Category Archives: Essays

Burn the Script: We Need More Voices

After a successful run of movies in the 1980s, Spike Lee used to say “Make Black Film” like a mantra, and we saw it in the 1990s with Matty Rich, the Hughes Brothers, John Singleton, and Lee himself. It looks like it’s in effect again with boundary-bombing work by Ava DuVernay, Ryan Coogler, Arthur Jafa, […]

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In Praise of Pulling Back

In the creative process, constraints are often seen as burdens. Budgets are too small, locations inaccessible, resources unavailable. Sometimes, though, the opposite is true. Sometimes, a multiplicity of options can be the burden. “In my experience,” writes Brian Eno, “the instruments and tools that endure… have limited options.” Working with less forces us to find better, […]

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Contested Boundaries and Saturated Selves

In her book The Social Machine (MIT Press, 2014), Judith Donath outlines designs for living online. Echoing George Lakoff and Mark Johnson (1980), she writes, “We are embodied beings, who have evolved in the physical world; our thoughts and imagination are rooted in the sensory experience of our physical surroundings. Online, there is no body; […]

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