Your Guide to

Inventor Dan Zen

and The Dan Zen Museum

Image for post
Image for post
Well, if all the drones have tickets, maybe we should get one too!
Image for post
Image for post
Poster for the Dan Zen Expo of 52 exhibits
Image for post
Image for post
Draggable map for the Dan Zen Museum with 52 Expo exhibits

Background

Image for post
Image for post
Zen with one way medallion at the extravaganza
Image for post
Image for post
Invite for the Dan Zen Half Century Celebration Red Carpet Extravaganza

In one impromptu moment, Zen, the number one psychedelic dancer in the world according to Google, was asked to demonstrate! Around him, some party-goers had been fanning themselves with Zen clouds so he asked them to move in and as luck would have it — a psychedelic song was playing.

Image for post
Image for post
Dan Zen psychedelic dancing in the clouds

The video of the event begins backwards. If you can make it through this then we get to see the inventions, the talks and even the dancing in the clouds!

Just skip forward to the demonstrations and talks if you want

The Museum Site

Let’s take you through the original 2014 Dan Zen Museum site. Dan Zen has been going since 1996 through a half dozen major redesigns. The site has provided millions of hours of entertainment with a hundred thousand pages in ten thousand folders made by one mad Inventor. And yet, the Museum’s original face was an experimental set of steps.

Image for post
Image for post
Steps of the Dan Zen Museum

The loading screen is a set of white dots animating from the bottom to the top. Once the dots reach the top the steps appear. Along with being an indicator for loading, these dots are a metaphor for travel. We are arriving at the steps.

At the steps there is no scrollbar, almost no text and yet this is the intro to twenty years of work — what could go wrong! Why don’t you go there now and see if you can figure it out.

Well, probably you at least pressed on the drone. At that point the Dan Zen drone describes how you can scroll up the stairs to find the ticket to the Museum. You can talk to the drones along the way and their stories are filled with hyperlinks (ooo). Did you manage to scroll the steps? Leave us a note!

The steps were made with the new HTML 5 Canvas tag using the CreateJS library. Zen has spent his time since the Museum extending CreateJS into ZIM — see ◎ Your Guide to Coding Creativity on the Canvas.

Image for post
Image for post
Find a big ticket to enter the Museum

Note that all the drones are carrying a ticket to get into the Museum. The ticket has the Dan Zen totem logo which spells DAN going up and ZEN going down. Each iteration of the Dan Zen site has a variation of the signature — these signatures can be found throughout the Museum to represent the different interfaces.

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Dan Zen totem signatures
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

The little drones are shown entering into the tube elevators to tour the brain of Dan Zen and exiting out the other side.

Drones entering the brain of Dan Zen!

Tours

Image for post
Image for post

Note the dots again to indicate travel. This continues as we go in to each tour. As this guide is about Dan Zen, we may as well go into the Biography Tour as a an example. These are long scrolling pages broken into rooms organized by topic. The ROOMS button opens up links to jump directly to rooms. The dots are there to show travel from one room to another.

Biography

Image for post
Image for post
Birth, Nature vs Nurture, Creating
Image for post
Image for post
Creating and Influences
Image for post
Image for post
Family, Career, Culture

As you can see, it is quite a well documented tour. When we leave the tour we are always directed back to the TOUR or EXPLORE page. This is on purpose as Zen does not really want you spending time on tours but would rather you get to the hundred Dan Zen features on the Explore page!

We would be remiss if we did not feature at least one picture from each tour. Oh my, can we pick? Let’s give it a go. [edit — had to pick two each [edit — and add an intro]] Of course you are welcome to pop in to the tours at your leisure and have a giggle, gasp or at least a good gander.

Formation

Image for post
Image for post
Dan Zen posters from the Formation Tour
Image for post
Image for post
Early Dan Zen mystery, Utopia from the Formation Tour

Creativity

Thoughts on creativity and examples of creative output. Also see ◎ Your Guide to the Mechanics of Creativity.

Image for post
Image for post
Opartica — op art tool from the Creativity Tour
Image for post
Image for post
Sketches for apps from the Creativity Tour

Philosophy

Image for post
Image for post
Circle in Circle symbol of Nodism from Philosophy Tour
Image for post
Image for post
Page from Creativity Framework from Philosophy Tour

Coding

Image for post
Image for post
Interactive demonstration from Coding Tour
Image for post
Image for post
Dan Zen Programmer of the Year award from Coding Tour

Marketing

Image for post
Image for post
Viral marketing game hit Silicon Valley from Marketing Tour
Image for post
Image for post
Touchy on Dragons’ Den from Marketing Tour

Explore Dan Zen

Image for post
Image for post
The Kirputnik Conveyor delivers Dan Zen features

Each feature has a picture (created for the Dan Zen Deck of Creations interface), an icon, a short description, whether the feature is mobile ready, a link button and an info link which expands more information describing the feature and its context in time.

Image for post
Image for post
Gobstop Game Feature from Explore

Conclusion

This has been a guide to Inventor Dan Zen by being a guide to the Dan Zen Museum. Please enjoy visiting the many sections and try out some of the features in the Explore Section.

There are many stories we have missed out. You may find some on the Dan Zen YouTube channel. Here is the Tales from the Purple Box playlist:

Thank you for taking the time to tour with us. If you are interested in how Zen has created please see ◎ Your Guide to the Mechanics of Creativity and anyone can at least see if they might like to code such magic — see ◎ Your Guide to Coding Creativity on the Canvas.

All the best,

Dr Abstract

Image for post
Image for post

Written by

Inventor, Founder of ZIM JavaScript Canvas Framework and Nodism, Professor of Interactive Media at Sheridan, Canadian New Media Awards Programmer and Educator

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store