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Seeing and Not Seen
The Radiator - October 2023
Hello dear reader! I’ve decided to start a new mid-month mini missive called ‘The Radiator’, where I share with you a creative prompt, a blackout poem, recommendations and morsels of inspiration that have struck me throughout the month. I’ll be back at the beginning of November with something more hearty.
🔥 Creative Prompt
This month I’m pulling cards from Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies card deck. Here’s this month’s prompt - make of it what you will! Set an intention around it, apply it directly to something you’re working on, use it as a way of starting an experiment…
🖊️ Blackout Poem
A book that has made a big impression on me lately is The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker. I am constantly thinking about how to facilitate spaces that foster lively engagement, that might help spark new insights and allow ideas to emerge from the space between people. Here’s a blackout poem I made from a page of Parker’s book:
If you’ve never tried making a blackout poem before, they’re super easy and surprising. Austin Kleon (fountain of creative wisdom) is a master of them.
✨ Inspiring Work
Glass artist and creative educator Laura Quinn popping popcorn inside molten glass while teaching her students (what a class that must be!):
Heavyweight Podcast - episode: ‘Lenny’ (5th Oct 2023)
This episode about reconnecting with a long lost friend who has developed a terminal illness absolutely destroyed me! Jonathan is brilliant at creating the most simple and honest explorations of what it means to be a person in the world relating with others.
Seen and Not Seen by Talking Heads
(Track 6 on ‘Remain in Light’)
He would see faces in movies, on TV, in magazines, and in books
He thought that some of these faces might be right for him
And that through the years, by keeping an ideal facial structure fixed in his mind
Or somewhere in the back of his mind
That he might, by force of will, cause his face to approach those of his ideal
The change would be very subtle
It might take ten years or so
Gradually his face would change its shape
In classic David Byrne style the lyrics are surreal and observational, but this is an example of something I love about talking heads (a la Naive Melody), which is that it somehow calms my nervous system while still being mechanical and ironic.
I went to see the restored release of Stop Making Sense at the Picturehouse recently - I love it so much, it’s full of such energy and simple magic. My Dad used to play it a lot on VHS when I was little.
🌀 Not on the Internet
I had the privilege on staying on the narrow boats of two friends last weekend. I awoke to watch dancing lights on the ceiling: