idk if u all have noticed, but I have been EXTREMELY out of the whole NFT situation. I don't really make any kind of work that could be NFT-ed, and I've also never really attempted to make a living through the traditional art market because it always seemed too messy and nasty and unfair. I'm much more a fan of the "can't some of us just pay a little so all of us have nice things?" methodology (become a supporting member of an Artist's Guide to Computation today!!!). I've only had a few moments in my career where I've had enough money lying around to buy art, and have tended towards wanting prints and paintings and sculptures over digital goods, partly because I look at screens all day for a living. everything about the environment makes me anxious, so, nothing new there. I am also still extremely burned out on having moral discussions about technology in open forums after my last 2 non-self-employment work situations. don't @ me! I am a tired minivan who cannot handle any more beeb beebs yet!
all that said, I was excited to check out TRANFER's Pieces of Me exhibition last week at the opening. for one, their video lounges are a way more engaging and interesting UI for an event than the Zoom hell we are all so used to now. but I was also fairly confident that, for all my misgivings about NFTs, they would have something interesting to say in their curation that would be worth my time.
I don't really want to write about what's in the exhibition. I am not an art critic nor an expert on anything to do with NFT. I just recommend that you browse the exhibition or, better yet, stop in for their virtual gallery hours (every Saturday 11-4 Pacific here) or request an appointment for a walkthrough. it's a lot of food for thought, by a lot of interesting artists who have been in the space way longer than the current fad. I will say tho, that my favorite piece was this one.
stuff on dev.to rarely delves into anything resembling capital-a Aesthetics, so I was pleasantly surprised by this post by Jenny Judova on Brutalist web design, particularly w/r/t carbon consciousness. we all love the original Space Jam website because it is beautiful and pure, but it also still performs really well, way better than the new site actually. Brutalist can be beautiful, and having your website load efficiently is kind of a really good goal, actually.
Ameliea Wattenberger literally wrote a book about D3, and this interactive introduction to using D3 with React is a delight to peruse. it works best on a nice big screen so bookmark this one and save it for some desktop computer time.
I will always stop my day for a Paul Ford essay, and this new one on "unbundling" was no exception. I particularly resonated with his gentle plea to all of you out there who are working inside of these big giants who have taken over our world - you kidnapped our attention and are holding it hostage, at least do something good and useful with it!
who can say no to another beautiful CSS creation? take a look at this CSS synthesizer by Sarah Fossheim. maybe you can fork the pen and get it to actually synthesize with Tone.js!
Lieve Oma is a really lovely game, and this thread by its creator Florian Veltman on his reasons for changing the game's availability from free to paid is worth a read. it's ok to decide to charge for a work as a means of making that work sustainable. especially if you're a "can't some of us just pay a little so all of us have nice things?" person like me, it can feel bad or weird to set boundaries on your time and actual material needs. it's refreshing to see someone set that boundary publicly. anyway, go buy Lieve Oma!
idk who still needs to hear this but companies are not your friends or your family!!!!! be safe!
critical designer and artist Caroline Sinders will be teaching a 6-week course on Ethics in UX starting April 17 at Gray Area! the course is a mixture of lectures, reading, and group exercises where you’ll learn about design justice, emancipatory design, human rights centered design, participatory design and co-design, and what the drawbacks of those approaches are. this is some extremely important shit, and worth making space for if you are making things for other people to use. learn more and register here.
if you want to become a person who also understands NFT and can articulate about it better than I can (ok ok I think I mostly get it but still), Gray Area is also hosting a 3 week series on understanding NFT and blockchain:
"The ideal audience for this workshop is artists who make art using technology, who generally understand how code works, but may not think of themselves as programmers. No prior knowledge of blockchain or NFT's (Non-Fungible Tokens) is required, as long as you're interested in learning about the inner workings of one of the most talked-about current technologies."
learn more and register here.
HackadayU is offering a new course on Antenna Basics with Karen Rucker, a spacecraft radio frequency engineer with a background in antenna design. this is a 5-week course, starting May 6, where you'll learn some of the fundamentals of radio frequency engineering and antenna design. neat! you can learn more and get tix here.
School of Machines, Making, and Make-Believe's spring catalog is LIVE and (shameless self-promotion) features a new course by ~ * yours truly * ~ on Color and Accessibility. want to nerd out with me for 5 weeks about color theory?? we'll be looking at historical uses of pigment and color to learn how make better palettes for digital experiences! very relevant! as always, all of the courses look great, and I'd love to have some of you in my course in particular!
when it rains it pours! I'm also teaching a course on Gender and Interface Design later this spring at Hyperlink Academy. like my color class, the material will be a mix of history, theory and hands on activities. over the course of 6 weeks we'll walk through the product design process while interrogating cultural ideas about gender in order to imagine interfaces for a more equitable and exciting future! you can learn more and register here. you can also send me an email at email@example.com if you'd a 25% discount code!
POWRPLNT has an open call for artists with digital or technology-based practices to teach this year on the theme of "abolitionist tools for digital wellness:"
How do we create systems, outside of gate-keeping institutions, that promote technological literacy and agency? Security, autonomy, creativity, and communities of care are all forms of digital wellness. Do you want to use the form of interest-based learning to promote abolitionist tools for digital wellness?
you can learn more and apply here!
the Processing Foundation has extended their open call for the 2021 Fellowship Program to tomorrow April 9! you can learn more about their priority areas for projects and apply here.
submissions are open for A MAZE./Berlin 2021 until April 30! they're looking for games and playful media based on meaning, story, expression, change, interdisciplinarity, social/cultural/political impact, aesthetics and fun. fully finished works, demos, experiments, and prototypes are all welcome so no excuses that you haven't quite perfected that thing you're making yet. learn more here.
the Queer Games Bundle is an initiative to collaboratively support as many queer indie/micro/art devs and makers as possible! entries are open until May 3, and the bundle will run during the month of June for Pride. learn more about the bundle here.
the Ars Electronica Festival 2021 has an open call for Chilean artists living in Chile or abroad to propose innovative projects at the nexus of art, science, and technology until April 19. you can learn more about the open call here.
CultureHub has an open call for yearlong residencies tethered in either NYC or LA that will include a $2500 stipend, access to a studio, equipment, and technical support, and assistance with documentation and promotion, among other nice benefits. learn more and apply by April 18 here.
Sun, April 11! 3PM UTC-4! another Babycastles Academy gem - learn to love to mod DOOM and honor its history of copyleft and free remix culture. if I had a nickel for every time I've heard a real professional game maker mention that they got started by modding, I'd have many nickels. get ur tix here!
Mon, April 12! 12PM UTC-4! Rhizome is kicking off a new initiative with an illustrated talk with Artistic Director Michael Conner on curating online exhibitions. he'll argue that online exhibitions are not just a means of promoting or sharing work that would otherwise be seen in a physical gallery, but a diverse set of cultural practices that are both connected to and distinct from traditional exhibition. you can register here and you can learn more about the entire initiative here, which seems well-timed for this moment when everyone suddenly wants to collect digital art but not enough people are talking about what stewardship of that art really means (see also: checking out Pieces of Me's gallery hours if you want to have a talk with some curators who care a lot about digital stewardship).
Sat, April 17! 12PM UTC-4! Powrplnt are hosting an extremely useful workshop on how to use basic HTML and CSS to design and share your own custom link trees. how zeitgeist! get your mutual aid off of corporatized social media and onto something you can have ownership and control over! luv it! learn more and register here.
April 29-30! the 2021 Computer Mouse Conference will feature lectures, video performances, panel discussions, writing, a live zine, and an actual mouse tear-down workshop. learn more and get tix here.
just for lulz!
if ur old like me, u get it
* ~ housekeeping ~ *
if you have anything in the works that you are excited about (an event, a workshop, a new project), please send me all the details. if I didn't respond to your email or did and nothing happened, I totally forgot and you can feel free to bug me again. if you wanna share links or chat, there is now a Discord server that you can use here. as always, becoming a member of an Artist's Guide to Computation helps support me and my work directly, and helps me to roll out new features for the community.