This article originally appeared in PureHoney Magazine. Check them out here.
Calling all South Florida members of the STEAM — science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics — community: Now’s your chance to make something truly interactive on the web and showcase it for a chance at some cold cash.
The inaugural Tech Art South Florida Competition, happening this summer, aims to support the UX/UI community and highlight local talent. Participants can submit web browser-based interactive digital art pieces that will be judged July 21-26, with the winner chosen on July 31. Due to COVID-19 guidelines, the event will happen over Zoom.
Organizer Cristina Escalante says it’s an opportunity for people to think about the web browser “as a place where they can make things people can interact with.” She wants participants to know that the web is a place that offers numerous possibilities for visual and auditory experiences. Escalante is the CEO of The SilverLogic, a Boca Raton-based software development company that is sponsoring the event. She got the idea for the competition after being on the mailing list for New York City’s Monthly Music Hackathon for many years. One Saturday a month, programmers, musicians, and artists come together to “hack” projects exploring music. Escalante kept hoping an event like this would happen in South Florida, but it never did.
An ongoing campaign led by Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is luring tech players to South Florida, touting the area’s beautiful weather and lack of income tax. All of this sounds great, but Escalante has one problem with it: no mention of the locals. “If you invite a whole bunch of tech executives without highlighting the people who make up the community, you’re leaving something off the table that should probably be there,” she says. Thus, Tech Art South Florida was born.
The competition will start with a kickoff event on June 21, during which potential participants can ask questions. Around that same time, sponsor Boca Code will be hosting a workshop on how to deploy a website, since this will be helpful for participants. A panel from the STEAM community will judge each piece on aesthetics, interactivity, and execution.
But what exactly is “digital art” you ask? It can be anything from interactive guitar tutorials to glass bottles audibly clinking on the Jarritos soda website.
“If you don’t know Photoshop, you can do interesting things that are interactive with HTML,” Escalante says. “It forces you to think about making images a conversation… a two-way conversation.”
The Tech Art South Florida Competition happens via Zoom July 21-26, with a kickoff event on June 21. For more information visit TechArtSF.com .