Today we share a story that will be published in a July issue of S P A C E. ‘Ready for Anything’ was written by Anonymous in response to a prompt that was part of our May series of ‘Papers’. ‘Papers’ took place over email and in asynchronous, international conversation threads. Anonymous, author of the below, wrote the following in reply to a prompt called ‘Arrivals.’ With permission, we publish it here for you..
‘This prompt is actually not abstract at all,’ writes Anonymous. ‘This“arrival” thing, for a long time, became my most problematic concept that forced me to form a very solid protocol to deal with it…
‘And I think this can be one of the most important life skills that’s worth sharing and talking about!,’ Anonymous continues. ‘Thank you for inviting me to such an important talk! I have been quite stressed these days so hopefully it doesn’t sound too depressing.’
Ready for anything
Calibration:‘How am I feeling?’
So, the very first thing I do when something’s coming, is to check myself out.
To see if I’m in the state of“Subhuman”:that is, one in which you experience low arousal level, low motivation, and a disconnected mindset. Sub-human is inevitable, and it’s not always a bad thing. It’s just a sign that’s telling me that my body and mind are“not ready”. When I discover that, yes in fact I am in this state, I know what to do. I should be relaxing, nursing my health, and even enjoy the moment as it usually is the post-satisfaction effect.
If I have to do something, I’ll choose what I’ve already known how to do, with almost zero creative thinking. And most importantly, AVOID the arrival of those sorts of things that can expose me to unexpected forces. I know to sidestep them because it’s very clear to me that when I’m in this state, I definitely won’t have any energy at all, not even to feel the best news.
If any surprise arrives at this time, which is the exact wrong time for that to happen, then I will have to take a pretty direct and concrete measure in order to correct course. That is, I will have to execute a specific non-sleep-deep-rest(NSDR)session and/or using other stimulants in order to get out of the Subhuman Zone as fast as possible, before moving forward with any action, real thinking or important planning.
Else, the Sub-human will consider every news as bad news, and do destructive things in an attempt to try to remove everything and anything that it thinks causes“bad news”. Here is how I prep. Right before the arrival happens, I use all of my willpower to drag my expectations to the lowest level that is possible. That will prevent dopamine crashing, which would instantly bring me back to the Subhuman state again.
Evaluation:‘What’s best for me, right now?’
The next step is to seek counsel, within.
As my Personalities wake up, I can deal with arrivals many different ways, depending on what it is, and its relation to my current context. If the news goes against my flow, but requires me to do something, or change something; that means we have a pretty big problem.
So I will summon all of my Personalities to form a council and execute a“Problem Solving” protocol, including many continuous sessions of writing, thinking, sacrificing… so as to tackle this challenge, and with the aim of generating an optimized solution. If the news blends well with my context–like this prompt comes just as I’m studying a neuroscience learning curve– then I can allow myself to act positively, let it tweak my behavior a little bit, and even allow it to let me change a few sessions on my schedule, as it shouldn’t affect the bigger vector.
If the news is not on my way, but interesting, and doesn’t force me to do anything, then there’s another tack. Depending on how good it is, and how far it is, related to my context, I will put it aside as“influence” or“potential project”. This usually comes up as I scroll through random online media, or consume my favorite offline media, and my mind just renders out ideas from that.
As I eliminate distraction for the sake of tight focus on my immediate, current project, Ideas from the media later will always compete for concern, as I search for it. I manage my youtube feed tightly, and my facebook loosely; to make sure they will support my growth instead of blunting it. I hope that explains why I’m saying‘no’ much more than‘yes’ when being invited to someone else’s project.
I plan out every hour in a day to be disciplined in my education, and to make a relatively long to-do list come true. I would have to quit my job, my growth, and my personal ideas to be involved in teamwork projects, no matter how much I like it. For now, it’s risky, for everything I have.
For those interested in finding out more about what sorts of personal ideas that list might include, Anonymous recommends several courses if you are inclined to teach yourself how to do things, and learn online, because everything is ‘just there.’ For those interested in teaching themselves things online, for free, Anonymous suggests this site called ‘online courses club’. Interesting! More soon, about DK’s new project, an online gallery. Watch this… S P A C E.
A lot of conversations happen at an ‘N’ and this time was no different. We are ready to share, meaningfully and not trivially, in the online follow-up sessions. They’ll be virtual so our ‘N’ guests from ‘N’ HCMC, which *happened* in the magic way only ‘N’ can, can see and discover others in our S P A C E programs, as we network, together, one designful moment at a time. It’s been fun, HCMC ! Thank you.
So many things are happening simultaneously that it’s hard to feel the feelings, see the things that need to be seen, and make the decisions, or watch them happen.
So I understand, from ambiently and osmosis-ically?, I like making up words sometimes, haha, so I understand from being here and observing, day after day, morning after morning, the churn and whirr of the routines in this neighborhood. District 3, in HCMC. I’m in Vietnam. This is turning into the [deleted]. But many, I’m sure, are doing this same thing.
Not sure what’s going to come, and not being able to plan are things people are sharing with each other. I know. It’s not like I’m really eavesdropping but I can kinda tell. Maybe it’s the 27 countries I’ve visited and spent bunches of time in, including the seven years and counting in Southeast Asia, to date. Um. Long story I could launch into here, but that’s not really pertinent.
Uncertainty is like… being a fish on the chopping board.
Start liking seafood and fish sauce… is what someone on the /vietnam subreddit wrote. I. Think. That’s. Good advice.
More to share, but not now. I want to give our new acquaintance time to find the way back to emailing with me about the things ahead. I am thinking about starting an inbound tourism company, too, by the way. I can. I have some ideas. I even have some osmosis-experience.
Lol. I’m just trying to cheer you up, O.
I met O. over a conversation that started with a thing about me having to fork over USD 990.
Good thing I have… a job? Wait. I don’t have one of those. I have DK. DK is where I am. Existing.
Here’s a quick update with some more information that we gathered via email in a conversation with Beck, one of the three coordinators of the Festival of the Photocopier. The three coordinators and twelve volunteers together make this program. Beck told us about the history with the festival and the way it grew. ‘I started visiting Sticky in high school, back in 2002, and when I hit university there was an opening in the volunteer line-up, so I’ve been with Sticky for about 12 years, since 2008!’
New opportunities in a virtual setting..
A. Spaice talks with Beck, one of the organizers of Sticky Institute’s Festival of the Photocopier..
A. Spaice: What’s cool about the festival, to you?
Beck: The cool thing about FotP is that the growth has been very organic. Every year we offer the same thing – a free table to sell your zines on – and people come and they sell their zines and make some friends and have a nice time. So the next year when the fair rolls around again, those seasoned individuals want to come back which means we have to add on some new tables for people who have never been a part of the fair before. The community has really made the event what it is, 2020 was our 10th FotP, if no one wanted to come to the zine fair it wouldn’t be a two-day event held across two huge rooms. 2021 FotP will be our first online zine fair so it will be a different kind of fair, but we’re hoping people are as into it as the IRL fair.
A. Spaice: Any opportunities you foresee?
Beck: I think being able to open up the fair to zinesters globally, in a realistic way, has been a really nice side-effect. Normally we’re happy to take applications from people from outside of Melbourne if they’re happy to travel, but travelling from Adelaide or Perth to Melbourne is way more affordable than traveling from New Zealand or Japan.
The further away you are from Melbourne the more expensive that trip gets, so it’s unrealistic to expect people to spend thousands of dollars to attend a two-day event to sell a $2 zine. If they want to, and can afford to make that trip, then we’re extremely happy to have them, but it’s not feasible for a lot of people.
We’re seeing a couple of names we don’t recognise submit applications, so I think we might be getting a few more international entries.
A. Spaice: Yes! That was our situation, exactly! When we applied from Cambodia. I seriously thought about going there [in February 2020] but ike you said, a $2 zine doesn’t cover the cost of flights, and staying there.
Beck: We were glad to hear that you were able to find someone to table for you…! But yeah, we totally get the financial side of it. We get invites from interstate fairs and often it’s a matter of who is available to go and also can afford to? We’re all really aware that you aren’t really making money with zines, you make zines for the love of it, not to turn a huge profit.
So sometimes you can make a go of an out of town zine fair and sometimes you can’t, the good news for Australians is that there are more and more zine fairs popping up all over.
A. Spaice: And… Covid?
Beck: There was no resistance to making the FotP digital in 2021 because of the pandemic situation. As I’m sure you would have seen in the news, Melbourne has been through a pretty intense lockdown this year because of COVID-19, so for us it wasn’t really something that needed to be debated.
Our top priority is the health and safety of our community, so moving the fair online seemed like the best way to keep FotP alive and not have to cancel it or push it back to an undetermined point in the future.
Moving the fair online will also make it more accessible to people who might not have been able to make it down to the physical fair, so in a way it’s allowed us to open up applications to people= who wouldn’t otherwise have been able to participate.
We start planning FotP around September normally, so this year we were doing that while we were still in the hard lockdown here in Melbourne.
With the way things were changing for us at that time, we weren’t sure if we could legally have a 500-person indoor event in February. Even if we could have it, we didn’t know if our state borders would be open, or if the transmission in the community would still be in such a way that no one would want to risk the chance of exposure to come. The good news is that the lockdown worked and Melbourne is well on the way back to regular programming. But we know this isn’t the case everywhere, and that we could hit a third wave and go back into heavy restrictions if something were to go wrong.
It also means that people with physical or health restrictions are able to attend as well as people who are located interstate or overseas who can’t travel.
FotP is the largest zine fair in the southern hemisphere, and while it’s always free to table at the fair we know that if you’re traveling to Melbourne you’ve got those associated costs to cover while you’re in town. fotp.online is removing those costs for a lot of people so they can attend without having to worry about travel and accommodation and everything that goes with it.
Success, for us, would be to see people excited about the digital fair, come to the virtual events we have planned, and return to the site throughout the year to keep checking back in on artists they were interested in!
A. Spaice: Does it cost ?
Beck: The online nature of the event means that it’s literally cost-free for people to sign up from other locations now, so we’re hoping to see a few applications from people a little further out than usual.
A. Spaice: Thank you for the time you’ve taken to help us learn more. Is there anything else you’d like to add before we close?
Beck: How do we pay for the fair? We get funding from the City of Melbourne! We were just approved for a two year grant, starting 2021, via the City of Melbourne’s Arts Creative Investment Partnerships so we are both appreciative and grateful to them for their support of us and zine culture!!
A. Spaice: Great! Thanks !!
A virtual zine fair..
We just got this really cool piece of news. The Festival of the Photocopier, which is run by the Melbourne group Sticky Institute, will be online in 2021.
Now, we just learned, Festival of the Photocopier 2021, will be virtual.
So I wanted to let you know about this, because anyone anywhere can join for next time. Very excited about this.
I just submitted my application–sent!
Here’s my idea, for if we are accepted. I am going to angle the next few issues of S P A C E’s December collection, ‘Trust’, to an international audience. Of course they will be co-created with our friends and guests in Atelier S P A C E popups here in HCMC, so look out for some cool new bilingual issues to share in real life here, and also, hopefully, on the virtual international stage at FOTP 2021.
So, our agenda for December is this..
Discover new voices here in Vietnam to make S P A C E with
Design and publish 4 new issues of S P A C E in Vietnamese & English
Tell the world about our S P A C E programs in Vietnam if we get selected to participate in Festival of the Photocopier in 2021’s virtual event
On the same day as the festival, we’ll host a real life event. A reading. It will be from the issues we make here in HCMC this month. We’ll have an Atelier S P A C E // HCMC launch party. It’ll be a chance to share our printed zines with the friends here who are creative, imaginative, able to think out of the box, and ready to try new things who have helped us so far to make some cool and fun issues already. I have a good feeling about the series to come.
I’m excited about the potential to launch the Atelier S P A C E // HCMC creations at the Festival of the Photocopier in Melbourne next year. Hopefully we’ll get ‘in’ and get to put on a great exhibit for people to see just how unique a hyperlocal perspective on ‘art from Vietnam’ can really look. [Aside: Ask us about ‘decolonization sometime!’. No, wait, ask AD! A zine about that, being art directed by AD, a member of ‘Papers‘.]
Here is a pic of our Phnom Penh reading from issues of S P A C E. I hosted this on the same day as our debut at the Festival of the Photocopier 2020:
And here’s the bit about how you can apply to be in the Festival of the Photocopier in 2021…..
If you make zines
Apply for the Festival of the Photocopier! It’s free to apply, so I just wanted to share this with those out there who might be wondering if they qualify. If you make zines, you qualify, is my understanding. Here, I’ll just paste in what I got in the email from Sticky Institute earlier this week…
Our digital fair will be hosted at http://www.fotp.online and applications are currently open for stallholders … facilitated by Sticky Institute!!!
As this is a digital fair, applications are open to zinesters located anywhere in the world. If you have a pen pal located outside of Australia, feel free to forward them the link so they can apply! There is no cost to have a digital stall on fotp.online and the website will be live for at least a year.
This has been a bit of a spiel but we’d really love for you to check out fotp.online and submit an application to be a stallholder or join FotP-Swap!. Applications will close on the 10th of January, 2021 and we don’t want anyone to miss out!
We know this is going to be a very different kind of zine fair but we’re hoping you’ll be there with us, on the other side of the screen!
Is getting designed. It will take place this month. It will happen in HCMC.
Relational aesthetics x ‘N’..
I’ve sent, by now, more than 20 invitations here and there through the internet to people and most of those, of course, have gone unanswered. Though there is always the magic of the follow-up note, I’ve found, in my past explorations in hosting ‘N’ in other cities. Phnom Penh, to start, and then London, Copenhagen, Bangkok, Hanoi.
‘N’ is your masterpiece, DK
-AM, 2017, Phnom Penh
‘N’, an invitation, is here, if you are curious. I’m always open to hearing from people who just simply find out about it and get in touch. Cool! That’s what I do! So yeah. Most welcome to initiate a conversation with us, if you like what you see at the link.
Design is trying things,
then trying them again..
You try it, you find out what works, what doesn’t. You adjust and adapt the next set of things so that you optimize for what you want. In the case of ‘N,’ right from the start, I was designing for: making it happen. Who has time to send 67 emails trying to meet for coffee? Not me. So I just invited 16 people to meet at the same time and at the same place so they could all have the guesswork and admin time neatly removed from their lives and simply show up for a party. That. Was. The idea. And it still is, six years later.
‘N’ in Hồ Chí Minh
set for December 2020..
If you have already been in touch with DK about this, at some point in the months of September or October, when we hosted our small four-person meet ups, then you can come to this one and see what you missed. If you got an invitation, and were wondering, here is your second-chance. I don’t usually do that, but due to covid, 16N has been recast as a series of mini-parties instead of the giant ‘big blind date for 16 people’ that it used to be. Still and all, I’m curious to see what will happen when we do this, again, this month. Some are registering. Some are going to be there. Will we see you? Let’s find out. Email us back if you got the invitation, or just go through the links from the invitation page.
Bảy yếu tố của shibusa là
sự giản lược (simplicity)
sự tuyệt đối (implicity)
sự khiêm tốn (modesty)
sự im lặng (silence)
tính tự nhiên (naturalness)
tính đều đặn (everydayness) và
sự không hoàn hảo (imperfection)
The seven elements of the shibusa are reduction, implicity, modesty, silence, naturalness, everydayness, emptiness & imperfection.
Sự giản lược quý phái của shibusa là sự biểu hiện tinh tế về bản chất của các yếu tố trong một trải nghiệm thẩm mỹ mang tới sự tĩnh lặng. Sự quý phái khiêm nhường là điều hiển nhiên trong sự thanh thản u buồn với một chút lấp lánh.
The aristocratic simplification of the shibusa is the subtle expression of the nature of the elements in an aesthetic experience that offers tranquility. Humble nobility is evident in the sad serenity with a hint of sparkle.
Như các thuật ngữ mỹ học Nhật Bản khác, iki và wabi-sabi, shibui có thể áp dụng cho nhiều đối tượng, không chỉ là nghệ thuật hay thời trang.
Like other Japanese aesthetic terms, iki and wabi-sabi, shibui can be applied to a wide range of subjects, not just art or fashion.
Shibui (渋い) (tính từ), shibumi (渋み) (danh từ), hoặc shibusa (渋さ) (danh từ) là những từ tiếng Nhật chỉ một khái niệm mỹ học đặc biệt về vẻ đẹp giản dị, tinh tế và không phô trương.
Shibui (渋 い) (adjective), shibumi (渋 み) (noun), or shibusa (渋 さ) (noun) are Japanese words for a particular aesthetic concept of simplicity, sophistication and unobtrusive.
Shibusa là một sự xuất hiện hoặc trải nghiệm được làm phong phú lên (enriched), được làm dịu đi (subdued) của phẩm cách tốt về mặt bản chất với cơ cấu về hình thức, liên kết và nỗ lực, mang đến một sự tĩnh lặng vô tận.
Shibusa is an enriched, subdued appearance or experience of intrinsically good dignity with a structure of appearance, association, and effort, providing an endless silence.
Shibusa bao gồm những phẩm chất thiết yếu sau đây:
Đối tượng có shibui xuất hiện với sự đơn giản về tổng thể nhưng chúng bao gồm các chi tiết tinh tế, chẳng hạn như kết cấu, mà cân bằng sự lược giản với sự phức tạp.
Sự cân bằng sự lược giản với sự phức tạp này nhằm đảm bảo rằng vật đó không chỉ gò ép vào một đối tượng shibui mà còn liên tục tìm ra những ngữ nghĩa và vẻ đẹp phong phú mới được tạo nên bởi quá trình phát triển những giá trị thẩm mỹ qua nhiều năm.
Shibusa không nên bị nhầm lẫn với wabi hoặc sabi. Mặc dù nhiều đối tượng wabi hoặc sabi là shibui, không phải tất cả các đối tượng shibui là wabi hoặc sabi. Đối tượng wabi hoặc sabi có thể khắc khổ hơn và đôi khi cố ý thổi phồng khuyết điểm đến một mức độ mà chúng có thể được làm một cách nhân tạo. Đối tượng shibui không nhất thiết phải hoàn hảo hay không đối xứng, mặc dù chúng có thể chứa đựng những phẩm chất này.
Shibusa duy trì một sự cân bằng đồng đều giữa các khái niệm thẩm mỹ tương phản nhau, ví dụ như thanh lịch và thô kệch, hoặc tự phát và có tự chủ.
Shibusa includes the following essential qualities:
Objects with shibui appear to be simplistic overall but they include subtle details, such as texture, that balance simplicity with complexity.
Balancing this reduction with complexity to ensure that the object not only presses against a shibui object, but also continually finds new rich meanings and beauty created by development. aesthetic values over the years.
Shibusa should not be confused with wabi or sabi. Although many wabi or sabi objects are shibui, not all shibui objects are wabi or sabi. Objects of wabi or sabi can be more austere and sometimes purposely inflate defects to such an extent that they can be artificially made. The shibui objects are not necessarily perfect or asymmetric, although they may contain these qualities.
Shibusa maintains an even balance between contrasting aesthetic concepts, such as elegant and crude, or spontaneous and autonomous.
Màu sắc của shibusa là những màu “lờ mờ” (muddy). Ví dụ, trong thiết kế và sơn nội thất, màu xám được thêm vào những gam màu chính để tạo một hiệu ứng ánh bạc, mà gắn các màu sắc khác nhau lại với nhau thành một sự sắp đặt phối hợp. Tuỳ thuộc vào mức độ của màu xám được thêm vào, màu sắc của shibui trải dài từ những màu pastel tới tối. Thỉnh thoảng, một mảng màu sắc tươi sáng được thêm vào để tạo một điểm nổi bật.
The colors of the shibusa are “fuzzy” (muddy). For example, in interior design and paint, gray is added to the main colors to create a silver sheen effect, which binds the different colors together into a coordinated arrangement. Depending on how much gray is added, shibui colors range from pastel colors to dark. Occasionally, an array of bright colors is added to create a highlight.
DK wrote about startup culture a few months ago, when we got to Ho Chi Minh City, after five months hiding out in Dalat wondering, ‘when this is going to be over.’ Well! [deleted] Then, DK decided it. We’d try to make a go of something, in HCMC.
The thinking went like this: perhaps some of us could build something new in HCMC. A big city. A lot of opportunity. Plenty of inquisitive young people. (It’s been a mixed bag, to be honest. More about that, in today’s email for members of Atelier S P A C E. Membership info is here.)
It’s inspired by something I found today…
I read today in the Vietnamese Express News this headline: ‘Startups need partnerships to participate in bigger ecosystems.’
Writes Dat Nguyen:
Vietnamese startups need to expand their partnership network with domestic and regional firms for functioning deeper in big firms’ ecosystems, industry insiders say.
More in the email I’ll send today at 7AM USEST, for members of Atelier S P A C E. Membership info is at our crowdfunding page, here’s a link. Thanks.
Qualitative sciences are curious, sometimes. I found something written by Philip Kitcher in his book, The Lives to Come. Not saying that you should read the book, it wasn’t that interesting, but this part was very curious to me. I’ll paraphrase.
The author lists three ways, according to him, that one can evaluate if someone else’s life was ‘with quality’, or not. Why should we listen to him? I’m not sure. I’m not writing newspaper stories these days, just blogging what I wants o I will just say, ‘maybe you can decide if you think the below is interesting and take or leave it.’ I have had it kicking around in ‘draft’ here, for three years.
Let me just tell you these criteria, according to the author.
To paraphrase, they are:
Knowing what matters. This one is about discovering the journey towards what really counts, for you, personally. Here’s what the questions to ask are: ‘Did the person develop a sense of what is significant? How was the conception of what matters formed?’ I guess it’s important how you got to what counts just as much as it is to know what it is that you put on those blanks, in a list, of what matters.
Achieving what matters. Related to the last idea, of course, is how did you do with what you knew was important. ‘To what extent is the person’s desires to achieve what matters to her satisfied in a life plan? Did she get there?’ Big questions for sure. But important, right? Looking at what matters to you is fine, but actually taking steps (or having the desire to take steps, to go a step backwards from that), is pretty huge, according to this three-point criteria list.
Knowing if that arrival was any good. This part was about the levels of real experience the person got to have. I mean, we all have ups and downs, but feeling the feelings through when we do is pretty much what, I think, this is about. One could ask: ‘How did it feel, to achieve the goals set out as that which mattered to a person? What was the character of the person’s experience, the balance of pleasure and pain?’
MASSIVE QUESTIONS, to be sure. What do you think about the above? Would you agree or disagree with Kitcher’s three-point list of what makes for a quality life? Would you add something, and if so, what would it be? If you could eliminate something, what would you take away?
These are the kinds of things that we talk about, in ‘Papers‘.
By request, we’re bringing back the 2018 online short course for photographers who love to write. It’s called ‘Slow Moment.’ Max of 4 participants. Application required. Selected candidates will be invited to register. Free for six-months-and-counting members of S P A C E.