Monday, October 01, 2007

Thursday night at the GAM

I walked to Torino's Contempory Art Gallery called GAM this evening. I understood that on Thursdays the gallery was open until 11pm. It wasn't. Instead I found myself walking straight into a lecture entitled "I Viaggi di Maurizio Levi." I asked one of the staff if it was open to the public, she said "yes."
After I sat down I noticed I was almost certainly the youngest one there, in fact every head for three rows ahead of me was grey. So I waited, feeling totally out of place, expecting to hear a lecture in a language still foreign to me on an unknown subject.
Even though I only understood a few words, I was able to surmise that it was about the travels of Maurizio Levi. Whether the speaker was Maurizio Levi or this was someone recapping the journeys or "viaggi" of the ancient explorer? I wasn't sure. The lecture consisted of a narration of photographs taken in India, China, and Kashmir of their people, their everyday lives, and the geography. It took about 45 minutes for the speaker to cover China, India, and Kashmir, and as I noticed there were still approximately 20 countries listed on the program and as it was already about 10:15pm I decided to call it a night, and walked home.
Although, I didn't actually learn anything about the subject the speaker was talking about I wouldn't call it a waste of time. I was able to understand more Italian than I have before, and it got me out of my apartment to someplace else than the market or the internet cafŽ. I hope next time I go I see some contemporary art.

Friday, September 14, 2007

First week in Italy

















I landed on Friday night with my mom. Unfortunately almost everything shuts down on the weekend in Italy, so we couldn't really get down to business on anything until Monday. So we just wandered the streets and ate amazing meals at night and drank cheap but amazing wine. By the time Monday came we were starting to adjust to the timezone. We had only a few things to do before my mom left on Wednesday morning, but they were big ones. Primarily we had to find an apartment for me (something that ought to take a few weeks in most cases) but for us only






we only had two days. Fortunately we had a guide to help us on Tuesday, after we decided that we could not make it happen so quickly by ourselves with out speaking any Italian. Our guide Luisa our new best friend found me a place in only half a day. We went to the notice board at the city University and she pulled a fist full of numbers to call about apartments for rent. After about twenty minutes on a payphone and about 5€ later we had a lead. It was a newly renovated one room apartment in the best neighbourhood in town (zona crocetta) at exactly the price we wanted (very cheap). Our guide Luisa told us once we saw it that it was perfect and
that we couldn't have hoped for anything better. So we took it, we ran down onto the street to a


Bancomat to withdraw enough for a deposit on the place, we then went over to the landlords house to sign the contract. Anyways to make a long story short, a few trips to Ikea and the local market and its almost home.
-=joseph

Friday, June 29, 2007

thoughts on Andrea Zittel

I went back to the art gallery again today. I managed to catch a tour on Andrea Zittel. She is really amazing, I would call her neo-contructivist. She redesigns life. She tries to question every way we organize it, in a way that seems to transcend social commentary and speak to a more basic human nature not yet discovered. Is the eight hour work day reasonable or is it just arbitrary? Where we work and where we live why do they have to be separate? Why do we wear something different every day? I like the way she thinks, as it seems that she is not compelled by a social or political agenda but only her own curiosity. I am also very fond of the directness of her works, nothing seems to be a metaphor, but instead a very direct simile. Each piece amounts to a statement or an essay.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Andrea Zittel -----"These things I know for sure"

1. It is a human trait to organize things into categories. Inventing categories creates an illusion that there is an overriding rationale in the way that the word works.

2. Surfaces that are "easy to clean" also show dirt more. In reality a surface that camouflages dirt is much more practical than one that is easy to clean.

3. Maintenance takes time and energy that can sometimes impede other forms or progress such as learning about new things.

4. All materials ultimately deteriorate and show signs of wear. It is therefore important to create designs that will look better after years of distress.

5. A perfect filling system can sometimes decrease efficiency. For instance, when letters and bills are filed away too quickly, it is easy to forget to respond to them.

6. Many "progressive" designs actually hark back towards a lost idea of nature or a more "original form."

7. Ambiguity in visual design ultimately leads to a greater variety of functions than designs that are functionally fixed.

8. No matter how many options there are, it is human nature to always narrow things down to two polar, yet inextricably linked choices.

9. The creation of rules is more creative than the destruction of them. Creation demands a higher level of reasoning and draws connections between cause and effect. The best rules are never stable or permanent, but evolve, naturally according to content or need.

10. What makes us feel liberated is not total freedom, but rather living in a set of limitations that we have created and prescribed for ourselves.

11. Things that we think are liberating can ultimately become restrictive, and things that we initially think are controlling can sometimes give us a sense of comfort and security.

12. Ideas seem to gestate best in a void--- when that void is filled, it is more difficult to access them. In our consumption-driven society, almost all voids are filled, blocking moments of greater clarity and creativity. Things that block voids are called "avoids."

13. Sometimes if you can't change a situation, you just have to change the way you think about the situation.

14. People are most happy when they are moving towards something not quite yet attained (I also wonder if this extends as well to the sensation of physical motion in space. I believe that I am happier when I am in a plane or car because I am moving towards an identifiable and attainable goal.)

15. What you own, owns you.

16. Personal truths are often perceived as universal truths. For instance it is easy to imagine that a system or design works well for oneself will work for everyone else.

-----Andrea Zittel

Sunday, June 24, 2007

who needs sleep

Well its almost midnight and i have to get up at 5am. Do I care? Not so much really, Ive done with less. What does sleep matter really as long as your functional enough to get through the day, you can really sleep as little as you like. Besides the only time I really like to think and write and read and draw is this time. Between 10pm and 3am. And I dont think that Im that unique in this way, I think that most "creative" people do the same. I dont think that my health is suffering from it, Im happy and content to be a little sleepy during the day, after all Im working that time, there isnt much to enjoy anyways. I always perk up in the evenings no matter how tired I was during the day so why change things, I have energy when I want it.

Friday, June 22, 2007

I should be working right now but there isn't anything much to do. All I do is react to situations, there is little need to be proactive. I hate this kinda of work, but then again its good for me because it allows me the mind space to blog or just think. So I guess as long as I'm not bored then I'm happy. And having that freedom to do what you like when there is no work to do feels great. Ive had those kind of jobs with long dead spaces and nothing to do because if it its not working then its forbidden, and all you end up doing is starring at the wall for hours on end.
-=joseph

Thursday, May 10, 2007

may 3rd

10:30am
Well I'm starting to count down the weeks until I leave for Italy, its almost asurred now, now that I'm working full time. Its not going to be easy to sort everything out before then, now that I'm occupied monday to friday during business hours, and on top of that I also have to run my business. I hope I can turn over all the logistic stuff to min and vlad, so that I can be the remote owner/designer and still reap the benefits from Torino. I think what I have to do is look for more ways to streamline my whole operation, which means outsourcing all of the printing and getting the company to also print the size and the name of my brand on the inside of each shirt. The one thing that I want to keep doing by hand myself is the labels. I think that they communicate a lot about my brand. I don't want to give even and inch of to anybody on that cause with a little imagination I think that I can do alot with that small amount of space. One thing that ive done is number a run of shirts I recently did by writing by hand the edition and individual number on each tag and signed beside it. This way I can reclaim the feel of a "hands on touch" even if no part is done by hand except the tags. I imagine that they would be pretty easy to send to Canada when I'm in Italy too. I wonder if I'm going to be able to sell many shirts in Italy. I can see that there is a demand for the type of shirts I'm selling but that there isn't an abundant supply of quality designs. I saw a bunch of shirts with "Angel Demon" written on the front as if this is some clever english phrase that everybody is wearing in "the States." But nothing else half decent. Now I'm not implying that Italians have no style because we all know that would be a lie, but they're definetly not on the cutting edge in the niche of designer tees. I just dont know if my vancouver style will be congruent with the Pietmontese look. Well no mattter if it isn't cause it seems that min and vlad might be able to get me ditribution across America and Canada. 10:30am

I dont blog nearly often enough.

8:30
So I figure that I need some sort of creative outlet that I can access whenever I want, even when I'm working. My job is boring but it certainly isn't "soul sucking," what is does is really just occupy me, it uses up all my mental energy. If I can skim a little of that energy thats being wasted whenever I have nothing better to do than "look busy" with this then I think I can get something meaningful done. Well at least meaningful to me, maybe to you as well if you relate to me.

What I intend to do here is document my thoughts while I work (the ones between calls) where I have free rein of my thoughts.

Now I warn you, in my writing I often find myself able to only write about the writing process itself or why I write, why I don't write about anything else, and so on like that. I don't know how interesting this will be, but I'm certain that this is still much prefered to a detailed account of my day's events, as I find it hard to be dishonest with those type of entries, and they almost always end up being to accurate, to the dull truth, or too consise for a decent distraction from your boring day. But then again, I don't think really that I'm writing this for you anyways, it'd be nice if you were interested but not problem if you're not. 8:30am
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