Entries tagged "subvert"

Ryan. The Ultimate Lesson in Show Don’t Tell and a More Moving Computer Animation Than Anything Pixar’s Done.

Ryan by Chris Landreth, National Film Board of Canada

My girlfriend Mariko showed me this animation by Chris Landreth at the National Film Board of Canada the other day. It hit me like a rock.

It won an Academy Award and made one of those happy occasions when something superlative won. It is perhaps the best piece of documentary I’ve ever seen and one of the most whole expressions of what it means to make art and what it means to live in suffering I’ve ever seen.

It captures what is handed down from generation to generation. Its characters embody what our mental anguish does to us, literally. It shows what a hold money has on art and why art is oxygen. It has tenderness and such self-awareness and love. And it does all these things compactly in beautiful small, detailed gestures. It is exquisite storytelling. Chris Landreth has committed the greatest act of art: he has paid great attention. And he has cared. And he has not turned even one inch away from the truth.

A note: You will probably cry. I did. But it is the most satisfying and important kind of cry. The kind that lets you know that the very point of being alive has not been overlooked.

subvert with me live in SF 4/20

How do you get a worthwhile education? I’ll talk with Michelle Glaw Haynes, a writer raised by fundamentalist Christians out of school and taught herself through a promiscuous relationship with books, Michael Brown, an interactive installation artist who grew up off the grid and taught himself to make audio-animatronic figures when he was young and of course you. What happens when we’re left to our own devices?

Excellent conversation and people guaranteed.

More on the show.

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How do you know you matter?

I just got an email from a conference that made me sad. It was only two sentences long. It was a dismissal in the guise of being a favour. It showed me that I didn’t matter to this person professionally anymore. We are done.

It hurt. It still hurts.

When I started out there years back I was just doing what was fun. I never thought of myself as in any kind of “in crowd.” Some people told me then that I was some kind of miniature celebrity in a miniature world. I didn’t see it. But I did feel like I belonged. I felt like I was with my people: the kind of people who were excited by ideas and who said to the new person who showed up at lunch “come on here and sit down.”

This is making me re-think how I learned that what I had to say mattered.
It mattered to me that what I had to say or who I brought together mattered to others. A conference or a show or an audience.

I’m having to learn over and over that what I have to say or do has to matter to me first. it sounds so simple and perhaps brain-dead to you that this is a thing to know or to learn. But it is for me.

In every world I’ve been in: artistic, entrepreneurial, or political everyone wants to know what people like. The truth is that even in the worlds that consider themselves “indie” they care. For me independent performing, publishing, creating business was about being able to follow the creative impulse you have. It was about an environment that preached and modeled empowerment.

You *can* do this.

You are allowed to do this.

I’m the kind of girl who needed to hear that. You can always tell who else needed to hear it: they’ll say it to anyone else, anytime.

Great encouragers of others always need encouragement.

People are always talking about themselves. Always. Whether we know we are talking to ourselves is another story.

I’ve never been a big triangulator of creative talent. Either I like your stories, your voice, your perspective, your jokes, your vulnerability or I don’t. I don’t like it because someone else does (no matter what any database, social media platform or popular kids table might say).

It never made a lot of sense to me to like someone because they were popular. That was true in junior high and it’s true when it comes to indie art too. I’m not interested in someone because they’re alternatively popular. Truth is, the people whose work I often love are often dismissed. But I don’t love someone’s voice or work *because* they’re dismissed. I love what resonates with my heart. That’s all.

It’s easy when I think about other peoples’ work: Justin Vivian Bond, Patti Smith, WhoopDeeDo.tv , Paul Mooney. The kind of folks I want to interview for my news upcoming subvert podcast (you can also follow @subverting on twitter). I’ll be subverting the SXSW conference live with impromptu gatherings. Add me on twitter and foursquare to join. I want to see what’s in your heart.

So why am I afraid of what’s in mine?

 



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