Menu

Year End: On worldbuilding

The internet is an amazing space when it reminds us how vast and diverse the world is. Early dot-com websites reflected this notion of an “expanding space” in their company names, using words like “earth,” “globe,” “world,” “space,” or “system” to describe their growing networks. Our website contains the word “world” 950 times. In comparison, our galaxy contains 100+ billion planets and scientists believe that around 40 billion of these are earth like.

The word “world” is mentioned 956 out of 755802 total words in the TCI-verse.

On the eve of a new year, it may be important to check some numbers in order to reflect on what binds us together in this world. As musician Madalyn Merkey puts it, “I keep it very theoretical, like I just need to get my numbers right before I indulge in the environment that I’m creating”.

It’s a fact that programs love to count. Just like counting the stars in the sky or the grains of sand on a beach, let’s iterate through our microcosm, one word at a time. We could count how many times green [40] or blue [62] is mentioned across our website. Below is a tally of how many instances a particular worldbuilding word is mentioned throughout our 314 interviews. We will update this list on occasion with a current count and will leave a timestamp at the bottom for reference.

galaxy [1]

universe [34]

world [950]

earth [44]

globe [3]

water [129]

plant [62]

animal [69]

human [210]

system [168]

love [1074]

hate [570]

calm [19]

star [1531]

home [234]

community [226]

blue [62]

green [40]

play [1238]

friend [569]

work [4585]

life [1082]

death [101]

day [1266]

month [238]

year [1422]

Last updated: December 26, 2017

Elliott Cost

Paul-Ramírez-Jonas
Artist
Charles-Broskoski
Co-founder of Are.na
Carmen-Villain
Musician
Ryuichi-Sakamoto
Musician, Composer, Producer
Betty-Buckley
Actress, Singer, Performer
-HAWRAF
Designers
Nora-Khan
Writer
-Pika☆
Musician
Trenton Doyle -Hancock
Artist
Ben Lotan and Tara-Shi
Artists, Curators
Morehshin-Allahyari
Visual Artist
Hope-Hall
Filmmaker, Cinematographer, Photographer, Teacher
Dicko-Chan
Artist, Photographer
Liz -Pelly-
Writer, Editor, Collective member at Silent Barn
Vera-Marmelo
Photographer, Engineer
Erin Jane-Nelson
Visual artist
Catarina-Branco
Artist
Patricia-Voulgaris
Photographer
Mark-Duplass
Actor, Filmmaker, Producer, Writer
Clifford -Owens
Artist
Ocean-Vuong
Poet, Writer
Ellen-Van-Dusen
Textile Designer
Danny-L-Harle
Musician, Producer
Aubrey-Plaza
Actress, Comedian, Producer
Eric-Cunha
Artist, Animator
Qiong-Li
Designer, Artist
Alisa-Weilerstein
Cellist
Natalie-Diaz
Poet
Colin-Self
Choreographer, Musician, Performance Artist
Yoshua-Okón
Visual Artist, Videomaker
Adam-Curtis
Journalist
Kate-Zambreno
Writer
Tatiana-Lipkes
Poet, Publisher
-Oa4s
Artists, Poets, Theorists, Writers
Gaby-Cepeda
Curator, Artist, Writer
Danez-Smith
Poet, Spoken Word Artist, Playwright, Teacher
Julien-Baker
Musician, Songwriter
George-Clarke
Musician, Songwriter
Terence-Nance
Artist, Filmmaker
Sarah-DeLappe
Playwright
-Mitski
Musician, Songwriter
Thor -Harris
Musician, Writer, Poet, Artist
Meredith-Danluck
Artist, Filmmaker
Stephanie -Danler
Writer
Conner -Habib
Writer, Teacher, Adult Film Performer
Nicolas-Jaar
Musician, Producer
-Hak
Musician, Visual Artist
Ann-Magnuson
Writer, Actress, Singer, Musician, Performer
Morgan -Parker
Writer, Poet

Income inequality in the art world is exactly like the income inequality of the country. The art world is in the world. It can’t be better and it can’t be worse than the world. It’s in the actual world. It reflects it perfectly. It seems more extreme because it’s smaller and we actually know some of the people, but it’s really not dissimilar to the world at large.

I’m pretty set on promoting life-long education as the most important thing. Getting people to be curious, in this time when you can access almost every piece of information in the world, is the best possible thing to do to try to help all humans.

It is difficult when you’re doing everything on your own and you put something out into the world and it’s sort of like, ‘Is anybody hearing me?’

My idea is to get the realtime earthquake data of the world, the whole world, and transform the data to MIDI signals, to play the piano. So the piano, damaged by the tsunami, is now a device to express the vibrations of our planet.

Babe the pig knew he could communicate with sheep and he knew he could be a good herd pig but the world was like, ‘No, pigs don’t herd sheep.’

If you’re putting things into the world, you have a responsibility to think about who they affect. You’ll never fully know the depth and magnitude of whatever you’re making, and the effect it will have on the people who have to interact with it or will see it, but you have a responsibility to do the best you can.

I most enjoy building a small fictional world that is hyper-focused on small details, in which you can access everything important through one interaction, one conversation, one small interpersonal thing that’s gone wrong. It’s usually something very, very subtle. Just a minute of dialogue, a facial expression. Tiny moments of rupture.

I realized that the society is perhaps composed of a group of people who built their own worlds because they couldn’t blend in with the others.

I thought that if I could have some sort of stable center or a truth, then things can branch out from there, and I can create my own world or, perhaps, my own religion. In a way that’s what all artists do. I’m just being completely honest about it.

As opposed to how it’s used in the business world, the spreadsheet is actually a super flexible tool. It’s like an infinite notepad where you can link cells to subsequent sheets and zoom in and out infinitely.

I feel like so much of what’s happening right now for me personally and practically in relation to my work—and everything in the world—is about visibility.

Let the world speak to you.

I definitely know a lot of people on Instagram that I’ve never met, that live all over the world. A big part of my community on Instagram are also my ‘offline’ friends.

Independence is another difficult term because we’re in a moment where the entire world around us is so mediated by corporate platforms that nearly every decision we make is one about whether or not to engage with a platform that is at odds with our values.

I wanted to be part of something and the camera helped me do that. It was my entry point into the world.