Buranko screenshot

I haven’t posted in a long while, and a lot has been going on, what with me coming to Japan to study. I guess I should start at the earliest since the last I wrote.

In my last post I presented a video reel that I made as part of the application process for the program I am currently studying. Another part of that process was the creation of an audiovisual piece based on any of a short selection of poems and fragments of prose—of course, in Japanese. The one I settled for is one Arakawa Youji’s Gallery (ギャラリー).

Although I have functional Japanese, enough to survive in most situations I’m confronted with at school, work, and otherwise daily life, reading poetry offers a different challenge altogether. This was one of my first times reading Japanese poetry, so I went with the one that most clearly brought an image to my mind. The poem uses strongly visual, and purposefully childish language; it speaks of a lover ably using a swing at a park, and the narrator failing to. At least on a superficial level, it’s about (lacking) self-esteem in front of an overwhelmingly capable partner. I can’t claim to have read it very deeply, and I don’t know the author. But I decided to take it up on the self-depreciation note. And so as to see what people were being frustrated about, I made a visualization of current Twitter tweets that contain the words ‘failure’, ‘ashamed’, or ‘afraid’, and putting them pretty literally on a swing. I wasn’t coming up with a compelling interpretation of the texts, so I brought in help in the form of live data, for a voyeuristic element. I took a screen capture of it and sent it to the school, but of course made the actual software available online:

See Buranko (web; source)

Actually, after considering the poem’s title a bit as well, it just occurred to me that it might just be about impostor syndrome

Aphasia poetica.

Acabo de terminar un asuntillo.

Prueba Aphasia poetica (web)

Esto comenzó como un trabajo en conjunto con Ilan Libedinsky el 2010. Era algo imposible de construir bien: requería mapear palabras con una palabra alternativa, manualmente y una por una. Pero el idioma es claramente demasiado vasto para hacer esto una tarea alcanzable por dos individuos, así que nunca se cumplió. Tres años y medio más tarde, lo llevé a cierre. Esto no pasa de ser un punto medio: usando un bastante nutrido diccionario de sustantivos, diferenciados por género, el intercambio es generado automáticamente, sin el mapeo manual.


Over at Glorious Trainwrecks, a spambot started an event, and thus we had to comply and make stuff. I didn’t really make a game; it’s a silly visualization of Noyb’s readings of (other) spambot postings.

Read Spoems (web)

The audio may or may not sync with the text for you, depending on your configuration. Try reloading if it doesn’t, and if it still won’t, then I think you’re out of luck.

A shoutout to Kirk Israel for his useful lowLag.js.

Games aggregate.

This was long overdue: a browser for all of my released games, including the terrible ones, and covering all the range up to the mediocre. I used a binary system for highlighting the ones I consider to be less unremarkable; they use up double the space of the others. There’s also a handy tag there called gamey that marks the games that are more traditional in scope, so you don’t have to bitch to me about how my games are not really games.

This blog now looks different.

I have made this blog look different from how it looked yesterday. It is also used somewhat different. I pressed many keys during several days to make this happen.

The design is a relic from 2010 which I never finished implementing, because back then I didn’t know much PHP. Now I decided to finish it, for the large part eschewing WordPress’s redundant, confusing, ill-documented and inflexible functions, which made me give up that time, and rolling my own code. Also for the first time I’ve tasted what it’s like not pulling so many hairs in the process of getting letters and boxes where you want them to appear on the screen, thanks to Less, an alternative to plain CSS.

Below is a picture of how this blog no longer looks. And here is the whole, long first page.

Updated front page.

I’ve refreshed the front page. The new design sports a rather subtle effect that nonetheless took me a fair number of hours to pull off, in part because I’m still not that familiar with javascript, but also because it was far more complicated than I originally estimated. It may not work as it’s supposed to in browsers other than Firefox and Safari’s latest versions, since it hasn’t been tested beyond those.

The previous design’s been archived.

Colorful new front page.

I wanted to highlight some new stuff on the front page, but ended up redesigning it. I like this new version much better than the last one, even though it’s just a retool gone a bit out of hand. Other than still featuring Cleo, it includes a favorite feature of mine: random colors. Another ‘feature’: it doesn’t work properly in IE.

As always, the previous design has been archived.

New portfolio page.

When agj​.cl first went live, the only thing that was there was my old portfolio website, made in Flash. It was my first experience with actionscript, back in 2007. I took it down a while ago because it had grown too outdated, and since it was so hackishly conceived, I wasn’t planning on updating it. Well, I’ve finally made my new portfolio page. Things have changed enough that only two of the works I selected for it remain from the old Flash portfolio.

I’ve archived the older one (in Spanish) for posterity.