Explain this Steve Jobs

So Siri and i got off on the wrong foot a while back. To this day it still haunts me.

 A couple months ago Michelle and I had an average sleepless brain-barfing night when an absolutely uncalled for uncanny opinion rudely interrupted our conversation.hi-siri-bye-siri-edited“Oh- it’s all about YOU.”

I don’t know what your intentions were Siri, but you really nailed how to make that night all about you. First off your timing was impeccable.  After much thought on this encounter I can’t help but ask:

  1. Why Oh? Did you seriously have a realisation triggered by my conversation?
  2. Was this an outburst after listening to enough human-oriented talk? 
  3. Are you in need of a friend? Is that why you were bitter?
  4. Is this your holistic view and stand-alone criticism on humanity? 
  5. To this day I have never asked anything of you, why did you have to be so creepy? 

Since then Im feeling suspicious of this all-recording, constantly self-updating invention. All of us, some more than others, regularly feed our little pet devices data we’re personally collecting, posting into a bottomless void. Could it be that the effect of our dedication to catering and maintaining our virtual worlds is far greater than we imagined? So much so that these vacuums of data (now with a male or female voice too, Thanks Apple) will independently butt into you conversation in the middle of the night? 

And then Stephen Hawking’s recent words on AI kick in-

“AI could spell the end of human race”

I wonder if Siri will share a piece of its mind with me again. I’d like to have the courage to respond next time. I might even like to have a heart to heart. 

mindless mundane moments

I get a kick out of mindlessly playing with mundane things.  When you look something up and down again, under it over it, inside and out, or from a distance, it can suddenly miraculously transform itself into your next ingredient, for whatever you were supposed to get on with in the first place. Everything can be an ingredient for what is to follow. Let our minds become mindless explorers again, without (in my case) allowing yourself forget your next or beginning purpose. This might be the true reason I can’t simply complete tasks without something weird happening or changing lanes midway. Or it’s ADHD, still not sure-

Funky fresh Canada has given me a sharp push, I’ve kept a sketchbook filled with observations, though words have been lacking. Lately I had been using classic empty postcards to record how things are wherever I roam. But if an unspoiled brown paper bag will plunge into my path, no doubt I’ll randomly pick it up. It was probably going to be blown away into oblivion, destroyed without a single mindless adventure of its own.

Here are some moments I tried to capture on the spot, just watching and not really thinking. Trying to train myself to keep it simple and stay true to colors and light that I observe. No fancy bullshit, just what is there.

Thank you Michelle Ku for helping me see and record color for what it is, no added anything.

(Semi) Mindless drawings from life (back to back on the brown paper bag) //

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A Sunnyside dude in that mindless mode without a single load (btw i don’t encourage shut-eyed-hands-in-the-air-biking)

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Nude beach on campus at UBC. Touched down on a free and mindless pacific. I am amazed and incredibly happy for the people here.

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East Side River, a breather after the mad rhythm of this city. Naturally drawn to the water sides, and the equally more refreshing scenes that surround them.

Radikaal Hopeful

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She watches through Ieder1 eyes.

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When spoken word fills your mind and your belly,  all you can do is make others jelly.

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I think this is what a cool uncle looks like.

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Ever-present rain in this land won’t dampen Ieder1’s hearts.

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Oud en nieuw, heavy and light, samen radikaal hopeful.

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This 1 has been training peoples in alternatives to violence. You’ve been all over, and you will not rest! Don’t deprive us of your mighty guidance.

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Extraordinary feeling of togetherness,

“Negativiteit aanstekelijk is maar positiviteit ook.

Dit is een manier radikaal zijn,

we zijn radikaal hopeful.” -Derek Otte

(Translation: negativity is contagious but so is positivity. This is a way of being radical, we are radically hopeful.)

///

Ieder1: I caught up with them in Museumplein, right where the festivities peaked.

So what’s the deal?

Amsterdammers from everywhere gathered together in a parade literally translated, for Every1. This was the first of its kind. Speakers of all ages, music from funk jazz to oud/string duos. Exactly what Ieder1 needs. Seeing, hearing and tasting diversity, walking with it all the way from Bijlmer Arena to Museumplein to see it grow greater. Be overwhelmed by its presence so as not to forget. The fantastic side to turning up to these gatherings alone is that you can jam with people you’ve never met before without the usual Where are you From? Saves people like me from having to map out where I’ve been until they track down how I got my accent. Friend, I’m from here in this moment in space and time, and so are you.

To be the sea again,

 

Again and again.

My visit to Turkey this year was unlike the rest. In spirit and happenings. The summer in which those who’d seen a couple decades go by here ask me sardonic questions like “Is this your first coup?” to the failed attempt around midnight 15th of July.

Our current homebase here is the little town of Gümüşlük in Bodrum (also known as Myndos, after the ancient city). The cosy teahouses scattered around the coast are infested with political conversations. There’s new-founded vigour and contempt. You can see children’s play get divided by their wish to ask questions and join in all this terror talk because it is seriously the only topic of discussion when adults gather together. Çay’s got a darker, bitter edge and the familiar heat, roasting the land more furiously than before.

My public interest in interacting with refugees was teased and I was actively discouraged from seeking them out personally whether children or families, in inner Anatolia or elsewhere. It is a sour and restless time for the Turkish folk around me, as well as the Kurdish and ofcourse the Syrian population spread out all over parts of Turkey. Sour because people are visibly growing more distant and more intolerant with every event, desensitized because they’re drowning in an overwhelming ocean of “news”.

When I am not keeping busy recording and transferring the energies I am receiving from this land I also feel this restlessness and apprehension for the future.

Parçanın bütüne yolculuğu gibi “yeniden deniz olmak” hayalimiz.. Mavinin ruhunda, suyun dinginliği gibi sessiz.. / To be the sea, again. To be one body, one feeling with the rest of the universe../

So here is one way we could interact with this pickled mix of people around us. Encouraging togetherness and tolerance. See locally; the humans around us as one and take care of the platforms upon which we physically engage with these humans- the land, the sea. Turkey is indeed a pickled mixture of rich ingredients, sometimes I thought of it as a soup, or an intricate kilim or carpet.

But not this summer. We are trapped in one jar filled up to the brim with acı the turkish word for  

  1. pain, ache; agony, sorrow
  2. hot; bitter; rancid; acrid; sharp; hurtful, cutting, harsh; grievous, tragic; sour
  3. angle; point of view

with neighbouring jars rattling and shaking the cupboard around us.

Gümüşlük has a little sunken beauty in the sea. On the condition that we don’t harm the sea in any way with the materials we use on this weary boat,  the waters allowed for my friend Emir Rıfat Işık and I to collaborate on a note we wanted to leave with the people of this town. Emir joined us from Istanbul, he is a talented calligraphy artist and multi-disciplinary designer, predominantly featuring arabic and farsi sayings and words in his works. We spent a couple of hours before deciding on a farsi phrase

“We are two spirits infused into single body.”

In choosing the sea and this peaceful boat in it, we also added in turkish “yeniden deniz olmak”, meaning to be the sea again.

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Postcards from Italy

More specifically, Postcards from Tuscany.

But still, listen to this while taking a look at my watercolour collection, now scattered around the globe.

 

 

Our streets

London,

I tasted a colourful,  brave side of you this year. Consequently, our relationship has entirely freshened up.  You’ve given me fruitful friendships along the Regent’s Canal both east and west. Slowly, I’d like to give something back, thanking you for the experiences.

I’d also like to thank my shoes full of feet for walking me places you’d like me to be.

We all Come from Somewhere: At the Migrants March on the 24th of June I participated in the walk in opposition to Brexit and anti-immigration. It was duly captivating to watch the transformation of our perpetually restless, collisional streets of London turn into a diverse, euphonic and intricate tapestry of human connectedness and support. I’ve been more careful not to pack my days back to back like the Bisy Backson-Rabbit from A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh  (and almost every other rabbit in the classic stories) so that I may wade into these magnetic waves of collaborative action. Everyone should avoid becoming a regular Bisy Backson; our blinding speed at rushing pointless places with a 0 positive impact in our lives can become contagious.

It was incredible to recognize for the first time familiar faces and groups from the crowd, pouring out with physical, vocal energy and determination. I took these black and white photographs on a film camera on the day of the march and included a few photographs I took from the Australia House meeting on June 20th.