Monday, January 15, 2018

Snail Mail, Clear Wrapping Paper & False Knees

Weekly Update 2018-03: All about authenticity - teenage passion in the music of Snail Mail, seeing the true essence of a present wrapped in clear wrapping paper, and the amazing webcomics of Joshua Barkman's False Knees.

Music: Snail Mail
I'm nearing an age where I often come across wonderfully talented people who are doing amazing things, only to find that they are younger than me and have already achieved so much more. Lately, that thought doesn't make me sad; it only inspires me to trust in the agency of the generation after mine. Lindsey Jordan is doing just that as an 18-year-old lead guitarist and songwriter for the newest alt rock band out of Maryland called Snail Mail. Their songs are heartbreakingly authentic, as a direct result of the raw emotion that only teenage years can bring. I love it.

My favourites are Thinning and the title track Habit.

I managed to catch up with lots of friends last week, including at my roommate's two birthday parties this weekend. We had some crappy weather but it didn't keep me from trudging through the snow with two HUGE number balloons for extra celebrations.

I really never thought this is what 25 would look like.

I also ignored terrible weather earlier this evening to check out no fewer than thirteen window installations as part of the Toronto Design Offsite Festival. More on that later.

This week is full of TODO exhibits to see (descriptions lovingly lifted from the TODO website):

Tuesday - Artscape Youngplace
An exhibition of 365 images of contemporary Canadian design taken from a year long investigative project by Joy Charbonneau. On January 1st 2017, Charbonneau started a social media account for Instagram under the name @marianadesigncanada. For every day of 2017, Charbonneau discovered and posted furnishings, ceramics, textiles, objects, and illustrations from over one hundred makers and designers from across the country to promote and celebrate Canadian design culture.

Analog Shift is an interactive display that serves as a promotional tool for Fin, a Seattle based design brand, as well as commentary on virtual reality. Images of Fin’s actual showroom are viewed through a View-Master highlighting that physical objects are needed to create a virtual environment.

Complexities & Cloth looks at the detailed process involved in crafting woven textiles, while opening a dialogue with the fabrics of our time.

Through the lens of hand weaving you are invited to take a closer look into the process of making cloth. Where each thread is calculated to bend over and under one another, creating the structural bonds that form our fabrics. Observing that within these bends of interwoven lines, lays the potential for delicate pattern work.

The Museum of Contemporary Work is a precarious pop-up exhibit. The show explores the past, present and future of labour through physical objects that support our work. The artifacts displayed, both real and fictional, connect themes like identity, inequity, meaning, and motivation. Some of the items have all but disappeared. Others are re-emerging as souvenirs. Some are tools. Others inspirational tokens. Each is a symbol of the invisible forces at work in our work. They tell stories of how our daily labours are changing, and how they are changing us.

And that's just one day! There's lots more happening throughout the week, I hope to see much more and report back.

Random Thought:
I was riding the streetcar to work the other day and noticed a peculiar package held in the arms of one of my fellow riders.

In case you can't tell, it's a box of chocolates wrapped in clear wrapping paper with green trees on it. I beg an obvious question: What's the point of clear wrapping paper? Is wrapping paper not supposed to obfuscate the item you are giving someone, so that they may guess/feel the element of surprise before they open it? I really don't think I can make my point any clearer, so I'll leave the rest of the musing up to you, dear reader.

Inspiration: False Knees
Sometimes life's small moments are the ones that shape us and make us feel most alive. I know this is true and yet I can never remember the little things that happen to me throughout the day. As it turns out, I don't need to remember any of it because a wonderful webcomic called False Knees is doing it for me.

I often wonder this aloud.

There's just something wonderful about seeing the hard-hitting topics of life being represented through woodland creatures (mostly birds) in beautiful watercolours. The content is so real that I think it would be taken too seriously if it were coming out of humans' mouths, but the tone set by the lovely illustrations of wildlife creates a perfect balance.

I can really relate to this one.

These wonderful comics and more are created by Joshua Barkman, and I urge you to check out his awesome website for more.

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