I’ve just finished a major upgrade to McKenzie Wark’s personal site. It’s a site I designed several years ago when I was in my “cheap sites for artists” phase — Abigail Child, Tim Ellis, Jane House, the Segue Foundation and my sister, Lindsay, were all beneficiaries of this mode of my existence.

I’ve just added a slew of reviews in several languages, along with a bunch of other stuff such as images of books covers of Japanese, Greek, French and Italian translations of his work. It’s interesting to see where these various cultures go with the subject matter of Wark’s texts — designs negotiating the “underground” yet commercial aspects implicit in an academic book deriving partly from post-Situationist theory.

I’m not doing freelance anymore, too much other shite to do and I can’t bother to keep up with all the Web 2.0 upgrades. I’d be more prone to design someone’s blog these days than design a new website.

But I’ve always liked the solution I came up for Ken, which was to stick to a sort of aesthetic — keeping it in the Situationist agit-prop Unibomber’s-typewriter sphere of things, but touch it up with a little Flash and making it perfectly (easily) expandable when new material comes in, so any teen anarchist could make an update should she want to. Very Web 1.0.

Ken is the author of A Hacker Manifesto and Gamer Theory, both of which I highly recommend. I have my problems with both books — I’m not sure how much both fall into the category of postmodern entertainments rather than the sort of foundation radical theory that they allude to (if not aspire to be, though I’m not sure about that), but in terms of prose strategies — crisp (if not quite Debordian) rhetoric, the pacing of the text, the synthesis of observations grounded in new media phenomena and classic “crypto” Marxism — they are very lively and suggestive.

Marx and Rez — two great tastes that taste great together. (Uh, did that sound glib?)