100 Conversations · Papers

S P A C E | ‘Ready for anything’

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
by Anonymous


I.
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.

II.
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.



III.
Towards blankness


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.

Experiments in Expression · Papers

3 May | Call for Papers

Papers is a way for people to explore ideas together, in a nonjudgmental safe space with a seasoned editorial team headed by Dipika Kohli at DK, to guide.


May 2021 Register at: http://call4papers.eventbrite.com/

What is Papers?

An online writing-and-design-and-generally-creative circle for community. Ambient community that is. International and asynchronous: ‘Papers.’

Here’s how it works.

 

How does it work?

No meetings. Just email: asynchronous, international. Four prompts, sent on Mondays at 7AM USEST. Email converstaions follow with your group, in order to develop your ideas, push past the edges of your creative thining, and link you to our international community.

 

Why?

Because we are tired of superficial, inane chatter and want some actual depth, progression and substance in our online converations. That’s why. Four weeks of amazing online conversations with a max of 4 hosted by DK. More than 120 issues of our zine have been created through ongoing conversations with our guests and collaborators.

Writing. Sharing. Making. New stories. Together. In S P A C E.

Advance bookings only. 

Register online.

Here is a link:

http://call4papers.eventbrite.com/

Thanks.

A Philosophy of the Moment · Papers

Issue #114

Celebrating zines, and zine culture,  we participate *today* in the Festival of the Photocopier in Melbourne. Naturally, we wanted to showcase and highlight the work of a prolific zinester and highly creative thinker, Abdul Dube. Four of us collaborated across four countries, and two timezones, over a half-year, in S P A C E to make this issue.

It’s called S P A C E | Aarhus, ‘The Glitch.’

It’s part of a series to come.

A new series on ‘Decolonization’

 

Here’s why. Making a magazine about things we feel are important to learn and know about, I feel, starts with asking big questions like, ‘Wait. But what’s really going on?’

‘Jump into my time machine and we fast-forward to today, and where I find myself with [the work of] collection, promoting and archiving zines, from all over the globe. I found more curious folks doing what they do, loving it still, hunting down Xerox machines and producing . We’re getting closer and closer to the decolonial approach I am on right now… making and ‘handing over’ these tools to youth is vital to its survival. Even though the zine is ephemeral, the idea of self-creating independently of rules lives on in the personal that has something to say, and, importantly, something to express.’ –Abdul Dube, zinemaker and contributing S P A C E art director, is the featured artist for this week’s issue.

Collaborators for S P A C E | Aarhus, ‘The Glitch’ include:

  • Artist and graphic arts facilitator Abdul Dube, who art directed this issue and helped us shape the ‘Decolonization’ series’ concept. His work is on the cover. See https://www.abduldube.nu to learn more about his work. Also instagram.com/dubephotog.
  • Contributing S P A C E thinker, researcher, and writer Michael Tharamangalam.
  • Co-founding S P A C E editor, Michael Bridgett, Jr., whose story, ‘How Can I Decolonize Myself’ is a marvelous, timely, and informative read. More about Mike’s work is at http://mikedynamo.wordpress.com and instagram.com/mikedynamo.
  • DK’s Creative Director Dipika Kohli.

Find S P A C E | Aarhus, ‘The Glitch’ in our online shop.

Here’s a link.

http://gum.co/space-aarhus-tg

Thanks.

'S' is for Sincerity · A Philosophy of the Moment · Papers · The Muse

The Book of Feelings

It’s been one hell of a year, ladies and gentlemen.

 

Hasn’t it? For goodness’ sakes. I know we cleared the mental books on the end of 31 December 2020, or some of us did, and I wrote with those several few about, including but not limited to, topics such as renewal, acceptance, positivity, connexion, true connexion, discovery, design, spacemaking, edits, releases, psychopathy and sociopathy and the Japanese word ‘powa hara’ with respect to someone I met who does this and is insane, yes–wait, but yeah.

It’s the New Year again, here, where I am. Lunar New Year. Tet, in Vietnam. It’s happening. A chance, to re-press that pause button. This time, the streets are empty of traffic, and there is no everyday noise. So it does feel like, finally, a kind of quieting. A different mood for pause.

Awakenings

I must say that the Book of Feelings Project (Autumn 2020 and Winter 2020-2021), which came out of Atelier S P A C E // HCMC and was a collaborative effort with people who know me quite well by now, perhaps better than even my old roommates from high school and college because we are talking, and often, and deeply, about feelings!, well. Yes. Because of this project, I feel different. I feel… new.

A good thing.

(Hi, those of you who are angry that I’m enjoying my life. You didn’t do it. You didn’t manage to mess up my thinking or make me sad. In fact, you’ve been let go.)

Outer S P A C E is the next program, now, for S P A C E | Spring 2021. Because I’m bringing things back to the internet now. I can’t [deleted] and all those short ends of the sticks made me realize something. My value and contributions will be better appreciated elsewhere. The internet, of course. Another home.

After all, the internet is where I developed relationships that led to new connexions, new contacts, and even work. They made it possible for me to live in Asia for almost 10 years. DK is [deleted] and therefore balks at anything that has anything to do with weirdness, like ‘selling out’ or doing things that you don’t want to do because ‘it pays the bills.’ Somehow we pay our bills. Somehow we find a way. Maybe it’s because we don’t like to compromise on that which is the underpinning thing that has never changed for me, for DK. Fun. It has to be fun. Fun is the point. Why do it if it’s not fun? Even Boss agrees.


Anyway. To make a big display of that would be to lose the fun-ness of it, so I don’t usually talk about how much fun we’re having when we go about making things in S P A C E and its preceding, related journeys.

Like the Year of Uncertainty project in 2013, with Orangutan Swing was pretty cool–we went in a small team of three to India, for six months, but also to Vietnam, Thailand, and Nepal. Then Cambodia. That was 2014 by the time we found Phnom Penh. And stayed. And stayed some more. And I just got off a call with the team; they’re still there. I’m in Vietnam; the borders had closed, when I was wrapping up some writing projects in Dalat, and… well. It’s been a hell of a year. Which means, of course. Time to write a book.

Writing Reality & Trust

Reality & Trust // Kismuth Books 2021

A year in Vietnam? How are you doing? And other questions abound. I’m gong to talk about that more, the lessons and things like that, the practical and not-so-practical, the awarenesses and the losses and the feelings of pain and also love. The beginnings of some things, closings of others. And starts—you know I love starts—but also: middles. This is the ultimate. Staying. When it’s boring or tough or grueling or unexciting. Staying. Because staying also teaches you things.

Maybe you can’t go anywhere because there was a third was outbreak of the virus.As we are experiencing currently, here in Ho Chi Minh City. Mmm-hmmm. And you just. Have. To. Not go. Reality & Trust. HT ‘Book of Feelings’ teammates. You know who you each are. Talk soon. DK

Papers

Of two roads

This week, in ‘Papers‘, I’ve shared a prompt. It’s about crossroads. It’s about choices.

It’s inspired by loads of things that have led to this very instance of writing this, typing it now, before the people who come are about to come and that means I have to leave my desk. I like leaving my desk don’t get my wrong, but when I want to articulate a thought and that thought is at the edge of the end of a dream I didn’t quite finish, and stuff, then it becomes, like, a kind of mood thing that makes me want to type a blog post.

You might be saying, ‘What is the value of a blog post, DK?’ or ‘What is this?’ or ‘I don’t understand,’ or ‘What exactly is the objective of your writing, DK?’ or ‘But how do you make money from this, DK’ and if you are that kind of person who asks that kind of question then, obviously, I am not writing for you.

The things you learn

I have learned this the hard way, um.

Right.

I have tried to ‘contort this to fit a box of constraints that they want you to fit it,’ as my old friend EC used to say, when we talked about applying for grants. (We did not apply for grants because, me being me, I do not compromise, and that means, well, that means a lot of things but largely it means that you wind up on the edge of the edge, looking out and in at ‘it all’ and being… mostly alone.)

Alone is fine.

Alone is good.

Alone is also… difficult.

Alone, for an indefinite period of time where I am waiting for things to re-open so I can be re-united with the people who know me well and care about me deeply is a little tricky, though.

Stuck in Vietnam? Well…. hm. It’s kind of a long story. Almost a year long, now. Hm.

There is good news and better news, and I’ll save both items for ‘Of two roads,’ which I am going to compose when the folks I’m going to meet will come over, and I leave with them, and we shall talk together about the ideas and feelings that the prompt I sent on Monday…

The Cojournal Project is where I send these from Yeah. I’m happy with the small set of people who are writing with me; over time. It takes time. Sometimes we get together, but it’s gotten rarer and rarer and now the virus is in Vietnam again, so. We. Shall. See. I do really like creating and curating and dancing creatively and intellectually with circles of real-life S P A C E. Which is Atelier S P A C E, and Cojournaling, and various other small projects. Which are coming into their own, albeit much differently in shape than what I had pictured.

Is this what growing up is? [deleted]

Life is good. Letting it be.

Thank you, VT, for being there for me, and Boss, and also AM, MD, and NDS. I am so, so lucky to know you all. Ergo, S P A C E—and the reward that comes from showing up, one designful moment, at a time. Over time. Thank you again.

Here’s to a pleasurable 2021.

Ooh. And there’s a knock at my door—good timing!

Desk Notes · Found in the Field · Papers

Issue #110

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.

 

Chủ đề..

What’s this issue about?

Waiting.

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.’

Time. Slowness.

Waiting.

That’s the theme, for this week’s issue of S P A C E.

Order this week’s issue..