…just released yesterday. I am very happy (read: thrilled) with how this turned out, thanks once again to the brilliant folks at Citrus Suite (they so “get” my stuff). As many of you know, while I am not anti-technology I do believe strongly in limited screen time. But I also feel that since technology is not going away anytime soon then we need to use it and shape it for the good. And I so am working on creating tools that activate people (instead of turning them in to passive users). It is my hope that “This is Not an App” does just that by turning you into the master of your device. No longer do you have to wait for an app to tell you what it should be used for! Now YOU can choose what it becomes, and imagine what it CAN become, whenever you wish. I always loved the idea of a piece of technology that was formed in the present moment by the user’s imagination. A kind of Borgesian device that transforms into whatever you can conjure up in your mind’s eye. This is as close as I can come at this point.
I am reminded of the words of my magician friend Ferdinando Buscema in his Three Secrets of Magic, (which you, dear reader, should always remember):
1. Reality is not always what it seems to be.
2. Imagination creates reality.
3. Reality is made up of words.
This line of thinking is continued for me by Wendell Berry in his 2012 Jefferson Lecture, (which I am still thinking about every day, I confess that I have a bit of a Wendell Berry obsession of late),
The term “imagination” in what I take to be its truest sense refers to a mental faculty that some people have used and thought about with the utmost seriousness. The sense of the verb “to imagine” contains the full richness of the verb “to see”. To imagine is to see most clearly, familiarly and understandingly with the eyes. But also, to see inwardly with the minds eye. It is to see not passively, but with a force of vision, and even with a visionary force.
I love that phrase “visionary force”. It makes me feel powerful and invincible! And so, let us go out into the world, re-animating and re-imagining every nook and cranny with our own personal visionary force!
In each century since the beginning of the world wonderful things have been discovered. In the last century more amazing things were found out than in any century before. In this new century hundreds of things still more astounding will be brought to light. At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done–then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.
-Francis Hodgson Burnett, 1911
oh my god, does this ever describe my life right now.
I will say, from my own belief and experience, that imagination thrives on contact, on tangible connection. For humans to have a responsible relationship to the world, they must imagine their places in it. To have a place, to live and belong in a place, to live from a place without destroying it, we must imagine it. By imagination we see it illuminated by its own unique character and by our love for it. By imagination we recognize with sympathy the fellow members, human and nonhuman, with whom we share our place. By that local experience we see the need to grant a sort of preemptive sympathy to all the fellow members, the neighbors, with whom we share the world. As imagination enables sympathy, sympathy enables affection. And it is in affection that we find the possibility of a neighborly, kind, and conserving economy.
-Wendell Berry from “It All Turns on Affection”, 2012 Jefferson Lecture
To commemorate the spanish release of Wreck This Journal, I did an interview with Visual Mag. I am very excited about this as my Spanish readers have been asking for it for a LONG time.
I am right in the thick of finishing a new book so my words are few. Life is so rich and full right now. Fall and winter are my most inspired and productive times. This summer was so hectic with moving and trying to get a house in order (still working on that). A lot of adjustments to deal with (preschool, teething, sleep problems, etc.) But we are absolutely loving our new town! In the treehouse every day. We have been exploring the area with our new Bakfiets, which we also love. The most beautiful thing about the bakfiets is the attention it draws from strangers. People wave and holler. Young girls yell. Some stop us to find out where it came from. Most smile or laugh as we ride by. It’s a beautiful thing! Makes it all worth it.
When we were going back and forth debating whether to get it we had a realization. It is important for many reasons, but we felt it really important to help to influence and impact the bike culture of the area, (which is great but there is still room for much improvement). So we are working to do our part. And I am going to use it for a mobile unit for the Society for Exploratory Research.
…putting in new raised beds this week.
…researching chicken coops.
…knitting striped mittens for my kids out of scrap yarn.
…my top secret new book.
…the light at this time of year.
…local apples, (we just bought three apple trees).
…every minute spent with my family, cooking, exploring, planting.
…our new favorite bakery the hungry ghost.
back to work (she says to herself).
I like the idea of making things that exist quite happily without me being around them. In music, you talk about releasing records, and I always liked that expression because that is exactly what you do: you release it from yourself. You release it from you standing around and defending it and saying this or that about it. You set it free and it is just floating with everything else out there and then it takes whatever value is conferred upon it. I am very keen on this idea of conferral of value. The old idea with artists is that they take dead material and fill it with value, and I never liked that. From the age of fifteen I didn’t like that. What I liked was the idea of making things that attract value to them. They can be quite small. You put something out into the world and either it disappears completely, which often happens, or it starts to accumulate resonance.
–Brian Eno, from Interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist, 2000