, narrative, new approaches to web development (JavaScript, HTML5, mobile), hackinginteraction design, and more.

For modern marketers, like me, the case studies and talks on pitching, startups and freelancing, will be of particular interest, but with three full conference days, plus one day of workshops, and over 70 presentations, there’s something relevant for all creatives at FITC. This year the FITC says they’re expecting more than 1200 attendees from around the world, which means that networking opportunities will be in abundance, not to mention the always entertaining FITC Awards show and party, a great way to stay in-the-know about leading projects across industries.

What strikes me about FITC is that the multi-disciplinary approach to programming is refreshing — You won’t only have developers or marketers, instead there will be a nice mix of creative leads from various disciplines… And there are some really fascinating artists speaking this year. Here are my top picks to attend and blog about.

Ladies First!

Since I’m participating in the FITC’s Women’s Initiative, a project geared toward engaging more women at FITC, I’m highlighting two of the very impressive women speaking this year… And no, they’re not impressive because they’re women — They are most certainly accomplished and highly-regarded within their fields, irrespective of gender! 

Sougwen Chung‘s Talk on Process, Poetics and Performance

Her talk explores the question of how established techniques in art making find a new expression in the current technological and creative landscape. Just how beautiful her presentation will be remains to be seen, but if it’s anything like her May 2013 installation called CHIAROSCURO (as seen in the video below), that was commissioned by the Mapping Festival at the Musee D’art Moderne et Contemporain in Geneva, Switzerland, we’re in for a real treat!

Sara Blake advises “Be a Snortvart”

In her talk Sara will convince us that we have to listen to our inner child to achieve greatness. She’ll talk about her personal path as a successful visual artist and the lessons she’s learned.

In the video below, take a look at her inkblot designs for this year’s FITC Amsterdam poster.

Catch the Most Visually Expressive & Sophisticated Artists

An interview with Hal Lasko, ‘Grandpa,’ the 98 year-old pixel-painter:

Jason Theodor interviews renowned artist Hal Lasko about his experience of art and technology, and asks what it means to be born in 1916 and become Internet famous. This is sure to be inspiring!

Markus Heckmann and Greg Hermanovic from Derivative talk about Cooking with TouchDesigner 

This team in Toronto will deliver a talk about the uses of their cutting-edge software called TouchDesigner. With it they enable users to prototype ideas, develop concepts, produce effects, behaviors, interfaces and visualizations, like never before! Tie-ins for their talk will be made to notable projects from the TouchDesigner community, including superstar big-name brands (Disney, Prada, Victoria’s Secret, etc.) and musicians (Plastikman Live, Rush, etc.).

In the video below, you’ll see an application of their software in a live interactive AV performance called DROMOS by Maotik and Fraction, who used Derivative Touch Designer plus 5.1 sound processing with electro-acoustic influences to create amazing results.

Jason White, Leviathan’s Executive Creative Director delivers a talk, “The Future of Experiential Media and Projection Mapping”

A super charismatic creative lead and director of his company, Jason White promises to deliver a talk with visual enhancements to showcase his agency’s work on broadcast campaigns, experiential events and live performance visuals. This talk should be an exciting one, with a showcase of his interactive events for Hewlett Packard and Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell Blacklist, and Amon Tobin’s ISAM Live tour.

Tweet me if you’re attending FITC this year…and let me know if you liked my #WomenAtFITC blog post!

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