In the contemporary science-fiction scene, [acclaimed author Samuel R.] Delany’s race and sexuality do not set him apart as starkly as they once did. I suggested to him that it was particularly disappointing to see the kind of division represented by the Sad Puppies movement within a culture where marginalized people have often found acceptance. Delany countered that the current Hugo debacle has nothing to do with science fiction at all. “It’s socio-economic,” he said. In 1967, as the only black writer among the Nebula nominees, he didn’t represent the same kind of threat. But Delany believes that, as women and people of color start to have “economic heft,” there is a fear that what is “normal” will cease to enjoy the same position of power. “There are a lot of black women writers, and some of them are gay, and they are writing about their own historical moment, and the result is that white male writers find themselves wondering if this is a reverse kind of racism. But when it gets to fifty per cent,” he said, then “we can talk about that.” It has nothing to do with science fiction, he reiterated. “It has to do with the rest of society where science fiction exists.”

Samuel Delany and the Past and Future of Science Fiction – The New Yorker

this is the final paragraph of a brief article that is worth your time.


T F m
July 30, 2015

As someone who trained and currently still operates as a ‘craftsperson’, debates around manufacturing processes and technological de-skilling became very boring, very quickly. I studied at a well-known Art and Design institution, where the first students to have access to rapid prototyping facilities were within the School of Applied Arts and not on a course allied with architecture, design or engineering. The first time I used a computer to help me produce an object was in 1996, when I wanted to carve something in wax more precisely than my hand-skills would allow. This remains an important point for me in the debate surrounding making things by hand or with digital tools: in many cases digital making processes are used simply to perform tasks that lie outside the skill of the particular producer, and naturally this means that some ‘traditional’ skills die out. This is no different from any other period in history where a new tool has helped us make things faster, more precisely or efficiently. Eventually however, once we evolve beyond novelty parodies of pre- existing artefacts or high-speed mimicry of established techniques, new technologies will open up brand new ways for us to be skilful.

(via Laura Potter — Hand & Brain — Medium)


T F m
July 30, 2015

If art is defined as Prakash defines it — as something that changes you — then perhaps it’s the format of a game, in which players move toward some kind of predetermined triumph or goal, that is self-limiting. But even visual artists working in the medium have tended to adopt gaming formulas. Artist Feng Mengbo spent 15 years making his video game Long March: Restart, recently acquired by LACMA. In it, a Red Army soldier battles through a historic Chinese landscape with only a Coca-Cola bottle as weapon. The visuals are fantastically lush and layered, putting ancient history, communism and Westernization on a collision course, but the game can be won, when a player fights through 14 stages and lands in front of Tiananmen Square. Journey, designed by thatgamecompany, a collective that has shown work at MoMA and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, was supposed to be transcendent, a kind of self-discovery process. But the point was to reach a mountaintop.


T F m
July 30, 2015

(via Prototyping the F21 Thread Screen – Core77)

creative code + rapid prototyping + physical computing + colored ribbons on spools + instagram API + Forever 21


T F m
July 29, 2015

While there have been many adaptions of Alice in Wonderland, Campos and Su thought it would interesting to make a storybook controller where the users must physically interact with in order to progress the story. For example, there’s a section in the story where players must flick an item in the storybook to move an item across the screen.

(via Two USC Students Put Together An E3-Worthy Video Game Using Greeting Card Wires And Simple Coding Software)


T F m
July 29, 2015

Library of Babel

Library of Babel


T F m
July 29, 2015

/ Mathias Fuchs: Diversity of Play

/ Mathias Fuchs: Diversity of Play


T F m
July 29, 2015

<blockquote>To contrast with other similar design approaches, we think Design Fiction is a bit different from critical design [c.f. Dunne & Raby, Garnet Hertz], which is a bit more abstract and theoretical compared to our own interest in design happening outside of galleries or museums. Design Fiction is about exploring a future mundane. It tackles a future-oriented problem or opportunity with an everyday-object to address it to anyone who could be concerned in few years.</blockquote>

(via Our Approach of Design Fiction | Near Future Laboratory)


T F m
July 29, 2015

<blockquote>We have largely eschewed the traditional academic channels of research papers, academic conference talks and the like. Producing evocative little pamphlets, fictional product catalogs, software that is quite counter to prevailing intuition about what software should be, little hardware devices that are designed to be used less rather than more — these are the kinds of provocations we like to produce. Not academic papers or typical research studies. We found it more engaging and more to our own individual sensibilities to produce material that was available to larger, more public audiences. We also have a strong instinct towards making things — props, prototypes, objects, software, devices, films — that we felt told stories about implications of modern society more effectively than pure academic prose.</blockquote>

(via Our Approach of Design Fiction | Near Future Laboratory)


T F m
July 29, 2015

“The National Safety Transportation Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was Scaled Composite’s failure to consider and protect against the possibility that a single human error could result in a catastrophic hazard to the SpaceShipTwo vehicle,” the NTSB concluded.


T F m
July 29, 2015