Mon(Sun)day Digest September 8th 2014

Quetelet, AD. 1870. ‘Tables Of Human Development: Echelle De La Croissance De L’Homme.’ In Sur l’homme et le développement de ses facultés ou essai de physique sociale. Plate. New York. New York Academy of Medicine Library.

This is only a day late!

The lead image for this post is taken from an essay I started reading over the weekend, but ended up not having the time to finish and digest so I will leave it until next time. It promises to be interesting though as,

In the following text, she establishes a short genealogy of the norm being recognized and constructed through a scientific approach to be later used as a standard on which to define space and architecture. Interested readers can make Sofia’s text dialog with a text I wrote in the past, entitled “Transgressing the Idealized Normative Body.” Her text is more anchored within a historical genesis of the normative process in the context of design, but we both see in Ernst Neufert’s work, the paroxysm of such practice that constructs a normative body to be used as an paradoxically ideal — it is a paradox since ideal and norm commonly appear as antithetic — to design space around it.

Looking forward to that.

Anyway, on with the show!

First up, a great interview piece on Eileen Fisher a womenswear designer based in New York from The New Yorker. I found myself empathising with Eileen Fisher herself and her doubts when it came to running her company. So amazing how many designers are working and are successful in the industry.

Gail had been unimpressed with the designs. “ ‘You have to have an idea, Eileen,’ she told me. ‘This is a little boring. Put some piping on it or something.’ ” The psychotherapist Eileen was then seeing was not encouraging, either. “She felt I was making progress with my interior-design business. I was learning to communicate and to express my needs and ask for payment and other things that were hard for me to ask for. She thought that my taking a divergent path was some kind of sabotaging behavior.” But several buyers liked Eileen’s unadorned garments and ordered them, and at the next boutique show buyers stood in line and wrote orders amounting to forty thousand dollars. This was more than Gail could manage, and a small factory in Queens was found to do the sewing. “We cut the pieces and carried them in garbage bags on the subway to Queens.”

Link here.

The Guardian does a piece on afrofuturism, tracing the genres links through music and the arts. All the way from Sun-Ra to Janelle Monáe. I am a huge fan of the aesthetics and proponents of most artists working in the movement, and I think it has been a huge influence on my thinking and preferences, but I am a bit skeptical of its power to actually provide a framework for the larger African populace in its journey for a globally recognised voice whether in the diaspora or otherwise. Having just typed that, it has been building up some steam in recent years, so let's see what happens. It would be so cool if it gained some traction and crossed over from its origins as a means of expression for African Americans and to a lesser extent, various African artists.

She describes Afrofuturism as "the intersection between black culture, technology, liberation and the imagination, with some mysticism thrown in, too. It can be expressed through film; it can be expressed through art, literature and music. It's a way of bridging the future and the past and essentially helping to reimagine the experience of people of colour."

Link here.

I have been sharing this next article with a lot of my mailing list (not because I think they need the help it offers explicitly, but these are all things that I think we need to be reminded of from time-to-time especially in a place like Nigeria) and I figured it could do good on here to. It's a great read and a huge reason I have started paying attention to the content put out on Medium as a publishing platform.

The practice of politeness is a collection of habits of mind and expression you do on a daily basis. You learn to say “thank you” because you are honestly grateful and “I’m sorry” because you honestly don’t want to contribute to the pain of the world. You learn to say “it’s ok” because you’re honestly forgiving and letting go of small things other people do wrong. This practice makes the rate of unproductive and acrimonious conversations go down, and the enemies you make are usually only the unavoidably unpleasant. There are always bad days, slip ups, nights with too much wine or stress. But by learning to forgive others, you also learn to forgive yourself. Forgiving yourself is great, because it means you can learn and improve and not always be weighed down by past mistakes or the denial of them.


Finally, some music news. Aphex Twin's new album is out on the 23rd of September and they released a preview track on Boing Boing. They haven't released an album in over ten years, but the excitement is palpable as they were one of electronic music's top innovators.

Aphex Twin's new album Syro is out on the 23rd of September

I would also be remiss in not mentioning that Flying Lotus' new album You're Dead! is out next month - on my birthday no less (and one day before his)! Fellow librans unite :D.

Hope you all had, and will have a great week.

Yegwa Ukpo

Yegwa Ukpo

Lagos, Nigeria