last year, began exploring an art practice (on the side of work) after the realization that my stay in the country is only temporary (or more precisely, having that fully settle in). i thought art would be one of the only things that could never be taken away from me. grateful to everyone who has given me a chance to show, publish, perform; for everyone ive met, and learned with. ive been making on the web for as long as i can remember, it is my default, urgent mode of expressing. and for the first time: it felt seen and important: that there is a space for the way i see, thus for me and the world i have come from & believe in..
every time i evaluate why i make, i think about urgency and finding myself: i think about how i just want to be prolific, to live my life in abundance / expression, trusting that meaning follows; that the work writes the stories, the work is not writing the story, etc
this year i got to make a lot of work on the philippines, love, labor, memory, preservation that im happy to have invested in. here’s a selection of them with some additional commentary:
( websites/games )
engine.lol, a tiny gamemaker that is a game in itself..
released the biggest update since the first release of engine.lol.. my undergrad thesis (released april 2022) is now out on itch.io! my slow labor of love and constant movement towards tooling, constraint, and creativity..
i even started on a wip mobile-friendly txt-only version of engine.lol with an infinite canvas. 🙂 lots of bugfixes to come, as well as more asset packs, and another big update to come! (see future release notes: engine will develop feelings.) excited to start nurturing this on itch.io..
a bedroom in las piñas, escapist room + vignettes from 18 yrs in manila (wip)
as with my classic alone on the holidays routine of ‘break down and write a traumatic, verbose interactive fiction piece*’, i ended the year with ‘a bedroom in las piñas’ – an ‘escapist room’ game made over a weekend (perhaps an escape room if you could escape from memories and ideologies with actions & verbs)
around this time of year i often think “what life choices led me here?” “would i have been happier with a simpler life in the philippines?” “would my self not have collapsed if i wasn’t torn from the only nation that has ever loved me, molded me, made me?” “what does it mean when every day, i die away from the land that raised me?” “why am i not home?” etcetcetc. this recollection (very much in vein to visita) is a cathartic reconciliation with some early memories in the guise of an escape room, after jake elliott’s wonderful generational piece a house in california (i played it once in middle school in the early 2010s and it has never left my mind) and olia lialina’s early work
*so many of my pieces this year were incredibly text-heavy and dense.. the blog drought went to writing within the code editor (not just code, but paragraphs and paragraphs of text enjambed into arrays). i probably hide behind the form of the site to mask my poor writing skills, but i hope it still means something to read/see
〰️ play the demo on itch.io
〰️ december 2023 (version 2)
we are only moving towards each other, a love poem
speaking of manic writing in the browser.. in january 2023, this piece came out to me from a violently gentle dream: i woke up every day crying after dreams about grocery stores, so desperately wanting to be touched, to regain sensitivity for the enormity of life around me. lifted halftone pictures, darting sequences, texts with infinite variants, windows and moments closing and opening endlessly.. i’ve read this piece live more than a handful of times now (which can take as long as up to 2 hours), and i still always find new ways to say it, arrange it, mold a landscape around me.
a bedroom in las pinas and we are only moving towards each other are both about ~15k words in length, except this piece is more manipulable, astray, in need of mending. i have repurposed and loved many lines in it, so hope you give it a read sometime. (make sure you’re ready to close everything.)
when we love, a dating simulator..? (wip)
i’ve been releasing under ‘when we love’, my future mega dating sim.. you will see how all are weaved together :#)
i rewrote and retitled this manifesto on my practice at a coffee shop in new haven earlier this year and first shared it at rosa mcelheny’s software for people class at yale; and later got to present it at panke.gallery in berlin. i want to keep it as a living and active ecosystem of ideas around a living, ecologied web that grows with me..
It is in a website’s being of a world that it turns into the grandest procession for all those present in it: a ritual gathering, encounter, and event that can occur for even a parade of one or none.
〰️ read the manifesto
〰️ march 2023 (remake)
GAME CHAT SHOP, a multiwindow compshop symphony
In a decrepit computer cafe, the last day of a MMORPG plays out before its server shuts down forever. Across three windows & scales of space, you’re left to ask: where does the game end? where does the self begin?
As a server death comes, players navigate a game, chat, and a shop across browser windows—different dimensions of embodiment, scale, and time in dialogue with each other. Time runs out in your computer shop session, ads disrupt, calls leak, the spam of the real-world against the chaos of the room. The discontinuities of the game and real worlds bring us to search for boundaries that might not exist, where both the avatar and the self are constantly fragmented, where we do not know where our technology ends and where we begin.
as part of runway journal’s MMORPG issue, I made GAME CHAT SHOP: loops, lag, glitches, unveiled over three browser windows. i was thinking a lot about server deaths (of course), the loss of community and space that i felt in early internet cafes, and the people along the way.
there’s still a handful to do for the game, but i like it as both an active and atmospheric piece, and it was quite a technical exercise figuring out how to make these windows talk to each other ..
Have you ever violated, or engaged in a conspiracy to violate, any law relating to controlled substances?Have you ever committed or conspired to commit a human trafficking offense in the United States or outside the United States? Do you seek to engage in espionage, sabotage, export control violations, or any other illegal activity while in the United States? Have you ever ordered, incited, committed, assisted, or otherwise participated in genocide?
for the html review’s spring 2023 issue.. i anticipated and experienced a year crying over the bureaucracy, repetition, and dehumanization experienced through immigration and visa forms. the questions above aren’t part of the piece, but are part of the DS-160 nonimmigrant visa questionnaire!
the piece is also a contemplation on identity, its loss and abstraction through labeling checking filling writing categorizing defining etc. i like to think of it as a bit of a puzzle, and have often been adapting it for performances. working with barebones ascii and default form inputs (and bending them) has also been very exciting to me, continuing with a theme of exposing defaults and structures.
a remaster of a 2021 piece made around holy week, of course. in the only intensely Catholic nation in Asia — the devotion and routine that surrounded the Holy Week practice of the Seven Churches Visitation leaves lasting imprints on one’s experience of repetition, tradition, ritual, religion. here’s a post on the original work.
i abandoned the ardent atheist act in high school and started recognizing how i’d probably name what i have inside of me as devotion, one passionate, fiery, seeking martyrdom—i just don’t know what the institution for it is, anymore.
〰️ play on alli.love/bisita
〰️ april 2023
this is definitely one of my more conceptual pieces this year: something i tended at the very beginning of 2023, wrote to the bantayog ng mga bayani about, and executed in time for the martial law anniversary.
the loss of national memory and collective consciousness has been plaguing the country, leading to reelection of the bloody dictator’s son. i don’t pose this site as a true monument, but more of an artifact that speaks to the process of memory itself, its loss, decay—that consciousness and collectivity is of course, not a linear accumulation, but an involved, connective thread.
〰️ visit at ang-bantayog.com
〰️ sep 2023
another ambitious, durational piece that takes those alchemical combination games (or like, doodle god/devil) into the much overlooked space of the browser address bar. a few hundred handcoded objects, dark stories/descriptions, a tale underneath of apocalypse and invention..
i don’t think this is *quite* cohesive yet – it might take at least a thousand pages to get there. but the fun in words/definitions/surprises/finding has been charming
〰️ play demo
〰️ june 2023—
crucifixio, a history of christ (wip)
veryy wip poem, fragmented jesus, playing with browser history, titles, syncing.. have more religious pieces to come in early 2024 where this will be more fleshed out!
〰️ play demo (click to launch)
〰️ nov 2023
one of the last i made for the year: a series of youtube collages for syntax, which i also had the pleasure of doing design + dev for! my favorite is this fish one. from 42 embeds to 100, they all made my computer crash and required the most powerful imacs in the gallery to display!!
i like thinking of lag, glitch, and delays as constant variables in any web-based work: it’s why most of my work is textual and minimalist in design, with a fraction testing the limits of the computer. i love the idea of work that is designed to be malleable: that if i were to repurpose this for viewing in different spaces, i’d have to rearrange the strokes of these ‘landscapes’ (which were already inherently very tediously/meticulously arranged, playing with filters, scale, rotation). i presented it with galleryspeak, talking about how the dimensions are variable (duh!), just barely retrofitting barebones youtube embeds to collapse the videos from their former containers (and depending on speed/machine, it’s not so obvious that they’re youtube embeds), using the count of embeds to emphasize the heft of the work. i love the fact that the landscape is lifelike: dying as the videos get taken down, erroring out..
can two things ever really touch or can we only fall apart? (wip), a browser reading
A language of embrace is unraveled in touch, distance, and movement. Exploring the poetics of metadata, alt text, and ambient ways of reading, ‘Can two things ever really touch or can we only fall apart?’ is a net art piece designed for the screen, reader, and screen reader.
Continuous, at times erratic, and polite languages reveal vignettes contained over objects. Interaction mediated only through hovers and clicks, verbs & interactions bring users across objects, people, places — unfolding into an expanding world made possible only by witnessing. Here, we spit, love, chew, tick, consider, feel, express, regret, fear, maim, inhale, scrape, concentrate, cherish, sprawl, rest, surrender, ease, fondle, look, honor, liberate, split, connect, twinkle, trace, cry, cherish, long, want, hope, dream, bloom, wait, pause, hold, feel, feel, feel, feel, feel, hover, click, spit, emerge… as we become everything.
a piece i made for website as subject with yehwan song at panke.gallery, another word / verb overload to tell of dark stories and grim memories on objects, forcing alternate modes of reading. also deceptive word count. still figuring out presentation, but happy w it – its nonstop, continuous, endlessly explaining self
〰️ play at whenwe.love/touching
〰️ nov 2023
two alternative time-based, single-purpose social networks i started the year with, as an experiment in working with server-side stuff that ended up being surprisingly lovely community spaces
over 1700 clouds have been made on cloudwatching! over 530 wishes left on stargazing! want to do a recap of these soon.. thanks for gathering with me :#)
( performance/sound )
i fell in love with performance, mending my interest in field recording + ambience & atmospherics + 23-year-old synth bullshit with websites, desktops, and networks thanks to the reading i did of concrete form at the html review last spring.. it has been so amazing to do site-specific, unique ambient performances with work, adapt pieces, and play in berlin, san francisco, manila (!! <3), and online. i can’t wait to actually get good at this, and do it forever more.
most of my experiments have been in-person and improvisational, but here’s a handful that have been recorded that i’d love to share with you
‘the artist is dreaming…’ for screen walks
what a dream to do this: i love screen walks, and was so surprised when jon and marco invited me. it was their last event for 2023.. a perfect time to share my work for screen, properly
pretty happy with this performance and short q&a after. will be doing a handful of sessions this january, see you soon!
〰️ watch recording
〰️ dec 2023
‘pacification’ mix for nts supporter radio (53:00)
traffic tunes for nts supporter radio!
〰️ listen to the mix
〰️ aug 2023
&bient for manila community radio (1:54:57)
two-hour ambient mix for mcr!
〰️ listen to the mix
〰️ june 2023
runtime as ritual as religion (as repetition) for panke.gallery
networked performance closing panke.gallery, weaving through the shared work
〰️ nov 2023
ambient at koffee
i have no documentation for this but this snippet i managed to get on my norns and i did not dj, i played live, but i thought the graphic was cute and i miss hailey
〰️ feb 2023
( talks/tutorials/interviews )
on websites and spreadsheets
i warred with myself and microphone so painfully to make this guide on folk archival etcetc out of google spreadsheets on a website and i still don’t think it’s clear enough so i will revisit it.
one of my greatest gifts of this year was when kristoffer gave me the perfect, purposed prompt of ‘naming’ and managed miracles so i could travel to copenhagen for naive yearly, where i gave a painfully awkward yet sincere talk about the internet, territory, selfhood, conquest, placemaking. let it be known that if your phone makes the microphone crackle for the first ten minutes of the talk and you’re sleep-deprived and out of your mind and have handcoded a website over and over a last minute flight with barely no wifi because you realized you can’t fly through london because you are filipino——danish media WILL open their article with it, and you will never charm the media again
this january, ill be publishing a more holistic essay/site version of this realm of thinking.. pls stay tuned!
i gave a remote* talk on mythology, the role of technologists, and the power in narrative for causal islands in toronto
it is impossible to get a canadian visa in a month’s notice, life hurts
〰️ watch the recording
〰️ april 2023
spoke on my practice around love, websites, and folk archival (and all of webmaking as a love language challenging the hostile web today) with elan kiderman ullendorff for their wonderful ‘escape the algorithm’ newsletter (fka deep sea diving) — and later got to visit their class at penn!
a website can be a poem (a poem can be a website) with ana for usurpator
lovely, intense, long long conversation with the prolific ana for your listening pleasure!
Sebastian Quack talks with Chia Amisola, creator of We Are Only Moving Towards Each Other, about reshaping the internet and creating caring spaces.
being remote for now play this in london, i was so generously given the space to talk a bit about my game as it was played in front of me for the first time.. very loopy (so nervous!!) thoughts on love, care, embodiment, and the internet as a space that can be shaped/reshaped
〰️ april 2023
( other.. )
this post didn’t exclude a breadth of collaborations, trips, performances, lectures etc etc that i was so grateful to go on. i live next to the ocean in san francisco and moved in with the person i love. i cannot believe i am here..