pocket-sized projects launches


have you ever tried to write a book in a month and ‘failed’? to go running everyday for a year and given up before reaching your front door? have you ever tried writing a blog post in the style of a 1950s adman? Then try pocket sized projects today!

pocket-sized projects is a tiny corner of the internet for your distracted doodles, seasonal playlists, and phone photography and it launches tomorrow at 7am. new projects are posted every sunday evening in the projects tab, each lasts a week and ranges from photography, to drawing, and writing.

some of you may remember that on the 19th of may, i wrote an unfocused, rambling blog post in a haze of jet lag and frustration. towards the end of the month i watched a youtuber whose music i like attempt to create a video every day in may and ‘fail.’ and, after they had, they were self-abasing and apologetic to their followers and so very sad. and i wanted to reach out to them somehow, i wanted to do something about this sad person across the ocean, and other sad people like them, who have found a community online that they couldn’t have found in their immediate environment or circumstance, but who are also ostracised from that very community because of lack of time or resources or wellbeing.

and so pocket-sized projects was born out of wanting to create a project space we could all contribute to. something that, like NaNoWriMo, brought far-away people together, but instead of in mutual despair, in mutual joy. this isn’t to say that setting big goals is always unrealistic, or that being unrealistic is always necessarily bad, or that endeavours like this aren’t sometimes worthwhile, but that people want and need small spaces for creativity that they can squeeze around their busy days.


The Manageable Challenge — Social Media Challenges and the Absolute Impossibility of Ever Completing them

This is a cross-post with my tumblr where I put stuff that I have found and liked and which you can find here.

I want some challenges that “we” can do “as a community” that is, sharing them on social media with a hashtag, for example, that last for a week. I say this because, like most people I know here, on Twitter and on tumblr, I am a bit too mad and busy to commit to vlogging or practicing yoga every day for a month, or drawing a picture everyday for the next year, or writing an entire dissertation or novel in a month. But I still like to draw and write and tell stories and sing and read and sew and maybe make videos.

I think this could help people like me who are mad and busy but passionate. Or who want something to focus on but for whom a month or more seems like an eternity. Or for people who have so little free time due to family or burnout or friends or disability or work that committing to sit down to write 1,000 words at the end of each day is not only daunting, but nigh on impossible.

The idea is to create small online spaces to create without judgement or fear of being judged. If you like it, let me know, and I will set up a hashtag and page on my blog in which to store both the instructions and your contributions, or a separate blog altogether.

Here are some ideas so far:

FOUND FLOWERS — Drawing Challenge

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Precarious Lives: grief, the tories, and presence

Everything is awful especially the tories. Finished my degree. Shipped my broken self off to Seattle to read and walk and have some much needed dental work. The tories were elected while I was in the air somewhere over Greenland. Not sure quite what to say: let’s hope none of us wobble, mentally, physically, queerly, economically, gender-ly, for the next five years? I want to be angry, though the sadness hasn’t yet made the switch, and I want that anger to be tireless, to help build and support and create. I want to leave and know that I shouldn’t. Shouldn’t have to. And shouldn’t. I want to stay, too, and say, ‘fuck first past the post, come on, let’s wear our resilience proudly, and let’s put this dispossession to good use.’ And I will, soon.

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The tories are staying. The NHS is going. So are benefits and the human rights act and welfare. And I am scared for myself, for my friends of all stripes, I am worried for disabled folk, queer folk, the working class, trans folk, people without documents, people of colour, chronically ill people, young people, people who are burnt out from struggling, trying, fighting, and everyone at any of these intersections. I wrote something else here about being sad and being present. But this post is a post borne of wanting this worry, this grief, to mean something. To do something. So I am compiling a resource list. Things I can do. Things you can do. Things we can do.

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Monthly Reading, Sunday, 29/03/15

Escape Velocity, or, There Must be 50 Ways to Queer ‘The Family’ I struggle with ways of addressing these questions, this frustration. Dissident gender and sexual practices and modes of living emerge in specific contexts, there is no way to generalize, to abstract any “cause” beyond local conditions and meanings. For myself, I have come to understand my own “difference” as an exit strategy, more about making an alternative world than about abstract sexual desire or gender identity.

We Are Not “Just Like Everyone Else.” I do not want equality, with its demand that those of us on the margins must assimilate to norms that remain unquestioned, rather than transforming those norms altogether. I do not want to achieve social recognition for my family if that recognition hinges on my willingness to restructure my relationships according to the narratives and norms presented to me through conventional legal marriage. I do not support the further fracturing of queer communities such that only two-person monogamous relationships are granted validation (because those relationships are familiar enough to a dominant norm that the oddity of their same-sex-ness can be excused). I certainly do not want the pressing concerns of the most vulnerable members of my community (employment, housing, access to physical and mental health care, immigration protections, and so much more) to be sidelined in pursuit of the much more luxurious interests of people like me. Equity? I’m on board. But equality, and specifically equality signaled by access to marriage? Not so fast.

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Twitter Mixtape: Wordless Music

I’m attempting to finish my dissertation by the end of the month because I have approximately 22,000 words of other academic hell to wade through before I finish at the beginning of May. After that, I might finally stop talking about academia and my content will continue its spiral from actual despair into slow and steady mundanity. But until that point, I need music I can’t sing along to/weep-at-the-pure-angst-of-the-lyrics-I’m-looking-at-you-2006-bon-iver to. So of course I took, yet again, to twitter and this is what they came up with.

Here are nine or so songs to study with, write with, think with, cry with, relax with, & breathe with. It is very important to remember to breathe.
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Twitter Mixtape: Women Filmmakers & Landscape

Sometimes I get stuck. Working on interrelated, (insofar as everything is is interrelated), but somehow disparate things during my degree, I often wind up spreading myself thin, like Marmite over the toast of documentary film, inhabitations, cohabitations, feminisms, trauma, material cultures, waste and so very much critical theory. In these moments, I often turn to twitter as an opening up or, to use academic-speak  ‘as a way into’ a topic, as a reminder of all the things you miss while attempting to write all of the things all of the time.

This week, after compiling a short list of women filmmakers for whom landscape as their primary subject matter, I turned to twitter to find what I was missing, and twitter did not disappoint. But because I do this so regularly, and because I am usually in the bath at the time of asking, I rarely have any means of compiling this information before my helpful friends are relegated to the grubby underworld of the ‘More Tweets’ button. So here is my first instalment of Shit Twitter Helped Me Do  Twitter Mixtape, a compilation of all my helpful friend’s suggestions.

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Some observations from Keston Common

During reading week Mr. Transport and I trundled through south London’s suburbs, dreary under the muted light of fat, grey clouds, to Keston Common. Descending the steps towards the ponds, Mr. Transport and I noticed that a sluiceway guiding the River Ravensbourne from its brimming source up at Caeser’s Well, was carving its own slow tributary and puddling at the foot of the steps, as if to protest its containment.

Mr. Transport has lovely knees

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Reading Round-up 22/02/2015

Why Ernesto Laclau is the intellectual figurehead for Syriza and Podemos

When a radical activist movement has become so successful that it is called upon to do the work of the state, not just by vulnerable citizens but by the state itself, the political conjuncture is striking in its uniqueness. Podemos is drawing directly on Laclau’s work to make the most of this opportunity, rejecting the old Spanish left of the PCE (Communists), smashing the discredited austerity-lite of the PSOE (Socialists) in the polls, and channeling a rehabilitated notion of leftist populism.

Powers to bring empty houses into use ‘ignored’

“It’s totally scandalous to have thousands of homeless people sleeping rough when there are nearly a million empty houses” said Taylor, who obtained the latest figures while research a report on the housing crisis which is due in March. 

Sublime Fragments of Gothic Futures

Brecht spoke of modernism ‘erasing the traces’ of the cold past but the only thing that’s getting erased these days is the modernist canon. Brutalist Britain and its concretopias being sold off to make way for a future minimalist in content; gentrified villages as the nihilistic narcissistic white smarminess that proliferates the so-called ‘creative industries’ and all the post-Fordist capital associated with it. Finally ‘alternative’ capitulates to quaint kitsch revanchist throes of ‘community’, as if we couldn’t see the tragic farce anyway. Continue reading