Tagged Media

Links From the Orchard

 “We are the first generation bombarded with so many stories from so many authorities, none of which are our own. The parable of the postmodern mind is the person surrounded by a media center: three television screens in front of them giving three sets of stories; fax machines bringing in other stories; newspapers providing still more stories.

In a sense, we are saturated with stories; we’re saturated with points of view. But the effect of being bombarded with all of these points of view is that we don’t have a point of view and we don’t have a story. We lose the continuity of our experiences; we become people who are written on from the outside.

—Sam Keen

There are Survival Skills, and there are Thriver Skills—skills that help you negotiate a post/modern existence without becoming paralyzed, willfully ignorant, or manic. I would argue that one of the most important of these skills is the ability to be a conscious cultural consumer: to pick and choose the stories (whether informative or entertainment) thrown at you by Twitter, Tumblr, newspapers, blogs, etc.

As in Ye Olde Orchard, I often think of this as being able to pick the good fruits from the trees. The sweetest and most nutritious.

They’re Like Peaches and Pears, Right?

“Design can become a force for emancipation rather than manipulation” —I wish I had been able to attend the Occupy Design UK launch.

An image to satisfy Type A personalities and labeling fetishists. (via Rhodia Drive)

Also, I want to go to a MUJI store.

It’s rare that I come across an article through independent browsing instead of through a social sharing service. This week (while researching approaches to writing sex scenes in fiction, if you were wondering) I found this gem: “Nipples shouldn’t do that! And other musings on romantic fiction.” (via Read in a Single Sitting)

I have a longstanding passion for gift economies, so I loved reading this piece on the growth of “sharing economies” and their impact on big business. (via Grist)

Did. You. Know. That you can get high off compost? (also via Grist)


Automatic Bodies

PenciledWhen you doodle, you draw the same thing over and over?

My mother says that she vividly remembers my grandmother absentmindedly drawing dancing ladies whenever she talked on the phone— different variations of the same figure: dancing women.


If there’s a great untapped resource within our own subconscious, we can work to express it through automatic drawing or automatic writing. It’s an attempt to free ourselves from the conscious, which includes the constraints of grammar, syntax, the rules of composition, or censorship through moral or social judgment, etc.

One of the aforelinked websites informs me that “automatic Drawing is a kind of yoga for artists. (hm, intriguing).

I don’t fully buy it. If I must have an ideology of creativity, I’d rather look out into the world than into my own subconscious. And often the instincts that feel automatic are deeply shaped by systemic oppressions and institutions—which brings me to the subject of doodling!

The vast majority of my absentminded and unconscious doodling is abstract linear scribbles or infinite female figures.

I want to unpack that statement: I draw women’s bodies.


I’m conflicted about this. When I put a pen to paper, what “feels natural” is to draw the swoops and twists that turn into a female figure. But if feminism, Sociology, Women’s Studies, gender theory, queer theory (and so on and so forth) have taught anyone anything, it’s that just because something “feels natural” doesn’t mean that it is natural. My gravitation towards the female figure is most likely shaped by centuries of male artists  glorifying and objectifying women’s bodies, resulting in a disproportionate representation of women nudes in any art museum.

Yet I won’t deny that I find women beautiful, as humans and as bodies. Plus, I produce better art when I allow myself to follow instincts and wormholes.

So then I must confront the fact that most (but not all) of the female figures I draw adhere to a normative standard of beauty. I’ll go through phases of drawing fat women, androgynous women, non-normative-presenting women— but in general I draw slender figures, graceful bodies, attractive poses. Some of this can be attributed to a self-image; I know my own pseudo-slender body best so it’s easier to draw body types like my own. But most of the responsibility should go to the images that penetrate my consciousness every day: every sign, photograph, commercial, painting, TV show which produces an aestheticized feminine body that is inevitably reflected on my page.

My challenge for the rest of the semester is to branch the fuck out.