Strands of Genius: Sentiers, The Machine Gaze, Mediacore
Guest curated by Matt Muir
This year we’re aiming to highlight 50 creative thinkers that have inspired us, by giving them the opportunity to guest curate this newsletter, Strands of Genius. Matt is a freelance communication consultant who knows the Internet like you know the face of your children & Faris and he have been internet pals for a long time.
:: A BIT MORE ABOUT GUEST CURATOR, MATT MUIR ::
LOCATION: Rome, Italy
PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT: Freelance-ish
I feel like a bit of a fraud doing this, seeing as a) I don't actually work in advertising; and b) I've never physically met Faris or Rosie. I did try and book them to do some training for an agency I worked with last year based on having been impressed by their thinking and smarts for years, but said agency got scared that F&R were basically too clever for them (which, on reflection, was entirely true). Anyhow, I am Matt and I am a Generic Media W@nker (swearing bowdlerised for sensitive firewalls) - nice to meet you!
Editor’s Note (Faris): As Matt said above, we have never met in person. BUT. I have been rather online for a long, long time in and around the creative-industrial-media world, and Matt has been a constant fixture. His voice is unique, bracing and hilarious, he suffers no fools, gives no f***s and spares no polite sensibility in his absurdly prolific curation and commentary of our sometimes very silly world. He is a joy to read, even if his weekly curation newsletter Web Curios (see link at bottom) is, famously, longer than anyone can read. Yet each week there are gems I find nowhere else in all the algo+human curation of the interwebs, with hilarious, interesting and (sometimes/often) scathing words to explain, contextualize and mock them, when. appropriate. For global readers, his is a very particular kind of British voice, sarcastic and insightful, self-deprecating and charming, all balanced like a good cocktail. Enjoy!
Thanks Matt! See you in the streams, let’s cross ours again sometime.
(PS. We aren’t too clever for anyone, but appreciate the sentiment 🥰 - and you definitely don’t need to work in advertising to read or guest curate Strand! Ours is a broad, ecumenical community of creative thinkers, tinkers, dreamers and doers. 😉)
:: THE LINKS ::
'Sentiers' is a project by Patrick Tanguay which is 100%, without a doubt, the smartest and most interesting newsletter-type-thing I read each week (and I read a terrifying amount). Straddling technology, philosophy, design, systems thinking and the large, amorphous pseudo-discipline that is 'strategy', Patrick each week compiles a selection of essays and thoughts around a loose thematic structure, and each week it makes me less stupid than I was before by a sadly-not-significant-enough degree. (Sentiers)
THE MACHINE GAZE
A project by digital artist Shardcore, 'The Machine Gaze' investigates what AI (or at least one potential version of what we currently conceive of as 'AI') 'sees' when it is trained to look at pornography, what that tells us about ourselves, and what we might be 'teaching' our friendly megacomputational future overlords. It is deeply disturbing, like if Francis Bacon took psilocybin and then went on a 12-hour Razzle binge. (The Machine Gaze)
'Mediacore: An Analytical Manifesto' is written by poet and copywriter (in that order) Rishi Dastidar, and is an attempt to distill the feeling of working in 'content' and being a 'corporate creator'. Part satire, part really not satire at all, this is probably the best distillation I've found of the very real feeling you get when you accept that actually you're not too good for this stuff after all; far from it, in fact. (Rishi Dastidar)
Looking for more from Matt Muir? Those enrolled in The School of Stolen Genius will receive a deep dive from him in their inbox shortly! You can access all our expert interviews for SOSG here.
:: AND NOW… SOME FAST FAVORITES ::
:: Game :: I recently finished Disco Elysium on PS4 and it is the best hardboiled noir detective novel I have ever played. Honestly, so smart and so well-written.
:: City :: London. Nowhere compares (sorry, temporary home city of Rome)
:: Book :: Impossible question to answer, but my favourite quote from a novel is "There is no excitement like the diminishing uncertainty of mutual physical attraction", from 'Love Remains' by Glen Duncan
:: Podcast :: Life is too short for podcasts.
:: Album :: Eskimo Snow by Why?
:: ITALY STREET ART ::
BYE! In the unlikely event you ever want to hear my voice again, subscribe to Web Curios!
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It's called Genius Steals because we believe ideas are new combinations and that nothing can come from nothing. But copying is lazy. We believe the best way to innovate is to look at the best of that which came before and combine those elements into new solutions.
Co-Founders Faris & Rosie are award-winning strategists and creative directors, writers, consultants and public speakers who have been living on the road/runway since March 2013, working with companies all over the world. Our Director of Operations is nomadic like us, our accounting team is based out of Washington, our company is registered in Tennessee, and our collaborators are all over the world. Being nomadic allows us to go wherever clients need us to be, and to be inspired by the world in between.
Hit reply and let’s talk about how we might be able to work together :)