Sharing a moment in Oulu

GREAT CONVERSATIONS UNFOLDED as DK and friends made zines in Oulu with guests of Hei Kesä.

Hei Kesä was 16 August’s popup zinemaking workshop and mini-art exhibition.

Very special thanks to Anu Lakkapää of Kahvila Tuokio for co-hosting with us, what a great place, and to Paavo Heinonen of Ouluntaiteidenyö for the exceptional conversations.

It was cool and low-key to be part of the yearly Ouluntaiteidenyö, or Oulu Arts Night, a popup of art, literature, and music. Highly recommend putting this on your tour if you are an enthusiast of small -scale cities, nature, new places, new people, intriguing peoplewatching, and drift. Not that many people wander this far north, and here we are, finding a moment, at Tuokio, discovering the point of it all, I feel, the point of making art, anyway: discovering the beauty of now, here, where we are. In real life, together.

ZINEMAKING. Zines from the summer. Zines from the moment. Learning together about how to let go of the ‘this is what art making looks like’ ideas, in order to just play. Like, improvise. On the spot. Together. Co-creating poems in the dada style, choosing buttons from a bowl and sewing them into our books. Folding, cutting, drinking coffee, enjoying. Very special, very cozy (like our hygge experiences at small clubs in Copenhagn, and fika conversations in Malmö).

There are a lot of people who informed the design and content of this, and I’ll be talking more about that sometime, but meantime before battery runs out on this machine, and before I fall asleep again, I want to share one picture today of what it felt like to be there.

Here is:

Kahvila Tuokio x DK 2018

Next stops: Helsinki, Kuala Lumpur, and Phnom Penh for salons, workshops, and ateliers. See our upcomings here.

 

 

A popup zine festival in Finland: ‘Hei Kesä’, celebrating International Zine Day

A summer festival of the zine in Kärsämäki


#heikesä

***

Saturday, 21 July

I N T E R N A T I O N A L  Z I N E  D A Y

H e i   K e s ä

Making zines. Sharing time. In real life.

 

P R O G R A M M E

 

10am
Atelier S P A C E | Kärsämäki


Details here

 

***

12-3pm

Hei Kesä @ Cafe Onni 


Details here

 

***

9pm
Author reading from the new zine ‘S P A C E || Kärsämäki’

Details here

S P A C E || ‘Good Night, Day!’

Writing in S P A C E

THE WRITING IS GOING ALL RIGHT. Here, behind the scenes, we are turning yearslong collected writings and bits into things that are actually in some way processed, thought through, organized, and well-presented. I think this is called publishing. And that’s why we are working on it with Kismuth Books. Lots of room and space, to reflect, to look at the arc of where the stories that left the warmest impressions were, and how they got there. Not that there is a thing to ‘figure out,’ per se. It’s quite nice to just let the things be what they are slowly, in an ukiyo-e way, bubbling up and surfacing to be. Does it make sense?

DISCOVER THE MIRROR. IN 2014, I got this weird idea to write with other people. Some of them friends, some of them acquaintances, and many of them people I didn’t know. Internet friends? I guess. It became interesting very recently, as we have been iterating quite a lot since then. Now, THE MIRROR is a robust tool and we are sharing it out again starting 8 January, with a handful of people who are the right fit. I continue to do this because I love cojournaling; it gives us the opportunity to build a global tribe of people who are also asking questions, and curious about life. A few brave cojournalers who signed up for our very first experiment (January 2014) had NO idea what to expect. It was definitely an exercise in trust. And design, of course. We’ve tweaked it, tested it, added things, deleted things, and tried the whole thing out. It’s less clunky now, 4 years into it.

We use email. But it’s not just mail. It’s someone’s trust in you, and me, and us. It’s sharing. It’s this thing I kept going on about last year, “the village.” It’s about connecting, in a way that’s meaningful and deep and not someone paying for a therapist’s time or someone reading a book once and forgetting about it after that. It’s not a workshop off in the mountains, though those are fantastic, or a class that is going to help you set up everything to write a bestseller. It’s not any of those things. It’s just, simply, space. And it’s working. I can’t believe how the people who’ve just newly met are sharing their very personal thoughts, even in these early days. People are telling me they’re so happy to have time to just “free write,” without much of an agenda, and that they appreciate someone is listening (that would be the groups, and also me), holding them accountable to keep a practice to themselves: Write. Write weekly.

 

Weekly conversations

You don’t have to be a writer, you don’t have to be an artist. You can just be YOU. That’s the thing. We often don’t have space or time to spend just discovering who we are, within. I promise I’ve seen this over and over again at Design Kompany. In a modern world where we are so achievement-driven, we forget to make space and time to look within. Frankly, it’s discouraged. It’s “artsy-fartsy,” and it’s “woo-woo.” But by gosh, it’s so darn important. You can’t ever know why you’re doing what you’re doing if you don’t know who you are. So this has been fantastic, and that’s why we’re kicking off this year officially NEXT WEEK. On 8/1/18, we are going to start THE MIRROR 2018. It is for those who are interested in making space to reflect, take stock. With others also responding to the same prompts, in forums, each week. What I learned from DK that I apply to THE MIRROR is one thing: the conversation is the most important part of any creative process.

‘What’s in it for me?’ Fair question. This is about creating intentional space for you to write, in a dedicated way, with other people doing the same thing in other parts of your city or the world. I will be here to hold you accountable, giving you a quarterly update with feedback. This is not for a grade or any kind of validation, but I will guide you to committing time to flex your creative writing (outside of work, your local writing club, or academia). Sharing in a nonjudgmental way with others is a huge part of this, and learning to be a little vulnerable along the way makes space for a different kind of writing which may be new for you, too.

Why this is different. This isn’t school, or work, and yet, even recess has a set time for little kids. Space to play. To discover. To look, ask, and try. Think of it like you might imagine kindergarten—anything is possible—except now you have experience to draw from too. Without a chance to make what’s in our hearts known (first to ourselves, and then to others), it doesn’t get heard. Sometimes our stories are painful—grief, loss, or hurt—but sometimes, behind those things, there is an enormous well of something we didn’t know was there. The subconscience speaks through journaling, telling us each about our deepers elves as we get better at practicing how to let it speak.

I’m a believer in flat, open circles, and am creating this space so as to invite lots of real stories from the heart to come onto the (digital) page, if that’s what happens, or at least illuminate for their authors exactly what it is that’s inside. There are far too many times when you can look into the mirror and wonder, “What if things had turned out differently? What if I had applied myself a little more?” It’s not easy in our modern, achievement-oriented culture to give ourselves this kind of permission. Space. To play, to look inward, to do the hard work that can unleash a world of new insight if we let it.

 

How it works

WHO. No more than 4 people per circle. International, mixed. Groups are assigned based on what people share in their applications: ie, ‘what do I want to get out of this.’ Sequenced prompts are designed based on those common interests, for each circle.

WHAT. A co-journaling weekly prompt arrives each Monday. On Sunday, we’ll craft the next week’s prompt, based on whatever responses come in on that day, or before. It’s this simple. It emerges, and it grows meaningful based on the things that tie together the overarching common themes. Very fun, very intriguing, and a kind of juxtaposition-meets-relational aesthetics weird and cool vibe pops up.

WHEN. Starts 8 January, 2018. Are you wondering how much time this will take? Don’t feel pressured to commit to yet another thing to do: this is meant to be a complement and fertilizer for whatever writing you have already planned to do.

FLOW. It’s okay not to have a clear idea up front about what it is you’ll write about, the creative process always begins with a fuzzy open slate. Then, through the work, through the practice, something becomes interesting to you. This something is the gem that all the work up until that moment of discovering it will have been for. Once you have this piece, the golden nugget, we will work together to write a piece that is all about that which the nugget has inspired in you. Write what you know, they say, but we can’t know what we know until we dig a little to discover this little thing that is so very important in the big work of writing our real stories, in our true, authentic voice. Everyone knows the difference between pieces that are written from the heart, and those that are just written. Editors like to say, ‘The writer works so the reader doesn’t have to.’ Over time, we may begin to see connections happen across the virtual space between guests. This happens. In really cool ways, people began to ask one another questions to go a little deeper on the ideas that are coming up. Making a space for it to bubble up and *happen*, that’s the framing for THE MIRROR. The whole thing: that’s it.

HOW TO JOIN. It starts with an application. Apply through this page: http://designkompany.com/apply. Selected candidates will be invited to register, and an orientation note will be shared from there. Warmly welcoming a few new voices today, and sending virtual hi-fives to returning guests, too.

 

Atelier S P A C E || Singapore

Click for programme

PHYSICIST and Nobel Prizewinner Richard Feynman said, ‘I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I’m not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here.’

Design Kompany is hosting Atelier S P A C E to make a space for you to explore the pactice of ‘not knowing.’ It’s a unique conversation-cum-experiential learning workshop built from the organizers’ 20 years’ combined experience in design, writing, editing, and digital publishing.

‘We feel that in today’s hyperconnected world, people are having a hard time really listening to one another,’ says DK’s A. Spaice.

‘Eye contact gets lost. But eye contact and noticing one another, and hearing real laughter, and observing without the need to talk too much the beauty in the silent spaces between us, is important. This is where so much richness in communication is transferred. It’s a big part of our ‘why,’ this quest to making a particular quality of interactive space.’

Read the full programme here.

Very limited seats. Advance bookings only. 7-day refund policy.

Tickets from SGD 180.

Book here.

Zinery: creepy hobby or ‘most satisfying thing ever?’

JUST FOUND this intriguing article that gives you the zine publisher’s perspective on zinemaking. Why would you do it? Why would you try? There are a lot of people who want to express themselves, sure, but this is a way for those who are interested in moving a step towards real publishing (with an audience, a goal, and a theme in mind before hitting ‘copy’ on the photocopier) from simply making something for your own consumption. I liked this quote:

If no one knows what you’re up to, zine-making is just some creepy hobby, but if it actually gets read, it’s the most satisfying thing ever. —Tsari Paxton, Ten tips for publishing zines

We make zines in print every so often, like the one pictured here. S P A C E || Phnom Penh’s theme is ‘play.’ Discover more about our online zine, S P A C E, which posts every wee, at the bottom of this page.

Make a Zine: A video that asks, ‘Is telling stories on paper a dying art?’

IF YOU CAN IGNORE the overt product placement by their sponsor, this promo video by A Day Magazine for their Make a Zine fair in Bangkok is simply *charming*. For a while now we have been looking up videos trying to gathering inspiration to share ahead of Atelier S P A C E in Singapore this coming week.

So very many of them are a little bit underdeveloped, but that’s partly because of the culture of ‘DIY,’ in general. Leave things a bit tattered, not too done up. I get that. We get that. It’s part of our own style, too. Don’t make it too perfect, because you’ll kill the raw energy of it!

But the prevailing norm, which is a culture that rewards narcissism, that promotes ‘othering’ and ultimately yields miniature photocopied books aplenty that say, ‘this is me look at me this is what I think, dammit, f* you if you don’t like it,’ well. We all know why this is a problem, yes?

Let’s try something new.

This is how we thought it up. Why we are coming to Singapore for Atelier S P A C E.

Details of our 10-12 November weekend atelier in Singapore

DISCOVER
ATELIER S P A C E || Singapore
10-12 November, 2017

Mentioned at: SingLit Station,  The A List and CityNomads

Click for programme

‘What is this about?’

MAKE A ZINE. Something quick, but lasting, with world-traveling, genre-bending, art-design-literary conversationalists. In just three days, you will collaboratively make an 8-page zine out of what we share with each other, and thin air. Make the time to sit in a small group, reflect on your life, and hit on a cool new idea together. The emphasis here is on ‘new’ and ‘now.’ No creative person can do anything intriguing without others to connect with and ‘throw around ideas to see what’s interesting.’ The zine S P A C E || Singapore, to be launched at the end of the weekend, will become part of a global conversation over the next two years, 20 cities worldwide. (What is a zine? See Wikipedia page about zines.)

  • Atelier S P A C E is an invitation to try something different. It’s about discovery.
  • Read the full programme of our Atelier S P A C E *zinemaking* weekend at this page.
  • Want to be part of it? Book here.
Register

S P A C E Battambang: A new start in zine print publishing

P U B L I C A T I O N S
A U T U M N 2017


S P A C E | Battambang, is available for download as a PDF. Order here >

The zine, S P A C E | Battambang. The first of a series of internationally co-created zines made in the roving popup ‘zinemaking’ atelier. Atelier S P A C E. It gets all crazy and everything, S P A C E. I love it.

 

 

Original post

//

WAS IT YESTERDAY? Yes. I said I was going to redesign the entire zine. It’s done. The 8-pager is going to be printed later tonight, or tomorrow. This is a sneak peek of the cover drawing, by Dipika Kohli. This will be folded into the 8-page zine format you may have seen if you were at ‘Remarks on Noteworthiness,’ or ‘Excerpts of Note’ in London, or if you were at ‘Origin’ in Phnom Penh or Hanoi. The idea of a simple folded thing that you can just put in your pocket works well, for this particular one, which is S P A C E || Battambang. Going to print just 8 copies, to distribute to the 8 guests who will take part in Atelier S P A C E || Singapore from 10-12 November.

Simple collection, limited edition. Distributed P2P, with kindness and love, personally shared by hand. Isn’t that where the magic is? Person to person, eye to eye? Let’s *make* something. Let’s play. To the journeys! —AS (PS Digital copies of S P A C E || Battambang are going out this coming Tuesday, in S P A C E.)

 

Getting going with Atelier S P A C E

NEXT STOP, Singapore. Talking with people in design, publishing, writing, photography, illustration, networking as much as I can right now (online) before I get there (early November) to *make it happen*. I’m really looking forward to making a go of this, it’s been a long time in the works trying to discover how to get people connected, engaged, and talking together. In London, I stayed at this place where a young lad came up to me and said, ‘I heard you were going around the world meeting people.’ I was like, ‘Ummm.’ But that’s it. I am. But it’s not just about the ‘going around the world’ part that’ interesting, or the ‘meeting people’ part. It’s about connecting and inviting and discovering and most importantly, inter-relating people in new and remarkable ways. Where is the joy, otherwise, if we’re not really looking at each other? Who cares about e-lationships? I want real life.

I realize that a very short deadline, tight-run, and succinct programme would be a fun way to try something, in real life, together.

What do you think of this programme? Suggestions for making it smoother to read, and understand are welcome. Anyone who is a member of S P A C E is more than welcome to join me at this, for free. If you are thinking about being in S P A C E and aren’t sure about what the benefits are, here’s the thing. No one knows. Just like ‘N‘ and other things, it’s about *showing up*. I find that the magic moments happen when we make the choice to do that, and see who else has made the same commitment. Is it weird? Is it working? Is it overly ambitious? I am writing and wondering, out loud, as I do.

I’m only sharing this quietly, today. I want to stay connected and in conversations, so just add your comment, critique, or sideline soliloquy in the form below? I would use comments but if I do they start getting all spammy and it gets totally out of hand. Mostly, what we are all interested here at DK is designing space for us to really collaborate. If we’re not working together well, we’re not doing anything interesting. Did you notice? Look up. See all those people in their computers and phones? Me, included. We are losing the magic of real life, by showing up together, and noticing one another. Eye to eye. All very esoteric, this kind of talk, but you know what I’m talking about, right? You know.

Let’s converse? It’s all open space. And I’m listening.

Here’s a form. This could lead to all kinds of cool conversations in real life. It has, and does.

Say hello?

Don’t be shy.

*!