Gwen Windflower/artist+analyst


22.01.23 started in an attempt to emerge from a period of deep anxiety and subsequent depression.

Computer loving, digitally medicated, addicted to love, addicted to work, and above all unable to escape the talons of the global falcon that is capitalism — “Autonomous” is a book moved by characters I could not help but like and relate to, in spite of the spidery flaws that splinter their carbon fiber carapaces. As such, I think the best way to unpack the impression this book had on me is trying to sketch portraits of the characters that animate it: Eliasz, Paladin, Frankie, Threezed, Med, and of course Jack.

22.01.22 - I’ll write this in dated pieces, given that I’m deeply depressed at the moment and can’t commit to finishing this with any degree of quality I’d be happy with at the moment in one go


22.01.22 - starting with Frankie as my thoughts are more compact and easier to get through It doesn’t matter who you are, everybody has a friend like Frankie. Harder core, cooler headed, hotter blooded, stronger armed. More than you. Large portions of certain parts of the world are probably driven by the desire to be like Frankie. Unfortunately we are doled out a very limited supply of Frankies.

It’s important to note we want to be more like Frankie, we don’t want to be Frankie, and that’s the rub isn’t it? We want what she’s got without giving up what she’s given up to get it. And the math of the universe doesn’t work like that.

If you pressure cook your hope long enough, it oxides into cynicism. This is a trap for the straight-edged ideals of a Frankie. For whatever laws of cosmic chemistry that dictate such things, hope needs to mix liberally with the sad sighs of failure to remain ignitable. Without the room to breathe and burn our hope, we can’t see our way across the chasms we have to cross. Idealism makes for beautiful geometry but poor fuel. Compromise is perhaps not all bad. It’s a tightrope walk for sure, but it might be the only path we’ve got.

Just because you’ve triple checked all the exits doesn’t mean your eyes are open, Frankie.