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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.

Friday, April 29, 2022

A Gothic Tomb for Meaning: The Batman

The Batman tries to find stark moral black and whites in a world of muddy greys. Why is the film's script so frightened of the ambiguity its cinematography creates?


Thursday, March 31, 2022

An Objectively Better Square: Beyond Cryptoart's Aesthetic Field

NFT boosters try to claim the Blockchain is for every kind of artist. But what practices lie off the edge of the cryptoart map?
 

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

A Fleshy Pink Gradient: Inside Cryptoart's Quest for Aesthetic Definition

As cryptoart defenses get just a little bit smarter, a new narrative emerges: NFT artists are diverse outsiders, but conveniently are all on the same side! What does the actual range of NFT aesthetics look like, though, and just how aligned are their interests really?
 

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

The Corniness Is The Point

As celebrities sell out to NFT schemes, mutual hostility with the skeptics boils over. How can we keep our heads as cryptoart now achieves a seemingly impossible level of corniness?


Friday, December 31, 2021

Boxing Day

I found myself lost for words and drowning in boxes. I started drawing, and I didn't stop. These are comics for the old year.


Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Green Screens: Nine Perfect Strangers and Manipulation

Nine Perfect Strangers brilliantly explores how savvy operators manipulate people--and audiences. Unless... it doesn't. What do its bewildering and contradictory story choices say about self help, cults, hippies, and the harm art does?


Sunday, October 31, 2021

We Were Too Stupid For Jennifer's Body

As Jennifer's Body goes from flop to feminist cult classic, its failure gets blamed on lousy marketing. But the film's cynical jokes about 9/11 memorialization suggest the fault was with audiences: we were too stupid for Jennifer's Body.

content warning: spoilers for Jennifer's Body a decade old movie and also discussion of all the possibly traumatic contents of Jennifer's Body


Thursday, September 30, 2021

Feels Dumb Man: I Really, Really Hated The Pepe The Frog Documentary

"Feels Good Man" reveals a lot about how Pepe the Frog and its creator Matt Furie suck... accidentally. When faced with that inconvenient truth, the film and its audience will go to astonishing lengths to pretend our cultural grift economy is doing just fine.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

The NFT Rube Goldberg Machine, or, Why is NFT Art So Lazy?

Art and automation's merger long predates cryptoart's use of procedural generation.

You'll never hear NFT sellers talk seriously about that history, though, cause it reveals not just NFT art's contradictions, but also its cynical laziness. 


Tuesday, June 29, 2021

The NFT's Aura, or, Why Is NFT Art So Ugly?

NFT art is bad for the environment, and bad for artists, but critics and supporters of NFT art are both missing a key fact: it's also just bad art. Whether Beeple or Bugmeyer, it's time the stars of the NFT revolution experienced some real art criticism.

Monday, June 21, 2021

In Search Of More Applause: 'Inside' And The World Neoliberalism Promised

Bo Burnham's movie "Inside" stretches the term "comedy special" till it shatters. Why does its clutter of fragments cut so deep? Maybe because of how it reflects the world neoliberalism promised us...

content include: spoilers for Inside, neoliberalism, suicide, jokes about suicide, jokes about jokes about suicide, self-referentiality, audience hostility, alienation.


Monday, March 8, 2021

Chorby Prefers Not To: Blaseball, Bartleby, and a Fandom's Malicious Compliance

Chorby Short is an adorable frog girl who is also sometimes a witch. Or perhaps, she's just some data in a game taking the internet by storm called Blaseball. Or perhaps, she's a new example of an idea from an 1853 Herman Melville story. Or perhaps, she's all this and more? 


Monday, January 18, 2021

[0/3]: House

After the flood, what ideal endures? An empty one with potential to someday be filled again.

Part [0/3] of 2

An epilogue written a year before the main text. Major spoilers for Homestuck and Kentucky Route Zero, Gothic Marxism.


Sunday, January 10, 2021

2: Flood

When a reactionary tide floods the world, can the critic or artist salvage anything before being sucked down?

Part 2 of 2

Content warning: TERFs, dunking on bad art takes, systemic doomerism

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