Research

Happiness Infographics

Via ET and FlowingData.com:

'life is simple' by Moritz Resl

Moritz Resl, Life is simple, digital art print, 16x16 inches / 42x42 cm, Open edition.

Source: MoritzResl.net

I like these infographics, even if they are a bit simplistic, they’re upbeat.

Are you happy?

By H34DUP and David Meiklejohn. Source: blog.h34dup.com

A quibble: humans adapt to positive emotions quite readily, as Phillip Zimbardo and John Boyd wrote in The Time Paradox. So the advice “Keep doing what you’re doing” would probably maintain happiness, but only for so long. Humans also need novelty, variation, and new challenges.

Cheap and Cheerful #5

Christine Wong Yap, Cheap and Cheerful #5, 2009, neon and glitter pen, 11.625 x 7.75 inches / 29.5 x 45 cm. Produced in the Breathe Residency at Chinese Arts Centre.

Plus, for you-know-whats and giggles (unless you’re an information graphics designer for which chartjunk is a curse upon the earth of Biblical proportions):

The usually illustrious Christoph Nieman’s illustration for Portfolio.com:

Illustration by Christoph Niemann

Illustration by Christoph Niemann for article about personal wealth and happiness on Portfolio.com

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Art & Development, Community, Research, Travelogue

Bits and Bobs

Detail from a drawing/sculpture in progress.

Detail from a drawing/sculpture in progress.

Cheap and cheerful

Here in Manchester, there’s a saying, cheap and cheerful. It means what it sounds like. For example, This and That is a tasty curry house that offers three items for ¬£4.20; it’s praised as epitomizing cheap and cheerful.

I like the phrase because:

  • It’s thoroughly appreciative, even though Mancs can seem totally unsentimental.
  • It’s characteristic of something local: As Stuart Maconie put it in Pies and Prejudice,

    …many of the north’s market and mill towns … have become shrine[s] devoted to binge drinking and discount shopping.*

    Within a half-mile radius, there are three pound stores–Poundland, Pound World and Pound Empire, whose business name, confusingly, is Pound Kingdom–and one Quality Save.

  • It reminds me of a Chinese expression, which is nearly identical (literally, “has attractiveness, has cheapness”). For my ultra-frugal immigrant parents, no higher compliment could be paid.

I’m about four days away from the Open Studio reception (Thursday, April 23, 5:30-7:30 pm, Chinese Arts Centre), so I’ve been working hard to finish several projects. Some are inspired by cheap and cheerful, so I’m making use of knickknacks from pound shops, like fans with multi-colored LEDs. Here’s a studio shot of the fans wired together to run on grid power instead of batteries, something I learned from this Instructables page.

Studio view

Studio view

Dan Graham, Tate Podcasts

Though I missed Dan Graham’s speaking engagements in the SF Bay Area this spring, I got his podcast lecture from the Tate. I enjoyed his talk, even without the pictures; he’s whip-smart, brisk, and completely free of affectation. For someone to have shown in as many Biennales and Documentas as he has, it’s very refreshing to hear him say in the same even, ego-less tone, that the Queen of Norway commissioned him to make a pavilion, so he made one on a fjord, it’s quite popular, and it’s referred to as a shower stall. Asides like this, from most other artists, would come across as false modesty.

Projections!

Preparing for T.S. Beall's artist's talk at Islington Mill

Preparing for T.S. Beall's artist's talk at Islington Mill

I enjoyed meeting Tara Beall, the artist in residence at Islington Mill, whose work is a fascinating combination of Arte Povera, webcam-sourced-video, boundaries, interstitial spaces, architecture, and installations that are a hybrid of kinetic art and video projections.

Her work seems in dialogue with the work of Ed Pien, whose new show at the Chinese Arts Centre is being installed right now. I’ve been getting sneak peeks of it — mirrors, projectors, cut paper, and macram√© on the scale of architecture — and I think it’s going to be phenomenal!


*To be fair, Maconie also wrote, “Like [Manchester] at its best, [The Smiths] had glamor and gloom, winsomeness and wit; they were magical and proletariat all at once.”

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