Gareth in no-man's land

[Photo: Scott Beale/Laughing Squid] Ed Note: Boingboing's current guest blogger Gareth Branwyn writes on technology, pop and fringe culture. He is currently a Contributing Editor at Maker Media. Recent projects have included co-creating The Maker's Notebook and editing The Best of MAKE and The Best of Instructables collections. Hello Wonderful World o' Boing Boing! I can't tell you how thrilled I am to have this opportunity. I was at a party this weekend and told someone I was about to start blogging here. “You'll have the eyes of the world on you!,” he blurted. Gulp. I'll try to only use my powers for good (and not think about how high and centrally located this soapbox might actually be). I'm especially excited to have the opportunity to blog about anything other than technology and science. I've been hand-to-hand in the personal and DIY technology trenches for a long time now and I'm looking forward to scrabbling over the top for a few weeks to fight the good fight on some other fronts. Which ones? I'm going to be making a lot of it up as I go along (the kicks are more exciting that way), but there are personal themes I'll likely fall back on. I've been slowly, but surely, writing a novel over the last two years (my first). It uses occult themes as the carrier waves on which travels the real story (about love, open source gnosis, and DNA-rearranging sex). So, I'm going to use this time as an excuse to openly research material for my book (and share interesting things I've already uncovered). I'm also a music fanatic and I miss my Mondo 2000 and bOING bOING days when I got to indulge that passion in public. So I'll likely be raving about what's on heavy rotation in my digital library. Back in my zine days, I also did a lot of coverage of, and participated in, mail art. I just recently started poking around the Web to see what sorts of mail art is happening these ays. So, I'll be sharing some of that, too. I also have ideas for some collaborative projects I might try and cajole you all into undertaking with me. We'll see. Again, a million thanks to Mark, David, Cory, Xeni, et al, for this opportunity. So, let the sex, drugs, rock n' roll, black magick, and collaborative mail art begin!


  1. “So, let the sex, drugs, rock n’ roll, black magick, and collaborative mail art begin!”

    Man, I’ve been waiting a while for someone to officially and explicitly endorse my off screen behavior here on bb.

    Bring on the cajoles!

  2. Hey, Gareth. Welcome (back) to bOING bOING. May your tenure here be fruitful.
    Regarding that project we discussed a while back to add a remote control with a half mile range to a Bang & Olufsen turntable, I’m just about bored enough to finish that now. Not because I care any more about skipping Stairway to Heaven from 400 yards away, but just because.

  3. One of the poo-bahs of mail art — Ray Johnson — lived a few blocks from where I grew up. Same street address, different street.

    We would occasional get his junk mail. He, one several occasions, got kookie naive mail art that my sister and her cousin exchanged. Johnson would forward it in an envelope decorated with his rabbit character. He probably got a kick out of seeing tweener girls innocently indulging in his life work.

  4. I actually have some mail art exchanged with Ray Johnson. It’s probably worth real money now!

    As the Situationists like to say: “Boredom is counter-revolutionary.” Do it! (And I’ll blog the project on MAKE).

    And thanks for all the welcome, folks. The card and letters are pouring in. I’m just hoping to get propositioned in the deal.

  5. I’d like to note that Gareth was an integral part of the bOING bOING print ‘zine predating even my involvement! He was an inspiration to me long before I had the privilege of calling him my pal. Also, Gar’s 1997 book “Jamming The Media” was way ahead of its time.

  6. You’re some kind o’ sweet, David.

    Re: Jamming the Media
    I like how, in the pirate radio section (I think), I posit that, if you want to get your DJ jones out but don’t want to run afoul of FCC goons in Chevy Suburbans, instead of broadcasting, you could record your shows in that newfangled MP3 format all the kids are talking about and post them onto your web page for people to download. Voila! Radio shows over the web! What a concept. (And no, I’m not suggesting I was the only person thinking this at the time, I just think it’s funny, in retrospect, given how huge podcasting has become.)

  7. Remember, Gar – If you run out of material, up there on the cyberStage, Kata says “Plagerism saves time.”

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