The Work of Art in the Age of Microsoft Paint

This article is a re-formatted extract fromย Issue #1: Birth, which you can read more aboutย here.

As Microsoft throws Paint into the digital wasteland with the rest of the internetโ€™s abandonware, itโ€™s hard not to get nostalgic about the simple graphical editor that influenced the โ€œshit is goodโ€ aesthetic of the early 2000s internet. Its influence on internet culture is huge, with obvious examples being rage comics, stoner comics, and any image macro with awkwardly superimposed text and graphics.

Digital art that looked like shit started out as a necessity, yet slowly became a preference. Even todayโ€™s memes hark back to the days where the best material was thrown together on Paint in a matter of minutes.…   [continue reading]

The Politics of Software: Open Source Utopia

In a time where it seems impossible for Netflix to make an original series that isnโ€™t politically charged, where tech startup CEOs criticize Trump freely, and cryptocurrencies threaten to render the finance industry obsolete, software news has taken a step back from the dry figures of the latest Oracle merger and brought issues like power, accessibility, and discrimination to the forefront.

In this series, I’m going to explore the increasingly politicized nature of software. Here, I’m starting with one of the oldest and most contentious issues: open source licensing and distribution.

Before looking into it properly a few years ago, the phrase “open source software” conjured up images of gray, ugly, bug-ridden software that forever languished in the shadow of paid alternatives.…   [continue reading]