This week is an exciting one for us here at DK. Not only are the beginnings starting to finally begin, regarding the inventions for another year of waiting for things to come to a place of, well, ‘normal’ is the wrong word, but perhaps ‘familiar’ works…. familiarity.
Those of you who are in conversations with me on LinkedIn about this, check out this page. Modeled after the 2006-2009 series in Seattle, Designers Korner, this next circle in Papers is focused on…. design. Naturally. That’s our thing, after all.
See you in the up.
Feature photo: DK | Designers’ Korner Seattle 2006
If you’re keen, register for the 12-week version, at this link:
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.
Things are going on. Behind the scenes. In protected pages.
Today we start the new Cojournal circles, in our 4-person-and-fewer combinations that make things cozy and nice. I don’t like large groups of people. As host, I prefer this. Small. Correspondingly, we tend to get more familiar with one another as we go, with time, in these designed-to-be-simple-and-easygoing programs.
Workshop-style, but not with that kind of hoity toity. You know? Just… talking.
Creating space to talk.
As F. said once, ‘World. Needs. More of this.’ [F, thanks for encouraging me.]
One of the awesome things about not having a boss or employees means I get to do whatever the hell I want with DK. So I’m gonna do this. Streamline a little.
I decided to make this year’s Cojournal a short-run thing, just 12 weeks. By summer we can all move on too other projects without [deleted] Which isn’t a problem I’m here to solve, for anyone. I’m here to show up for the handful (about 1%) of people who are already tuned in to this channel. S P A C E quests S P A C E.
90% of it is showing up
Like I said, with N, on a wonderful sunset-watching afternoon this past week. It’s Lunar New Year here in Vietnam, so we have time to finally talk together in person and see each other after a busy set of things. Things that, sometimes, people find out, are actually not things that actually matter ot them, but that’s a different story. Many thanks, N., if you’re reading, for having been reading all this time. Was great. To hear. Your response to all of the last two years’ worth of… stuff. What I said, please don’t forget it. I’ve been thinking about that message, the upshot being, something along hte lines of… Don’t let them use you. Make sure they pay you enough. Know your value. And then: ask for what you want.
Journaling. All’s set. We started today and I’m jazzed about that, and one group is talking in LinkedIn ‘group chat’, another is in Dropbox Papers, and still yet another is in… well, to be determined, as we are working on what works out for all. It might be in real life, since some of us are in the same city. I like it when we get to do these real life ‘Third Space’ things together and I love it when it gets… deep.
Realizing that there are more people out there who want to write with me, and those of us who write together in S P A C E. There are steps to get published in S P A C E, because the process is more important to me, as a publisher, than the ‘output.’ It’s not like we’re rolling in it because of e-mag sales, whoever thinks that, is just… out of touch with realities of indie publishing.
I don’t know. It’s just for fun.
What’s the point if it isn’t.
Stay safe wherever you are when this note lands. I’m well and dazzlingly content, today, from my nest in Ho Chi Minh.
See what I did there?
HT friends of Papers. Thanks for helping me get to this place of seeing it, seeing it, not just living in a fog.
Curious about it? Register if you want to give it a whirl, find out more at this page with details.
Update: Late registration link is here–
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
Order this week’s issue..
This is our next project, in S P A C E. A very small, interactive conversation with just four people in each group.