Over the last year and half, I’ve been slowly developing ideas for an upcoming show at the Aldrich Contemporary. At some point, my ideas entered the territory of speculative fiction. This past spring and summer — as the election oozed across the social media landscape like a corrupting presence from an H.P. Lovecraft story — I worked on a series of drawings about the presidential candidates. After I finished the series which situated Donald, Hillary, and Bernie in policy-based, historical, and pop culture contexts, I started thinking about dystopias I had read about or seen in films.
Having consumed an irresponsible amount of sci-fi and horror, I arrived at the dismal futures in the drawing by looking at when certain films were fictionally set. I was looking for futures that hadn’t quite occurred yet. Many films, like Escape from New York,didn’t work as their futures had already past. That film’s fictive 1998 setting and its generally racist vision of New York as a vast prison still foreshadowed the rise of another horrible man, Rudolph Giuliani. Other films from the 1970’s and 80’s like Blade Runner and Robocop presented dystopian futures that are almost upon us, but in particular, Robocop’s neoliberal, corporate scheme to both automate and privatize the Detroit Police Department against a backdrop of a massive, real-estate development gentrification project is, well, very prescient! As one might say on Twitter, “I didn’t know Robocop was a documentary.”
We are angry, frustrated, and in pain because of the violence and murder of Black people by the police because of racism. We are in the fight AGAINST RACISM. George Floyd was murdered, his life stolen. The Adafruit teams have specific actions we’ve done, are doing, and will do together as a company and culture. We are asking the Adafruit community to get involved and share what you are doing. The Adafruit teams will not settle for a hash tag, a Tweet, or an icon change. We will work on real change, and that requires real action and real work together. That is what we will do each day, each month, each year – we will hold ourselves accountable and publish our collective efforts, partnerships, activism, donations, openly and publicly. Our blog and social media platforms will be utilized in actionable ways. Join us and the anti-racist efforts working to end police brutality, reform the criminal justice system, and dismantle the many other forms of systemic racism at work in this country, read more @ adafruit.com/blacklivesmatter
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.