Tag: websites

Clouds & computing

Reading Time: 3 minutes

( this blog post is being written in public. this block will be deleted when I decide it is ‘done’. pasting in research and figuring out thoughts live here )

Lately I have been looking up more. If I am interested in gathering, a poetry of tools, and ambience—perhaps I am also interested in clouds.

Noah Veltman’s What Shape is the Internet?, a collection of patent drawings

For their persistence and being all-enveloping, for the metaphor and infrastructure they represent. A simple take: In the interest of revealing/uplifting the invisible, we take ‘cloud storage’ for granted—using it as a throwaway term whenever we would like to offload the labor of computation and share how the world is faster, more efficient. This is also an issue of history and that of space. How the internet, networking, and computing takes form in our mind dominates our models about the online world we operate in. How did we once describe these structures and acts of labor before the cloud, and what comes after?

When we speak of clouds these days, it is as likely that we mean data clouds or network clouds as cumulus or stratus. In their sharing of the term, both kinds of clouds reveal an essential truth: that the natural world and the technological world are not so distinct. 

John Durham Peters’s The Marvelous Clouds preview

What does it mean for poetics, too? Maybe my experience with the web is a poetry of clouds, hence the interest in the ambient, of stillness and ubiquity. We never describe the online world as poetic, yet so much of it is drawn from the organic world. Our life necessitates the online, yet compassion & love & patience & human acts seem detached amidst the focus on utility and over-optimization. When we think of poetry, we think of an art that cannot be detached from human identity in an age of new intelligences; but intelligences cannot replicate emotion or love or lived experience in the way we go forth. When I think of what moves me, I think of the emotional labor & connection & deep intertwine and understanding & all that is unspoken & I think about love that will never be cataloged or saved in bits. I think about the human act of labor, time, and intention that makes the most sincere and authentic forms of expression — and how the recognition of this, even outside the creation of love letters and art, in the infrastructural support of the world & where our memories are stored & who runs the servers even the slowest ones that we curse at that still let us live our lives — is a necessary act of acknowledgement alongside the guiding of us towards more folk, smaller, intentioned practices towards sincerity and creation on the web. Towards interdependence; one that is only possible once I can name what supports me.
A cloud, a computer, all a craft — in the way that we thatch roofs and secure spaces for one another.

https://chias.website, which I started coding Saturday night as a bio-focused artsy hub for my work

Maybe there needs to be a radical re-thinking about our relationship to computers; a reconsideration of what or who we deem invisible. What are the environments that form around me and how do I see the vast expanse of what has brought me here today? What are the clouds above me and why do they roll that way?

These classes and books have been interesting to read through:

  • https://lovelanguages.melaniehoff.com/
  • https://github.com/mkgold/clouds/blob/master/cloud-syllabus.md
  • https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/M/bo20069392.html
  • https://mitpress.mit.edu/9780262529969/a-prehistory-of-the-cloud/
  • https://jntry.work/cloud/
  • Computational Cultures after the Cloud
  • https://spheres-journal.org/contribution/scaffolding-hard-and-soft-infrastructures-as-critical-and-generative-structures/
  • https://www.continentcontinent.cc/index.php/continent/article/view/205

reader of my blog, i want to talk about blogs

Reading Time: < 1 minute

I want to talk about blogs! I want to make more blogs (including ephemeral, temporary ones) and publish something low-stakes and start a blog ring with everyone who joins in.

This is my corner of the internet — but I would like to learn about yours.

Some things to cover…

  • Why you should blog (do most of you who read this also have your own blogs?)
  • Ways to blog (platforms you can use)
    • (and how to make your blog small, secure, gated, anonymous, etc. in the way you’d like)
    • + starting a commonplace blog with your friends, each as individual authors or sharing one login
  • Making 88×31 buttons and adding each other to a web ring (and what web rings are!)
  • A bit on RSS, if interested
  • Time to make a blog post and silent commenting on each other’s posts

what is keeping you from making a blog. what would you like to learn about blogs? 

alternatively, if you already have a blog you can just use the time to customize your blog or write.. :~)

when should i host it? what should we write about? how would you like to gather?

Things I want to do

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Particularly things you can help me with:

1. A communal town on the internet. It is public except for a few pages, focused on collaborative generation of common goods by my friends and loved ones. Inspired by tiddlytown, but most spaces are general resources and goods. Together, we might maintain a little barn where you can get adoptables (circa 2000s web), a gift shop, a bulletin board, and a house that you can teepee.

In it, first, a library that is a collection of commonplace books: recipe books, photo books, journals (maybe some personal) etc. with several authors, inconsistently published (whenever we feel like it). My friends and I aggregating knowledge through context-specific blogs in the form of a library you can read.

(I have other thoughts about blogs like notebooks with more quirks in this tweet. This might take place elsewhere.)

2. WW(W) or Website Website (Website) is the title for my studio and research practice around websites. Aside from being the space for my writing and experiments about website, I want to foster community around it – perhaps through a mailing list or forum.

Experiments that I do here will be collaborative in nature.

  • The first prompt I’ll release is a website where every page is a room that can stand by itself. The index is a big grid of rooms, laid out like a blueprint/floor plan. Each page is named like a location in space. There might be several levels, or it might be in one giant blueprint. You might enter a dining room where you engage in a Javascript popup conversation with a waiter who does not know what water is. In another room, you will find a bug that is shaking. What is the point of this? I’m not sure, but there might be one. This is a bit similar to the communal town, so I might combine the two.
  • In relation to Brian Eno’s Music for Airports… what would Music for Browsing look like? An ambient album released only through Chrome/Firefox extension made for browsing the internet.
  • A series of interviews about people’s websites. We have lots of artist and musician interviews. Why not interviews about someone and the websites they’ve made?
  • A series of website tours.

3. With Kalo, an email delivery service with pigeons and fish. More coming soon.

4. A physical ambient radio (I touch on ambient radio later) with Maybe that you can lug around. Instead of music, it broadcasts ambient sounds from other people who have the radio. Maybe they’re at a cafe, at the beach, at the park, in class, in their bedroom, or their dog is barking really loud. You can add friends’ radio stations and create Clubhouse/Twitter Spaces like “call stations” where you can just pop in and out of each other’s space, like a casual Discord call.

It would need some form of noise cancellation and trigger to start working, I guess.

5. I want to design a new audio player (and maybe cheap field recorder). I’m imagining something that can take a USB C flash drive (or whatever DJs carry around), no media other than audio. Great scrubbing, some sort of playlist feature, EQ adjustments, way to flag audio, maybe a way to record audio. I’m interested in doing this as a challenge at designing not only interfaces, but hardware with unique mechanics. If we design speculative systems, why not also design the bodies that contain them?

6. Publication on alternate computing & networking histories and internet culture outside of the US. An archive and journal.

I suppose this would talk a lot about memes, but I’m interesting in crafting a local history of the internet. I think an interesting archive that could accompany this is the hyperlocal websites that existed back in the 2000s (or now!), like the site for a small business, local non-profit, or the blogs of people who lived at that time and wrote about the life around them. When I think of this, I think of all the lives that were lived in the internet cafes I frequented: the unique networks, relationships, and spaces that digital networking offered us. Weird subcultures, etiquette, and practices that emerged in specific spaces. A glossary, memorial, and tribute of some sort; a recounting of personal narratives.

7. Close.events: a seasonal selection of software, writing, games, interactive fiction websites, etc. about digital intimacy.

I made a website for it that is now vastly outdated.

8. Maybe is a press that I am building out (especially once I have things in my apartment again). Specifically the Ambient Release focused on ‘conscious listening’ and ’embodiment’.

  • An ambient radio station. Shows are mundane conversations, commutes, coffee shop chatter, parks, etc. — the sounds of friends and the people around us. I ran a test for this.
  • An ambient cafe. A picnic and nice cafe drinks focused on listening to the environment around us.
  • An ambient listening party. Gathering at a strange spot to listen to the natural environment. We might even stream it.
  • An ambient dinner party. A sensory dining experience (but I hate the stuff where your senses are actually deprived) where we have nice scented take-home menus. I DJ an ambient mix throughout.
  • A collection of amateur field recordings.
  • A workshop about how to field record.
  • A workshop about listening.
  • A mystery cassette exchange.
  • To the maybe.press philosophy, any other series of engagements/prompts/art that might rise from this.

9. A rave.

10. To revive Girls.ph, ideally in newsletter form and the loose IG stories we were doing. I think there is value in documenting what my friends and I had loved as communities seem to gather around us — it’s creating a space for ourselves in the world. Only good things have arisen from being vocal about what mattered to us. It naturally draws the right people in.

11. Finish my ambient EP.

12. Lots of talks with Developh.

13. My paracosm wiki has been an on-off effort for the past decade and I want to publish it and create frameworks around them. It currently lives on a private TiddlyWiki instance, but I want to share it someday.

14. I’m working on compiling entries from this blog and others in an artist’s book. I’ve been loosely working on it for months but probably won’t be serious about it until someone really motivates me to do it or I secure some type of funding/deal for it. I don’t think it’s interesting because of the writing, but because of the content and context — and because I’ll design the shit out of it. One day, we’ll look back at the blogs of this era with a particular kind of fondness and sensibility for what it was like to grow up under the conditions I did.

On what already exists

  1. Updating engine.lol and formally publishing it on itch.io, and doing more work around it. I love the tool but have been a bit paralyzed, haha.
  2. I’m working on an idle-ish incremental browser-based gardening game that I teased a bit through Instagram. This will be the next big thing I release.

On the larger-scale

My long-term goal is to turn Developh into a community space in Manila. I want to create a library and community center that holds classes and events and small exhibitions, with a nice press and studio space to host residencies and the like.

I want to be the type of person that always creates communal spaces. From my new apartment in San Francisco to everything else in life I create: once I’m settled, this is 100% an invitation to come over and peruse my books and collections so we can sit down and learn from each other, and I can cook you a meal.

I want my whole life to be about creating spaces where people can create, so they can create the spaces they need and the people they love need, and so on and so forth. I want to constantly create worlds.

If you are interested in any of these ideas

I want to talk. hotemogirlfriend at gmail, DM me on Twitter, or 4752091571 ( I can only text if you have iMessage because my carrier sucks, try other methods if you’re not Apple please, sorry ! )

Last updated: 10/1/2022

Initially published: 10/1/2022