Check out our latest Case Study featuring Atlanta based brand Special Event Keys. We have been working with Special Event Keys for two months now, and have had an awesome time helping them take their social media to the next level.
I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be a conscious consumer in a fast fashion, fast paced, fast everything society. While it can be easy to identify a single area we are passionate about, it can be more challenging to put all of our habits and patterns under the microscope of examination. Honestly, it can be downright uncomfortable. We live in a "you be you" society of individualism and seem to think if we keep pretending everything isn't interconnected then maybe just maybe the illusion will hold for a bit longer.
Let's be real. Something needs to change, a lot of things need to change. But change can be overwhelming. Where do we start when we live in a city and not everyone has access to a farm? I recently had a client incorporate a living wall into their restaurant which can be a great place to start, this blog features some ideas which are inspiring me to take action. #babysteps
Us creatives are on the forefront of the freelance field, which can be awesome and challenging at the same time. As companies continue to focus on greater efficiency and the more marketing tools are automated we are being pushed to differentiate ourselves and constantly expand our skill sets. In addition to this, we will need to find people that we can partner with in order to compete with larger agencies and corporations.
As I am writing this post I am listening to Pharrell Williams song Freedom, it is so perfect and the lyrics get me every time:
The atoms in the air Organisms in the sea The Sun, and yes, man Are made of the same things
An important role of artists is to illuminate the beauty and wonder of their world. As you are reading this you should know that I believe artists come in a variety of professions, a person does not have to go by the title "artist" there are engineers, physicists, and scientists who are incredibly creative in how they articulate the world which they see. Recently, as I was watching Madam Secretary there was a brilliant conversation which took place between the characters of a poet laureate and a physicist. The conversation begins with the physicist explaining about poetry, "sometimes it can be ever so slightly indulgent, unnecessarily convoluted, redundant, also pretentious, arrogant and not essential to the evolution of mankind.." to which the poet laureate responds "how do you live with such an unimaginative reductionist view of the world, how is life without the residence of beauty even worth the effort?" to which the physicist says:
Let me tell you a little something about beauty Mr. Hobbs, you seem to think I can't appreciate beauty because I study the intricacies of it's components. It was Richard Feynman, physicist/personal hero of mine, who put it best he said he could appreciate the beauty of a flower more than say uh you. He said he could see more than the average man sees, he could imagine it's cells, he could appreciate the flower evolved in order to make its colors more attractive to insects which means that insects see color. Maybe they share our aesthetic sense, recognizing the majesty of the quantum world only adds to the beauty of life, it does not subtract. So to answer your question Mr. Hobbs I don't just live in a beautiful world, I understand it.
One thing which really excited me about the above quote was that I actually knew who Richard Feynman was! A year or so ago I met his work online during a rabbit trail of sorts, I was reading an article about Bill Gates love of books which led to my discovery he also considers Feynman a hero and had worked to have his lectures brought online. Being able to know something so utterly outside of my profession, gave me the ability to appreciate another layer of the story being told by the writer of Madam Secretary and that is just a hint of the happiness one feels when equipped with information/knowledge from outside of your area of expertise.
Unfortunately, it has become quite popular for individuals, professions, and cultures to be siloed which kind of seems crazy considering globalization and the unprecedented access we have to information and ideas. But so many of these algorithms which give us the results of where we should eat, what book to purchase, etc. are driven by business goals:
Just like the food industry manipulates our innate biases for salt, sugar and fat with perfectly engineered combinations, the tech industry bulldozes our innate biases for Social Reciprocity (we’re built to get back to others), Social Approval (we’re built to care what others think of us), Social Comparison (how we’re doing with respect to our peers) and Novelty-seeking (we’re built to seek surprises over the predictable). - Tristan Harris, Tech Companies Design Your Life ... The more choices technology gives us in nearly every domain of our lives (information, events, places to go, friends, dating, jobs) — the more we assume that our phone is always the most empowering and useful menu to pick from.
We need our smartphones, notifications screens and web browsers to be exoskeletons for our minds and interpersonal relationships that put our values, not our impulses, first. - Tristan Harris, How Technology Hijacks People's Minds
With the latest election, a mirror was held up to the nation and many individuals realized the siloed lives that they were living, far too many had been in echo chambers. It seems the more life is spent online, the more narrow things become if we are not careful, which I know sounds absolutely crazy as I am writing this. A big part of my job is to be online, because of that I feel that in some ways I am way too plugged in or tied to technology. To balance this a bit, the last couple of weeks, I have been immersing myself in books about Natural History and Science, areas which are typically weak spots for me. These are not books which Google, Amazon, etc. would recommend to me, I have had to intentionally seek them out. Ask yourself when was the last time that you looked offline for inspiration (not to just immediately share online), to meet someone, to learn about something?
We grow less and less patient for reality as it is, especially when it’s boring or uncomfortable. We come to expect more from the world, more rapidly. And because reality can’t live up to our expectations, it reinforces how often we want to turn to our screens. A self-reinforcing feedback loop. ... When you could have sex with the person of your dreams, or fly through jungles in the Amazon rainforest while looking over at your best friend flying next to you, who would want to stick with reality? - Tristan Harris, Tech Companies Design Your Life
We need to learn how to illuminate the wonder of the world right here and now. I feel a key to how we will do this is by venturing outside of our echo chambers and comfort zones, going deeper in our research of areas where in the past we may have only scraped the surface or where we may have become so rigid in our beliefs that we no longer allow for curiosity and questioning.
Since the late Renaissance, on through the Enlightenment and into the Industrial era, we have witnessed this tendency to segregate disciplines. Why do we continue with it? Why should someone who wants to pursue a career as a physicist suddenly stop learning about music and art in their mid-teens and focus only on mathematics and the sciences? Is it not the case that certain poets and novelists have disseminated the wonders of scientific discovery to a broader audience than a scientist alone could reach? - Richard Martin, The Neo-Generalist, Interview with Scenario Magazine
Let's not let our professions or specialization limit us from a broader perspective on the world. Because I think now more than ever is a time for the unveiling of a new generation of renaissance men and women, who are "outstandingly versatile, well-rounded".
Ps: Seattle Art Museum is having a Three-Day Free Day weekend January 20-22, 2017 it would be the perfect time to do a little offline exploring.
Photography By: Palm Maison
9e2 is an art exhibition and performance series commemorating “9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering,” an iconic exhibition 50 years ago in New York that sparked a new era of collaboration between artists, scientists, and engineers.
The original 9 Evenings was organized in 1966 by Robert Rauschenberg and Billy Klüver, and featured artists creating performances in collaboration with engineers from Bell Labs. Fifty years later, 9e2 embraces that same spirit of experimentation and collaboration with a new series of projects. Installations, nightly performances, and other events will explore the intersection of art, science, and technology.