this week, my mind is on general processes rather than materials or techniques. sometimes we get so caught up in tinkering with a new library or frustrated with a bug that we lose sight of the bigger picture of how to make work as an artist & technologist as a longterm career. it’s a marathon, not a sprint! this is even truer for groups traditionally ignored or forgotten or excluded by the mainstream marketplaces for art and technology.
so stay sane out there and remember that making art and technology is a practice, not an end!
omg plz no more tool preferences! I love this post from dev.to on why personal preferences can become toxic, both to your project and to the community. sometimes it makes sense to stick with what you know because of a deadline, but more often than not it just leads to lazy engineering decisions and bad culture! if I had a dollar for every time a techbro asked me what languages I use (as a means of scene policing, of course), I wouldn’t have any student debt!
burnout is real, some projects are toxic, and sometimes you just need to finish a gig to get a paycheck. here’s a nice guide on how to survive those bummers. I especially like that it doesn’t push the narrative that every project is meaningful or should be in your portfolio or is deserving of your best efforts. sometimes a project is just a temporary bad experience and that’s ok!
a healthy project needs a mix of both a practical, results-oriented thinking and idealistic vision. we all sit somewhere on that spectrum, and bring our own biases to our work. so how do we strike a good balance and actually get things done? this essay has some nice approaches to making the most of both pragmatism and idealism, while checking the bad habits that can develop from either end of the spectrum.
sometimes when I’m feeling a block on an analog project, it’s helpful to just go to the art store or hardware store and see what materials inspire me. maybe I buy a tube of a random shade of green and that becomes the basis for an exciting new painting. it’s a bit harder to do that with code, but here’s a pretty thorough visualizer for SVG filters. it’s a nice spot to tinker and see if something inspires you.
and, here’s an old favorite, a transcript of a talk by Dr. Richard W. Hamming called “You and Your Research.” it digs into a lot of practical advice on how to give your creative practice the discipline and space it needs to grow over time and does a lot to bust down the myths around genius and luck.
📅 upcoming events!
Thursday November 29! Giphy HQ! NYC USA: Women Who Code NYC are hosting a themed hacknight for gender equality, including a presentation by Tami Reiss, VP @ JustWorks + creator of Just Not Sorry. it’s a a general hacknight that will also allow participants who want to work on a genEquality project the opportunity to form a group and start a project for the hackathon. RSVP on Meetup.
Saturday December 1! Everywhere: December 1 is the 5th annual Local Hack Day! it’s a a global 12-hour hackathon & celebration of learning, building, & sharing hosted by Github. you can browse the 200+ locations & register here.
Sunday December 17 - Monday December 17! Tisch School of the Arts! NYC USA: ITP & IMA have their winter show just around the corner. no need to RSVP, just drop by between 2-6pm on Sunday or 4-8pm on Monday at 721 Broadway, 4th Floor South. the ITP winter show is one of my favorite annual events, there’s always something that grabs my attention and feels genuinely inspiring amid the student projects. check it out!
the 2019 Game Developers Conference has an open call for Alt.Ctrl.GDC, the on-site showcase highlighting unique control methods for playing games. the deadline is November 30, and you’re invited to submit any and all one-of-a-kind game peripherals, contraptions, and novelties to share how they enhance game experiences and challenge expectations. more info, including some inspiration from standouts from Alt.Ctrl.GDC’s past, is available on Gamasutra.
ElectroCities has an open call for their programming for 2019 for artists and collectives working in new media, sound, performance, video, net.art, interactive art and more! this residency program hosts one artwork every two months on the Electrofringe website, with 3 artists/collectives hosted over the course of 2019, culminating in their annual showcase in October. submissions are due December 1 so get to it! apply here.
Afrotech Fest, a tech festival by and for Black people of African and Caribbean heritage, has an open call for submissions for their 2019 event in London. even if you have never given a talk before, they encourage submitting your idea for consideration and offer some great resources for how to prepare. deadline is January 13, apply here.
just for lulz:
giant bat farts is dead, long live eel slap.
as always, submit to the open artist call if you have anything in the works that you are excited about! and if you have an event or opportunity to promote (anywhere), please send me all the details. the next newsletter will cover the week of December 3 to 9, but I’m happy to promote events farther in the future as well and keep them on the calendar.