I worked for years in tech-support phone banks and as an interface designer for large companies. I closely watched the techno-utopian ideals of the early internet give way to the software-as-hostile-architecture fortifications of the racist police state we currently inhabit. I waited until I was an adult to attempt college, because when I was young, standardized testing was my first glimpse of software that could harm me.
I’ve been learning to build my own software as a place to hide things- in the tradition of videogame Easter eggs. I would like to call what I am building harmless software, but at best, I can only aspire not to harm myself with it. It’s helped me to create places and information architecture, to memorialize things, to forget things until they are needed again, and to communicate with people who are willing to spare their attention. This “less-harmful software” is the place where my experiences performing, animating, curating games, and having helped create terrible software come together.
I view the act of play as a collaborative performance between game designers and players and make that place of performance my focus rather than software alone. My goal in starting a design education was finding new methods for situating games and software art in physical installations and social situations. Remote schooling and isolation due to Covid-19 has left me returning to the methods I already used before starting school- web design, sketch animation, and hypertext. I’ve scaled back my ideas to simple, intimate works that I can complete quickly as part of a daily practice, with plans to grow them back into public spaces when it is safe to do so. That emergence from a private idea to a public interfacing feels like a natural part of what I am trying to explore.