#028 ☼ Dreaming of Light: James Turrell
Vintage Kodak Design • NYC's Field of Wheat • A Digital Spiritual Journey
With tasting notes of original Kodak branding, a luscious coffee shop in Bangkok, a journey through digital clouds to formulate new principles, the Sony Walkman sold in water, a teen’s obsession with vintage Apple computers, when NYC had a wheat field and a designer reworking furniture classics through the lens of fashion.
The good life beckons once more!
CURATE WITH US
Our question this week is:
Who or what is the most underrated artist/company/product/media you know of?
Let us know in the comments 💭
Further down in this issue, we’ll share the personal mantras and guiding principles to living a more fulfilling life shared last week!
☼ 80s design never dies: Unearth the Kodak “Identity Corporate Manual” by Joe Salame from 1983
☼ Bathed in lush green, this tropical coffee shop in Bangkok doubles up as a meditative retreat amidst the hustle and bustle
☼ Bentoism is the theory that self-interest is multi-dimensional. Go on a spiritual journey through digital clouds to reformulate understandings about collectivity and creating a more beautiful, mindful life
☼ This 15 year old’s 200 vintage Apple computers are now part of a Mac Museum
☼ A baller marketing move… Sony sold its waterproof Walkman inside bottles of water and hijacked vending machines around the world
☼ Remember when New York City had a wheat field? Reminisce on Agnes Denes’ iconic “Wheatfield” and the sense of awe it brought to the Big Apple in 1982
☼ Tom Hancocks is reframing furniture. Inspired by Comme des Garçon’s designer, Rei Kawakubo, get inside his digital sketchbook playing with form and materiality
☼ Dutch photographer Hans Eijkelboom takes us through an anecdotal history of anti-sartorial global fashion trends over the past two decades in Amsterdam, New York & Paris
☼ Ursa Sleep System is how we’d do camping — a complete sleep system designed for maximum comfort outdoors and restorative sleep at camp
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Dreaming of Light: James Turrell
“This work that I do is an emotional work. I don't think there is any doubt of that,” James Turrell confesses.
An artist from Pasadena in California, Turrell is a prominent leader in the Light and Space movement. Instantly recognisable by his infinite range of hues and dream-like relationship to light, Turrell has created a plethora of light installations that produce hypnotic optical illusions and sensory experiences all around the world — sometimes in unexpected places.
This week, we invite you to explore some of the fascinating ideas behind Turrell’s multi-faceted and evocative work.
James Turrell’s art is ensconced in unlikely corners of Earth, including a winery in Argentina, botanical gardens in Mexico, a celestial vault in the Netherlands and many more
On his obsession with light: “For me, light is nutrition, almost like food. And I’m concerned with the light inside people. When you close your eyes or dream, you see a different light than with your eyes open. We usually use light to illuminate the things around us. But I am interested in the very personal, inner light.”
Wondering about that Hotline Bling video? James Turrell clears the air: ““While I am truly flattered to learn that Drake f*cks with me, I nevertheless wish to make clear that neither I nor any of my woes was involved in any way in the making of the Hotline Bling video”
On Los Angeles: “It meant freedom to me at the time, even though I wanted to go to New York. But then there was not much space for studios in Santa Monica and New York. So I stayed here. Los Angeles was also the real America with all its car culture, which I found increasingly interesting. You need to know, when I started to make art, there was art mostly only in a picture frame and you could see a work only from a distance in the museum. That’s what inspired me – this artificial, new America. But I do not think about ‘cities’ so much anymore. I live more ‘placeless’ than ever and I think we are no longer defined by our family of origin. Above all, artists today live like a worldwide tribe. I have a community in every city in the world. so I do not think in the category ‘city’ anymore.”
What is perception? LACMA creates a captivating video with James Turrell: You Who Look
On operating with meaning: “I'm interested in participating in this culture, but in a way that has meaning to me. I am interested that we treasure light as much as we treasure all these objects around us. And when somebody buys a work of mine there is the question, what is it they own? And in some way I can honestly say that you "own the light that is passing through" [laughs]. That's one way to say it.”
An introduction to James Turrell’s work with the Guggenheim Museum
On the crux of his work: “It’s about perception. For me, it’s using light as a material to influence or affect the medium of perception. I feel that I want to use light as this wonderful and magic elixir that we drink as Vitamin D through the skin—and I mean, we are literally light-eaters—to then affect the way that we see. We live within this reality we create, and we’re quite unaware of how we create the reality. So the work is often a general koan into how we go about forming this world in which we live, in particular with seeing.”
Step inside James Turrell’s House of Light in Japan: “This is an approach to Japanese culture from mine as a Westerner. For me as an artist who has sought for the ‘perception of light’, the House of Light was an attempt to contrast as well as to incorporate day and night, the Eastern and the Western, tradition and modern.”
On his autonomous singular projects going global: “Seventy-nine in 25 countries and 21 states. I used to say that there was a certain part of my career when I thought, “God, my art just isn’t going anywhere. My art is going nowhere.” But now, the next time you find yourself in the middle nowhere, you’re probably pretty close to my art.”
COMMUNITY CURATED: MANTRAS FOR A FULFILLING LIFE
Last week, we shared the mantras and guiding principles to help us live more fulfilling lives. Check out the comment section for an uplifting trove of advice from our community. Here’s one we loved:
That's what we get if we're lucky.
Some get more, many get fewer.
Live them, and be kinder than necessary to others.
— via James
Hop in the comments this week as we discuss who or what is the most underrated artist/company/product/media you know of.
EXHIBIT A: Porsche Carrera 993 • EXHIBIT B: BMW 3.0 CSL & M1 • EXHIBIT C: Restored 1991 Range Rover Classic V8
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RE: #028 ☼ Dreaming of Light: James Turrell
Hello, I would like to lodge a request for some alternate forms of summer-enhancing vehicles. While motorsport can certainly be an exciting activity, I find other modes of transit more leisurely. With all due respect to the industrial design of cars, please consider including bicycles, rollerblades, trains, boats, and whatever else you can think of.
Underrated band: Little Dragon