Aluminum Smile

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He stands in front of the Hype Machine as it pulses and whirs. He cracks open his energy drink, the can clammy from condensation. The sweat from his fingers glides across the aluminum lip. If it weren’t for the whirring, gurgling buzz of the Machine, the transfixed crowd would hear him gulping between sighs of refreshed “Ah!’s”.

The Machine would open soon. Continue reading

They Came on Ships

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Nicholas and Jerrod Galanin form the contemporary art duo, Leonard Getinthecar. From Sitka, Alaska, the two produce works meditating on indigenous identity in the modern world and the narrative construction of history from their perspectives as part ethnically Tlingit, part Aleut, but also “American.”

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Your Consciousness is a Dead Alien Lying in a Pit in New Mexico

 

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I’ve been thinking about E.T. as an alien. E.T. is a thing from another place, an other, but also a scientist. E.T. isn’t his name, it’s his designation. We don’t know his name, but he specializes in botany and likes candy. He’s a friend to children. He’s telekinetic, and quick enough to hide from the government and pick up English from watching TV. We don’t know his name and maybe if we did we couldn’t even say it. He’s only what humans can imagine him to be: Extra Terrestrial. He’s a curiosity, maybe a threat, and definitely the main character in a really good story. He, if he’s even a “he,” is all the labels we assign to him. Continue reading

Last Minute Recovery

We were all still laughing at around 3 a.m, doing tequila shots in my friend’s parents’ basement. Our car had broken down at a truck stop about 100 kilometers into Ontario in a small rural town called Ingleside. There was some mechanical issue with the driver’s Ford Focus—a known issue with that model which causes the automated security system to jam and the key not to turn in the ignition. The quaintly foul-mouthed gas station attendant did all he could, as did a Ford mechanic who happened to stop by. Nothing, from jerking the steering wheel to unplugging and replugging the battery, would budge it. “That’s really fuckin’ weird,” the attendant ultimately concluded with all the delivery of a Canadian stereotype.

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Soup is Good Food

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Consider soup. Think about the feelings soup conjures when you imagine it. Warmth, comfort, satisfaction, remedy, safety, hominess. We have, as with all things, an ideological relationship with soup. Soup is a foodstuff but it’s more than sustenance. Like bread or wine, soup occupies a specific social and ritual identity. It’s a first course, or something to eat when sick, or something to warm when cold—and I declare that from a firmly westernized point-of-view. Every region, it seems, has its take on soup and its use for soup. The stock takes on the flavours of culture and geography, from miso to chicken bouillabaisse. The collective imagination for soup is something liquid and hot—excluding cold varieties like gazpacho. It’s domestic, even gendered. It’s something mom makes. It’s a staple. It has an earthiness. Continue reading

On Being Forced to Wait

TW: This article contains discussion of violent sexual acts and mental health issues.  

When I was a kid I was shown how to run my fingers through a flame without getting burned. It’s something I still like to do for fun, though I recall more than one occasion when the habit caused people in my company to grimace. But the light stinging sensation feels good, like the feeling of a fistful of my hair pulled back, forcing my back upright.

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GDC: Post-Death in a Paradise

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“Everybody knows that the dice are loaded

Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed

Everybody knows that the war is over

Everybody knows the good guys lost

Everybody knows the fight was fixed

The poor stay poor, the rich get rich

That’s how it goes

Everybody knows”

    -Leonard Cohen, Everybody Knows

On my very first day in San Francisco, I saw a man bleeding profusely, crusted in dirt, and smoking a cigarette. As I walked past him wide-eyed, on my way to visiting a French international school in the Tenderloin, my sister told me that she witnessed another man pull his pants down and take a shit on the sidewalk square we were approaching. I had seen poverty in Canada, sure, and I had seen homelessness, but my sister assured me I had never seen anything quite like this. Continue reading

The Corset I Wore to My GDC Microtalk

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the outfit I’m going to wear on the day of my talk. I’ve thought about the skirt, the leggings, the hair, makeup, jewelry—still deciding on the shoes—and a smart black jacket to tie it all together. I put the corset to a vote. It has to be a corset. Probably the green one.

It has to be a corset—a classic symbol of the objectification and ornamentation of women—because this thing known for bodily imprisonment gives me a strange strength. It might be because I’m someone who prefers to control her image, and I will be in a convention centre full of strange people, doing a strange thing in a strange new city. There will be photographers. I will probably be recorded, and the thought makes me quake. Those controlling tendencies are pulling at every fiber in my body. Because I will feel naked, I will feel vulnerable, I will feel scared, and my clothing is something I can control. Continue reading