Week 15 - Effortful art
How difficult is becoming better at coding/painting/writing/running going to be? We estimate and plan, and then it turns out to be way way harder.
Related to effort shock
- Parkinson's Law: "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion"
- Planning Fallacy: "we tend to underestimate the time we will need to complete a task when planning for it"
There are so many words in English to describe this particular form of two legged forward propulsion in humans also called 'walking'. Here are some modes of walking.
- The daily constitutional
The 'daily constitutional' features a lot in writings from the 1800s. The dictionary says that "Literally, it is something that one makes time for on a daily basis for the betterment of that individual's health. The most common interpretation would be a daily walk".
- The daily walk
A most unromantic way of saying the 'daily constitutional'. However instead of the 'betterment of health', the focus of the daily walk has narrowed down to 'exercise' and 'burning calories'.
- The Walking Meditation
This is the daily walk with a narrow focused purpose. People undertake it for spiritual reasons, or to help with mental health and productivity - to help focus, incorporate mindfulness and intention .
- The Flanerie
A more nonchalant, wandering of cities. The nature of flanerie is such that it can be undertaken by the privileged - those rich in time, or money or both. In spirit, it is the opposite of the walking meditation. A flaneūr is an observer of society. With a camera in hand, the flaneūr becomes a street photographer. With a pen in hand, the flaneūr can become a social commentator.
- The hike
The social opposite of the flanerie. A walk mostly in nature, and among trails. The hike takes place away from society, away from people. It can include natural beauty, physical hardship and acts of physical endurance. Closer to the walking meditation in spirit.
I have been thinking a lot about a book I read back in 2015 - "Make Space: How to Set the Stage for Creative Collaboration".
This time of staying home - where the whole family is using the same space - day in and day out. The space, formerly 'just' a home now has to also function as the office, the school, the gym. And the space where we go - or stay - to get away from everything. This has put so much demands on the space we have. Some of the principles, ideas and recommendations in this book have been especially pertinent.
Along the way, we learned that we have to prototype our way into any new space; to continuously iterate, adapt, and evolve our spaces after we move in; and to think of space primarily as a way to change behavior, not as a facilities project or a showpiece for our brand
This is an attitude I'm trying to embody. Prototyping our way through the space we have, allowing it to morph and change as needed. And thinking about how a certain arrangement will help certain behaviors.
The best creative spaces are highly resolved (thoughtful), but not highly refined(precious).
Get curious. Whatever excites you is right. Follow that impulse and let yourself go.
Especially working with my daughter.
I'm enjoying following . Pandemic Robots Deployed in Singapore Parks to Remind Humans of Their Own Mortality
I also recommend all of Martha Wells' books in the Murderbot series - about a robot who loves entertainment, especially soaps!
Yesterday, we, as in the family started on our acrylic painting placemat and coaster project. The idea is simple - on canvas panels, we paint with acrylic paint pours, let it dry and cure, varnish it, add a corkboard back and voila! we have high art table placemats to eat our meals with and drop our crumbs on. The artwork in this issue is some of the panels we created yesterday.
This is one of the examples of effort-shock. What I'd estimated as an hour-long project took pretty much the whole afternoon.
Written on May 10, 2020.
This was Issue #15 of the Year of the Turtle. You can see all the past newsletters on this website.
The fonts used here are from David Jonathan Ross' Font of the Month Club