title place type year
On Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt Desired Landscapes essay 2022

"Holes in the Wall" is an essay for Athens-based Desired Landscapes magazine, on Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, the "typewritings" that she mailed all around the world from behind the Berlin wall, and growth. Wolf-Rehfeldt believed in a future better than the bordered one she lived in, which is why she made and mailed her artwork, making the wall “full of holes,” to quote curator Valerie Hortolani.

On design and local food ecologies Mold column 2022

For Mold, I write a column about the ways graphic design can help support local restaurants, establish deeper roots for food sovereignty, and nourish local food ecologies. Each is illustrated by Companion—Platform, designers I admire a lot. Find the published columns here:

On graphic design and local food ecologies
On restaurant design during the pandemic
On making Baltimore’s food web visible
On alternative economies
On tropical futures

Let’s Consider the Bootleg Jan Van Eyck Academie text 2022

I worked with Ben Schwartz to edit his bulleted essay, "Let’s Consider the Bootleg," which looks at bootlegging as an artistic gesture. Following Ben’s UNLICENSED series on Walker Art Center’s The Gradient, this piece is the culmination of a year of research at Jan Van Eyck Academie and the first part of a larger, forthcoming publication project.

Feral File Feral File exhibition materials 2022

Editing exhibition materials and editorial pieces for digital art gallery Feral File.

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Source Type Source Type publication 2022

Editorial for Source Type, a platform for typographic research and visual literacy from Laurenz Brunner.

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A Vast, Pointless Gyration of Radioactive Rocks and Gas in Which You Happen to Occur A24 book 2022

For A24, I edited a book with filmmakers Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert about the multiverse. We commissioned some writers, illustrators, poets, scientists, philosophers, and quilters we admire to make work about the different multiverse scenarios, and came away with was a book about perspective, possibilities, myth-making, and information overload. Published in March 2022, alongside the Daniels’ movie Everything Everywhere All At Once, which also takes place across the multiverse.

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On alt-text and describing the web The New York Times feature 2022

An interactive piece on alt text, the image descriptions tucked away in a website’s HTML, which people who are blind or have low vision often rely on when navigating the web. There are billions of images online, and only a small fraction of them are accessible in this way. Together with Ilaria Parogni, we talked to the people who are working to change that.

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Are.na Annual 2022 Are.na book 2022

Our third Are.na Annual is themed “portal,” as in an opening or point of entry, in the form of a website, gate, door, or hatch; an approach; a way to get or do something, a portal to.

Contributors include Njari Dimario Anderson, Evelyn Bi, Agnes Cameron, Cortney Cassidy, S.A. Chavarría, Ayana Zaire Cotton, Madelyne Cummings, Ariel Dong, Sophia Dorfsman, Paige Emery, Elena Flores, Laura Houlberg, Leslie Liu, Tess Murdoch, Cori Olinghouse, Cedric Payne, Brixton Sandhals, Laurel Schwulst, Travess Smalley, Roque Strew, Mike Tully, Alex Turgeon, Bryce Wilner, Lukas WinklerPrins, and Rue Yi.

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On Karen Blixen’s flowers Are.na essay 2021

Karen Blixen was a baroness and a Danish author best known for her books Seven Gothic Tales, Out of Africa, and Babette’s Feast. She wrote under the pen name Isak Dinesen, wore ornamental hats and giant fur coats, and was one of the 20th century’s most essential authors, per Margaret Atwood. She was also, apparently, a gardener, as well as a talented, intuitive, somewhat unhinged arranger of flowers.

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The Life and Death of an Internet Onion, s2 Self-published publication 2021

“It's basically just a bunch of people musing on the possibility of expressing love online, how love exists online, things like this.”—Laurel Schwulst

I edited the second season of THE LIFE AND DEATH OF AN INTERNET ONION, a layered webzine about the possibilities of love online. Season one published the writing of Laurel’s students at Yale, who also conceptualized the site, while this year’s contributions were from students at VCU as well as a few friends from the internet. Life any non-refrigerated onion, the "internet onion" has a shelf life of five weeks, during which it will slowly start to decay before dying completely. It comes back perennially in late summer and begins its cycle anew. This year's 15 new entries are naturally closest to the center, since onions grow new layers from the inside-out.

As curator Cori Olinghouse has put it, "Temporalities animate life...Rather than saving and preserving what otherwise might be lost, [the internet onion] invites visitors to move through states of change. There isn’t the possibility to grab and take hold."

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In-conversation with Mindy Seu, Shannon Mattern, and Dan Taeyoung Internets of Everything in conversation 2021

With Are.na, I organized and moderated a live conversation for the Billion Seconds Institute series "Internet(s of Everything)" around the question of “How can we be generous with our curiosity online?” Participants were Mindy Seu, Shannon Mattern, and Dan Taeyoung, each of whom is very generous with their teaching, organizing, and presenting their interests online.

The talk was edited down into a podcast, which you can listen to at the link below.

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On Aarati Akkapeddi’s memory work The New York Times feature 2021

A piece for the "Surfacing" column at the Times on artist Aarati Akkapeddi’s work "I know if I walked in your footsteps, it would become a ritual," a series of machine-generated images of their mom, Sudha Akkapeddi. The images are deeply saturated and slid softly out of focus, more painterly than photographic, with a haziness that hints at the elusiveness of memory. I love this memory work that Aarati is doing with GANs, which they relate to the process of remembering—in each case, it's an approximation.

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On algorithmic apparitions The Broadcast essay 2021

For several years, Aarati Akkapeddi has been collecting hundreds of photos from family members, scanning them, and sorting them—a process combining both automation and manual labor—then training a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) on them to produce a composite of each person’s digital likeness. Inputting several decades’ worth of photos of their mother, for instance, results in a morphing portrait that bears a striking resemblance to the subject, while still seeming to search for her features. Fuzzy and unfixed, a spectre more familiar than accurate, the composite image looks uncannily close to how memory feels.

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On Soft Protest Digest Mold interview 2021

For Mold’s Urban Ecologies series, I interviewed the Soft Protest Digest, a research collective founded by Nickie Sigurdsson, Robin Bantigny, and Jérémie Rentien Lando. For the past two years, they’ve been developing “environmentally and culturally resilient” dishes that take into account both the environmental footprint of the ingredients and the food’s cultural resonance. With each of their projects, The Soft Protest Digest shows how a sense of place and connection to the local is essential for forming new food traditions, and why forming new food traditions is so necessary in our current climate crisis.

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On art that dismantles language Eye on Design feature 2021

In 1967, Robert Smithson wrote in a press release for an exhibition of language-based art (which he famously described as consisting of “Language to be Looked at and/or Things to be Read”) at the Dwan Gallery in New York, “Here language is built up, not written.” Art that dismantles language, isolates it from its meaning, and treats it as object has proliferated ever since. In a non-comprehensive survey of artists who work with typography, I explore how with these works we can defamiliarize ourselves with how language is made and used, and lose ourselves in the letters and the expressive possibilities of language and the many ways it can live in the world.

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Are.na Annual 2021 Are.na book 2021

Our second Aren.a Annual was themed ”tend,“ as in to care for or manage, to give your attention to, or to move toward a particular direction, an inclination or “tendency.”

Contributors include Rona Akbari, Zainab Aliyu, American Artist, Weeda Azim, neta bomani, fiona carty, Juliana Castro, R.C. Clarke, Shea Fitzpatrick, Melanie Hoff, Madeline Hsia, Clemens Jahn, Lucy Siyao Liu, Omar Mohammad, lily nguyen, Emma Rae Bruml Norton, Lai Yi Ohlsen, Alice Otieno, William Pan, Elizabeth Perez, Ingrid Raphael, Charlie Reynolds, Michael Bell-Smith, and Austin Wade Smith.

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On Christoph Knoth and Konrad Renner Lerchenfeld interview 2020

For HFBK Hamburg’s Lerchenfeld magazine, an interview with designers Christoph Knoth and Konrad Renner of Knoth & Renner about digital publishing, the handmade web, the unlikely endurance of the PDF, and websites that replicate, then disappear.

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Ecology + Design session AIGA Design Conference talk 2020

For the 2020 AIGA Design Conference, I organized and led a session around environmentalism and design, featuring Benedetta Crippa, Jarrett Fuller, Julia Watson, Anoushka Khandwala, Joycelyn Longdon, Melina Laboucan-Massimo, Jonny Black, and Scott Starrett.

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Guest Lecturer American College of Greece talk 2020

A lecture on design writing for the History of Graphic Design and Contemporary Graphic Design classes at the American College of Greece.

On Benedetta Crippa Eye on Design interview 2020

Intrigued by the title of the course she teaches at Konstfack University, “Quantum Thinking: Sustainability in and Through Visuality,” I reached out to Benedetta Crippa to talk about a session I was planning around ecology and design for the AIGA Design Conference. I wanted to ask her about a term I’d seen her use for her course: visual sustainability. She explained that it was her way of thinking about how graphic design can be sustainable, not just through its messaging or materiality, but through its form. She started the course because she’d witnessed fellow designers struggling to reconcile a commitment to sustainability with the demands of their chosen profession. But for Crippa, visual design is crucial to sustainable co-existence, not a claim I’d heard many designers make—so I sat down with her for a conversation at the conference. This is a transcription of our talk.

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The Life and Death of an Internet Onion Yale publication 2020

In April 2018, 2018, Fei Liu wrote the essay “A Drop of Love in the Cloud” for Are.na and The Creative Independent. In April 2019, Laurel Schwulst asked me to work on a publication with her interactive design class at Yale that responded to this piece. She prompted her class, “What are other love inputs that might allow us to ‘reach across the chasm of a seamless signal’?” The answers were layered, they spoke toward duration and the possibilities of loving someone from a distance. We made the publication an onion, and like other onions, it has a shelf-life of 5 weeks, after which it will slowly rot and die. It may be dead now, depending on when you're reading this, but this publication is perennial, so it will be live again in April 2021.

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On The New Women’s Survival Catalog The New York Times feature 2020

In 1973, Kirsten Grimstad and Susan Rennie quit their jobs, rented a green Plymouth Duster, and drove 12,000 miles across the country to document a nationwide network of feminist alternative culture and resources. They visited feminist bookstores, printers, divorce co-ops, credit unions, dropped in on Rita Mae Brown and Judy Chicago, and in one case, tracked down an agriculture collective in California by asking around for the “women goat farmers with an octagonal barn.” The result is The New Woman’s Survival Catalog, the “feminist Whole Earth Catalog,” which was a bestseller in 1973 that all but disappeared before getting a recent reissue.

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On social networks as small communities Eye on Design feature 2020

On the possibility of individual-run, small-scale social networks, off of Darius Kazemi’s excellent guide “Run Your Own Social.” At a time when large swaths of the internet are owned by corporations, a community of artists and designers are encouraging people to create their own social networks for their friends, run on their own server, free of advertising and data mining. As Danielle Robinson, director of Code for Science & Society, puts it in the piece, “I think there are often projects that assume that everyone is okay with having their data live on an Amazon data center somewhere, and that’s increasingly not the case.”

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Are.na Annual Are.na book 2020

A printed book about the past, present, and future of the Internet, with republished essays from the blog and five new, never-before-seen pieces. Alongside a three-part essay “When It Changed” on witnessing the backlash against the corporate-owned Internet, the writings in the book explore and celebrate the creative, poetic, and personal potential of the Web. Contributions by Becca Abbe, Cory Arcangel, Omayeli Arenyeka, Charles Broskoski, Claire Evans, Will Freudenheim, Willa Koerner, Jasmine Lee, Eric Li, Meg Miller, Mimi Onuoha, Andy Pressman, David Reinfurt, Danielle Robinson, Rachel Rosenfelt, Laurel Schwulst, Mindy Seu, Leo Shaw, Toph Tucker, Karly Wildenhaus, and Gary Zhexi Zhang.

Are.na Annual

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Issue launch with Madeleine Morley Athenaeum Books talk 2019

A talk on gossip and magazine making for the Amsterdam launch of the third issue of Eye on Design.

In-conversation with David Reinfurt Google Design in conversation 2019

An intro and post-lecture interview with David Reinfurt on the life and work of Muriel Cooper.

Guest editor for “Writing as Metadata” class Yale University guest editor 2019

For Laurel Schwulst’s “Writing as Metadata” class, I guest edited a student online publication called called The Life and Death of an Internet Onion.

Design Talk with Studio Pandan The Boy’s Club in conversation 2019

Together with Maddy Morley, we spoke to Studio Pandan about their approach to editorial design, how they work together as a studio, and why they're compelled by magazine making as a medium.

Personal Photographs by Cory Arcangel TB Editions essay 2019

I edited a piece written by Cory Arcangel for the Italian gallery The Blank Contemporary and its publishing arm TB Editions. The catalog was for Eva and Franco Mattes My Little Big Data and Cory wrote an excellent essay called “Personal Photographs” on “the ‘image world’ that both consumes us and fits so snugly into the palm of our hands.” I provided editorial guidance, a topedit, and a fact check.

Reenvisioning the Internet series Walker Reader essays 2019

For the Walker Art Center and Are.na, I edited a series of essays that asked artists and technologists to offer their hopes for the future of the web.

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On Prem Krishnamurthy Eye on Design interview 2019

“On the one hand, we often approach art in terms of authorship. But graphic design is inherently a facilitating medium, in how it works relationally and socially. It is collaborative. Almost any piece of graphic design requires multiple agents involved in it. So rather than approaching graphic design in terms of “problem solving” or “functionality,” which are by now pretty outdated frameworks, how might graphic design work as a kind of positive excess?”

I talk to designer, artist, and curator Prem Krishnamurthy about design as a thing that unfolds over time, his admiration for those who "contribute to the ecosystem," and his predilection for word play.

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On Anna Della Subin The Creative Independent interview 2019

A talk with writer Anna Della Subin on the virtues of idleness, procrastination as its own form of productivity, and the mythological power of sleep.

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On restaurant websites (and why we’re all going to miss them) Are.na interview 2019

An interview with Toph Tucker and Jasmine Lee on restaurant websites as the last bastions of personality on the web, the tyranny and possibility of Squarespace, and the unseen labor of restaurant webmasters. Conducted with Laurel Schwulst as the part of a series of interviews hosted in our kitchen. H/t to Leo Shaw for the descriptors.

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On Sheila Levrant de Bretteville Riposte feature 2018

“I’m much more a connector than a resistor. But when push comes to shove, I’m definitely a resistor.” A visit to the circular home of Sheila Levrant de Bretteville to talk about the Woman's Building in L.A., the shortcomings of the second wave, and design pedagogy seeped in activism. For Riposte magazine in London.

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On spelling spelling The Serving Library essay 2018

An essay for The Serving Library’s Translation issue on the 19th century attempt to create a universal language by Alexander Melville Bell and the resulting alphabet of cryptic, otherworldly symbols codifying the articulation of speech sounds. Also includes: the Blue Ridge Mountains, Fran Ross’ Oreo, the placelessness of written speech, and the commendable effort to translate all the various "shades of sound."

From the Google books scan of *Visible Speech: The Science of Universal Alphabetics* by Alexander Melville Bell...

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Thesis students writing workshop Parsons School of Design workshop 2018

A lecture and workshop on the beauty of simple, plainspoken language for thesis design students at Parsons.

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Visiting Critic Rutgers University critique 2018

Visiting critic for thesis design students at Rutgers University during the fall semester 2018.

Conference talk on independent publishing Indiecon talk 2018

A talk in Hamburg on editing Eye on Design and publishing as a generative act.

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Monocle Podcast Monocle podcast interview 2018

Perrin Drumm and I went on Monocle’s The Stack podcast to talk about running a non-profit magazine, experimenting with a new type of publishing model, and how we think about money and print.

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MagCulture Podcast MagCulture podcast interview 2018

Liz Stinson and I joined Jeremy Leslie for a live edition of his MagCulture podcast to talk about the expansive nature of the print magazine and the future of archiving.

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On Claire Evans Are.na interview 2018

An interview with journalist and musician Claire Evans on her book Broad Band, how “female mental labor was the original information technology,” why women are often early adopters, and hypertext as narrative form.

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On seeing and being seen Eye on Design Essay 2018

For Eye on Design issue one, themed Invisible, an essay on Alvin Lustig, who designed blind in his last years of life, and Elaine Lustig Cohen, who served as his eyes and hands before becoming a well-known designer in her own right. “I always say that either I would have remained this shy, unproductive person, or I would have grown up and divorced [Alvin] if he hadn’t died. I don’t know, because the person that I became would have never put up with what I was doing. But we’ll never know.”

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Eye on Design magazine AIGA publication 2017-2019

I edit the print magazine for Eye on Design, published by AIGA, the nonprofit professional organization for graphic designers. We publish three issues a year, each with a new theme and designed by a different designer, with the goal of telling stories that provide testimony to this moment in graphic design.

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On Rachel Rosenfelt Are.na interview 2017

"When people think the stakes are high, they’re like ‘How could you have the conceit to start a magazine and act like it’s real?’ and I’m like ‘No, but no magazines are real!’"

An interview for the Are.na blog with Rachel Rosenfelt, founder of The New Inquiry, on what it means to run an Internet magazine versus a magazine 'that you put on the Internet.'

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On grids, graphs, and reigning in the chaos Quartz essay 2017

An essay for Quartz about the origins of graph paper—which sounds kind of boring until you think about how much of the world we order into tiny squares, from pixels to prison cells to the longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates.

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On Mierle Laderman Ukeles Are.na essay 2017

For the Are.na blog, an essay on Mierle Laderman Ukeles, who was an artist-and-resident at New York City’s Department of Sanitation for three decades, on how her work drew a parallel between private domestic work and low-paying public maintenance work. Her Work Ballets, in which excavators, dump trucks, and street sweepers become graceful beings, bowing to commune with the ground, regarding each other curiously, or weaving in-between each other in a choreographed street dance, are some of my favorite pieces of art ever.

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Are.na blog Are.na publication 2017-

Since 2017, I’ve run a publication for Are.na that publishes interviews and essays following the threads of interest and pieces of research collected on the platform. Key topics include bettering the internet, experimental publishing, and continued learning, but the focus is mainly on personal projects that aren't a means to an end, and on following one’s innate curiosity and sleuthing interests.

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On the representation of women in movies and books The Atlantic feature 2016

For The Atlantic, an article that explores how the representation of women in books and films is effected by the gender makeup of the industries that produce them.

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