✨ first month in NYC! ✨
It’s been a wonderful and difficult transition. I think the thing about learning is sometimes you don’t even feel the delta until the most strenuous part is over.
I’ve jumped into so many new communities all at once. There’s Chinatown, for one. There’s the New York collective of RISD alumni; the School for Poetic Computation; I’ve rubbed elbows with Parsons, SVA, New Inc, Design For America, New York IBM-ers, makerspaces, nonprofits, yoga/meditation groups….
…oh, and of course Tisch and the 100-strong ITP community!
Moving through feelings of excitement, inspiration, creativity, connectedness (❤️), loneliness, anxiety, ambiguity. NYC is stimulating, and then some.
I wanted to take some time to document some things that have inspired me lately…
This wallpaper-maker is a nice interactive piece on its own. My partner-in-crime J discovered how it could also be used to make performance art—even though it wasn’t meant to be. A great example of repurposing features to do something new.
“I’ve always liked finding the limits of the tool I’m using, and using it in strange, unintended ways.”
I spoke with V, the program coordinator for the girls’ makerspaces. There were mothers, girls, and their families on the Saturday I visited. I was amazed by their roof-top garden, and their planetarium especially.
“We don’t want these girls to just be playing catch up. We want to give them the newest technology and have them be on the edge of things.”
“We get girls who come from well-off areas of LES, and at-risk girls in the neighborhood working together. You see class boundaries breaking down here. I mean, it does come up in small ways.”
My friend K is skeptical of STEM education as tool to help poverty. I want to hear more about his thoughts on this.
I played “Appliance Wars” with my friend R. (Should be noted that R invented this game himself, as a kid.)
You role-play as a character you invent, and you attack your opponent’s character with literally anything you can draw.
I was an Everything Bagel, and R was Rock Carrot. The game ended in a truce where we united over a SlipKnot concert.
So many things inspire me about this game. You’re really relying on creativity as the main muscle to create something from nothing. You’re building a story-world purely through agreements— without any help from products outside of a ballpoint pen.
“We thought we might make it into an app, but then we thought that would take away the magic of Appliance Wars.”
J and I saw this on our walk to Bobst Library together. We’ve been talking about intentionally hostile urban spaces— spikes, railings, barriers, materials designed to keep people from lingering. (A really common example of this is bench dividers to prevent homeless people from resting there.)
We started brainstorming home-brewed objects to counteract these people-deterrents:
“Oh, what about a custom-fit cushion that like, interlocks with the spikes on walls?”
I was most moved by Pauline Oliviero’s DEEP LISTENING project, which invited active listening as a kind of meditation.
The exhibit combined really contemporary sound art with age-old Buddhist traditions, centered around the frequencies of our universe and the word “ommmm.”
“It’s exciting to see contemporary stuff that doesn’t live in a gallery vacuum, but nods at non-Western practices from hundreds of years ago.”
(I mean, that was contemporary art, too. They just didn’t call it that.)
on being grounded
Last week I had dinner with my friend A, and a bunch of RISD folks.
Lots of talk about being grounded, about protecting yourself from corporations, and deflating privileged attitudes. Bay area technologists, NYC designers… these fucking ivory towers!
“Sometimes I just like to come to a place like Times Square and remember that there are people here who saved up their whole life just to come here. Just to look at ads.”
“You could call yourself a stay-at-home mom, or a part-time painter. Like those two could just be the same thing, but framed differently.”
(re: Ursula LeGuin and framings of art + work + patriarchy.)
on talking trash
I just think this is hilarious. How do you even penalize something like this? Also wouldn’t you just laugh instead?
“LITTER ONLY…. $100 FINE.”
I want to make a project just around NYC trash. I found raw pork at midnight the other day…