The arrival of the Anthropocene recognises the significant global impact of human activity on the Earth’s ecosystems. Building on Huizingia’s understanding of the relationship between play and culture, this essay explores the role that play could have in survival strategies or to provide awareness of the impact of human processes in the Anthropocene. In this worldview, play has a primary function in culture through its role in modelling modes of human survival: simulation is good tool for understanding the impact of systems on the world; play enables the possibility to become adaptive and ‘hack’ the world as conditions change; and lastly, play suggests that a changed philosophical perspective may offer an evolutionary edge for survival in a changing world. Drawing on Lévy, Bogost, Harman and Parikka strategies for play are explored using micronations and pervasive games; demonstrated and illustrated by analysis of games from recent experience within the Micronation of Ludea.
Disappointingly, this week has been nowhere NEAR as mental as last. Ah well, normal life has to reassert itself sometimes, I suppose. Speaking of normal life, or that which passes for it in these Ballardian times, mine's on hold for a bit as of tomorrow as I pop to Venice for a few days with my mum - anyone with any top Biennale tips, feel free to share them with me. Web Curios will hence be on holiday next week - in its absence, why not try smiling at strangers, or cultivating an unusual but by no means unpleasant feeling of gentle optimism about the future? Neither of those things will make any long (or even medium, or possibly short)-term difference to the course of your or indeed anyone else's life, but when you only have plasters with which to treat your axewound then you must make do and mend.
Anyway, don once again the ritual blindfold and clasp tightly the end of the proffered string as once more we delve deep within the twisting, angular corridors of the weblabyrinth, taking care not to drop it lest you be left down here all alone with nothing but the algorithms and spambots and bongo agreggators and the loneliness which can only be measured in binary - THIS, AS EVER, IS WEB CURIOS!
Digital Futures UKMX is part of a year-long joint cultural programme between the UK and Mexico. The project launched in June with the aim to find creative solutions to problems common to two particular cities - Mexico City and Dundee - such as the environment, climate change, open data, waste and sustainability.
For last week's Digital Design Weekend at the V&A, a group of digital makers and developers came in from Mexico to show and talk about their work. We caught up with two of them, asking about the thinking behind two specific prototypes on show as well as the digital and startup scene back in their home country.
The Deep Sweep is a new project from Julian Oliver, Danja Vasiliev and Bengt Sjölen at art collective the Critical Engineering Working Group. Like many of the group's past works, it's an interventionist piece - scanning the radio signal space normally occupied by drones.
Satire is dead, killed by politics. There's literally nothing that I can write here which could come close to the brain-splittingly odd events of a week in which several organs of the national press felt it necessary to publish definitions of both necrophilia and bestiality so as to assure their readers that the Prime Minister could not, in fact, have been guilty of either.
I know that my continual repetition of this refrain is marking me down as an increasingly old and confused antique, but modernity is baffling to the point of incomprehensibility at times.
So whilst I slope off to wrap a blanket over my knees and sit in a bath chair with an ear trumpet, you young things gather round and suckle at the many porcine knowledge-dugs of the web, each ready to dispense a warm and sticky flow of CONTENT MILK into your waiting, gummy maws - as ever, THIS IS WEB CURIOS!
“Burning Man is Silicon Valley”, tech magnate Elon Musk declared last year. But the annual festival in the middle of the Nevadan Black Rock desert may seem an unlikely place to encounter the dotcom aristocracy. Its lunar-barren landscape is a world away from the plush campus greens of the Googleplex. Thousands gather together in tribes every year to stage musical and theatrical performances, exhibit art, run workshops, “gift” free booze and food (money is outlawed) and construct fantastical welded artworks mounted by dancers and DJs who blare out whomping dubstep into the cacophonous night.
A site-specific installation opens at the West Wing of Somerset House this week, as part of the London Design Festival. Entitled Warm/Wet - coincidentally, the minimum requirements for a cup of tea in our office - it's the product of an interesting collaboration between an industrial designer and an architect.
Cologne-based design duo GradeDie (Lenny Grade and Christian Diekmann) have moved away from abstract video art for their new work: a beautiful music video for singer/songwriter Alice Rose.
So it seems the universe doesn't in fact read Web Curios, or that this particular form of cosmic ordering is broken, because despite my plea for everyone just to be quiet about Jeremy Corbyn for a bit exactly the opposite has happened and it now appears that everyone in the UK is currently afflicted with a strange variant ofspeaking in tongues whereby everything that anyone says must contain the words "Jeremy" or "Corbyn" or "beard" or "left-wing" or "national anthem" or, in my case, "deargodmakeitstopit'sfivesoddingyearsuntilthisactuallymakesanypracticaldifferencandhaveweallforgottenabouttherefumigrantsalreadyohyeswehave".
Anyway, was we eagerly await the next exciting step in the media vs a middle-aged former trot, let's step away from the political bearpit for just a second and instead take a moment to sit and smell this week's internets - close your eyes, inhale deeply, and let me help you identify the strands and unique musks which make up this week's webspaff. That topnote? Yes, it's wet dog and regret. THIS IS WEB CURIOS!
We invariably imagine electronic devices to be made from silicon chips, with which computers store and process information as binary digits (zeros and ones) represented by tiny electrical charges. But it need not be this way: among the alternatives to silicon are organic mediums such as DNA.