this week (well, a lot of weeks) I am very, “the internet was a mistake.” it’s soooo not good, and it’s harder and harder to assume good intentions of anyone involved with how the internet works, aside from, say, people who have put their livelihood on the line to try and shift things back to better places from inside of the big baddies or people putting in the equally hard work of trying to course correct from the outside. I have a lot of feelings about whether and how much either is fruitful, or whether and how much both are just a kind of masochism. there’s a certain preservation of the soul in being resignated, at least.
I am not big on mourning via social media, especially when I didn’t actually know the person IRL, but it was a strange sort of light amid a lot of internet bullshit this week to see a lot of people grieving the extremely untimely passing of Terrell Davis by sharing his work online.
how lush and bright and ecstatic! every time I came across his work, it felt like stepping into a parallel universe where the internet was what we’d thought we’d wanted it to be, a radical exploration of possibility and connection, compressed in molded plastics. it was a time warp to an alternate present, a cybertwee dream. we couldn’t have nice things, but we could imagine them for a little while in his images.
if you’re feeling bleak this week, take some time to seek out his work and enjoy it, and mourn the fact that we tragically won’t have any more of it to look forward to. if you have a little to spare, consider donating to his medical and funeral expenses here.
Alan Zucconi has a good thread going of AI techniques for modern gaming that is extremely bookmarkable. it’s a nice overview that links out to more in-depth resources on finite state machines, behavior trees, steering behaviors, and pathfinding. a solid resource dump to start the year!
breadboarding! bless Ben Eater for sharing this video with some very useful tips and tricks for keeping your prototypes aesthetically tidy and creatively efficient. if your new year’s resolution is to stop wasting time trying to remember which wire is doing what, this is for you.
this transcript of Nathalie Lawhead’s recent talk on making tools for making art is a treasure trove of links speckled in amongst some truly inspiring thoughts around building community by sharing even the silliest of resources. if you’re starting the year with writer’s block, I also highly recommend playing with some of the tools they’ve shared as a way to free up some tension in your practice. on a serious note, Nathalie’s deeply personal writing, on both Twitter and their blog, about their experiences with abuse and toxic culture in and around the games industry, as well as a deeply disappointing experience with Kotaku, is worth your time and your respect.
the Oracle for Transfeminist Technologies is now available as a hands-on card deck to help inspire and envision shared ideas for transfeminist technologies from the future. I love this concept of a a kind of tarot deck aimed at reshaping the future with a sort of reverse engineering. you can read more about the project here.
more new year’s wisdom - make a resolution to say NO to shit:
School of Machines, Making & Make-Believe has just announced their programming for 2021, and it looks pretty flippin’ great, and includes their first Spanish-language programming! I highly recommend checking out the full list of programming here and signing up for something if it fits your schedule!
the CAM Perennial 2021 video edition has extended their open call for submissions by artists living and working in the state of Texas to January 10, and submissions will be curated by Doreen Rios of [ANTI]MATERIA! the work will be displayed as a city-wide, multi-location viewing experience. learn more and submit here.
applications are open until January 22 for DigiMyths, a paid program on digital folklore and how we can better understand our heritage through familial storytelling and computer technologies, hosted by Babycastles. in this two week program aimed at third-culture kids, participants will research mythologies, sketch out potential ideas melding in computer technologies, and actualize their concepts. learn more here!
on-the-fly has an open call to award 8 grants to develop artistic productions involving live coding practices. the residency includes an artist fee, subsistence and travel costs, production costs, access to facilities and equipment, and more. learn more and apply by January 14 here!
The Rules Do Not Apply is an open call for digital artists and creatives to explore, play with, and disrupt traditional ideas of art, in this collaboration between Audience Labs at the Royal Opera House and National Gallery X. learn more and apply by January 10 here!
China Residencies is hosting an open call for people who work with all kinds of media to apply for a fully-funded, 6 month remote residency in 2021, and are welcoming proposals of media arts and mediated projects connected to mainland China, Hong Kong, Chinatowns, and the greater Chinese diaspora worldwide in some way. learn more and apply by February 9 here.
📅 upcoming events!
Jan 4-29! the School of Afrotectopia is back with a month-long series of events exclusively for Black and Pan-African participants! learn more and get your ticket here!
Sat, Jan 9! 4:00PM UTC-5! do you keep meaning like, literally every year, to do something about your email? Tech Learning Collective has a workshop this week on how to keep your emails private regardless of what email provider you use via PGP. never get phished again thanks to taking some small steps towards privacy and security! as always, they are offering reduced price admission for queer-identified, femme, and BIPOC people. learn more and get tix here.
Jan 14-17! Art && Code is back with an online edition on the theme of “Homemade.” the line up is a proper rogues’ gallery of people worth your time, who all work with digital tools to make things that preserve the magic of something homemade! this sounds like a lovely way to get yourself inspired and moving in 2021. learn more and register here!
just for lulz!
presented without comment:
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 you wanna share links or chat, there is now a Discord server that you can use here.
this Friday I’m sending out a special thank you post, with some information about how this newsletter works on the backend (incl. financially), and a survey to help me make more of what u all like. stay tuned!