Regarding the concept of tight, short, and meaningful. What can we learn from the short story?
S P A C E quests S P A C E
Curated by Dipika Kohli
Artists names appear below each image
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Truyện ngắn là độc tấu. Tiểu thuyết là giao hưởng. Tiểu thuyết hay truyện dài thì cứ triền miên theo thời gian, đôi khi có quãng hồi ức trở ngược lại. Truyện ngắn thì gây cho người đọc một nút thắt, một khúc mắc cần giải đáp. Cái nút đó càng ngày càng thắt lại đến đỉnh điểm thì đột ngột cởi tung ra, khiến người đọc hả hê, hết băn khoăn.
Short stories are the solos. Fiction is symphony. The short story is a literary genre, and usually the stories, told in prose, tend to be shorter, more concise, and meaningful than longer stories like novels. Usually, short stories are only a few lines to several dozen pages in length, while novels are difficult to stop at that number. Therefore, the story situation is always the most important issue in the art of short stories.
‘Short Story’ is the working title of an upcoming issue of S P A C E. Call for submissions will be shared through our membership community. Membership details are outlined at this page. More to make, more to say, more to share. When we get to the good conversation spaces, with the right people, in the proper time. Let’s converse? Let’s play.
‘Why is the country’s previous effective strategy not coping?
‘One reason is the delta variant shows a very different transmission pattern than the previous strains. Another is Vietnam’s slow vaccine rollout which can be attributed to a mix of factors.
‘The government showed a level of complacency — a common trap experienced by many countries that had initial successes in containing the virus, including Australia, Taiwan, and New Zealand. The lack of urgency due to the low infection rates before the arrival of the delta variant made Vietnam slow in securing a vaccine supply. The shortage of vaccines, particularly for less developed countries, further led to Vietnam’s protracted inoculation process. As the delta variant was spreading in India and reaching Vietnam, the CPV was still in undergoing a leadership transition. The 13th Party Congress concluded in early February, but the cabinet positions were not appointed until May and June when the National Assembly conducted its voting. Arguably, that power transition process distracted from and protracted the vaccine procurement campaign amidst global demand.
‘The authorities also thought they could afford to wait for development of homegrown COVID-19 vaccines, with four in the works: Nanocovax by Nanogen, Covivac by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC), and two others from the Vaccine and Biological Production Company No. 1 (Vabiotech) and the Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals. Nanocovax, which passed three phases of human trials, is expected to seek emergency approval soon and be available by late this year.’
The food scene in Vietnam is its very own unique thing and well worth spending time with, while DK is here. (And… while I am here, I should also learn how to cook, something that I just skipped over most of my life.)… [deleted]… it’s also quite beautiful to discover new things. Which all began, in September 2020, with this:
So yeah. Since getting the chance to see how quickly one can prepare a gorgeous meal, and being the kind of person who loves collages, and so, yeah, why not just try it. Collaging with… ingredients. So, since lockdown started in June of this year, I got more serious about it. And I decided to try my hand at this new adventure, in.. what is this thing!? Cooking.
Getting better. I think. All this is possible in New Cuizines thanks to some new crowdfunding support. Yes. That’s right. Thank you. So I have been reading more and more about… food. Background, you know. Research. For fun, I found some pictures of the things that I see every day and wanted to put them together in a mini-collage below. I found them online, and the artists’ names are below each image, shared with permission. I got them from a website that lets you share images for free, because it was way too hard to ask people who take pictures here to work with me on anything; it’s just too much effort to get in touch and ask people to meet you and talk about things, share, that sort of craic… [deleted]… With whomever shows up. So, I came online again and searched and sorted. Curating things, now, more and more. Lately I found:
The S P A C E editorial review team for our culinary segment, #newcuizines, a crowdfunded effort, says it’s important to start from the basics. It’s like this, they say. ‘When in Japan you have to learn to knit, you don’t start by just knitting any old thing.’ Oh? ‘Well yeah. You begin by washing yarn. Get that right, first. Yarn. And how to wash it. This takes time.’ We are nascent here with #newcuizines and um, instead of washing yarn, we will read technical blog posts. Let me explain.
This curated new team of discerning foodies, foodies, they say, ‘with taste,’ lol, deems it appropriate to share a technical blog post today. About fruits. Fruits, specifically, of Vietnam. Why? This publication’s editors could reach only one person today for comment, since everyone is quite busy in our social distancing life currently. That person, occasional contributing writer QN, replied to us over Zalo with a zinger: ‘Fruit! Yes, great idea. OMG they are so awesome!’ ‘Kay cool. We’ll give ourselves some time to get going with more original stories, but for now, this. At this moment in time, our story today is a snippet, excerpted from the excellent writings at: http://www.fao.org/3/ad523e/ad523e02.htm
Fruit production in Vietnam has developed very significantly in recent years. This sector has experienced rapid growth because income per hectare from growing fruits is four to eight times greater than from growing rice. In the rapidly expanding markets of Vietnam, it has been easy to sell fruits so producers have concentrated on quantity rather than quality. However, this system of production is likely to change, because traditional growing techniques are often irregular and inadequate, disease-control measures are poor and markets are changing, with better quality fruit being sought by consumers.
The lack of basic information of the fruits grown in Vietnam is a bottleneck for further development. Although there are numerous kinds of fruits in Vietnam, it is not possible for the author to cover them all in this small publication.
The present document only attempts to compile existing information on six major fruits, four potential fruits, and six minor fruits.
Pertinent information on each fruit includes scientific and vernacular names (in English, French, and five Southeast Asian nations – Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam), general description, origin and distribution, ecology, genetics and improvement, major cultivars in Vietnam, propagation, planting, pests and diseases, fruiting season, harvest and yield, post-harvests operation, problems, and prospects.
1.1 Major Fruits
These are fruits that are most commonly found in Vietnam. They are listed in Table 1. However, the present document covers only six major fruits having the highest priority in development, namely longan, lychee, mandarin, mango, orange and pummelo. See: http://www.fao.org/3/ad523e/ad523e02.htm
Areas of fruit trees in Vietnam have been increasing with the changing of cropping system. In addition, with the policy of the Government to cover some areas in the mountainous regions with fruit trees, more areas have been planted to fruit crops.
In 2003, the total areas of fruit trees in Vietnam was 643 550 ha, with total production of 5 695 000 tons (or the increase of 13.8% and 15%, respectively, as compared to 2000). The major fruit commodities are banana, lychee and longan, citrus, pineapple and mango, whose area and production are given below.
Banana: Area: 105 000 ha; total production: 1 365 000 tons; important provinces and area (ha): Ca Mau (7 000), Thanh Hoa (8,000), Song Nai (6 000), Soc Trang (6,500), Tra Vinh (3 400), Can Tho (3 000 ha), An Giang (3 000 ha).
Lychee and Longan: Area: 190 000 ha; total production: 694 000 tons; important provinces and area (ha): Bac Giang (25 500), Ben Tre (16 200), Tien Giang (13 528), Vinh long (9 500), Son La (9 600), Hai Dong (9 400), Quang Ninh (7 000), Hoa Binh (4 500).
Citrus: Area: 73 000 ha; total production 440 000 tons; important provinces and area (in ha): Can Tho (13 181), Ben Tre (6 000), Vinh Long (6 500), Ha giang (4 200), Nghe An (4 700), Dong Thap (3 200).
Pineapple: Area: 40 000 ha (in which 8 000 ha are grown to Cayenne varitey), total production: 337 500 tons; important provinces and area (in ha): Kien Giang (7 710), Tien Giang (6 830), Quang nam (2 320), Thanh Ho (1 600) Vµ Ninh Binh (1 572).
Mango: Area: 46 500 ha, total production: 209 400 tons; important provinces and area (in ha): Tien Giang (6 000), Binh Phuoc (4 205), Song Thap (3 700), Can Tho (3 500), Khanh Hoa (4 000).
In addition, there are relatively large areas in some provinces planted to some specific fruits, namely: plum (Bac Ha – Lao Cai), sweetsop (Lang Son), dragon fruit (Binh Thuan) and grape (Ninh Thuan).
It reminded me of 2006 in Seattle, when DK had just gotten started and when we had, way back then, as we aim to now, I feel, patronized other labels that also support environmentally (and especially socially) sustainable ideals. Truly and sincerely doing this, I mean. Not greenwashing or BS or nonsense. Just. Doing. Good things, in good ways. No one is perfect and of course we all have to make money to live; but that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice things. Things like, for example, taking the time that it requires to nurture relationships that add value to our lives in other ways, or do the work it must require to foundationally, and bolsteringly, build the communities we want to be a part of because they help us grow. You need to have a structure in place for a form to work well; the structure is the engineering bit. The form is all image-y these days and lacks substance, I feel*, which is why I’m getting back to my core work in Engineering and related fields (environmental work, sustainability, et al). It’s not something I can talk about publicly yet, but maybe, maybe I can later.
[*Aside: For further reading, refer to Guy DeBord’s Society of the Spectacle.]…
If LOHAS came about in the mid-2000s, what about ALOASS. A Life of Authenticity and Social Sustainability, for 202Xs? Hrm.
Much, much more to say about this. Soonish, or whenever it makes sense to share, I’ll get to it. If I want. For now, this is this. Here is this snippet, a kind of footnote for my future post. This bit’s from Wikipedia…
Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) is a demographic defining a particular market segment related to sustainable living, “green” ecological initiatives, and generally composed of a relatively upscale and well-educated population segment. The author Paul H. Ray, who coined the term Cultural Creatives*:“What you’re seeing is a demand for products of equal quality that are also virtuous.” Included in the cultural creative demographic are consumers of New Age goods and services.
Just under half of the CC population comprises the more educated, leading-edge thinkers. This includes many writers, artists, musicians, psychotherapists, alternative health care providers and other professionals. They combine a serious focus on their spirituality with a strong passion for social activism.
The more secular and extroverted wing of the “Cultural Creatives”. They tend to follow the opinions of the core group and have more conventional religious outlooks. Their world views less thought-out than the core group and less intensely held.
Ray and Sherry Anderson created a questionnaire to identify “Cultural Creatives” in Western society. The characteristics below were identified as qualities of a “Cultural Creative”. Agreement with 10 or more indicates status as a “Cultural Creative”.
love of nature and deep caring about its preservation, and its natural balance.
The concept of “innerpreneurs” to denote persons who create a business that focuses mainly on their own inner goals and development was first introduced by Rebecca Maddox in her 1996 book Inc. Your Dreams The “innerpreneurs” concept is also central to Ron Rentel’s 2008 book Karma Queens, Geek Gods and Innerpreneurs, in which he identified the “Cultural Creative” subculture in entrepreneurship. Rentel named entrepreneurial “Cultural Creatives”, “innerpreneurs”.
While entrepreneurs use their business for monetary gain, “innerpreneurs” use their business to find personal fulfillment (creatively, spiritually, emotionally) and create social change.
“Innerpreneurs” have the defining characteristics of an entrepreneur:
high need for achievement
high need for independence
low need for conformity
internal focus of control
love of ambiguity
propensity for risk-taking
obsession with opportunity*
[*Editor’s note: Super true, for me, here. Ahem.]
In 2008, there was much discussion in the Western media on the ‘creative economy’ and the importance of the ‘creative class’. Richard Florida published a series of books on this identified ‘creative class’ and their upcoming economic importance. Bill Gates spoke at the World Economic Forum 2008 on the need for ‘creative capitalism’ as a solution to the world’s problems. They theorize that being creative and inventive will be the key to business success in the 21st century and that a country’s economic success will be determined by its capitalists’ ability to mobilize, attract and retain human creative talent. See Douglas Rushkoff for an update on how this evolved.
Ray gives the term “Integral Culture” to the growing subculture. He also refers to this as transmodernism, which he refers to as the “Cultural Creatives”. They are concerned with ecological sustainability and in the case of a core group have a commitment to personal and spiritual development. These are individuals who can meld the best of traditionalism and modernism to create a new synthesis, having a cognitive style based on synthesizing varied information from many sources into a big picture. This term can also apply to integral theory, a conceptual framework expounded by Ken Wilber.
Mono no aware(物の哀れ, もののあはれ), literally“thepathos of things”, and also translated as“anempathy toward things”, or“a sensitivity to ephemera“, is a Japanese term for the awareness of impermanence(無常,mujō), or transience of things, and both a transient gentle sadness(orwistfulness) at their passing as well as a longer, deeper gentle sadness about this state being the reality of life.[wikipedia]
Been talking. Been quieting. Been sharing, but only very selectively. Rekindling with a handful, and learning that sometimes the best thing to do is… start again.
Above is a piece of work by Matt Shlian. I found ‘Swire’ while perusing this article. In which Shlian shares personal thoughts about what makes a piece of art great: ‘A piece of art needs to connect. It needs to have some element of truth to it that resonates with the viewer and leaves them something after they’ve left the piece.
‘A good piece asks questions,’ he says, ‘and teaches you something you didn’t know or shows you something you didn’t know you knew. It articulates something we’ve felt, and we connect to that thing in a way where words aren’t necessary. It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe but makes us feel less alone in a way—that someone else understands us and gives a voice to this thing inside us. ‘A piece of art extends beyond its frame and becomes part of us…’
And you? What are you making lately? What about just-for-today?
Discover and connect with us, if you’re curious about how it all works, to get conversations going in a way that illuminates… us… to each other, and ourselves. Our reflection-oriented conversions happen through Kismuth, with the 2014-2020 program called The Cojournal Project, and more design- and philosophy and other thinky thinky goes on while we co-create in S P A C E. Together.
Good evening from Ho Chi Minh City, ladies and gentlemen. Let me share with you the mix tape, ‘See you Saturday, maybe,’ featuring a few musicians I’ve gotten to listen to often and sometimes even chat with in real life (remember when that was a thing?) about art, composition, intrigue, and sharing.
Every time I hear the Cambodian mix I feel a little homesick for one of my more recent ‘homes’ (I have a lot), namely Phnom Penh, hence the song I’m including from Justatee about the feeling of wanting to go home. it’s a good mood, suddenly, listening and feeling. Of course I have to end it all with Punjabi tunes.
Since I’m big into relational aesthetics, I have to acknowledge all the people I was thinking about while making this. HT PS, over in Chandigarh, or?, somewhere thereabouts. Mixtape, ‘See you Saturday, maybe!’, dedicated to my friends NDS, aka DNLD on Soundcloud. And VT. Cool. Thanks, too, for MM for inspiring me lately. And of course MD and AM for always listening when I need to talk. And CS. Gosh. I have a lot of people I can count on in these difficult times. Lucky me. Special thanks of course to Boss. And SJ, who told me to blog more and write what I think, which I appreciate. Though he probably isn’t reading this, I want to say, ‘I hope you are safe, there.’
Celebrating journeys, waiting, sharing, spacemaking, discovery and the place where I am right now…
This issue is dedicated to Atelier S P A C E // HCMC Creative Lead Van Tran, and to S P A C E contributing member Kan Tomizawa.
Both brought to light many facets of the reality of simply slowing down, waiting for things to arrive, and letting yourself disengage from the Western intellectual’s drive to ‘be productive.’ That doesn’t always lead to anything, and sometimes, simply waiting… does, and can.
What’s this issue about?
From September-December 2020 in Atelier S P A C E projects in Ho Chi Minh City, Tran’s direction brought us to new places in S P A C E that involve slowing down and noticing that which surrounds us. In conversations in Phnom Penh in 2015 or so, plus continuations in the virtual spaces since then, it was Tomizawa’s dialogues with DK about ideas related to art, making it, and not getting too worried about what happens between now and later that led to the title for this piece: ‘Kekka ga ato kara tsuite kuru.’
That’s the theme, for this week’s issue of S P A C E.
“You will never understand the feeling of being a Black man and woman in America,” James said.
“Everyone jumps on the bandwagon of what we provide, what we bring … the way we dress, our music, our culture, our food.
“Everyone steals from what we do and then they want to act like they did it. We don’t get … anything back for what we’ve given to this country besides a slap in the face.”
So much more to explore on this topic.
S P A C E | Decolonization
I’m asking academics, writers, artists, activists, thinkers of all stripes, geophysically distributed and also socioeconomically, too, I think, to weigh in on this subject
Putting on my old reporter’s hat, this year. Amazing guests in DK’s online programs last year have inspired this new theme for our focus and study, in an invite-only project that’s about Decolonizing Education. (Finally! Someone is going ot write something that I’ve been looking to read, and pass along, to young people to read, too) A People’s History of the United States, for example, did you read that? It gets recommended often, to me, and I’m fascinated there isn’t more around.
Currently some of our team members in Papers are at work discussing deeply some of the more systemic arrangements that have led to this. Decolonization is a big theme, so far, in Winter 2020-21’s collection, S P A C E | ‘Reality & Trust.’
More on the way.
Get in touch with us to let us know your interest in supporting this effort. Here is a contact form.
PS Ask me about the bifurcation diagram, sometime.
Interesting first segment. Of an article that I found about why the role of ‘discovery’ is so important for innovation. Design isn’t just pixels. Design isn’t a bechance portfolio. Design isn’t a ‘sick’ or ‘boss’ social media feed. Design is a tool. For making things that make us live more happily, that’s what I think.
This article had one item that really stuck out, for me. (Disclaimer: I don’t know them, so I can’t vouch for their work, and no one asked me to post this for them or paid for this link.) The article is by some people who talk about innovation, and I liked that they put ‘discovery’ in there, in their list, right at the top. The article is called:
How Can Innovation By Design Be Implemented?
Innovation by design can be implemented in eight simple steps:
Discover: The is the step where exploration needs to happen. It is time to find out what consumers’ unmet needs are. The best place to start is choosing a specific topic or area of interest and then gathering data.
Reframe The Topic: Once you have started down a path with a topic or idea, you need to take a deeper look at it and find any insights or patterns that you can. Throw out any assumptions that you may have about a particular problem, or the solution to previous problems, and reframe your point-of-view.
Incubate: This step takes patience. You need to unleash your creative side by doing things differently, looking at different stimuli, and acting accordingly. Let the idea grow…….
There’s more, steps that continue this, very straightforward and the usual things that people in innovation consulting will say. But yeah. I liked this part at the top.
Of course you can take things to the next level once you have had time to discover, think, and look at a thing you are studying quite deeply.
One of the more interesting parts of being in Vietnam since February, somehow getting more and more accustomed to the idea of it, is that, um, I’m starting to understand Vietnamese.
Okay, it’s cool that I got some help with that, like, real life and exchanging language and conversation in a casual, light way, but also, it’s relaxing to be able to pick up on a few lyrics for songs now. So when I’m out and about and I hear something that catches my ear, I ask about it. ‘What is this? I want to know!!’
Edges and reaching beyond those edges..
You start learning a new language and all kinds of things start to appear in your midst.
Slowly learning by osmosis..
And people I meet really love it when I say stuff to them like, ‘Well, I’m your neighbor,’ or ‘Did you guys meet at work?’ I think it means a lot to people when you make a basic effort, and I’m finding that I can do a lot with just a few phrases to ease more fluidly into a place that, seven years ago when I first arrived in Southeast Asia and Hanoi for the first-ever time, um, I was like, completely unaware about anything really meaningful. Now I can see even when I curate the mini-mag S P A C E for stories set here that there are things that are culturally significant and worth sharing, and other things that are just what tourists would quickly snap and leave having snapped it. you know what I mean?
There is more to say about that, see the stuff below at the end of this post about ‘decolonization.’ I mean, well, no, ask AD. I will put more together about how we can arrange that in some future conversation in S P A C E when I get to that, in early 2021, after finishing up our stories set where I am right now, which is Ho Chi Minh. Another month for Atelier S P A C E // HCMC, and then… maybe make a move to another part of the country. Or. Depends on our crowdfunding. Let’s see.
The mixtape is called…
O S M O S I S
Atelier S P A C E // HCMC
all… around… thế giới
‘Đi Về Nhà’
I kind of just really adore this one. I really do. I don’t know what it is but it just makes me feel good vibes. The theme is ‘home’ and going there and going when you feel all kinds of feelings. Good ones and not so good ones, you can just ‘go home.’ It’s a nice idea….
‘Vì Một Câu Nói’
A pretty voice, I heard this and got intrigued. Especially because I could understand the line that repeated over and over again, and stuff like that. I thought about going to see this person who is going to be in HCM in concert very soon but the idea of sitting in a room with a ton of people with their smartphones out taking video doesn’t sit right with a music-lover like me. I’d much rather go to a small venue where the people who are there really want to just listen, and not get caught up in recording everything and themselves so they can tell everyone how ‘cultural’ they are. I found a new local venue that I think fits my criteria for that, and got to now a couple of kids who love jazz as much as I do, over there, a few nights ago. Well, well. If it wasn’t a pleasure getting to hear Sonny Rollins coming off strong on the very first number! Wow. Made my whole year. HT T, K, lookin’ at you.
‘Kẻ Mộng Mơ’ Reddy
I got to hear this one and really admired the song, the voice, the earnestness. I think there is a lot of emotion in the male vocalists I get to hear on these occasional bouts with getting to see, um. Karaoke. Even if I can’t understand everything I really love the feeling of just being swept away in someone’s heartfelt telling-it-all-and-laying-it-out-there. Up in Dalat, when I hung out on one of my last days with DSP, he told me that writing Vietnamese lyrics is really hard because of all the things that you have to pay attention to with the ups and downs of tones and stuff. I guess that’s something that people who grow up listening to English lyrics really never had to consider as a technicality to building something song-wise. You know, writing this down here makes me feel like I’m some kind of musician, or something. I’m not. I just like what Iike. Is all.
‘Hà Nội Mười Hai Mùa Hoa’
I have to put this one in, because it’s something that VT told me about. We were talking about ‘culture’ and all this kind of craic as we used to call it when I lived in Ireland (and became very much a fan of Irish musicians, songs in Irish, people from Cork and the songs they gave us, and many more stories related to stories, pints, stories, and did I say stories?) Music and stories and time together. What else is there?…. Yeah..
Anyway! Aside from this one about the seasons of Hanoi which takes you into a different kind of space, in the way it feels when you leave HCM and go to HN, perhaps, because of the abrupt formality you kind of walk into, well, yeah, aside from that, the songs above came from those, ‘What is this!!!’ kinds of questions that I put to people like bartenders, baristas, and fellow guests of whatever place I happened to land in.
Winging it, and making S P A C E..
I’m still in the city of Ho Chi Minh, still exploring and making forays hither and tither to discover, and share, what I find curious and interesting and the people whom I meet, too, to invite them to co-create with me. Always a fun task. Most people don’t want to make a commitment and that’s okay, but it’s my work to show up for the people who want me to make space for new thinking to invite itself into… well, S P A C E. Discovery and design our our themes. Let me expand a little.
ATELIER S P A C E // HCMC. Part of DK’s work is to discover and insist on making and pressing out S P A C E. I know. That’s a lot of vagueness. Still if you are familiar with DK, you know what I mean. We make S P A C E for the new and different to engage and interact with themselves, in a flat hierarchy not a Western-lens thing that tells you what to think about everything. I am working with my good friend AD in the cloud, in Papers, on a zine about ‘Decolonization’ right now so it’s on my mind, this idea. Anyway! So here I am, writing to you, the Internet, an those who read this blog, about what I found out. In case you want to know what contemporary Vietnamese choosers-of-music like to hear that isn’t that old school stuff that is like only just the old love song stuff. Besides that, what is there. That stuff makes me so sad. So I enjoy these things. One is a rap. Really fun. HT VT, QN. Fun ha.
This year kinda reminds me of my life in Kyoto, years ago, when I started to study Japanese. This was my favorite part: going to independently study, by renting CDs from Tsutaya, and singing what I could at karaoke. Those were fun days, and these are, too. I’m recalling what it’s like to slowly get wind of things, by osmosis. You learn. That way. A lot. Loving that the words I know keep showing up, words about ‘home’, and ‘us’, and ‘dream’, and ‘together’, and ‘happiness’, and stuff like that, I am happy when I can ask what a thing means and understand what is written down. Coolio.
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!