12 December 2009

Design for Attention

La fondation Abbé Pierre launched last Wednesday its yearly campaign against indecent or no housing.
Fake mailboxes were installed on buildings at the level of basement windows, in the République and Bastille districts of Paris, to bring awareness to the situation of millions of people who live in poor conditions or on the streets.



I tried to think many times about projects that could bring moments of connection between passers-by and people living in the streets. It's a tough subject, in so many ways. This latest activist action from la fondation Abbé Pierre is brilliantly smart and subtle. It's not coming from an art angle at all but it's a great example for non-intrusive, respectful designs that call for attention to a living situation that is often looked at in a very abstract way from a distant point of view.

--Joëlle

30 November 2009

SPONT'EX, part 1

So by an open invitation of Madjid, I should tell you about Spont'Ex.
Where do I start? Probably with the 16th of January 1994.
It wasn't the day we started Spont'Ex. But it was the day we first demonstrated as a group - if I recall well. The right-wing Balladur government (with Bayrou as the ministre of Education) had passed a law that, in short, offered better conditions for private, often catholic, schooling thus threatening the foundation of the public and secular ( laïc ) schooling of the French republic. The law was subsequently emptied of its core by the Conseil constitutionnel but 1 million people decided nonetheless to remind the governement of its attachment to the public school by demonstrating in the streets. That was probably the biggest demonstration I ever attended.
It was thrilling to be there, exciting and powerful. We were all caught in the hope of a yes future. We were carrying fake pink flowers and giving people appointment for May (rendez-vous en Mai) in stickers. We were hoping for a political change (that happened 3 years later with Jospin) that would knocked down the same ambient tight-ass conservatism that suffocates us nowadays since 2002. It just gets me crazy how we've been stuck in a political limbo for 7 very long years, first with Chirac and now with Sarkozy and that we can't seem to put an end to it. What's worse is that when I'm looking at the current left-wing opponents, none of them inspire me a sense of happiness, modernity and intellectual brightness that I'm striving for : a sense of Spont'Exitude.
Well, I still have at least that fake pink flower, ever since then, by my bed.

03 November 2009

The new new testament

In these days of brought out of blue ridiculous debate over national identity in France, one book comes to mind that I was shown by David G. last time I visited in Milan in spring this year. "Italianità" curated by Giulio Iacchetti is an amazing graphic design book that captures the essence of what it is to be Italian or, like the Wiktionary defines, "the peculiarities of Italians or their language or culture". 30 of those peculiarities are picked and commented (and beautifully illustrated by ale+ale), such as the Tabu licorice box, the Sambuca drink, the voting card, the Tabacchi sign, the comics Diabolik, the Gazzetta dello Sport, etc...

I guess it has to do with pop culture and daily life. The little things that you don't pay attention to much, that you might not share an interest about, but that are part of the landscape of signs that surround you. And in this regard, I find it easy to adopt a culture wherever I go. Parts of me are italian, french, japanese, israeli, american, british... I never think about these things really, they come naturally to me. I dislike the expression "citizen of the world", it resonates very dull in my mind. I just experience very strong cultural bonds wherever I go, wherever I live. I find myself enjoying the local lifestyle with a twist of my own blend. Usually, it comes first through experiencing food, graphic design, architecture, cinema and fashion. Which is probably why I hate shopping at Zara, H&M, Ikea and The Gap because you can find the stores everywhere.

I do have a problem though of adjusting to my own city, my own country. After all these years, I still haven't figured out how I can change the fact that I don't feel free in Paris. It gets on my nerves because I'd like to be able to stay in one place. Therefore the question for me is certainly not what is a national identity but what makes a place a home.

--Joëlle




04 October 2009

White light, white heat

In the Nuit Blanche, I'm rarely struck by the artistic value of a piece. What usually motivates me to walk around town at night, and face the crowd is the display of the piece, the use of the night, the use of the exhibition space, how it meets me randomly. It's a very paradoxical event made to bring art out of the galleries, in the urban space, at nighttime, free for everyone to encounter. But it turns out to have become less about art and more about fun. That's why videos for me hardly work in that context : you don't look at the video, you look at the light it makes around. Therefore is the Nuit Blanche a guilt trip into enjoying light and sound at night, out in the air, in dark corners, churches, window stores, gardens, old dusty historical buildings? I think so very much. Is it art? Sometimes. I remember one of the early Nuit Blanche, Alain Séchas was taking over the Palais de Versailles. It was very compelling. But I'm not sure it had to do with the Nuit Blanche itself and I gather the new look at contemporary art by the curators of Versailles had started then.
Last night, I just went around my old neighborhood Le Marais (I should post about it one day, about how it's slowly becoming soulless) where you can usually find dozens of pieces displayed around because there are so many of those old dusty historical buildings.
Nothing of note, except some sort of inflated pink ring over the Archives Nationales which makes for super cool pictures (the invasion of the alien art from Planet Crowd Pleasing?) and a lonely chair in front of gallery Yvon Lambert, which displayed in its window a video of which I don't remember the author's name nor what it was about. And yet I did sit on that chair. I guess I was too distracted by the experience...
Maybe that's why I'm still glad the event exists, first because you should always try to turn the city into a playground once in a while and second because dark corners do offer the best place for your imagination.



28 September 2009

Picasa publishing

First timer with Picasa : I made a photo album with the Google app. Quite useful and so quick to edit, tag and upload..
I've no excuses to be lazy anymore.. Although I think I should play around with the contrasting tool : the picts look a bit overexposed online.
The major drawback of course is that I'm not hosting my pictures anymore, plus the overall design of the album page is very.... Google like.
But publishing my picts only one month after I came back from holidays, it must be a personal record.. so yeye!
(I still haven't even developed the film roll - those picts are taken with my Nokia in the 1st part of my holiday trip in Naples and Rome).

Here's one of my favorite - taken in Pompei, it looks like a washed Rothko... but it's just a wall.



--Joëlle

02 September 2009

Another misuse of font

Verdana for Print? Who's responsible?? Call the polices' police!!
Yet Ikea did it..

06 July 2009

Make the math

From everything I could read on the net about Michael Jackson since he died, nothing felt as touching and sounded so fair than the All Music blog tribute written by Stephen Thomas Erlewine. When I watch countless You Tube videos showing people all over the world dancing in the streets to the sound of 'Billie Jean' or of 'Don't stop till you get enough', I can only relate, because like everyone else my shoes grow wings as I hear those tracks, there's no way to resist the temptation. Which is exactly why in any party I've been to or hosted, you couldn't get people on the dancefloor - especially the ones that linger on forever in the kitchen - before you inevitably resolved to play an MJ or a Jackson 5 classic. And only then could you think of leading the crowd to a maybe more adventurous pick. It's like a magic trick. The only time in my life when I didn't use it was when my friends and I were having a post-adolescence dismissal of anything mainstream - so of course our signal song for kicking-off the dancing time would be 'Smells like teen spirit'... before its tiny acknowledgment beyond our circle (then) made it even too mainstream for us (this from a girl whose favorite band ever is The Beatles)...
Well it's been a while I don't care about being mainstream - at least regarding music. I actually find it pretty comforting to feel the same mix of sadness, nostalgia and musical bliss as millions of people. Not only do we keep listening everywhere for groovy and hyper emotional music since ten days, but we listen to it "together". That must be the closest I've been to a true religion experience.
Which brings me back to the All Music tribute and its last paragraph : "But Michael Jackson was never meant to be a cult artist, which is one of the many reasons his music of the last two decades often struck a dissonant chord: he belonged to the masses, providing a soundtrack to billions of people around the world, from the millions that made Thriller the biggest album ever to those who never owned one of his records and yet knew all his hits. That is the Michael Jackson that has been absent for 20 years and that is the Michael Jackson that is being mourned today. His sudden death gives us all an opportunity to appreciate the enduring genius of his art but to realize that we have no musician that speaks to all of us … and that we haven’t for some time now."

Michael Jackson or the last common music denominator.

--Joëlle

05 May 2009

A moment of urban poetry

As soon as I heard you could see pink flamingos going about freely in a parc in the middle of Milan, I started looking for them.
Strangely, neither tourist guides nor the web have much indication about them - and I discovered why : they go about in a private parc. But through a gate, you can still watch them, closely and stop the urban time passing around you. They're so amazing. I love especially looking at their skinny, fragile-looking legs.
Thanks to a Flickr post, I got the address. They can be found in Via Cappucini, 9 in the garden of the beautiful Palazzo Invernizzi.
I wish I had a proper camera with me that day, but I'm happy nonetheless I grabbed with my phone a souvenir of this incredible urban moment (the Flickr pict is very nice for a more "artistic" capture of the spectacle).

04 May 2009

Beat it

Seen at a bus stop in Milan, an ad for the new Burberry perfume, called The Beat.
I wonder if the name came before the advertising campaign idea or after.
Can it be more referential? Is it what design and communication are just about these days?



27 April 2009

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24 April 2009

Milano pre-Salone

The Salone del Mobile opened yesterday in Milan. The city's main design event of the year is much more than a "furniture fair" or what the idea of one would lead you to think - take in your perspective for instance that Wall Paper has a special section in its website covering the event live. The "Salone" as it's simply called is also one of the 2 party excuses that takes the city in a whirl of openings, shows, places to be (or depending of your perspective - places not to be). The other one is, of course, the fashion week.
As my calendar worked it out, I actually spent a few days as a spring break in Milan the week before the Salone - I was warned though that I would find the city "shut down". Well, that wasn't totally the case... A lot of galleries were "closed" indeed but still a lot of things were going on in and out of them - because of the preparation! That was a show in itself... so all over town you'd see skeletons of unidentified objects, covered with plastic sheets..






09 April 2009

Be modern

One day, while surfing on Google, I stumbled upon this marvellous little website - it felt just as if I would stroll in the hidden and forgotten small streets of big cities like London or New-York and discovered out of the blue the most ravishing window-store of a boutique, owned by a person with a lot of heart and a lot of taste.

It's called "Bejewelled" and it sells retro and vintage jewelry.
Everytime I browse the selection, it puts a smile on my face. I don't like all the jewels on display (thankfully for my wallet) but they all have a special something, a daring uniqueness that makes you want to wear jewels and accessories again, to dress up and to live audaciously. Somehow the way you'd imagine women from the twenties and the thirties (as depicted in American movies) would live as they would slowly make their place into a men's world. For me that's when fashion helped this revolution the most obviously and put a definitive end to the 19th century.

Here are two (out of 3) of the items I bought from them and some other picks I made to present you from what I've recently seen there.
By the way, the prices make the pieces really affordable (between £15 and £40 for single pieces and slightly more for sets). It's based in the UK but I think they can deliver everywhere (?). I usually get my delivery in 3 or 4 days to France (last time I even got a beautiful small gift). The selection is also frequently updated, so you're always looking forward to the next crush...

Here are a wonderful brooch and earrings set I bought about a month ago and a necklace I just purchased (and that I've yet to receive!)




3 items I saw recently on Bejeweled...





-- Joëlle.

08 April 2009

High-school hype

The French newspaper Le Figaro just released a ranking of the best high-schools in France. Turns out my old one, the Lycée Victor Hugo, is ranked 1st public school in the academy of Paris (2 private schools are ahead)! It's ranked 25th in France over 1915 (but most of the top ones are again private schools so it makes my high-school one of the best public school in France). It came a long way, baby so I'm rather pleased. When I attended the school between 1990 and 1993, it was rather average. There were a couple of amazing teachers, like my 1st Russian teacher, but overall none of them made a real positive impression (on the contrary, we had rather really terrible History and English teachers), while the impact my teachers from Junior high made on me is still fresh and enjoyable.
That said, the place itself was a cool stir of people : I got to meet there life-changing friends, I discovered with them and thanks to them some of the best music ever, like Nirvana, Faith no more, Pulp, Nick Cave, Sonic Youth among others (and we went to see all of the above in concert). We weren't hype by the then standards (although we would be very hype now), we were a group of music and pop-culture geeks, we hated being teenagers but we did love each other very much (and also argued with each other a lot a lot).

-- Joëlle.

31 March 2009

PLAYTIME

The interactive piece Kindergarten is exhibited during the EXIT festival, at the MAC Créteil until April 5th. The theme this year is "New Monsters".

The exhibition took also place 2 weeks before at the VIA festival, in Maubeuge.

It was fun, strange and challenging at the same time to show an "old" interactive piece. It took more time than I thought to find the appropriate set-up, especially because the computers and the OS and the softwares have changed radically. My thoughts then echoed the discussions about the archiving and preservation of multimedia pieces. But altogether, I felt happy and proud that this piece is still relevant and enjoyable.

With the time, I see it more now like a weird video game, where you play against the computer which is always trying to lose you and take you away from where you're trying to get to. Graphically, I love it very much, and the music by Philip Zoubek is beautiful. I'm also still having a lot of fun at hearing the ambient funfair sounds with the screams, and all the little details of the ghost train or other situations.

The making of the piece was collaborative and was done by Enrico Bravi, Ulf Harr, Raphaël Meyer and myself between 2000 and 2001 in Vienna. The inspiration came from the Prater fun fair.
Emmanuel Mehois helped to add a trackball trick for the 2009 set-up.

25 February 2009

Flashbacks

As I was walking home from work this evening, in a corner of a dark street in Montreuil, I hear my name as I was passing by 2 guys that I didn't notice at first. It took me about 5 seconds to replace the 1st guy in my memory, and a first name to replace the 2nd guy whose face was "hidden" by a hat. The 2 persons were simply 2 of my best friends in Tolbiac, my undergraduate college in Paris, some... 14, 15 years ago!! They were on their way to a dinner but they gladly went in for a drink at the strangely convenient corner bar that seemed to wait for us (we call it a "rade" in French - a bar populated only by regulars, that you would hardly notice until you enter it by chance). It was so nice to get a drink at the comptoir, and get reacquainted for few minutes. I had so much fun with them back then! And as one of them said, there's still much fun to have.
One thing I noticed was how, as they were dropping names of people we used to hang with and tell me where they were now, my memory worked hard to remember them but then it was like I slowly rediscovered a whole part of my life that seemed buried under many layers of so many different lives. I bet over the next few days, a lot of flashbacks will greet my mind.
In particular, I was reminded that I used to film every new person who came to my home and I so forgot about it. I'm amazed they remember that. It reminded me then that I have a dozen of tapes somewhere at my parents place, that I need to digitize very quickly...

-- Joëlle.

24 February 2009

DORKBOT PARIS at Palais de Tokyo - 26th of February

The Palais de Tokyo, a museum of contemporary art in Paris, has asked Dorkbot Paris to program 6 events related to their current exhibition Gakona. Inspired by Tesla works and referring to the "mysterious" military program HAARP in the Alaskan city Gakona, the exhibition presents 4 artists who are displaying work around the theme of "electricty". Since Dorkbot is about "people doing strange things with electricity", there's some sort of natural connection there and I'm thankful that the Palais de Tokyo commissioners thought about contacting us.
Thus, instead of doing an event every month or 2, we're presenting this time 6 events within 2 months. It's an ambitious program and I'm really looking forward to all the presentations and with the support of the museum, we were able as well to invite people from outside of Paris, including some MLE connections like Gary McDarby and Jonah Brucker-Cohen.
The first session is this Thursday and its theme is "Eco - energies", or the relationship between environment, technology and arts (and how to be aware of energy expenses so that eventually you can lower your electricity bill!).
Presenting works are Benjamin Cadon, Ewen Chardronnet, Dominique Leroy and Laurent LeGuyader.


-- Joëlle.

For more details (in French - sorry I don't have the courage to translate it all):

Dorkbot Paris au Palais de Tokyo - "Eco - Energies"
Jeudi 26 février 2009 à 19h30, Auditorium du Palais de Tokyo
13, avenue du Président Wilson, 75016. Métro Iéna (ligne 9)
http://www.palaisdetokyo.com/
L'entrée à cette session Dorkbot Paris est liée à l'entrée de l'exposition Gakona (Tarifs de 1EUR à 6EUR selon conditions, gratuit pour les chômeurs, moins de 18 ans et personnes handicapées). N'hésitez pas à nous contacter si vous comptez venir à plusieurs sessions Dorkbot.

Programme détaillé:

• Benjamin Cadon et Ewen Chardronnet présenteront à cette occasion le protocole de travail du Spectral Investigations Collective (SIC), travail collectif qu'ils mènent depuis 3 ans avec Bureau d'études, Ghostlab, Alejandra Perez Nunez et d'autres collaborateurs occasionnels. Le SIC enquête sur les spectres électromagnétiques tels qu'ils se manifestent dans les environnements industriels, mais également sur toutes les manifestations spectrales auxquelles il est confronté. Il met à l'épreuve la façon dont ces spectres viennent modeler, contraindre et orienter notre vie.

Pour cette rencontre, Ewen Chardronnet développera les méthodes employées par le SIC pour aborder la question des radars géants, Benjamin Cadon présentera quant à lui, des moyens pour capter des champs électromagnétiques à différentes longueurs d'ondes en l'illustrant de façon sonore et/ou visuelle (des "Very Low Frenquency" aux GHz de nos téléphones portables) et évoquera diverses utilisations "alternatives" : recherche d'énergie libre, effet van Eck, capteurs capacitifs, armes non létales, mind control et phénomènes surnaturels associés...

Liens web :
Ewen Chardronnet :
http://blog.e-ngo.org/
http://semaphore.blogs.com/semaphore/spectral_investigations_collective/

Benjamin Cadon :
http://ww.01xy.fr
http://www.labomedia.net

• Dominique Leroy est membre d'Ecos, projet transdisciplinaire qui s’appuie sur la recherche scientifique et l’action culturelle pour interroger et mettre en perspective les interactions entre technologie, écologie et économie.
Il présentera des recherches et expérimentations portées par ecos depuis 2007 :
- un projet de monnaie sociale et symbolique, occupant dans une communauté une dimension économique et culturelle : ecosXchange, initié par Siraj Izhar, est un projet de recherche en cours depuis 2007.
- des micro-expériences techniques et artistiques mettant en oeuvre différentes énergies, comme Resonating-With-Light réalisé par Edo Paulus.
http://ecos.crealab.info

• Laurent Le Guyader, électronicien négaWatteur, mesurera et mettra en évidence les consommations électriques et les champs électromagnétiques des appareils de notre quotidien. Cette intervention sera suivie d'une discussion sur le scénario négaWatt : sobriété, économies d'énergie et énergie renouvelables pour résoudre la crise énergétique à venir.
http://www.negawatt.org/

• Opendork, session libre ouverte à tous
Apportez votre projet et venez le partager avec nous au sein de l'Opendork qui clôture chaque rencontre.

Et ensuite ?
Notez d'ores et déjà la date du 5 mars, session Dorkbot "Brainwaves" qui traitera d'ondes cérébrales captées et détournées!

Les sessions suivantes auront lieu les 12 et 21 mars et les 11 et 23 avril.
On y parlera (et plus si affinités) d'expérimentations électriques qui feraient plaisir à Nikola Tesla, de réseaux DIY, de circuit bending et de récupération/création à base de "déchets" technologiques.

On y rencontrera (entre autres) Gary Mc Darby, Dominique Peysson, Horia Cosmin Samoila, Jean-Baptiste Labrune, Dana Gordon, Gijs Gieskes, Douglas Repetto, Jonah Brucker-Cohen, Katherine Moriwaki et l'équipe de Dorkbot Paris.

16 February 2009

Friday night lights

Friday night lights is an american TV show that ran for 3 seasons. It follows the life of people in a small Texas town that beats at the rhythm of the local highschool football team: Friday night is the night where the only place in town that resonates is the stadium. I like it as everybody else does because it seems very realistic and human. And after all, it talks about everything but football in some way. After 2 seasons, the show was doomed to stop and a new kind of production deal that involved a cable TV (DirectTV) + a national TV (NBC) managed to get the show going for 13 more episodes so the stories of the main characters were offered some sort of conclusion. In order to advertise for the show, DirectTV posted some pictures of the characters on their website (I didn't seem them there anymore). The way the pictures were staged is very interesting: everything is said about the characters, the story is in place and there's a sexy edge to it that put a new light on the show so you want to watch it. But that's a trick. None of the people in this show is really sexy, they're not cool. You don't want to emulate them, but you do care for them. Maybe that's why the show failed to be more popular: viewers would hope it to be one more sexy soap opera show while it's all about the dullness, boredom, mediocrity of daily life, where the next morning looks like the one before, except on Friday night and except for the small pleasures brought by love, friendship and passion. At one point in the second season, the show tried to be more soapie for a tiny bit (there was a murder!) but that's actually when it got boring and fortunately the writers understood that for the last season.





09 February 2009

Paint it technicolor!

My best purchase this sale was surely the Douglas Sirk Collection: 7 masterpieces to exhaust your mind with dreams, the kind of dreams that make you change your life for the better.
Although I was familiar with movies like Imitation of Life (one of my all time favorites) and All that heaven allows, I discovered true jewels. One of them, "Has anybody seen my gal?" is set in the late twenties, while shot in the fifties. I think it's one of the very few movies I know that get to depict the twenties in technicolor (aside maybe from Singin' in the Rain). And it's like a veil has been lifted. You get to put colors on people, the streets, objects and mostly on... fashion! Of course, you see it the way they would see it in the fifties (there's another layer of reading for you) but it's so fun and it feels like being in a candy store.
The clothes are amazing, men and women fashion alike. Actually I love those high-waist men pants (I must say I'm not a big fan of the low-waist pants trend, so unbecoming to the silhouette). It makes me wanna wear more of those.
As a treat, here's a scene of the movie where music, clothes and acting come perfectly together.

08 February 2009

Get a Plan C says the New York Times

Looking at the crisis often lead to creative and facetious comments, like this brand logos analogy (by Ji Lee) illustrating an article of the New York Times, What's your new Plan B?
My favorite is Cipriani vs McDonald's...

07 February 2009

Facts of life

Last Saturday, on a late afternoon, I strolled in the 9th and the 18th districts of Paris, in a way I didn't do for a while. Just walking up the streets, not really knowing why or where, just for the pleasure of being in the moment. I looked at people, at windows shops, at the general romantic atmosphere of Paris in winter, on a Saturday. And then just as the chance has it in for you, I came across an art gallery I had seen before but forgot. It was an exhibition of Diane Arbus magazine works. The great idea of the commissioner wasn't about showing framed pictures, but the magazine clippings themselves, where sometimes you could read the first paragraphs of the cover story. In context, the photographs were more daring and rule-breaking than they ever were. You could really understand how they set at the time a before and after. A couple of works by Wolfgand Tillmans, Walker Evans, Annie Leibovitz and others were also there to depict the heritage. It was a simple, moving, enlightening exhibition. It was a stranger encounter in the middle of my urban wandering.




03 February 2009

People for people

Seen on the french geek blog Transnets today: a video seen more than 5 million times on YouTube! It's the song Stand by Me, sung by street musicians all over the world and mixed together in one video by Playing for change. I don't know if it was the specific intention (the said one is "to bring peace through music") but for me it's a very simple and effective way to bring awareness to the people all over the world who earn some of their living with playing in the streets and give them a deserving homage.

01 February 2009

My name is Michael Caine

I ordered a Michael Caine DVD set on Play.com and the first movie I watched from this set is The Italian Job, some sort of very annoying British humour concentrate with a hint of Italian northern Dolce Vita, served a la Fiat over industrious Turin.
This movie is like a time-travel shoot into the end of the Sixties, when graphic design in the urban landscape meant something and cars were impersonated. More than about robbery, I felt this movie was about the Mini Rover, Agnelli, the car industry, Turin, architecture and city organization. The movie is worth watching for the 25mn car chase (basically an ugly Alfa-Romeo chasing 3 super cute Mini-Rovers) where you can actually glance quickly at all the stunning details around the cars. It's beautifully shot that way.
The other reason why you watch the movie is Michael Caine, in all his splendor, nice tailored costumes and Cockney accent.





19 January 2009

Happy Revolution #9!

I've been working in a web agency as a project director for almost a year now. Almost a year of a monday to friday, 10 am to 7pm job. And so with that kind of schedule, I get to live "my life" in the evenings and during the week-ends. Except of course, I couldn't really enjoy my free time fully, as I'm usually exhausted or stressed and my mind is too empty to be able to think, move or act upon what I'd love to do.
It's the first time in a long time that I feel a huge gap between my work life and the rest of it. Usually my work life is blended with everything else. And even though some of the project I'm working on are gratifying and interesting, I can't really make them my own.
So it's been a fragile balance all this time, a silent fight to keep on doing things even though my deep soul is not into it. Cooking feels like a small victory, and so are spending time with my boyfriend, keeping my home tidy, going swimming, climbing, running, strolling in Paris, shopping, meeting friends, going to restaurants or movies.. I don't know when was the last time I could enjoy an exhibition in Paris.
Answering my friends emails is painful because I like to take my time to do that, so my inbox tells me I have emails that are few months old...
Blogging, well... if you're a regular reader, you might have noticed my poor frequence..
I feel out of the loop on so many things, starting with my own field, hard to catch up with everything that's been going on. The more I feel isolated, the more I resent distant communications and the Internet becomes at the same time my main way of keeping in touch and my main source of frustration for not being able to keep up the pace.
I have so many projects I'd like to take care of, bringing Superficiel up to date for one, making it a real organization..
Preparing events for Dorkbot Paris is always a rush, a last minute thing but thankfully there at least there are other people who are running things too..
And my art projects: I have two exhibitions to prepare in the next 2 months and I'm finding myself stealing minutes here and there to actually just think or conceive but there's no way I can make something meaningful like that.
So at the end of the day, I smoke my frustration in few cigarettes, sometimes with a glass of wine, in front of my computer screen, reading the news or watching some entertaining shows, hoping that the solution will come that can tell me how I can balance things right.
For a glimpse at the enormous website that has sucked the life out of me in the last months, you can log on 6 milliards d'Autres, a very successful project of the French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, that is also running as an exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris. As I started working on it, I felt some resonance with the RAW project because it aims at bringing awareness on lives of strangers around the world, and I think it achieves that quite well, although it's strongly mediated and edited which of course was the one thing we wanted to avoid in our work. But you should have a look at it, if only because it holds really interesting participative tools like collaborative translation.

-- Joëlle