Inside the Mysterious Bots of Beau Gunderson

With 16 bots and hundreds of other coveted projects to his name, Beau Gunderson is a prolific developer and valued contributor to the open source community, responsible for adding thousands of unique artworks and text snippets to the Twittersphere. And Twitter really is the ideal gallery for this form of expression; ideal for audiences because it allows them to become immersed in the bot’s stream of consciousness, and ideal for developers as an easily-accessible sandbox in which to store and evaluate new ideas quickly.

Since the earliest days of Secret Cave, we have been obsessed with the art of bots and the motivations of their creators.…   [continue reading]

Outsider Textiles: A Conversation with Shanell Papp

This interview is a part ofย Issue #2: Breath. You can get your own physical copy of the zine through our store or Patreon.

In our last issue, Birth, we featured a single piece of Shanell Pappโ€™s distinctive artwork. We would have liked to show more, and initially planned for an in-depth look at her talent for textiles. Itโ€™s a medium she explores and warps in surprising ways, with an intense attention to detail. The physicality of her output makes her focus on anatomy and the macabre more direct. For this zine, we spoke to Shanell about some of her intentions and drives.…   [continue reading]

Almost Normal: Why I Love Lowbrow Art

This piece was written by Warren “WEE” Elliott for Issue #2: Breath. You can purchase a physical copy through our store or Patreon.

Lowbrow art is a raw, frequently unpolished graphic style that grew out of the underground comix, punk music, and hot-rod scenes. Often it focuses on sex, drugs, and anything that might be considered taboo. Its aim is to violate social norms and slap polite society in the face with the dirty and calloused hand of reality. Itโ€™s rough, itโ€™s real, and I love it!

I grew up in a working class family, in a working class neighborhood, in a very conservative Christian community โ€” Lynchburg, Virginia to be exact.ย …   [continue reading]

ACME: An Explanation

This ten-part fiction is currently being serialised in our zine. You can order a copy of Issue #2: Breath, featuring this part, from our store or Patreon.

< PART ONE

2

An Explanation
(let me take you by the hand)

The ACME Company was everything to everyone around it. As fundamental as water to our survival, there were utterly no revolutionaries against the peculiar establishment. After all, a human would not get particularly far if they eschewed fluids; so the same applied to Petey, Georgie and the rest of their charming ilkโ€™s reliance on ACME.

ACME provided all inhabitants with their wishes.…   [continue reading]

Constructing Achewood: A Momentary Diversion with Chris Onstad

Click here to order Issue #2: Breath, including this interview, from our store. Alternatively, copies are available through Patreon.

Achewood, a webcomic launched in 2001, is among the densest works of fiction on the internet. Resting on the mannerisms of a developed cast of complex characters, it later evolved to include blogs, Twitter accounts and even a cookbook. Its creator, Chris Onstad, has given life to every corner of its titular setting through a series of inspired arcs. For Issue #2: Breath, we talked to Chris about Achewood, some of the process behind it and its future.…   [continue reading]

Issue #2: Breath: FINAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Issue #2: Breath is available to order through our store or, alternatively, as a reward to Patreon supporters.

We’re now preparing to post out copies of Issue #2: Breath! If you haven’t yet ordered a copy, you can do so by visiting our store or brand new Patreon page. We’ve worked hard to make this zine worth the money, by filling it with as much writing, art and photography as we could source. In the end, we’ve more than doubled the page count of our debut issue.

We’re immensely proud of the contributors who have given this project life.…   [continue reading]

School of Whimsy – Professor Elemental

You can purchaseย School of Whimsyย here, or check it out through Bandcamp and Spotify!

Professor Elemental, the chap-hop alias of Paul Alborough, is unbelievably prolific. In 2015, he mastered the concept album with Apequest โ€” a cleverly constructed sci-fi jaunt with beats and wit in full supply. Next came Professor Elemental & His Amazing Friends, which put remixes, b-sides and wholly original tracks together into one unique compilation. It was only last year that Alborough, as a part of The Menagerie, released the magnificent Odd Beast. He even found time to make an appearance on our first compilation,ย Volume #1: Birth, with a previously unreleased track that speaks to his consistency.…   [continue reading]

Terry Scott Taylor Interview: The Music of The Neverhood, Skullmonkeys and Armikrog

For early access to our upcoming game music podcast,ย The Sound Test, click here to check out our Patreon!

Released in 1996, The Neverhood was the first game to make use of claymation in all of its animations. Its environments burst with distinctive singularity, but the game’s popularity was boosted by its memorable puzzles and, particularly, its soundtrack. Composed by Terry Scott Taylor, a prolific songwriter and founding member of Daniel Amos, its odd vocals and playful tone were a perfect match for a world pocked with fingerprints and creativity.

Just two years later, a sequel dropped for the PlayStation.…   [continue reading]

The People’s Gallery: A Look at the Bogside Artists

On Rossville Street in the Bogside area of Derry stands a unique set of twelve large-scale murals that have attracted global attention for their themes of violence, peace and unity. The gigantic artworks are a portrayal of the brutality that the Bogside area has witnessed โ€” called the Troubles โ€” and the three artists who produced the wall-paintings are brothers Tom and William Kelly (who sadly passed away in January 2017), and their friend Kevin Hassan.

The first mural, called Petrol Bomber, was painted on a three story maisonette building in 1994. The massive black and white image shows a young boy in a gas mask, trying to protect himself against CS gas as he holds a petrol bomb in a scene from the Battle of the Bogside, which took place in August 1969.…   [continue reading]

Exploring in Plain Text: Zork, SHRDLU, and Colossal Cave Adventure

Misplaced hype over the recent generation of chatbots and โ€œAIโ€ applications shows just how much technology comes full circle. Lauded as the next big development, most conversational user interfaces are actually more primitive than some programs developed in the 1960s and 1970s. Sure, Slackโ€™s Slackbot (~2014) can interpret natural language like โ€œtomorrowโ€ and โ€œnext weekโ€ instead of being fed perfectly formatted dates, but check out the capabilities of 1968โ€™s SHRDLU โ€” a conversational program that had the user ask the computer to interact with a world of 3D shapes around it:

Person: Can a pyramid support a pyramid?

Computer: I DON’T KNOW.

…   [continue reading]