Pluralistic: Portraits of Queen West (13 Sept 2023)

Today’s links Portraits of Queen West: Kevin Steele’s “sequential art” book of the glory days of Queen Street West. Hey look at this: Delights to delectate. This day in history: 2008, 2013, 2018, 2022 Colophon: Recent publications, upcoming/recent appearances, current writing projects, current reading Portraits of Queen West (permalink) Portraits of Queen West is Kevin Steele’s extraordinary photo-book, a work of “sequential art” featuring time- and space-series of a single – rather glorious – stretch of Toronto’s Queen Street West: Steele himself is as extraordinary as his book. I first ran into him through Mackerel Multimedia, the pioneering Canadian multimedia shop that he co-founded in the early 1990s – one of those art-school kids who discovered the Mac, fell in love with the radical possibilities of digital art, and changed the world: Steele’s pioneering work – in Hypercard, then CDROMs, then Flash – helped define the look-and-feel of the old, good internet; an urbanist feel that owed a debt to Toronto’s most beloved adopted urbanist, Jane Jacobs. Steele and Mackerel made things that were beautiful and human-centered, human-scaled and human-adaptable. Not for nothing, Hypercard presaged the web’s critical “view source” affordance, which allowed people to copy, modify, customize and improve on the things that they found delightful or useful; this affordance was later adapted by other human-centered projects like Scratch, and is a powerful tonic against enshittification. Mackerel didn’t survive the first great multimedia mass-extinction, but it launched the careers of a whole generation of talented web-writers and…Pluralistic: Portraits of Queen West (13 Sept 2023)

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