always set your domains to auto-renew!!!

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here’s a lil baby newsletter for you all, quite a bit late this week. a big part of that is that I’ve been prepping for and promoting my upcoming class at School of Machines, Making and Make-Believe on color and accessibility that is starting this Tuesday, April 27. ok, bear with me for some shameless self-promotion….

it’s extremely easy to complain about how everything on the internet looks the same and feels bad, and not as easy to actually make that not the case. the internet feels supremely joyless these days, and a lot of that is it being explicitly design to suck the joy out of people in favor of encouraging conflict. I’ve been thinking a lot lately how this is also all balled up in a sense of inevitability.

there’s this feeling I’ve experienced, particularly in commercial software design, that capital-D Design is about honing towards some ideal experience or aesthetic. everything looks the same because it’s all aiming for the most optimal experience. the truth is that it’s just aiming for the most homogenized experience, based on selective research. we end up with UI kits and color palettes that are treated as gospel truth rather than just a trend that is blip in the history of human culture.

I wanted to teach this course on color that is centered around the history of pigment and painting because, well, we don’t have to live like that! people have been making images on surfaces for as long as there have been people, and instead of making more minimal white interfaces with soft blue buttons, we can do some weird shit! in the class, we’ll be looking into the actual science and history of color to find inspiration for making digital experiences that are exciting and impactful and don’t feel so same. if you want to feel like you can understand and talk about color, come join us! I promise it will be fun.

tix available here.

resources!

Creative Capital has a new social media guide for artists that you can grab for free by signing up for their email newsletter. I downloaded it and gave it a read earlier this week, and it’s really solid, practical advice for how to promote your work on social media in a way that is effective for the people who you actually need to see it. you can sign up for the list and get the pdf here.

A screenshot of the default project output for Unity.

The Nothings Suite is a funny look at what happens when you just do nothing with a videogame engine by Pippin Barr. I especially love the Process repository, which is equal parts sincere exploration into an extreme state of nothingness and snark. is this the best way to figure out what gaming engine you should use for your next project? probably not, but it’s worth a read all the same.

here’s an interesting little tutorial for creating spoiler blurs on sensitive content with just a lil’ HTML and CSS. it has some caveats but looks like a clever way to partially hide content without too much code.

Discover three.js is now open source! the original book is an extremely thorough introduction to using three.js for 3D graphics for the web, and it’s exciting to see it go open source!

A cyber psychedelic screenshot from "The Life of Saint Fiona Bianco Xena"

over in the artist’s guide Discord, Chloê Langford shared a new work by Fantasia Malware: The Life of Saint Fiona Bianco Xena. it is truly a delight to explore, but Chloê also explained a lot of of the behind-the-scenes process in the Discord. even a technically simple concept can be a really exciting artistic experience (and clearly a lot of work!).

educational opportunities!

promotional graphic for CUNA's "Diseño de Utopías" class

CUNA has some new classes coming up on the calendar, including one on designing utopias that looks especially exciting. check out the full calendar here!

I’m also teaching a course on Gender and Interface Design later this spring at Hyperlink Academy. more on this soon! you can learn more and register here. that link will give you 25% off as a friend-of-the-newsletter!

open calls!

School of Machines, Making & Make-Believe and IMPAKT Center for Media Culture have an open call for participation for a series of events called CODE NL-D. they seek to bring together artists, non-artists, politicians and policy makers living in Germany and the Netherlands to engage in dialogue, critical discussion and artistic intervention. learn more and apply here by April 30.

Babycastles’ WordHack has an open call for the next few months of programming. especially if you’re outside of the NYC area, now is your chance to submit an idea for a 15-20 minute talk to present online this summer. learn more and submit an idea here!

POWRPLNT has an open call for artists with digital or technology-based practices to teach this year on the theme of “abolitionist tools for digital wellness.” you can learn more and apply here!

submissions are open for A MAZE./Berlin 2021 until April 30! they’re looking for games and playful media based on meaning, story, expression, change, interdisciplinarity, social/cultural/political impact, aesthetics and fun. learn more here.

the Queer Games Bundle is an initiative to collaboratively support as many queer indie/micro/art devs and makers as possible! entries are open until May 3, and the bundle will run during the month of June for Pride. learn more about the bundle here.

upcoming events!

April 25! 3:30 PM UTC-4! Tech Learning Collective is offering a workshop this week that’s an introduction to data files, spreadsheets, and databases. you’ll be introduced to the concepts and techniques you need to know to collect, generate, and manipulate digital information regardless of the specific application or problem domain you’re working in. if, say, you’re interested in data visualization, this sounds like a great compliment! learn more and get tix here!

the line up for the STUDIO's series of presentations on open-source software toolkits

April 26-29! the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry has four evenings of lecture presentations this week by creative technologists who are developing Open-Source Software Toolkits for the Arts, and the lineup is STACKED. you can read more about the full lineup of speakers here and you can register for free tix here!

April 29-30! the 2021 Computer Mouse Conference will feature lectures, video performances, panel discussions, writing, a live zine, and an actual mouse tear-down workshop. learn more and get tix here.

April 29! 12PM UTC-4! Matt Mitchell, founder of CryptoHarlem, will be giving a coffee talk as part of the Community Knowledge Share Workshop series. I’ve found Matt to be a really accessible and passionate speaker in the past! check this one out if you’re interested in getting into the Internet Freedom space but don’t know where to start. learn more and register for free here!

just for lulz!

“set your domains to auto-renew!” is like one of the top 5 things I tell my web clients. shit can get weird real fast!

* ~ 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 I didn’t respond to your email or did and nothing happened, I totally forgot and you can feel free to bug me again. if you wanna share links or chat, there is now a Discord server that you can use here. as always, becoming a member of an Artist’s Guide to Computation helps support me and my work directly, and helps me to roll out new features for the community.

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