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Flashbang boom 

Flashbang began five years ago as an informal theme night at East Atlanta's Fountainhead where friends in the interactive design field could show their work to their peers. Now it's a two-part symposium / showcase of local and international designs, which takes place at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center Aug. 15.

"It's like a Chinese proverb, 'We're a way to do without doing,'" says Daniel Crowder, event coordinator with Monumental, who's co-sponsoring the event with Ice Design and Creative Know Who. "We're letting [Flashbang's] personality grow on its own." And grow it has. Crowder says past venues have proven too small to comfortably accommodate the crowds, and attendees tended to be half networkers and half fun-seekers. So this year, the event has been split into two components.

From noon-5 p.m. on Friday, a free panel discussion catered by Balance will feature experts and topics on interactive media from video games to animation to the Internet. Speakers include Scott Woelfel, former president and editor-in-chief of CNN Interactive, and Kelcey Privett, who has more than 10 years of game production experience.

The evening expo will feature a showcase of digital animation, website designs, games and other interactive presentations projected on two large screens. Work can also be viewed on several computers located throughout the venue. Among the artists whose work will be exhibited are Giuseppe Palumbo, Nathan Jurevicius, Billy Blob, Eric Black, Matthew Hutchinson and Karma Ghost.

The first 1,000 attendees at the evening event will receive a 50-page, full-color hardbound book designed by recent Atlanta transplant Cicero Deguzman Jr. that will feature images from the work presented at Flashbang v5.

Providing musical entertainment will be Richard Devine,, Kids w/ Codenames, DJ Nav, Sharaab, Abstract Foundation with rareFORM and Sunday Munich.

"From visuals to music production to file sharing to blogs to TiVo, all the hype about the ways technology is fundamentally interfacing with our lives is coming true now," says Crowder, "Flashbang looks at works from around the world and how interactivity helps the worlds work."

Flashbang v5 takes place Aug. 15 at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, 535 Means St. The speakers expo will be from noon-5 p.m. and admission is free. The evening exhibition will be from 7 p.m.-2 a.m. $16. 404-688-1970.

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