on wednesday I totally face-planted while running and gouged up my hands, which, good thing my practice is mostly digital right now!!! tapping on a keyboard is slightly less painful than doing anything else with my hands right now. my computer bag weighs about 100 lbs thanks to my laptop, a tablet, a 2nd portable monitor, a webcam + tripod, 1 million cables wadded into a carry case that does nothing to organize them, like, ok thanks Ikea, I guess the fabric is at least “water resistant?”
there’s nothing like picking up your “travel-size” computer bag with bandaged hands to remind yourself of the actual physicality of computing.
ok here is a catty story. years ago I was a volunteer for [unnamed now-defunct cultural publication]. my role was mostly meant to be around organizing some data re: their roster of featured artists, but I had gotten roped into helping install an exhibition at a space in Midtown because I had some experience with installing lighting and basic electrical work. I was futzing on one side of the space, trying to install some track lights, while [unnamed generative imaging artist] was installing a vinyl print of one of their pieces. said artist was maybe not especially well known at the time, or at least not well-exhibited, hence having to install their own work in a crumbling warehouse.
it should have been a pretty straightforward thing. the print was large, but it had grommets for hanging, and there were plenty of tools in the space. but by the time I had finished with the lighting, they were still struggling. I hung back for a bit, but finally couldn’t help myself. the artist had made a number of nasty holes in the drywall with no end in sight. a fellow organizer from [unnamed now-defunct cultural publication] and I approached.
“what’s going on, are you having trouble finding a stud?”
the artist didn’t know to hang something heavy on a stud, or what a stud was, or how to find one. there was an electronic and a magnetic stud finder in the box of tools provided, but the artist might as well have been Data wandering around with that box of radioactive crap. more than that, though the artist had released poster editions of their work, it didn’t occur to them that a large vinyl print of a piece would be, well, waaaay too heavy to tack into drywall.
to be fair, whatever catty superiority I felt about just knowing how the physical world works was fully dashed several years later when I went to the Armory show on the first public day and overheard that a booth full of canvas prints by this artist had already sold out. joke’s on me! (also this artist is like tangentially in my extended social circles and I have never heard anything but kind words said about them as a person and tbh their art is cool.) it is just kind of lol how in making digital work you can end up totally myopic about the physical costs of a thing!
Julia Evans has a band new zine about CSS that includes a bunch of interactive examples to properly illustrate some of the trickier concepts. I highly recommend it if you find yourself pulling out your hair every time you need to tweak a layout. learn more and grab a copy here!
once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, then check out this interesting lil post about using paused animations to simulate color mixing in CSS. truly some tricky shit!
Zonelets is a free blogging engine written by Marina Ayano that is aiming to make the web a little bit more human again, and a little less of “a group of 5 websites, each consisting of screenshots of text from the other four.” if Wordpress feels too clunky, Zonelets might be the right stripped-down solution for you to share your thoughts on the web without being sucked into the corporate world of social media. check it out! html is neat!
applications are open until December 7 for Collide, a 3-month residency for artists interested in interacting with fundamental research and the CERN community in Geneva and Barcelona. the residency includes a fat stack of cash + additional allowance for travel, accommodation, etc., so this sounds like a good deal if you’re interested in diving deep on physics! learn more here.
applications are due December 16 for Data & Society’s 2021 fellowship. this cohort will focus on the role of race in the theory, practice, and study of data-centric technologies. learn more here.
goodbye 2020! or good riddance! Hackaday has partnered with Digi-Key to challenge you to show them your New Year’s mood. learn more here.
Devon Ko’s Intro to Cinema 4D for Designers course is open for a new cohort, and there’s a 70% off sale until Dec 2. I signed up for this one myself so I’ll see u in the cohort Slack channel if u sign up! learn more and register here.
📅 upcoming events!
Sat, Nov 21! 4:00PM UTC-5! you can learn the basics of website security auditing in a hands-on workshops with Tech Learning Collective this weekend. you’ll be introduced to the OWASP Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP), a free, open source Web application security scanner and intercepting proxy. as always with TLC, you’ll learn by doing in a supportive environment. learn more and get tix here.
Weds, Nov 25! 5:00PM UTC-8! the Gray Area Incubator program will be holding an artist salon next week to showcase how artists from their 2020.2 cohort are exploring social critique through art and creative media. they’re currently accepting applications for the 2021.1 incubator, so this would be a great way to get a sense of the program and see if it might be for you! learn more here.
Sat, Dec 5! 2:00PM UTC -5! the Algorithmic Sound Series will continue with a masterclass with RJ Clark on action based sequencing with Max for Live and Ableton. Clark is the creator of Smartphones, a collection of Max for Live devices that bring new workflow and performance capabilities to Ableton Live. neat! you can learn more and register here.
just for lulz!
can u imagine if ur life was just moving from one hot tub to another, in order to relax in a slightly different location??? one can dream.
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.
I have revived a very old tinyletter so that I can share more of my personal work, now that I am making personal work again. if u want more martha ramblings + self-promo, you can sign up here.