by Steve Wilcox

“Art at its most significant is a distant early warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen” – McLuhan

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Conference Papers, Games, Projects, etc.

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News Across Borders

Have you ever wondered what the news looks like between two countries? News Across Borders presents five days of media coverage between the U.S. and Canada using interactive image overlays. Utilizing Marcos Weskamp’s visualization software, which arranges stories by coverage (size) and colour (topic), News Across Borders is a comparison of priorities, problems, and politics in […]

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Dev Blog – Apophis

Early concept art/screen shots from my upcoming RPG Maker-game Apophis. The project is part of my dissertation work on non-linearity and the separation of cause and effect. More details to follow! [Click to expand any image] Overview: Apophis is a near-Earth asteroid that will approach Earth in 2029. Should it pass through a gravitational keyhole 800m wide, […]

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Guerilla Phenomenology

Art as Sensory Pharmakon & the Mass Media Overdose The following presentation is a thought experiment that, in all seriousness, asks you to examine the nature of media. I honestly believe that social, political, and financial challenges, as well as the far more imposing ecological crisis, can be approached and potentially mitigated by our prompt, […]

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Idiosyncratic Pixels

What the World’s Smallest Camera Can Tell Us About Reality Earlier this week I’d tasked myself with making practical pitches about my rather abstract work. At one point I tried to describe how each object in the world has its own distorted perspective on the world and the analogy I’d used was a crowd of […]

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Practical Application

Every once in a while someone outside of my head asks: ‘So, what’s your work mean outside of your research? I mean, what’s the practical application?’ At this point I hum and haw, muttering something about the capacity for media to change the world while simultaneously trying to explain just how fundamental ontology is, even […]


A Dissertation Manifesto

Alright, here we go: media studies meets ontology with a topological twist! First off, I look at media the way McLuhan viewed them: as extensions of the human senses and as metaphors for understanding the world around us. He once remarked that ‘the content of a medium is another medium.’ I take this to mean […]

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Curved Ontology

I am not a philosopher. To be quite honest, I didn’t even know it was an option. But I do thoroughly enjoy philosophy. And that is how I would like to preface the following essay; a collection of thoughts that may or may not contribute to my imminent dissertation proposal.  What I wish to explore […]

Introduction to Object Oriented Ontology

This introductory guide to Object Oriented Ontology is an on-going collection of central theses and surrounding debates. If you’d like to submit a text, blog, or discussion thread that you think is particularly useful to the would-be OOO scholar you can post a link in the comments or email me at steve[at] Sections 1. Getting […]

Outside The Prison

The following is a brief, informal response to Noah Wardrip-Fruin’s The Prison-House of Data from the perspective of a PhD student in Digital Media Studies. From August 2010 to August 2011 I worked for a software company that specialized in pattern-recognition and data-mining. The company’s objective was to produced software that collected and processed data in order […]
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Variable Patriarchy

In the bevy of articles and books on the Wonders of the Internet™ one aspect seems to have become a mainstay of academic interest: the variability of words (or signifiers). A good measure of this hype comes from the simple fact that for centuries the printed word was fixed, locked in place by the printing […]
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A Web Narrative Manifesto

Overview In this article I will be explicating and assessing the real-time web-narrative The Bureau from two perspectives: Concept and Gameplay. Prior to plunging into those subheadings, however, I would like to preface this essay with a few remarks on my theoretical bent. Firstly, much of my current research follows from the McLuhanist principle that an […]
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The Bureau: A Real-Time Mystery

To recap: The Bureau is an interactive web-based narrative told in real-time over 5 weeks. It’s part blog, part video game set against a series of gruesome murders in a small Washington town. Followers of The Bureau engage with the devices and materials on the desk of Agent Michael Kim, the lead investigator assigned to the […]
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The Long Khan

The life of Fritz Kahn is one of hardship, terror and intrigue. His books, at one time celebrated contributions to German culture, were burned by the Nazis and he narrowly escaped the reach of the Third Reich with the aid of Elbert Einstein. His work preceded the Second World War but in some ways presaged […]
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