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<<maker's guide to being human>>

a manifesto by HUA CHAI (huazzers)
created for Manifesto Jam 2022 (https://itch.io/jam/manifesto-jam-22)



this manifesto was particularly inspired and informed by separate conversations I've had with various creatives whom I've been fortunate enough to cross paths with in my life: Patrick Ballard who opened up about the difficult balance between creating under external (institutional) pressures and creating for one's own musing; Zedeck Siew who shared his philosophies and experiences about creating from his own context, and emphasised the importance of being human; Pam Punzalan and Sinta Posadas who shared their processes and experiences creating personal indie table-top games inspired by their own lives; Jenna Caravello who advised me on the implications of appropriating as an act of removing power from its source; and last but not least, Laurent, Beie, Ema, and Shon who continue to remind me of the joys of creating for and together with people I love. 

the name was derived from the above encounters, as well as Michael Luo's Marinated Guide to Game Making -- the closest thing to a manifesto I've recently encountered, and arguably one most relevant to my own practice at the time of writing this.

[key definitions]

  • a maker(s) is someone who has made, is making, or has the intention of making something.
  • a person(s) is someone who represents their individual autonomy, ideas and desires.
  • a person(s) is someone you have a relationship with, whatever shape or form that takes.
  • a person(s) could be a human, animal, plant, or place. 
  • an institution(s) is someone who represents a collective with greater influence and legitimacy than the individual.
  • an institution(s) controls and coerces person(s) through capital or power.

[intentions, visions, desires, demands etc.]

  • create because it's something that you can't stay put or shut up about until it's out there.
  • create something for yourself and only yourself.
  • talk to other people in your life about your ideas.
  • create something together with another person(s).
  • create through relating yourself with another person(s).
  • collaborate with other person(s) - be each other's reasons and motivations for creating something. 
  • be honest and transparent with the person(s) you are making with.
  • be honest and transparent with the person(s) whom you are extracting/exhausting from about your intentions.
  • create from (inter)personal and relational obligations, not institutional ones.
  • create something that will belong to the maker(s) and the people(s) the maker(s) wishes to share with
  • do not create for publishers nor corporations nor banks nor landlords nor militarys nor goverments nor cops nor social media algorithms nor politicians nor schools nor prospective investors nor metaverse tech bros.
  • let go of unfinished projects.
  • return to unfinished projects.
  • never finish unfinished projects.
  • reuse old parts from past projects. 
  • embrace imperfections.
  • embrace creative bursts.
  • embrace creative stagnation.
  • reject the need to create all the fucking time.
  • makers are not machines.
  • creation is a practice of labour, even if it is born out of love.
  • creation is an exercise of extraction and exhaustion.
  • creation is a transaction between the maker(s) and an ecosystem of resources.
  • creation must come from transparency, honesty and humanity.
  • creation must come with the consent of every person(s) involved.
  • creation must be followed by healing, replenishment or nourishment of the person(s) from whom you are extracting / exhausting - what is returned must be at least equivalent to what was extracted/exhausted. 
  • creation must be accompanied by an acknowledgement of the source(s) of creative extraction/exhaustion.
  • makers are living beings before they are makers. 
  • makers don't stop being makers when they stop making. 
  • makers stop being makers when they are dead.

end of manifesto.

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AuthorHua Chai
Tagsmanifesto, text


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maker's guide to being human.txt 3 kB