recently i've been...
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…home. i’m home again. finally. i’m in new york city, if it’s been that long that you need a reminder. it’s been 6 days here and only t-18 days until i’m back in los angeles. it’s been an interesting few weeks.

my health is… improving? i started therapy. i finished classes and had exams. went to study color at the getty one night. got $5 ramen the other. had a party with my filmmaking cohort on a roof in downtown la. made new friends. therapy. made s’mores with my roommates at the fire pit and we just talked. ate dim sum. spent the day on a trampoline with my preschool friend who i still love. saw another doctor. flew home. mother’s day. saw my best friend from high school and day-napped together. about to get my aura taken tonight with my family.

it’s been a great few weeks.

i miss my friends back in los angeles. i’ll see them soon.

i’ve been thinking a lot about how best i can spend my next 18 days at home. i’ve been slowly marking things off my checklist of random errands. fix pants? done. watch hanna? done. i have the space for unnecessary tasks. it’s been nice to finally relieve all the little things i’ve been wanting to get done for a couple of months.

i watch movies with my parents in the evening. talk with my -3hr difference friends past midnight. do my errands during the day. and i wake up around 10:30am. i like the balance and the need to not have to do anything. a least for a little bit. (watch me next write about my stir craziness).

here are a few bookmarks that i’ve been bookmarking because internet bookmarks are also relevant to my days:

  1. jacob collier singing make me cry has been on repeat in the house recently. i saw him live in concert a month or two ago in los angeles and this song swayed me. now whenever i listen to it i just kind of entrance myself again.

  2. i’m trying not to buy groceries and baking items that i can’t finish in 3 weeks (and that, honestly, no one else in my house will ever eat). so as i much as i want to make this date granola, i think i’ll wait to try it out until i move into my new place in LA.

  3. i need to make my way to essex market. hopefully, it’s not like chelsea market? they have vegan artisan cheeses. sold.

  4. i’ve been accumulating ways to mitigate my plastic use and waste. re: ‘minimalism’. i need a coffeemaker and i’ve been wanting to try to make my own nut milks instead of buying containers from the grocery store that use huge plastics. it’s cheap too. this solves that.

  5. too bad i never want to go to jfk ever.

see you next week.

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'minimalism'

what do you think about when you hear the world ‘minimalism’? do you think of art? do you think of architecture? fashion? design? or do you think about lifestyle and marie kondo and perfectly organized spaces with glass jars?

i think more often than not, i’m thinking about the type of minimalism where you try to get rid of all of your unnecessary belongings— the “things” that have seemingly no impact on your life. the things that you don’t need.

i spent a few weeks studying the origins of the term ‘minimalism’ itself–– aging back to the 1960s when it was used to describe artists like andre, judd, and flavin in their primes. artists who we praise now but were previously scorned by art critics for their mundane pieces.

carl andre, “lever” (1966)

carl andre, “lever” (1966)

donald judd, “untitled” (1965)

donald judd, “untitled” (1965)

dan flavin, “untitled (to barbara lipper)” (1973)

dan flavin, “untitled (to barbara lipper)” (1973)

even then, the term had this sort of air of entitlement: art in its most raw form was considered art in its most pure form. david raskin, a professor of contemporary art history at the school of art institute of chicago, said that for viewers, minimalist art provided the “opportunity to see the world without preconceptions.” i assume that he is implying that any other type of art makes us see the world insincerely..?

as i followed the transitions of the term ‘minimalism’ throughout the years, this “high-brow-ness” of the word endured, even after being adopted by other creative spheres: fashion, design, and architecture.

it was also – at some point, i remember – a tumblr fad. entire blogs were dedicated to posting photographs of pristine, white, angular interior designs and buildings. its look is sterile, almost to the point of discomfort. it seemed extreme.

i must say that as an artist myself, i’ve been guilty of trying to emulating this trend. minimalism just looks nice. it’s luxurious and clean—both physically and aesthetically.

but the reality of ‘minimalism’ isn’t all that pretty.

more recently, ‘minimalism’ has been crafted into an entire lifestyle. a lifestyle that, again, “leads to purity”… personal purity and self-fulfillment. how we live and what we own, according ‘minimalism’ activist marie kondo, indicates our “virtue and moral correctness.” so if we don’t live by her standards, we don’t have virtue? i’m getting that same sense of entitlement as the artistic connotation, no?

that’s just my feeling.

‘minimalism’ also becomes a socioeconomic issue because it is only truly accessible to those who have the financial cushion to buy back the things that they discard if they need them later.

“in order to feel comfortable throwing out all your old socks and handbags, you have to feel pretty confident that you can easily get new ones” — arielle bernstein, the atlantic

kondo underscores the “life-changing” psychological benefits of ‘minimalism,’ but doesn’t really acknowledge the environmental benefits that the lifestyle poses as well.

it’s obvious that we have a tendency to buy and own more stuff. but what does all of this stuff do to the planet? human product consumption contributes to almost 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) alone. in other words, the more we accumulate, the more we contribute to GHGs.

‘minimalism’ is fundamentally about owning less. if we just own less, we can help alleviate these harmful emissions. we just have to make ‘minimalism’ easier for people to follow and broaden the scope of the term away from this new-age-y, high-end lifestyle to help “find our truest selves.”

we just have to be honest with ourselves and our habits. at its core, ‘minimalism’ is about being more conscious of the things we buy and why we buy them. if we adhere to that principle alone, i think it would be easier for people to get behind— both as a concept that promotes psychological sustainability as well as eco-sustainability. it doesn’t have to be about purity and moral virtue. it just has to be about mindfulness.

just a thought.

if you want to read my full essay in a more educational and unbiased format, you can find it here.

thanks for listening.

i'm watching things
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are you watching game of thrones? are you going to see endgame next week? what about high life or us or free solo? it seems like every week i’m watching something new in theatres or on hbo. the content has been endlessly (good, for the most part).

i’m watching other stuff too, day to day. here are the other things i’ve been loving.

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1. dead end

i found vewn recently after going down a rabbit hole of weird animated videos. dead end is another weird animated video with unnerving “camera” shots and pastel-y palettes and angular lines that evoke the lifeless atmosphere of a school counselor’s office.

“step 1: graduate

step 2: ?????????

step 3: profit!”


2. the underdogs

i sent this to my parents the other day saying, “kind of anti-apple-aesthetic video, but i love it.” sums it up. we’ve been seeing more skit-like ads from apple lately instead of more “real moment” videos like my favorite one from christmas a few years back. hopefully for the better?


3. me at 26

will is what i wished youtube was more of. every year, he reflects on changes in his life given his new age, sharing pictures to complement the things that he’s experienced. often they’re happy-sad. solemn but hopeful is a way i’d describe it. they never fail to soothe.


4. billie eilish makes music differently

i don’t listen to billie eilish, but my friends do. she’s seemingly everywhere and it’s taken me a second to realize how incredible her success has been the past few months. in a facetime with a nytimes reporter, billie breaks down the entire process behind ‘bury a friend’ from recording a tooth drill during a dentist appointment to recording her entire album in her brother’s childhood bedroom. cool.

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happy saturday

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