Below are some new reads and music for your inspiration. I'll be away in India for a fortnight so the newsletter will reactivate Sunday, January 11.
"Whatever you do, it mustn’t be kitsch.”
Kitsch is a 19th century art term that describes fake art, or a systematic way of doing art to sell emotional sameness. Christmas cards and barbies are kitsch. They're boring and predictable but people love them. Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons capitalize on kitsch by simply ridiculing it. What is art but to give people what they want?
"Either you belong to the avant-garde, challenging the old ways of figurative painting, or you produce kitsch."
+ Artsy lists the "Top Living Artists of 2014"
Tech This Out
As the year comes to an end, here's an excellent summary of how we got where we are today and where we may be headed in the technology space. There's been three epochs in the tech space: the PC, the Internet, and Mobile. So what's next?
Productivity is the proper balance between efficacy and efficiency. Focusing on doing the right things well is more important than doing everything, more so, all at once. Multi-tasking doesn't work. Scott Hanselman offers some seminal tips on productivity, explaining how we can even be productive during unproductive times:
"The iPhone has completely changed the way that I poop."
Attention is scarce in the smartphone era. Our phone screens are just way more exciting than the real world. But here are 20 ways to start seeing the world again. Not surprisingly, many are tied to walking which is one of most effective ways to unlock creativity.
+ Citylab: If I could walk everywhere I would. It's not just the cognitive benefits walking provides but the creative inspiration that comes from the people we meet and the art we stumble across. Here's some of the evidence for 'walkability'.
+ Wired: Walking also helps you breathe which further connects you to the universe.
Traveling the World
Traveling the world for 5 years is an eye opening experience. But what you realize is that everyone has the same human desires and needs to survive in their own context. You also realize that no one gives you a shit if you're imperfect. Traveling helps us gain perspective.
+ Guardian: The SlumGods of Mumbai
+ NatGeo: The man behind all the remarkable National Geographic photographs.
Grimes is a musician, entrepreneur, and boss. In this article, she talks about how she builds responsibility and listens to her gut despite the haters. To be successful, all you need is some creativity, curiosity, and grit - everything else can be googled. You also might want to hang on to what you own.
"Copyright everything. DO NOT FORGET TO DO THIS. There are so many ways you can get screwed if you don’t copyright your work."
A Medium To Be Determined
Medium is both a writing and reading platform. Many of the articles that I feature in this weekly newsletter originate on Medium. So it's interesting to hear where Ev Williams its founder, and co-founder of Twitter, thinks it's headed. He's in no rush to scale, hence why there's no way to publish within the app just yet.
Tracks of the Week
- James Blake - 200 Press
- Midland - Before We Leave
- Lee Bannon - Untitled
- Flying Lotus - Coronus, The Terminator
- Bok Bok - Need This
Video of the Week
"Six Photographs": René Burri
Thought of the Week
“As long as you can start, you are all right. The juice will come.” Ernest Hemingway