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Terms / physicality

A week of tasks selected by Loki:

The world has always had a geometry. Not the social and political geometry we create, but a natural geometry all its own. At the dawn of the information age, it is easy to forget our relationship to the physical medium in which we are embedded. It enables us. It enslaves us. It contains a great many pigeons. This week, you're asked to explore the world of things, and your relationship to it. With a simple reversal of perspective, the objects of everyday life may become beautiful or grotesque. Exploit both, and try to see the world as it really is, and as it might become.

PHYSICALITY refers to the following tasks:


Notes on task selection. +3
posted by Loki on January 20th, 2009 5:26 AM

I meant to post this a long time ago, as my week of task picking came to a close. But, then my non-game life exploded and kept me fully occupied with other things. (Fear not, friends, for it was the best possible kind of explosion. Glitter and puppies everywhere. Whole, live puppies, I mean. Not ragged chunks of exploded puppy. That would not be the best possible kind of explosion.)

First off, I should like to point out that picking tasks is really hard. Trying to balance tasks which are interesting against those which actually make for good praxis is difficult enough. Forcing them into a coherent theme makes it all the harder.

I had a theme and hyperbolic introductory blurb all planned ahead of time, on the off chance I got picked as a picker. It was going to be called "The interminable jailbreak of the will" and focus entirely on decision making. Then, at the 11th hour, I realised that the theme and its associated tasks bored even me, which seemed a sure sign of trouble. So, I ditched the whole list and began frantically searching for another.

I flirted with a week based on surveillance and defiance; however, it was hard to find tasks which fit the theme and also fit naturally into the SF0 ethos and hadn't recently been active. I tried to assemble a list of tasks related entirely to motion, but it quickly turned into a BARTPA week, which seemed like a problem. I even considered an entire week of tasks about pigeons, but I figured that might prove unpopular. (There are, in fact, more than seven decent pigeon tasks amongst the retired and pre-tired. I counted.)

Desperate to find a theme broad enough to encompass a week worth of tasks and also not terribly dull, I cribbed some situationist text and threw together the final list. The moment I sent it off, I began to feel bad about all the good tasks that got passed by.

So, to draw attention to some excellent tasks which I had to skip, here are some notables that I encountered while searching.

Tasks which almost made it into Physicality:
Mihi Perfect for physicality, and very popular. Disapproved on a whim, 'cause I'm a jerk.
Water Babies Would have made it, if it weren't 38F and pouring rain on the day I picked tasks.
Message in a bottle
Something Soft It was hard not to pick this one, 'cause I had a fantastic idea for completing it.
History of Things
Eating Beyond Sight
San Francisco Sense Map
Owl Hunting Replacement I love this task, but it had its chance in the IE.
Walk Button RestorationAnother old, big, good task.
The Sounds of Silence
Give a man a fish Equivalent to the pig, but easier to do in boring ways.
Blind-Date Faith-Streaking Another task I really love, but feared it would never be completed.
Physical Honeypot
Paralleling Archetectures Monument Grafting The classic taste of IE.
Escalator Highjinks

Decision related tasks:
Luke Rhinehart at Heart This task scares me like no other.
Preconceived Notions
Double Action
Journey to the end of the toaster
Wear Sunscreen
Infiltrate a social scene
Dispatcher derive
Im looking for
A day in the life There's something shiny at the core of this one, though it clearly needs everal more weeks in the rock tumbler.
Person inversion I was very fond of this task when I wrote it, but I'm not at all convinced the praxes would be satisfying to anybody except the tasker.
regret not the momentary impulse.
tell me what to do
Leaving it all to chance

Miscellaneous tasks which have promise.
Soundswarm II
Voynich Manuscript
It just keeps going you know
Selective Cleanliness
Critical Mass
Haptic RADAR Electronic Whiskers
The Future of Days that have Passed Hard to do well, but I love the idea.
Book carving. Hooray for specificity.
A cheating wife Hooray for crazy specificity.
walk it off
igloo inhabitation
you're rubber and I'm glue
Giving to the Inanimate
Cloth the Naked
A Surveillance camera
I'm looking for
Bridge Business

Then, there are the readin' tasks, good for a giggle.
Meta Meta Tasking

Finally, there's this gem buried as a link in a long ago pre-tired task. Start with Helsinki.

And then there are some tasks which shouldn't even be read, much less completed.