welp, newsletter is a lil late this week! I’ve been pretty wiped out by some IRL/personal stuff, which maybe I’ll write more about at a later time, but for now, I’m ~extremely available~ for new gigs & projects. so feel free to reach out if anything on your radar might be a fit for me!
whilst being just kind of * ~ overwhelmed by life ~ *, I’ve been doing a deep dive into Unsolved, which slots nicely into one of my fav comfort food reality tv genres: two doofuses travel around and lovingly annoy each other. the show is ostensibly about paranormal investigations, which means it’s mostly footage of the hosts walking around with flashlights in various locales and then setting up a “spirit box” to try and get some entertaining audio.
after about 10 episodes, I finally wondered, “wtf is a spirit box?” in the show, it turns on with a grinding, screeching noise, and occasionally produces baffling bits of speech (those apple taters did look good tho). one of the hosts even regularly apologizes to the spirits for how annoying the thing is. apparently it’s basically just a hacked radio!
this blog post via The Ghost in My Machine digs deep into the history of spirit box hardware and the phenomena around them, covering both the believer and skeptic’s argument for the strange happenings. do I personally believe it’s anything supernatural? not really.
did I enjoy a weird lil deep dive into hacked hardware? 100%. do I want to find and hack a radio so that I can scare the hell out of my very-much-a-believer brother the next time I see him? maybe. (sorry Grady!!!)
have u joined us over in the new Discord server yet??? I’m planning on making some custom emojis for Discord and Twitch subscribers this weekend (finally a new art stream????), but I also stumbled upon this tutorial for getting started with Discord bots. now I just gotta find some fun use cases!
s/o to friend-of-the-newsletter Gisela for sending this toolkit for organizational security! a number of the resources are offered in both English and Spanish!
I was having a rough morning before I stumbled upon this pixel sorting gif as part of this article on GPU sorting by Alan Zucconi. I was totally still having a rough morning after watching it loop a few times, but I had definitely mellowed out a lot. and now I’m eager to block some time to learn a lil more about parallel sorting!
here is a BIG packet of resources re: decentering whiteness in design history. worth bookmarking if you are a fellow white person who teaches or practices design and you want to do some real work towards being a better ally.
last but not least, generative artist Manolo is taking a break from the internet (hell yeah/good for him/sending pure thoughts), and has made all the code for his work open source, and has also offered his generative images to be used for any purpose. this Github looks like a treasure trove of Processing sketches for exploration! his website also includes information for donating via Paypal or bitcoin in thanks.
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!
Wire and circuit boards are a fantastic media for creating beautiful projects, and for this one we want both the copper and the boards (or lack of) to be part of the beauty. Your sculpture could be crisp and angular bends in brass rod, a rat’s nest of enamel wire, PCBs with organic shapes, or something completely wild. Your only constraint is that there needs to be some type of working circuit involved.
entries are due by November 10. learn more here.
CUNA, an interdisciplinary school in Mexico City, has kicked off some online programming this month! last night I got to check out their “Collaboration or Extinction” masterclass with James Hughes, and I’m also excited for “Tecnopolítica: Sistemas Políticos del Futuro. hell, now that I don’t have work on Tuesday nights anymore, maybe I will even sign up for “Tecnoética y Bioética!” you can learn more 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. literally everything sounds amazing, from “Art and Animals - in the age of CRISPR, cloning, and cellular agriculture” to “Getting Personal - a hands-on guide to making personal games.” 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. interested in finally checking out P5.js? there’s a 4-week course for that! 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, Fri Aug 21! 1:30 PM UTC-4! Blackstar Film Festival will have a screening of Coded Bias tomorrow, a documentary about researcher Joy Buolamwini’s push for the first-ever legislation governing against algorithmic bias:
you can get a day pass for the screening here!
also tomorrow, Fri Aug 21! 7PM UTC-4! TRANSFER is holding a virtual salon to celebrate Faith Holland’s exhibition Hard/Soft! I got to check out Video Lounges a few weeks ago, and I was totally intrigued by how the user experience hits on something much closer to the real social dynamics of a party. so come for the art, stay for the unique virtual party! you can RSVP here, and I’ll c u there.
also also tomorrow, Fri Aug 21! 12PM UTC-4! E-Viction, produced as part of Eyebeam’s Rapid Response for a Digital Future, is a digital arthouse wh0re gallery and digital protest platform that will be live for exactly 12 hours tomorrow before self-destructing. this sounds very very NSFW, but it will also be a space to learn about legislation like SESTA/FOSTA that threatens sex workers and free speech online. learn more and register here.
also also also (wow tomorrow is packed!!!) Fri Aug 21! 8PM UTC-7! Patch Pulse presents a night of live audiovisual performances by AOKI takamasa. learn more here!
Tues Aug 25! 4PM UTC-4! Tech Learning Collective is hosting a beginner’s guide to OpenStreetMap, a free, worldwide mapping project. OpenStreetMap is a community-driven alternative to problematic resources like Google Maps. you’ll learn the basics of using this free tool to create public, communal map of the things that are important to you! sounds like a timely resource for these days when things like open pantries, voting locations, and even mailboxes are critical resources in our communities.
just for lulz!
truly the only thing I missed about most of the art fairs being canceled this year is my favorite game of “have literally 1 glass of wine from the concessions on an empty stomach and then loudly complain about all the neon art.”
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.