I’m just gonna tell you what it was like. Being out here, where I am. Over… lockdown.
Being known to someone and seeing that person or set of people regularly: that’s been absent, these last four months. It’s a curious and intriguing opportunity, though. To find out things, totally solo, with no agenda, no history with anyone, and even kind of forgetting about the old histories. Which is liberating, too.
My balcony hotel room on the fifth floor was a gift, for three solid months. I am lucky. I think my favorite part was the amazing wifi. I also had a view of the sky, and some stars, on the days before rainy season got going in full swing. Part of why I left there, finally. Also, you were allowed to move around again. And so, me being me, I got in a taxi, then a bus, then another bus. [deleted]
The only things missing are the balcony, wine and the pistachios. Also my Zoom kind of broke. A bit of a story, but… I prefer it this way. [deleted] I’m happy writing. And, a lot. And zining, of course. Setting things up for 23 June and 30 June‘s issues. They’re called ‘Continuous Partial’ and ‘Start with Something Simple.’
Also, I was playing new music, while talking to old, old friends on Zoom and asking after them, also just snacking away on pistachios, because these are good. And it felt quite cozy, too, because this reminded me of a different moment, in another hemisphere, and another decade. Seattle. And with pistachios, that time, too. Also, water. I didn’t have wine, then. I was just so happy, that day. Played some of my favorite music, enjoying the simplicity of it. Knowing what feels good, and setting things up. (HT… well, you know who you are… it’s been more than a decade since we met, wow. I suppose that’s how it goes sometimes.)
It was good, then, and it is good, now.
The next things are coming up now. Wineless, pistachio-less, and balcony-less and even kind of zoomlessly… but what that does is… it…
S P A C E.
HT Guests of ‘Papers‘. Thanks for being there and sharing so, so much. I appreciate it! <3
As always with me, choosing where to focus, next, and what to make, has taken a bit of time and reflection. Because this time, I added, ‘for whom.’ The answer quite surprised me. Went offline for delving deeper, and came up with some new metrics for S P C, its goals, and the people I feel I most gel with when it comes to co-creating. Like ES said, once, ‘It’s not for everyone.’
Dipika Kohli’s Interactive Papers Project..
Thanks to all who have submitted applications. If you’ve been selected to register, you’ll have been notified by now. To those who’ve already confirmed by registering, check your inbox—just sent you an email.
S P C | Bangkok, ‘The Age of Anxiety’ mixes in some new photography from Bangkok by Dipika Kohli, along with some internet images like the cover shot… stuff that seemed to ‘go’ with the theme.
Because some pictures come from the internet, there’s a feeling of looseness and detachedness that happens naturally in this age of digital communication. Not that we’re experts at that; most of the time it’s just impressions. But there was a breakfast conversation DK overheard that got us thinking, ‘Wow. Is it really this bad?’
It seems that it is.
Where is connection?
The lead story for this is ‘Here Comes the Dance,’ by Dipika Kohli, created at Atelier S P A C E | Battambang in Sept. 2017, kicking off this series and setting our intention for the magazine, too.
Today, we share S P C | BKK, ‘The Age of Anxiety.’
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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.
New graphic art and poetry, this week in S P A C E.
Very simple, this one.
Reason is, I’ve been reading about backwards invention and this is kind of the application of that. It’s where you remove features and then you get to something that is less complex and more refined. This is nice, this is working, I think.
TODAY WE ARE SHARING the last of the 12-week set of zines in the S P A C E | Winter 2018-19 collection, ‘A Philosophy of the Moment.’ This was created with new and different others in our digital zine project, S P A C E. The last zine in this set is S P A C E | Malmö, ‘Vakt.’
A new series, S P A C E | Spring 2019, ‘The Book of New things,’ is set to begin on 5 March. This is thanks to crowdfunding support. No ads. 100% member-supported. No endorsements, no BS. Learn more about S P A C E and how to subscribe, as well as see our schedule of upcoming issues to be co-created in S P A C E through June, at our crowdfunding page, here.
S P A C E | Malmö, ‘Vakt’
‘Trust the process’
Special thanks to Joji Minatogawa, a very creative person and an architect. I just added him to our contact page under ‘mentors,’ after clearing it first with him over the phone. I really am glad we can still call around the world and see what people are up to, and let them know that we are still here, still curious, still interested, and very much appreciative of the old conversations that went places. Because now, together, here we are. Some of us are still at it: asking the big questions. Questing one another, and the ideas that might come out for a very special, very quiet, very intimate sort of dance. Now, learning to quietly add the right bits and take out the wrong ones, until further getting that good stuff, the good stuff that’s left. Refinement. I am noticing, reading, listening, and still curious. Thanks for the conversations so far. It’s getting really good, now.
‘Design is making meaning. Art is making connexion:’ A. Spaice
Feature photo: ‘Internet I Hate You’ popup installation by Dipika Kohli, at Noir Kaffekultur in Malmoe, November 2015
S P A C E | Singapore, ‘The Prospect of Beauty’ launches today in S P A C E, our crowdfunded, no-ads, member-supported weekly digital zine. Since we’re almost finished with our first 12-issue set, ‘A Philosophy of the Moment,’ it’s a good time to take a pause and try to grasp what the issues have been about. So far: new photography, new poetry, co-created works with people far and near, and the essay style that sometimes bleeds into metaphysical explorations that we like to do with people we know, and know well, in very small circles. It’s a story that really I could elaborate on, but only if the right moment came up, in the right place and time, and if I felt like it. That’s the mood, generally, with these small issues, too. They’re snapshots: captures, in a way, of the way it felt to be there, then, and with the people who happened to pass through our porous boxes of S P A C E. It’s fun, light, and sometimes revelatory. Because when we make space together, we learn more… about ourselves. Funny how that works. But yeah. I like it. I’ll take it. Next series, S P A C E | Spring, 2019, ‘The Book of New Things,’ is now scheduled and the list of what you can expect to see is at this crowdfunding page.
‘What is S P A C E, DK?’
I remember when this was getting going, and people were like, ‘But what IS it?’ And I was like, ‘Who the hell knows at the start of a thing what it’s about? You just have to get a ticket, book that thing, get on the bus, and get going.’
With the help of a stellar and carefully invited editorial and creative team, who co-created with me and through patient meanders into the ‘what it could be’ dimension as well as playful brainstorms in sketches, drafts, and various iterations of a thing that was beginning to become something, a great instance of conception took place. That’s just the creative process, isn’t it? Mucking around until you hit on the ‘a-ha.’ Then, you’re getting started.
Architect friends and I love to talk about this, the charette. Jazzy friends and I share a love for the jam session. Chess players call this ‘the big game.’ Travel companions I spend more time with than others also love the ‘getting lost in order to find center.’ The artist in me loves this exploration and discovery phase. The designer in me is ready to stop that once the concept gets settled, hit the ground, and build a box.
That box is S P A C E.
Inside the box
What’s inside is not something that I need to write down and tell people who don’t know me well. It’s just… not that kind of thing. It’s a party, it’s an invited space, it’s warm, and its goal is to welcome and include those who commit to making time and space to show up. This happens. In real life, in small magic moments, in shared online circles of conversations that move, and occasionally, on the spot, when it feels like becoming a thing. S P A C E is a jam session, in a big way, to design the aesthetic moment.
Not for everyone, of course.
But then, so what?
It is what it is. And that’s it.
‘The Prospect of Beauty’
It’s a very limited edition one, this time. Just for members of S P A C E, and our handful of collaborators in S P A C E, too. This edition was co-created by BOSS and DipikaKohli. This issue is made with great care, and it’s dedicated to my father, Ravinder Kohli. It’s a long story, but we put it down in a poem, ‘Bluely,’ which I think says it all.
INSIDE. ‘Bluely’ puts that long-awaited moment of reconnexion into words better than my other written pieces, I feel. It’s a different way of saying the things that I have said to many people across timezones and who hold vastly different worldviews. In sum: doing what you have to do to be true to who you are. Long story. But… maybe there will be resonance. Maybe you will know what I mean, if you’ve ever had to do something very hard, so very hard that it made you turn away from the people you loved, especially the very person who most taught you to do what your heart called you to do, and who, knowingly or un-, had gone on to inspire you to become an artist. Who showed by example that you can’t sit still, because there’s way more out there to look at, explore, experience, and discover. It’s about that capacity to still stay open, despite gaining in years, to choose to still be curious, to continue to self-develop in order to keep learning new things. And to learn to love learning… And that the going and seeing is a big part of living. And that if you don’t… well.
A NEW ART. Despite the differences, in philosophy and style, and despite five years of stubborn silence, this happened… in Singapore, ‘The Prospect of Beauty.’ Special thanks, too, to the people whose paths we crossed quite by accident, whose counsel and friendly advice then informed the direction this very special issue of S P A C E then took. I would list them here but that might be a little awkward. Then again, people like being acknowledged, right? Maybe I’ll put them in the zine. People don’t know, sometimes, how much their words can really mean. And like Max Planck said, ‘When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.’
A poem, co-created with @reijovalta. Asemic writings. And the lead story, ‘Coat Check,’ inspired by a night of getting lost by design.
Asemic writing is a wordless open semantic form of writing. The word asemic means “having no specific semantic content”, or “without the smallest unit of meaning”. With the non-specificity of asemic writing there comes a vacuum of meaning, which is left for the reader to fill in and interpret. All of this is similar to the way one would deduce meaning from an abstract work of art. Where asemic writing differs from abstract art is in the asemic author’s use of gestural constraint, and the retention of physical characteristics of writing such as lines and symbols. Asemic writing is a hybrid art form that fuses text and image into a unity, and then sets it free to arbitrary subjective interpretations. —Wikipedia on ‘asemic writing’
Get the zine when you subscribe this week to S P A C E. To subscribe, go here.
JOHANNES KEPLER was a tortured mystic, they say, but was interested in seeing if he could find ‘the harmony of the spheres.’ Platonic solids, this and that, but there’s more. I’ll say more later, but for now, just this video. More about Kepler, next.
[HT Mike Dynamo…Thanks for sharing it with me. See you and the others at this.]
DK’s roving, popup zinemaking atelier S P A C E will be sharing ‘Slow Moment,’ a new photozine, on that day, in real life.
FINNISH SUMMER. What we are doing zining in Finland is a different story, but what’s ahead for July is this. DK is in sketching phase with possible co-creators to make: a set of three mini-workshops to bring the zine experience to the public spaces in this small town. ‘This is a zine,’ DK are saying to people we are meeting. ‘Let’s try making one?’ DK’s Dipika Kohli–a former journalist, a graphic designer, and all around improviser–is hosting. After arriving and getting a sense of this place and what we want to do here, DK are in good conversation streams with: Kärsämäki retailers, its local library, and an artist co-operative where we are being hosted this summer. (Zinemaking: like we were doing in Singapore, but way, way lower key. You learn from the past things, right?)
Top: Ahead is the Atelier S P A C E | Kärsämäki project. Bottom sequence: In the past, DK have hosted zine popups and shows in Singapore, Durham NC USA, and Chiang Mai. Photos by DK and OMNI Studiophotos.
CONTENT. How to make a zine, how to rediscover real life, how to enjoy new conversations with people you haven’t met before (or have, but haven’t seen in a while, or have seen but have never spoken to–adjusting this for small-town life), how to enjoy the process of being offline and cutting, pasting, folding, drawing, and how to experience a new media form are all part of the unfolding series. We are jazzed about this jam. A zine. Is new. To a lot of people, where we go. But a zine. Is simple. To make.
‘HELLO SUMMER.’ The summer series, ‘Hei Kesä,’ will gather, we hope, both younger people and young-at-heart people and interconnect the community in a new way. It’s going to be different, for sure, from our past ateliers, and that’s exactly why we’re excited. A full month to prepare. Zines to make, every day, in the meantime. Articles to post to the people who have already pre-ordered the photozine we will create from this town, S P A C E | Kärsämäki. (Read more and support this project, when you pre-order S P A C E | Kärsämäki here.)
Or be a part of it from a distance, when you pre-order a copy of the photozine. You’ll have access to the online forum S P A C E | ‘Slow Moment’ between now and the end of July, when you do.
EXPRESSIONS. Developing new voices has been our work until this point in time at DK. Now we are exploring our own. Designing space for new and different others to find remarkable connexion. But how? Practicing our way towards the answers. Or… the questions. What are yours? Comments are open, for now.
‘THE ATOMIC POEMS and the philosophy of naturalism espoused by Margaret Cavendish were influenced by Epicurus.’ Says the internet. Epicurus and the internet sometimes give us intriguing tidbits, indeed. Things that philosophers in this modern era might be heartened to read, because we sometimes get railroaded into thinking that what counts is what can be counted (but we know it isn’t always the case, right? Anyone who has listened to a great poem read aloud to her, one on one, for example, and especially if it’s very personally pointed in her direction, can attest to that.)
Cavendish’s poem, ‘All Things are Governed by Atoms’ is below.
Like I said, I found it while reading about Epicurus’ ideas.
These, specifically: that we should be able to spend time with our friends; be free of the need or anxiety that comes with having to make a living the usual way in our day and age; and also, the feeling that we gotta spend some time analyzing life. Epicurus has inspired us quite a lot here at Atelier S P A C E and I’m looking forward to revealing more as we go, in the journeys ahead. Meantime, find the poem and more about Cavendish posted at the page here.
But for the moment, here is All Things are Governed by Atoms…
All Things are Governed by Atoms
Thus life and death, and young and old, Are as the several atoms hold. Wit, understanding1 in the brain Are as the several atoms reign, And dispositions good or ill Are as the several atoms still. And every passion which doth rise Is as the several atoms lie. Thus sickness, health, and peace and war Are as the several atoms are.