Good internet things, brought to you by new media artist Omayeli Arenyeka

Good internet things, brought to you by new media artist Omayeli Arenyeka
Credit: Works by Nicole He, Tj Hughes, Rachel Rose, and Hyphen labs (Edited)

We sometimes have new media artists take over our daily newsletter, Big Spam. If you like what you’ve read, you can subscribe here.

Hi everyone! Hope you’re doing well, today I’m going to do what every newsletter swears they won’t do and spam you! But first, a little bit about me.

My name is Omayeli, but I go by Yeli. I am a Nigerian-born artist and programmer. I’m interested broadly in the intersection of technology, art, and activism. For my own work, I use writing, data, code, and satire as tools to foster disillusionment with our current realities.

I recently gave a talk at the Art+Code night at XOXO Fest about something called Creative Savior Complex, which is a mindset that creatives have where they believe [insert creative tool] is the answer to everything.

A couple of my projects include Face the Music, a tool which lets you play music with your face…

…and Art Connoisseur, a bot that interprets art and parodies the often convoluted and elitist world and language of art dialogue.

I’m currently working on a project that explores gender and language.

You can keep up with me on Twitter.

Enough about me

…here are some non-me links that I love.

Artist Sean Catangui created a fun interactive visual virtual DJing piece on Glitch, a community, code editor, and learning platform all in one. (Here’s how to use it)

 
Creative technologist Nicole He made ENHANCE.COMPUTER, a cyberpunk game you play by yelling at your computer like you’re in a movie.

Tara Vancil gave a lovely talk on what a web without servers (one where we owned our data) would be like, and demoed an experimental browser called Beaker that allows you to experience it.

Nicholas Jitkoff created itty.bitty.sites, which are self-contained microsites that exist solely as URL. That is, the sites created aren’t actually hosted anywhere — the entirety of the webpage exists as a URL compressed using what’s known as the Lempel–Ziv–Markov chain algorithm.

Hang Do Thi Duc, a coder and privacy researcher, reviewed about 207,984,218 public transactions and used that information to explore the lives of 5 unsuspecting humans who use the Venmo platform in her project “Public by Default.”

3D-modeling

In college, I tried and failed to learn 3D modeling. I’ve come across several projects recently that made me regret not giving it another go…

Tj Hughes is creating NOUR, an experimental food art game. The only purpose is to play with food.

Rachel Rose’s work merges the natural and the digital.

Historically, video game companies have been terrible at designing black female characters.

As a result, the industry had not tackled visualizing natural black hair, especially Type 4 hair — the tightly coiled, natural texture which I have. Game studio Campo Santo, took up the challenge for their next project, In the Valley of Gods, which features a black female protagonist named Zora with natural Type 4 hair.

The game’s lead artist, Jane Ng, describes the importance and process of accurately representing this common hair texture in this blog post. If you’re unfamiliar with black hair, C. Spike Trotman, cartoonist, bestselling author, and founder/owner of Chicago’s largest comics publisher wrote this cheat sheet.

At XOXO Fest this year, there was a VR popup where I got to experience a VR narrative by Hyphen labs, called NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism (NSAF).

It’s a “transmedia project in which we use various platforms to explore themes of black womanhood, technology, security, protection, and visibility.” The first scene you experience is a futuristic hair salon located somewhere deep in the multiverse.


While NSAF aims to increase the presence of black women in VR, my friend Nabil Hassein recently wrote an article against inclusion. Specifically, against Black inclusion in facial recognition.

Still, on the topic of facial recognition, Nonfacial Portrait by Shinseungback Kimyonghun is a series of portrait paintings of real people that cannot be recognized by facial recognition AI.

Lastly, please remember to take care of yourself. Follow tinycarebot if you need some help with that! :)

Liked this column? It’s part of our Big Spam daily newsletter. Subscribe down here:


Read next: MediEvil the first of many PlayStation All-Stars that needs a remake