Called Cambodia today.
There is the virus. There is more of it than before. There are concerns and there are provisions, there are floutings, there are commiserations, and, like here where I am in Vietnam at the moment, there are the warm middays. These are the things I am hearing, in calls with friends and colleagues in Cambodia, in days of late. Was trying to find my way back to Phnom Penh for most of 2020. Then, it started to sink in that that just wasn’t gonna happen. So [deleted]… and now, here I am. Continue reading “Finishing touches, ebbs & flows”
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.
Ready and set.
The next popup? Is on.
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.
Special thanks to Hanoi-trained and Ho Chi Minh City-based product and food photographer Thắng Chu, of Uncle Photography, for the series of images that he took for us of our magazine, S P A C E. A few of them are below and also at our crowdfunding page.
What is the point of S P A C E? Design and discovery. Putting together the highlights of what we uncover, by simply inserting ourselves into the world, asking questions, and not giving up on the idea that you learn more when you learn more together. Here’s us, doing the jam, still. Discovering, and co-creating, as we go. Together, in S P A C E. Even when it’s a pandemic. Even when we’re not sure who’s around. Who’s interested. Who’s not blocking themselves from becoming better. Who’s okay with looking at something in a new way. In a country that doesn’t like to do that, it’s been one hell of a trick. Still, we keep doing our work, we keep making S P A C E. Boring or depressed foreigners aside, we’re looking for the people who are looking for the new. That’s it. That’s the whole thing. It always was, I just didn’t know it.
For the very curious
More about this project is at our newly updated crowdfunding page.
Here’s a link.
Watch this space:)
PS Reflecting on the 2020 year of change and stuff, I realize it’s time to say a thank-you. Special thanks to those who have supported S P A C E since the start. A lot of you donated anonymously to the campaign so I won’t call you out here. But you know who you are. I appreciate it. The best is yet to come, and I feel amazingly lucky to have the support from so many talented, smart and creative people in my sphere both near, and far. We are making it happen. Sharing the journey, one designful moment at a time. But you already knew I could deliver on that, and I appreciate it that you kept showing up for me, even when the showing up (for you, for me) was not easy. Thanking you. I read on a website somewhere that courage isn’t having the strength to go on. Courage is going on, even when you don’t have the strength…S P A C E was born in the waning hours of 2018. Today, it’s starting to start… naturally, a baby takes time to learn how to find its footing. #readyset #outofthecave2021
I was listening to this song on a yellow radio that only had a few channels and was super staticky, in a studio in a school in Brooklyn where I was ‘living in New York City once.’ That was 1999.
I was doing some screentprinting. Weirdly, the things that I was making then, on that day, were very similar to what I’m doing today. In S P A C E. Words and images. Poetry. No screenprinting, now, but still. It’s fun to hit ‘print’ sometimes and collage a few zines.
This song came up in a conversation that is going to take shape in ‘Rapprochement.’ Which has everything to do with the things that have to do with angling yourself against your… past…
The story, ‘Rapprochement’ will be shared soon. It’s written by S P A C E contributing writer Michael Tharamangalam.
The race is long. In the end it’s only with yourself…
A virtual Korner
Gonna try this.
Find me on LinkedIn and send me a message, if you want to join a virtual Zoom call that will see a maximum of six guests. This is a chance to meet new people from DK’s network. An international network, and not just full of ‘like-minded people,’ which I find to be extremely short-sighted, and rather boring. I went to Eastern Europe in 2019 to round out my own understandings of what ‘Europe’ is, and that was gritty and tough and difficult in many ways because it wasn’t the manicured tourist-friendly, dollar-loving streets of [insert any major globalized and no-longer-able-to-describe-itself-uniquely because of course everyone looks like a hipster from that cutout stuff you find online, you know what I”m talking about Western European city]. Plus, racism. Dumb.
Anyway I’ve enjoyed building my international conversations over the years, and value so much the safe, comfortable, and remarkable exchange of ideas. Amongst people who actually care about that. About wanting their lives to be more, for lack of a better word, interesting.
C said once in a green back-alley restaurant in Hoi An, ‘Most people are boring.’
My eyes grew wide.
‘You can find good friends,’ he continued, ‘in books.’
So guess what? I’m reading a ton nowadays.
And also: writing.
HT CS, a great call yesterday. In S P A C E.
Back to the old threads on ‘Choices,’ this month, in Papers. And ‘Healing,’ too. Let me leave you with these few lines from the songwriter, Trịnh Công Sơn
Mỗi ngày tôi chọn một lần thôi
Chọn tiếng ru con nhẹ bước vào đời
Tôi chọn nắng đây chọn cơn mưa tới
Để lúa reo mừng tựa vẫy tay
HT MN and friends of Papers, in S P A C E.
Also, nhớ đeo khẩu trang.
This is our next project, in S P A C E. A very small, interactive conversation with just four people in each group.
It’s a conversation. It’s also a zine launch party. Meet us at a *secret location* in District 3. A daytime event.
Here’s a link.
About this Event
You love zines and wish you could find some in Ho Chi Minh. Guess what? We’re having a launch party for our weekly e-mag S P A C E in real life in HCMC.
So many things are happening simultaneously that it’s hard to feel the feelings, see the things that need to be seen, and make the decisions, or watch them happen.
So I understand, from ambiently and osmosis-ically?, I like making up words sometimes, haha, so I understand from being here and observing, day after day, morning after morning, the churn and whirr of the routines in this neighborhood. District 3, in HCMC. I’m in Vietnam. This is turning into the [deleted]. But many, I’m sure, are doing this same thing.
Not sure what’s going to come, and not being able to plan are things people are sharing with each other. I know. It’s not like I’m really eavesdropping but I can kinda tell. Maybe it’s the 27 countries I’ve visited and spent bunches of time in, including the seven years and counting in Southeast Asia, to date. Um. Long story I could launch into here, but that’s not really pertinent.
Uncertainty is like… being a fish on the chopping board.
Start liking seafood and fish sauce… is what someone on the /vietnam subreddit wrote. I. Think. That’s. Good advice.
More to share, but not now. I want to give our new acquaintance time to find the way back to emailing with me about the things ahead. I am thinking about starting an inbound tourism company, too, by the way. I can. I have some ideas. I even have some osmosis-experience.
Lol. I’m just trying to cheer you up, O.
I met O. over a conversation that started with a thing about me having to fork over USD 990.
Good thing I have… a job? Wait. I don’t have one of those. I have DK. DK is where I am. Existing.
‘Cá nằm trên thớt’
We’re gonna talk about it, O. When your’e ready.
If you want.
Thanks to those who are ready to take part in this. I’ve sent the details along on email.
‘Who am I?’..
A gigantic question. And yet, the bedrock of every important decision you will make.
Modernity means we are faced with so many, many choices. Where to live, whom to invest time in, how to manage our conflicting and ever-changing state of emotions, and, of course, the cacophony of messages that bombard our smartphones 24/7.
What to do with our lives, and how to make those choices, are not, however, impossible to uncover. It starts with design. Which goes to the center of the creative process, itself: exploring widely and deeply to consider the things that you are seeing and also, listening to the inner voice that tells you who you really are.
Knowing yourself. Is the start. Of making every decision that really matters, in a way that yields an outcome you will be able to look back on and say, ‘No regrets.’
Advance bookings only. Max 4. Only registered guests will be sent the exact venue details.
More details and registration info is at the registration page.
Here’s a link.
Photo: DK / Atelier S P A C E Mito, 2019
Update: 14 Oct
‘The history of print, publications, and zines is deeply rooted in political movements and societal change. Now more than ever people are finding inspiration and community through artists’ publishing.As a platform for the dissemination of such publications, VABF’s mandate is to provide accessible community-focused public programming and inclusive platforms to deepen engagement with artists’ books, and to connect local and international communities.’ From the organizers of Vancouver Art Book Fair, in a press release. [Emphasis, Editors at DK]
This looks cool.
Kameelah Janan Rasheed‘s talk at the VABF is described as this:
The practice of publishing is not the process of putting a final and unalterable object into the world, but a practice of offering a substrate for emendation, revision, call-and-response, iteration and the birth of new texts. A series of provisional thoughts about the poetics, politics and pleasures of the unfinished.
More about this and other things VABF is doing at their site:
It’s a big day, here. I’m making gifts to give to our guests for the first-ever ‘N’ in HCMC. It’ll be just four people, instead of the usual 16, which works some of the time but not all of the time (Helsinki! Looking at you). That’s okay. We enjoy what emerges, as it begins, because each moment is unique. That’s the conversation I had last night with K and A, who are two very close, longtime friends. They met when they were six years old. And today, cool, I’m lucky to be able to converse with them, too, go into the spaces of unusual, remarkable conversations. In many ways, it was K who had first taught me how to do this, back in the days when we were students… in Kyoto… More there, much, much more, to share and talk about. Perhaps at the next ‘N’. (I’ll talk more about that, if you get in touch, with an invitation-request. Ask me anything. The way to do that is through the form here.)
‘N’. Not for everyone. Lol.
But for those who say ‘yes’ and come, it’s… well. It’s ‘N’!
See you tonight: you know who you are. (I hope you got the program password by email yesterday all right). See you in the alley. I’ll be there.