I am doing pretty well checking off my ‘to-do’s’ this week!
So far I’ve accomplished the following things:
Sent a letter of admiration to my hero Ted Nelson, inventor of the back button, and got a sweet reply.
Led a solarpunk magic circle, holding a full-on technomagic ceremony steeped in the aesthetics of solarpunk.
Made my bed every morning.
If y’all don’t know Ted Nelson, he is a wonderful visionary who has been writing hyperdreams about the possibilities of the internet since the 60’s, when the internet was basically a an idea riffing around in his head. His hyperland.net website is also a strong influence on this here coolguy.website. (read the essay if you interested to know more of my thoughts!)
So I sent him an email saying “you are very cool and do cool things and also you should check out this cool service Scuttlebutt”. I did it casual though. I got a reply from his assistant saying the email was much appreciated, and Mr. Nelson regrets not being able to personally reply to all his emails–but also, tell us more about this Scuttlebutt. I am not sure where this’ll lead, but it felt v. cool. Even just for the fact that my email was a series of compliments, and I know that Mr. Nelson was read these compliments and that feels good.
Last night I held a magic circle at Woodbine that started with an introduction of Solarpunk, and the inherent magical connections I feel in it. For those not yet in the know, Solarpunk is a genre of art/life that dares to imagine an optimistic future. It is an act of describing what the world will be after all these nightmare structures fall. It’s also heavily inspired (at least within tumblr) by Miyazaki films, JRPG villages, and Namco games–which I am all about. It’s focus is on a world where technology is more integrated with nature and the two live in a sustainable balance. With this, our societal structures change towards sustainability and equality too. And airships. It’s all around great.
The way I approach solarpunk though is to see this integration of technology and nature as an animist perspective, that can be heightened through magic and coding. What happens when you work to attune to the energy coming from all things, an energy you can fall into and influence? And what happens when you attune yourself to the energy coming from our computerized things, when you feel the packets of diary entries, recorded memories, to-do lists and digitized song that are passing through your body in the arcs of a radio wave? And how do you better fall into this flow and influence it?
And so last night I led a small ceremony to get people into a v. particular vibe, and then guided folks through approaching the terminal, and how to navigate around it from a magical perspective and the generous loveliness that is vim.
The whole thing went incredibly well, and it’s something that I’ll be doing again at the end of this month. Doing this made me understand _how much_ I want to be doing these explicitly magical tech experiences. This is something that was being hinted at through Sleepwalker, but feels so much louder now. It probably helps that I just officially put in a month leave in November so I can do my magic school fellowship. So in less than two months I’ll be spending every day refining this approach and figuring out how best to share it.
Man, not going to lie: it feels weird writing about magic! Even as I’m writing in this basically hidden diary, I find myself speaking indirectly and roundabout and wanting to self-deprecate this path I’m on. I think I’m worried that I’m coming off weird, and so my words are discounted. I also don’t know how much of magic should be hidden. It has a history of mystery and intentional obscuring. But obviously people heard about it in some way. And I myself stumbled into magic through a v. good comic (Cartoon Utopia) and a book given to me by a friend(Jambalya, given to me by Moe). So there’s tremendous value in writing your thoughts down.
I don’t want to censor myself, especially if it leads to me writing in a vague and confusing way. But it’s hard, and I ask reader to bear with me! (and also be aware that there’s prolly a lot more magic talk in the future!)
One thing that my friends and I will be starting here in Ridgewood, for example, is the Solarpunk Magic Computer Club. This will be a regular gathering for people to come and work on coding projects, get help and collaborate as needed, and share the cool stuff they’ve made. So it’s basically a hackerspace or coding meetup. But both of these titles imply a certain techy attitude that isn’t always welcoming. Especially for people who don’t identify as “techy”. But i want _everyone_ to be coding cool shit as a creative channel, especially the people who don’t identify as techy. Those people are my people!
So the hope is by having the event be so blaringly strange, it will attract the good folks who want that vibe. And the vibe of our solarpunk magic computer club will be v. good–my hope is to have it feel like that wonderful 3am surreal when your friends and you’ve been hanging out far too late. The enveloping quiet of the night making everything feel warm and strange, and even the infomercial or spin city rerun playing on the tv has a heightened, absurd quality. I want to see what happens when you have a group intentionally working on building new things within this type of dream space. And really, this is just a room that I want to decorate and be in. It’ll be the next item on my to-do.
Oh and lastly, the making of the bed: gee damn what a difference that makes!