Experiments in Expression · Relational Aesthetics

What is relational art? What are relational aesthetics?

I.
What Wikipedia says about relational art

 

Relational art or relational aesthetics is a mode or tendency in fine art practice originally observed and highlighted by French art critic Nicolas Bourriaud.Bourriaud defined the approach as “a set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space.”[1] The artist can be more accurately viewed as the “catalyst” in relational art, rather than being at the centre.[2]

Source: Wikipedia

 

II.
What ‘Happenings’ are and what Situationism was

American artist Allan Kaprowcoined the term “happenings” in 1959 to refer to ephemeral, somewhat theatrical, but also participatory, art-related events, many of which were conceived in such a way as to be intentionally open-ended, allowing for improvisation. Artists honored this sense of spontaneity by creating rough guidelines, rather than strict rules or scripts, for participants to follow. The particular social contexts/dynamics and groups of participants (which included the audience members) involved in each happening were integral to the form the events took, causing the same performance to develop differently each time it was carried out. The central belief held by artists involved in creating Happenings was that art could be brought into the realm of everyday life.

The Situationists, a group active from 1957 to 1962, were heavily influenced by Marxist theory, which purported that while living under capitalism, individuals experience alienation and social degradation in their daily lives. They were equally informed by Guy Debord‘s theory of “spectacle,” which states that under capitalism, the mediation of social relations occurs primarily through objects. Wanting to offer solutions toward both these concepts, Situational artists focused on creating works that brought people into direct, immediate encounters and experiences with each other.

For example, they used the strategy of détournement (defined as “turning [preexisting] expressions of the capitalist system and its media culture against itself”) to enact “Situationist pranks,” such as distributing misinformation through false broadcasts, pamphlets, and even church sermons. Another strategy used by the Situationists was the “dérive,” defined by Debord “as a mode of experimental behavior linked to the conditions of urban society: a technique of rapid passage through varied ambiances.” In other words, a dérive was an unplanned journey, like walking through a city’s streets, during which the individual (referred to by Debord as a “psychogeographer,” and also commonly understood as a sort of “flâneur” or romantic wanderer/stroller) allowed himself to be fully aware of, and engaged with, the surrounding environment. They also organized “situations” which were very similar to “happenings.”

Source: https://www.theartstory.org/movement/relational-aesthetics/history-and-concepts/

 

III. Nineteen-Ninety-Eight and Nicolas Bourriaud‘s book

The French curator Nicolas Bourriaud published a book called Relational Aesthetics in 1998 in which he defined the term as:

A set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space

He saw artists as facilitators rather than makers and regarded art as information exchanged between the artist and the viewers. The artist, in this sense, gives audiences access to power and the means to change the world.

Source: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/r/relational-aesthetics

Experiments in Expression · Relational Aesthetics · The Muse

MP3 | You Push People Away

I just added this to the store. It’s part of the download bundle for the issue we made about Solitude. I’m really happy with that one. It’s probably one of the best ones we’ve made for the Atelier S P A C E } Spring 2021 collection. I’ll also be sharing it in real life today at 3-4.30PM at our first popup show for this year. I’m excited! See you in the spaces and talk to you in the cloud if that’s where we meet. Happy day, after a big rain, not as hot and I think we’re past the heat wave.

Sound. Art. Collage. Thoughtful writings. Most of this work is by Akshay Harake, who answered the question on Quora, ‘I always push people away?’ I edited parts of it and made it into this shortened auto version; but the full text is in our zine, along with other DK-esque curated snippets. The text for this audio is also of course in its original and unedited form, on Quora. Cool. Checkit.

A Philosophy of the Moment · Experiments in Expression

24 March | Popup Atelier S P A C E Meetup

 

 

Wondering how we got to making bilingual issues of S P A C E, ever since winding up in Vietnam (long story). Well. It starts simply enough. Shall I tell you? Alright then.

This is how it starts.

I gather my energies and finally get around to making an invitation.

[deleted]

Ready and set.

The next popup? Is on.

Discover Atelier S P A C E

About this Event

A meetup for those interested in new things.

We are Design Kompany, a producer of experiential learning workshops in Asia, Europe, and N. America (usually). Lately we are in Vietnam and collaborating with new people who make things, too. Photographers, designers, illustrators, graphic artists, typographers, digital media specialists, and the very curious are welcome to meet us in real life at this rare poup art installation.

Atelier S P A C E is in HCMC, in District 3. The event will be at a cafe on Ly Van Sy near the big market, by the canal. The exact location will be shared with registered guests *only*. You will receive an email with the meetpoint and a number to connect with in case you get lost.

This is an open format program. The invitation is open. There is a participation fee. Register to confirm your spot. Here’s a link.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/atelier-s-p-a-c-e-meetup-tickets-146866045295

Thanks.

'S' is for Sincerity · A Philosophy of the Moment · Desk Notes · Experiments in Expression

Hello Internet

In closed threads, behind the scenes, here at DK, I’ve been reporting on the difficulties of trying to do a ‘zine’ here in Vietnam, or anywhere really. Zines are for going against the normal way of everything: they’re not overly designed, or overly polished, and the ideas within at least for me, in my way of making them, are about standing for a thing that you care about. That means having something you really love.

This is the problem: most people don’t know what they really love.

They go around and around and they try to grab at things.

    • Fame.
    • Fortune.
    • Power.
    • Beauty.

But what about the things they love?

 

Changing tack

I know this is not a blog about personal development; I’ve longago abandoned that path of ‘motivational speaker’ even though I accidentally did a TEDx talk about how ‘There’s Not That Much Time Left’, back in 2012.

Pretty funny, hindsight, hey.

Here is the video.

 

Now, if you are reading this, and you have heard me [deleted]… ‘look at me’ generation of selfie-takers and how irritating that is to me, well….. yeah. I did this.

This was 2012, so before the internet got all crazy and the Society of the Spectacle hijacked real life the way it has today. I guess, yeah. It was cool to do it. Show up, as me. Say what I wanted to share.

It helped me reach a few people, connect deeply. That, to me, was always the goal of everything I made. Writing articles for my two newspaper jobs, for example. Or designing things for wonderful clients over the years I was in Seattle, for another example.

I’m coming back to the internet, now.

I’m doing more things online.

If you got the invites from me today, from the platforms, well.

More is on the way.

Hello Latvia. Hello Finland. Hello Ireland, and my friends who hit ‘connect’ in those places. I appreciate that, so much. Also: Cambodia, Australia, Denmark…. Invites have gone around the world. To Germany. To so many people whose paths have crossed with my own.

People who I find highly talented and creative and resourceful and insightful and whose art inspired me and influenced me.

 

It’s amazing doing this kind of very preferential networking, today. I used to be way different, when I was younger. Anybody was fine, to ‘connect’ with. Not anymore. I’m highly discerning. And I think it’s that thing that helps me know which side of the line I want to categorize an old contact as that makes me who I am. I know what I love.

I love improvising and conversing with people who shine.

They, together, have been my ‘neighborhood,’ a world neighborhood, from whose carefully attended lectureships have taught me a universe of ways of building bridges.

I’m ready to apply now what I have learned from ambling the world, 27 countries, countless hundreds of miles of walking around. I’m not religious, but doesn’t it seem like one hell of a quest? Finding myself, or whatever, isn’t what it was about. It was about. finding… us.

The us that is between us.

‘The It Between I and Thou’

My old friend MA in Seattle had taught me about M. Buber’s idea of this thing, ‘the it between I and thou.’

What’s between you and me is hugely important; it’s a thing. It’s not a thing in capitalist places but here in Vietnam I feel it more deeply each day, the importance of a unity of ‘us.’ A chúng ta kind of vibe, you know? Yes I have to learn Vietnamese. I have to. What the hell else can I do to be understood, and communicate?

Deeply, not superficially.

Hard.

The following are a few of the S P A C E issues we made at Atelier S P A C E // HCM (HT those many people who generously donated USD$800 to that effort! I’ve updated our crowdfunding page to reflect new goals, for Outer S P A C E).

 

A. Spaice

That is.

Humanity.

Ooh, yeah.

Ask me for a free copy…

I want to make an issue of S P A C E available to anyone who wants to read it. It’s just too good not to share. It’s called ‘Humanity’. The author is my good friend Michael Bridgett, Jr. and the photographer is another dear friend, Nils don Sihvola. Both are part of my international community and help me think, write, and most importantly… feel.

Feel my feelings.

Want the issue? Email me.Today I feel free. I’m proud to be back on the internet again. And reconnect with my old colleagues, friends, clients, and associates in a new United States of America.  Gosh, you know. There’s so much work to do.

Let’s get started.

One designful moment, at. A. Time.

HT JE, CS. So cool to message today! Surprised? Me, too.

Photo of Dipika Kohli by OMNI Studiophotos, Durham NC 2012

100 Conversations · Desk Notes · Experiments in Expression

Innovation in Ho Chi Minh City? First learn this.

Since 2013, DK has been based in Phnom Penh. Our studio has been commissioned by large NGOs to do things like ‘innovation consulting’ and ‘design thinking’ projects. Clients include the United Nations Development Program, Development Innovations, and CARE International, for example.

I don’t have the low-down on what those things involved, specifically, because my teammate there in that city, Akira Morita, has handled everything for DK in Cambodia. That includes all the deliverables, networking there, and fielding queries so that I can focus on what I’m best at.

 

Doing things right, versus doing the right things

Namely, researching. Mostly by field testing. By doing things like guessing what I think might work and trying it. Like a chef in the kitchen exploring new recipes, or a jazz musician playing with others who love that music, I like to play with materials and collage stuff. Words and image. Papers. You can see some of that in our new portfolio for Atelier S P A C E, on Behance. (Here’s a link: http://behance.net/dipikakohli.)

But why is this important?

Because we—collective Humanity ‘we’—together need to turn a new page.

Obviously, because of rioting and military-trained right-wingers doing things like this, we need a change.

If you think so too, read on.

Play x Innovation x Design x S P A C E

New methods in spacemaking!, that’s fun.

Making S P A C E.

Space that is, not just like, overwhelmed by one mode of thought, but is by design made out of multiple angles and perspectives. This is no longer just feelgood politically correct ‘diversity’ stuff. I remember someone telling me straightfaced about an experiment where people were made to sit and talk to ‘a diverse person’. What is a ‘diverse person?’ A person with lots of different things going on inside of them? I mean to this person who told me it just meant, I think, non-white. So yeah. General systemic problem, here. How about this, though. How about finding ways to make better dialogues than just ‘diverse’ and ‘non-diverse’ people talking in pairs? Mmmhmmm. Enter S P A C E.

Doing it well takes some experience with this. Sure. Sure it does. It also takes willful participation (hence our tendency to go for self-selecting things, instead of grant-funded things because those, you know, are [deleted]). More things you need: curation and deliberation and intention-setting and work.

But when you show up, it feels good, and it flows… effortlessly. At least that is what I always hope, when I invite people to be part of the workshops and ateliers and other things that we do, here, behind the scenes. See: http://designkompany.com/create-with-dk

 

I love S P A C E

S P A C E is fun. S P A C E is light and also self-styled for self-discovery. Where does learning happen? When you find out something that you didn’t know, for yourself, that is true for you. Many artists I know resonate with this because people who make things are dancing in the margins of what ‘society’ says and they also are working out their feelings through their art, I find, too. I’m always happy if someone I discover becomes part of our conversations to the point where I get to ask if they want to co-create with me, in S P A CE. Like my friend Ilyas Kassam. I loved making an issue of S P A C E with him. Here it is, pictured on his website:


https://www.ilyaskassam.com/tour

I like making this kind of stuff so much.

 

‘Curiosity is my best friend’

Because it’s curiosity that calls us, to explore S P A C E further. Outwardly. Expansively. S P A C E kind of insists itself into the more socially accepted patterns of ‘doing things like this.’ The status quo needs to be pushed out, challenged. Because… cool stuff can happen… there. That’s what we did, making this issue, pictured above. It was all about expanding our boundaries and using the technologies at hand, too, to make it interesting. He said I had a ‘tech touch.’ I liked that !

That is of a quality that invites, and includes, very new angles, and perspectives.In order to invite the new. Curiosity is my best friend.

Obviously, that runs in contradiction to some of the more rigid, Type A styles of ‘doing business’ in Asia that are, well, let’s be really direct, shall we? More about power games, hierarchy-establishment, manipulation, and power harassment that comes up when you’re highly influenced by a management style that say, is from… well. Lots of places. It’s the norm, isn’t it? Sad.

Yeah.

 

Edits

I quickly exit from any encounter that feels icky in this way; they’re not interested in new thinking, new starts, new angles, and new ways of making because they’re really only interested in shining a light on… themselves. [deleted]

Have you heard this one?’

Some people, to feel taller, cut off the heads of others.’

Jealousies and stuff. Waste. Of. Time.

Those kinds of people get in the way of making cool things. And keep life boring and troublesome, because it’s not about celebrating the best of what each can bring, it’s about squashing actual creativity before it becomes a threat. You know what I mean? Gosh, some of my friends who worked in corporations know, and tell me. I’ve got a lot of friends in corporations, so I hear a lot of stories. Especially now that they’re all coming out of their prime years in their careers and realizing… it wasn’t really worth it. Years older, more tired, less excited, less jazzed.

They look at me and go, ‘What the. How did you…’

Not fall into the trap?

By leaving.

Everyone.

Who. Didn’t. Get it.

That included family members, old ‘friends’, and ex-colleagues who turned out to be sociopaths. Not even kidding.

Life is fun, huh?

I like this jpg:

 

Colorfully more, and more together

Instead of wasting time with the naysayers, the scapegoaters, the narcissists, the gaslighters, the weirdos, the ones who hate you just because you’re you, and the rest of them who resist actually becoming better versions of themselves because that’s too hard, I just write. Every. Single. Day. I type 103wpm. [Earlier in this post, up above, I linked to this, where you can actually hear me typing, in my Soundcloud called, Hi2.]

Fun.

I used to write for newspapers, and now I just write S P A C E. I love discovery, and I’ve been discovering a hell of a lot, but it’s kind of nice, sometimes, to put on my old reporter’s hat and look things up and find out more and then, actually, like, write something about it for others to read. So I’ll do that more, this year. After all I have the experience. I was an editor for four years, half that time for a daily in Seattle, and the other half of that time for an alt-weekly in southwest Ireland. These places were where I learned to brainstorm, discover stories, and get fast at writing something that told a story people could learn something from. Now I just add to that, with my own take on things, and my own design style. In S P A C E.

I still do Q&A’s sometimes, too. A few examples are this and this. I save the best of them for S P A C E. For our Spring 2021 series on Innovation, or whatever the title becomes closer to then, I’ll expand on some of the past articles, for example:

Raising the bar (properly)

Opposite of fostering a culture of innovation are things like top-down management style, over directing, not listening to others, and pretending to be a big-shot like you know what you’re doing. You can’t really learn how to open up to new ideas if you’re just trying to validate some broken sense of self. That’s normal, with narcissists, and narcissists drive our capitalist society.

They usually, the ones close to me?, try to take credit for everything I do. Pretty lame. But they try to, and later, I find out, and just kind of, well, chuckle.

Figure out your own stuff, and make it happen, for you.

Join S P A C E

I do that, with my friends, sometimes. Make those kinds of moments possible for self-discovery and exploration.

To get to know what we create together, you can subscribe to our weekly e-mag here: https://gumroad.com/designkompany/membership.

I’ll share updates there.

Or if you want be part of something ‘in the future’, you can make a donation to our projects, and let me know to keep you informed. You can do that by selecting the option that lets you get messages from the fundraiser, that’s me. And you’ll be kept informed of messages from me with exclusives on how to get invited to projects in S P A C E. I’ll only update those who are interested, and indicate such by doing the things I ask you to, in this paragraph. More from there.

Desk Notes · Experiments in Expression · Found in the Field · Ideations · Publisher's Diary

‘Festival of the Photocopier 2021’ | ‘Open to zinesters located anywhere in the world’

update: 29 December 2020

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.

All you need to do is visit www.fotp.online to apply!

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.

DK had participated in this festival in 2020, which was a cool moment for us as it was our debut with S P A C E in real life. We’ve since also been at the San Francisco Zine Festival, which took place in September of this year, as it was virtual. Was cool. HT MB.

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.

Excited!

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
  • Distribute them virtually to everyone who contributes to our crowdfunding campaign in the month of January.
  • 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‘.]

Cool.

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:

Atelier S P A C E Phnom Penh did a reading from these zines on the day that  S P A C E debuted at the Festival of the Photocopier 2020 in Melbourne. Was neat. HT NDS & ND.

Memories!… <3

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!

Stay safe,
Sticky 

Desk Notes · Experiments in Expression · Found in the Field · Stories · The Muse

Issue #103

A members-only issue, this time.

S P A C E | Mito, ‘Shibui.’

Here’s a link.

http://gum.co/space-mito-shibui

Thanks.

HT E. Happy Birthday.

What’s ‘Shibui’?

Wikipedia has a lot to say. The source of the following is from this link:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shibui

Định nghĩa shibui hoặc shibusa

Definition of shibui or shibusa

 

Bảy yếu tố của shibusa là
sự giản lược (simplicity)
sự tuyệt đối (implicity)
sự khiêm tốn (modesty)
sự im lặng (silence)
tính tự nhiên (naturalness)
tính đều đặn (everydayness) và
sự không hoàn hảo (imperfection)
The seven elements of the shibusa are reduction, implicity, modesty, silence, naturalness, everydayness, emptiness &  imperfection.

 

Sự giản lược quý phái của shibusa là sự biểu hiện tinh tế về bản chất của các yếu tố trong một trải nghiệm thẩm mỹ mang tới sự tĩnh lặng. Sự quý phái khiêm nhường là điều hiển nhiên trong sự thanh thản u buồn với một chút lấp lánh.
The aristocratic simplification of the shibusa is the subtle expression of the nature of the elements in an aesthetic experience that offers tranquility. Humble nobility is evident in the sad serenity with a hint of sparkle.

 

Như các thuật ngữ mỹ học Nhật Bản khác, ikiwabi-sabi, shibui có thể áp dụng cho nhiều đối tượng, không chỉ là nghệ thuật hay thời trang.
Like other Japanese aesthetic terms, iki and wabi-sabi, shibui can be applied to a wide range of subjects, not just art or fashion.
Shibui (渋い) (tính từ), shibumi (渋み) (danh từ), hoặc shibusa (渋さ) (danh từ) là những từ tiếng Nhật chỉ một khái niệm mỹ học đặc biệt về vẻ đẹp giản dị, tinh tế và không phô trương.
Shibui (渋 い) (adjective), shibumi (渋 み) (noun), or shibusa (渋 さ) (noun) are Japanese words for a particular aesthetic concept of simplicity, sophistication and unobtrusive.
Shibusa là một sự xuất hiện hoặc trải nghiệm được làm phong phú lên (enriched), được làm dịu đi (subdued) của phẩm cách tốt về mặt bản chất với cơ cấu về hình thức, liên kết và nỗ lực, mang đến một sự tĩnh lặng vô tận.
Shibusa is an enriched, subdued appearance or experience of intrinsically good dignity with a structure of appearance, association, and effort, providing an endless silence.
  • Shibusa bao gồm những phẩm chất thiết yếu sau đây:
  • Đối tượng có shibui xuất hiện với sự đơn giản về tổng thể nhưng chúng bao gồm các chi tiết tinh tế, chẳng hạn như kết cấu, mà cân bằng sự lược giản với sự phức tạp.
  • Sự cân bằng sự lược giản với sự phức tạp này nhằm đảm bảo rằng vật đó không chỉ gò ép vào một đối tượng shibui mà còn liên tục tìm ra những ngữ nghĩa và vẻ đẹp phong phú mới được tạo nên bởi quá trình phát triển những giá trị thẩm mỹ qua nhiều năm.
  • Shibusa không nên bị nhầm lẫn với wabi hoặc sabi. Mặc dù nhiều đối tượng wabi hoặc sabi là shibui, không phải tất cả các đối tượng shibui là wabi hoặc sabi. Đối tượng wabi hoặc sabi có thể khắc khổ hơn và đôi khi cố ý thổi phồng khuyết điểm đến một mức độ mà chúng có thể được làm một cách nhân tạo. Đối tượng shibui không nhất thiết phải hoàn hảo hay không đối xứng, mặc dù chúng có thể chứa đựng những phẩm chất này.
  • Shibusa duy trì một sự cân bằng đồng đều giữa các khái niệm thẩm mỹ tương phản nhau, ví dụ như thanh lịch và thô kệch, hoặc tự phát và có tự chủ.
Shibusa includes the following essential qualities:
  • Objects with shibui appear to be simplistic overall but they include subtle details, such as texture, that balance simplicity with complexity.
  • Balancing this reduction with complexity to ensure that the object not only presses against a shibui object, but also continually finds new rich meanings and beauty created by development. aesthetic values ​​over the years.
  • Shibusa should not be confused with wabi or sabi. Although many wabi or sabi objects are shibui, not all shibui objects are wabi or sabi. Objects of wabi or sabi can be more austere and sometimes purposely inflate defects to such an extent that they can be artificially made. The shibui objects are not necessarily perfect or asymmetric, although they may contain these qualities.
  • Shibusa maintains an even balance between contrasting aesthetic concepts, such as elegant and crude, or spontaneous and autonomous.

 

Màu sắc của shibusa là những màu “lờ mờ” (muddy). Ví dụ, trong thiết kế và sơn nội thất, màu xám được thêm vào những gam màu chính để tạo một hiệu ứng ánh bạc, mà gắn các màu sắc khác nhau lại với nhau thành một sự sắp đặt phối hợp. Tuỳ thuộc vào mức độ của màu xám được thêm vào, màu sắc của shibui trải dài từ những màu pastel tới tối. Thỉnh thoảng, một mảng màu sắc tươi sáng được thêm vào để tạo một điểm nổi bật.
The colors of the shibusa are “fuzzy” (muddy). For example, in interior design and paint, gray is added to the main colors to create a silver sheen effect, which binds the different colors together into a coordinated arrangement. Depending on how much gray is added, shibui colors range from pastel colors to dark. Occasionally, an array of bright colors is added to create a highlight.

 

Get S P A C E | Mito, ‘Shibui’

'S' is for Sincerity · A Philosophy of the Moment · Desk Notes · Experiments in Expression · Found in the Field · Innovation Consulting + Design Thinking

A quote from ‘Flatland’

As to the doctrine of the Circles it may be briefly summed up in a single maxim, “attend to your Configuration.” Whether political, ecclesiastical or moral, all their teaching has for its object the improvement of individual and collective Configuration*–with special reference of course to the Configuration of the Circles, to which all other objects are subordinated.” —E. Abott, Flatland

The book Flatland has been an influential work for DK since we got a copy of it in an experimental high school geometry class that was called ‘Explorations in Geometry’.

‘Learning’, et al

Real learning, what is it? Certainly it isn’t in textbooks, according to me.

To me, it starts with critical thinking. That itself has to begin with  awareness: there is something missing. And waking up to a bombshell: the moment you discover that your own perspective, based on the things you’ve been taught to believe, are not necessarily “true.”  Plain ol’ experience is staring you down saying that X thing you’ve been taught to believe is true just isn’t “true.”

So what are beliefs, then to us? What are past experiences? Enter J. Krishnamurthi.  Just google him. ‘You are the world and the world is you…’ he says…. it’s amazing and articulate and on-point, and so I listened to lots of his podcasts this year.

After all.

I’ve.

Had.

Time.

 

Waking up to new realities

So getting back to ‘waking up.’ (Did you see Waking Life?) Anyway. The things you thought were true turned out… they weren’t true. You found out one day. So then, the natural next question is. What’s real?

I started thinking about this and made posts sometimes, under the category ‘S is for Sincerity’. Meantime, thinking about what’s real. Thinking: okay. That wasn’t.

So what is?

Hm.

Dunno. But you can sense… ? Maybe… Well. Okay.

Real things.

Discerning.

Such awareness can come from things like, for example, multi-country travel, over time, or from growing up as a Third Culture Kid, or TCK. Or meeting and being open to understanding more about other perspectives, even if you never leave your own town. Books, too. Books can open worlds.

I got lucky, personally. My sophomore year of high school I applied to and got in to an experiential learning high school, the N.C. School of Science & Math. It was different from usual school. It’s had a few scandals in the years since I’ve graduated, so I wouldn’t send anyone there, to be honest, but for me, at that time, it was a huge gift from the universe to get out of a rural and provincial school with zero opportunities. One of my most amazing teachers, though, was at that place. She knew. What I was going through. It was clear and plain to her. Maybe that’s why she worked so hard on a three-page single-spaced letter of recommendation. I still remember the feeling. Someone was paying attention and wanted better for me. Someone bold, strong and caring.

I got in. I don’t know who was more happy. Me, or her. HT CB

 

New starts

You got to live at school, which was, you know, the chance to have support and encouragement, from your peers. And teachers.

[Aside: Maybe this experience was why I started making experiential learning workshops for people to explore, in snippets, what I got to, at this school, and probably more meaningfully for me, the summer before that at the Governor’s School East program in Laurinburg, NC. That was what all Govvies know it was, and what it’s too hard to put into words. But I like to create S P A C E for people who have no idea what ‘Govvies’ means to have a chance to simply feel the experience that helps us uncover who we are, without labels or agendas. There were no grades that summer. There were philosophy classes, for small groupings of us, and we sat in circles… so many things.]

Dipika Kohli / Phnom Penh 2014

Getting to go away to school was, for me, an amazing chance to learn so many things early on, and I don’t mean ‘book learning’. I mean taking risks. I got to take ‘Explorations’ as well as a few other experimental ones: something the teachers were testing for a new course in precalculus, for example, and also, the first-ever section of that school’s Japanese language program. (I went on. to study the language for the next ten years, inspired by my teacher there HT KM.)

Perhaps best of all, I also ran for and won the position to be my school’s Vice President of the Student Government Association. The newness, all around, as well as a chance to enjoy a leadership role before even graduating from high school has richly inspired me, from those years forward, in making and achieving some exciting personal goals.

In Part 2 I’ll  elaborate on the book.

Book of New Things, limited edition of 1. For M. Riga, 2019