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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, 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?


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.

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