Elliott Cost, Folk Computer and Ivan Zhao
Sorry for the delay this morning. Our plans changed, as Uno and I spontaneously decided to join Ana for a work trip. However, the links are as good as always. Today's edition also features the internet poet Elliott Cost who speaks at Naive Yearly.
O-p-h-e-l-i-a is a horizontal scroll.
Field of flowers is sortable garden.
Compost your internet is a way to spend time inside your room.
A story about a man who decided to digitalize 200 issues of an old computer magazine.
Like I indicated, there was very little care for margins, and none for minimum size of text. Computer Shopper advertisers did whatever they wanted, however they wanted, and into newsprint, which further made things whacky because bleed is a major issue, pulling the other side’s ink into the current one. And all of this on a massive piece of paper – so in total, the original TIFF file of this image is a full-on 20 megabytes – and this issue has over 400 pages. — Jason Scott
In New York, two people are working on Folk Computer — a computer that is not an image of a desktop but a real one. To explain the possibility of “an interface that is haptic and three-dimensional,” Olivia Kan-Sperling reflects on journeys into the house and work of Emily Dickinson. The essay is as poetic as the topics.
Just as Dickinson wrote her own recipes – her rye loaf was prize-winning – and choreographed her own, idiosyncratic way of living among things – like a specially rigged basket for dropping gingerbread to children outside – she also customized language itself. This, to me, is Programming. — Olivia Kan-Sperling
Approaching 30 years of existence, The New River published its Spring 2023 edition. My favourite contribution is Ivan Zhao fever dream of generated lay off letters.
Many of these pieces engage to various degrees with the volatility of the labor force and the urgency of sustaining oneself in a changing marketplace – changes that have to do with the influx of tools such as ChatGPT that, on the one hand, open up human possibility for creation by making works like Lecsicon possible, but also beg the question: Is human labor becoming obsolete? — Florence Gonsalves and Amanda Hodes
Meet Elliott Cost
Elliott is always thinking about sites. He manifests his ideas into small hand-written HTML poems and sets them in motion like airborne dandelion seeds. I’d argue Elliott is the Shakespeare of domain names, so it is pretty unique that you'll meet him at Naive Yearly.
If you’d ask Elliott, I assume he would say that a website is not a fact but a becoming. Code creates a vessel where people fill in the meaning. Hence, many of Elliott’s sites are invitations for participation: less in the “what’s on your mind?”-way and more in the willyoumakeawebsitewithme.com-way.
special.fish became a significant artwork for Naive Weekly with a mosaic of strangers who later became internet friends.
Elliott’s collections never feel extracting. It’s not like he wants to accumulate art in his private museum. Instead, Elliott aims to nurture agency and exploration over consumption and engagement.
It’s easy to perceive his playfulness as childish. And what a compliment! It requires imagination and courage. You’ll notice the courage when you return to Elliott’s sites: they keep evolving and disappearing. It’s a dedication to the living web and the largest known HTML Treasure Hunt on the Internet Archive.
Another quality Elliott brings to play is his humor. Few people know this, but Elliott is the voice of HTML Energy, a grassroots movement building optimism for the unconventional web.
You’ll find the seasonal rhythm of nature in restnotes.email, an email community.
The representation of Elliott Cost is made by me with kind support from Laurel. You can experience Elliott in his own right at Naive Yearly, sign his guestbook, follow him on Are.na, have a coffee in his café or visit his website.
In August, when the sunflowers bloom, we gather people who expand what the web is and can be at Naive Yearly. It takes place in Copenhagen at the National Film School of Denmark.
Thank you, Ilja for becoming a paid subscriber. I’ll treat the family with peach and melon ice cream from Django.
Last week this letter was sent to 1650 inboxes. I’m keeping it donation-based and it will always be free for everyone. Currently, thirty-four people support me with a paid subscription. Logo by Studio Hollywood. Photograph by Ana Šantl.