MC's blog

Week 1 Reading Response

I’m going to structure my response around the two parts of the essay that spoke to me the most: “I evoke the term 'handmade web' in order to make a correlation between handmade web pages and handmade print materials, such as zines, pamphlets, and artists books.” One topic of study that I have found myself interested in lately is that of guerrilla art and I’m not sure what they call this other type, but art that can be mass reproduced and disseminated, especially when looking at art as propaganda. Princeton’s Latin America and Caribbean library, for example, holds the largest collection of Latin America ephemera, most of which was collected during the “Dirty Wars” from the 60’s to the 90’s. There, you can access all types of pamphlets, zines, and how-to guides, all drawn by hand and mimeographed (and very aesthetic), produced by the leftist resistance. This material was very important in disseminating information about the abuses of the right-wing dictatorships and tools towards resistance. If we were to expand “ephemera” to the digital age, the internet, both as a public space and as a means of communication, becomes a really interesting tool through which I think this type of art can expand and develop into our current times. If UI/UX can be seen as “art”, then spam, embedded ads, and of course, websites, can also offer new and exciting forms of art/activism. I’m looking forward to exploring hand-made websites under this lens.

“I evoke the term 'handmade web' to refer to web pages coded by hand rather than by software; web pages made and maintained by individuals rather than by businesses or corporations; web pages which are provisional, temporary, or one-of-a-kind; web pages which challenge conventions of reading, writing, design, ownership, privacy, security, or identity.” As a student of computer science and anti-capitalist, like many of my peers I find the state of the web rather… concerning. More than just the monopolisation of software and specific web-building tools, the current state of the industry also encourages the monopolisation of ideas through very aggressive patenting as well. I appreciated the Carpenter’s description of the hand-made web as a form of resistance and activism towards a more democratic web. I am looking forward to learning about how hand-made websites and the democratisation of this type of literacy can interact with movements such as the Free Software Movement, which goes a step further than the Open Source Movement and advocates for total access to software and free cooperation among people in building better and fully accessible systems.

Hand made websites:

  1. Cookie Clicker (pure JS): https://orteil.dashnet.org/cookieclicker/
  2. Are you what you eat?: https://meganpai.github.io/are-u-what-u-eat/?fbclid=IwAR0n-fe3ZpyL9Vd7nNmQq-3DTHps6mg8a71GSRw4PYj02BSHLIIOOp85nHE

1.Patternmaking

2.Soybeans -- history, sociology, cuisine

3.Evangelicism

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