In 2013, our team opened its doors to the first ever SALT Conference. At the time it was dubbed, The Visual Worship Conference and was designed to create an annual gathering for the creative, visual and technical communities in the church. We packed this tiny little church in Nashville, TN out for what would turn into a powerful 3 days at the foot of the cross.
One of the things that makes SALT So unique, is our main sessions. They may seem normal on the surface, but behind the scenes, many hours have been spent to ensure that there is a singular story between all the speakers and keynote sessions. The first year our story was simple. It centered around the idea of becoming contagious creatives and we asked the question “What would you say (or create) if you really knew what Christ has done?”
This was the foundation for the four part story we unfolded during the days of SALT 2013: Creation, Fall, Redemption, Recreation. See below for the image we made to summarize the four parts of the story:
This is a conference for nerds! So when we were planning this first year, we knew we needed to explore ways to do things that hadn’t been done before, or technology that had been overlooked. We found innovation at the intersection of LED Strip Tape and environmental projection. By using software that would convert high contrast video files into DMX lighting signals, we were able to make the wall come to life in two dimensions: projection and lighting.
When telling a compelling story, think about how you can use innovation as a magnet to draw people into your message. The unknown invites in, it evokes mystery and the participant is in the end more engaged with the message.
One of the things we’ve found to be true for SALT Conferences is the fact that we can’t live on a technology mountain the entire time. At the end of the day the purpose of the conference isn’t just so we can show off incredible technology and sell some projection. We want to leave people with an ability to connect with others, see Jesus’ call on their life more clearly and explore ways for creativity to become a vehicle for the Gospel.
Community groups are such a beautiful picture of how we remove the need of technology in our discussions and our expressions of community. We meet, with people like ourselves, to discuss the struggles, ideas and concepts of creative arts (or visual worship). Lets begin to wrestle with the concept of traveling to the valley of technology free environments from time to time. It’s dynamics that maximize impact. When we have fully immersive visual environments, where are the visually absent environments that allow for stillness, silence, etc.
I’d encourage you to link arms with this creative community. If you can’t make it this year, at least sign up for the mailing list! (Fill the form at the bottom of the website out). You’ll be glad to connect with a community of people that is like you… and you’ll find there is a conference that wants to engage you vertically with your heavenly father while at the same time pushing you in your craft and increasing your capabilities as a creative artist or technician.