sometimes, and not a lot*, but sometimes, we get lucky** and stumble over something magical*** and special. something that allows us to understand things a bit clearer. something that reminds us we’re in this together, and something that helps us to keep moving forward despite ourselves¹. often we forget it’s even there, but it is, and when we need it the most², we are reminded to smile and share and seek out even more in life. one such something is this, a brief excerpt from an amazing commencement speech given by the late, great³ David Foster Wallace to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon College. it never fails to set me straight. enjoy.
*this will vary from person to person depending on a number of factors, so many in fact that it is impossible to express each and every one at this time.
** that is if you believe in luck. feel free to substitute this word freely for whatever you want to call it.
*** again, you may not believe in magic, so please feel free to substitute this word with a more appropriate adjective.
¹ or in spite of ourselves.
² or not. sometimes these things surface when we least expect it, or remind us of their presence as we wake and start our day. but for the sake of brevity and emphasis, let’s just say that they are there. end of discussion.
³ this is an opinion of course.
offering an ethical view to life without the dogmatic judgement and guilt of modern religion, How can I be happy? is one in a series of four videos explaining the ideology of Humanism. (written & produced by the British Humanist Association in conjunction with SkeptiSketch, and narrated by the wonderfully brilliant Stephen Fry.)
Read the rest of this entry »
“When Jonathan Harris turned 30, he began a simple ritual of taking one photo a day and posting it to his website before going to sleep… He called this project, Today.”
video by Scott Thrift, music by Julio Monterrey.
Global Healing is a bay-area based, non-profit organization that focuses on providing sustainable medical programs in developing countries, including cardiac surgery, blood banking, and pediatric care. to donate, simply click here.
“The epic life of a world-class artist, jammed into six minutes. Narrated by Tom Waits.”
(for people with talent!) by the mad men of mad men, George Lois. available through phaidon.
more George here.
a short film about looking at art. directed by Azazel Jacobs… powerful stuff.
Vivian Maier is the greatest photographer you have never heard of. during her quiet and secluded life she took over 100,000 photographs, all of which had been stored away, unseen and unappreciated until just the last few years. the majority of her work depicts the urban life and landscape of chicago during the 1950’s, and is easily on par with the greats of this genre. unfortunately, very little is known about Vivian Maier but a few facts are clear. she was an extremely private person who kept few friends, never married, never had any children of her own, and died alone in 2009. but she always had her camera and her passion for photography, and she took every one of those photographs solely for herself. it wasn’t to become rich, or famous, or likewise a mere hobby. no, taking pictures was her life. a lesson indeed captured on film for every aspiring (read: struggling) artist… thank you Vivian Maier.
Carissa Potter is a nicely dressed young lady who recently received her masters of fine art in printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute, (not to be confused with the Art Institute of San Francisco, or heaven forbid the Academy of Art, San Francisco). her work is all about… hmmm, no. she makes things that are, uhm, wait.
she does drawings? i got it(!) Carissa creates emotionally based printed works of affection, longing, and sentimentality, all of which she cleverly serves with a side of casual humor and a bit of whipped cream to sweeten the (or)deal. (see above). but perhaps what makes her work so sweet and so special is the personal nature and tone in which her cards, prints and installations typically take on. a perfect example of this effort is her new exhibition at mauve? gallery entitled From Here to There, on view from november 9th to december 5th. here, (or there), with the help of co-creator and collaborator Luca Antonucci, she has created a number of delights that deal with the troubles of transmission, translation and troubled love as openly and honestly as ever. never failing to illustrate the brighter side of a bad situation, Carissa continues to examine her own hopes and fears before us all, allowing the pieces to fall where they may. with that being said, i strongly encourage all of you to take a closer look at your own heart, and possibly her’s, here.
everyone who is anyone will love everynone‘s latest video entitled Re:WORDS, a follow-up from their earlier release WORDS, (which, amongst other places, was featured on wnyc’s RADIOLAB podcast). it’s every bit as magical as the first version, with even a bit more of amazing believe it or not. this time around Will Hoffman, Daniel Mercadante and Julius Metoyer III, the brains behind the operation, used only YouTube clips to create the entire montage, splicing together short shots of user footage to recreate their original scene sequence. the result is a brilliant, charming, and at times powerful video exploring the beauty of both language and life.
because everybody believes that theirs will last a lifetime, the Museum of Broken Relationships opened recently after a spirited and successful world tour, (including a stop at san francisco’s Root Division gallery (back in february 2009)). along the way the future museum accepted donations and personal relics to contribute to their archive and permanent collection, a selection of which can also be found in their new 2oo page book of twisted sentiment and repressed sorrow. i suppose this means that my collection of mixed-tapes i’ve personally amassed over the years finally has a place to rest. sometimes it’s just so hard to let go. and that’s why it’s nice to know that at least now we have somewhere to go to witness the collective failures of anonymous strangers, (<– new name of my autobiography, look for it this spring), and feel better about ourselves. just remember one thing. i’m not laughing at you, i’m laughing with you.
i bought this book not long ago off of some canuck for a measly four dollars. when i got it, i quickly realized that it had been lifted from the fort vancouver regional library, (complete with stamp and sticker identification), and sold over the internet on amazon.com for next to nothing. i thought to myself “gee, how perfect is that.” now i’m not going to go on like a high school girl about just how amazing and life changing this book turned out to be, (because let’s face it, we all know what book that would be…). instead, i’m going to do what i wish every other book review out there would do and that is cut to the chase. there are 15 easy to read chapters covering the biggest of the biggies in life such as love, beauty, fame, success, work and death, and all of it in andy’s own voice which sounds a little like…
Read the rest of this entry »