I’m back publishing S P A C E again. It’s nice to share the latest. Very new style, this time. I’m getting into more long-form pieces. Fictions.
Gathering collaborators and those who inspired this project to give out copies of Issue #164, S P A C E | ‘Three Falls.’ HT ML. Thank you for the other day.
I share in real life when I can. But now it’s pandemic-adjusted. Gone are the days I want to meet ‘whomever!’ for ‘a conversation and deep connection.’ No. I do have a lot of good memories, though.
S P A C E Mini-parties
I remember meeting people at ‘my place’, which I seem to always pick one for no matter where I am, and this was 2019, so yeah.
It was a little eatery in Riga. I had been wanting to go to Latvia as soon as I read about the Art Deco style of architecture there, and I was so, so done with Western Europe and all its hoity-toity stuff that you know, if you’re me, you get tired of because, you just do. Racism. There’s a thing called ‘Paris Syndrome.’ Just google it.
Not that it goes away completely, but it’s a different vibe, the other side of Europe. Prague in the early 2000s was a sneak peak of what I would find in 2019. A poorer side of Europe that matched, at least in slogging-by-the-day-to-get-your-pay’s work ethic, what I have seen in Vietnam. Oh, right. I was there, too, meeting up at another ‘my place.’ That time it was what we dubbed ‘Young’. I remember going to ‘New Young’ in Saigon, because it was more sparse, over and over and over after lockdown lifted last year around this time. To share and read and connect and talk and talk and talk. About everything. Hãy nói về mọi điều.
So many times. So many journeys. So many stops. So many conversations. One gets a bit tired of them, but one doesn’t stop, until they’re forced to. Staying still in Saigon was not a matter of choice, but it was important. A little bit of space and time to write Solitude (Kismuth / 2021). Ah, memories. More are flowing back now. In 2019, there was also an Atelier S P A C E popup at a sakura-blooming night in Tokyo, outside, on the grounds of a national museum with thousand-year old bowls and scrolls. Pure magic. HT B.
In this way I love to select, and share, with the handful of people whose paths that I’ve crossed who most intrigue, delight, and engage with what I feel is important. Naturally those things change no matter where you are, but at their center, the feeling is the same: let’s play. Jazz artists get that. Which is why I often collaborate with them.
And today I will do that. In person is good. More in a second on that.
I like to keep it small since covid is all over the place. And when it is possible to go out and socialize comfortably, I opt to meet up in a very informal space. There, we can read or let people read, in their own good time, whatever of the selection of items that I bring along that they would like to. This is nonlinear, and participant-led, much like a jam session is for musicians who favor that kind of thing. I don’t really engage with prima donna types. Trust me. I have tried.
‘What is it, Dipika, that you are doing? And why?’
Sure. It’s a fair set of questions.
Mainly it is about writing what you feel like writing in the way you want to write it. you don’t have to contort to fit someone’s idea of what writing ought to look like and you don’t have to compete with the zillions of people who have been slogging away on their days off and nights off to ‘become a published writer.’
Finding the theme took all these years. The theme, for this coming season, is ‘Autumn Leaves.’ Inspired by Camus, who said, Autumn is a second spring, where every leaf is a flower.
And isn’t Autumn Leaves a great, great, jazz standard? We’ll talk about it. At the. Event.
A jazzy beginning
This is a conversation that started years back, in a lower level place called Smalls in New York City, a place that let you go into them and play your art. I draw. I draw jazz. I play pen, and in some moments, I find connexion with the people who are also there, around me. Notes I hear, I take them. It’s a good jam.
Tonight there will be a jazzy zine launch. It is for this issue.
Through the years I’ve hosted small conversation salons that tie in with jazz shows, like ‘Math + Jazz’ at the Elephant Bar in Phnom Penh ahead of a concert at the hotel where it is, and also, ‘The book of Blue’ at jazz happens in Bangkok, which was a lovely live-collage in participation with a few guests, all of whom were invited to join since they had also attended ‘N’. So I like to keep the conversations going.
At the. Events.