What is the role of the artist? To ‘exchange and understand’

Today, when the world is growing ever smaller through the spectacular development of the Internet and the increasingly rapid flow of economic interchange, we find ourselves in a pressing situation whereby, like it or not, our very survival depends on our ability to exchange cultural methodologies on an equivalent basis. To turn toward a stance of national exclusivity, regionalism, or fundamentalism, in which nations become isolated politically, economically, culturally, or religiously could bring about unimaginable dangers on a worldwide scale. If only in that sense, we novelists and other creative individuals must simultaneously broadcast our cultural messages outward and be flexible receptors of what comes to us from abroad. Even as we unwaveringly preserve our own identity, we must exchange that which can be exchanged and understand that which can be mutually understood. Our role is perfectly clear.

Haruki Murakami,2006,  in an introduction to the collected stories Roshomon and others, by Ryunosuke Akutagawa

New zine, ‘S P A C E | Rīga, ‘Lūdzu’

WHOLE LOT OF STUFF inspired this issue of our Latvia series of zines in S P A C E.

This one is called ‘S P A C E | Rīga, ‘Lūdzu’.

I think it’s the best one.

I always say that about the most-recently published.

A good sign, no?

The issues are in our online store. In real life, there will be a launch party in Rīga on 29 May. All the new works will be available to read.

Launch party in Rīga

RSVP for 29 May by ordering a ticket. Order here >

29 MAY | S P A C E | Rīga. This Wednesday, DK will be sharing the printed copies of this issue (and the three that precede it, all made while here in Latvia. in the last six weeks).  We have been getting to know the scene by wandering around in the city, looking at buildings, picking some spots that have a feeling about them that resonates with us, staying a while, revising, meeting people, meeting them again, getting deeper into the conversations, selecting themes, writing poetry, writing plays, writing and photographing, co-creating with people we have met, discovering the feeling that the place gives us, and wrapping them up in this set of issues. But, as we always do before we close out a stay in a new city, we will gather those whom we have built some kind of genuine connexion with. In a party setting. Just once. For the journeys to be described too much would be to offend them: the unexpected is what we are expecting, at this gathering. Those who inspired the stories. This who shared. Those who welcomed DK. Those who gave time, and cared, and shared with us. Are invited.  I’m excited about this, and will look forward to seeing M, I, S, and T, at least, and a handful of others who might decide to RSVP with us. Very limited seats. Advance bookings only. For those who want to experience this, I invite you to RSVP by getting a ticket. Tickets are 12 euro.


How we made S P A C E in Latvia

WORKING OUT OF cafes, borrowed living rooms, and kitchen tables since April 16, 2019, DK and friends are making S P A C E stories in photo essay, illustration, collage, and creative nonfiction. There will be four issues of our international zine collection that will be set right here in Rīga.

They are in our online shop.

  • S P A C E | Rīga, ‘Sunny Side of the Street”
  • S P A C E | Rīga, ‘Drift’
  • S P A C E | Rīga, ‘The Weather Report’
  • S P A C E | Rīga, ‘Lūdzu’

For this collection, the works were created by a unique international team: Dipika Kohli, A. Spaice, Zafar Imran, Alexis Jokela, and BOSS. Special thanks for creative consultation with: Nils Don Sihvola (ig) and S P A C E contributing editor, Mike Dynamo. Big thanks also to Zina Olehnoviča for co-hosting ‘Art of Conversation’ with DK in real life at her shop Tortik Time, and to Samir Shukla for commissioning new writing from us, writing about Latvia, for our ongoing column for Saathee Magazine. Also to D, north side of town, like, way, for showing me around and telling it like it is. Don’t know if you’ll see this and know this ‘D’ is you, but wow, you really helped me get going on this project. Couldn’t have made this without your frank comments, dark humor, and other flat and honest sideways observations.





Order the zine, S P A C E | Rīga, ‘Lūdzu’…

Meantime, here is where you can order S P A C E | Rīga, ‘Lūdzu’…


Forum: Int_rn_t

Went to some places. Came back. Not sure where is ‘here’ and ‘now,’ as I am in a post-Soviet place, that doesn’t like to talk too much about too many things in concrete terms. Wandering here since middle of April, running into people, discovering this curious and yet so-very-obvious notion that nothing is for sure and everything could change any moment is, well, bizarre. And in a way, that strangeness is what has inspired me to change it up with the things in the writing, try new adventurous and even experimental things, and get out of, well, the proverbial box. Even when you profess to be someone who loves to get out of boxes, sometimes a new place can spur you into a different kind of meander… which is new. And new… New and different. Is the thing we love most, around here.

TETHERS. Talked recently with MB in Phnom Penh, about being ‘untethered’ or ‘tethered,’ and it reminded me of an early conversation about that, back in the day. Knowing what you are tied up with, by choice or circumstance, is a big deal in many ways. I mean the knowing part. I mean… there’s a lot to talk about, here. I am learning, too, that the instagram-happy world (and I confess, I do have two accounts), is a place that doesn’t really know what this kind of ‘knowing’ is, I feel. Substance gets substituted for ‘interestingness,’ even if that is a thousand percent manufactured. So where does that leave us? On the quest to be real. Be sincere. Be… true.

‘PROFESSIONALISM.’ I gave a giant lecture, 55 minutes, roughly, so, seminar-length?, which was impromptu, yesterday afternoon at a cafe called Nice Place. Which is closing next week. Sad: I like this space. But yesterday I re-ran into someone I had been trying to meet up with for three weeks. My seminar to him was about ‘professionalism.’ This happened for lots of reasons, but, I think, mostly, because of that very moment, that instance, that sudden need to say a thing even if the words weren’t ready in their order yet (improvisation: that’s my thing, though, right?)… this feeling, this need to express the thing that had to be expressed. If someone is interested in things to make, I am interested in making with that person. But the second it becomes clear that this interestedness is not sincere, that is when I press a button in my head that is very similar, I think, to ‘delete.’ I have been told this is not a good way to go about things. I know that there are more mature ways to deal with the amorphousness of the Internet-era and things-not-certain. But yeah. Working it out. Starting to enjoy the new and different, again, and even let myself be led down that other path, of being introduced to the grotesque and uncomfortable, too. Hmmm. This is. Hard to write down, in a way that makes sense. But maybe the post postmodern style that I am waking up to here in Latvia is telling me something. Maybe it doesn’t make sense because there is no such thing as ‘sense.’ (People’s parents still remembering getting sent to Siberia, et al. Hoarding porcelain cups and saucers, and everything else, because… ‘It could happen again…’). What ‘makes sense’ in a world recovering from these memories?… In many ways, it reminds me of Phnom Penh…

These are the ideas, vague and training themselves to be okay with that, here in Riga, this week. I’ll be putting them together in more solid terms, I think?, in the coming days, and report back then. I hope it works into something cohesive and complete in itself, as an undefined and uncertain thing: is this an oxymoron? I’m curious what you would say, Leave a comment? Let’s converse…

Thanks for reading.

23 issues of S P A C E

DK are curious about the people who are curious, mostly, and that means… discovering, and being open to being discovered.

Fast update.

  • E-MAG. There are 23 issues of our mini-mag, S P A C E, now available in our online store, too. For a lazy Sunday read, if you like the idea of discovering stories from real people as reported to us in the field in real places, on the spot, then check it out. Cool.
  • CONVERSATIONS. In other news, more is on the way, but I want to share only with those who are curious. Leave a note through the form below, and ask me what’s ahead? Online & offline, invite-only and public: we’re still here, writing and designing, one conversation at a time.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA. KIT and follow the story, at our instagram.

Visit the site, check out the store, go to our links, and always feel free to contact us to ask us anything. Email through the form below…


Write to DK…

Call for interest

Just posted this call for interest and shared it around, a bit. Bangkok will be our first stop to discover new creative people. Looking for new voices to bring into our e-mag, S P A C E. Read below to learn about our philosophy and approach to discovering and building relationships with people who have a story to tell. Check out our instagram and follow the story to date. Get in touch with us through the form at our contact page if you want to reach out, and ask questions. Don’t be shy! We’re here to learn, listen, and connect. Thanks ! —A. Spaice



Let’s make space for real life.

RETURNING TO THAILAND to gather: artists, photographers, illustrators, designers, poets, writers, and conversationalists for a brief salon, ‘S P A C E | Bangkok.’

We are looking for new voices to bring into our weekly e-mag, S P A C E, in 2020. Do you have a story to tell?

For us, the process to discover those whose stories are under-represented in mainstream media begins 6 months before publishing new writers. This is because it takes time to build rapport, trust, and gather the momentum to put together something of a quality that meets our standards.

After taking a break from design to focus on consulting projects 2014-2019, DK are returning to the studio style of gathering people and developing themes, to unearth fresh concepts. To do this, we have opened a new wing of DK, a publishing arm, which we call Atelier S P A C E.

In the past, we would work with people who were in the process of discovering their own concept of self, and working with us for a brief time (as clients, DK interns, part-time staff at DK, and occasionally, creative collaborators). Together, we would make short, packed, once-off pieces. You can find many of them in Seattle. Looking ahead, in 2020, we’ll make new and different things. Perhaps short anthologies, or, if things continue with our weekly e-mag, then we’ll carry on with those. Let’s see. See our crowdfunding page to learn more about S P A C E.

S P A C E | Bangkok is free for members of S P A C E.

Min 4, max 8.

Participation fee is USD 16.

Register before 1 June to confirm your spot.

Register here.

DK’s picks for ‘Rīga Photomonth’

YESTERDAY I HAD the pleasure of meeting a smattering of very creative, industrious people at a publisher’s ‘conference’ organized by some people who have ‘conversations’ in their name. Now, if conversations are in their name that means something. So of course, us being conversational types, DK had to go and show up. The first presentation was so dull that DK had to go outside, and pretend to be getting a smoke, in order to pass so many people so obviously, but the slight rain and fresh air helped a lot to take the edge off of what was an ostensible advertisement.

Having the impatience to not go through advertising things in captivity, DK went outside for that phantom smoke. And met… M. (Hi!). And M’s girlfriend, soon thereafter. Both were very kind and looked over our zines from Riga and I hope they will read ‘Janteloven’ from Aarhus because it is pretty good. I gave them the e-link and stuff to get it, and it should be downloadable as a gift, with that, if I got it right.

Lately more gift-giving. More about why, below. After this next section, about Photomonth.


Discovering Rīga Photomonth

While bored with the first presentation, I did what Dan Savage used to do when the Seattle International Film Festival rolled around in Sea-town. I did a ‘DK’s picks’ kind of a thing. Borrowed some scissors and rudely cut loudly while the conversation was dead and lecturing at us, and made a shortlist of things I want to go and check out with the wonderful set of options for Riga Photomonth, next week.

The opening week is scheduled for 13-18 May, but the official opening will take place on 15 May at the Museum of Occupation of Latvia.

Here are DK’s picks:

S P A C E investigates, with our field notebook, these events, and so I will show up, I think, personally, to see what I can see. Needed to put them into this calendar, so I have a way of knowing where I should be when, because these programs can be overwhelming to use, and sometimes, when the information design isn’t quite… well, isn’t easy to get a hold of because I think some major things are omitted, here and there, which I only learned because I went t the website to see what things were there and then, yeah, I had to make my little shortlist because who has time to do everything? And I want to see this selfie thing, ‘Lurid Self’ by Honeymoon High, the most. I so do. But also the opening party. That’s gonna be where I start, I think. But yeah. You can find the events in our ‘events’ section that DK picked, or you can just go to the website for Rīga Photomonth, and browse the many, many options and pick something for yourself. But we all know how hard it is to make decisions, so I did the above shortlisting for those who like the aesthetics of DK and will probably like what we had a first-glimpse impression of and said, ‘Yeah, that.’

More about the event. Here is what the organizers say:

Rīga Photomonth is an international photography festival that takes place in the capital of Latvia since 2014. Rīga Photomonth explores and shows photography from Northern and Eastern Europe. The festival’s public programme includes exhibitions, artist talks, workshops, lectures and film screenings. In addition Rīga Photomonth hosts portfolio reviews and workshops for professionals.

Let’s see what happens.


Gift-giving and gift-receiving

Why give gifts? Because wow. What goes around comes around, sure. And in recent days, I got three lovely gifts, myself, here in Riga, since I landed. First, a comic book. Next, a painting. By Z. Amazing work. Then, some purple flowers on a simple stem, the very ones I was admiring earlier that day, and they were given to me without any hint of shyness whatsoever (how refreshing) by a young lad who could look DK in the eye. That was sweet. I put them in water, as he instructed, and got off at my floor. The work is coming into shape, too. The presents are making me more present, if you will. I like writing when I am drinking a lot of things: water, milk, and coffee at the moment. I am also in the throes of a new book. I haven’t been this inspired to write in flow like this since 2015 when I was at work at the French house (not really a French house, but occupied, and I do mean occupied, by five Parisians, which was a headache, for me, personally, in that they didn’t get it that one who writes stays home to write when everyone else is leaving and doesn’t have time to run errands because ‘you look like you have so much free time,’ ahem), well, yeah. Okay, rant aside this is the story about Rīga, right?

So yeah. Yesterday. Was good. I met so many people I wrote a bunch of notes and promised myself I would do a complete writeup on the outpourings of wonderful feelings that come when you show up in a place that is ready to receive you, ready to entertain your wacky suggestions of conversation salons (like that time I tweeted to P, ‘I have an idea’), and things get to happening when you get responses. (If you don’t get responses, you have to stop taking it personally, I learned, and move on to where you get them. In this entire country, jazzy as it is without knowing that, or how post postmodern it is, and teaching me what the hell that even is, by simply being it, and cool about it, so cool in that it doesn’t even know it, or profess to be anything, which I think, ‘undefined’ is the whole thing about PPM. And we did have some weird converstions int he salon, ‘Postmodern Nomads,’ but they dwindled to a natural ending and I left them there, closed that door, opened this one, and whoa.) I’m in the world of things that are new and spirited, at least to the underinformed eye. With this eye, I take the pictures, and put them into S P A C E. The third issue in the series S P A C E | Latvia is almost done. I wrote the story last night, and today, and tomorrow, and probably the whole week to come, I’ll work on it more and more until it’s ready. But then, another week, and another issue. Such is the life with a weekly e-mag. Shazam!

Photo: Rīga Photomonth

Trains… and ‘Love is boring’

TOOK THE TRAIN to a side city in Latvia, just to drift about. Landed in a tourism office and got into a bit of a prickly conversation: some people who might be reading this will remember me talking about ‘the boxes,’ yes? If yes, that story, put into a short short play, is part of the new issue of S P A C E, which I just printed and spent the afternoon folding, collating, and making into the 4-issue limited edition set of couture zines. Yes, I sewed them, so they are now officially a wrap. It feels good to see these cookies in a four-set, probably for the last time, as I am going to share the pre-ordered issues shortly and in a bit. I’m excited about this. Besides the side story mentioned above, there are new photographs from the train journey, new writing from Zafar Imran, which was inspired by a conversation some two dozen years ago (plus last week, with IB. We talked. A lot. Improvised.) Zafar Imran’s very short story, directly inspired by I, what she told me, a generously shared jazzy insight, and the dialogues between Zafar and me since and well before, is called ‘Love is Boring.’

It is the lead story of this highly visual, graphic issue.

And now… enough drifting. Let me go see if I can find some dinner. Mashed potatoes and zupa, maybe. Mmmm.

But before I log off here… I recommend this one, if you have to choose just one from S P A C E. It’s the rightest, I feel, of the lot so far, in that it does the work that S P A C E sets out to do, namely that of packing together all that was learned in recent days into a tight, fixed short set of things (MD once called it ‘a digest’) to read and enjoy. It looks good, and I’m so hungry, I kinda wish I could eat it.

How to get S P A C E | Riga, ‘Drift’

Studio Day

I’M WRITING TODAY. On the computer pictured here. It was a going-away gift a year ago, when I was about to head to Finland for a three-month artist residency to make ‘zines’ with people I didn’t know yet, but trusting my instincts and the knack for starting up conversations (who knew?), went over there to explore and discover. Making these, through that process of showing up, chancing it, and finding the theme that seemed resonant with the most people who were local that I met. In this same exact way, I am now in Latvia. Showing up. Seeing where the jazz is (finding it yesterday at Kaņepes Culture Centre, and last week at a less interesting place but fortunately with good company). Company makes a big difference in these things, but so does the artistry of the musicians. Great session last night, and again, great company. These things are starting to feel like they are part of a bigger design: finding a community, whilst on the road. In an earlier post I may have written, while zining in Finland, a tad about ‘radicant growth,’  and here I am, discovering the journey within the journey which is a side trip of a six-year somehow-winding-up-in-Cambodia. Slash, ‘on the road.’ But without the whole book reference: that book is shite, if you ask me. I know, I know: it’s a ‘classic.’ But who decided what gets to be a classic? There. Think about that. Still thinking? Here’s something to read, to this point, in The Guardian. HT MD, one of my teammates here in S P A C E, who shares on twitter this and that, which is why we call him our ‘culture editor.’

NOW, HERE. The writers and the people who are asking, here, today, right where I am, who are showing up and doing the work of getting to it, in the struggle to not just ‘fight’ or ‘express’ but rather, to engage, are the people I feel I am bumping into through the process that S P A C E invites. Discovery, serendipity, the chance encounter, and of course, the willingness to take a chance and ‘say yes’ even if you’d really rather not. #whynot #sayyes was the resounding echo for my earlier invitations to people to join me for N’ in London, Bangkok, Hanoi, Copenhagen, Helsinki and Phnom Penh, and now I’m still at it, asking that, but rare is the moment that someone asks that… of me. Long story: not for posting here, in public.

For now, this is the news: Showing up is half the journey. As my father says, ‘Rest is up to you.’

This post… is for… the poets.

Kismuth in 2019

IT IS REASSURING and heartwarming to get the news today that there are readers following Dipika Kohli‘s new column, Kismuth & The Way, in Charlotte, NC USA-based Saathee Magazine. Here is the link to the first article for Kismuth & The Way.

If you started reading Kismuth as an e-letter in 2014, well, you might be surprised to see how things have updated. Practice. Can do wonders. The changes in writing are due to a medley of factors. First, a lot of conversations about how to slow down. Plus, an awareness now from some of the best of those that a written story isn’t so much about the observations  or how well they’re relayed, but rather how the readers will feel to be taken on a journey. (HT J, and S).

This is good. The work is just beginning, however, to continue to write and design and narrate and most importantly, share the real, raw, honest and genuine stories. Real people. Real places. Made in-situ, right where they are. Together, most often, in conversation parties and one-on-one random connections that turn into strings that start to organize themselves in lines, sort of, and then, make a story. It’s starting to get interesting around here.

It’s part of our new work, to gather stories in real life on the spot made and shared around the world, at cities where we are finding them by talking to people every day who happen to cross our paths (or social media feeds) and designing the themes together. Currently in: Latvia. Discover more about S P A C E, the idea behind this work, and how you can support these efforts: at our crowdfunding page.

Photos: BOSS

Post-postmodernism and the seagulls

Consensus on what constitutes an era can not be easily achieved while that era is still in its early stages. However, a common theme of current attempts to define post-postmodernism is emerging as one where faith, trust, dialogue, performance, and sincerity can work to transcend postmodern irony. —Wikipedia

Also: seagulls. Listening. Birds. Gulls. Blue everywhere, clear skies. New greens; the openings. Chapters. Arrivals. So many things. Writing in S P A C E. Writing the story. Sharing with the circle of people who are curious, open, ready, connecting with DK, and engaged. Thank you for those of you who are in it, behind the scenes. This project wouldn’t have been possible to realize, without your interest, and support. You know who you are. It’s great to be in the field again. Thanks for saying, ‘Keep going.’

New zine: S P A C E | Phnom Penh, ‘Angle of Reflection’

Publishing on Tuesday is the zine, ‘S P A C E | Phnom Penh.’ It’s called ‘Angle of Reflection.’ It’s part of a three-part series on Phnom Penh that has already seen the publication of ‘Angle of Incidence.’ More about that issue is here. The full set of events and projects that DK had hosted in Cambodia is on this page, in case you are curious. A place that was home for us for five years. And maybe more. It’s a long story. But one of our favorite magic moments was the recent party, S P A C E | Phnom Penh, in which just six of us convened to connect in real life with one another: most of the people who were there had never met the others, not a single one, and we were just holding a space to see what might emerge. No pics from that one, but curiously, we held it at the very location that I took this picture in 2016 at the reading for Dipika Kohli’s Breakfast in Cambodia in Sept. 2016. Same location, different moment. The earlier shot:

‘Breakfast in Cambodia’, book launch // DK 2016


The three issues of S P A C E that are set in Cambodia are part of a giant series that we will finish publishing in Sept. 2019.

So far, all the zines in the series are getting bundled into two collections:

  • Winter 2018-19, ‘A Philosophy of the Moment’
  • Spring 2019, ‘The Book of New Things’

Currently at work on the Summer 2019 project, ‘In the Vernacular,’ with new and different others DK and friends are discovering this year. It’s, again, a long story, but we are moving from geolocation-based conversations to something different. Ask me about it. Just hit me up through the form on our ‘contact’ page. It’s not for everyone, the idea of sending in a message into the internet, not knowing what might happen, but that’s the story of our lives these days isn’t it? You just have no idea. And it’s hard to try. And it’s hard to take a chance. Because most of the time, the things on the other side are just a lot of pretentiousness or fakery. I hate that, personally/ We are making S P A C E to filter out the bullshit, and host magic moments like the ones that are starting to become more and more about *who* and less about *where*. What’s the story? Where are the people? Where is the story?

Let’s find out.

#trusttheprocess #eyeontheball

S P A C E | 東京, ‘幼なじみ’


An old song from the nineteen-nineties and karaoke jaunts around Tokyo springs to mind, at this moment. It’s six minutes past seven. At 7.25PM there will be a bus to take me to the place where I will meet one of the old friends of the oldest friend of mine; that is the connexion that happens when you show up enough times… I remember getting mixed up about the keys to a house, borrowed, in the suburbs of DC, back on a tour that involved a car and a failed attempt to go to a ‘Bhangra Blowout’ party… long story… nothing interesting… but I remember the being there… And then there was that time in Kyoto, I had a proper house then, a place where there could be guests, too, and a ‘stove’ or a warming thing that you need in the winter in that city… Now I’m going to be leaving Japan again, and it feels strange to go back in time to connect with the old connections, stateside or here in Japan we have traveled together for a time, lost the connection but not the memories… you don’t have to hold on to every single thing… you can let things evaporate into the blue, into the sky, into the next… I don’t mind that I might not be in Japan again for a long, long time. The cost of moving around here and there, for one, is killer. If you’re used to moving around in Thailand and India and Vietnam and Cambodia, as I am, that is. It’s hard to see the pluses, from this angle… building a life in another place has left me with a handful of new impressions… oh, no. It’s eleven past seven. I like to be early to these bus pick-up appointments. I wonder what we will talk about, after more than 15 years of not-seeing one another. I wonder how the sakura will look in the small town where we are meeting. They’re out, they’re everywhere, they’re lovely in their ephemeral quality… the whole ‘bi’ of Japan is starting to… oh, I should go to the bus stop… Bundling up for this weather in itself takes some time. Then let me pause here…. To be continued in S P A C E this summer, with the series S P A C E | Japan. Join me in S P A C E at this link, when you subscribe to our ‘Weekly S P A C E’ for USD 7/week. More from there, for those who are listening, curious, engaged, quietly observing, and wondering how to be more a part of what’s ahead with DK’s ‘boxes.’ It’s… a surprise…

Feature photo: ‘Tokyo’ by Dipika Kohli, 1995


Co-create with DK

Late registration info for writing and designing, photographing and illustrating with DK for our series of ‘zines’ co-created in S P A C E is here. Eligible for people new to DK in 2019. Checkit.

S P A C E | Haapavesi, ‘Katsotaan’

Traveling from one small town of northern Finland to another, one crosses kilometers of forests and, if it’s summer, sees the rays of light between the trees along the way. But arriving at a new destination, however short a drift from where you start, can often lead to unexpected new beginnings. Even if they don’t last a million years, but just one evening… discovering ‘Koivu’ (birch) along the way, and sharing the conversations in real life about real things: illness, mirth, and the bright white night that doesn’t end, but leads to rows of filled croissants, vodkas, tears, a fight, and preoccupations with Midsummer–mostly, what to cook.

Creative nonfiction and new photography by DK’s Dipika Kohli. This issue will launch on April 2.


Launching in S P A C E on 2 July

GOOD THINGS. New stories came together over the 20 Feb-14 March Atelier S P A C E project in Hanoi. It was part of our Spring 2019 conversations and real life gatherings so far, a collection of 12 zines in the making that together we call BoNT, or ‘Book of New Things.’

(HT Catherine J. Howard and Mai Phuong Nguyen for being the very first 2 members of S P A C E for Spring 2019, and whose contributions to our crowdfunding for S P A C E is directly helping make this happen. We are going where people are showing up, where people are supporting this work, and where we are finding resonance with our intentions to connect, and interconnect, new and different others so that we can make S P A C E, together. To learn, to discover, to co-create, and grow)

Four percent battery–what else to say? For those new to DK, ‘Come to something, say hi, see what we’re doing.’ For those who’ve known DK since Seattle, ‘Hey! We’re still at it.’ For those who wonder where we are going next and how this is all going to happen… *secret*. I’m not sure if this is clear to most people but I don’t really need a lot of people to know about us, what we’re up to, or what we’re making. Just a handful: usually very self-selecting. To say, ‘OK.’ More about that below. But for now, really, it’s a team effort. That team is not something that’s  ‘yay let’s do this maybe!’, but rather, carefully selected and invited after several years of working on things in short bursts, to see how it goes.



Squaring up and making a go, we are now creating S P A C E.

But selectively.

HANOI. What a series. We started posting on instagram here and there because that seems to be where people read and connect, as irritating as that is to someone like myself who does not own a smartphone and relies on email and Zoom to communicate. [Long passage deleted]. We have finished the zine and it’s going to launch on 2 July in S P A C E. You can order a digital copy (USD 7), from our online store.

Exciting movement for things in VN, and more to share with those in our inner circles. S P A C E is a kind of journey, but S P A C E isn’t for everyone. I’m conversing more deeply in the protected-page forums. More there, very soon. Thanks for showing up at S P A C E | Miniparty HN. (You know who you are.)

MEET DK IN S P A C E. Subscribe to S P A C E the zine for USD 7/week if you want to be a part of things in S P A C E. (To keep things cozy, invitations for DK’s next programmes online and in real life through 2019 will be made through our membership list, only.) Less is more. Less helps us focus. On the people who are here, who are curious, engaged, listening, ready to try something new, to take a chance, to trust the process, to show up, and, hey. Magic carpet ride.


S P A C E | Kuala Lumpur, ‘Kaunter Tiket’

‘Kaunter Tiket’ was compiled into a creative fiction story through DK’s Atelier S P A C E | Malaysia series in KL over two months in 2018.

This Tuesday’s release of S P A C E | KL, ‘Kaunter Tiket,‘ is set to be a digital remix of the print version of this zine, which had been shared in real life with just a handful of people whose paths we crossed in unexpected places. There were just 20 of those. Now we are sharing the story again, but in a new form.

New art. New added pieces. New stories. And new beginnings.

There can be no end to relationship. There may be the end of a particular kind of relationship, but relationship can never end. To be is to be related: J. Krishnamurthi

HT: Des RajDebbie Chapman, Ajax Warren,  Muhd Muqhriz, Saarah Choudhury


S P A C E | ‘Maslow’s this and that’

From Wikipedia on ‘Self-Actualization’

‘Research shows that when people live lives that are different from their true nature and capabilities, they are less likely to be happy than those whose goals and lives match.’ Abraham Maslow developed a hierarchical theory of human motivation in Motivation and Personality (1954).

Maslow’s self-actualizing characteristics

  • Efficient perceptions of reality. Self-actualizers are able to judge situations correctly and honestly. They are very sensitive to the fake and dishonest, and are free to see reality ‘as it is’.
  • Comfortable acceptance of self, others and nature. Self-actualizers accept their own human nature with all its flaws. The shortcomings of others and the contradictions of the human condition are accepted with humor and tolerance.
  • Reliant on own experiences and judgement. Independent, not reliant on culture and environment to form opinions and views.
  • Spontaneous and natural. True to oneself, rather than being how others want.
  • Task centering. Most of Maslow’s subjects had a mission to fulfill in life or some task or problem ‘beyond’ themselves (instead of outside of themselves) to pursue. 
  • Autonomy. Self-actualizers are free from reliance on external authorities or other people. They tend to be resourceful and independent.
  • Continued freshness of appreciation. The self-actualizer seems to constantly renew appreciation of life’s basic goods. A sunset or a flower will be experienced as intensely time after time as it was at first. There is an “innocence of vision”, like that of an artist or child.
  • Profound interpersonal relationships. The interpersonal relationships of self-actualizers are marked by deep loving bonds.
  • Comfort with solitude. Despite their satisfying relationships with others, self-actualizing people value solitude and are comfortable being alone.
  • Non-hostile sense of humor. This refers to the ability to laugh at oneself.
  • Peak experiences. All of Maslow’s subjects reported the frequent occurrence of peak experiences (temporary moments of self-actualization). These occasions were marked by feelings of ecstasy, harmony, and deep meaning. Self-actualizers reported feeling at one with the universe, stronger and calmer than ever before, filled with light, beauty, goodness, and so forth.
  • Socially compassionate. Possessing humanity.
  • Few friends. Few close intimate friends rather than many surface relationships.

‘BUT CAN I DO THAT?’ Further paraphrasing from Wikipedia, there may be a common feeling that the possibility of ‘self-actualization’ is reserved for those people who have been lucky in life and don’t have to struggle for their day-to-day survival in a dead-end job. Notwithstanding, Maslow (2011) suggested that it was very much about the attitude the individual brought to his/her life that might be the crucial catalyst for where one’s life and self-growth goes. There are many examples of when people have been in basically the same circumstances, but have turned out very differently, which might indicate that attitude can have an enormous bearing upon one’s fate…

…”the aesthetic needs” which include a need for “symmetry, order, and beauty”… 


Feature Photo: Dipika Kohli, Atelier S P A C E | DK in Copenhagen and Aarhus, 2015

S P A C E | ‘Zodiac’

S P A C E | Pangkor Island, ‘Two Pisces’

Writing. Shaping. Editing. S P A C E | Pangkor Island, ‘Two Pisces,’ set to release on Tuesday. Working double-time right now to finish this and a set of things that must be sent before getting on a plane and starting another chapter. (Well, continuing an old chapter that I have to finish. It’s about Tokyo. Long story, really really long, called S P A C E | Tokyo, ‘Osananajimi,’ and eventually I’ll have figure out a way to make it fit in a 16-page PDF digital zine, somehow, perhaps for our summer or fall collection if we still have enough people reading and crowdfunding our zine), but first, I have to get there and feel the feeling that wants to be felt and then capture the mood and put it in to a Japan-focused, made-on-the-spot (perhaps with new and different others who might wander into the space of Atelier S P A C E | JP during these latter March weeks) conversations. It’s weird, this stuff of Atelier S P A C E.

‘That’s pretty amazing, DK’

Magically, I’m able to talk about the idea that you can go around the world and run into the potential and from the simple act of being around fora. while, showing up for the moment and being ready when it’s ready to share itself with you, then yeah, compiling all the best-of observations into a small, compact, mini-magazine and taking it on the road to share with the people who you meet in the next place. More simply. In quite straightforward simple sentences. It’s not my style, but it’s communicating: straight up. Subject-verb. Stop before you ramble. Easy does it. Do not try to use idioms. People do not follow English casual jargon-y stuff, or even things like ‘jargon-y.’ Tone down the arty writing. Keep it simple. Keep it clean. All of this is osmosis-learning, I think. I was going to write today here about all the process and feeling the old kinds of things that I had felt when in this city in 2017 to gather people and discover how we could get together in a 16-way blind date.

FUN & EFFORT. That was fun, hard, and took a lot of energy that I honestly don’t have anymore to make such an event because… because the value of real life space and S P A C E-making is hard to communicate to those who don’t immediately go, ‘Oh, right. Yeah. That’s really… needed.’ If it’s not needed to you, then that’s fine. We’re carrying on anyway. But.. if you want try a journey, something new, one  that you might not know where it takes you, but others will be there too with the same exact notions: where are we going? well, let’s just see!, then yeah, this is your party. Scroll to the end to find out more, if you’re in Hanoi.

I’m speaking in general terms here but it’s easier, this way. I just sent the first issue of our Spring 2019 collection of zines that are gonna be co-created. The series is ‘The Book of New Things.’ Sent the first issue out last Tuesday, and the next one will be out on Tuesday again. ‘Two Pisces.’ Spellcheck. Edits. Then, clear the pages and finish up the one that has been going and going and going, because I am still figuring out what it’s about, but today and late late last night in my early dreams I started to finally see it.



Helps to regroup by going through the old notes and finding bits like this, from DK’s earlier project, Kismuth Books. These were sent to Dipika:

MP: I love reading your emails, they are so colorful.

AB: Hi dear, love to read your blog about your travel.

NS: Hey. I really enjoy reading all of your e-mails. I just love how you do what feels right. Something different compared to all Americans. Not live your life thinking “what if?”

CC: Fair play taking to the roads like this. Your sense of adventure, of life, is wonderful. Travel well and safe and I’m looking forward to hearing your tales.

AB: I really love to read every thing u write. Now about karma…

Theywere from 2014ishs. DK stoped doing emails in recent days as much or with as much personal stuff because we all know now that email is spam. So: next. We’re on to S P A C E. Co-creating on the spot. A subscription magazine. Funner, too. In a parallel shift to the move way from ‘N’, too. Less asking. More just doing our thing. You can decide if you want to be ‘in’ on it, or not. Either way’s cool. We’re still gonna do the jam.


Finding the line

The storyline, the character, the setting and place-painting through words and pictures and maybe some line art, the way it’ll play out, and how it will be shared…. Finding it all out this weekend, or setting out to, anyway. This work will all happen between now and Thursday, when we have the release party for S P A C E issues made and co-created on the road in Vietnam. Whoa. I’ve written that. Now I best get to work, and deliver on it. But before I leave you here on this post today, here’s something I liked finding today in my bunches and bunches of notes…

Sally Mann:

“Art is seldom the result of true genius, rather it is the product of hard work and skills learned and tenaciously practiced by regular people.”



14 March | S P A C E Party

ZINE READING & RELEASE PARTY. Hosting a party in real life in Hanoi on the evening of Thursday, 14 March. This event is free for members of S P A C E, and for nonmembers its USD 12. Very limited seats. Advance bookings only. Read more about it and how to register for your ticket here.

S P A C E | International Womens Day

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re re-designing and calling for submissions for a re-release of our zine about the strongest woman we’ve ever met. The zine is called S P A C E | Kuala Lumpur, ‘Kaunter Tiket’. Some of you reading this today may already have one of the limited edition print runs of 20 that we published in Malaysia in late 2017. But if you’re curious and interested in her incredible story, you can read about Ajax Warren* and what she told Ritu Raj in confidence and with sincerity over a two-day and three-night run-around-town in Bukit Bintang.

*Names have been changed.

Learn more about ‘Kaunter Tiket’ | Subscribe to S P A C E


Pre-order S P A C E | KL, ‘Kaunter Tiket’

Order here.




S P A C E | Pangkor Island, ‘Two Pisces’

Next Tuesday in S P A C E, we share the zine created on Pangkor Island, Malaysia. Most of it was made during a one-week Atelier S P A C E solo tour. Co-created through dialogues with people DK ran into, on the spot, in that time and place. (Even on an island, the conversations began… which, of course, is part of the journey.)

S P A C E | Pangkor Island, ‘Two Pisces’

This very special zine’s  title is ‘Two Pisces’. It’s very personal, and also, because of that, super exclusive, this time. It’s by Dipika Kohli. DK are sharing this zine *only* with weekly subscribers of our eZine S P A C E. Learn more..

It’s the second in the new Spring 2019 collection of zines made in a co-created fashion, most of the time, with people we are discovering on the road. Each issue is always informed by real life, real time conversations happening at the places where we go, with the people we discover, who are ready to share a little bit at a time (surprising things come of this) when we show up for the listening, and being there, and paying attention. Together. When it’s good, there’ s a magic moment, sometimes called ‘an aesthetic moment.’ This is the good stuff. Some of the most important gleanings  from our Malaysia conversaitons (six months, altogether, in 2017-18) are woven into this particular issue of S P A C E, too.

SPRING 2019. This current set of 12 zines being made at the moment thanks to crowdfunding support in S P A C E is called  ‘The Book of New Things.’ Learn more and subscribe at our crowdfunding page, and how you can be a part of ongoing international asynchronous conversations both in real life and in our online forums, too. Discover it. Take a chance. And maybe go somewhere you never would have expected.

S P A C E | BoNT

This week, after a light sequence of conversation-starting in our forums Postmodern Nomads and the Book of New Things, DK is very excited to present the beginnings of a new chapter, in S P A C E.


New chapter

Fresh zines. It’s called S P A C E | Spring 2019, ‘The Book of New Things.’ Which around here we’ve nicknamed ‘BoNT.’

So far we’ve published these issues: ‘In the Flowers,’ ‘Two Pisces,’ ‘Kaunter Tiket’ and ‘Nostalgia CP.’ Set in Dalat, Pangkor Island, Kuala Lumpur, and Hanoi… Here are the covers…

The issues can be found in our online shop.

CONTINUATIONS. These zines are getting made thanks to our crowdfunding supporters. Early support came forward for a zine series that had begun in December 2018. That was first set, S P A C E | Winter 2018-19, was called ‘A Philosophy of the Moment’ (and referred to in-house as PoTM.’ We like abbreviating stuff, or AS.

But yeah.

Find all currently available issues in our online shop. Click the pic below to go there..

Ahead for Spring 2019

S P A C E MAKING. With the ‘BoNT’ 12-week set, which is outlined in an editorial calendar at our crowdfunding page here, there will be some interwoven pieces to be created with new members of our projects in S P A C E. Presently there are a handful: some are invite-only, some are semi-public, and a few of them are real-life moments of public spaces we design and host for experiences. The are listed in our upcomings. It’s neat, this new project, Atelier S P A C E. Showing up. For listening. connecting, and maybe even co-creating. For light laughs, for personal exchanges, and more specifically, those exchanges of a texture and shape that can only form when one has gained confidence and trust. This very special sort of forum is not random. It is designed. All these years of really doing design in graphics have become useful only now. Because it’s the real life design that matters most, to DK. The design, that is, of S P A C E.

What is it?

What does it do?

Who is it for?

Many things. For lots of people, if only they are ready to look within. This is a discovery project. It’s not for everyone. But it’s cool, when it happens, and when it works. This is where I’m supposed to share the testimonials. Show you pictures. But I won’t—what we have in S P A C E is not for public consumption, it’s very special and handled with care and part of that is a trust, a kind of pact. This is what we’re doing here, and this is just for us.

But real life moments are popping up, too. Now, S P A C E is intersecting itself. In real life, I’m here, in Tokyo for the moment, to gather at S P A C E | Tokyo a few of us whom DK’ve met and gotten to know better because of time, and progression, and development, and of course, *showing up*. Next stops: Tokyo, Bangkok, ?, ?, and then… *Secret location*. More about making S P A C E on the road.

Discover the journey

Be a part of it, the journey of co-creating ‘zines’ with others every week in digital space. Membership is free with a subscription to our digital zine. A subscription is USD 7/week. It starts when you click ‘Weekly S P A C E’ at our crowdfunding page.

S P A C E | Acknowledgements

Bunch of updates, on S P A C E.

Special thanks so far to collaborations with some very talented people, including, but not limited to: S P A C E Culture Editor Michael Bridgett, Jr; S P A C E Art Director Jānis Žguts; and contributors Kan Tomizawa, Reijo Valta, Dipika Kohli, Alexis JokelaBOSS, and Aske Pedersen.

There are many others to say ‘thank you’ to, including: our crowdfunding supporters; mentors; and people from near and far and lately as well as the deep past. I’ve put a few of their names on this page.

So far. Jazzy conversations in forums. Co-created weekly zines. Sometimes there’s crossover: we get acquainted and develop ideas in the conversations, and then, bang! It starts to get pressed into shape.

S P A C E the zine, Winter 2018-19, ‘A Philosophy of the Moment’

Note: Ask me about philosopher Dennis Dutton’s 6 universal signatures in human aesthetics.


Today we share the first of the new 12-set series for the Spring 2019 collection. The collection is called ‘The Book of New Things.’ Learn more about how to become a part of this. This week we are sharing in small circles about some new things going on behind the scenes.

Curious? Be part of S P A C E.
Here’s how to join.




S P A C E | Đà Lạt, ‘In the flowers’

Tuesday in S P A C E we publish the zine, S P A C E | Đà Lạt, ‘In the flowers’. This was a co-creation between Dipika Kohli and BOSS in January 2019. (So yes! Quite recently… just a few short weeks ago.) Something about making them up as we go, publishing while still in the vicinities that have inspired them, is a lot of fun. The energy is good. Momentum, too. We’re jazzed to open a new chapter in S P A C E, Spring 2019, ‘The Book of New Things.’ The title came from a very intriguing and cool, unexpected series of events that led to an unusual place, which is how all beautiful beginnings begin. Surprising new departures. More about S P A C E | Đà Lạt, ‘In the flowers‘.

S P A C E | ‘The Scandal in Bohemia’

BOSS is reading Sherlock Holmes. (I’ve never read it). BOSS has read ‘The Merchant of Venice’ and a number of other Shakespeare pieces*, which he remarks upon from time to time, saying random things like, ‘That’s just blank verse.’ I, for my part, am amused and bewildered that someone with his capacity for ingesting volumes at a time of words should be my partner in ateliers on the road, here, while I am in Việt Nam. Yes, those are the accurate feelings. Wildly curious, and like a leaf that’s fallen in autumn without any idea of how it got there. (Hat tip, S P A C E guests who might have seen that page in ‘Vakt.’)

*BOSS: ‘Isn’t it Shakespearean?’

Making magic

Look: making things that people want to read is not easy. making things that are artful is not marketable.  But why not keep going? The road is where we are, at the moment. Hanoi. Then Tokyo. Then, ?, and ?, and ?, and then Riga. To connect. Together, in S P A C E. Designing and discovering, but learning in the short stops and the long spans in the moments of *a-ha*. He who doesn’t love the creative process will not engage with us, to be sure. But if you read and detect and find the clues, which don’t show up by stumbling upon them by chance, as BOSS says, but by reasoning your way towards the things that make themselves line up in a way that says, ‘There! That is the direction to go!’ then yeah. Look for more from us.


‘Thwarted by a woman’

BOSS: ‘The reason I like The Scandal of Bohemia better is because he was thwarted.’

Me: ‘Who’s he? Whose plans?’

BOSS: ‘Sherlock. Holmes’.’

Me: ‘How?’

BOSS: ‘Because his plans were… thwarted by a woman.’

..And that was how a great scandal threatened to affect the Kingdom of Bohemia, and how the best plans of Mr. Sherlock Holmes were beaten by a woman’s wit. He used to make merry over the cleverness of women but I have not heard him do it of late. And when he speaks of Irene Adler or when he refers to her photograph, it is always under the honorable title of the woman. —‘The Scandal of Bohemia,’ in The Best of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Wordsworth Classics: London, 1925)