Combination Pizza Hut and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater
Hello! How are you! Good day to you!
Me? I’m ok! It’s been a very odd and very long week here, many challenges, many unending torments, thanks for asking.
Oh the calamities.
Our dog was attacked by a pit bull! This is true!
The pit bull did that pit bull thing1 where it grabs the other dog by the throat? My girlfriend did the enraged mama thing where she literally pried the pittie’s jaws apart with her own hands!?
But everybody’s fine!
Tbh we do have a cool x-ray of her hand to show for it.
Before you ask why I didn’t put my hands in the pittie’s mouth, I wasn’t there! I was too busy eating the wrong tacos and getting a tapeworm that made me hungry for three days straight. I literally ate a whole chicken in one sitting. Don’t look at me I am gross.
But none of that is why you’re here!
You’re here for the links.
Let’s get to the links.
The 12-Step Brand and Content Strategy framework is getting a lot of love on Miro. Do use it for your creative challenges! Feedback welcome and encouraged.
I’ve been enjoying my zoom conversations with readers lately. Got a content challenge you need help with? Wanna talk shop? Just wanna slap fives? Schedule a call, I’d love to meet you.
Katalog is a project by Belgian photographer Barbara Iweins, who basically knolled all all her belongings over a four year period: “for four years, room by room, drawer by drawer, I photographed, indexed and classified my entire house. Absolutely everything: from my daughters torn sock to my sons Lego, but also my vibrator, my anxiolytics … absolutely everything.” Go now, visit her web site, sort and categorize her objects by color or location or whether Iweins would save them in a fire. More great collections: the Gallery of Physical Visualizations and the world’s most delightful collection of typographic posters.
Speaking of organization. Here’s a great and brief review of The Filing Cabinet: A Vertical History of Information, a book which I’ve been enjoying recently—especially the idea of granular certainty and how, at the dawn of the 20th century, the idea of knowing was transitioning from “knowledge” (an idea which required a knower) to “information” (parts of an idea, which only required interchangeable workers to manipulate). If the organization of information butters your biscuit, you can further investigate its delights and dangers with The Grid Book by Hannah Higgins, Seeing Like a State by James C. Scott, or my silly essay Seeing the World Through Facebook’s Eyes.
The most interesting thing about AI art engines like Dall-E and MidJourney and Stable Diffusion, to me, a writer, is that the future of art looks a lot like writing. This is not a surprising take! “Get good at writing prompts” is, like, what everybody is saying as they type rococo whatthefuckery into existence. For example, witness the analogical krabi-krabong that Andy Baio uses to create images in Opening the Pandora’s Box of AI Art, e.g., “combination Pizza Hut and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater” and “two slugs in wedding attire getting married, stunning editorial photo for bridal magazine shot at golden hour”. 💀⚰️ Is it ethical to train AIs on copyrighted work? Is it ethical to allow people to make generative copies of copyrighted work? I don’t know! Neither does Andy, but his post is an excellent primer on the questions of this (artificially intelligent) moment. See also: AI and the Art Apocalypse by Alexander Wales. Anyway, the other day I asked my girlfriend if she’d ever seen Robocop, and she was like that’s the one with Arnold Schwarzenegger, right? Yes. Exactly. That’s the one.
Speaking of creativity and existential crises: advertising agencies! Read this. It’s a post by Richard Hurley, creator of Civilization the newspaper (not the game) and co-founder of Food, which surely has the choicest web site in the hither and yon. Richard’s using his guest editorship at It’s Nice That to critique the uniformity of agency CREATIVITY™. “It seems there is something about how creative people are organised en masse right now that is blocking anything especially interesting emerging.” It’s a fair point! Everybody’s using the same divergent-convergent tricks. And of course they are! It’s all business. All business is commodification, standardization, efficiency. Create something of value. Copy it. Sell it. Now do that faster. Now do that at scale. We’re in this interesting moment where that process of copying, formerly driven by bones and butts humans, is now being driven by algorithms. You can draw a line from Taylorism to the filing cabinet to Herbert Simon to StableDiffusion. It’s a crisis of copies, friends. Our delightful mimetic moment.
8 fun tools
Presented here, in no particular order, are eight tools I’ve been delighted by lately: Gamma (“write like a doc, present like a deck”), Nutshell (interactive footnotes), Movemap (filter where to live), Viral Post Generator (ugh slash lol), Geneva (group chat tool), Selaro (search across apps), fockups (f’d up mockups), w1d1 (daily creative challenges).
Whither goest thou in thy shiny inbox at night?
More delightful resources
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I’d love to help you develop and deploy creative and bold ideas or staff your newsroom, content, or marketing project. Thanks for reading. Be seeing you.
Pit bulls are wonderful animals and don’t deserve their reputation for violence. It’s usually the owner, not the pittie, that creates the conditions for violence. Adopt more pitties!