Why bother?

It’s ironic that art feels precarious and scarce because of cultural factors, when we live in an age where it’s freeing and easier than ever to connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime. When so much art is being made. It might be a confusion, the flood causing us to dig in, reinforcing the way it has been. Keeping order and sensibility, while adapting to thoughts humans never had to hear, never had to care about, never had to see. It’s too much but someday it won’t be, I think someday it will be a new normal, and it might be too late (or was never our ball) to define what that normal is.

To answer, in essence, why bother? Change is incremental, imperceptible, the amount of blood and sweat and risk put in doesn’t match the gains. Why bother?

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Vextro Reading List Vol. 2

Vextro is made possible with contributions to is patreon. Okay that’s not really true as of this post but it needs be. I digress, we all made it another month! Well, a month and then some. A lot is on the line here but also not much at all. That’s a weird feeling of displacement, stress in service of a void. In pride, at least, everything this site has set out to accomplish is being accomplished. I don’t really know what’s going to happen, but hell, support underground games. The meme to stand by: support underground games. Listed in order of how long each takes to finish.

continue to volume 3

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Automatism and La forêt

Often when procedural generation is mentioned, someone will express, without room for debate, that things generated by an algorithm can never match up to the human touch. It’s always a huffy kind of statement, like it’s a waste of time to even consider any virtues. Really, it should be obvious, these styles of creation are not competing whatsoever. Still, people recoil at art that cannot transfer directly into some agreed upon essence of humanity, art that doesn’t reflect some soul or personality. That which cannot be rooted in the skill and cunning of its creator. It can seem like rejecting a personal touch is undermining the statements and abilities of a human author. Underpinning this an implicit fear that the recognition and social capital of the artist is under attack. As if making things needs to service the potential of perfect human genius, where each part is positioned with the utmost care; art as a contest of how much a master agonizes over small details.

Automatic art, random art, aleatoricism, mean to leave some part of the process of creation up to chance, though each in different ways. Automatism has a history in spiritualism—unconscious writing was believed to be the work of possession or some kind of psychic link with the afterlife. I can’t claim those or any irrational conclusion as false, because automatic art is an expression of the irrational. Classic surrealists were enamored with automatic techniques. They allow for creation uninhibited by rules or expectations, communication without any specific code-switching. Subconscious art can emulate dreams, incorporate the unexplained, pay tribute to the real omnipresent factor of the arbitrary.

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Vextro Reading List Vol. 1

This is nothing more than an aggregation of whatever Vextro covered in the time span between podcast episodes. Which isn’t actually on a tight schedule either. So these anthologies will just come out when they come out. I’m just thinking of these as a quick reference, an alternative to engaging with every single thing we put out, putting more of a focus on the games. Our interest is in varied expression and hopefully in the process foster a better sense of “videogame literacy” or whatever that means. Listed in order of how long one takes to finish.

continue to volume 2

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