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Joined 1 year, 6 months ago

I arrange things into artworks, including paint, wood, plastic, raspberry pi, people, words, dialogues, arduino, sensors, web tech, light and code.

I use words other people have written to help guide these projects, so I read as often as I can. Most of what I read is literature (fiction) or nonfiction on philosophy, art theory, ethics and technology.

Also on Mastodon.

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Seaweed Collector's Handbook (Paperback, 2020, Profile Books Limited) 4 stars

From the publisher's website:

Seaweed is so familiar and yet its names - pepper dulse, …

Seaweed as art

4 stars

Miek Zwamborn presents a book of many parts that is very poorly named as it has almost nothing to do with seaweed. In nine chapters, a history of seaweed in art and science is described, drawing from many artists, thinkers and writers. These sections are presented as if they share themes (with msmatched names as poorly chosen as the book title), but often the sections are so scattered with good information poorly connected that the threads get lost. This can be forgiven only because the content is fascinating and because the reproductions of artworks are beautifully printed.

At the end of the book, recipes using seaweed are printed and then follows a section with Zwamborn's fantastic illustrations next to descriptions of many different types of seaweed. This final section alone makes the book worthwhile, but the other parts add value. It would be a perfect book if the early sections …

Extinction Internet (Paperback, 2022, Institute of Network Cultures) 3 stars

Networking at the end of time

3 stars

Extinction Internet is a nice artistic object, a good pocket-sized bite of theory and meme-aesthetic that satisfies a need to keep up to date with one of the thought-leaders on network theory. The text is the inaugural lecture delivered by author Lovink for his new position as head of Network Cultures at the University of Amsterdam.

Overall, this is like other pieces of Lovink's writing but more concise and delivered as a call to action. It is nice to read to keep on the pulse of contemporary theory, and it finishes dramatically, but I would only recommend this to people who are already interested in network theory. Strangely for a lecture from 2022, if it had been delivered only a few months later I think the references to AI would have been much more pronounced as they line up with many of Lovink's predictions. Perhaps that is for the next …

All About Love (Paperback, 2001, Harper Paperbacks) 4 stars

All About Love: New Visions is a book by bell hooks published in 2000 that …

All about love but hard to like

2 stars

This is a book about love, which begins by promising a different perspective than the common romantic-love angle in similar books. I hoped I would love it, but perhaps it was just the wrong introduction for me to bell hooks' writing. There are moments of brilliance, such as the excellent sixth chapter: Values, which discusses richly and poetically in how social systems influence thoughts on love.

However, most of the writing failed to land. It felt like an attempt to marry academic writing with memoir, with too little rigour for the former and too little reflection for the latter. Narrow personal reflections are given as evidence for problems with love painted with broad brushstrokes, and throughout the book the perspective is very US-centric, never considering love from any non-US or non-western perspective. Repetition also mars most chapters. In the end, the book is a bit too loose and while hooks' …

All About Love (Paperback, 2001, Harper Paperbacks) 4 stars

All About Love: New Visions is a book by bell hooks published in 2000 that …

Cultures of domination rely on the cultivation of fear as a way to ensure obedience. In our society we make much of love and say little about fear. Yet we are all terribly afraid most of the time. As a culture we are obsessed with the notion of safety. Yet we do not question why we live in states of extreme anxiety and dread. Fear is the primary force upholding structures of domination. It promotes the desire for separation, the desire not to be known. When we are taught that safety lies always with sameness, then difference, of any kind, will appear as a threat. When we choose to love we choose to move against fear—against alienation and separation. The choice to love is a choice to connect—to find ourselves in the other.

All About Love by  (Page 93)

From the excellent chapter "Values: Living By a Love Ethic" that explores what might happen if people were to embed love in their societal or cultural norms