S P A C E | Đà Lạt • ‘Tìm Mình Trong Thế Giới’ is the next in our weekly e-zine series. It is set to release on Tuesday.
DK Director Dipika Kohli made the drawing on the cover this week. The drawing’s title is: Chúc Ngủ Ngon & Chào Buổi Sáng / Good Night & Good Morning.
A line artist for many years, Kohli has rekindled her old style of drawing by putting pencil to page again. This [cover] drawing is part of a series of more than fifty new pencil and colored pencil works. These were created in quiet moments, on the spot, in several cafes and brightly lit atelier spaces she discovered while in ‘The Great Lockdown’ (so far) in Đà Lạt, Việt Nam. Kohli had plenty of time alone to write, draw, and reflect, whilst also working on a new book, End of the Rainbow (Kismuth Books / forthcoming 2020).
Thiseffort has come out of the slowing down, a natural outcomeresulting from the first and second waves of covid19-related measures to maintain social distancing, and self-isolating, in the era of this, the Great Lockdown, so far. Kohli has been in the Central Highlands since April—and continues to discover and make. In bursts, that is. And only when inspired by the chance encounter and surprisingly enriching dialogues with the people in the places where she goes. S P A C E is a weekly zine. It is created by Design Kompany, which was started in 2004 in Seattle and today is based in Phnom Penh. DK are intrigued about how to design the space for an aesthetic moment to happen, on the spot, for unexpected and random connexion, with the people, objects, and places where they go, in S P A C E.
That was cool, getting in touch and sharing, and hearing from you. Thanks! Been fun, conversing as we do, now and then, all this time.
When we met, I was in one of my many, many borrowed rooms assembling this issue of S P C, (left), which was the first of the series from Latvia, Poland, and Slovakia.
So many cool people, and connexions, and conversations happened on those roads, and I was grateful for the opportunity to get there, HT AM!, and to enjoy them. A different world now, right? Difficult to move about so freely. Guess I got lucky, going when I did.
Something told me… why not just go now ? Some timing though, really. Those were places that sort of left quite the impression. I was a little surprised with myself to prepone my trip by like a year (the writers’ residency I’ve been invited to be part of in Ventspils at the International Writers’ and Translators’ House was due to happen in November 2020). Not sure when I can get back for that, or if, so yeah. Glad to have gone and met you and others ! Lucky timing. (HT, another friend whose first initial is I…)
Who knew we would all be dealing with lockdowns in various spots around the world and a pandemic, at this time ?
I’m in Vietnam.
Currently in Vietnam..
Well, here I am, doing exactly the same work as I was when we had met. Good people are around me, here, too, and I’m lucky as heck to get to assemble new writings from their points of view, and images, too, which some have shared (like this cover!), and this time, some cool stuff: spatial organic design. I’ll put together all the credits, for sure, on the day we launch, and share more about each of our contributors, then. ;)
That’ll come out on 30 June, with the issue, ‘Start with Something Simple.’
Always happy to reconnect with you, I.
[Moving the rest of this to a protected-page.. I’ll post it tomorrow. Will send passcode then!]
I tried different stuff, caps and stuff, still didn’t work.
So this post.
Meet me and my new friend same place next week on Tues? If you can that’d be great.
Hopefully you’ll see this. I have so much news!, so many stories. For example, I told the people at the place what you had said about it, can’t wait to report what happened after that.
Also, thank you for the notebook! I love it and am filling it with many things.
Can share more, next week. Just pop over.
If this weird blog messaging thing doesn’t work I will have to bug your cousin for your number. Then I will have to bug someone else to borrow a phone. Then you will get a weird number and then it will be… well. A bit awkward. But I will do it, you know I would, if only to say ‘thanks’.
Today we share our Bangkok issue, S P C | Bangkok, ‘Step a Little Closer.’
This title of this issue is from a 2015 poem I wrote,”Step a Little Closer,” for someone who helped me understand what S P C was trying to become, before I even knew myself. HT MT.
This week’s issue of S P C contains an excerpt from the freshly completed eBook by Dipika Kohli, called Step a Little Closer.
SPECIAL EVENT TIE-IN. To mark the publication of SaLC with a live event, DK will be reading from the new book at Neilson Hays Library in Bangkok on Wednesday, for a special discussion about this city, its “as told to DK” stories, and how anyone who wants to write their own stories can do that, too. More about that once-off 27 Feb event is here: http://salc.eventbrite.com
Order S P C | Bangkok, ‘Step a Little Closer”
It’s an exclusive for members of S P C.
Start your membership when you order S P C | Bangkok.
A photo essay, made from images found on the web. A follow-up post to this week’s issue, in which our focus was on photography, and how we interact with what we see that’s made by and of people we don’t know and whom we will never meet.
Commissioned by ‘The People Who Want to Do Stuff’, a new nonprofit organization set up by the Cambodia-based collective, Artists In Residence, at Their Houses. Cost of creating this work: $4,062
This series was conceived and led by A. Spaice, in collaboration with Dipika Kohli, in Phnom Penh. Find further information, below
A Life That Isn’t Yours
Photo essay by A. Spaice & DK
What a critic is saying
Critic L.O.Q. writes, ‘ALTIY is a significant and highly relevant, not to mention hugely important, if I haven’t said that already, investigation into the works of art that are made today and shared digitally and largely impersonally with equally impersonal audiences, and why that’s something to really stop and think about, anyway.’ L.O.Q. will publish the full critique in an upcoming issue of This Magazine is The Awesome, and the two schoolfriends we discovered through deep internet searches for just the right face and ‘look’ for this series, whose stage names are ‘Susan’ and ‘Carly,’ will star in a forthcoming lifestyle segment of a new BBQ reality TV show, ‘Squirt.’
All photos used with permission of their creators, over at that new website that lets you do that kind of thing. Completed January 10-February 4, 2020.
About A. Spaice
A. Spaice is an artist who works in a variety of media. By putting the viewer on the wrong track, Spaice makes works that can be seen as self-portraits. Sometimes they appear idiosyncratic and quirky, at other times, they seem typical by-products of a global superabundance and marketing.
Spaice’s artworks never show the complete structure. This results in the fact that the artist can easily imagine an own interpretation without being hindered by the historical reality. By parodying mass media by exaggerating certain formal aspects inherent to our contemporary society, they try to create works in which the actual event still has to take place or just has ended: moments evocative of atmosphere and suspense that are not part of a narrative thread. The drama unfolds elsewhere, while the build-up of tension is frozen, to become the memory of an event, that may or may not ever take place. Shapes are dissociated from their original meaning, by which the system in which they normally function is exposed. Initially unambiguous meanings are shattered and disseminate endlessly. By examining the ambiguity and origination via retakes and variations, they try to increase the dynamic between audience and author by objectifying emotions and investigating the duality that develops through different interpretations. A. Spaice currently lives and works in Phnom Penh. —Artist Biography written by 500letters.org.
A new set of things. A new chapter. A new beginning. And this week’s issue: a fresh new S P C.
I’m a big fan of smart science fiction, the kind that takes you places in your imagination and gives you a chance to think, widely and without regard for practicalities. Like, you know, gravity, or the way we haven’t figured out yet how to travel back and forth in time.
I remember having a conversation once with a medical school student, about this. It went:
‘But we can’t time travel!’ (Him.)
I go, ‘But how do you know?’
‘It’s not like you know what you don’t know, right?’
‘Well I do!’
‘I’m finishing my medical school degree, I’ve spent nine years on this and I’m about to finish. I know a lot about how medicine works, now.’
‘Dude. Have you ever heard of opportunity cost?’
This kind of conversation is normal for me, or well, it used to be. I was going around and talking to people, quite a lot, in order to find the fodder for much of what is to come now, in S P C. The effort to look in the field for the new and different, however, closed when Atelier S P A C E ended, and I am now working with the very select things (people, stories, ideas) and shaping the fresh new sets of chapters, in S P C. Always iterate, right? We’re going back through the archives, together, me and the team I have, and we’re fleshing out version 9.0 style works-to-come, but only for our members. More about that below.
Before we moved to Southeast Asia, we were in the United States. Our studio began as ‘Design Kompany,’ or ‘DK.’ We started it officially in Seattle in 2004, at a time when we began to work with small business owners to design brand identity concepts.
Architects and software developers hired DK, enjoying our process-oriented approach.
Baltic Room, Seattle 2009
Blue Gecko, Seattle 2008 Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce, Seattle 2016
CARE International Cambodia, Phnom Penh 2017
Celtic Ross Hotel, West Cork 2001
Center for Sustainable Water, Phnom Penh 2019
Development Innovations, Phnom Penh 2014-16
Eagle Office, West Cork 2001
Green Plus, Durham NC 2010
Group 3 Architects LLC, Seattle 2006
Gupta Insurance & Family Services, Los Angeles 2007
Hindsight Veterinary Care, Portland, Ore. 2010
InSTEDD iLab Southeast Asia, Phnom Penh, 2016-17
Little Green Software, Durham NC 2011
Loom, a foundation, Seattle 2010 Matchbox Mobile, Brighton 2008
Minatogawa Architects, Seattle 2006
Modern Business Training Services, Castlebar Ireland 2001 Northwest Asian Weekly, Seattle 2007
North Carolina Japan Center, Raleigh 1996 NUK Cafe, Phnom Penh 2004
Seattle Central University, Seattle 2006
Thundershirt, Durham NC 2012
United Nations Development Program, Phnom Penh 2017 You Maga, Seattle 2007 West Cork Advertiser, West Cork 2002-04
The artists gathered for this co-created zine are four very curious people.
Art, natural patterns, and words intertwine in a collaboration between them.
The nature of art
Lee Moore Crawford, a floral designer and artist, once struck up a conversation about the Japanese art of ikebana when DK happened upon her arranging flowers at a coffee shop in Durham, NC, circa 2011. We never forgot it.
So when DK collaborated with another creative person who takes inspiration from nature to make the cover image of this issue (Dipika Kohli took the original photograph in Huế, then forwarded it to digital processing artist Nils don Sihvola in Finland), we wanted to ask Crawford what her feelings would be. Lots came of this interaction, including a short piece, ‘Bloom.’
To give the collection continuity, we then circled back to former culture editor Michael Bridgett, Jr., whose article, ‘Why I Art,’ opens yet another fresh perspective.
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.