books i'm reading now!

dear visitor,

you have reached the homepage of emma rae norton. welcome. i am an artist, coder & researcher who practices programming, writing, teaching, and complicating answers in step with the following questions: what does the internet sound like? with which modes of seeing and knowing does the computer mouse operate? is computation always and already visual? which conditions allowed the optical mouse to emerge and how has its emergence shaped entanglements between humans and computers? what is it exactly that the mouse sees and how does this shape what humans see? how does computation sustain a view of the world as global? these are all questions which i carry with me.

now i would like to share with you some of the things i have been working on and/or participating in recently.

this year, a year full of change, i completed a two year graduate program at NYU and put together

The Mouse Holds Us

, a website which holds research conducted over these two years on the history of the computer mouse. the video at the top of that website was presented as my graduate thesis this past May.

while i see that video as able to stand on its own, the questions i have asked there are ones which i continue to think about. some of them were born out of a shorter essay i wrote a year earlier titled

Complication of the Computer Mouse

which seeks to complicate the computer mouse and its place within histories of computing and gendered divisions of labor. i often look up to the work of artist and educator Paul Soulellis who is the founder of Queer.Archive.Work. and am so thankful to have been published by them along with all of the amazing work inside Urgency Reader 2 which was printed in April 2020.

this was preceded by some writing i did over the summer of 2019 after taking a class with Danya Glabau who has since energized so much of the academic leaning work that i do around the computer mouse and histories of computing. with Danya's support i wrote an essay for Real Life Magazine called

Close To The Metal

which elucidates the value of reintroducing friction into our interactions with computers.

in addition to writing and research i am also dedicated to coding carefully. since 2010 i have been making websites from scratch by writing html and css, simply because i like to and not so simply because i reject the move fast and break things ethos with which so much of the internet has been built upon. in step with this practice i run a workshop called

Hand Coding Round Robin

which is organized so that participants learn how to "hand code" a web page by working on each others computers (or in the year 2020, on each others remote web pages over video conferencing software). the session starts with a brief lecture on the significance of coding slowly and by hand. participants learn how to do this kind of coding by example and with care.

speaking of hand coding, the first website i ever made is for sale on CD-ROM at printed matter. you can also listen to it here, it's called

website with the sound of its own making

and was made as a digital response to "box with the sound of its own making" by robert morris. i come back to this website a lot, its a reminder that the internet is material. that its infrastructure is built alongside the railroad which means that it is always and already occupying and operating on stolen land. someone on the internet once said that RM would be rolling in his grave if he found out about this website but i disagree. fast forward ten years,

in january 2020 i co-organized a three week session called Code Societies. this experience was a gift. i attended CS as a student in 2019. it was energizing to be on the organizing side a year later, not only because of the 18 amazing partipants in the cohort who i learned so much from, but also because i was co-organizing with neta bomani and melanie hoff. i owe so much of what i know as a teacher, educator and organizer to neta and melanie, if you are not familiar with their work click those links and spend time on their pages. as part of my organizing role for CS i hand coded the

code societies

website where you'll find collaborative resources and documentation. take time to read through!

i'll come back here soon to write more...

watch your step,
emma rae

about the design of this website:
right now it takes the form of an open letter from me to you. this typeface is called Apoc and is made by Blaze Type. this typeface is called Infini and is made by Sandrine Nugue. this typeface is the monospace font built into your computer's system. the colors here are inspired by this tshirt about "ways of seeing" by john berger

one more thing!
i also freelance as a web developer and i am currently (summer 2020) taking on new projects. please reach out if you would like to hire me!

here are some recent projects:

is an extension of Futurepoem this website was designed and developed using React JS and Contentful.

i have built the following websites with No Plans

Bridge Artists and Placeholder.

between 2014 and 2018 i worked at Shift Lab NY here is one project from my time there:

Aldrich Art Museum.

i contributed code to the front end of

All Knitwear

a shopify website for Annie Lee Larson


i also build websites for my dear friends and artists who i look up to for example this website for

Ariel Yelen

which is built with ReactJS and Contentful