A semi-comprehensive list of my obsessions circa April 11th, 2016

In a brief moment of calm that is the onslaught of April in academia (although I hope this week to finally finish up some of the posts that have been sitting in my drafts folder for months now), a few things I can’t stop thinking about:

Anna Meredith’s Varmints

This track is from 2012 and I’m only just hearing it now off the Scottish composer Anna Meredith’s first full-length Varmints. I’ve been slipping into listening to more and more electronic and synth-driven music over the past few months (be glad I didn’t write this post last week when Yaz’s “Only You” was inexplicably in rotation for me, probably because of a scene in Thing Obsession #3), and “Nautilus” arrived as a revelation for me. The way the beat comes in about three-quarters of the way through and terraforms your understanding of the interlocking horns; this is a song of swagger and menace and vibrancy, and while the whole album doesn’t (how could it?) live up to the opening track’s highs, it’s still a hell of a high.

My Raspberry Pi

I love this little thing. I finally bought one after years of dithering about not having a project to run on it, until I found the RetroPie project and some incredible software history torrents on the Internet Archive. And you know what? It’s still a joyously useless piece of hardware. It sits next to my TV, and sometimes I remember to hook it up and play Hatris. When I turn it on, my friends joke that my TV is hacking into the Matrix. It has a cute little pink and white case. I named it Winifred.

(I’m working on a longer post now about the idea of “minimal computing” in DH, and how devices like the Raspberry Pi alongside a rhetorical turn to the “command line” across a number of DH and web development tools operate within contemporary cultural turns to “slowness” in, say, television or food. For more intel, the Mincomp DH Working Group Blog succinctly lays out [though the site’s a bit barebones right now] the potential stakes for a turn towards computing done under constraints. More on this, hopefully, soon.)


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