Tag Archives: love

Love is a fire

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This is made by Pei-San Ng out of 2,500 match sticks. When I look at it, I think about how interesting it would be to set it on fire. And then I remember this little quip:

“Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your heart or burn down your house you can never tell.” – Joan Crawford.

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This is (he)Art

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If you look carefully, live with your eyes open, and have a little patience you can find beauty in the most unexpected places. Photo is by the talented and patient street photographer Matt Stuart, who captures some pretty neat photographs just by hanging around camera ready. If you’re in London, you should catch his show.

This photograph was surreptitiously shot by someone of artist Tino Seghal‘s piece “The Kiss” at his present show at the Guggenheim, which I read about in this NY Times article (where I grabbed the photo from, as well) one morning when I was struggling to wake up. His work doesn’t belong on a wall, nor does it belong in a theater. His works are not designed to be experienced passively. The artist doesn’t believe in so much creating of material works (which isn’t to say his pieces aren’t bought and sold), but in creating experiences that make you think, feel, interact. Social encounters. His piece, for instance, entitled “This Progress” involves actually talking, interacting, thinking with the art. The routines are the same, but every time the piece is seen it becomes different because the participants are different. You, in essence (at least in my opinion), become a part of the art.

And I can’t lie, I kind of wonder what would happen if someone (a couple not affiliated with his “Kiss” piece) or a group of someone’s went there and started kissing, embracing, and being lovey-dovey along with the “Kiss”couple. Would somebody say something? Would people just assume it was all a part of his work? What if we staged some whole Kiss-In. Like flash mobs, like the pantsless subway ride. But with necking. And if we (one extra couple or a whole swarm) get busted, can’t we all just say:

“Hey! I’m art.”

(because if poetry, and paintings, and photographs ((etc)) which aim to capture the beauty and/or surreality of reality are art…. then aren’t the moments they’re inspired by art in and of themselves)((maybe?)).

Anyway.

Happy Valentine’s Day. xo.

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Hitting pause

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Ladies and gentlemen(!) it’s that time of year again:

The holiday season

Are you feeling the warm fuzzies? Are you letting out a groan of dread? Some combination of the two?

It seems to be a season that’s all about reminding you of the haves and the have nots; and I’m not (just) talking about social status. It’s the time of year when you really feel it: the effects of the people in or not in our lives; how much money we do or do not have; how life is in relation to where we thought we would be by this point. It can be a very material time of year. People stay up all night to go shopping. People go crazzzzzzy over the latest deals. We’re obsessed with giving and we’re obsessed with getting. Love sometimes being deemed in how much money was spent (or appeared to have been spent) on a gift. How much do you love me, with dollar signs ($$) glinting in our eyes.

I was thinking about this as I dragged myself out of bed at 5am to go to work, having been assigned the arrival time of the bright and early 6:45am (to a night owl like myself). Good golly miss molly(!), I thought, having just watched the CNN Heroes presentation with my parents Thanksgiving evening. I was in awe of the amazing work these people do, selflessly, to better the lives of others and for a while I pondered and raged about what kind of society are we that we will so eagerly camp out for hours in the cold to score a deal on a new TV/sweater/blah blah blah, but we’re so reticent to help others. To really dive in and contribute to truly bettering others lives.

I stewed and stewed about this as I power walked to the train pressing against the cold whipping wind of the morning, damning us all for making me wake up so early because of our greed. Then, of course, I remembered that one of the main things hearing from all of those amazing do-gooders did to me was make me feel ashamed for all of the times I complain about my life in terms of wishing things were different (*ahem* since I was probably more peeved about having to get up so early than our culture of rampant consumerism. Granted, I did think about how it would be nice if families who dragged themselves and sometimes their children out of bed to go shopping also took a day to drag themselves out of bed to do some volunteering. Wouldn’t that be nice?). Back from that I aside: we all do it (the kvetching about our lives thing); but, really, it could often be so much worse. Certainly my life isn’t perfect and I can attest that I’m not where I thought I would be on the eve of my 26th year of life. But. Oh but. The struggle has made me so much better. And I think this whole economic climate has, on the whole, been working to make us better, kinder, and more appreciative of the little things in life.

And going with less has been a surprising lesson to me as a former (thrift) shopaholic, and general lover-of-stuff; as a person who did, in fact, once go on a (admittedly somewhat exaggerated) rant on super practical gifts (like socks). It’s been really interesting. I don’t need as much, and I don’t want as much. I used to buy stuff just because I liked it and now I’ll pause and think about if I really need it. And I’m happy and in, in fact, thankful, if someone feels like getting me socks as a present. I need those socks probably more than I need jewelry (not that I wouldn’t or don’t like it, haha). It’s interesting learning to go with less. It’s not so bad. And I appreciate the little things, and the people in my life so much more. The past year or two have been rough, a shock to the system. But looking back, and in trying to look forward (since time doesn’t stop), all of the shenanigans (both man and situation made) have made me a better, stronger, more resilient person. I think when you have to stop and pause before you buy things you just might find yourself stopping and pausing before you do things and it helps you to better evaluate your life. I think we were all so used to just running, running, running (energizer bunnies beating on our drums!)…. but maybe now we’re allowing ourselves to pause. And realize what’s important. To think about not just where we are going, but who we are and who we want to be. To take a moment and actually be thankful for what we do have.

Because while money does make the world go ’round (all those charities need our money in addition to our time), so do love and hope and friends and family. Judging from some of these lovey-dovey messages popping up, I think others feel this way too. You know something is going on when graffiti is telling you to love more and hate less. A message that, though it might be as cheesy and schmaltzy as all get out, is a good one.

Alright, holiday-ish cheese fest over. Go have some wine.

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Lost & Found

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I can’t lie, I really enjoy perusing the craigslist missed connections section. In this crazy city we pass by tons and tons of people daily in the street, accompany hundreds on the subway (packed in together, sometimes, not unlike sardines), lounge with them anonymously in the parks, etc. Missed connections serves as a little spot where strangers reach out to say the things we didn’t get to say to each other in the moment because we were too shy or the constant stream of people hindered the opportunity (and so much more). The postings run the gamut from heart-breaking to hilarious and they always last only 7 days.

It’s certainly an interesting medium for expression and artist Sophie Blackall has recognized the beauty in their fleeting nature and has taken posts from missed connections and made them into art:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009
– m4w (exiting to the street)
cursive, on leaving, stepped on my foot
wish i could have stricken up a conversation

Saturday, March 28, 2009
– m4w – 19 (Uptown 3 Train)
If not for your noisy Tambourine, I would not have seen you.
Your green skirt looked terrible, but that leather jacket makes you look just right.
I was the attractive guy sitting to your left just before you got off.

Thursday, March 12, 2009
-m4m (East Village)
Phoenix w/crutches
I would love to carry you around piggy back until you can walk again…

Tuesday, March 17, 2009
-w4m -22 (williamsburg)
i bought you that milkshake
you just didn’t realize it.

Monday, March 23, 2009
-m4w (Harlem)
Remember? Uptown A train. Sunday at around 9pm. I was the black dude reading Bukowski’s Post Office. You were reading the Arts and Leisure section. You passed wind rather loudly and started chuckling. I’d like to see you again. The flatulence wasn’t a turn-off.

More of Sophie’s Missed Connections.

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(Baby it’s cold outside so have some) *Warm Fuzzies*

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Check out this fabulous project by Paperwhite Studio that asks readers to fill in the blank to the question “I love you more than ____” in hopes of departing from the generalized cliche-ness that surrounds many Valentine’s Day offerings. The responses, posted daily, are delightfully and charmingly honest (and funny!) and it’s intriguing to see the things people value most (under love for their partner). The effect is overall sweet and heart-warming but intriguing is the mild whiffs of sadness that wafts through the general sugar-fest. It can be, at times, bittersweet.

A few:


Have an idea of your own? Send it in to love@paperwhite-studio.com

via Swissmiss

In a similar vein is booooooom and Design for Mankind‘s collaborative project Free encouragement. Readers were asked to submit words of encouragement to anyone (just no names) as a reaction to all of the negativity swarming around in the world out there. And the results are quite exceptionally lovely. Here are a few:

To feel the glee visit their submissions result pages. Start here, and keep going if you so desire by clicking on the similar post links near the bottom.

Unfortunately, this part (Part One) of the project is finished BUT there is a Part two(!!) where you can take any of the submissions and turn it into art. Deadline for that bit is February 1st.

via Paperwhite Studio

Only goes to show that 2009 really is all about the happy and all of the things that foster and are tied into that cheerful feeling. Wee!

These projects remind me of Miranda July’s Learning to Love You More site and its spirit.

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