February 6, 2012
This is a pretty unique way to take a look at the process of making. That the process of creation, whatever the medium is the ability to empathize with the materials and people who will be interacting with it.
From the author Slim:
It is a book about how making works (as a process), what it means (to make something), and why it matters (to our lives). One of the central theme is the relationship between the act of empathizing with the act of making.
If you feel like donating to his kickstarter campaign, the address is http://kck.st/whvn03.
January 23, 2012
The WorkBook Project (WBP) is for those who want to be creative in the digital age. The WBP, through its website, R&D projects such as festival From Here to Awesome and roving conference DIY Days, provides insight into the process of funding, creating, distributing and sustaining as a creator of media (film, games, music, design, software).
December 13, 2011
your loving brother by philip seymour hoffman
and with our bare hands we turn to one another
reach below a universal line of sight
and lift our tent.
tremendously it begins to rise.
we watch our tent adhere to the environment surrounding.
our hands the creators of our universe
our minds the collaborators of our hands
our experience the distinction between our minds
our knowledge the harkening of our experience
our culture the reason for such knowledge.
heavy winds will rotate the perspective of our tent
but as shade will absorb a glare ceases to harm.
we are the spiritual center of our universe
inquiring among orbiting planets
taking breath among foreign agents
forging a new magnetism of place.
December 6, 2011
Just got a gift from Facebook. It’s that time of the year. This time, they sent me an invitation to “Share the Good Cheer” ($50 for the educational cause of my choice). Here is the list of schools (from DonorsChoose.org–An online charity connecting you to classrooms in need).
As I am not familiar with these schools, I’d like to invite the class to help me identify the school you’d like to donate these $50.
Thanks so much!
November 15, 2011
Wednesday night I’m hosting a FMLY dinner & a show in Bushwick and thought it’d be so nice to extend the invitation to this blog and the class. Dinner & a Show is a series my friends and I began in Los Angeles over the summer, and it has since extended into Brooklyn, Eau Claire (Wisconsin), and hopefully beginning real soon in Philly and Boston. The driving theme is to allow aural interaction to merge with the most pleasant of senses, and develop community outside of the codified space of venues whether they be corporate sponsored or an active diy loft space. These dinners are not meant to happen solely for the sake of pleasure, but to provide a means of intimate exchange [and a cushion for gas funds] for our friends that are on tour. Some folks who have joined us along the way have been Foxes in Fiction (Toronto), Candy Claws (Colorado), Yohuna (Wisconsin), Cloud Nothings (Ohio), and so many more buds.
My friends Hear Hums are on tour, coming from Gainesville, Florida, and this seems like the most appropriate way to welcome them back to Brooklyn. Also playing is Emily Reo and the Spookfish who has been traveling through Asia & Europe for the last few years in addition to a stint as Grouper‘s choirboy for a project in Portland. Before all of the music begins I’ll also present my workshop, Writing Home, and collect the first of many rounds of postcards. Needless to say I can not wait. I’ll be cooking all vegetarian and vegan friendly foods, and invite you to bring anything that you would like as well! Here is the facebook event with all of the info you’ll need ❤
And here’s a video that my Florida FMLY put together in promotion of the new Hear Hums album… Mitch and Kenzie are honestly some of the most incredible sound-makers I've ever met and the sweetest friends one could ask for. I really hope that some of you can share this experience, it's going to be a truly unique night.
October 18, 2011
Hey there I’m writing this post to simply ask if anyone knows any DIY projects for children. I am a nanny or “manny”, or whatever you call it, and I watch a very sarcastic and honest 8 year old. He is great but when he is bored, or whenever a dull moment happens during conversation he has no problem letting me know that I am boring him. So I have decided to look up some DIY project for him to do. But I can’t seem to find any that would amuse him. He is hard to please, to the point where if I even make him crack a smile I feel my day wasn’t a complete fail. I even thought of taken notes from the readings and letting him use my camera to make up a story or a game where I ask questions and he answers with film. I remember hearing that there are some people in class that watch children, so please I would love some advice. I have to watch him and one of his friends for 12 hours next week. So I’m planning a day, so I don’t go completely crazy.
October 14, 2011
Everything about this short speaks to me about participation. From the outsourced nature of its production to its clear message. Made by the same team who created “Connected”, its a humanist look at our present situation. We have been declaring our “independence” for so long, perhaps it is time to begin declaring our “interdependence” and truly look at how closely we are linked and in need of one another. Click here to declare your interdependence on their map.
October 14, 2011
Ubuntu is a concept stemming from Africa that encompasses a mentality of togetherness, our allegiance and relations to one another. In terms of the participatory space, I find it a fundamental concept. I learned of the conecpt through a program I took called “mindfulness without borders.” MWB is a council building educational program that works with schools and communities building participatory models for open dialogue. Here you can find a list of podcasts relating to the various steps of council building. It was a highly educational experience for me, learning how to be a mediator, and taught a great deal about how to ignite someone’s self knowledge rather than feed information.
A translation of Ubuntu is “I am what I am because of who we all are.” Archbishop Desmond tutuo offered a definition in a 1999 book:
A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.
A further explanation by Tutu:
One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about hte fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – ubuntu – you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.
October 4, 2011
I recently registered with Neighborgoods as a way to facilitate peer-to-peer sharing within my local community. The cute video I’ve included above explains that we hardly use our objects to their potential, and that via this site our value of things can be communally appreciated. Encouraging giving, trading, selling, and borrowing, Neighborgoods uses a simple Google Maps system to sketch its users among a space. Within these desired spaces users can connect with other members of their community and view the items they would either like to receive or lend. Each profile also includes a ticker which documents the dollar value each user has saved since participating with the site. Objects range from projectors, amps, and snorkle sets to Mario Kart for Wii and “platform goth boots”. Happy sharing!
October 3, 2011
For an alternative peek at the possibilities of public theatre I enjoy keeping tabs on New York’s own Improv Everywhere, a diy prank collective which gathers support for their events via online newsblasts and facebook events. To date, they have caused over one-hundred scenes and enriched the lives of thousands. Above is a brief video documenting their project “Say Something Nice” in which they attached a megaphone to a podium fixing the instructional sign [look]. The piece was moved throughout Manhattan, but this video of Union Square so quickly re-purposes a place of transit towards a place of appreciation. Certainly some of the most beautiful moments I could hope to witness in this city. Enjoy!
September 14, 2011
I found out about the Hole-in-the-Wall project while exploring TED. Around 1999, Dr. Sugata Mitra (Chief Scientist at NIIT in New Delhi) wanted to explore unsupervised learning through computers. He carved a hole in the wall that separated the NIIT campus from the slum in Kalkaji, it it was a freely accessible computer.
The first Learning Station in Kalkaji
Mitra found that the children were able to learn basic computer skills when provided with suitable resources, entertaining content, and minimal human guidance.
In his TED talk, Mitra begins by saying (paraphrased), “the best schools and teachers don’t exist where students need them most.” But, through this project he has given children in underprivileged communities the opportunity to collectively learn, empower themselves, and explore new ideas. This is not meant to replace teachers, but to show that if children have interest education happens.
Since 1999 the project has become global and has taught children gone beyond basic technology use, to include language and science. To learn more about great the capacity is for this type of learning watch the TED talk!
September 13, 2011
The Counter Kitchen is an initiative that specializes in ‘Re-engineering’ (deconstructing & remaking) popular food and personal care products. In response to scientific terms and marketing techniques which have made product labels nearly impossible to decode, the counter kitchen strives to provide tools and measurement systems to help understand the chemical and nutritional values of store-bought foods.
Additionally, the counter kitchen develops alternative recipes for a variety of products ranging from Gatorade to toothpaste so that these items can be made at home without all the preservatives/additives found in the majority of commercial brands. They also hold workshops and events in the NYC area though none are listed for the near future…
September 12, 2011
If you’ve been around Astor Place lately, you have probably noticed the poles and street lights lined with bright, colorful cable ties. The cable ties are linked together, forming a circle around the circumference of the poles. What is left is a spikey and vibrant post which somewhat resembles a cactus, hence the name, “The Flaming Cactus Project”. These public displays force pedestrians to stop and look around and appreciate the burst of color arranged on these previously drab and boring public objects.
Flaming Cactus was debuted at FIGMENT 2011 in the Governors Island Sculpture Garden and was later recognized by NYC’s Department of Transportation who expanded the size of the project for its “Summer Streets” program. The project is the brain-child of Animus Arts Collective, who have also created public art pieces mostly from recycled and found objects. The collectives’ multiple projects dare to create an environment which instigates a dynamic relationship between the participant and the object and between the participants themselves.
Their project entitled “1,000 Pieces” was an evolving puzzle display on Governor’s Island which encouraged pedestrians to contribute to the art by adding and readjusting the wooden puzzle pieces, after drawing personal messages on them.
The Flaming Cactus Project represents the simplicity of creating something beautiful out of everyday objects and the sense of public satisfaction which follows. As the Animus Collective explains, “We wanted to show that making art doesn’t require a lot of resources, formal education, or even money. Art and creativity are things we’re all capable of.”
12+ Flaming Cactuses will be on display around Astor Place for the month of August.