happy Labor Day (in the US at least)!
I’m now 2 weeks-ish (??? wow it feels so long ago) into funemployment, and it’s passed into a realm of pleasant calm. I’m lucky to have a lil cash in the bank to hold me over, and some side gigs on the horizon, but mostly it’s just a relief to not be caring about stuff that doesn’t matter. so much doesn’t matter!
I’ve been thinking a lot about how for many of us who touch technology in our work, so much is just a crock. there’s an idea about scaling engineering teams where you can’t really scale productivity in parallel to the team size, because so much labor is lost to overhead and maintenance and management and so on. a team of 20 only seems to get done slightly more than a team of 2, etc. so you end up chugging along on subtle variations on products that don’t really help anyone. ok.
so how do you have peace in your work when it’s just spinning wheels? I don’t really have a great answer. financial stability shouldn’t be underrated, but I also don’t think we should feel obligated to feel emotionally invested in the ways we pay our bills. maybe the tech industry (and the art world tbh) is so invested in “culture” and “mission” because, well, the work is kind of crap. if there wasn’t such a facade of importance, such a cult of passion, it’d be too hard to get people to slog through the crunch.
so maybe there’s some peace in between, where you’re not doing anything particularly evil, you’re not worried about your bills, you have time and energy for your loved ones and hobbies, and you’re not making yourself sick over someone else’s profits. you carve out your little space and your little community for doing the things that do matter. one can hope.
here’s a tutorial aimed at beginners wanting to get started with a Raspberry Pi for displaying messages in Morse code. it’s low on required parts (you basically just need the RPI, a led, and a resistor) and uses Python! check it out!
Takane Ichinose has made a lil virtual escape room made with just some HTML and CSS! it pretty cleverly uses checkboxes to control the experience, and is worth a look! check it out here in full-screen mode to avoid spoilers (or open up the editor view if u feel stuck and need to cheat a lil).
Lo-Fi Player is an interactive lofi beat player that lets you make your own custom beats to chill/study to by Vibert Thio. he’s shared a nice lil write-up of the process here, and the source code is also available on Github! super cute. and, a lot of the art of Lo-Fi player was made with make8bitart.com! check it out to get started with ur own lil lofi world.
GroundKontrol is a library for tweaking and tuning your Unity game’s constants and magic numbers with a Korg NanoKontrol 2 MIDI controller. also cute! you can check out the Github repo here.
here’s an interesting read on the relationship between programming decisions and CO2 emissions! I have been thinking on this a lot myself in our moment of everything online. so many online exhibitions seem to be about doing the most and maxing out the latest tech. can curators better reduce online waste? food 4 thought.
on that note, Chrome 85 includes the CSS property
content-visibility: auto, which stops the browser from rendering an element until it’s in the viewport, an easy way to speed up your page load! learn more here.
the Recurse Center in Brooklyn has moved their operations online due to the pandemic, and they recently released a really great write-up of what that transition means. their Fall 2 batch begins on Sept 21 and applications are still open! learn more and begin your application here.
Flow has an open call for submissions on the theme of “TikTok as a Cultural Forum.” they’re looking for papers of 1200-1500 words by Sept 13! learn more here.
Eyebeam has an open call for Program Evaluators experienced in program development, community engagement and organizing, and artist support. this is a paid independent contractor position. applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until Sept 14. learn more here.
Babycastles has just announced a new residency for this fall, as a platform for making and presenting new work! applications are due Sept 25, so learn more here and start working on that application!
University of the Underground has an open call to teach in the “New Politics and Afrofuturism” program. applications are due by September 11, and priority will be given to POC educators. learn more here.
Hackaday is hosting another Circuit Sculpture Challenge! entries are due by November 10. learn more here.
Char Stiles will be giving a 2-part workshop on shaders via CODAME starting Sept 20! you’ll work with a free, browser-based environment to learn how to code graphics and animations for a variety of fun applications. learn more and register here.
+CODE is a Buenos Aires-based organization with a number of virtual Spanish-language workshops, talks, and seminars on the calendar for this fall! topics include a hands-on workshop on Arduino, a seminar on the relationship between intimacy and technology, and much more! you can check out the available programs here.
School of Machines, Making & Make-Believe also has their roster of online offerings for the fall. check out the full roster here!
📅 upcoming events!
Sept 12! UTC-4: are u curious about Tech Learning Collective’s online offerings but don’t know where to start? this Saturday they’ll be hosting a FREE guided tour of their foundations! this is a great opportunity to ask some questions in a friendly environment and find out which workshops might be for you! learn more 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. I registered for this one myself, and I’m looking forward to digging a lil deeper into these conversations. you can learn more and register here.
Sept 9-13! Better Off Online is an online group show opening as part of Ars Electronica 2020. the lineup looks rad and I’m curious what the online platform will be like (as of today it’s just a countdown clock). check it out here!
Sept 20 & 27! UTC-4! Black Womxn Time Camp is a 2-day program exploring time, alternative temporalities, time travel, time experiments, temporal shifts and other temporal technologies from the frameworks, rituals, and cultural traditions of Black women, femmes, girls, non-binary, and gender non-conforming folks. learn more and get tix here.
Sept 23-26! the 6th annual Gray Area Festival, Radical Simulation, will be happening ~online~ this year, with membership-based ticketing to provide sustainable support to the Gray Area community. the lineup includes an exhibition curated by Salome Asega, workshops, and artist conversations and video lounges! learn more and become a member here!
just for lulz!
excellent use of Lip2Wav sorry not sorry:
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.