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#5 - Community, solidarity and good conversations
All the good things
Hey there! I'm glad to have you here.
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This week, I'm in awe of people fighting for more art in their community and also taking on giant companies. This is what Bookshop.org is doing with Amazon, and the screenwriters are trying it with their strike. Creatives on Substack are mixing writing with animation, embroidery, photos, movies, and activism, and it's beautiful to see. All of that, without forgetting the need to take breaks when needed. I hope you get inspired!
Making the Artist Community
Reflections on my new studio building and organizing my first public event.
When I moved to Tennessee last year, I assumed I would find a studio inside one of those old industrial warehouses that become rental space for artists. Philadelphia is littered with these old brick manufacturing buildings, often owned by art school graduates who bought up real estate once they realized how financially fraught the life of a working artist would be.
Five Questions with Bookshop.org Founder Andy Hunter
He takes us behind the scenes on the website’s launch — and its future
I recently told my friend Emilie that book people are the best people — and Andy Hunter is a Book Person.
He’s the founder and CEO of Bookshop.org, an e-commerce site where readers can order books online while supporting independent bookstores. He helped to launch beloved book websites Electric Literature and Lit Hub and served as the publisher of Catapult.
On good conversations
What does it take to have an "unrehearsed intellectual adventure"?
In my note-taking app—a glorious cobwebby mess of lines and dots and lightbulb connections—I have a folder titled, simply, 'people'. It is home to notes and relics from conversations I wish I could've recorded in their entirety, knowing that I experienced a powerful human experience but painfully aware that the coarse weave of my mind might remember very little.
WGA Solidarity | AI Haiku | Humans Wanted
The Writers Guild of America is on strike. The writers are demanding higher pay, more stable working conditions, and clear guardrails around the use of artificial intelligence in entertainment. All of these issues are complicated, but my friend Chris Duffy, who is a WGA member, has a good overview of these very reasonable demands in his newsletter Bright Spots.
The terrible failure to avoid athletic metaphors
I have been to a lot of track meets lately. I personally am more at ease when intellectually detached from my own physicality, but I have two sons who seem completely at one with their muscles and sinews. They embrace the challenge of cultivating strength and agility. They put in the work, and as a result, they sprint and they jump—they defy gravity. They stand tall.
Wet Streets Photo Journal
The tone of this past week has oscillated with frivolity, within me and around me. Can you spot the inconsistencies, or are the constants easier to identify? Do the similarities of the mangled bike and woman with tangled fingers make any more sense than when rain pours while the sun also shines?
How we hold things while they're hot. More phonotrope explorations, the macro lens, paintings as memory.
We’re transitioning between spring and summer here in NYC and temperatures have been venturing into the mid-70ºs. The windows in the studio have been staying open, framing green upon green. I indulged in people-watching with friends who’re in town, chilled glass in hand, chin in the other. The conversation ran lazy and long.
The Corporate Period in the Arts, part 1
What is corporate art?
If you’ve ever taken an art history or music history course, or surveys of architecture or literature, it’s likely you have seen various styles and trends in the arts cordoned off into various “periods” beginning and ending at certain dates.
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See you next time! :)