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Reload the Canons!

This series of articles is an attempt to play through The Canon of videogames: your Metroids, your Marios, your Zeldas, your Pokemons, that kind of thing.

Except I'm not playing the original games. Instead, I'm playing only remakes, remixes, and weird fan projects. This is the canon of games as seen through the eyes of fans, and I'm going to treat fan games as what they are: legitimate works of art in their own right that deserve our analysis and respect.

Sunday, April 30, 2023

A Multiverse Around The Corner (Where Your Dead Friends Live)

Isn't it weird how many stories lately feature villains trying to tap into alternate or simulated realities to reunite with loved ones? Let's take a tour of this multiverse full of dead relatives and what they have to say about our cultural moment.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Just, Ruinous: Poker Face and Interview with the Vampire as Superhero Stories

Our culture is saturated with superhero stories, but as those stories turn towards action adventure narratives it's up to a detective story and an epic vampire horror serial to ask "just what is a hero?" 

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Age of the Executive Auteur

The Auteur as a figure in entertainment is dead. Grown strong on digital production, a more artistically bankrupt creature emerges in their place. It is the Executive Auteur, and it's coming soon to a theater near you, whether you like it or not.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Some Nightmares Before Christmas Or Thereabouts Part 3

Happy Friday 13th! In the middle of January, we have to face the facts. Halloween indeed... ends. Send the season out at last with my top horror movies of all time.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Some Nightmares Before Christmas Or Thereabouts Pt 2

The seasonal countdown of horror movies continues, with werewolves as romantic metaphor, the horror of adolescence, and a bunch of films whose place on this list is real unstable.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Some Nightmares Before Christmas Or Thereabouts Part 1

Over the last few years, I've watched close to 100 horror movies.

Now, to escape the nightmare of the holidays, I'm ranking them. All of them.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Parafiction and the Bluecheck Crisis

A single joke tweet dropped pharma giant Eli Lilly's stock value by $15,000,000,000. Inside the aesthetics and strategies of Parafiction: the hoax as activist art.

Content warnings for: discussion of anti-queer violence, chemical spills, medical oppression, corporate malevolence.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

A Nightmare On The Brains Of The Living: Prometheus and the Undead

Prometheus was supposed to be Ridley Scott's triumphant return to making films about Aliens. Instead, we got a film full of necromancers, ghosts, and zombies. What can we make of this frustrating, tantalizing film?

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Give Me Wings: Dance Dance Danseur and the Craft of Gender

The anime Dance Dance Danseur dwells on the angst of conforming to standards of performance--of art, and of gender. Why does its protagonist seek out the pain of classical ballet training?

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

To Watch All My Heroes Sell A Car On TV

As generations age out of our youth valorizing culture, but find no purchase in our political gerontocracy, what form does the art of those too old to rock and roll and too young to die take?

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Art Beyond AI

AI art is here. How the hell are artists actually supposed to respond? If proposed answers all feel like dead ends, maybe it's time to look beyond art: to politics.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

AI Dreams of Genies: AI Art and the Fantasy of a World Without Workers

As AI advances, the hype machine advances faster. Its boosters and detractors agree: AI Art can grant all your wishes. This hyperbolic discourse hides the truth about our tech-mediated culture: we're being sold cheap knockoffs of our desires.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Autonomous Dreams: AI Art and AI Agency

Throw out the science fictions about intelligent robots. To understand AI art we don't need to get lost in press release fantasies, we need to understand the century-old art that paved the way for Dall-E.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Dreaming With The Machine: The Art In AI Art

AI art programs are taking the internet by storm. But can the products of GANs like DALL-E or Midjourney ever be more than a cool tech demo? Where is the art in AI art?

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