From Rotterdam to Pyschotherapy to Bletchley Park and Back: Some Personal Reflections

Enigma machine

This bank holiday weekend I did something I've wanted to do for years: I accompanied my 91 year old grandma on a visit to Bletchley Park, home of Alan Turing and the WWII codebreakers. Now that I'm sitting with Ciderpunx, who following our visit has made a Haskell morse code generator, I've been inspired to reflect on this cryptographic excursion myself...

We Made Interactive Bad Sex Media Bingo

If you haven't seen Bad Sex Media Bingo yet, you should check it out. Play along to your favourite TV shows: Orgasm as the goal of all sex? Check! Dodgy stats and pseudoscience? Check! Kinkphobia, bi-invisibility, sex toy product placement and celebrity 'experts'? Check, check, check!

When I got home, it seemed rude not to make an interactive web version of the scorecard with bright pink icons and spinning jQuery effects. So, now you can play along online at

Tutorial: How to Make Colour Vector Illustrations from Line Drawings using GIMP and Inkscape

It's my sister's birthday today, and for her present I wanted to make her a portrait, based on a quick sketch I did on the tram last time we hung out. I also wanted to learn more about using Inkscape, which can seem like a somewhat esoteric art. So here's what I learned about sexing up your line drawings using only open source graphics tools.

The Groan Zone: Towards a Radical Grammar of Consent for Horizontal Collaboration

The Groan ZoneThe Groan Zone.pdf V0.1 of my MA thesis on consent in horizontal collaboration is now online. It explores the feminist critique of a simplistic "yes means yes and no means no" model of consent, asking how we might radically re-frame consent as an ongoing collaboration.

Selling Compliments & Kisses on Queens Day

Puckering manThese days artists have to work out a way to be profitable. And what better way to start than on Queens Day, the national Dutch holiday on which the Vrijmarkt ('free market') means anyone can sell their wares on the street without a permit? On 30 April as Rotterdam turned into one big jumble sale and piss-up, fellow artists Inge Hoonte, Dave Young and I took the opportunity to set up our own business for the day.

Photos from Post Digital Publishing @ Transmediale 2013

Kristin Tretheway from Sourceforge introduced Booktype, the collaborative book editing software, and we discussed the limitations and opportunities it presents to designers. Geert Lovink and Florian Cramer introduced their forthcoming project, a collaboration between Hogeschool Rotterdam & Hogeschool Amsterdam, to create a toolkit for e-publishing. Designers need to be involved in shaping these media, they said, not just designing 'skins' for pre-determined layouts. Simon Worthington introduced the work of the Hybrid Publishing Consortium. Brendan Howell gave an insight into the design challenges faced by DIY e-publishers, presenting his booksprint project Exquisite Code.

Consent to Print at Transmediale 2013: The Problem of Silence

Consent To Print participants The series of Post Digital Publishing workshops at Transmediale 2013 kicked off today with three workshops on DIY Publishing, one of which was Consent To Print given by Dave Young and I.

Our workshop was an attempt to cross feminist theory, web-to-print tools and group decision-making to see what came out. It asked, is it possible for print publications to be democratically edited? What happens in a consensus-based system when a wealth of online content must be edited down into the limited form of a paper print-out?

Embedding a changing image

an image embedded from pzwart server

A very simple social experiment. I am embedding this image from the server of the Piet Zwart Institute. I've asked a number of students to help by doing the same thing, so it seems only fair that I should participate too.

Each of us can upload a new version of the image if we want to change it. The newest version will appear on all participating websites through a live src attribute in the image tag.

Various Fires in Publishing: The Facebook Problem and Other DIY Dilemmas

Various Fires in Publishing. Image:

When an artists' talk ends with someone deleting their Facebook account, you know it's a a sign of the times. And so it was this weekend at Various Fires in Publishing, with a panel on (digital) self-publishing during the Wereld van Witte de With festival.

Open Wide workshop @ LiWoLi

I gave a workshop on authorship at the LiWoLi festival called 'Open Wide', with support from the Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam. We looked at the idea of attribution, and how conventional ideas about autonomous authorship are maintained in open or semi-open licensing schemes such as the Creative Commons.


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