Micro-Generational Teaching, Aesthetic Collaboration, and Creative Code
April and May's Curated Ingest
Fell behind on writing this piece as I majorly struggled through some classes towards the end of the semester, but here I am yet again on the other side. Some of my friends have also recently graduated, which has me intimately aware of how rapidly we are growing again. I’ve been rewatching recorded lectures and speeches that were shared with me when I graduated high school, and have been reflecting on what my life will look like when I too graduate in a year’s time.
One video is David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech delivered to the Kenyon class of ‘05: This is Water. Thanks to YouTube autoplay, I was led to two more videos that resonate right now. The first are segments of DFW from an interview (17 minutes) where he talks about consumerism and American society post 9/11… frustrating to me how this is nearly two decades old yet I still felt myself nodding to a lot of it. While I didn’t think all of it landed (he clearly hadn’t prepared thorough arguments and was just spitballing) I think I agree with his diagnosis of much of American society’s ailments - especially evident in Lower Manhattan. (Unrelated, but his comments on sound relate to Drew Austin’s recent Headphones Urbanism.)
Next appeared the Final Lecture of Randy Pausch - a CMU HCI professor who I’ve heard about before. It’s quite long (1:16) but I decided to watch… I thought it got significantly better as it went on and the ending made me tear up. The context really makes it hit so differently than it would normally.
…going to zoom out real q, hold on for a sec. I have been in the position to both teach and mentor a lot already in my life in all sorts of contexts, both formal and informal. I was only in those positions because I had immense mentors in my life that made me realize the value of certain forms of mentorship and learning. I often use the phrase ‘I stand on the shoulder of giants’ when describing their impact. I felt (and still feel) an internal sense of duty to ‘continue the favor’ (not that it was a favor) to those younger and tip another domino. I feel an enormous sense of pride and satisfaction when I am able to help those I work with, especially when it helps create new perspectives in their lives beyond an originally smaller scope. Not to get too existential, but I find a lot of meaning and comfort in my limited ability to create ripples around me when faced with the Big Problems™ I see in the world. This has been reaffirmed very strongly a few times in my life and those feelings are some of the strongest ones I remember. Both Pausch and Wallace were teachers (curiously in fields I also study) and I can feel the ripples their work created clearly.
I think that’s why revisiting their work at this particular moment in time has struck me so strongly - while many of the friends of mine who’ve graduated are staying in NYC, I may only have a few years left with some of those that are younger. I haven’t really felt all that content with what my life will look like once I graduate, and I am again feeling that discomfort again. The context of a rather disappointing dinner with my academic advisor’s advisees and alumni, and stories of now college grads I know from high school, are also making me reconsider things; some of the people I continue to follow from my high school are doing Fulbright programs, working in government to pursue the change they want to see, at startups abroad (even Berlin!), biking across the US, working for the Working Families Party, the list goes on. Maybe I should listen to some of my professors who strongly suggest I should take my ‘talent’ for writing more seriously and consider grad school and research? I haven’t explored this topic and its relationships all too much - I will definitely give it space to develop the next few months.
On collaborations… The Balenciaga x Adidas meme-ing, learning about Ader Error (and Gucci working with my favorite video game in an interesting way) have made me think of what makes a collaboration exciting. I agree with what this post of BBSP says on the topic — the two collaborators need to fundamentally synergize to create something new rather than slap a new coat of paint on the original item. For example, these Jil Sander and Adder Error x Birkenstock collabs physically changed the classic Birk silhouettes to make them something new!
Some other synergetic collabs that come to my mind include the ongoing Nike Gyakusou line and the 11 by Boris Bidjan Saberi x Salomon Bambas.
Communication on all levels - communication in relationships.
I love it when you… - just cute 🙂
Project Kamp 1st year recap (17 min) - couple starts building out land they bought in rural Portugal with the help of friends. Thank you friend of the newsletter and recent grad Taco for introducing me to this channel!
Designing a New Old Home: Beginnings - first post in a mini-series by one of my favorite writers on how they built their own house, which they decided to do because of their frustrations with current American architecture. Can see myself doing this hahaha.
Volunteer at The Battery Conservancy - I’m excited to be helping out at the Urban Farm with a new friend next week 😊.
Lucas Sin just drops facts on how food adapts! One of the favorite chefs I follow. Some fun commentary given the publication as well 😅.
The City in the Forest - Reinventing Resistance for an Age of Climate Crisis and Police Militarization. Very long read that I honestly haven’t finished yet, but very thorough and an interesting piece about Atlanta.
The Opposite Game (5 min)
Been really enjoying some of the tracks on the new Flume album. I like the way he layers different kinds of sounds - to me his songs are very synesthetic. I think his visuals are also interesting; he has been releasing visualizers for most of his songs. Makes me miss electronic music festivals!
The HTML Review, especially Anonymous Animals by Everest Pipkin - it only starts on the hour, every hour… you’ll know when it starts. Felt surprisingly moved at the end.
Why is CSS so weird? (15 min)
How to say no. I think we could all use this.
That’s all for now friends, remember to take care of yourselves.