Newsletter: The art of the wasted day

Jean-Michel Basquiat
Jean-Michel Basquiat

Hi Friends, below are some interesting links I discovered this week. 

Summary: Author Patricia Hampl wants to get rid of the to-do list. Mike Vardy ditches the computer for plain pen and paper to get stuff done. Van Gogh emulated Japanese prints. Video footage of New York City from 1911. Check out all these links and more after the jump. 

Interesting Digs

[easyazon_link identifier=”0525429646″ locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”wells01-20″ cart=”n” popups=”n”]The Art of the Wasted Day[/easyazon_link]. Patricia Hampl’s [easyazon_link identifier=”0525429646″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]new book[/easyazon_link] wants us to reconsider time management by removing the burden of the to-do list and daydream instead. She encourages us, especially in our old age — what she calls the third stage after youth and middle age — to let go of the over-scheduled life.

Why Paper Works. A simple pen and paper ask for our attention. And we give it. Writes Mike Vardy in his piece: “Paper works because it is only limited by what you’re willing to put on (and into) it. Paper provides an escape from your devices and does so without compromising your ability to get things done.”

Van Gogh’s fascination with Japan. Japanese art flooded Western Europe when in 1854, America forced Japan to open its borders to trade. Some of the prints of Japanese woodcuts made it all the way to Vincent Van Gogh in Paris. He grew obsessed with ukyio-e, or “pictures of the world,” joyful elements he copied into his own art.

Thought of the week

“Another flaw in human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.”

Kurt Vonnegut

Other Recommendations

Video I

A trip through New York City, 1911In 1911, Swedish film company Svenska Biografteatern recorded its trip to New York. Fortunately, the footage survived and most recently was speed-corrected and reproduced with added street sounds of car horns, horses, and police whistles to give us a sense of the environment back then.

WATCH: A trip through New York City, 1911

Video II

Animated GIF-downsized_large (2)

A monochromatic film by LA-based filmmaker Eliot Lee Hazel, who has also done visual work for Thom York and Beck.

WATCH: Where fashion and architecture meet


006_World-Press-Photo-of-the-Year-Nominee_Ronaldo-Schemidt-Agence-France-PresseVenezuelan photographer Ronaldo Schemidt won World Press Photo of the Year for his image of the “Burning Man.” The picture shows a fleeing José Víctor Salazar Balza engulfed in flames at an anti-government protest in Venezuela on May 3, 2017.

READ: “Burning Man” wins photo of the year

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wells baum aka bombtune

A daily blogger who connects the dots between beats, culture, and technology.

8 thoughts on “Newsletter: The art of the wasted day”

  1. I’m definitely going to check out Art if a Wasted Day. My current read is the Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. You may find it interesting – it’s blatantly honest about the consumerist society that constantly pushes you to want more, do more and be more.

  2. As Umberto Eco once said, “We like lists because we don’t want to die.”

  3. This is interesting- I still use my pen and paper and hope to get rid of lists, but not soon… my life gets chaotic if I don’t list 🙂

  4. Yeah! The author’s perspective is certainly an interesting one. There are benefits to unscheduled planning. I needed that Vonnegut quote this week as well, could be said for Facebook and companies that needs checkups as well.

  5. I always attempt to structure my day and often fail to stick to the plan, so I’m curious about The Art of the Wasted Day. And the Vonnegut quote: I didn’t fully realize until now that a lot of things in my life have been need of maintenance. Thank you for sharing.

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