First off sorry this is months newsletter is a little late. I took a little trip back to UK and so my parents took priority.
This month started with me finally realising my experiments with trying to create AI written words that are hopefully both novel and conjure emotions responses. If you’re interested, defiantly check it out here and vote on the words you find most relatable. So far people seem to be relating heavily to aporias, “the frustration of being a young person who is not sure if you’re feeling cynical about how the world works, or have just never been exposed to anything that works at all.”
In other Me and aporias related news, I have been thinking a lot about my own practice and what it means to be a critical designer. I have always held the belief, and still kind of do, that the most engaging, provocative and ‘world benefiting’ critical design uses the tools of irony, playfulness and storytelling to create things that lend ‘a critical perspective or inspire debate while increasing awareness of social, cultural, or ethical issues in the eyes of the public’. However, thanks to a very long David Foster Wallace essay, F.A.T. and a bar owning anarchist, I am no longer sure that critical design or art can tackle the world’s problems in any truly effective manner.
Rather than try and fully explain my scrambled thinking, here are my internal spark notes:
- How is my outsider critique of tech companies or capital any more effective, honest or at all different from 335 billion dollar Disney’s critique of consumption and environmental damage in “Wall-E”?
- How can artists effectively criticise companies like apple about their environmental impact (over production and built in perceived obsolescence), while they devote time and capital in marketing that talks about how environmentally friendly their packaging is?
- Alternatively, replace Apple with Google and environment with privacy.
- Is it a problem that nearly all mass-consumed art is funded by the same forms of institutions it itself critiques?
- Does art actually change anything? If not maybe it’s ok that it’s just fun to produce and to consume, and sometimes has good side effects?
- Maybe I should just focus more on my local environment and neighbourhood.
- Am I just being impatient, egotistical or aporias?
- Blackfish did actually impact SeaWorld.
That was a bit all over the place and I am not sure where I will settle on this subject. But I hope there is something in there that is at least provocative. As usual if you have views on any of this, please reach out.
That’s all from me, hope you’ve enjoyed and have a great month.