nondualism for rooftops

I had a conversation with a college friend on the rooftop this Saturday where I wrongly described Daoism as involving nondualism – I think I was thinking of Zen Buddhism, koans, and such. Daoism has more to do with going with the flow right?

Anyways, I’m reading an interview with Garth Greenwell which reminded me of the mistake in the conversation, and a quote from Bertolt Brecht that my Modern Architecture professor Joseph Masheck brought up a couple times in class. that was….ok maybe it was actually from F. Scott Fitzgerald instead oops…but y’know the one – about keeping two ideas in your head. I swear Brecht had one though that Masheck used in a disparaging way when thinking about a historical American mindset surrounding moral truths. How we couldn’t hold more than one in mind –

Forget about all that, Brecht has so many other sexy quotes:

“The worst illiterate is the political illiterate, he doesn’t hear, doesn’t speak, nor participates in the political events. He doesn’t know the cost of life, the price of the bean, of the fish, of the flour, of the rent, of the shoes and of the medicine, all depends on political decisions. The political illiterate is so stupid that he is proud and swells his chest saying that he hates politics. The imbecile doesn’t know that, from his political ignorance is born the prostitute, the abandoned child, and the worst thieves of all, the bad politician, corrupted and flunky of the national and multinational companies.”

“No one can be good for long if goodness is not in demand.”

a lot of these quotes are uncomfortably pertinent: https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/26853.Bertolt_Brecht

Dipping everywhere, back to Greenwell talking about logistics and the seriousness of imagining a world in all its details. Communicating the physicality of how bodies move during sex scenes. And paying serious attention to logistics in all art. 🖼 I’m a mess, I over-abstract, pare things down to be opaque, I don’t know how to do details. I reference as a substitute. I’m bad about details!

Alexander Chee had some advice. Or god, I hope it was him. Anyways: Write one sentence that you feel is absolutely true. And then write another.

I think there’s some writer or serious person I’ve read who really disdains the word “anyways” – um. Anyways, I –

“We falsify the world in order to try to make it accommodate the simplicity of our moral tools” – Greenwell talking about writing I think. Writing to figure things out. he puts all this a lot better.

I used to think Garth Greenwell was like an old writer, part of the canon, or whatever – but I think I was thinking of Graham Green lol who was mentioned in Donnie Darko. My mind is a terrible office.

i love her

vibes

places to go hypothetically (aka reasons to wear cute outfits)

  • work
  • bars
  • clubs
  • apartments
  • rooftops
  • thrift stores
  • restaurants
  • museums
  • parks
  • shops
  • the subway
  • the movies
  • the dentist
  • the eye doctor
  • concert venues
  • music festivals
  • groceries
  • bookstores
  • galleries
  • airplanes
  • cars
  • outside
  • remote work offices
  • the.. library
  • laundromats
  • houses
  • porta potties
  • aquariums
  • protests
  • liquor stores
  • bodegas
  • church?

convo

Sustainability

I love her ideas~ not to conjecture on a slippery slope, but I can’t help wondering if on-demand consumption will be able to replace mass products in retail stores. I see it as being widely adoptable, pending multiple needs: accessible prices at scale, a rethinking of seasonality, and the move toward week-to-week production based on machine learning projection models that Nonoo starts to explain at 18:00
The conversation around clothing our own avatars is so interesting given multiple 3-D model artists being employed by brands during virtual fashion week to model the weight and movement of new collections. I agree that this could be mainstream in the near future if this modeling is available for more and more brands. The idea of biotech-informed material clothing production is also exciting and reminds me of the material ecology work of architect Neri Oxman, especially when Nonoo talks about lab-grown leather and synthetic silk.

Aesthetic Activism

Elaine Scarry’s ideas on transformational beauty as the work of lessening pain and injustice felt illuminating initially, and then too obvious, a framework already capsizing. And then I took a look off my page and came back… I feel a bit Zen? A Koan.

  • Beauty emphasizes and empathizes the world; pain contracts the world and diminishes our ability to create and exist in the world
  • Beauty in the 21st Century has been over-used by advertising, thereby conditioning our responses to beauty with consumerism; when we see something beautiful we want to buy it
  • Beauty by way of Plato and Homer sees beauty as a way toward goodness and justice, ideals which are helpfully threaded by beauty – an ideal that exists and is able to be processed in the world of senses

Moving on to a brief point on queerness and utility

  • Scarry writes about the theory of value and beauty as being so subsumed by consumerism, while in history it’s been so much richer of a concept in terms of value outside usefulness and the commercial sense
  • Ocean Vuong brings this idea in parallel with queerness: “that’s the critique that we all get: That queerness is decorous, it’s not a utilitarian thing, and therefore has no value.” Source

I see my problem currently as a project of excavation. I need to exhume beauty from the muck of consumerism and restore in my mind some practice of enlivening that lasts (and is appropriately Zen). The sound of a single clapping hand.

I don’t believe in allyship. I want to believe in nonduality, and/or a process toward it.

august Afternoon

tabs in my browser

recommended by the band Sessa in this KEXP session: https://youtu.be/OIlLSQt0ymk
from this AirKhruang Tehran playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4ptR2WIhfpzzeOB-SMCiJGoN3ZhqVB2H

Oh, and Jack Dorsey’s archived blog entries:

http://valleywag.gawker.com/the-deleted-web-poetry-of-jack-dorsey-1445042335

beauty

i have no super powers but i skip reasonably well

i wanted to write the sky today and my wrists are holding me down.

kids are absent from structure, and play in the disorder while creating more

as soon as i record, you become false.

Break break

I haven’t posted anything on this blog in so long! These days I’m working from home – thank god for the remote capabilities of digital marketing!

It’s odd to say, but I miss the office quite a bit. WFH has made me realize how easy it would be to just have the majority of work out of office…all I do is capable of being done from a laptop!

Some things I don’t miss are my near-hour commute time and spending $20~ on Midtown lunches. Getting off the J train after the sun had set also bummed me out most days. Then the days started getting longer, and I’d get home and still have a couple hours of sun left. It felt like a whole new life.

This first week of fully remote work has been a bit of a non-week. I don’t know what the phrase for the feeling of life becoming media is (like a reverse fourth-wall break), but I felt that walking back from the groceries today.

I’m starting to enjoy remote calls. I love that for lunch I can just walk over to the kitchen and make something new instead of microwaving a Tupperware of meal prep. There’s also an appreciation for your own bathroom that can only be grasped in contrast with public bathrooms. 🚽

Might post some private reflections/misc. backlog l8r.

Artists

Marina Abramovic

Ulay

Dmitri Prigov

J. M. W. Turner

Petr Pavlevsky

Robert J. Wilson

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2358891/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/dadacol1/with/7606538120/

Tania Bruguera

Joan Jonas

Valie Export

Tehching Hsieh

Andreas Gursky

Colm Tóibín

Giacometti

constantin brancusi

http://www.studentartguide.com/gallery/facial-expressions

Summer 2019

Summer 2019 has, in unceremonious fashion, unofficially/officially ended for me. Near the mid-point of the twenty summers past, I usually forget my goals. Motivation phase-shifts into lethargy and even that soon fades – days drag by in a limbo state and I wait, meting out the possibility of less and less change.

At this point I usually ask myself what I did over the summer. I .. mostly chill. I apply to things without applying myself. I get lost a lot. I think of these words like a bad commercial. For a phone. Or unnecessary wearable tech gadget. That’s also edible. We work. We strive. We.. sit on the toilet.