spent the last couple weeks at this. It was pretty neat. We (~15-20 “students” and 5-10 “teachers”) spent the days either doing a workshop (ranging from “theorize about the post-growth society” to “build1 a radio”) or working on our own projects, the evenings listening to each other talk about our work, and the nights hanging out, playing ping pong, dancing, drinking, etc.
- working on this abstract rectangles thing with help from with Ted Davis
- seeing Ioana Vreme Moser make music by doing her makeup (with synths made out of instrumented brushes and stuff)
- just completely marveling at Toktek’s performance, using all kinds of looped sounds, all kinds of hacked devices, and all kinds of intensity.
- barcode scanning and thermal (receipt) printing. These technologies that feel so entwined with Shopping are really just… very accessible and pretty cheap off-the-shelf devices. Maybe $30 and $120 respectively. Uh, I made a pokemon game with them. Shout out to Ted again for getting me started here too.
- getting kicked out of Carrefour because they “didn’t appreciate” us using a barcode scanner (yes I have Feelings about this: there’s no reason we shouldn’t be scanning stuff, just the assistant manager saw something unusual she didn’t understand, and didn’t want anything to do with it, whatever it was. relatedly…)
- hearing Louise Ashcroft talk about some of her work: smuggling unusual vegetables into grocery stores to try to buy them, to see what the system does in response. Mailing boxes of soil from land to that land’s remote owners. Comparing Urban Dictionary and Investopedia definitions of the same words.
- giving a talk about our own work. I was able to present some of my work (creative side projects, student work, for-profit, dumb internet posts) and why I care about it, to a group that really got and loved it.
- pondering how we’d build our own social network (online or IRL, big or small) and how we’d avoid harm as much as possible.
- making asphalt bricks representing the power equivalent of a human doing physical labor 8hrs a day for a week. (it’s half the size of a loaf of bread.)
- seeing the Tour de France go by
- hanging out in a picturesque French 30k-person town, working in a former ceramics factory on the town walls, uh partying in a former laser tag maze
I am energized and enthusiastic! I am reminded how important the community is to anything that you do. One important ingredient to the creative process is people who will care about it. It was awesome to meet and spend 2 weeks with some of them.
by “build” I guess it’s useful to specify how low-level you’re going. maybe the most concise way to describe what we did is “Arduino level”, with some soldering based on someone telling us what to solder and where ↩︎
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