Week 35.22

I met up with Rob again to talk side projects, debate the existence of meaningful work, and see some free art at the National Gallery. The children’s biennale was on and offered the most impressive sight of the entire visit, a massive work called Head/Home by Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan.

It’s a sprawling installation pieced together from cardboard houses and elements, many customized and signed by visiting children. There’s also an online component on the above-linked site, where you can pick a space to “move into”. I was immediately struck by its resemblance to the Bidonville NFT project I bought into a few weeks ago; the drab uniformity of the cardboard and the haphazard placement of everything atop everything else recalls the appearance of a slum, but like in Bidonville, it’s presented with childlike wonder instead of judgment.

In the pursuit of more creative escapes, Rob’s also committed to blogging again, supposedly inspired by this weekly update. He’s put out a banger of a post already. We also started a game of doodle/caption tennis, where he draws something and I write the caption, with neither of us knowing what the other is doing. So far we’re four for four, and the combinations have made a sort of sense! Might start a blog or an account somewhere to put them if this exercise has legs.

Otherwise it’s been a somewhat physically exhausting week: my injured legs have made getting around more tedious and painful than normal; good sleep has eluded me; I’ve had a higher-than-acceptable number of frustrating “conversations”; my introvert’s social savings account went into overdraft with the number of people I’ve met, talked to, had dinner with; and the weekend has not felt very restful at all.

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  • I played zero video games but managed to read a fair bit more of Seveneves. I may yet finish it this year.
  • We watched Five Days At Memorial, the new Apple TV+ series set in a hospital during Hurricane Katrina, and it’s one of those stories you can’t believe took place in recent history. Not only for the scale of the tragedy and how comparatively little we (me, anyway) remember of it, but the failure of government to prepare for something they should have known about from past experiences? Scratch that. It’s not surprising at all.
  • There’s a bit where someone says, “this is supposed to happen in third-world countries, not here”, and it just made me wanna go “oh, honey. I’ve got news for you…” at the TV.
  • I came up with the name Man-Sized Vase for a band I might like to be in one day. Shortly after that, I saw a man-sized vase on the Raffles Hotel’s grounds.
  • MidJourney briefly enabled a new beta model, for like a day, which made all outputs more realistic. It was reportedly a combination of their engine with the newly open-sourced Stable Diffusion model. Before they closed it down for “improvements”, I managed to make this masterpiece of a golden retriever drooling an entire river in the Amazon rainforest.

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