Faded billboards hang broken and battered over the information superhighways you used to dream of traversing. There are no eyes left there to see their upbeat messages. Now, inhuman fleets of big-data battleships moor themselves to the abused tarmac, created to carry our cyborg likenesses into crusades, fought only to keep the couriers busy.
The superhighways inscribed a new architecture onto the landscape, glowing cartoon signs and flattened, cookie-cutter warehouses. Space is warped by the speed at which you traverse it. They demanded that all viewpoints be valid, and reality fractured under the strain. And so we have founded new wildernesses, and set up colossal searchlights to help us find each other there, only to find life intolerable under their glare.
Our community makes camp under these giant superstructures, building lives by piecing together the glorious trash discarded by the Society Intact. But delicate crafts cannot survive the desert winds. Even in groups, it is impossible to stick together. We lose sight of each other in dust-storms, and dust-ups. The land will not nurture us, and so we fight each other for scraps. Scraps of information, and scraps of power. Scraps of shiny material that looks like a mirror, so that we can bear witness to our own tired faces.
The web is our air,
and the air is toxic.
This wasteland will destroy you, or rather, not you, but everything your mother hoped you would become. You will rise, not like a phoenix, but like an undying, unrelenting harpy queen. No love songs from before The Fall can adequately describe the way you feel when your lover spreads her irradiated wings in the light of the dying sun.
Our mutated bodies propose new ways of being. The wasteland shapes a different kind of utopia; not one where individual builders must forever create work to catch the glare of the searchlights just right, shining through the sandstorms, but instead where the complex crafts lost elsewhere can be sheltered under a host of harpy wings.
You -- the creatives, queers, and radicals of the wasteland -- you are the magicians of this realm, and its power is your birthright, but the body of our arcane work is currently fragmented, scattered, misunderstood, and mocked. It will be gathered together once again, and the power it contains will beam out across the wastes.
There is a notion in craft studies: the heavier the machine, the harder the cutting edge. Cutting-edge design and art require you to understand and closely study the structure of society and capital in which you work, to engage with history, to make your “machine” bigger, heavier. One of our goals at Silverstring Media is to close the wide gap games culture has in its creation-criticism loop -- criticism of games is not simply a product review service for consumers, but an essential part of the creative community, without which artistry becomes stagnant.
It is our pleasure to announce that this year Silverstring Media has joined forces with the long-running and fantastically high-quality critical magazine Memory Insufficient, as well as its founder and editor, Zoya Street. Last year Zoya joined our board of advisors, bringing his expertise in design history and changing business models. From now on he will be acting as Editor-in-Chief of critical writing at Silverstring.
In April we will be launching the third volume of Memory Insufficient as a multi-format publication on games as a critical and historical craft, hosted at Silverstring.
Like its previous incarnation, the new Memory Insufficient will be designed to encourage a lazy Sunday afternoon read with a tablet and a pot of tea. This isn’t about keeping up with controversies, it’s about a leisurely wander through complex and beautiful landscapes of thought. But where volumes 1 and 2 of Memory Insufficient were PDF only, from here on in we’re aiming to make it multi-format: web, PDF, eventually print and perhaps audio. If you love what we do then we want you to be able to support us in return for things you truly value, such as lovely printed compendiums.
We want to offer something that feels complete and nourishing for our readers, who shouldn’t need to commute between multiple sites to get a full grasp of the conversation. The goal will be to host a complete critical discourse within our own space, with references to outside pieces and terms carefully defined and explained.
To make all of this possible, Silverstring Media will be creating a new non-profit organization dedicated to community organising and critical publishing (including Memory Insufficient) while Silverstring Media itself will continue its consultancy and experimental studio.
Supporting brilliant writers and creators has always been a high priority of ours. Intellectual discourse should not come at the cost of a reasonable income; the life of the mind and the life of the body should not be at odds. To this end, Silverstring is seeking funding as well as looking for ways in which consulting work, critical writing, and original projects can monetarily resonate. This will be an ongoing process that will take time, and we hope you are as excited about the possibilities as we are. Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to receive any news and announcements.
Memory Insufficient Editor-In-Chief: Zoya Street
Silverstring’s Partners: Lucas J.W. Johnson & Claris Cyarron