Issue #47: S P A C E | Kärsämäki, ‘The Field and the Horizon”

For this issue, DK’s creative director Dipika Kohli worked with A. Spaice and our newly budding creative team in Penang, Malaysia, in November, 2019.

Wrapping a year’s worth of reflections on the idea of growth, change, seedlings and new beginnings, it is a soft version of something that heretofore in our magazine has been rather geometric and angular, in style and attitude. Yet time and sharing, more and more, has opened us up a little more to ourselves, and to a very small section of our innermost hearts.

 

Quiet places

There, in the quietest places, something new is aloft. Seeds, seedlings and search for new grounds, fallow periods and more make their way into these pages, indirectly and perhaps abstractly, but with, we hope, a feeling that gives itself rather than asks you to pay attention to it.

Here’s a link:

http://gum.co/space-karsamaki-field

Thanks ;)

Issue #45: S P A C E | Vilnius, ‘Partial Differential Equations’

Experiments 

DK wrote a  very short new play, which is  is in today’s release of, Issue #45, S P A C E | Vilnius, ‘Partial Differential Equations.’

It has a title that looks like this:

4N

 

Innovations in the form

Writing lately on a particular topic, namely, ‘Trust the Process.’

It’s about how to find our way to more of the variety of philosophy that doesn’t get caught up in itself and make knots, but rather, smooths things in a way that lets us all have more fun. Together.

All the conversations so far have led to this, Issue #45:

S P A C E | Vilnius, ‘Partial Differential Equations.’

Here it is.

http://gum.co/space-vilnius

Thanks ;)

Order S P A C E | Vilnius, ‘Partial Differential Equations’…

11 Nov | An Art of the Moment

Many people have asked me about how I manage to ‘get so much done.’

The truth is, I really just focus a lot. On S P A C E, lately. To show the process–something that I am prone to do if and only if it feels like a good time to open the doors a little to the studio and share what’s gong on–I host events.

Occasionally, they happen in a way that’s 100% online, and the thing coming up is one of those.

So here we go.

This is the thing…

//

See how S P A C E works.

About this Event

A real-time conversation taking place–online. A DK-hosted synched space of connection, conversation.

Learn how S P A C E has changed since it started out as a working prototype in a ‘cojournal’ project by Dipika Kohli, who is the creative director of DK. DK has been publishing S P A C E every week since December 2018.

You’ll get to see how, in this experiential program, which will happen in digital space. For just 2 hours, on the day.

#trusttheprocess

Music x Design

In the 2000s DK got to go to a lot of gigs since we were based at that time in Seattle. One of my favorite venues was the Baltic Room.

In the 2010s thanks to TH, an architect, DK got to rebrand that nightclub.

‘Design is making meaning’

Cool to see that they are still using our design…. 

T., after all, had referred us. She had been one of our first clients. A combination of: a shared aesthetic appreciation of the beauty of chance encounters, plus a common love of jazz (which is after all improvisation in space on the spot), was what led to us meeting T in the first place. ‘I’ve been looking for you,’ T had said. ‘To do the design for my new company. When I break out to do my own company, you’re my designers: I just know.’

And that’s how a thing starts, sometimes.

The Baltic Room rebrand was cool. Was fun to be a part of the process of seeing things update, and guiding the identity redesign by the usual process of ours. We just ask a lot of questions, at the start. It’s like 90% of the whole design project is happening at he start. You have to have that thrashing period so everyone can get the point where they can be honest and say what they really want to say instead of trying to please someone else at the table. Somewhere along the way there’s a harmony that you can find… I guess design is like music in that regard, too… it just comes into shape on the spot when the mood is right and the people are in the spirit of being ‘on,’ intellectually and creatively, to do the jam, together.

I want to give people a chance to think clearly and long-term, so they don’t have to redo everything later.

Thought of it for two reasons this week.

  • One: I’m working on a few more issues of S P A C E to round out our Autumn 2019 collection, which includes stuff from the Baltic States visit , and
  • Two: I always liked electronica but I kind of can’t get over this:

Despite myself, I like it.

How to be part of New Chapters

Alright, it’s starting to get interesting now.

I did this before, with a clunky start, in 2014. Cojournaling.

That was fun, but also, that was a little bit underdeveloped. Naturally.

Who wants to overdevelop something that’s going to be a fail? Let me talk about agile publishing another time with you. For now, I’m just reporting that we are underway with a very new approach to creating new things. With people. In S P A C E.

Talk to me about digital publishing, the use of interactive tools, and even real time conversations online and on calls. And of course in real life. How could I ever pass that up? Yet… somehow… it’s happening. People don’t come to the events I suggest these days, even fewer than before, and it’s not because they don’t want to, I think. It’s… anxiety.

But that’s not my problem to solve. I’m making papers. I’m writing books. I’m sharing stories. I’m doing S P A C E. So I had to adjust.

Honesty

We are here, are we? At the point in the modern era where it’s too hard to even show up in real life. That’s definitely very depressing, in a big way, for me, because I love the improvisation of real life and the jam sessions associated with them that just, emerge, !*, on the spot. But I’ve decided something recently. I’m not going to let that self-stunting that other people may have get in the way of my moving forward and continuing to make. I just have to be a little more resourceful, now. Can’t just show up and see who’s there and make something on the spot, necessarily. (It does happen, but… yeah. Less often. And with less focus. Because everyone has a silly little computer in their pockets. I don’t have one, if you were wondering).

I write. Lately, more private writings, in more secluded sharing-spaces. Still discovering, still learning. Still at it. But, selectively, quietly. In S P A C E.

If you want to know more the best thing to do is subscribe.

More from there about how to get involved in the ‘Trust the Process’ adventure that is turning into quite the ride. I’m jazzed. Thanks to a small group of you, who have helped me learn how to do all the things I needed to do in order to understand this, it’s about to get really good now.

Here we go.

http://chuffed.org/project/spacethezine

Issue #43: S P A C E | Brooklyn, ‘Art 4 Art’s Sake’

L’art pour l’art

This issue is Brooklyn, ‘Art 4 Art’s Sake.’ Why Brooklyn? Well, that’s where I went to art school for a scant semester–not my scene–but also where I started to ask questions about the point of art, and making it, and learning that you can find your way off to the sides of the places where people insist that you draw within the lines. There are no lines. But that’s just something you have to find out, if you’re inclined, as you go. Making things, trying things. Seeing what feels right.

It was in NY where jazz entered my life in an important way, because jazz and improvisational jam sessions taught me how to make art in a way that lets you leave room for ‘that which might yet emerge.’ All this time later, DK are working sometimes in innovation consulting, but also, experimenting with co-created mini-magazines in the Cloud. I know. Weird. HT MT.

A lot of stuff here to say but I’ll save it for another journey, another moment, and maybe if I’m lucky, find my way to another jazzy, understated, unpretentious, not-sleazy, international, intergenerational music venue. Hard to find, these days. Believe me. I keep looking…

Every so often, magic happens. Like in this issue. I’m really happy that I got to work with Michael Bridgett, Jr. and Paavo Heinonen on it. I love the quirky way it all came together. Landing in the canvas of a digital paper-space that let us talk, together, in an ambient, light, philosophical way.

Get it here.

http://gum.co/space-brooklyn

Order S P A C E | Brooklyn, ‘Art 4 Art’s Sake’…

Issue #42: S P A C E | Đà Lạt, ‘I Don’t Know Where Here Is’

Art, philosophy and aesthetics come into shape sometimes in a curious way.

Being here now

When BOSS suddenly said, ‘I don’t know where here is,’ I realized it was time to pop that right into the title for an October issue of S P A C E. What I mean is, that feeling. A feeling of being anywhere, anytime, and somehow finding your way towards a center. Without overthinking it BOSS just does.

I like this.

Simple.

‘When you go, simply go.’

http://gum.co/space-dalat-idkwhi

 

 

Order this issue…

Making and doing and making again

I MUST BE GETTING PLACES. I have been conversing in real time and also asynchronously in the cloud. With amazing people who inspire me.

To keep going.

To keep doing this thing where we show up, see what happens, and put together an issue, somehow.

Magically.

Arts and letters

I really can’t quite believe I am talking and making poetry with IK, jeez I’m lucky. I can’t give you all the details now because that would be too much, but suffice to say, it’s a fascinating jam session and I’m delighted to be able to explore it.

Cell memory, poetics

A living poet. Light with words, light with the style, letting me approach and say, ‘Shall we do this?’ A conversation in S P A C E, too many words already. I will stop here.

But yeah.

The things are evolving.

Which is good.

What would DK be if it didn’t change every so often completely?

What is that thing about how your cells renew, every seven years?

Unstuffy, unpretentious, realness

I did go to a couple of stuffy literary conferences and festivals in my life, but not a single one of the people I met really felt like they were doing anything truly creative, if you want to know my honest opinion.

They just kinda… seem to get caught up in the recognition-seeking thing. Not innovating in the form. Which, to me, is far more exciting. And takes effort to go to the edge, look and, well… leap. Status quo-happy people like to hug the mainstream lines. Art can’t be art, though, if you ask me, if you do that. Just, no.

Which is exactly why the people who are actually exploring and experimenting… well, they catch my ear, and eye.

This post is for SY and IK

#relationalaesthetics

18 Oct | S P A C E Phnom Penh, ‘Miniparty’

 

See all the finished zines in our online store >

Evening  meet up for those interested in writing, design, editing and self-publishing. I’ll share the zines set in Phnom Penh:

  • ‘Angle of Incidence’
  • ‘Angle of Reflection’
  • ‘Angle of Refraction.’

More about our zines and work in Cambodia 2014-2019, is here.

First four guests to register will get a printed copy of one of the zines from our S P A C E collection.

Be a part of it

DK has hosted parties like S P A C E in Phnom Penh before, bringing a magic moment into shape.

There was also ‘Math & Jazz’ at Raffles’ Elephant Bar, plus a series of eight ‘Rooftop Philosophy in Phnom Penh’ events along with the first-ever ‘N’, our ‘theater of now’ big blind date party that you can read more about here. Don’t miss this chance ot catch DK on a short hop through Cambodia en route to Penang, Kuala Lumpur, and maybe further afield.

Book to register

Limited seats. (Just six).

Advance bookings only. USD $16.

These are the details.

Book here.

Issue #39: S P A C E | Hà Nội, ‘Paper Funnel’

Every Tuesday since December’s start last year I’ve been sharing a new issue of our online magazine, S P A C E.

Today’s is S P A C E | Hà Nội, ‘Paper Funnel’.

Collected bits from the road, including wisdom from people I run into, like this 80-year-old man who wanted to talk about life and give me advice, on a tour last year in Melakka…

 

‘Don’t hurry through things, don’t disappear on people. Wait for the miracle. That’s a Grateful Dead song, “Looking for the Miracle”, but I edited it. Anyway, life advice? Be honest. With yourself, and with other people.’
–80 year-old guest of a guesthouse in Melaka, Malaysia, in response to DK’s question, ‘Do you have any life advice?’

 

For those who like travel writing, this is the issue to get.

I worked super hard on the lead story, a longform one called ‘Paper Funnel’.

Order here

 

Writing the story as I find it

As always, it’s still creative nonfiction, but it’s getting tighter, thanks to editorial input and proofreading and copywriting and just general advice from those who know my writing, and me, pretty damn well, by now.

The story inside will be published in October’s issue of Saathee Magazine, which is in Charlotte NC, and for whom I’ve been writing a monthly column about where I am, at the moment, on the spot.

Get everything in this edition of the printer-friendly S P A C E.

Download it, fold it, and sew it to make your own at home.

Order this issue of S P A C E

‘Art is Conversation:’ DK

Designing for quality S P A C E

Lots to say about the why of making our mini-mag S P A C E. This Autumn, our theme is ‘Trust the Process.’ Which means it’s time to review all the big important questions surrounding that. Like, ‘What does it mean to be creative? Who does this work? Why does it matter? How can one bring more creative thinking into her or his every day to day?’

Lots like I said.

For me, it goes back in time to the nice cafe that used to be Bauhaus, in Capitol Hill, Seattle. It was down the street from my office, at the time, when Design Kompany had a brick-and-mortar on Olive Way. I was with a client of mine, an architect, who, like me, was curious about relational art. And contextualization of buildings that she was designing. She told me about how dialogues happen between buildings and the things right around them. She talked about the Situationists, Guy DeBord, the society of the Spectacle, and how we have to look around and drift a bit if we want to hit on good ideas. I ingested all this, with careful, curious expression, I’m certain. Quietly absorbing, listening for the next. She was helpful and educational and I learned so much from that engagement. Like most of our projects in Seattle, I got quite a lot out of working with some of the most intelligent people I have ever met. Living on the road these days and not really working on many client gigs, I’m missing those days, and wishing for more of the kind of stimulating back-and-forth that I so adored about having my own studio in that city, when it was ‘home.’

Now, I make S P A C E. To invite people to join me in these ad hoc, popup versions of what we used to do, in Seattle, at my office. I just kind of make up moments, on the spot, based on themes, and get together with the people whose paths I am just happening to be crossing in that shared space of time and overlap in geolocation. Given my weird gift for getting to know  people quite quickly and discovering things together in a short time, a gift I probably picked up from my father as well as a couple of years gabbing in Ireland at pubs whilst the pubgoing was good, it works. Just a handful of people are all I think I can deal with, at any given moment, learning as I did from the overwhelming crowds that came to, say #makedurham when we did that, or #durhamtweetup, when that happened, and before that, giant parties like Pop!, Sugar, and Dazzle, which I loved hosting, but you know what? They were too big, and I couldn’t carry on a quality conversation. So small. Small and focused. Is what I make now. In S P C. Mini-parties, mostly. No more than six.

 

‘The Great Good Place’

Architects and DK really get along. I suppose it has something to do with the fact that I used to work for some of them. A firm in Tokyo, one in Raleigh. Many people surrounding me who were just as invested in the idealism of architecture, inspiring us to be the best we can as a species. Overly hopeful? Maybe. But I think the architects that I most enjoyed jamming with, creatively, and conversationally, were the ones who, like me, wanted things to be more cool and more improved and socially exciting and good for people than just ho-hum and ‘value engineered’ and stuff that didn’t move us, idealistically.

When I worked in architecture (late 1990s), I found out about ‘The Great Good Place,’ a book and idea of Ray Oldenburg‘s, who called one’s “first place” the home and the “second place” the workplace. Wikipedia says his ‘third places,’ ‘are “anchors” of community life and facilitate and foster broader, more creative interaction.’

(‘Does this have anything to do with me,’ you ask? Well, if you are feeling like there ought to be more to life than home and work, then yeah. It does.) A third place, the article goes on to spell out, welcomes you, is comfy, and is highly accessible. Old and new people are there. There’s no agenda (social, legal political, etc), and you can come and go as you like.

‘Third places put no importance on an individual’s status in a society. Someone’s economic or social status do not matter in a third place, allowing for a sense of commonality.’

 

‘Conversation is the main activity’

No prerequisites, no obligations. And my favorite part is this: ‘Conversation is main activity. Happy conversation is the main focus of activity in third places… The tone of conversation is usually light… and humorous; wit and good natured playfulness are valued… Regulars to third places attract newcomers, and are there to help someone new to the space feel welcome and accommodated… Occupants of third places often have the same feelings of warmth, possession, and belonging as they would in their own homes. They feel a piece of themselves is rooted in the space, and gain spiritual regeneration by spending time there.’

 

The invitation

Join me in my online version of this, S P C. I’m keen to gather the new and the different, for conversations and co-creations ahead. Who wants to be part of this journey of making, together, improvising and seeing what happens, as we go? It’s a conversation, and I’m the host. I’m kind of into it, already. People meeting each other, near and far, thanks to this small initiative to invite, connect, and discover. Together. In S P C. I’m asking people to subscribe so I can focus on just those who opt-in, one of the very important features of Open Space is that those who elect to take part are truly engaged, and interested, of their own accord. No need to join for being polite, and no need for me to host, by the same turn, for that same reason, either. Let’s focus on what conversations develop, with those who subscribe to take part. Participation fees apply. More at the crowdfunding page about the whole project…  learn more, and subscribe to Make | S P C.

Architects are especially welcome, this round. Thanks!