Happy New Year everyone!
I have been tempted several times during the course of writing to click though the links at the top.
But Lot’s wife was transformed into a pillar of salt because she looked back on Sodom (Gen. 19:26). I fear the same will happen to me if I were re-read, re-view and re-litigate old thoughts about past years.
I have spent the last few years railing against cultural fracking, and over the last year (especially) I have also become deeply suspicious of nostalgia.
Not just the cultural nostalgia that is driving Brexit and the UK governments ageing voter base. But also the nostalgia that drives conversations at summer BBQ’s with old friends.
Lot’s wife became salt. An inert material. Salt is used as a metaphor for the imagined past she still longed for. A harmless past, a static one.
Nostalgia is the evocation of history without vitality. Treating the past as if it were no longer alive. The imagined past that lots wife looked back upon was inert.
Saint McKenna tells us that Rome Falls 9 Times an Hour. The consequences of its fall ripple out though time and disturb the pool of the present to this very day. The fall of Rome is continuous, there can be no nostalgia for its loss.
Last year therefor remains co-continuous with this one. The future is like the present, only there is more of the past when we get there.
The body of work is the work of body.
So instead let’s look to the work of body as remains alive as last years body of work.
I closed out 2022 with the traditional EOY Episode so I wont repeat myself.
But I will say that I feel that much of the exploration of worlds last year was strong.
I’m sure much of it will find its way into (or referenced in) much work that is to be done this year.
The podcast (and this blog) is also my primary social media.
In 2023 I wish to move away from making easy episodes of the show that are nothing more than meta-commentary on things happening on Twitter. It’s cheap, low effort and easy.
Not what I want to do with my time or what I want to do with the show.
I will however continue to advocate, impress, beseech people to create, write, make, produce, do absolutely anything that isn’t wasting time on social media.
Speaking of anything other than social media, I made and published 3 zines last year.
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As the the cost of living rises and the certainties of Web2 creator capitalism crumbles around us the ‘Support my emails for just £5 a month and in return you’ll receive … more email‘ model seems like a problem in the current media environment.
I can’t quite put my finger on why – though I tried in issue #002 ‘The Return of the Real’.
MAKING A ZINE, getting it printed, folding it up, writing the names and addresses of real flesh and blood people on the envelope, and then sending it to them in the post seems somewhat daring.
RECEIVING a hand made zine 4 time a year in the current media environment?
I spent a great deal of energy and effort in the final few months of last year working on a new podcast – an interview show.
It’s also exactly the sort of show that – if you know me – you would expect me to make after 200 episodes of a solo essay show.
The set up of the show, its subject matter and format is (I think) quite novel. It’s certainly like no other show I’ve ever heard.
Season 1 will be out at some point in Q1.
The Ministry Of My Own Labour
I did a lot of work that will never see the ‘public’ light of day this year. Much of that work was piecemeal also feast or famine.
I am promising myself right now that I will no longer sign any insane NDA’s that prevent me from talking about the subjects I’m interested in. For example this year I can finally talk about NFT’s in depth and detail again. Which seems a bit like a blessing now the white hot hate towards them has cooled off?
I’m really tired of doing good work for other people that goes nowhere because a different set of other people are disinclined to fund it, or take it forward.
Perhaps I should get a job. 🤔
Speaking of which, I also did quite a bit of world running / narrative strategy consulting throughout 2022. I’ve been inside some cool projects and wonder how they will progress, if they will get funded, etc. If they do I will point to it proudly and say ‘I helped with that’.
In addition to the perviously mentioned ‘worlds’ podcast episodes, the most important thing I published on my blog in 2022 was probably the post on wind up worlds.
That post has put me in rooms with people I had never thought I would meet or interact with. Autonomous Worlds on the blockchain are coming really fast. I know a lot about them. Surly someone will pay me to advise on one? I reckon that you reading this may play a game this year and have no idea that you are interacting with a distributed ledger.
I taught on two separate university courses last year as a guest lecturer. Super fun. Love Zoomers. lol
Taught the 8 week course on DAO’s for the New Centre alongside Ross McElwain from 𝔦𝔪𝔭𝔬𝔰𝔰𝔦𝔟𝔩𝔢 ⟠ 𝔬𝔟𝔧𝔢𝔠𝔱. I think it went really well, and I’m very grateful for the friendship that has emerged between Ross and I as a result.
I also did quite a few ‘expert interviews’ in 2022.
When the Canadian media fund trends report comes out I’ll post about it.
I was also interviewed by several agencies working for multinational corporations. I am aware that I sound like an alien when being asked about Web3 compared to their other experts they are talking too but I’m ok with that.
Also to re-iterate to myself as much as anyone else, I think I need a job. 🤔
The Forest Bed
My band recorded our first EP in 2022, it’s being mastered as I type this.
We also played several shows.
I heard at band practice that we may be playing Dent festival in 2023 – which will be cool. As soon as the EP is finally out we should be able to get a bunch more shows. Looking forward.
Also my parents got my headless bass fixed for me for my birthday after early two decades of being broken.
I’ve decided to play it all the time.
Because what a slow sad country band needs is a cyberpunk as fuck headless bass.
More than anything however, band practice every other week is a highlight in my social calendar. A chance to hang out with friends, directed towards a group/collective end, without alcohol involved.
Many years ago my old house mate completed a 365 project, ever since then I’ve wanted todo one too.
Taking a photo-a-day for an entire year has to be one of the most creatively rewarding things I’ve ever done. I can hand on heart say that I’ve enjoyed taking each and every photo.
I’m going to get them all printed and put them in an album.
In the beginning I was raring to go, and things started well. Then around the last week in January it dawned on me what a colossal amount of effort taking a photo of the day is. ‘Oh god there is so much year left to go’.
But you keep going, every day, every week, every month and complete the year.
Somewhere along the way all the regular creative expression builds up and it becomes more than just a daily photo. It changes the way you look at the world, the way you think about what you are documenting, where you are and what you’re doing.
Reviewing the complete set for the selection below, I feel like my photographers ‘eye’ was dialling around October. It only took 300 days of composition practice to begin taking ‘good’ photos.
Some of the best photos I ever taken were snapped in the last year. Photos I probably wouldn’t have taken if I hadn’t been doing this project or carrying a smartphone.
When Jan 1 rolled round, I just kept going. If I can take a photo-a-day for one year…. why not two?
In addition to sharing photos on my blog each month I’ve decided to return to Instagram and post them there as I go.
Already it feels weirdly retro sharing photos on that app in 2023. I may consider turning my account off locked.
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