hey! how’s it going today? I’m personally feeling a lot more chilled out than last week, and starting to feel a bit excited about finally having some time to make personal work again. my creative practice this weekend was deep cleaning the entire apartment and clearing up my desks so that I can feel excited to just do a thing, instead of stressed by the clutter. and also playing a lot of Paper Mario.
I have been thinking a lot about a lot of things I dislike about the tech industry (and, tbh, the art market), and at the heart of it is a really unsophisticated concept of labor and fulfillment that is baked in deep.
errybody loves to share stuff like this graphic (that I tellingly ripped from an essay about “why the world needs Bitcoin” 🙄) without really digging deep into how 1) the whole idea of emotional fulfillment thru work is a very modern and capitalist concept and 2) it totally discounts any kind of systemic biases that get in the way of a true meritocracy.
there’s a really good chance that the things the world ACTUALLY needs are quite unlikely to be things you can be paid for, and maybe the thing you are good at and love is and always will be speedrunning Pokémon TCG for Gameboy Color. and even if you are the world’s #1 Pokémon TCG speedrunner with 10,000 paid subscribers on Twitch, your account could get nuked at any moment because some misogynist reports your account because you cosplayed as Misty during a charity stream. sure you can jiggle the scales a bit, but the reality is you end up living in a graphic much more like this:
anyway, I hope u all have some time to chill out this week and do something you actually want to do, without worrying about if it is the truest synchronicity of labor and purpose.
The Creative Independent has really positioned itself as a great resource for artists and creatives in general. I have never been a “fear of the blank page” person as much as a “too many ideas, too little time” person, and I also flippin’ luv a decision matrix, so this essay by game designer Ryan Mather about how to prioritize your work really spoke to me. it’s 100% one particular person’s approach to making space for the things that matter, but it has some solid ideas for how to organize your time around too much inspiration.
once upon a time, I received a digital display from the now-defunct Electric Objects, and ended up never finishing my commission because I made the thing crash a few times and gave up on the idea of a long-form time-based work running on something that was basically a Raspberry Pi in a box with a display. welp, here’s how you can build a very slow movie player using an ePaper display and a Raspberry Pi. fair enough!
the solarpunk magic computer club has some cute zines available on subjects like drawing and animating with SVG, an introduction to the command line, and more! you can check them out here.
idk what you can use this for, but why not bookmark this Github of extracted glyphs of Apple’s “unicode last resort font.” why is there an alien? who knows! but maybe this is a good starting point for creating a text-based creepypasta adventure? read more about this oddity of typography here.
cybersecurity professional Alison Falk has a section on her site devoted to a non-exhaustive list of resources for digging deeper on cybersecurity. worth a bookmark!
University of the Underground has an open call to teach in the “New Politics and Afrofuturism” program. they’re specifically looking for educators to teach classes on topics like Afrofuturism, Political Disruption, Black Radical Imagination, Climate Justice, and Indigenous Studies. applications are due by September 11, and priority will be given to POC educators. learn more here.
Arduino has an open call for social distancing or touch-free solutions that use an Arduino Nano or MKR board, with a new deadline of August 30. there’s a bunch of prizes, including a lot of $$$ in vouches for hardware from Newark. learn more here.
Hackaday is hosting another Circuit Sculpture Challenge! entries are due by November 10. learn more here.
CODAME is hosting a series on building interactive installations with Arduino and Touch Designer, taught by creative technologist Mirabelle Jones. this is a 5-week online series, though all workshops can be enjoyed independently. you can learn more and register here!
speaking of filling my newly unemployed time with some quality learning, School of Machines, Making & Make-Believe also has their roster of online offerings for the fall. check out the full roster here!
it’s truly a treasure trove of online learning opportunities for September! HackadayU has pay-as-you-wish classes, with all proceeds going to socially conscious causes. you can check out all the available courses here.
Gray Area is also running another online edition of their Creative Code Immersive this fall, starting September 8. I have heard good things about how the spring edition made the program more accessible in these dark times. you can learn more here and check out the spring showcase here.
📅 upcoming events!
tomorrow, Aug 25! 4PM UTC-4! Tech Learning Collective is hosting a beginner’s guide to OpenStreetMap, a free, worldwide mapping project. sounds like a timely resource for these days when things like open pantries, voting locations, and even mailboxes are critical resources in our communities. learn more and register here! you can also check out their entire calendar of events here. last week I checked out their free Backdoors and Breaches (think DnD, but for cybersecurity), and had a blast.
Sat, Aug 29! 11AM UTC-4! Game Engines Beyond Games is a symposium that will bring together artists, curators and scholars to explore the expanded concept of game engines, with the first of 2 events happening this Saturday! the event will be livestreamed via Babycastle’s Twitch channel. you can learn more about the symposium here.
Sept 8-13! UTC-4: Our Networks 2020 will take place online this year, as a space to collectively invent the future of networks in virtual spaces:
In the presence of so many unknowns, how can alternative network infrastructures support the creation of radically equitable futures? What tactics of distributed collective care allow us to offer mutual aid in this moment? How can we apply more broadly what we learn as we go about decentralizing the conference across time and place?
just for lulz!
and here I thought I had a good scam going farming neopoints via meerkat chase. this thread is a rollercoaster:
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. I also still gotta go thru my backlog of projects that have been sent in over the past few months - I promise I didn’t forget you! if you wanna share links or chat, there is now a Discord server that you can use here.