as u all know, I do a lot of scouring for this blog. usually it's a mix of bookmarking things I see while tooting around the internet in my day-to-day, combined with specific resources I find for my own work that might be interesting to everyone, and one or two sessions a week of plowing through a bunch of social media feeds with the intention to pick out the best bits. it's about 30% stuff I used to do anyway + 70% extra digging for u all (again, megathx to all of you who donate bc it makes it easier for me to afford to do that digging!!!).
as I spend less actual time on social media outside of making this blog, it makes my use of social media for this blog such a weird user story of playing whack-a-mole against viral content and trending topics to try and get some actual meat off the bone. it is really hard to control your feed in a way that starts to reveal how badly it's all designed.
example: retweeting and quote tweeting content from bad actors just gives those bad actors more reach and engagement. so, lots of people now screenshot those tweets in order to add commentary without driving traffic to the original poster. this would be a great solution except that it also means that anyone who has muted or blocked someone, or has muted particular phrases, will still end up seeing stuff they don't want to see in their feed. I can mute @elonmusk but I can't mute an image of his tweets. the screenshot solution is well intentioned, but it just kind of emphasizes how Twitter is 1000% not designed for nuanced, controlled conversations between people who actually want to have those conversations.
Twitter, unfortunately, is still the #1 place a lot of people in this community share their work and events. and a lot of the time, the dog-piling and drama and distractions that are inherent to Twitter hide the actual cool shit people are doing. for every 1 cool link to something inspiring there's 100 lukewarm takes about a viral tiktok and 3-5 people who are taking the latest wrinkle in the whole NFT situation extremely personally and out of context.
anyway, shout out to Christine for sharing Facebook-Free February in the Discord! will this be the year I try Mastodon? idk that I have that much to share, but you all certainly do, and I'd love to see it all somewhere that isn't Facebook or Twitter. now, let's have a party. all together!
Raphaël de Courville of Creative Code Berlin has been putting together a list of creative coding streamers and video makers to give you plenty of people to check out! if you're thinking of spending more timing streaming this year yourself (like I hopefully will be!), this thread by Twitch partner & content creator Jude is a good primer on Twitch networking etiquette.
Cafe Robot has a brand spankin' new website with helpful resources and a playground to get you tinkering right away with creative coding. you can also check the events section for the next few Code Cuisine courses. I also just plain love the design - luv 2 see a bright, unique, playful web interface!
artist Chris Collins has been sharing his assignment prompts for his "How to Make Art in a Pandemic" course via Instagram. the two that are up so far are gentle little meditations on what it means to be trying to make art when the world around you is so unstable. check 'em out!
the latest issue of Generative Art Weekly by Chris Ried explores the idea of using R for art-making and lays out some interesting arguments for using it at as a creative tool. I'm already sold on the idea of using tools to do more than their original design, and Ried does a solid job of pulling together some examples and resources to get you tinkering yourself.
Gray Area is offering a new course on the building a sustainable creative practice - Everything But The Art: The Business of Creativity. it's a five-week series with a different expert guiding you through critical topics around funding and career growth each week. this sounds like a great way to make some real strategic moves this year towards a financially viable creative practice. learn more here!
VRHAM!: Interactive Arts has an open call for creators and artists who want to develop their already existing artistic project (or a work in progress). learn more and apply by March 15 here.
the 4th VH AWARD has an open call for Asian artists engaged with the context of Asia and its futures who make screen-based works. you can find more about the award here and check the guidelines here. applications due by March 19!
submissions are open until February 23 for the Activating Smithsonian Open Access Challenge from Cooper Hewitt’s Interaction Lab. learn more here.
the Prix Ars Electronica is open for submissions for 2021. submissions are due by March 3, take a look at this one now to wrap your head around it here.
LACMA has an open call for their Art + Technology Lab grant program. learn more here and apply by February 25.
Fri, Feb 12! 7:00PM UTC-5! Cypurr Social's monthly meetup is back for February. they'll be hanging out in Jitsi to play games, chat, and generally vibe amidst this bleak winter. learn more and register here to get the link to log in.
Sat, Feb 13! 9:00PM UTC! for Alpaca session #1, Kindohm, Chiho Oka, and AFALFL will be building on the tradition of pattern making via TidalCycles in this live-streamed event! learn more here.
also Sat, Feb 13! 11AM UTC-8! in this workshop via CODAME, you'll learn to build LED patterns using Processing that can come to live IRL in the Entwined Meadow installation in Golden Gate Park by artist Charles Gadeken. super neat!! if you already have a lil experience with object oriented programming, this sounds like a rad way to engage with some public art while learning something new. learn more and get tickets here.
Sun, Feb 14! 3PM UTC-5! what better way to spend Valentine's than learning how to build 3d environments in Blender??? this workshop via Babycastles will cover the basics you'll need to get a nice lil' world up and running. learn more and get tix here.
Tues, Feb 16! 7PM UTC-8! Living Room Light Exchange's monthly salon will be happening via Zoom next week, featuring artists nkiruka oparah and Anna Luisa Petrisko. learn more about their work here and email firstname.lastname@example.org to get the Zoom link and be added to the mailing list for future events.
Feb 17-20! Eyebeam will be hosting an arts & idea festival next week, From the Rupture: Ideas and Actions for the Future, with 4 days of presentations, project launches, and more. topics will range from consensual coding to interspecies communications, with an exciting list of contributors that includes a bunch of names you'll recognize as a regular reader of this newsletter. and it's free! learn more and register here.
just for lulz!
uh the only thing more adorable than this:
is that there's now a macOS extension that will name your own new folders after random birds.
* ~ 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 you wanna share links or chat, there is now a Discord server that you can use here.