Issue #46: S P A C E | Huế, ‘An Art of the Moment’

The artists gathered for this co-created zine are four very curious people.

Art, natural patterns, and words intertwine in a collaboration between them.

 

The nature of art

Lee Moore Crawford, a floral designer and artist, once struck up a conversation about the Japanese art of ikebana when DK happened upon her arranging flowers at a coffee shop in Durham, NC, circa 2011. We never forgot it.

So when DK collaborated with another creative person who takes inspiration from nature to make the cover image of this issue (Dipika Kohli took the original photograph in Huế, then forwarded it to digital processing artist Nils don Sihvola in Finland), we wanted to ask Crawford what her feelings would be. Lots came of this interaction, including a short piece, ‘Bloom.’

To give the collection continuity, we then circled back to former culture editor Michael Bridgett, Jr., whose article, ‘Why I Art,’ opens yet another fresh perspective.

Order it here.

http://gum.co/space-hue-aotm

Thanks ;)

 

Issue #45: S P A C E | Vilnius, ‘Partial Differential Equations’

Experiments 

DK wrote a  very short new play, which is  is in today’s release of, Issue #45, S P A C E | Vilnius, ‘Partial Differential Equations.’

It has a title that looks like this:

4N

 

Innovations in the form

Writing lately on a particular topic, namely, ‘Trust the Process.’

It’s about how to find our way to more of the variety of philosophy that doesn’t get caught up in itself and make knots, but rather, smooths things in a way that lets us all have more fun. Together.

All the conversations so far have led to this, Issue #45:

S P A C E | Vilnius, ‘Partial Differential Equations.’

Here it is.

http://gum.co/space-vilnius

Thanks ;)

Order S P A C E | Vilnius, ‘Partial Differential Equations’…

Issue #43: S P A C E | Brooklyn, ‘Art 4 Art’s Sake’

L’art pour l’art

This issue is Brooklyn, ‘Art 4 Art’s Sake.’ Why Brooklyn? Well, that’s where I went to art school for a scant semester–not my scene–but also where I started to ask questions about the point of art, and making it, and learning that you can find your way off to the sides of the places where people insist that you draw within the lines. There are no lines. But that’s just something you have to find out, if you’re inclined, as you go. Making things, trying things. Seeing what feels right.

It was in NY where jazz entered my life in an important way, because jazz and improvisational jam sessions taught me how to make art in a way that lets you leave room for ‘that which might yet emerge.’ All this time later, DK are working sometimes in innovation consulting, but also, experimenting with co-created mini-magazines in the Cloud. I know. Weird. HT MT.

A lot of stuff here to say but I’ll save it for another journey, another moment, and maybe if I’m lucky, find my way to another jazzy, understated, unpretentious, not-sleazy, international, intergenerational music venue. Hard to find, these days. Believe me. I keep looking…

Every so often, magic happens. Like in this issue. I’m really happy that I got to work with Michael Bridgett, Jr. and Paavo Heinonen on it. I love the quirky way it all came together. Landing in the canvas of a digital paper-space that let us talk, together, in an ambient, light, philosophical way.

Get it here.

http://gum.co/space-brooklyn

Order S P A C E | Brooklyn, ‘Art 4 Art’s Sake’…

8888 tweets

‘Lucky number! You should take a screen shot.’

‘Didit.’

‘That’s a lot of tweets.’

‘Yes.’

 

To tweet or not to tweet

‘What does it do for you, though?’

‘Um.’

‘Do you like twitter?’

‘It’s changed. A lot. Since the good ol’ days when it was flat and you could talk to anybody anywhere and it was cool.’

‘And now?’

‘Stupid algorithms. Fake accounts. Promoted tweets, that makes it feel like garbage is everywhere and it’s hard to find the gems.’

‘Are there any?’

‘Sure. But there isn’t much discernment now between this which matters, and that which doesn’t, because…’

‘Because?’

‘A lot of things. I don’t want to go into it, here. This is public space. But I’ll write about it, in Tuesday’s issue.’

‘Which is?

‘Which is Art 4 Art’s Sake.’

‘Are you going to keep tweeting?’

‘…’

‘…’

‘I don’t know. It’s… where I used to find people and we could talk about things that really felt like things that count. Over time. And built something, ambiently. Some people who I consider friends are people I met on twitter but never met met.’

‘…’

‘Makes you question the point of it, really.’

‘…’

Issue #40: S P C | Haapavesi, ‘Proprioception’

Writing a story in the north of Finland

space-haapavesiThis issue. Has taken me more than a year to wrap my heart around. It’s centered around a brief exchange that I had in a blustering white night all-night escapade that began as a foray to Haapavesi. 

‘You go to peculiar places!’ said a writer in Oulu.

Despite my usual antisocial nature, I went. To… Haapavesi.

What I found is wrapped into a short story, which is the lead story for this collection. It, and the issue itself, are called ‘Proprioception.’

It’s a mashup of conversations from Finland over the summer in 2018, as well as more recently, in the cloud. Internet and real clouds… mixing and sharing and discovering and writing. Stories and poems. People give me so much to think about, and, I’m told, I do the same for them. What we discover when we make space to converse is, of course, the whole entire point of S P A C E. So I decided to share that very sweet, summer and lighthearted story today. Starry constellations and jazzy connections, but over karaoke, rounds in bars and ‘filled croissants’ at home.

And who is Soile? Well.

Let me think how to describe this… well, okay, it’s difficult.

Some things are for sharing.

Some things are for folding into art, and publishing, as zines.

Those who are used to my writing and creative nonfiction will not be surprised, but it’s pretty much a combination of three people. Soile… Whom I met on the bus, whom I met at a bar, and whom I met at somewhere I can’t say because this is a public post and not one of the protected ones. [Long stories deleted]

 

Order this issue of S P A C E

Today’s release has a bunch.

  • New graphics.
  • A new short story.
  • Two poems including ‘Step a little closer,’ from 2014, which I wrote about the work of art, mostly, in a collaboration with M.

 

Order here

 

 

Grice’s Maxims of Conversation

In linguistics, the cooperative principle describes how people can be effective at conversational communication in common social situations—that is, how listeners and speakers must act cooperatively and mutually accept one another to be understood in a particular way.

Paul Grice put it this way it, ‘Make your contribution such as is required, at the stage at which it occurs, by the accepted purpose or direction of the talk exchange in which you are engaged.’

Put some of this stuff into the story, in the Ninh Binh issue of S P A C E.

That was a fun one..

Issue #38: S P C | Riga, ‘This is This’

A great conversation set led to the creation of this issue of S P A C E.

Many thanks to Nils don Sihvola, whose cover art is featured here. The story is by Dipika Kohli.

NILS DON SIHVOLA

‘DIGITAL VISUAL arts-digital SLR and image processing-is my thing. In 2013 a friend sold me his Canon 500d digital camera. Instinctively and instantly, I knew that the digital camera would be my tool to make art. Art: something I’ve known since I was a child I wanted to make. Every year I practiced, and in 2017, went to study photography at Kymenlaakson opisto in Inkeroinen, Finland.

‘Ever since, I’ve wanted to investigate questions like, ‘How does form support content? What’s “balance” in a composition? What can an image say, in complement to, for example, a spoken message?’

‘In a world that relies on the flat 2d spectacle, rotating the axis to discover a fresh perspective can mean the difference between “love” and “pain.”’
Instagram: @nils_don_sihvola

 

DIPIKA KOHLI

‘Art, to me, is a great conversation. I design space for that.’ [website | instagram: @dipikakohli]

 

 

Order it here >

Journalist Oz Katerji: ‘Newsrooms need to be more diverse’

FOR A WHILE, I used to work in newsrooms. A weekly alternative paper in Europe from 2002-2004, then a Seattle daily from 2004-2005. I remember walking away from them for many reasons, but there was definitely a feeling that I had way back then that is resonant in something I found today online. This, from Yahoo News:

The BBC has issued an apology after Stacey Dooley[ (who has been criticised in the past for her perceived lack of knowledge or understanding while presenting various documentaries*)] referred to a Muslim prayer gesture as an “Isis salute” in a documentary  broadcast last night (Monday 5 August)… The offending scene, which showed Dooley using the term “Isis salute” to describe women raising their fingers in the air, was cut from the programme after being used in the documentary..

..However, the raised index finger is a symbol of Tawhid, meaning “the unity and uniqueness of God as creator and sustainer of the Universe”. The gesture is a common part of Islamic prayer, and has been used by a number of Muslim football players during goal celebrations.

TellMamaUK, a social media watchdog for anti-Muslim incidents, condemned the moment and tweeted: “To reduce such a fundamental and important concept to a mere ‘Isis salute’ is grossly wrong, ignorant and damaging.”

Award-winning BBC journalist Anisa Subedar tweeted: “Does Stacey Dooley know us Muslims raise it every time we pray (that’s five times a day) to remind us of the oneness of God?

“This is what happens when you pass over real journalists to cover these kinds of stories — those that require cultural sensitivity and compassion.

“What happened here is insulting and offensive to Muslims and journalists.”

Journalist Oz Katerji tweeted the BBC’s response after he submitted a complaint, and linked the mistake to a lack of diversity in newsrooms.

“While I am disappointed Stacey herself has not apologised, I am satisfied with the BBC response and will draw a line under this here,” he said.

“I have no doubt that this retraction was prompted not by me, but by dozens of female Muslim BBC journalists that were also offended and expressed their feelings about it. I can’t stress this enough, newsrooms need to be diverse, and if you hire more diverse staff, this won’t happen.

Cross Cultural Design and why it matters in an era that believes in ‘right answers’

Found something really cool today at the website ThirdCultureDesign.blogspot.com, by self-identified ‘Third Culture Kid,’ or TCK, Gerrit J. Hoppe. I think it was about 2011, if I’m reading and understanding correctly, which is interesting. Why is this old, underpopulated site, coming up on page one of a search about ‘cross cultural design?’ Hmmmmmm.

 

Identity, politics

Oh! But this is the thing. Identity, right? Identity and culture. Between-ness. And design. And uncertainty. And knowing that you have to trust the process. And being okay with more than one answer existing at the same time, even if those answers cancel each other out. This is no-brainer stuff for people who are international… people who cross cultures all the time, and that doesn’t mean just nation-boundaries (who needs those?), but other ones. The way we grow up. What a certain word means to us. Whether or not we believe that orange and chocolate are a classic combination or not and if we don’t we can argue about it for hours and hours if we are the type to do that, TCK-type types, I mean.

K.

That’s a side thing.

An inside joke, thing.

Hrm. Should I be writing inside jokes into serious blog posts about culture, identity, politics, resp0nsibility, ethics, and design?

[Long story deleted]

 

Focus, focus, focus

 

I am writing, again, behind the scenes. In protected-page posts. About design. Culture. The open road, uncertainty, trusting the process. And much, much more. It is a journey of change and discovery, it is an important time of learning and reflection. Especially given all that is developing and unfolding in a world that doesn’t know how to cross cultures intelligently.

I think some are uniquely positioned to write, share and publish about the how of this. About noticing. About listening. About engaging. And I want to find those people. And interview them. And write more, and make a podcast, “S” is for Sincerity, is the working title. I really need to do this work but I don’t know how this is going to actually happen, given that it takes hours and hours of time, and like the article I was talking about (link, coming up) before going into this long-winded side story says, you have to immerse to get into a space, place, and moment to really say something worthwhile. Am I there, yet, by now, to be the interviewer? I don’t know. I want to try to keep learning, but it’s also important to hit ‘go’ sometimes, before we’re even ready, because, you know, Greenland is melting.

 

What design can learn from crossing cultures

The article!…

Quoted therein…

“The term cross-cultural design has become popular lately. Nobody designs in a vacuum, and we rarely design for people in the same life situation as ours. These days, it’s almost effortless to talk to and work with people all over the world. This is a fantastic development, and I think it’s really helped broaden people’s horizons. As a designer, though, it means we now have an extra set of responsibilities. The term “cross-cultural” implies that designers remain in their home culture and survey others from afar, designing from a distance. This isn’t enough.
I think it’s important to engage in intercultural design instead, in terms of how we think about problems and then act upon them. “Intercultural” implies more immersion and personal engagement.” —Smitha Prasadh

 

As Prasadh hints, the key element to intercultural design is immersion, but as immersion into a new culture takes up large quantities of time, it has been nearly impossible to accomplish in the past…. Read the full piece here.

 

PhotographyMad.com

Joyce Carol Oates: ‘We are the thoughts we are thinking’

We all inhabit interior landscapes & these are mediated to us through language.  It might be said that we are the thoughts we are thinking. What engages the writer/ poet is the individual’s response to the “situation”—what she or he makes of it. That is the essence of the human drama, & why imaginative literature is so much deeper, more intense, & more memorable than objective history with its impersonal perspective. —Joyce Carol Oates, as quoted at this site which interviews people about their creative process.

What is the role of the artist? To ‘exchange and understand’

Today, when the world is growing ever smaller through the spectacular development of the Internet and the increasingly rapid flow of economic interchange, we find ourselves in a pressing situation whereby, like it or not, our very survival depends on our ability to exchange cultural methodologies on an equivalent basis. To turn toward a stance of national exclusivity, regionalism, or fundamentalism, in which nations become isolated politically, economically, culturally, or religiously could bring about unimaginable dangers on a worldwide scale. If only in that sense, we novelists and other creative individuals must simultaneously broadcast our cultural messages outward and be flexible receptors of what comes to us from abroad. Even as we unwaveringly preserve our own identity, we must exchange that which can be exchanged and understand that which can be mutually understood. Our role is perfectly clear.

Haruki Murakami,2006,  in an introduction to the collected stories Rashomon and others, by Ryunosuke Akutagawa

Urban dictionary on ‘post postmodernism’

Post-post modernism

Also known as ‘meta-modernism’. An inevitable categorical representation of our ‘present’ cultural age. It can be defined as a wide-ranging set of developments in critical theory, philosophy, architecture, art, literature and culture which are emerging from and reacting to post-modernism. Essentially, anyone that uses this term 95% of the time is a complete and utter pretentious and severely lost fuck-witwho views anything ‘contemporary’ with the same degree of fascination and reverence as anyone would today in context of artistic expressions before the 20th century. A million layers of irony and meta-observation coat the conceptual fabric of these peoples world perspective; nihilistic and empty speculations centred upon nothing comprise of their reality.

As can be deduced from the flowery and vague speculative language apparent (which is equally reflected within its actual content), meta-modernism is an aimless groping in the dark of an empty abyss, which cannot even be properly classified as a represented as ‘nothingness’, as it supposedly transcends all limitations of logical categories whilst at the same time remaining bound within them in a limbo state of infinite negation, construction, and the both synthesised into an infinite spiral which extends out into an unfathomable state of incalculable layers of irony.

I quoted the whole thing, pretty much. It’s here.

S P C | Rīga, ‘Sunny Side of the Street’

A new issue of S P A CE is out today. (It launches officially in August, but I’m sharing it, for a limited time, as some people I am meeting are asking me what it’s going to be, and it’s turning into a kind of series, so why not launch ‘Sunny Side of the Street’ and see what sticks, from there.)

‘SSoS’ is a very special edition, of which DK will print a few copies of for real life conversations and readings here in Latvia.

More to say. Might be hanging out in cafes and stuff, and bars, sharing them in real life. Keep your eyes peeled, if you’re in this city.

Will continue in more detail… but later. For now, sleep.

HOW TO ORDER. Order the new issue, the first from Latvia, at this link.

S P C | Phnom Penh, ‘Angle of Reflection’

Publishing on Tuesday is the zine, ‘S P A C E | Phnom Penh.’ It’s called ‘Angle of Reflection.’ It’s part of a three-part series on Phnom Penh that has already seen the publication of ‘Angle of Incidence.’ More about that issue is here. The full set of events and projects that DK had hosted in Cambodia is on this page, in case you are curious. A place that was home for us for five years. And maybe more. It’s a long story. But one of our favorite magic moments was the recent party, S P A C E | Phnom Penh, in which just six of us convened to connect in real life with one another: most of the people who were there had never met the others, not a single one, and we were just holding a space to see what might emerge. No pics from that one, but curiously, we held it at the very location that I took this picture in 2016 at the reading for Dipika Kohli’s Breakfast in Cambodia in Sept. 2016. Same location, different moment. The earlier shot:

‘Breakfast in Cambodia’, book launch // DK 2016

 

The three issues of S P A C E that are set in Cambodia are part of a giant series that we will finish publishing in Sept. 2019.

So far, all the zines in the series are getting bundled into two collections:

  • Winter 2018-19, ‘A Philosophy of the Moment’
  • Spring 2019, ‘The Book of New Things’

Currently at work on the Summer 2019 project, ‘In the Vernacular,’ with new and different others DK and friends are discovering this year. It’s, again, a long story, but we are moving from geolocation-based conversations to something different. Ask me about it. Just hit me up through the form on our ‘contact’ page. It’s not for everyone, the idea of sending in a message into the internet, not knowing what might happen, but that’s the story of our lives these days isn’t it? You just have no idea. And it’s hard to try. And it’s hard to take a chance. Because most of the time, the things on the other side are just a lot of pretentiousness or fakery. I hate that, personally/ We are making S P A C E to filter out the bullshit, and host magic moments like the ones that are starting to become more and more about *who* and less about *where*. What’s the story? Where are the people? Where is the story?

Let’s find out.

#trusttheprocess #eyeontheball