Social Codes at Feral File

by Bruce Sterling

“Feral File” is a small and closely focussed NFT art market where the ten curated exhibits double as a gallery show.

Everything sold out. It sold so rapidly that the site crashed. These are good times for the non-fungible token. You can’t be the first to “own” these works — but you can view them.


*Frank Belknap Long was a junior member of the Lovecraft Circle, and I enjoy the raw flummery of all this science-fictional atemporality riffing. It’s like a bubbling stew of Lovecraftian suspension-of-disbelief devices. “Einstein and John Dee are strange bedfellows.”

*It’s especially good when a victim of cosmic horror is “scrawling on paper” and somehow ‘screams’ “ — ahhhhh — .” …


*Wearing the art critic hat. First posted in my Wired blog “Beyond the Beyond.”

An Essay on the New Aesthetic

by Bruce Sterling 04.02.12

I witnessed the New Aesthetic panel at South by Southwest 2012. It was a significant event and a good thing to see.

If you know nothing of the “New Aesthetic,” or if you have no idea what “SXSW” is, you should repair your ignorance right away. Go peruse this:

http://booktwo.org/notebook/sxaesthetic/

********************************************

Now, I know full well that many people never returned from that link I placed up there. There was plenty going on over there to…


A book review

Ibiza and Formentera: Lizards and Islands

by Antonia Maria Cicer

Balafia Postals, 2020

a review by Bruce Sterling

This is a nonfiction book by an Ibiza-born herpetologist, and it’s meant to acquaint foreigners with the island’s local lizards.

Ibiza abounds with psychedelic lizards, bright and colorful lizard-memes which adorn sun-hats, t-shirts, coffee cups, rubber sandals, everything a tourist can buy. However, these wriggly graphic icons have little to do with the scurrying, seething, breeding populations of “Podarcis pityusensis.”

If you step away from the urban disco lights, avoiding the clustered yachts, truck traffic, the many streets and pavements of Ibiza…


First published in “Beyond #1,” Sun Architecture, 2009.

White Fungus

As I was explaining to you last time, I named the boy ‘Vitruvius.’ I was younger then, and maybe a little too proud of my architecture degree. It was one of the last, full, cum-laude degrees from a major European university.

After I graduated, the Education Bubble burst. Universities were noble institutions nine hundred years old, but their business model had failed. Their value chain had been de-linked. Their unique value proposition was declined by the consumer. Globalization had routed around the Academy.

Maybe you can remember how people used…


https://www.wired.com/beyond-the-beyond/2020/05/farewell-beyond-beyond/

Farewell to Beyond the Beyond

by Bruce Sterling

So, the blog is formally ending this month, May MMXX.

My weblog is a collateral victim of Covid19, which has become a great worldwide excuse to stop whatever you were doing.

You see, this is a WIRED blog — in fact, it is the first ever WIRED blog — and WIRED and other Conde’ Nast publications are facing a planetary crisis. Basically, they’ve got no revenue stream, since the business model for glossy mags is advertisements for events and consumer goods.

If there are no big events due to pandemic, and…


This is one of the “Bruno Argento” series of stories, which appeared in Italian in the recent Connettivisti fantascienza anthology, “La Prima Frontiera.” As you can see, it’s about a massive epidemic and a quarantine. I wrote it back in February 2019. This is its first English-language publication.

The Task Lamp

by Bruce Sterling

Since you are the heir, you must hear the story of the lamp directly from my own lips. Never mind the gossip of the people. They never liked this lamp much. They only let me work with it because I worked for their sake.

So, my boy, once I…


The Share Festival Artmaker Bag Number Four

by Bruce Sterling

With our fourth consecutive Share Festival Artmaker Bag, we can boast of establishing our own tool tradition, and even venture toward the avant-garde.

Our purpose with this portable tool-set remains simple. We want to encourage creative work in technology art. Share Festival is a festival of interactive art, kinetic art, net.art, installations, device art and new-media interventions. Our city of Torino is also a center of industrial production. So the Share Festival Artmaker Bag is our Festival’s gift to inspire, encourage and, also, equip our guests and artists.

The Share…


by Bruce Sterling

Duchess Margaret Cavendish (1623–1673), from her high social position, dabbled in fiction, poetry, drama and philosophical writing. Learned societies and science groups existed and caught her vivid imagination, but the rigor of the scientific method was not well understood in her lifetime, least of all by herself.

So I just read an extensive work of nonfiction by the Duchess titled “Grounds of Natural Philosophy,” published in 1668. I was under the impression that this was a learned work to popularize the work of scientists, but no; it’s much more ambitious than that. …


First published in Nature magazine, November 1999.

AD 2380: After a painstaking ten-year search, from the Tibetan highlands to the Brazilian rainforests, it’s official — there are no more human beings.

“I suppose I have to consider this a personal setback,” said anthropologist Dr Marcia Raymo, of the Institute for Retrograde Study in Berlin. “Of course we still have human tissue in the lab, and we could clone as many specimens of Homo sapiens as we like. But that species was always known primarily for its unique cultural activity.”

“I can’t understand what the fuss is about,” declared Rita “Cuddles”…

Bruce Sterling

one of the better-known Bruce Sterlings

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