The Rise of The Geek - Panel

  • 2:30pm – 3:45pm

Suitable for ages 12+

  • Free on the day
  • or $5 to prebook
The Rise of The Geek - Panel - Image #1

In the 19th Century 'geek' meant 'fool' - now who's laughing?

Formally associated with the wildest of circus performers, in the mid-1980s the term “geek” was popularly reassigned to a particular breed of brainy, socially awkward males inordinately fascinated with computers. While some of us marveled at how these dull boxes requiring endless lines of code to spit out a simple illustration or interaction could hold such fascination for these peculiar enthusiasts, we missed the tide rising quickly around us. This first generation of geeks gave rise to a new class of millionaires, who then became billionaires.

Geeks are now shaping the colour and cadence of our experiences and lives to an extent few would have predicted or perhaps even realise today. Highly sought after geeks are driving markets for new products and services, crafting algorithms that know what we want before we know it, and creating new never before imagined realms of virtual experience. Join us for this exploration of the extraordinary rise of the geeks.

All Talks and Panels are free on a first come first served basis for a percentage of places. However there will be a limited number of places available to reserved in advance for any panel for $5. Once booked we are unable to provide refunds. CreateX will donate all funds received through reserved seating to The QUT Learning Potential Fund and the Creative Industries at QUT.

The duration is 1 hour and 15 mins

The People

Margaret Petty (Chair)

Margaret Petty is Professor and Head of the School of Design in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology (AU). Her research broadly investigates the discourse, production, and consumption practices of the modern built environment, with a particular focus on artificial lighting and interiors. She has published broadly in academic journals such as the JSAH, Journal of Design History, Home Cultures, Interiors, and PLAT and is co-editor of Cities of Light: Two Hundred Years of Urban Illumination (Routledge, 2015) with Sandy Isenstadt and Dietrich Neumann, as well as Architectures of Display: Department Stores and Modern Retail (Ashgate, 2017) with Anca Lasc and Patricia Lara-Betancourt.

Kris Stewart

Kris Stewart is a multidiscipline and multigenre producer and director, with a key focus on major events and festivals. Currently, he is the Artistic Director of The Brisbane Powerhouse, Queensland’s home for contemporary cultural practice.Most recently he has served as Artistic Director of The Festival of Voices, Tasmania’s largest winter cultural event and the national festival celebrating the instrument of voice, and as founding Executive Director of The Sydney Fringe, NSW’s key major event for the alternative and independent arts sector.

Luke Muskat

Creative Director of PrettyGreat, Luke has created some of the biggest games the world has ever seen. In his work with Halfbrick he created and designed Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride – no further explanation needed. He continued that momentum and in less than one year released Land Sliders and Slide the Shakes, each receiving critical acclaim and piles of cash.

David Gillette

David Gillette is the Director of the Liberal Arts & Engineering Studies program, an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts program that combines, in equal portions, upper-level courses from the colleges of engineering and the liberal arts. He has 20 years of multi-disciplinary collaborative team development expertise, much of which has been focused on community development, technical and system documentation, educational outreach, and technology prototype development and testing. His past academic work has included project development for various educational and communications divisions of NASA, Universal Studios, and Disney, and a number of funded research projects studying the use of interactive media and creative design for university-level teaching and learning. He has over 16 years experience teaching undergraduate and graduate level students in technical communications, cross-disciplinary technology development and testing, and in media technology design and use for many universities in the USA, Japan and Australia. He also has over 10 years of commercial experience working in the USA and Ireland in the radio, film, theater and publishing industries, with consulting relationships with many technology companies in Silicon Valley and with a variety of small theater and film companies in California and the Western USA.

Lubi Thomas

Lubi Thomas is an experienced curator working in the field of digital/new media arts and associate practice areas. In the past decade, she has developed and delivered an extensive range of exhibitions, projects, festivals, events, residencies and mentoring programs, as well as, public and education focused programming. Site-responsiveness is a key element in her practice, working closely with artists, creative technologist and their collaborators to produce works and cultural experiences for a variety of audiences. Lubi’s master's Curating in Uncharted Territories proposes a methodology for cultural programing development and sustainability for sites engaged in the display of, and engagement with, experimental creative practice. Lubi has developed cultural programming frameworks for The Cube Brisbane, Creative Industries Precinct QUT, and Qld State Library. Taking a highly networked approach to programming structures and partnership development, Lubi has brokered on-going relationships with LEGO Education, Ars Electronica, FACT Liverpool, and the Australia Council for the Arts. She works and consults locally, nationally and internationally. Current projects include: Experimenta Media Arts - Triennial exhibition, Femel Fissions: Women, Art & Science, and ReForm - Brisbane Street Art Festival.

Bill Segal

Bill Segall has done computer research, commercial IT R&D, and was co-founder of the VC funded, financial services company, Mantara. Whilst primarily focused on IT he likes to bring his inner geek to history, politics, and futurology. Despite this he is a crypto-optimistic technocrat with a sense of humour


Getting to CreateX

Cnr Kelvin Grove Rd and Musk Avenue,
QUT Kelvin Grove Campus