The ExitEvent team spent four days capturing all the cool stuff going on in downtown Durham for Moogfest. Below is our recap of a much lighter day four, but check out highlights from the action-packed days one, two and three.

Thanks for following along!

(photo above, credit to Ryan Bell and Moogfest)


Recap: Textiles as a Second Skin

By Jon Mareane

In one of the last talks of the festival, Raj Bhakta, graduate research assistant at NC State University’s Nano-Extended Textiles research group, dished on the future of fashion and fabric.

From 3D printing smart fabrics, biosensors in your boxers, and “Ghost in the Shell” esque transforming smart-clothing, the panelists envisioned a future where the fashion industry is about more than achieving a certain look.

While Bhakta was more focused on moonshot ideas—smart compression shirts that automatically upload exercise metrics to health insurance companies for a better evaluation of your health, or articles of clothing that can change from a t-shirt to an oxford on demand, NSCU’s Dr. Andre West focused on more short term changes we might see in the fashion industry.

One of his passion projects is smart clothing orders. When purchasing something like a polo, the seller would have a complete set of measurement data or a full body scan on which to base their sizing and fit. The polo would either be 3D printed or trimmed to shape on demand at a nearby automated manufacturing center, and delivered immediately.

The potential ramifications of a system like this are huge—many panel members discussed how a well-oiled on-demand order system like this could destroy brick and mortar shops like H&M.

While the energy of attendees seemed low during the last hours of Moogfest, a niche and well planned presentation on the future of fashion helped send off Moogfest 2017 in style.

Recap: Music and Tech: Tools to Fight Mass Incarceration

By Jon Mareane

For one of the last panels of Moogfest 2017, a large group of musicians, community leaders, attorneys, and civil rights activists gathered to discuss the role music and the arts play in America’s incarceration epidemic.

Marshall Jones, Durham-based musician and promoter, led the panel through a conversation focused primarily on interactions between the recording and performing industry, and the prison system.

Jones began the session discussing some of the basics of the mass imprisonment system in the US. Many of the panelists, most vocally Kaitlin Boecker of the Washington-based Drug Policy Alliance, attributed the massive prison population to outdated drug laws.

The prison and judicial systems have been, as she explained, “basically creating a caste system that will repeat itself in perpetuity if we don’t stop it.”

So how do we do that? Give a Beat treats it as a two pronged issue. First, they need to find ways to stop the flow of young people into prisons, and second they need to reduce recidivism.

Co-founder of NYC-based music outreach nonprofit Building Beats, Phi Pham stressed the importance of a well-rounded arts education program to teach at-risk youth how to harness their creativity and build confidence.

Local emcee Phonte, half of the hip-hop duo Foreign Exchange, was the main panel member to tackle the idea of reducing recidivism through the music industry.

“You can be the biggest fucking sociopath ever and if you can sing”, Phonte explained, you can make it. “The music industry accepts everybody.”

Unlike more formalized corporate positions, if you’re singing or hauling lights, you’re not going to have to deal with “checking the box” that indicates previous felonious history. Phonte sees the music industry as a place to find a second chance.

Other highlights include a brief back and forth on reparations, where program funding should come from, and the corruption of the bail system.

While the panel was lightly attended, the panelists had a surprising energy level for an early afternoon session on the fourth and last day of the festival.

Larger “round-table” type discussions seemed rare at Moogfest 2017, so the format was a breath of fresh air on day four.