1 March, New salon: S P A C E | ‘Postmodern nomads’

Sourced from Culture360:

In 1996 Michael Haerdter of Berlin’s Künstlerhaus Bethanien called artists ‘post-modern nomads’ or ‘wanderers between cultures’. Migrating artists, he said, ‘belong with the many transcultural messengers of a world whose keywords are nomadism and globalism.’ Goes on to say the fact that we see the invention (and spreading about) of residential art centers relates to the need of artists ‘to experience the world and its many environments and cultures, to realise in situ research and projects, to be temporarily part of creative communities, and to profit from the opportunity they offer for exchanging ideas and know-how.’

‘Postmodern nomads’: new salon

Let’s talk about it. Let’s meet, converse, connect and discuss, and get to places because of progressions and continuity, which can only come with a longitudinal axis of trust-building. Over. Time. Are you ready to begin this kind of trek with us? This one is a build on what we had begun in early 2018, with ‘Notes.’

It’s a special online salon about postmodern nomadism, or whatever else we want to talk about there. Note: eligibility; this open invitation is for those who are new to DK this year.

Starting in March, there’ll be much more to say. In online forums. These happen every week when I share prompts, in our online community, through email. It’s pretty straightforward and it works well, because it’s just a handful of us, for each conversation space. Curated because of the gut-feeling that ‘this works with that, I think,’ or ‘maybe so-and-so would enjoy meeting so-and-so,’ and that’s how t begins. In the style of ‘N’, and other of our events, workshops, ateliers, and gatherings, it’s about who shows up more than it is about what we each have to say… listening is the point. Seeing what emerges. That’s how each topic got started, in fact. Breakout sessions when a certain thread or strand was developing. Asking members and guests-who-could-enjoy-membership-if-they-let-themselves-make-time to weigh in with 2c bits and pieces. The new things are starting. It’s a lot of fun, already, in preconversation salons that are getting things into alignment.

 

Salon: Origin

ORIGIN: ‘What is fromness?’ is inspired by ‘Ask me where I’m local’ by Taiye Selasi: ‘When someone asks you where you’re from … do you sometimes not know how to answer?’ Selasi speaks for “multi-local” people. In other words, people who feel at home in the town where they grew up, the city they live now and maybe another place or two. How can I come from a country?, she asks. How can a human being come from a concept?’

Origin: What is ‘fromness?’ Join Design Kompany in an informal setting for a conversation salon, ‘Origin.’

We’ll be talking about questions that help us all reflect on self-identity, whereness, and the notion of ‘where I am from.’ The program is light, and a slight redesign of our 2014 Origin conversation salon in Phnom Penh, in which 16 people gathered for an unusual experience of talking with complete strangers about close-to-the-heart questions. Since then the event has also been seen in Bangkok and Hanoi.

Come meet people from a wide mix of backgrounds. People whose paths you might not have crossed. Who are interested in taking a good, honest look at questions like: Who am I? Where am I ‘from?’ Who is my family? Where is my home? Questions that, we learned in 2014, truly open the heart. And help us learn more about one another, as well as ourselves.

  • ‘I never imagined I’d meet so many different people.’
  • ‘I wish we’d had more time! Thank you.’
  • ‘Weird and interesting!’
  • ‘Refreshingly honest.’

This event is for members of S P A C E and their guests. Learn more about how to become a member of S P A C E here.

Atelier S P A C E || Kärsämäki

MAKE A ZINE with just eight people.

Meet new people. Make a publication. Short, sweet, and on the spot. Join us at Atelier S P A C E || Kärsämäki. 

DESIGN KOMPANY are hosting a popup workshop, Atelier S P A C E, at Kärsämäki in Finland.
This is a zinemaking atelier.

It will kick off on 21 July, which is International Zine Day. This is a family friendly event.

A zine is a short collection of images and words usually photocopied, in small quantities, and distributed by hand.

Here is why it matters.

Zine culture is making a comeback, as more people distrust the usual news media channels and turn their attention to what people they know personally, and whom they feel they can trust are saying, making, and sharing. That’s why social proof and social media are important. But there is the old, more traditional way of relating to people: in person. So let’s make time and come out for a real-life conversation series that gets us all talking together, with those we might not have met, in an unusual way. Working and collaborating to put something new into the world: a zine. It doesn’t have to be a big task, nor does it have to be ego-driven. Everyone knows what a pain it is to work with artists!

Art can connect us, but the specific kind of space that does it well needs to be designed. That’s where Design Kompany steps in. ‘I thought it would be neat to use the zine format to do the work of bridging silos,’ says DK’s creative director, Dipika Kohli. ‘Anyone who has ever worked in publishing knows how important the first few meetings are, where you simply brainstorm ideas together. That’s the fun part… seeing what others want to know more about, learn and discover in the world right around us. I remember doing that when I was in southwest Ireland, working with an alt newspaper there, very new, very fun, very loose, and very exciting. Given the times we are in now, we can try to engage people in ways that get us all talking, get us offline again, in public and semi-public spaces, to just simply be. Not work. Not home. Not the internet. But a place where you can just relax and talk with people about things that are going on. Conversation is important. Let’s make more of it, and then, let’s find a theme, and work together to make a zine.’

Atelier S P A C E uses the zine form to gather people’s voices, and interconnect those whose paths might not have crossed. The big idea is to make something new, together. Systems thinkers say that gathering people for spontaneous spaces that might lead to new insights is one way to begin the road to innovation. Breaking new ground starts with trying new things. Leaders in their fields recognize that finding a new way to discover is a real need. Creating opportunities for people to practice how to do that is one of the goals for DK’s ateliers. But so is good fun, and making something new, with people in a creative way.

‘Art, at its best, is a conversation,’ says Kohli, an author and artist who practices and studies relational aesthetics in her more recent work. ‘Making more space, and more quality space, for us to learn about and discover new perspectives, from new people, is what our ateliers, salons, and magazines are all about.’ Here’s how it works. ‘DK go to a new place, meet people and co-create something in a short, on the spot workshop that’s also kind of a performance art installation at times (when it happens in public space!). I think you can get a sense of it from our Instagram, dkompany. Generally, the idea is we’d make a piece with new writing and other visual elements for an 8-page zine, S P A C E. And add it to our collection of zines made in the same way in different cities.’

ABOUT DK. Design Kompany LLC started as a brand identity design studio in Seattle in 2004. In 2013, DK went on the road to practice the unknown, uncertain and different, which led to new connections, with new people, in new places. This set the stage for 2017’s and 2018’s intent to create zines, in the short spaces of time, while on the road looking for the chance encounter…. And folding it into S P A C E. Atelier S P A C E is a traveling zinemaking popup Atelier, designed in response to a new realization. People aren’t used to trying new things. People need space and time to get back to exploring, in a playful way, towards new approaches, and even innovations. Starting the tour in Southeast Asia in Sept. 2017, DK have created zinemaking ateliers in: Battambang, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Phnom Penh, and Bangkok. ‘The idea is to explore ways we can co-create hyperlocal, interwoven stories with new and different others who participate in the atelier’s salons. Through conversations, we find a theme. Together. It’s a collaboration to make a unified piece, and each issue of S P A C E highlights the conversations, places, and people we each discovered in the bounded box of either one, two, or 4-week ateliers,’ says DK’s Kohli. See the journey of S P A C E so far, at http://instagram.com/dkompany.

Special thanks to Kahvila at the campus of Kattilakoski Culture Cooperative. 

REQUEST INFO. We have limited seats for this event. Request more info by email to find out more. Here is how to connect with us:

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SELF || Bangkok

DISCOVER YOUR SELF. Sounds crazy, right? You know yourself. Well, do you? In this era where layer after layer of facades keep us from truly relating to others, maybe it gets confusing. It’s a good time to take stock and reflect on who it is you are, under all of that. No cameras, no phones to distract, no documenting… That’s how we will host this very small-scale, intimate salon at the cozy Chong Nonsi venue pictured here. No need to bring anything. All materials will be provided. Hosted by Dipika Kohli. Which means you’ll get activities to facilitate insight-making moments through reflective writing. And a conversation party with other people taking part. No more than 8 seats for this.

Last seen at Neilson Hays Library in 2014, one guest had this to say about SELF…

‘Overcome my fear of writing’
I AM WRITING because I wanted to thank you all for sharing ideas and memoirs, I am very much impressed and really enjoyed the workshop [SELF]. I’ve been working on my writing, and finished one short story which I feel so happy after I finished writing it (it’s in Thai.) I’m working on its English version pretty soon and will send to you all for the feedback. Bottom line is I’m happy to let you know that I’ve somehow overcome my fear of writing, though there’re times when I got stuck with the stories, get distracted, or feel like it’s not good enough – if it was before, I was just going to give up. Now, I feel it challenged me and I find writing more enjoyable. Most importantly, I feel like my writing is getting better too. —J. Lee, Bangkok, 2014

In sum, SELF is a workshop that, intriguingly, also doubles as a conversation party. Meet people interested in exploring, through writing. Find your theme. Peel back the layers. Put your phone away, in a box. (Yes, really). And show up for yourself, for the others, and for a conversation in just under 3 hours that very well could change the course of your year. Are you on for the challenge? Register here.

Disclaimer: If giant life-changing steps follow this workshop, we are not responsible for the people in your life who get mad at us! This has happened. 

In one hour

THIS IS HAPPENING. It really, really is. Four years of cojournaling. Two calls for interest in Januarys past. One short eBook anthology. And now, a small handful of people in timezones scattered who are saying ‘yes’ to the experiment and conversation that is this thing we made, together. Welcoming very warmly both new and returning guests to this year’s The Mirror. More is on the way, check your inbox. It’s exciting, isn’t it? This is my dashboard. Like it? More

Launch of a new chapbook, Phnom Penh || S P A C E

MEET DESIGN KOMPANY this week to get a copy of our new chapbook, Phnom Penh ||  S P A C E. It contains some of the highlights from our 2014-2017 series of images. It gathers select short, quiet moments in a new collection, which has not been shared elsewhere outside of our online community, S P A C E. Many of these will be unexpected images: this isn’t what the ordinary passerby will make a note of, we are certain of that. Only by staying still in one place for a time can you really start to finally see it. Which means, of course, recognizing that you can never see a thing fully, no matter how long you look or how much you investigate, unless you see it clearly, with your heart.

‘How arrogant it would be for me to write about Cambodia,’ I said to VS yesterday, an earnest young man who, after working in international development, is freelancing as a translator of English to Khmer, his native language. He tells me I should write a story about __. I say, ‘No. __ is not mine. __ is yours. These are not my stories to write: these are yours. What I can do is show you the viewpoint I have, as a person who sees space in a very particular way. This story, this visual communication, without too many words that can clutter meaning, this is what the Phnom Penh || S P A C E chapbook is about.’ Curious? Get it when you join S P A C E this month.

Phnom Penh || S P A C E

 

The Mirror

AN 8-WEEK or 12-WEEK online programme that prompts you to ask questions designed to elicit self-awareness. Reflection. Connection. Discovery. It’s a 1:DK conversation that is exploratory and emerges, week over week. You’ll be able to choose-your-own-adventure as we go, selecting from the grab-bag of more than 100 prompts that DK have built over the 2014-2016 period when we had hosted something else, called the ‘cojournal.’ Discover and share, co-discover with us. By invitation only. 

 

Timesaving tip: Commit to something

YOU GET STARTED. You don’t finish. Why is this?

Competing interests. Times that you were starting to do something, and then you didn’t, because… what? Distraction. Something came up. Something that you thought was going to happen didn’t, because of… what? Lack of commitment. Lack of conviction. Something else popped up on the other end. No worries, nothing gets done, time goes by, nothing gets done, because… why? Lack of commitment. Lack of showing up. Not caring enough about doing it, because you are too busy considering other options. Paralyzed into inaction because of… what?

Continue reading “Timesaving tip: Commit to something”

In her own voice

CLEAR WRITING. Is important. Direct, to the point. You don’t have to get ornamental with it. These are the things I am saying to the person I used to be, not even two years ago. I guess sometimes you have to revisit the spots where you were, and look at what you said and wrote and did, and maybe shake your head a bit. ‘Really? I wrote that?’ And suffer a bit of embarrassment, but mostly to yourself. Because at the end of the day, it’s really about personal growth, isn’t it? When it comes to making something that you think is ‘art,’ and that’s a giant debate, in and of itself, but for me, art is conversation: when sender and receiver are locked in a timeless, wordless dialogue whose content only they can know. Maybe that’s because of intuition, or the zeitgeist, or the collective unconscious (all things I read about incessantly, and used to blog here, but don’t now, because… editing.)

But there is good motion ahead. The Book of Songs is returning. I’m reworking it completely. It’s so very good to see where the old threads left off (January 2015) and tie them up with some of the new ones (2016, 2017). So it’s going to be part of the next bundle of writings, which you can discover more about here.

Much ahead. Let’s take it one blog at a time.

 

Writing and hiding and autocorrecting in S P A C E

TURNING ATTENTION BACK TO THE CLOUD, in recent days. The ‘N’ in Hanoi was too, too fun. I want to take a nice long break from making more events, outside of the ‘Secret Event’ series here in Phnom Penh, that is. (More on our fb. I’m sure there are some links there now*.)

What I am having to do, in order to get to a place of feeling somewhat finished, somewhat like I have an idea of where the next series of S P A C E is going to go, is to sit quietly and be alone for long, huge, oceanswide stretches of time. Which will explain the hideout, here in Toul Kork. A place where I have only two or three particular outlets to go to in order to find the quiet room to go into the headspace that, you know, you need to if you are a writer-type, or a publisher of the big wide vast and uncomfortably probing question-asking that happens, in S P A C E. But so? I love it. I don’t care if no one is really going to be there, to read it. Because writing is the journey, a new kind of journey. And I am writing so much, so very much. Publishing things. So that, you know, my mother can read them. Ha ha.

*I don’t handle the FB here since I’m a terrible Luddite and don’t now how to post things, or make them sound interesting to read, or make you want to click to find this blog. This blog, however, I can manage. I like writing here, to you. I’m writing a lot, lately, in fact, with the others who are part of a group collaborative experiential project we call ‘A New Kind of Journey.’ The four-week orientation is ending next Monday, then we are moving forwards with whomever is ready to ‘N+1’ it with us in the next thing, ‘The Village.’ Find out more about these when you subscribe to Jas Plac’s free S P A C E.

Such a good group, conversing and connecting, and we are talking about some incredibly, ah, big topics. How quickly we can ramp up to the personal and large-scale, the big-picture kind of philosophical stuff that has nothing to do with what is going to happen on Friday or Saturday night (blech), nor the kind of thinking that has only to do with finan$ial engagements, which, when you really think about them, are a bit dry, aren’t they, as subject matters? I have to say when it’s time to close a contract I am terribly tired. It’s a fact.

Probably why I don’t do that side of the work here at DK anymore. I just was really, really bad at it. Leave it to the people who are terribly gifted at relationship management, and let me keep this blog as ranty as I like. Heck, it’s even funner, this way. I have no idea if I have to meet someone tomorrow who will be determining if DK is a ‘fit’ for them. I don’t even care, to be honest. I am happy writing away into the online forums, and also, at the subscription edition of S P A C E. Really good stuff is happening, this month. I can feel it. We have a new sequence underway, and an old one is getting packaged now as I compose it, properly fold it into a digital PDF that I can send to the subscribers, and newly subscribing. So that people can get a sense of what this stuff is, this ‘real enough to feel’ kind of motion that is imperative if I am, in any way, to show you that I am dead serious about this stuff. Publishing, in S P A C E.

Take, for example, Figure 1. Just immediately below, yes. Here:

Figure 1. Unfortunately the word processor is set to ‘French’. This book is in English. So of course it thinks everything is misspelled. C’est la vie, yo. C’est LA VE. Interestingly, ‘C’est’ autocorrects to ‘Chest’. Hmmmmm.

 

Figure 2. Which isn’t referred to anywhere. But wow. Look at this. I have been working in the spreadsheet, lately. I have been categorizing, cataloguing, and dumping whole bunches of things. In fact, I got so excited about the ‘figuring it out’ thing that I almost designed another eWorkshop about how to life hack. But then, AM said that was getting in over my head. That I should focus on writing and publishing and editing. And hiding out, to get that done. So I am.

 

 

 

 

MORE TO SHARE, especially if you are in the online circles. Curious about what’s happening? Learn more, after the jump. Meantime, I have to go. I think this couple that just came in (who are from my native country, and therefore extremely loud) are on some kind of work-one-upping conversation slash tindr date. Time to go.

Jump!