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Still image from Love 3.0 2021 interactive game designed and deceloped by artist collective Keiken in collaboration Obso1337, Ryan Vautier, Sakeema Crook, Khidja Wisdoms

Wisdoms for Love 3.0, Keiken in collaboration with Obso1337, Ryan Vautier, Sakeema Crook, Khidja Wisdoms for Love 3.0 2021 interactive game (Online game still)

Issue 4


Platforms is a deep-scroll into platform design, exploring its evolving language, patterns, relations and potentialities in our contemporary era.

Chapter 1: Vibe

"Vibe" recounts the shift from subject-centred communities to persona-driven platforms, setting the stage for the spiral of alienation amongst Internet users in our current era of communicative capitalism. We begin with an introduction from our co-editor. A design theorist then describes her foray into platforms in the noughties, and how platforms — and her relationships with them — have since shifted. We end with a review of an exhibition exploring the changing individuality of a data-enabled present by our Chief Editor.

Crumpled poster on the ground
Many people playing computer games at a gaming cafe
Engines of Creation — Future Blossom

Chapter 2: Flow

“Flow” draws attention to the blurring lines between the role of the platform and the user. A design theorist zooms in on the overlooked function of RSS. A curator draws out the complexities of using platforms to document and enable micro-local communication through an exchange with an artist and a co-founder of a data and narrative laboratory. A writer discusses causality, representation and navigating the dreamscape with an artist collective.

Metahaven, Chaos Theory film still from 2021 showing two people on the floor sleeping under a dark navy blanket
Aslı Uludağ - Mattering of a Productive Mythology installation view
The Way I See It

Chapter 3: Growth

“Growth” expands upon how platforms have transcended user interfaces and into the crevices of offline life. A design theorist charts out the UX minimalism that has enabled global platform growth. A performance researcher and writer reminds us of the ancient etymological origins of platforms and proposes Virtual Reality as an embodiment of platform-ing. A writer interviews an art collective and a scholar of religion on building synthetic realities and inventing systems of belief out of contemporary pop culture and socio-political agitations. A curator breaks down the “highs” of doom-scrolling and offers a guide to surfing the immaterial Net.

Ashley Bickerton, Albino Shark artwork from 2008 showing a suspended white shark
Still image from Love 3.0 2021 interactive game designed and deceloped by artist collective Keiken in collaboration Obso1337, Ryan Vautier, Sakeema Crook, Khidja Wisdoms
Markus Selg - Mind in the Cave virtual installation
Zhong Wei - Dragonet

Chapter 4: Churn

“Churn” discusses the seamlessness of haptic platform design and its effects on systems and community well-being. A design theorist investigates the components of social network ecologies and the birth of de facto “aesthetic generators”. Our co-editor interviews foreign policy consultant and writer on QAnon’s efficacy for community and ideology formation through gamification of the platform’s interface. A curator observes gaming platforms as stages that navigate political realities.

Rafi Abdullah explains gaming as phenomenon
Sven Loven - Oberon, 2017
Yeyoon Avis Ann - Post Image of R∞pt artwork

Chapter 5: Scale

“Scale” explores the superstructures of platform-enabled societies and the balance that maintains them. A design theorist argues that user-centred design befalls alienation in a web architecture optimised for exploitation. Issue 4’s Co-Editor speaks to an artist and curator about the ecosystems documented on their digital platform project. Our Chief Editor learns about the Internet infrastructures of China through e-commerce and marketing strategies from an artist and a key executive at Alibaba. An artist and a writer engage in a conversation about the gig economy in emerging economies.

platform design
Animal Crepuscular - Jaguar hunting under the sun from within (video still)