Hello again! Oh, I made it. If you need a refresher on the origin & nature of these bi-weekly updates, check out the first issue before reading on.
Thanks for your understanding on the back disaster last week. I am recovering well and even went for a nice long walk in Pollok Country Park on Friday. Early autumn scene report: blackberries and robins along the paths, pumpkins and massive dahlias in the gardens (alongside some very fluffy bees), now-teenaged highland cows and, for the extra discerning, you may even spot a toad in the leaves...
I contributed a bit to the GAIA Curator's Kit wiki despite feeling well out of practice on event and art exhibition related stuff. That's now available on their website. The bits I included primarily draw from the case studies in my dissertation, which is where to find, I suppose, my most in-depth possible take on these issues. But also, it could use a lot more perspectives, especially around long-term collecting and all the issues related to that!
Speaking of which, I've started cleaning up some old dissertation chapters for submission to various journals, though my work has always had a hard time being a "fit" for game studies journals because "ew art history" and similarly has never really been a good fit for art history journals because "ew videogames." There are some CFPs intermittently that seem to acknowledge potential crossovers so I will hopefully have them ready to shoot at any of those.
I've also been working away on fiction pieces in my spare time and have submitted a few to mags/publications. I know it's a hyper-competitive space and I'm impatient so I do have a slightly longer one that I may just self-publish as a zine if there are no takers over the next few months. I'm also looking out for any info on Dundee Zine Fest maybe happening this year, as a chance to refresh and reboot the plaintext catalog a bit.
The custom tarot deck in this hot new divinatory aid is... evocative!
Choicebeat is a really cool title and great concept for a zine focused on VNs and IF
House Rules, which was a fun project that debuted at Now Play This a few years ago has been rebooted and digitized!
I find Max Haiven's thought on art, finance, and more recently game-like and vengeful tendencies within capitalism to be really fascinating, and he's given a recent talk that synthesizes a lot of these perspectives
I know nothing about the Friday the 13th films but watched Friday the 13th: Part III (the 3D one) anyways which is definitely how I recommend experiencing it. ALSO this week's zone is game-that-kills-you classic Stay Alive and the "videogame hellraiser" so I have to recommend that as well...
I finished my reread of Wave, Listen to Me! or at least as far as it's been translated to English, and I just really enjoy it. It's kind of unfair that Hiroaki Samura can draw so well but can also make really charming and funny characters, and wind out epic long form plots, in genres ranging from romantic comedy to samurai drama to BDSM/kung-fu exploitation flick.
I've also been working through Where Art Belongs, a collection of Chris Kraus' art criticism. I love her novels, Aliens and Anorexia and Summer of Hate in particular, and likewise reading her criticism makes me a bit frustrated that my own work is not so wide-ranging and exciting, though I suppose part of that is that reading your own work again is never "new." Anyways I really like it, a lot of the criticism is about work I don't have a ton of ideological or aesthetic investment in, but still manages to regard them from a compelling angle. I think she's also uniquely blunt about the conditions and problems of work she honestly enjoys and finds interesting/valuable, in a way a lot of critics feel they can't be. It makes it interesting to read not just for the work itself, but as a document of possibilities and failures to inform your own work and thinking in general.
This article about the response to the union drive at the New Museum in New York gave me moments of recognition of the awful and priorities-backwards structures that are basically everywhere in the arts (as a little heightened terrarium of society, I think Max Haiven would say), but also still managed to shock me in a few places, particularly a highly dishonorable cameo from one of the bad boys of institutional critique himself...
I also really enjoyed this essay on Yume Nikki. "Fandom" has lately been discussed in an entirely commercial media and negative light, but I still find mysteriously free work like Yume Nikki and the mysteriously, and, to capital, inexplicably free communities that emerge around them to be so fascinating and cheering. Human culture! Nilson Carrol's work also continues to be a fav to me with this essay about contrasting his visceral associations with the Dragon Quest soundtracks with the sinking knowledge of the composer's bigotries and politics.
I think that's all I have this bi-week! For new subscribers who have signed on since the last newsletter, you can check out the archive of past issues at any time!
Thank you again for your support,