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A picture of Mimi Onuoha

Mimi Onuoha

Artist, researcher

in artist, mac, researcher

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Mimi Onuoha, I'm an artist who makes work about the ways people are differently represented, abstracted, and missed by digital and automated systems. I also teach.

What hardware do you use?

My most important hardware is notebook and pen. I carry both around with me everywhere I go, and just about anything I do starts as a scribble in my notebook. Right now I'm into Staedtler pens and notebooks from Chronicle Books, but I change it up all the time.

My main computer is a 13-inch early 2015 MacBook Air. If I'm using it at a desk I always try to have a laptop stand, external monitor(s), keyboard, and mouse or trackpad setup, but I'm not that picky about any of the specifics - I'm just trying to avoid back, neck, shoulder, and wrist pain.

My studio space has one section that's for my laptop setup, another section for writing, and another that's for staging installations. So in that last one there's always lots of other hardware related to whatever art piece I'm working on at the moment (right now I'm doing a series of prints, so lots of different types of paper and some photo equipment).

I also have a pretty beat up iPhone 6. I don't like buying new hardware, so I'll keep it around as long as I can.

And what software?

Software that I use a lot but mostly tolerate: The latest OS X, Google Suite, Adobe Creative Suite (mostly Illustrator and Photoshop), Chrome, GitHub, Dropbox, LibreOffice.

Software that I use a lot and love: Sublime Text 3 for programming, Typora for life (I write everything that isn't code in Markdown). I absolutely adore Deckset for presentations and talks, it's one of my favorite pieces of software. BetterSnapTool, Signal, Homebrew and Backblaze are so fundamental at this point that I don't think too much about them. I'm kind of surprised by how great Airtable has been for working with other people. I really like Git and iTerm2. I also love Vimium (I don't use Vim but I love keyboard shortcuts in the browser).

I want to love Firefox, and I am always saying I'm going to switch to Ubuntu and Android. Maybe one day.

What would be your dream setup?

All I ever want is more time spent on interesting, energizing work and less time spent on nonsense. So ideal set-up: large studio space with rent I can afford. Sustainable building, big windows, lots of greenery outside and inside, big tables with space for other people to come and work with me, more space for showing work, more space for quiet and solitude, more space for conversation and other people.