LINK.DUMP #016 - its been a hot minute since i did one of these, no theme here, just a catchall of some neat stuff ive come across in the past couple months and bothered to bookmark.
How to play: Open the image in a new tab. Ask a question, close your eyes, wiggle your mouse and see where the cyber spirits guide you
½ applies art to futurist practice (creating art to explore possible futures);
½ applying futures practice to art (eg., analyzing film tropes about the future);
½ correlates process to art (hippie dippy stuff), or
½ is art itself by way of creative writing, poetry and images.
and while one or two papers did address generative AI, surprisingly none of the submissions utilized it.
During October I happened upon a book called Scattered All Over the Earth by Yoko Tawada, a fun, weird novel about linguistics, which I wouldnt necessarily recommend, but I didnt have a bad time reading it. The book has reinvigorated my exploration into Japanese writers, and Ive noticed that when it comes to novels im most drawn to books from female writers, part of me thinks its because they tend to get better cover design. The kind of novels I like to read are ones that aren't too serious and take place in, or close to, present-day (even better if they talk about social media/email), with some allowances for breaks from reality. The kind of thing the Japanese can do best (see everything by Haruki Murakami).
That all being said, with apologies to Clark, i did have to DNF No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood- surprising since it ticked all the boxes i just mentioned, and came recommended by a friend that knows my taste pretty well. I just couldnt get over the style. First off, the pacing- everything is broken into chunks a few paragraphs long at best, so I was never able to find myself swimming through it. More importantly, the writing was just soo flowery, as to be maddening. i constantly felt like i was witnessing the author trying to suck her own authorial dick. Allegedly, the second part is supposed to be better, and ive kept the book laying around to guilt me into finishing it, but picking up the other book I mentioned, and consuming it so quickly, came as a relief after what was meant to be a short break.
As of now Im reading Shit Cassandra Saw, a book of short stories I take in during my smoke breaks, and I have two novellas next in queue, parade by Hiromi Kawakami (which is tiny and illustrated; i have no idea what it's about), and The Factory by Hiroko Oyomada.
He represents himself as a photojournalist, documenting political events like border camps and migrant caravans. I had long believed that when he showed up to events like anti-vax and pro-trump rallies he was simply there to provide a neutral depiction of what was happening. That benefit of doubt i had extended finally snapped in half when i read a few articles covering his trial, citing his disdain for Biden (which is fine) and his belief that the election was stolen (not very fine).
[Article 1*] [Article 2]
Next up, my boss went on an emotional rollercoaster I bore witness to via discord DMs after discovering the generative art detection tool was getting mentioned in the press.
First was The New York Times, which listed his AI Art Detector as a tool among others doing the same job, and mentioned his lack of response to a request for comment. Apparently the article had been written some time ago, and he missed their request altogether, spurring him to create a new company and a website to go along with it.
Then came 404Media, and while less well-known, is more of an authority on tech news, particularly as it relates to AI, and a source he happens to admire. Let's just say they did not look favorably upon his creation. Let's just say they said it was a tool to spread anti-Palestine propaganda. le yikes.
He requested to speak with the journalist (about thresholds, transparency, and the degree to which the results ought to be trusted), who to their credit did ammend the article, but would go on to have the same take (or so i am told) during a 404media podcast. Left dejected, the company and website was scrapped. This was all in the span of less than a week.
[NYTimes*] [404Media] [podcast]
* I've been told some of these articles are behind a paywall, here is a Guide to Getting Around Article Paywalls I whipped up as a special treat.
Lastly, I'd like to include my craft project from September, since I royally fucked off on that month's update (mostly because I was preparing for LSR). It's a birthday gift for my baby bro, a decoration-type-thing -wall hanging?- featuring photographs from our favorite photographer transferred onto wooden tiles.
While watching a rant on the unending barrage of property revivals churned out by Disney and Netflix each month, i decided to leave a cheeky comment about how the only reboot i want to see is a reboot of the bizarre CGI animated show Reboot.
I took to google images to find a picture from the show to overlay with #RebootReboot and came across an image captioned “Bring Back Reboot”
The source was a change.org petition written by a fan who was particularly upset the decades old show’s last season ended on a cliffhanger. The obvious crime here is they didn’t use the phrase Reboot Reboot anywhere in their plea, but the more I read, I was completely taken aback by how entitled the whole thing was, insisting that it would be very simple and easy to bring the show back, while demanding all the original voice actors return to round out the “Reboot Revival”, as they call it. All this with the belief that a petition of 500 signatures (the campaign goal) was going to be enough to set the wheels in motion.
At the time of this writing (and 2018) the petition has only amassed 333 signatures.
Confession #1: I actually created a change.org account, not to sign the petition, but to see if the person that made this petition had made others. Oddly, clicking on their username only lead to their location, rather than any other petitions they've participated in.
Note: After rereading, Im realizing this campaign was in direct response to a second version of the series that was airing at the time. So not only did this fool want his ideal version of the show to be made, he wanted the one that was currently in production to either be shelved or turn in a completely new direction while replacing the majority of staff.
Confession #2: I dont think i’ve ever actually watched an episode of Reboot.
Addendum: I also noticed a youtube thumbnail in the image results for a video about the tragic history of chaotic downfall or whatever of Reboot and when i went to go look for it I tomahawk rabbit-holed my way into discovering Jessica Alba’s shower scene from Machete was the first use of CGI nudity. So there’s that too.
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made a new youtube channel! Here's the alternative thumbnail I ended up ditching for my first video essay, the likes of which i'll never make again.
Years ago I remember seeing the website actor Kyle Maclachlan (Dune, Twin Peaks, Desperate HouseWives) had made for his pet pups, Mookie and Sam, written from their POV. Actually, homepage is much more apt a word; I like to imagine if it were made today, mookieandsam would be hosted right here on neocities rather than a wordpress template. Sadly its no longer up, but unsadly it was captured on the wayback machine (check out their Friends Gallery).
Thats not the extent of Mookie and Sam's online escapades as I would come to learn during my search for the lost site. Turns out they have a youtube channel where they go on audio-dubbed adventures together. So fuck yeah for that. I discovered the youtube page from this VICE article, Kyle MacLachlan's Web Series About His Dogs Is Weirder Than 'Twin Peaks'.
Then I came upon this absolutely batshit interview Elle Magazine did with Kyle MacLachlan, with the most concerning line of questioning I've come across in recent memory:
Elle magazine. For those of you who dont know (aka the boys, tomboys and non-femme), Elle magazine is like a more corporate Cosmo -minus the oral fixation and "sex tips"- making this line of questioning seem even more unhinged. If you're bored I invite you to go ahead and rabbit hole your way through the other celebrity interviews the writer conducted some ten years ago.