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HSS8120 – Manifesto Changelogs & Metadata

Pre-Build: 5,962 characters, 1,145 words, 1 passages, 0 links, 0 broken links
Version 0.1: January 1st 2017 – figuring out Twine 2.0.
-Added Parts 1 & 7
-Learned to use <tags| and (click-replace:)
-Learned to use (text-style:)

Version 0.2: January 1st 2017 – beta testing with parents
-Experimented with the text-styles: *italics*, //bold//, ~~redacted~~ and “Shudder”
-Learned to use {(live:)[]} and (click:)

Version 1: ??? characters, ??? words, 17 passages,  11 links, 1 broken links
Version 1.0: January 2nd 2017 – brackets within brackets
-Settled on *italics* and “Shudder”
-Learned how to use multiple macros simultaneously
-Built Parts 1-3
-Added html hyperlinks
-Noticed adding (click:) and (click-replace:) macros inside {(live:)[]} macros caused both to print conflicting things, attempted fix

Version 1.0.1: January 2nd 2017 – re-reading the manual
-Okay that didn’t work why the hell didn’t that work ohgodohgod I can’t fix it and I broke something else by trying

Version 1.2: January 2nd 2017 – frantic googling pays off
-Added (stop:) macros to fix the issue with {(live:)[]}
-Started redundant passages so as to have backups of everything
-Added another 30 names to the attribution list in Part 4
-Added and built Parts 4-6
-Built Part 7
-Added and build Part 8

Version 2: 28,465 characters, 2,802 words, 26 passages, 16 links, 1 broken links
Version 2.0
: January 3rd 2017 – beta testing with friends
-Figured out how to export, save and send the Twine to other people to run in their browsers
-Changed font to “Calibri” in meta Parts 1-6 and 8, to help Part 7 stand out
-Added (stop:) macros to the majority of {(live:)[]} macros in order to reduce the number of macros running simultaneously (especially in Part 7)

Version 3: 13,794 characters, 1,244 words, 8 passages, 7 links, 0 broken links
Version 3.0
: January 4th 2017 – finished version?
-Added (css: “text-decoration: line-through”) to crossed-out title in Part 8
-Removed redundant backup passages
-Re-organised passage layout (now linear)

Version 3.1: January 15th 2017 – upcoming tweaks
-In progress


HSS8120 – Hrrm

Project Folders Screenshot 1

Writing: You will draw on the many traditions of the artists’ manifesto to produce a manifesto for post-truth art.
That doesn’t sound so bad.

Presentation: You will produce a 20 minute (+10 for questions / discussion) performative lecture.
20 minutes. That’s a long time. But I’m used to standing up and talking in front of people (kind of), and it’s a very broad remit. I should be able to come up with something.

Project: You will produce an artefact(s), prototype(s) or well developed plan(s) for a work which treats with the subject of ‘post-truth’’.
Oh, right. A physical thing? Or at least a thing that you can put in a gallery/exhibition-type space? Or at least a thing that you can put in front of a person for to examine and prod and poke at and say things like ‘I like it’ or ‘It’s very loud’ or ‘I don’t understand why it has to be sideways’? Right. Okay. Got it. Hrrm. Well. Okay.

This is going to be a new experience.

The Blog: You should use the blog to record your making process throughout. Don’t leave this to the end but


Hopefully that should help.

Portfolio Poems & Spoken Word Adventures

Team Edinburgh 2

So my portfolio for Introduction to the Craft of Writing is handed in, and now that’s out the way it’s time to catch on the blogging and documentation.

The portfolio required 10-12 pieces of poetry, which is a lot more than I would normally come up with in a short space of time. The pressure was useful – I produced more pieces than I would have done otherwise, which I’ll mark down as a good thing, although the one’s I’m happiest with are still the ones that were produced at the start, while the pressure was still off. They’ve been up on my poetry blog since the start of the new year:
My Nan’s Book Group Could Beat Up Your Nan’s Book Group
Celebrant – featuring the whale picture, courtesy of Elena.

That’s not all I’ve been up to though, poetry-wise, there have been some cool gigs too – an awesome variety night hosted at Ashley’s by Lauren Stone, a Real Sesh session with Alexei and Ben, and Culture Lab Radio transmission 2.0 with a whole host of weird and wonderful people. Best of all, I went down to London to compete in the group portion of the Hammer and Tongue national poetry slam final, and we won! It was incredible. Check out this post for more info on that.


HSS8120 – Thinking about manifestos


When we were given our four assignments, and one of them was to produce ‘a manifesto for post-truth art’, I didn’t really even know what a manifesto was, so I was grateful that we were given some examples. I also did some googling, and mostly what I found could be divided into two kinds. There were the ones that seemed like motivational posters in disguise, and the ones that seemed more like messages pinned to the doors of government buildings by optimistic revolutionaries or written on the wall of the screen of a crime.

That aside, I had a suspicion that the second kind was the kind that our tutours were secretly hoping we would produce – they seemed to be much more interesting, and were also closer to the definition given by good old Wikipedia. They also struck me as really quite presumptive – big bold statements about the nature of art that set out goals the not even the authors could ever fulfill, let alone anyone else. That also made me wonder whether they were ever actually meant to be followed by anyone apart from the people who wrote them, and whether they were really instructional at all. Were they more like an explanation, an attempt by the authors to account for themselves by saying ‘this is what I’m doing/trying to do’?

Whatever the point of a manifesto, and whoever the actual audience (the audience, other artists, or the author themselves) it seemed to me that writing a manifesto must require a great deal of self-assurance – in your statements and in your own ability to live up to them. Not only do you have to make bold sweeping statements like ‘nothing in art is new or old fashioned only good or bad’, but then you have to put your money where your mouth is.

I think I can get behind the idea of a manifesto as a kind of abstract to-do list. I am, after all, all about to-do lists – nothing bad ever came from setting yourself goals or holding yourself to a high standard, providing you can handle the possibility of failure.

As a public statement, I’m not so sure. I don’t think I would ever presume to go about telling another artist how to do their work. I’m sure a lot of the people who have produced this kind of manifesto are consciously engaged with the presumptions inherent in them, but still. It would bother me. Likewise, if I felt the need to explain my work, to say ‘look this is what I was trying to do when I made that piece you just looked at’, I would probably consider that I hadn’t done a good enough job of making my work self-explanatory and accessible.

This manifesto is one I like. I think it’s self-explanatory, gives context, helps to put Stuckist art in context, and if I wanted to go about trying to be a Stuckist it would give me a lot to go on. But I’m not really in the business of starting my own movement, and I hope that each of my works stands on its own and provides at least enough context for people to engage with it. I grappled with that issue a little bit towards the end of my outcomes video, and I think I’ve decided that I like my art self-explanatory. The extent to which this means it has to show its working I think should equal to extent to which the finished product draws meaning from the working. Not that that’s a simple question to answer.

So anyway, what does all this mean for the manifesto I’m going to attempt to produce? Is it going to be for me, for aspiring ‘post-truth artists’, or for the poor people who have to be the targets of ‘post-truth art’? I think it’s going to have to be all three, to some extent. I might not be keen on bold statements of intent, but I think part of my reason for being skeptical of them is because I generally don’t have the confidence in my work to do so myself. But because I still stand by everything else I’ve said so far, I’m also going to do my best to make sure my manifesto goes some way putting my money where my mouth is, rather relying on the other parts of the project to somehow prove its not all just hot air.

That’s the idea anyway.

Documentation Practice – Writing Screencasts

As a further attempt to figure out how best to document my work for this course, I saved up a few different ideas and had a crack at screencasting myself working on them to see if I can glean anything useful by recording the writing process. They’re pretty lengthy, but I think this is a process worth repeating and has the potential to be useful with a bit of selective editing.




Documentation, to-do lists and digital thinking, or: I’m a mess and its a miracle I get anything done

We had a session on documentation this week and it struck me that the main form of documentation that naturally springs up around my week is the humble to-do list. I’m fairly one-track minded and scatterbrained, so when I have lots of disparate things to do (like now) I make a lot of them. Its a habit I picked up from my Dad. Here are six short lists I made today in an effort to sum up where my head is right now and provide me with a bit of a record for later on:

Posting these is less to guilt myself into doing things (although it might have that effect) and more an attempt to take a snapshot of where I’m at right now with various modules and the other things I’m trying to juggle right now.

They’re fairly illegible, and even without my handwriting they’d probably be incomprehensible, but I found compiling them together to be a useful exercise.

And of course, the digital age has brought with it a whole plethora of new ways to create and ignore to-do lists. Here’s all the stuff my sticky notes are nagging me to do at the time of writing. Digital reminders are great, but I’ve found that deleting something or rubbing it out isn’t nearly as satisfying as crossing it off.

…and here ‘s a few screenshots of the notepad app on my phone. I’ve only had this phone since August and I’ve already made over 300 memos on it. Some of them are lines in potential future poems, some of them are early drafts of things, some of them are reminders, and some of them are whole to-do lists in their own right:

I send myself a lot of emails too. Most of them are reminders, and they do tend to provide a little snapshot into the things I was concerned with (or especially worried about forgetting) at the time:

…and while we’re picking my digital brain, here’s a screenshot of my desktop. Its horrifically messy, which is probably because its equal parts organized 1) for logical reasons, 2) for helping me organize my thinking, and 3) for showing off the desktop background and making things all nice and symmetrical. It might look like its mostly the third one, but related things are grouped together and things that are important/need doing tend to go in salient places. That’s not an excuse, by the way. Its still a mess.

This last example doesn’t really to do with lists or memos in the traditional sense at all. Quite often I will strategically leave things lying around in the studio or at home, with the aim of tricking future me into working on them when I’m in a working mood (or in the case below, reading them when I’m in a reading mood):

And that’s it for what started out as an exercise in documentation and quickly became a confession in just how bad I am at self-discipline and time management. Oh well, if you ever wanted an insight into the daily workings of my brain, there you have it. There’s certainly enough here for an amateur diagnosis.


Creative Practice Project 3 – Outcomes Video

In the Sound Studio 2

Session 2! I met up with Mike again to record some more poems with him in the sound studio. We had quite a productive session, and here are some the better recordings.
Questions From Facebook
Life Hacks
The Staff Are Striking

I also tried of my favourite poems by well-known writers. This bit was a lot of fun (-:
Yesterday I Failed by Carolyn Jess-Cooke
Macavity by T.S. Eliot

After listening back to the audio from session 1 (but before hearing the edited audio from session 2) I had mixed feelings about the quality of my performance in them. I didn’t think they were as good as some of the performances I’ve given onstage, anyway. So, when I found myself in the studio recording some audio for a children’s Christmas video I might be voluntarily featured in, I had second go at some of the session 1 poems as well.

For comparison – here is my recording of The Night Train from session 1, and the recording I did on my own after session 2. The audio quality for the second one is noticeably worse, but I tried to inject a bit more of the personality into it. I’m still not sure how I feel about the results.

Session 1 – The Night Train
Post Session 2 – the-night-train

Creative Practice Project 2 – Results


Alrighty, finally got around to uploading the four videos I made with Shawn, Ares and Chloe a few weeks ago for the Creative Practice Project. Documentation still to come, but for now, here they are!

Pitches: the results of a brainstorming game we played as a group, jumbling mediums, inspirations, subjects and names together to create ‘pitches’ for potential new pieces of work – link.

Butterfly Effect:
 a short film – based on Chloe’s idea, starring Ares. The theme was time travel (which it had in common with our fourth project as well) and it was filmed mostly in the studio – link.

 a piece made by Ares, featuring film of Chloe, Shawn and I, and using distorted voice clips of me saying various words. I was very interested to see the outcome of this one, since Ares kept it quite secretive even while accepting our input – link.

The Monolith:
  a short shadow puppet animation using little cut-out figures and backgrounds, which we made and filmed in the studio. This was probably my favourite of the four projects, because it brought our various disciplines together the most – link.

Misc Things 2


This has been a good month for poetry and games! I’m trying to keep track of this sort of thing so I can trace ideas back to their source and look at how things have helped/influenced me. Fingers-crossed this should supplement the creative journal, and help me when it comes to documentation later in the course.

Things I’ve been up to:
Variety night at Sidney Grove: I was invited by Ashley to perform at a variety night, hosted in her flat by her flatmate (and comedian) Lauren Stone. It was a lovely evening of poetry, music and comedy, including Matt Miller and Aether. I got some very positive feedback on my poems, and even managed to sell some pamphlets!

Real Sesh Radio: I joined Ben and Alexei as a special guest on their radio show Real Sesh, streamed via Culture Lab Radio. Had fun performing poems, talking music and games, and listening to the guys do what they do best. Good stuff (-:

A Visit from Schhh: our Monday seminar this week was hosted by Ann Rosén and Sten-Olof Hellström of the Schhh record label. Knitting resistors from conductive thread and drawing them with graphite was a bizarre learning experience, much more hands-on than anything I was used to. I found building the circuits from lengths of wire and logic gates very satisfying.

That same evening we had the great chance to perform with our homemade synthesizers, wool and graphite and make-shift circuits and all. We were ‘the Schhh Orchestra‘, for one night only! No doubt the most unique I’ve ever been a part of.

Further research into fictional/fictionalised maps: off the back of my quick delve into video game maps and level design, and the subsequent discussion with Tom, I got interested in different ways of visualising and mapping the city. Visualising the city based on use, especially. This took me in two different directions 1) Situationalism, specifically Simon Sandler’s book The Situationist City, a thread I’m still pulling on. I find the Debord’s way of stripping down a map to its salient features in The Naked City (below) particular useful-seeming.

2) seems like a bit on a non-sequitur, but next I ended up analysing all the different settings of the Pokemon games. I knew that each game took place in a fictionalised version of a real life place, but I hadn’t really thought through the implications of that. I found an excellent article unpicking the details of how the weirdly utopian but also surprisingly utopian way each game depicts geography, culture and ideology.

Things I’ve been enjoying:
Alphabetti Soup: I found out about this cabaret night from various people at the variety night earlier in the week. It was at Alphabetti Theatre, a cool semi-hidden venue in the city centre. Among other great acts, I got to see (and meet) Rowan McAbe, the inspirational door-to-door poet.

Owlboy: awesome 2-d platformer (can you call it a platformer when you can fly?), with great sound, visuals and storytelling. Probably my current favourite game.

Extra Credits: a friend of mine put me onto this youtube channel when he heard I was interested in game design. They do neat, bite-sized episodes about different aspects of games from a developer’s perspective. Worth checking out.

Black Mirror: not much I need to say about this. Really interesting speculative fiction (that seems to be cropping up a lot since I started CAP), lots to like.