Saw a pretty impressive play this weekend. Theatre so good that it elicits a reaction of silence by both using silence as a major plot theme and a dramatic device.
Described by [playright] Wajdi Mouawad as an exploration of “the questions of origins”, Scorched centers on Jeanne and her twin brother Simon, who are summoned to the office of a notary to hear the last will and testament of their mother, Nawal. They are each handed a letter written by their mother; one is to be delivered to their brother and one to their father. The mystery begins, sending them on a journey into their mother’s past, to a Middle Eastern country engulfed in a civil war where she was a political activist and later became a prisoner.… more
More Banksy brilliance.
This time it’s a fake pet shop in New York called The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill – his first official exhibition and the first Banksy project to employ animatronics – which aims to question “our relationship with animals and the ethics and sustainability of factory farming”.… more
“First of all, let’s ask the questions: What do we need the skin of a car for anyways? What’s it there for? Does it have to be metal? Do we always have to make it in the same manner?”
These are the questions BMW’s Director of Design Chris Bangle asks in this stunningly sleek presentation of the GINA Light Visionary Model, a car shape-shiftingly skinned in fabric. Every season car companies advertise that their new designs are, well, new and revolutionary. This one actually is.
(Thanks Michael)… more
Step inside the Wild Beasts‘ transfixing music video for the falsetto lilting song Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants. The video employs the droste effect, an Escher-esque immersive technique in which similar smaller images appear spiraling deeper and deeper within the shot, to the nth degree.
Well aware of the culinary devotion and rigor of analysis that recreational diners on such sites as Chowhound and Zagat possess, I hesitate to call myself a foodie. But my experiences last week at three of the finest and most innovative restaurants in the US – Zenkichi, moto, and Alinea – probably say otherwise. That I would plan a trip around the chefs’ (and sommeliers’) tours leaves no doubt that I’m dedicated to this generalist thing, even on a taste level. 😉
The first outing, Zenkichi, was a pleasant accident. In New York with friends, one of us received a random text message recommending an obscure modern Japanese brasserie in Brooklyn’s hip Williamsburg area.… more
The diversity of skills, expertise, and interest is especially useful when people of different “walks of life” can collaborate with one another. Tolerance, collegiality, dialogue. When people share ideas, the potential is much greater if their ideas are in fact different. Very simple principle, which runs through anthropology as the study of human diversity (through language, time, biology, and culture).
The problem, though, is that people from different “fields” tend not to respect one another’s work. For instance, a life scientist and a social scientist often have a hard time understanding one another because they simply don’t respect their interlocutor’s discipline.… more
Several nuggets of insight and good advice for Creative Generalists in this article – The Never-Ending Debate of Specialist v. Generalist – about computer technology, catch-all Craigslist job postings, and that “the more you know, the more you find out you don’t know.”… more
…[H]ere’s the real crux of it, the thing that puts bounce in the step of the ones already on this path – there is the chance to be part of possibly the greatest project in the history of civilization, to be at the forefront of the generation that confronted the worst conflagration the world had ever seen – and sorted it out. Scientific American calls climate change “arguably the most imposing scientific and technical challenge that humanity ever faced”; a veteran British politician warns of “an ecological time bomb ticking away”; and the former chief economist of the World Bank predicts “major disruptions on a scale similar to those associated with the great wars and the economic depression of the first half of the twentieth century.” To look back, perhaps half a century from now, to say to our children – to our grandchildren – that we took all this on, fought and thought, worked our asses off, tried and failed and tried again, and finally got this wondrous new contraption moving down a clear path toward the sustainable city on a hill – what could be better, more worthwhile, more flat-out balls-to-the-wall exhilarating, than to be part of that?… more
One other interesting development during this job search was my realization that I have become more comfortable with my personal brand as a generalist. I can admit to myself that I am better at thinking across disciplines and considering the big picture than I am at specializing and making sure all the details are right, instead of trying to be good at everything. …
The really brilliant people, the deep thinkers, are the ones who are able to identify useful separations between the general and the specific.… more
I knew what I was getting myself into. While in London several weeks ago I caught one of the two big Radiohead concerts in Victoria Park. I think there were something like 60,000 people there on that beautiful summer’s night and the show was great but the crush of people and long lines to exit were not. Sometime during that evening I swore off attending anymore ultra big shows like that – except for the same one in Montreal yesterday for which I already had tickets.
Drizzly weather, muddy grounds, a different and closer vantage point, and a little more space.… more