For artists and/or fans of Borges and Calvino:
Cynthia Ozick reading “In the Reign of Harad IV,” a wonderful short story by Steven Millhauser, about making, visibility, and recognition. On the New Yorker‘s fiction podcast.
For fellow cognitive science and psychology dabblers:
“Social Animal: How the new sciences of human nature can help make sense of a life,” by David Brooks (yup, that David Brooks, the NYT columnist), a summation of loads of psychological and cognitive science research, including thoughts about flow and happiness.
For those who need an optimism booster shot:
Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life, by Dasher Keltner (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2009).
The UC Berkeley psychology professor’s theories on how to live a balanced life of “completing the good in others.” Interesting discussion of the intellectual lineage from Darwin to Ekman (a facial expression researcher profiled by Malcolm Gladwell in the New Yorker). The author’s long hair + references to Eastern philosophy = high hippie dippy quotient, but Keltner is an informed and lively writer. Those seeking cynical, burdensome academic texts ought look elsewhere.
For those obsessed with happiness and/or mapping:
Mappiness, an iPhone app that asks users to rate their level of happiness at random moments throughout the day. Developed by London School of Economics PhD candidates, it’s a fully realized, popular version of what I had hoped to do with Hedonimeter.net, a project I started in grad school and hadn’t yet returned to. My enthusiasm for visual and symbolic systems has not evolved into the motivation to learn more about statistics and programming… yet.
For art-seekers in San Francisco:
Works by friends and supporters:
Three solo exhibitions: Jaime Cortez, Kenneth Lo, and Ginger Wolfe-Suarez
Southern Exposure, 3030 20th St., San Francisco, CA
January 7, 2011 – February 19, 2011
For art-seekers in LA:
January 21-23 and January 27-30, 2011
995, 997 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA
For art-seekers in Liverpool:
Nam June Paik
17 December 2010 – 13 March 2011
For typography nerds:
The flyer for the symposium at the Nam June Paik Art Center. Nothing wrong with type-based solutions, no.
For design-seekers in San Francisco:
A show curated by the super-talented, super-humble Jon Sueda
The Way Beyond Art: Wide White Space
January 20–February 5
CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art