• "There are so many good stories to tell about relationships with some history. The stakes are higher than the stakes of a first crush; there’s all that context to add meaning to the interactions. The characters are invested in each other. And relationships between older people typically have involve juggling other responsibilities and commitments — jobs, children from previous relationships." Excellent stuff from Emily Short on all the *other* shapes of relationships you can show. (It made make think of two very different films I've seen recently that showed deep, adult, *sibling* relationships, for starters).
  • "Perhaps “saving handwriting” is less a matter of invoking blind nostalgia and more a process of examining the historical use of ordinary technologies as a way to understand contemporary ones." Fascinating and thoughtful article about the relationship of tools (the fountain pen), materials (ink), and skills (cursive script).
  • "The characteristic grid-like simplicity of the view, the absence of barriers… a landscape where nothing officially exists, absolutely anything becomes thinkable, and may consequently happen… — that’s Reyner Banham describing deserts, though I like to imagine he was looking at a spreadsheet." Rod's component of By Hand & By Brain is just wonderful.
  • "Having to learn how to make something ‘the long way’ helps you to understand how to manipulate materials at a fundamental level. It means that you can become fluent. The ability to articulate your thoughts through and with matter, rather than just make it into a shape you have thought of, means that you are more likely to find innovative or creative ways to exploit both materials and machinery. This is true whether you are talking about traditional craft techniques or more contemporary (digital) ways of making: I don’t think you can avoid the notion that time and effort are the only way to get good at something. Using digital technology as a way to shortcut the temporal aspects of craftsmanship is effectively relegating these sources of immense creative potential to the category of ‘labour saving devices’. I am really looking forward to a time where we can fully appreciate the potential for modern digital craftsmanship, by which I mean the skilful manipulation of digital systems as ‘matter’, rather than as express facilitators of shiny objectness." yes-yes-yes-yes.
  • I've loved playing Her Story, and if you had any doubt that some of its success were more down to coincidence than writing – well, Sam Barlow's blog will prove you wrong. This, on Ballard's use of fragments, and that as a motif for storytelling is cracking. (And: lots of the readings of Her Story are coming about not just because of the quality of Barlow's work, but because non-linearity leads us to strange and exciting places; the skill is allowing the text to support that not by covering every base, but by hinting at many bases).