luv 2 get a migraine these days

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after literally almost a year of various states of lockdown around the world, it’s easy to totally disassociate from the physical reality of people’s lives. I’ve noticed this in tuning into online classes and workshops that have attracted a much more international crowd than they would have a year ago. when someone is an avatar on Twitter they exist in your own mental framework of your day to day. then you both join a Zoom call and you can see the blood red sky in California from the fires out the window behind them, or they’re bundled up with their window greyed out with snow while you’re in a t-shirt and shorts with the window open.

it’s also very easy to see online conversations in social media get dominated by the same old places. up until a year ago, actual physical proximity to conferences, to makerspaces, to universities, etc., gave certain communities a premium even in the online discourse. now it’s more: do you have affordable electricity and high speed internet? are you in the right time zone for a class or a job opportunity? can you speak the right language (English, probably)? well, so, the right places are still pretty much at a premium.

I have never been to Texas, but I’ve exhibited work there, thanks to the internet. I’ve met artists and curators and technologists who grew up in Texas or who have made it their home later in life. some of them are extremely offline at the moment, because they don’t have power, or don’t have internet, or just generally have bigger shit to deal with right now. I’m thinking of you, and hope you are safe! for the rest of us, mutual aid is best tool we have.

resources!

A gif of a little sprite friend who is walking along.

sprites! they’re a classic trick for a lightweight way to animate a lil’ friend. here’s a quick tutorial on animating a sprite with some tricky CSS. cute!

I feel like I’ve shared this before but it bears repeating! Threemails, the deep-dive blog into the creation process behind the game Threes! is a worthwhile look into the kind of creative process it takes to create real delight in an interactive project. the secret: lots of iteration and feedback!

do you need to ask someone’s gender in a form? research says: nope! this blog post is an extremely bookmarkable resource on the topic of asking users to disclose their gender in the context of government services, but this can be applied to user experience design in general. if you want to be inclusive, don’t waste peoples’ time by overcomplicating your forms. just give them access to the experience!

documentation is often framed in a context of collaboration, but it’s also just an important way to keep yourself on track. it’s especially important for all your little side projects that you might not be able to work on consistently. there’s nothing like using the 2 hours you have to work on a project to fight with resetting your local environment because you didn’t write down how you did it last time! and bookmark this post by Victoria Drake on how to write documentation that is also actually good.

educational opportunities!

An artist livecoding in front of a projection during an algorave.

(Algo|Afro)futures is a mentoring program for early career Black artists who want to explore the creative potential of live coding. this is a 5-6 week program with a mix of in-person workshops (depending on lockdown restrictions) and asynchronous online discussion and live coding, open to Black West Midlands-based artists only. this includes a participation fee + coverage of travel expenses. learn more and apply by February 28 here.

Gray Area is offering a new course on the building a sustainable creative practice – Everything But The Art: The Business of Creativity. it’s a five-week series with a different expert guiding you through critical topics around funding and career growth each week. this sounds like a great way to make some real strategic moves this year towards a financially viable creative practice. learn more here! scholarship applications are due TODAY.

open calls!

A 3D model of a woman with a Black hair style.

the Open Source Afro Hair Library is offering fellowships to 3D artists this spring to design their own series of Black hair models. this is an opportunity to directly contribute to OSAHL’s mission of depicting Blackness in anti-racist, intersectional feminist, and anti-capitalist ways. the residency runs from March 20 to June 1 and includes a $1500 stipend. learn more and apply here by March 1!

attention anyone working with smell, taste, or temperature! submit a short paper by TOMORROW February 19 to this open call for the “Smell, Taste, and Temperature Interfaces” workshop at CHI 2021.

VRHAM!: Interactive Arts has an open call for creators and artists who want to develop their already existing artistic project (or a work in progress). learn more and apply by March 15 here.

submissions are open until February 23 for the Activating Smithsonian Open Access Challenge from Cooper Hewitt’s Interaction Lab. learn more 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!

the Prix Ars Electronica is open for submissions for 2021. submissions are due by March 3, take a look at this one now to wrap your head around it here.

LACMA has an open call for their Art + Technology Lab grant program. learn more here and apply by February 25.

upcoming events!

TODAY, Feb 18! 7PM UTC-5 (like literally in an hr!!!): WordHack is tonight and will feature special guests Golan Levin & Tega Brain, Kelli Anderson, and Artemio Morales. if u’ve been gushing over Code as Creative Medium, don’t miss this! learn more here.

Sat, Feb 20! 2PM UTC-5! CyPurr Collective is holding a special session this weekend on cyber harassment and harm reduction. this are some very important skills to have! like actually! learn more and register for this free virtual event here.

A beautiful waterfall, expressing the oft-ignored beauty of Cascading Style Sheets.

Sat, Feb 27! 3PM UTC-5! Tech Learning Collective will be hosting a workshop next weekend on one of my fav topics, CSS! finally this misunderstood tool will get the respect it deserves. this webinar will dive deep into fundamentals that are often ignored in more superficial tutorials – this will be worth your time! learn more and get tix here.

Some cute creatures hangin' in a pixelated world, with the Babycastles logo.

Sun, Feb 28! 3PM UTC-5! Babycastles Academy will be hosting a workshop on making your first video game with Pico-8. cute! if you register by Feb 27, you’ll even receive a free copy of Pico-8, a fantasy console for making and sharing tiny games. learn more and get ur tix here.

just for lulz!

A total babe of a rat and a bouquet of roses.

omg! the rat-themed dating sim we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived!!!!!

* ~ 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.

there is some dumb thing happening where Substack has been sending some of you emails that your subscription has been canceled. this is not true! I am fighting w/ them to get them to stop doing that so that I can leave up the archive of my old links, but I think I am just gonna have to delete the old site this week. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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