It's finally cool and crisp and Halloween pun display name season. If you need a refresher on the origin & nature of these bi-weekly updates, check out the first issue before reading on.
How exciting, I have another new post on The Blog Proper! This one is kind of a combo book review and extrapolation of themes that have been coming up in my fiction writing, including Flesh/Circuit, as well as more about another short story I've been working on. It also revisits a lot of the research on automation that folded into my dissertation, especially looking at self-playing games and game spectatorship. I'm really excited for Sonia Fizek's forthcoming book on the topic, that I got to interview her about last year.
I also traveled out to Hebden Bridge to meet up with some fellow zonies, bitsyfolk, and so on, for the first time in almost 2 years! It was lovely, simultaneously relaxing and restorative and also exhausting (I'll go somewhere a bit more flat the next time I need a break) and I posted some pictures of some of the cooler sights.
A new Domino Club anonymous jam is happening this month, so I'm hoping to make something for it, and even stretch myself to learn a new tool to do so. I also am going to attempt NaNoWriMo again this year (last year I produced a very, very rough draft of a VN game that I still haven't done much with besides fantasize) so I'm outlining characters and scenes for that. I'm also wrapping up some digital curating work that should be online within a month or so??? hopefully.
I'm looking forward to this forthcoming online lecture examining the Britney Spears conservatorship from GZF
Chaoyang Trap is also starting off its second season, so it's a great time to subscribe for really fascinating cultural analysis, starting off with a longread on the Taiwanese/Chinese indie music circuit
Another newsletter, another flickguy to recommend, this time allowing you to make abstract and beautiful Cow Tools tableaux
Gregg Araki's Nowhere was a recent zone nite pick, and it blew my socks off. It's definitely the same genre of banal/weird sci-fi as Liquid Sky, Repo Man, Dark Star, etc.... basically all of my existing favorite movies.
I have also been catching up with Cate Le Bon's music while working recently and really enjoyed her newest album, Reward
Traveling to and being at zonemeet gave me a lot of time to read stuff I'd had sitting around. Fandom as Methodology (eds. Catherine Grant and Kate Random Love) is a collection on overlaps between art historical research and fandom. Like all collections of academic papers it can be a little uneven in terms of relevance to the stated topic and my own interest in it, but I was still able to pick out a lot of interesting thoughts on extending fannish analysis to arts and historical phenomena and the types of preservation, distribution and analysis structures fandom offers.
I borrowed Byung-Chul Han's book on Shanzhai from Candle while at the big house we stayed in, (they pulled a lot of the best quotes from it here). While it has a lot of limitations from being so short, it does offer some interesting thoughts on historical alternatives to intellectual property and artistic "originality." I wish it went more into the fascinating aesthetic qualities of the shanzhai mobile phones and appliances though! I also finished Wageless Life by Ian G.R. Shaw and Marv Waterstone, which presented a solid thesis with some concerning argumentation issues, which is what inspired the blog post linked above.
From there, I've started on Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry by B.S. Johnson to synthesize my interest in experimental fiction and the wage labor system. The new Tom McCarthy novel is also intriguing, based on this review which cites a prominent scene about the logistics of space sex... well, I'm listening, but may wait for the paperback. Something I've noticed is that lately I feel like rereading novels I found really formative/enjoyable when I wouldn't have really thought to before, The Trial and The Third Policeman especially.
I found this article on tech company microwork and its relationship to refugee camps the day after posting my new piece, but it's a very thorough perspective on a clear example of the phenomenon I was discussing, so I recommend it! This essay is really interesting, offering a personal lens on a game platform I was previously unaware of. And, finally, not to be too obviously a fangirl, since I also recc'd one of his talks last week, but I also found this conversation with Max Haiven on the relevance of imagination and creativity to politics really valuable.
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,