how do we get to the holodeck future tho???


do u ever have stretches where it feels like you are doing A LOT and yet nothing is quite coming to fruition? I am in one of those vibes currently. it feels like so many exciting things are just about to crest the horizon, but for the present moment I’m just grinding and playing lots of Mario Galaxy when I’m too tired to grind.

I feel like literally every week I have something in my head like, oh that would be a cute intro to the newsletter this week! and then the week gets weird, or sad, or both, and I usually flat out lose track of what I was thinking of (note to self: start a notes doc for these ideas).

but, here’s an evergreen thought I have been exploring a bit this week. how can we make a little space to imagine the future? I know that can feel impossible, or at least trite, but I would bet most of you got interested in technology or art because you liked imagining things and you were excited about the possibilities of the future. idk, I’ve been watching a LOT of 90’s Star Trek while I’m doing all this grinding, so I’m basically in a headspace of realizing my dream job all along was holodeck experience designer so what have I been doing with my life!


A Black woman floating in a beautiful cybernetic void.

Afrofeminist Data Futures is a report by Neema Iyer, Chenai Chair, and Garnett Achieng that focuses on Afircan feminist movements working towards social justice:

Through a mixed-methods approach that centres these movements, we determine the extent of data use, the opportunities and the challenges of working with data, as well as present recommendations for social media companies to better contribute to the data ecosystems in the African context.

add this to your required spring reading! you can get the report in English, French, and Portuguese here.

A cool-looking drawing of solar panels connected around a globe.

Solar Protocol, a new work by Tega Brain, Alex Nathanson, and Benedetta Piantella, is a web platform hosted across a network of solar-powered servers set up in different locations around the world. it’s a very exciting proof-of-concept of a distributed, sustainable network, made with everyday internet technologies! you can check out the open source repo here if you’d like to learn more or think about contributing. in particular, they are seeking server stewards in Europe, Asia, and Africa, and you can learn more about becoming a steward here.

you know I love a list! this section on Addie Johnson’s homepage that is devoted to designer resources is the kind of thing I actually love to see on a homepage! there’s links to type foundries, design research, journals, and more. if you’re feeling like your design skills are a lil weaker than you’d like, check it out!

Sketchbook templates overlaid on a sketchbook.

I love these sketchbook templates by Sophy Wong for breaking out your pages into little blocks that are perfect for storyboarding, comics-making, thumbnails, etc. they’re designed for a 5.4″x7.7″ sketchbook page, and 3D printer ready files are available here on Thingiverse. what a clever idea and use of a 3D print!

I recently reset my old laptop in preparation for using it as a glorified Roku substitute with my TV after coming across this Wired article, and it ended up performing almost as well as my 1 year old macbook pro. no seriously! maybe make a little digital spiritual cleanse of it and even look through some of those old files. do you really need palm-tree.blend, palm-tree-final.blend, palm-tree-final-final.blend, and palm-tree-final-finalasdasdas.blend?

need to spice up your CSS hover effects? here’s 100 different ones to choose from. personally I need to find a project where I can sneak in one of those 3D ones!

educational opportunities!

Promotional graphic for Ethics in UX.

Gray Area will be offering Ethics in UX: Human Rights & Privacy, a 6-week course taught by critical designer and artist Caroline Sinders. the course is a mixture of lectures, reading, and group exercises where you’ll learn about design justice, emancipatory design, human rights centered design, participatory design and co-design, and what the drawbacks of those approaches are. hey! sounds very important! diversity scholarships are available. learn more and apply here.

new media artist, maker, and creative technologist LaJuné McMillian will be leading a free 6-part workshop on Understanding, Transforming, and Preserving Movement in Digital Spaces. learn about extended reality(XR) tools and their relationship to race, gender, and culture and explore issues of cultural representation, erasure, and exploitation through readings and discussions, and experience an introduction to motion capture, avatars, rigging, and 3D environments! this looks good! learn more and register here.

CUNA has a number of Spanish-language courses that are still open this month, and they are offering packets of courses if you can’t resist picking just one. if you snag the “Viaje a Neptuno” packet you can sign up for Post Web: De la Utopía a la Distopía, Realidad Aumentada, and Live Performance & Cinema all at once!

Gray Area’s Creative Code Immersive for spring 2021 is open for applications! this is 12-week course on creative code and interactive art that covers a foundation of core techniques while creating an environment for collaboration and exploration. the session begins on April 6 and applications are due by March 31. learn more and apply here.

open calls!

The Queer Games Bundle will run from June 1 -31.

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. any artist, game dev, or maker who identifies as queer in some way and has a game on that players can play should join! this sounds like a cute way to connect with some fellow makers and share in some funds via a bundle. the bundle is supported by swampbabes, an artist-run not-for-profit in Rochester, NY devoted to fostering a games/art/queer/local/regional community and inclusive space. love it! learn more about the bundle here.

Phoenix, an independent cinema and art center in Leicester, UK, are inviting proposals to create an art game that responds to ecological themes and the Anthropocene. learn more here and apply by March 28.

CultureHub has an open call for yearlong residencies tethered in either NYC or LA that will include a $2500 stipend, access to a studio, equipment, and technical support, and assistance with documentation and promotion, among other nice benefits. learn more and apply by April 18 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!

upcoming events!

tomorrow, Thurs March 18! 9:00PM UTC-4! ooh, I love the sound of this – Tech Learning Collective is hosting a watch and learn web design and development livestream! they’re redesigning their site for 2021 and welcome you to sit in on their development process. if you want a front row seat to what it’s actually like to work in front end design and development, check this one out! learn more and get tix here.

It's a beautiful bulbasaur, floating in front of a wall of Angelfire cross origin image blocks.

also tomorrow! 6:00PM UTC! Documenting the Ruins of the Web is a very relevant to my interests talk that is happening tomorrow with Olia Lialina and Ofri Cnaani, hosted by The Photographer’s Gallery:

At a time where art selfies mix with installation shots on Instagram, how are practices of audience documentation changing the status and meaning of art? How can institutions engage with this expanded field of documentation, and what are the implications for art history and cultural memory? How is the pandemic changing the cultural value of documentation? How do contemporary practices of photographic reproduction intersect with critical discourses of authorship, ethics and control in new media platforms?

tix are pay-what-you-can for this online event. learn more here!

A virtual flyer for Data & Society's Vaccine Passports event, including a blocky illustration of a globe.

also also tomorrow! 12:00PM UTC-4! Data & Society and the Ada Lovelace Institute are hosting a discussion about the next frontier of COVID-19 roll-outs: vaccine passports. if u though travel restrictions and visa politics were bad before, hoo boy! they’re bringing together Ranjit Singh, an expert on digital identity systems, Amy Fairchild, a public health ethicist, and Imogen Parker, head of policy at Ada Lovelace to discuss this v relevant topic. learn more and RSVP here.

Sat, March 20! 2:00PM UTC-4! CyPurr Collective will be talking password best practices with Heart of Code in this free virtual event! no seriously you probably need to get yourself some better passwords. learn more and RSVP here.

also Sat, March 20! 6:00PM UTC-5! the amazing Char Stiles will be a guest on this Saturday’s curiouslyminded Twitch stream and will be debuting her home grown collaborative shader editor- what more could you want on a Saturday evening! “come for the GLSL magic stay for the JavaScript glitches.” follow curiouslyminded here on Twitch for the stream!

April 2-4! Uncommon Hacks is a hackathon for university and high school students to come together and build innovative, zany, and entirely uncommon technical projects. learn more and register 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.

just for lulz!

The logo for Zoom Escaper, the Zoom logo overlaid with arrows running away!

finally, a remote work tool that actually does something useful!

Zoom Escaper is a tool to help you escape Zoom meetings and other videoconferencing scenarios. It allows you to self-sabotage your audio stream, making your presence unbearable to others.

get it here!

* ~ 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.

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