Among the busiest intersections in all of 21st century culture are those interesting plots of conceptual real estate where technology and art meet up.

That's where Moogfest comes in. The four-day culture, music and technology festival — kicking off today in Durham, NC — has become a popular destination for fast-forward thinkers across the country and the world.

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If you're wondering about that name, Moogfest is named after visionary engineer and electronic musician Bob Moog, inventor of the Moog analog synthesizer. Moog's instruments and technological contributions made a huge impact on several genres of popular music from the 1970s onward.

More than 250 artists, inventors and tech industry leaders will be featured at this year's festival. Presentations and workshops include appearances by virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier and the administrators (human minions?) of IBM's celebrity A.I. Watson.

Moogfest will also host musical and multimedia performances from a roster of artists including GZA, Gary Numan and Laurie Anderson.

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The most intriguing elements of this year's Moogfest involve instances where musicians and technology are merging, quite literally. Artist and cyborg activist Neil Harbisson, pictured above, will present a “cyborgacoustic performance" featuring the cybernetic eye permanently attached to his skull.


Harbisson — who can otherwise only see in grayscale — uses his cybernetic eye to hear the frequencies of colors through bone conduction. For his Moogfest performance, he'll be painting the toes of a collaborator and amplifying the colors he hears. It's that kind of festival.

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The robotic marimba player Shimon will also be on hand, performing with other (human) musicians and additional musical machines developed by Georgia Tech's Robotic Musicianship group.

Also keep an eye out for seismic dance performances, an A.I. DJ battle, and a demonstration of Instrument 1, a new musical multi-instrument that can be played as a guitar, violin, piano or drum. You can get more details at the Moogfest website.

Meanwhile, enjoy this video of Shimon playing marimba at the Kennedy Center. Isn't the 21st century fun?