Moulding Sorrow

Recovering the Aura in the Age of Digital Reproduction

Recovering the Aura in the Age of Digital Reproduction

Much has been lamented about the loss of the Aura of Art in the Age of Digital Media - mostly because the transition from old to new media has been poorly understood or poorly executed. And then comes an amazing collection of landscape photographs by someone who has never been there, has not even taken the photos.

East of Amazon

  Klezmer music at Bird & Beckett

Chelm Feelharmonic.jpgSome experiences are offline only. Amazon cannot deliver on this. Yes - the book I got for my friend was a full 30% plus tax more expensive than online and I had to go there and get it. But then I had a nice chat with Eric and showed my daughter a real bookstore - "what they had in the old days", as she calls it.

It is unlikely that Amzon is opening a neighborhood bookstore that sells Trotzki, Jung, and Children's books new and used anytime soon - where you can sit on the floor reading and listening to the Klezmer Music performed by the pretty mixed group of the Chelm Feelharmonic.

Jazz most Friday evenings.

Not Really Real - Two Cities

Recently I received a link to a wonderfully real video of Vienna

Vienna Airlines Motionride - Full CG 3D Animation from immortal-arts on Vimeo.

that is completely computer generated.

And then a few days ago I received a link to wonderfully artificial video of San Francisco

that is completely real and shot in the city

Compare the two impressions - make sure you watch them in full-screen mode and post a comment


O glücklich, wer noch hoffen kann,Aus diesem Meer des Irrtums aufzutauchen! Was man nicht weiß, das eben brauchte man, Und was man weiß, kann man nicht brauchen. - Goethe: Faust I, Vers 1064 ff.

Somewhat interesting Information on the verge of being useless is at the core of the Web - and not by coincidence. The constant complaints about "information overload" are rooted in the idea that information aggregation and dissemination follows a simplistic model of sender and receiver and being at the receiving end, all you can do, is to hold the funnel and explore/experience all the stuff that comes in.

Looking for "really high-up" restaurant for M. in San Francisco - she wants to look down onto toy-sized cars and people - I came across The Most Unusual Restaurants in the World - a comprehensive, interesting, list of eating places outside the "usual" (sic!). I had a hard time selecting one for a picture for this blog entry and ultimately settled for a Kiew restaurant serving as dessert: pork fat covered in chocolate: not kosher, not healthy and probably not very desirable - but it's Ungewöhnlich (unusual).

Information overload is directly related to the search for the unusual. A day spent with the "very usual", nothing special, just living and breathing is more special than the most special, exciting, unusual experience that often not delivers what it is hoping to promise. (to be continued).

Kiew Restaurant


Simple or Easy?

In marketing you should never use "simple" always write "easy". (There is a non-politically correct way to memorize about women that applies equally to men btw.). Sometimes life is very simple and hard - and the complicated is easy, the simple is hard: Approaching everyday life:

When you see it you just see it When you think about it you miss it

After listening to Norman's talk for four times - I finally got it. The story comes from Master Dogen's Shinji Shobogenzo case #106: "When you greet me I bow". Read more here

When you see it you just see it When you think about it you miss it.


Bridging the Crack

There is a crack, a crack in everythingThat's how the light gets in. — L. Cohen, Zen priest and writer

Austria – and especially Vienna – has a long tradition in bridging gaps, crossing boundaries and developing new creative opportunities in areas that did not even exist before. Vienna is especially creative when things don’t work out, when new approaches are required, old things need to be separated or when multiple domains need to be merged to create something new. In music, literature, theater, painting, medicine, and technology – Vienna always welcomed the misfits, the innovators, those recognizing the cracks in the continuum.

Cracks develop as old forms break and are essential for new forms to rise. Accepting radical impermanence is difficult, especially in a socio-cultural environment built on the bedrock or the Holy Roman Empire and the Monarchy of Austria-Hungary. Yet art and science were always an essential part of society as disruptors and this dichotomy created the tension critical for innovation.

Recognizing a crack not as an unfortunate occurrence of decay but as an opportunity to look inside, as a way for the light to get inside to see what makes the system work, to disclose the secrets and possibly to break the shell and expose new perspectives. The Japanese design of Wabi Sabi always preferred the imperfect, the intentionally or unintentionally damaged and the beauty of the unique form that is in stark contrast to the industrially produced uniformity.

To bridge the crack means to recognize the crack. To recognize the crack means to accept the crack. To accept the crack opens a whole different perspective and set of opportunities to realize new ideas. In the same way the negative space surrounding an object may at some times tell us more than the form of the object itself, a crack provides enhances our understanding.

Now recognizing the crack is only the beginning – we have the responsibility to act on our knowledge and as we bridge gaps East and West bring together people who would otherwise never meet to create unique new ideas that would otherwise not germinate. That is the function of a gathering, a conference like TEDx and it is the function that Austria had in the past and has today.