When a friend recently suggested a deck of playing cards featuring major players in the “gender wars,” I knew I wanted a set. I tried to find other ways to make it happen – photographs? Filters? AI art generator? – but decided the most expedient option was to just do it myself. Which isn’t particularly expedient, as a deck requires 54 designs (if you include 2 Jokers).
I generally suck at caricatures, but decided my limited skills would have to be adequate. I Can Do Hard Things, just not perfectly.
Working furiously, this week I made the first suit, Hearts. Red suits (hearts and diamonds) will be more-or-less gender critical, and black suits (clubs and spades) will be more-or-less transactivist. If this sounds like inside baseball, it is; that’s why my friend suggested a deck in the first place. I’ve turned into a gender nerd, and “civilians” have no idea whom I’m referring to when I gossip. Edutainment!
I want to crowdfund for this project, but as I don’t trust any major crowdfunding platforms, I just set up some PayPal pre-order buttons. Yes I know PayPal sucks too, all online payment platforms suck, and cryptocurrency is still too volatile.
On January 27 I awoke with an idea for a mystic symbolic art generator. I immediately sketched copious notes and put out word I was looking for a coder to collaborate with. By some miracle, Atul Varma responded within an hour, which makes me believe this project really wants to exist.
My plans are vast and sprawling, so we’re starting simple. And by simple we mean bonkers:
Atul and I are on the same page regarding Free Software and Free Culture, so we’re both happy to share as we go along. You can generate your own strange images like the ones above by clicking the “randomize” button here:
In these dark days of Winter, boredom has driven me to craft:
A year or two ago I had a dream about a high-heeled shoe with an eye on the heel, much like the re-creation above. The heel itself was a unicorn horn. I sketched it upon awakening, and while I no longer remember the dream, I remember the drawing. I recently obtained polymer clay, a glue gun, and plastic eyes, to make these:
I didn’t make the shoes themselves; they are dance shoes I bought used for $5 at the local theater’s annual sale a few years ago. The eyes are plastic, which complicated things; the Fimo clay I shaped around them needs to be baked in an oven to harden, but the plastic would melt, so I had to make aluminum foil dummies. Also, they are life-size, which I think is too small. So I ordered some robust oven-safe 20mm glass irises, which finally arrived today, allowing me to make these:
I bought these shoes online, the red ones new, the brown ones used, both made of plastic and very cheap. I’m still developing my eye-making technique, getting closer to what I want. And when I reach my goal, I’ll…what? Look into mass production? I sure don’t want to spend my days hand-making Fimo shoe eyes, but injection-molded ones might be cool. Then people could hot-glue them to their own shoes, and my work would be done.
Next step is to heat-set them with the iron, and sew them into a test mask.
UPDATE: Masks! My face is a little red because I rode my bike 67 miles today, including 10 miles in rain so heavy I couldn’t see and had to stop every few yards to wipe my eyes because OW rainwater stings, but I was sufficiently excited to come home to these masks to take these pix anyway.