Categories
Arts Creativity

RIP artist John Baldessari, the playful artist rebel

The renowned artist, photographer, and teacher John Baldessari past away last Thursday.

Baldessari made stuff that deliberately rebelled against the principles of art.

When he read in a how-to photography guide that people should never pose in front of tree lest one appear to have an elongated head, he did just that and even more, wrote “WRONG” below the picture.

When in 1971 the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, invited Baldessari to exhibit his work but couldn’t afford to pay for his travel, he produced a handwritten note for students that encouraged them to write “I will not make any more boring art” on the gallery walls.

Baldessari enjoyed the freedom of playing with text and imagery, telling the New Yorker, “I’ve often thought of myself as a frustrated writer. I consider a word and an image of equal weight, and a lot of my work comes out of that kind of thinking.”

Baldessari never considered himself a trained artist which permitted him to stay light, sarcastic and explore everything. It was his way of saying that art can be whatever you want. “I could never figure out why photography and art had separate histories. So I decided to explore both,” he said.

Categories
Life & Philosophy

Life is a pendulum of experiences

It was miserable. It was wonderful. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

You can’t experience one high without experiencing another low.

Life doesn’t work on a scale of 1 to 10. It ebbs and flows.

A step forward reverts in a step back, and vice versa. Life is a pendulum of experiences.

Embrace the swings of anxiety. The chaos is why it works.

Categories
Funny Nature Video

How to survive a plunge from a waterfall

You know when you’re going over a waterfall and there’s no way to avoid it? Life throws challenges at you.

That’s why this tutorial on diving from a waterfall — a real one, not the metaphor for life’s hurdles — will come handy.

Oddly enough, the figure in the how-to image looks exactly like Harrison Ford and this epic dive from The Fugitive.

Below is the classic scene I’m referencing. PS. If you’re curious about how to treat a black eye, check out this diagram.

Categories
Culture Politics & Society Psychology

The script, the story

How many of us are just acting our way through life, adapting to different settings like chameleons?

Situational elasticity lends its hand to the collaborative truth, that people inject each other with signaling serum. The slightest twang, the tinkle of dimples, the cleanest tucked-in shirt, belt, and Prada shoes – we try to demonstrate to others ‘this is who I am and this what I do.’

All life is a stage, not just the internet, with many reaping the psychological benefits of expectation, even children. Studies show that pretending to be Batman helps kids persevere.

We should follow the route that builds up the most confidence. We just can’t expect a return on a relationship should we switch off and snuggle with our natural impulsiveness.

Authenticity can lack self-control. The edited self is known to burn out, slip, and go off-script.

gif by Laura Salaberry

Categories
Culture News Tech

A medium and its message

The medium is the format in which something works. The selection of media predetermines how content gets disseminated and shared.

The Internet is a mass medium. Newspapers are a medium. TV, radio, podcasts, and books are also mediums.

A medium is any messaging mechanism that connects people together to help facilitate communication. The medium is the fulcrum for storytelling including all its characteristics. Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase, “The medium is the message.”

But some platforms are more powerful than others. Audio, argues Alex Danco in his piece “The Audio Revolution.”

Meanwhile, the physical properties of the medium you choose will also influence the temperature of what’s being communicated. A photograph is hotter than a pencil: they both make pictures, but one makes low-resolution sketches and the other high-definition images.

What’s hottest? You might think that the highest-resolution format of all could be visual, typographic or video. But it’s not. It’s audio.

As much as we think visual-first platforms like Instagram and terse Tweets are the most compelling storytellers, it is the distribution of audio and speech that cut straight to the point.

Listening to George W. Bush galvanize firefighters on top the rubble of 9/11 through his bullhorn with these words is practically a pierce in every Americans’ brain.

“I can hear you!” Bush declared. “The rest of the world hears you! And the people – and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.” The crowd firefighters and crew responded with prolonged chants of “USA! USA!”

One doesn’t need to see the footage to feel the aura of the speech.

Writes Danco:

Audio is how you communicate what you really mean, straight into ears, headphones and car radios, intimately and directly. Music is good at this, but speech is even better.

Whatever it is that’s being communicated, audio will heat it up.

Your ears understand what’s really being said, and they seek hot content.

There is no content without a medium. If content is king, then the medium is its own eponymous and gargantuan device.

Categories
Arts Life & Philosophy Nature

Adventure by design

A step into the wilderness with no path in sight, only the certainty of the next crunch of leaves.

One can’t see the forest for the trees without first seeing a tightly sealed version of the world. Each stick of bark aggregates into a sum of parts individually wrapped and bending into each other — passing signals above the shrubby floor.

Nature holds the strongest connection.

For better or worse, it is the humans who have the elemental need to keep moving on terra firma. Unlike running water over rocks, we force progress by messing up the Earth that feeds us.

We put our minds in the void and bleed design everywhere. We build societies, unplanned, over and over again on top of ruins to get history started again. While the left brain was fixated on the individual trees, the right brain was planting new ones.

As they say, “the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.”

gif via tumblr