I had already seen Ragnars Kjartansson’s exhibition at the Barbican once, but I went again to investigate both what and why I got so emotionally touched by it the first time. I also wanted to experience The Visitors — a 1h immersive and moving multichannel video installation — from start to finish.
As I read the exhibition text on the wall on my second visit; it struck me.
“With each work, he takes us on a journey, eliciting responses that range from excitement, sadness, and bemusement to boredom — a panoply of emotions that mirror the human condition.”
I had a notion that our connection could be related to the fact that we both were born in the late 70s and raised in the 80s on the longitude of 64°. He Reykjavik (Iceland), me Skellefteå (Sweden).
Some would say a rather obvious connection. I mean — very obvious. Like: written-in-a-neon-sign-above-the-entrance-obvious. Below is a photograph of the entrance to the Barbican Center during the exhibition, a neon sign spelling ’Scandinavian Pain’…
But I wasn’t satisfied with such a rational explanation as geography for my strong emotional experience.
Boredom. Rather than Scandinavia.
Boredom. Rather than pain.
See, I don’t really related boredom to pain. Boredom, I cherish. It’s something I enjoy. I actually schedule time in my calendar to be bored. I mean — I went a second time to experience a 60 minute video art peice; most people would find that boring; I find it energising.
Most of Ragnar’s work tap into repetition, which many people associate with boredom.
– The Visitors (2012), a 1h long immersive and moving multi-channel video installation.
– Second Movement (2016), featuring two women in quintessential Edwardian costume rowing a boat and embracing in a never-ending kiss (took place on the Barbican Lakeside every Saturday and Sunday, between 1–4pm, weather permitted).
– Take Me Here by the Dishwasher: Memorial for a Marriage (2011), a live performance featuring ten troubadours singing for up to eight hours a day, every day for the duration of the exhibition.
– A Lot of Sorrow (2011), the band The National spending six hours repeatedly performing the same song Sorrow (www.alotofsorrow.com).
to give a few example.
I think my natural calmness and aptitude to autodidactism (self-learning), as well as my discomfort to immerse in external stimuli (such as social media or TV) is partly due to my romantic relationship to boredom.
My guess is that both Ragnar and I were trained in borerdom when we were young. We were taught the gentle art to appreciate boredom. Small cities, far north, pre-internet.
I’m very grateful that he (unlike myself) has not only developed a skill to share the beauty of boredom to a larger audience, but also dedicated his life to do so.
“We begin in admiration and end by organizing our disappointment.”
— Gaston Bachelard
Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.
— Pablo Picasso
youtu.be/CvLQJReDhic is a superb video where Lewis Bond talks us through the gentle art of composition.
What amazed me is the parallels it made me draw to my own profession as a maker and shaper of digital experiences and services. I can even see the narrative work for business strategy — challenge fix mindset with growth.
For decades we have relied on the values and principles deriving from graphic design and brochures; or advertising and PR; and almost denying the true unique qualities that the digital medium provides us with, such as: dynamic content, interaction, continuous revising (to mention a few). In similar ways of how many organisational models and practices are still built and operating on a factory mentality.
Anyway. Food for thoughts.
Outtake from the video below.
Found via kottke.org/16/01/the-importa...
To compose an image, is to create an everlasting metaphor. Cinema in it’s purest form is visual story telling, and the best cinema can tell a story through something as simple as the arrangement of an image: staging, framing, depth, balance; how do you present space?
Out of all the discipline that coincide under the umbrella of cinematography, I won’t have much hesitation in saying that composition is the fields most fundamental principle.
Why do I think this? Because deciding the placement of subjects through the view-finder of a camera isn’t merely a technical decision; it’s an expressive one.
In a nutshell, composition is simply how the element inside the frame is position and exhibited to the viewer, it’s the skill of knowing what to show and what not to show, as well as how to show it or how not to show it.
By intentionally directing the structure within a frame, you enhance the meaning of whatever is you want to say with whatever canvas you want to work with.
Most of the application of the composition revolves mainly around visual necessity—those checkboxes that needs to be ticket when arranging the visual elements of an image; is there enough lighting, does the staging block any important visual information. Case in point as to why composition is a necessary technical skill when constructing any image. Without it films would be a sensory of overload of information without stucture, but with it you gain focus.
However as an art, it shouldn’t be approached exclusively with pragmatism, because it’s just not where we place our subjects of interest; but why.
What can we say with composition.
They [excessful visual templates such as ‘rule of third’ and ‘golden ratio’] are tried and tested formulas that makes an image pleasent to the eye, yet when the rules that define an area of study is practically ingrained in our minds; it can be very difficult to demonstrate versatility. Be that as it may, composition verity isn’t the focus here; but what do these compositions say and what can you say when you go against this formula.
In the grand scheme of things: cinema is still a relatively new artform, and cinema took influence during it’s infancy from the existing medium in order to undertand it’s role in the artistic landscape.
Many early directors and filmmakers either directly hailed from theatre, or in the very least influence by the form. Yet the impact this had on composition could’t be ignored. Because how different film was, composition didn’t even occur to many filmmakers, instead; technic were imported directly from theatre.
Once filmmakers realised that cameras didn’t need to be be locked down in one spot and once the technology that was propelling the artform improved; the imagination of filmmakers started to flourish. Where composition were once a last minute invitation of the convention setup of other mediums, now it was being championed by artist such as Fritz Lang and the german expressionist who became pioners of using composition for tonal leverage.
Every single shot in cinema uses composition, but those images that haunts us, astound us; they awoke such emotions, just not because they are beautiful, but because they carry meaning.
Composition can still be used to effect us on a psychological level; and thats how you should think when composing an image: what emotion can i display.
Create a sufficient structure to your image; make sure it’s visually pleasing; find your focal element and use interesting visuals to highlight them; and everything you do from their should be an artistic venture to convey your message.
Every subtle change you make in positioning of your framing creates a new emotion — it creates a new piece of art — and all of this is achieve through composition is a skill that can images last for ever.
The objective is the simple thing of getting the best to the greatest number of people for the least.
— Charles and Ray Eames, 1950
That’s right, your Uber request will be running straight to your doorstep on Saturday, along with some Nike gear to make sure you can suit up for your next run.
Enter code RUNNYC for your on-demand personal running session on Saturday, October, 31.
Whether you have 2 or 26.2 miles in your sights, as long as you have a goal, we’ll bring you a guide. After all, everyone’s a runner. So don’t second guess yourself—just do it. And if your legs are tired afterwards, well, then you can just Uber it.
“Anyone can pop up and say they’re a mindfulness teacher, so there is a lot of anxiety within the mindfulness community,” said Madeleine Bunting, an adviser to the all-party parliamentary group on mindfulness and a former Guardian journalist.
gu.com/p/4dyjn/stw is an interesting article, but the paradox of the quote above made me laugh.
In 1960, during the Rome Olympics, marathon runner Abebe Bikila broke the world and olympic record. He ran barefoot on 2:15:16.
After the race, when Bikila was asked why he had run barefoot, he replied;
I wanted the whole world to know that my country, Ethiopia, has always won with determination and heroism.
The clip awaked some really really lovely memories. Memories of me, being in my teens, sitting alone in my room for hours and playing guitar alongside my heroes: Nirvana, Metallica, Guns & Roses, Rage Against the Machine, Perl Jam, Faith no More, Megadeth etc and so on — all those absolutely amazing guitar driven albums released during the first half of 90′ that I learned by heart.
In reality they were “with me” on the stereo, but in my mind I was always the extra band member alongside of them on stages around the world.
Imagination is a beautiful thing.
In 2012 I set out (and succeeded) to run 2012km in a year. Due to this endeavour I have a personal emotion connection to the feat to complete 2000km in a year.
I did it again last year.
Two days ago — 210 days into the current year — I ran my 165 run of the year and once again past the 2000km mark.
Perceptions is a moving target.
If I had to choose one ambassador; one person who would lead the way to realign our collective notion of what music can be, and doing so by putting more emphasis on the art form — it would be Trent Reznor.
Learning that Trent is a central part in shaping Apple Music gives me hope.
People close to me knows that I have a beef with Spotify. In my view they injected oxygen into the very power paradigm I was hoping we were set out to disarm.
I’m now really excited to see if Trent gets the support, and has the stamina, to build a platform where everyone can experience his vision of the distribution between — and roles of — artist, business and fans: that Spotify was the last gasp of an uneducated/unsophisticated era when music was seen mainly as consumable material.
Best of luck Trent.
When I say thin, I mean VERY thin – graphene is one atom thick (almost transparent). And when I say strong, I mean VERY strong. For its very low weight, it is 100 times stronger than steel, as stiff as a diamond, and yet also flexible and even stretchable.
But its other characteristics are most interesting. It conducts heat and electricity with great efficiency (faster at room temperature than any other known material), and it charges and discharges 100x to 1000x faster than traditional batteries.
Right now, it’s expensive.
The task is not so much to see what no one has seen, but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees.
— Erwin Schrödinger
It’s a sad way of looking at it, but it does ring true. Makes (horrible) sense, too: if you don’t have what’s required to improve, lover the base line. Cut from the bottom instead of adding to the top.
But the fee model comes with systematic costs that are not immediately obvious. Here’s the thing: in order for fees to work, there needs be something worth paying to avoid. That necessitates, at some level, a strategy that can be described as “calculated misery.” Basic service, without fees, must be sufficiently degraded in order to make people want to pay to escape it. And that’s where the suffering begins.
Bill McGee, […] summarized his findings this way: “The roomiest economy seats you can book on the nation’s four largest airlines are narrower than the tightest economy seats offered in the 1990s.”
In Japan, a forest bathing trip, called Shinrin-yoku, is a short, leisurely visit to a forest.
Studies support claims of the benefits of Shinrin Yoku. These have demonstrated that exposure to nature positively creates calming neuro-psychological effects through changes in the nervous system. […]
Every study so far conducted has demonstrated reductions in stress, anger, anxiety, depression and sleeplessness amongst the subjects who have participated. In Japan there are now 44 accredited Shinrin Yoku forests.
What if Egyptians actually had a written language, then started using emojis, and that’s all that’s left?
I believe a big challenge we are facing — in regards to both our wellness as well as the longevity of our planet — is to collectively move to a more emotional platform where value creation isn’t primarily evaluated on the basis that numbers need to increase.
If we all could find strength to detach our poisonous addictive minds from ‘only if’ and find peacefulness in the pourity and beauty of ‘what is’ — the
kneading of reality instead of fantasy — I believe we can stop sinking and, more importantly, love sound.
I hate to break this to you, but:
numbers aren’t real.
Aut tace aut loquere meloria silentio
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
My dad is also.
We actually came away from the whole experience without a single bruise.
Magic, weird or common?
I don’t know.
I don’t know anyone who has received an unexpected skid while driving in 110-120km/h, resulting into flying off the road into the forest. So all I have to go by is our experience. Which resulted into little drama. We experience little force and an evidence to that is that the airbags didn’t deploy.
According to Wikipedia, rollovers are uncommon and we were lucky: “Rollovers are not very common, but lead to greater rates of severe injury and death”.
The 5 most prominent learnings from this experience is that:
– My dad is awesome.
– Audi build extremely good vehicles.
– Great effort most have gone/go into keeping the side of the road free from dangerous objects.
– When extreme situations occur, some people transforms into brilliant guardians and servants.
– Generally, people carry a lot of fantasies and fear in regards to accidents. People, generally, also like to indulge in an exercise of ‘what if?’. These fears, fantasies and ‘what if’s’ are then projected onto others.
Special thanks to Per-Erik at Assistancekåren in Hudiksvall. A true hero. Second shout-out goes to the nurse in the car behind and the 10+ military soldiers in the van infront — whom all stopped and took care of us and the scene in a very… effective, professional and militant way. Thirdly: ambulance and hospital personal, car rental clerk, car mechanic and insurance customer service representative. Thank you. You have all been absolutely brilliant.
I’m somewhat curious to know what initiated the erratic behaviour. I’ve spoke to the mechanics who investigated the car, and they can’t find anything given the state of the vehicle. I have a strong suspicion that something in regards to the rear right tire failed in some way.
Following the accident I was a bit nervous that injuries would be evident first in a couple of days. So I was a bit cautious (and curious) when I yesterday, 52 hours after the accident, stood on the starting line of Broarna Runt — a 5k race in Skellefteå.
I’m happy to report that I didn’t feel anything and was able to in a relaxed manner execute the race. A lovely PB of 17:50.
I have since March been able to updated the following PB’s: Marathon (3:09:46), Half Marathon (1:27:38), 10k (39:47, done during the Half Marathon) and 5k (17:50).
My car might have ended up in the junkyard, but I feel like i’m still running in the fast lane.
I knew I would enjoy it (I’ve done so in the past), but I could never have predicted that mowing the lawn while listening to Tobias Jesson Jr. would sparkle so much pleasure.
A circle looks at a square and sees a badly made circle.
— Jeff VanderMeer
I ran Kungsholmen Runt today (a half marathon race here in Stockholm). I’ve had some issues with my right leg the last couple of weeks, meaning; preparations hasn’t been optimal. So really pleased to have managed break a bunch of PB’s today. Truth to be told I intentionally overcooked the first 10k to get the sub 40 in the bag… had I not done that I think my finish time would have been closer to 1:25. Official finish time 1:27:38.
I just finished reading ‘Madness, Rack, and Honey’ by Mary Ruefle. It taught me that the passion present in the creators act of making is infectious. Content, intent, execution and measured success are all, inevitably, subordinate to the love injected while putting it together. Done with love = spreads love. E=mc2.
This amazing video footage by Kalle Ljung from Antarctica placed my mind far away from the office environment in which I’m typing this. A lovely little mental trip. Thanks Kalle.
There’s a rhythm in rush these days. Where the lights don’t move and the colors don’t fade. Leaves you empty with nothing but dreams. In a world gone shallow. In a world gone lean.
But there is a truth and it’s on our side. Dawn is coming open your eyes. Look into the sun as a new days rise.
[…] the net would never be as important as electricity […] he is widely believed to be planning a major announcement on 30 April […] if the rumour mill is correct, Musk has set his sights higher – on new battery technology that would make it possible efficiently to store the quantities of electric power needed to run modern homes. If he has indeed managed to do something like that, then it would be a game-changer on an epochal scale.
Wabi-sabi represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”. It is a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence, specifically impermanence, the other two being suffering and emptiness or absence of self-nature.
Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity (roughness or irregularity), simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.
Kintsugi (Japanese: golden joinery) or Kintsukuroi (Japanese: golden repair) is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-e technique. As a philosophy it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.
Many people aren’t able to extract gratitude from being; barely have enough time to attendant the mystery of their fears.
If you want to imagine how the world will look in just a few years, once our cell phones become the keepers of both our money and identity, skip Silicon Valley and book a ticket to Orlando. Go to Disney World. […] “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” he says [Tom Staggs]. “That’s how we think of it. If we can get out of the way, our guests can create more memories.”
On Sunday I’m running the LA Marathon. As I’m typing this I have finally reached my last mental pre-race stage: when nevousity changes to excitement. I’m stoked!
This is my fifth marathon. That’s five more than most do and four more than most of those few.
However, I’m still curious. I’m still learning. I’m still ironing out my routine and approach. I’m still in process.
I’m not smart enough to master anything after 4 attempts, and I tend to look beyond the horizon of ‘done it’ or ‘made it’.
For this marathon I’m going to try a new approach for the last stint. Some people claim that the last stint is the race; that the first 30k is merely transportation to it. I sort of agree with that.
The last 12k is all about combating sore muscles, negative thoughts, doubt and pain — having your mind fight your flesh as you leaning towards your personal limit for that particular day on each and every step. Breaking through barriers of disbelief.
In the mist of all this mental shenanigans, It’s easy to be fooled and engage in a futile conversation and dialog with oneself.
This time around I’m going to give a blind ear to the voice of the mind and instead reach inside for emotional connections and locate strength.
Dig for gratitude, gratefulness and love.
To help myself accomplish this I’m going to written a list of names on my left forearm. Each name will be allocated a 5 minute time-slot during which my thoughts will be with them.
I will be with these people, because of them I care and from them I can extract calmness, courage and strength. Something I will need no matter if I’m flying out there on Sunday or standing on the side of the road experiencing calf cramps.
Wish me luck.
Worked like a charm. Below is a photo my arm post race
Seems like LA Marathon will be a hot one; being grateful for all the treadmill threshold runs I’ve done without a fan.
Extremely grateful that the Stockholm Stadium track is open for the public. Extremely surprised I was the only one using it this morning. I though we were having a running boom ;)