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.
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. I’m really excited to see if he 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.
Best of luck Trent.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
As someone deeply interested in health, exercise and digital services; I have high hopes on the rumoured “watch” from Apple. I have been using Nike Fuel and Jawbone UP since middle of last year. I also use a Garmin running watch and have past 5000km with Nike+ Running. My evaluation of these services is that “they haven’t found it yet”. I now hope Apples work in this area will.
But besides my interests in the use of… what ever it might be, I’m also awaits (with excitements) how Apple will once again show how you can use design to create products that are desirable, loved and used.
That excitement is partly grounded in the fact that this time around, Apple didn’t release “it” first. They will once again re-invent. Again paint a bigger picture than their competitors.
Samsung being Samsung, releases a watch.
I doubt Apple will release a watch.
At least I hope not.
I hope it’s given a bigger purpose and innovation platform than a product that tells the time. I think it will be more about the wrist than time. Exploration around the use of wrist instead of exploitation on the concept of watch and telling time. What can ‘wrist’ add to their line of products (hardware, software and strategies like their Digital Hub)? Endless!!
This article: Apple and Nike are gearing up for a big announcement this fall, states that Apple is not releasing a smartwatch, rather a smartband.
But you don’t have to analyse rumours or read between the line of ‘Nike to shout downs Wearables Business‘ and ‘Time Cook, CEO Apple, is on the board of NIKE‘.
Just watch this video when Jonathan Ive (Senior Vice President of Design at Apple) was asked on a children’s program how he would approach the brief to design a lunch box, a school bag and pencil case “all in one”.
We’d be really careful about not having the word ‘box’. It already gives you a bunch of ideas that could be quite narrow. Cause we think of a box to be square or a cube.
I’d be VERY surprised if Apple realises a watch — timepiece, typically worn either around the wrist or attached on a chain and carried in a pocket. If so, I think it will be solely for the name (and marketing), not by design and use (after all, they’ve made the exception with iPhone).
I however won’t be that surprised if Samsung (or Google for that matter) will reverse their current direction and copy whatever Apple releases.
It’s natural for programmers to focus on automation problems. It’s imperative knowledge. That doesn’t mean automation is where the value is. Often what you need isn’t an “easier way” but rather a way that gives you more leverage over things that matter. Totally different POV. Programmers are also good at optimization. Just like automation, we mistake optimization for value. “It’s what you already do, but easier!”
This morning I visited this blog (to look for a post) and fell a bit of shame in regards to the lack of personal entries. The idea is that my photography should mirror the events in my life, but that aspect isn’t “there yet”. Most of my photos are on my Flickr and many still resides in my Aperture library. Excuses exuses.
Anyway, thought I should share that I ran my third ever marathon 10 days ago. This time it was the New York Marathon. Again I managed to reach below targeted time and shave another 16 minutes of my personal best. Finish time: 3:27:53. As above photo illustrate: it was a very crowed race. Next year I will aim for another 15-18 minutes at smaller event with a more favourable track profile.
“We yearn for frictionless, technological solutions. But people talking to people is still the way that norms and standards change.”
Being great means being good for a really, really long time.
You know you’ve done well when one of your own past (but not distance) achievement seems… alien. During october last year, I ran 280.4km.
It’s good if we take it after 15! I just realised I did a crazy error, I need to fix before the glue becomes too hard!!
It’s so refreshing to have friends who work with craft in the physical world.
I’m at Lars Wallin’s exhibition, Fashion Stories, at KRLSG2 in Västerås. I always get really inspired by individuals who master a labour-intense and complex process that ultimately ends with something that is well crafted and aesthetically pleasing.
I’m Daniel Maissan, a freelance photographer, exploring the transition from a DSLR camera to a Leica M9 viewfinder.
The amanwithaleica.tumblr.com blog might be a valuable source of information for anyone who considering to switch from DSLR to rangefinder. Besides Daniels blog, don’t forget to check out Daniels portfolio on danielmaissan.nl. Inspiring. For someone like me — who shoots with a Lecia M9 — finds his posts about a life in monochrome and his found love about the purity of it… well, let’s leave it at “provocative”.
Earlier this week I visited David LaChapelle’s enormous exhibition at Fotografiska. It’s massive. The entire museum is devoted to the exhibition. I left the museum with a somewhat mixed feeling. For me it was a bit too much, a bit too obvious and a bit too linear and shallow. Maybe the exhibition was too much to take in at once. Maybe it’s because David’s work isn’t the type of work that resonance with me. Afterwords, I had a similar sensation as you might experience when you have eaten way too much candy.
Unintentionally, I just ate my morning egg upside down. When I realised, I got struck by a thought: how come there is a standardised way of which side of an egg you begin to eat? Is it because: 1) “design” counts and directs human behaviour? 2) We generally tend to stick to one way of doing things (which normally is the same way as we’ve seen other do) and don’t find enjoyment or benefits in doing things in new/other ways? 3) Nico, put the phone down, you are being absurd.
This morning I listened to an interview with Swedish radio personality Annika Lantz. Among other things, she talked about the difference between ‘recorded’ and ‘live’ radio. Until then, I haven’t drawn the obvious parallel between recording music and playing a concert with the counterpart on my current field; product development and agency processes.
I’m going all in on GTD (Getting Things Done) this year. Fully embracing David Allen wisdom and working out my own way through the maze. In my line of work, a ‘Inbox Zero‘ is like the “first step” in “recovery”. I’ve found that the ‘Defer-Delegate-Delete-Respond-Do’-approach works wonders. So everyone thinking, “it’s not worth it”, “it doesn’t work over time” or “it’s a myth”, read up on the approach and give it a go.
The secret to a perfect batch of popcorn: 1) cover the base of a pan with oil and add three popcorn kernels. 2) when the kernels pop, remove pan from heat and add the rest of the kernels. 3) wait for 30 seconds then return the pan to the heat.
An old wise taxi drive told me this morning that Thursday is the busiest day of the week in Stockholm.
When leaving, I was a bit worried 1 hours transfer in Frankfurt might be a bit cutting-it-short. On return, with a few hours to spare, I realise that time spent in Frankfurt airport can never be too short.
The American-styled toilets, where the bowl is half full of water prior to use, creates a different type of relationship to your waste than the typical European low flow toilet bowl. Not better. Not worse. Different.
I’m a hobbyist runner. I picked up running 2010 and ran my first marathon in Seattle, November 2011.
The idea of running the year in km came to me during 2011. I read somewhere that someone was doing it and thought I should put it on my bucket list. I didn’t enter the 2012 with the goal, I decided to commit to it after a strong January.
With one month to spare, I yesterday reached my pledge to run 2012km in 2012.
2012km in 11 month may sound like a lot — it’s an average of 6km/day, 42km/week, 183km/month. It’s a marathon per week during a 48 week period. You are now probably thinking that I’m a loon. However, if you put it in the context of time, 6km/day is about 60 minutes with pre- and post preparations. It may require some discipline, but it’s much less then what most of you spend on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram per day.
They key has been to not let it slide. 6km/day is fine, 12km every other day is slightly more, 2 days rest means 18km to break even… and you like to have some margins for all those days when you actually can’t run… I think you get the idea.
A lot of the time the challenge felt like a huge undertaking, so I’m somewhat surprised to have completed it with such a margin. One of the reasons for this goes down to the fortune that I’ve stayed free from major injuries and was only sick during 5 days back in February.
As part of the finale, I’d planned to revamp this journal. Unfortunately that goal isn’t ahead of time. So what you are reading now is a temporary page that will live here until the new one is released. The idea is to head into 2013 with a stronger focus on output than input. Slower pace. Centralised. Personal. Satellite rather than social. The idea is to abandon most other digital communication channels and services and use this as my platform. Be my own.
In regards to running, the plan is to focus on speed.
If I’m not mistaken, Jenson Button outscored Lewis Hamilton (672 vs 657 points) while being team mates at McLaren.
This might sound like an odd statement, but the 3 opening tracks on the album Master of the Rings by Helloween is… completely mesmerising.
When you find yourself caught by your own reflection, after have followed a rain drop slowly zigzag down the window; with hollow eyes watched her collect other drops and gained gravity and speed, then you know you are lost in thoughts.
RT @aexmo: “a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners” – yep Samsung, with that understanding of design it’s no surprise you had t …
RT @OskarBurman: During the yearly Stockholm Zombie Walk, the zombies had to use subway part of the way, due to an ongoing triathlon hin …
RT @Steeephen_: Know how much the BBC’s Olympic coverage cost you? £5.58. That’s for TV, radio, web, etc. No ads. Just class.
RT @mrlerone: America are winning the Olympics. It’s nice to see that sometimes even the largest, richest countries can go far. A heartw …