26 Mar 2017

41. a place for everything

...and everything in its place. This is my place for everything. This is where my creative endeavours will live. I'll keep the ol' Tw!tter and !nst@gr@m and everything and anything else, but I don't think I'll be overly active by any stretch of the imagination. 

This is my repository. My laboratory. The fertile ground. This is where the process of my creative endeavours will unfold - where the gestation and evolution can and will occur. This will be a place of ideas. It is a space of hypothesis. cultivation, refinement, and finish. 

Anyone who wants to be an observer to my journey can follow me along this path, either as someone who takes every step of the way with me as a series of points along the curve, or as someone who stops in once in a while as a tangent to the path. Either way, I won't bombard your timeline or hijack your feed - I won't solicit likes or favourites or take up your valuable time or attention - you can choose to partake or not, or if you get caught up in your life, you don't need to get caught up in mine unless you want and choose to. 

Welcome to my place. 

31 Jan 2017

40. antisocial media

I've flirted with twitter, I've poked around in In$tagram. I've used Sound¢loud and Mix¢loud. There are many others - I don't need to list them all. 

I've taken a look from the outside at $napchat, ¥outube, Fa¢ebook, and Tumb£r. I get what social media is about. I've read the guides and studied how people find success in these mediums. I'm pretty sure I get why these realms are important to people for a variety of sane (and not so sane) reasons. 

Searching for success inside the hallowed confines of a social media platform seems as though it can be a tough existence. Always craving likes, shares, retwe€ts, posts - it never ends. One might experience the high of having something gain widespread attention or viral success only to feel like a permanent upswing is imminent and to only be caught in a cycle of never being able to replicate this success. Although, I will admit, some people are quite adept at finding continued success. 


Shares. Likes. Favorites. 

Fuel for the ego for most of us, monetization for a select fortunate/unfortunate few. I contemplated joining Fa¢ebook a decade ago when the mass sprint towards the platform took place. At that time, I took a critical look at what the now mighty, ubiquitous FB was all about and decided that I had doubts about the value it would contribute to my everyday experiences. I've undoubtedly missed out on many events, interactions, conversations, and connections - all promises that a FB account offers to some degree. I'm ok with this, though. 

I have nothing against reconnecting with childhood friends, or long lost colleagues, or distant family members. It just seemed at the time as though the purpose was more about grandstanding - showing people that you barely (if ever) interact with in real life how great your life has become. People share their everyday experiences as if they are full of these incredible moments. Sure, they may very well be. For the most part, people are sharing all of their everyday experiences and at some point there is bound to be a flurry of unremarkable-ness that assaults and overwhelms the feeds and timelines of 'friends'. Maybe this is the point?

I had never shared much of my life with others prior to social media, and I have devoted a good portion of my life to actually living my life. I don't use this statement to impose a superiority complex on anyone, rather, I would say that while there are merits to sharing and engaging, I just found I had so much else to do. I understand that this is my choice and does not reflect the preferences of others, but man did I take a lot of flack for being a 'FB snob'. 

So yes, I feel qualified to pass judgement on the platform as a result of having several people close to me who have been devoted to FB over the past 5-10 years. Although I have limited direct experience with FB (google searches or other links that pull up facebook pages, being one example), I suspect that my outside view is a somewhat accurate generalization as verified through the many, many conversations I have had with users about this very thing. 

I've always told people that I'm more of a Twitt€r guy. This was true for a long time - long in the current sense of this consumptive society that seems to quickly devour the next big thing after abandoning and moving on from the last big thing. We don't seem to really be in anything for the long haul. 

Twittr represented a platform with quick soundbites. Quick ideas, quick statements, quick information, and a place where I could quickly move on. It was a place where I felt I could make meaningless interactions and connections, and comfortably do so within the frenetic pace that my life seems to have moved at for the past many years. It was also a place that was about moments and it embraced those moments, and was a place that entertained and informed. I wasn't too worried about what I saw as I scrolled through twe€t after twe€t. I wasn't too afraid to make posts that gave glimpses into my mundane life +/or opinions, and I enjoyed retwe€ting content I found useful or entertaining. . 

I remember when I realized what Twitt€r was becoming - it was my aha moment. A few years ago, a local sports team that I cheer for made the playoffs for the first time in several years and was playing one of its biggest rivals in the first round. I was out of town at a concert for one of the mid-series games but followed the game on my phone using a sports app. I sought commentary and reaction on Twitt€r, as I had become accustomed to over the prior couple of years. After a hard fought, well earned victory for the team I cheer for, random people on Twitt€r took to the platform to vent their celebrations and their frustrations. One random supporter of the losing team directly interacted with a professional player on the winning team and proceeded to launch into a series of personal attacks on the player. The random opposing fan used the platform to essentially laugh at and mock the player for a highly tragic event that happened in the player's life. 

This is where I first really saw a side of the platform that bothered me. This was the first crack in my wall of support of Twitt€r, and the beginning of what would become a declining desire to post and engage. The next couple of years saw my activity decline. I had previously been more of a casual user and managed to post somewhat regularly, but this started to change. I still opened my timeline regularly and went through looking for news, entertainment, pop culture, current events, etc. Twitt€r was the first place I would turn to when I wanted to know what was happening, which is what I suppose the platform had wanted itself intended for. However, it became a place where I muted my own voice and started to avoid making contributions. 

Over time, especially over the past year, I've seen Twitt€r devolve into a place where only some of its users engage in open dialogue and reasonable conversation. The platform has descended to become a place where arguments and unsolicited opinions are perpetuated and unwillingly thrust on users. Even though there is some good, there unfortunately is so much hatred. 

I would offer that the current Fa¢ebook experience can often be very much the same. 

Although I can handle being called a variety of names, I don't have the time or energy or desire to engage in these types of discussions. They contribute nothing to my overall well being. I have little interest in becoming a participant in these discussions. I have been observing them from an outside vantage and find myself becoming enraged. They exhaust me and overwhelm me. There is little that I feel that I can do to reason with so many (in my opinion) unreasonable people.

I'm not on Twitt€r much anymore these days. Instead, I have willingly chosen to focus on my creative pursuits and to ensuring that my everyday, mundane experiences are as rich as I can make them.

Now, I can finally bring this conversation full circle. I'm sure that social media is useful for the creative person. It can be a place where fans are gained, where content is shared, or where creative people can find support amongst one another. Maybe I'll be able to find a place to exist within the confines of social media at some point. Until then, this is my place. This is where I'll share my creations as they develop and evolve into full-fledged things. I'm hoping that all of you who stumble across this place and all of you who join me for the ride are the ones that can find meaning in what I create, and can contribute where you feel appropriate. 

I hope that you all offer criticism in your own way. Professional criticism makes me re-evaluate my work in ways I may not have originally considered. I've been through the trenches of architecture school. I can handle it. Realize, however, that a difference exists between professional and personal criticism. I'm a person who thoroughly enjoys reasonable, thoughtful discussions, and I hope this is a place that will facilitate the evolution of my pursuits... for now.  

Thanks to those of you who stuck around through this post. They won't all be this lengthy! 


24 Jan 2017

39. a new dawn a new day 

Ok, so 'a new dawn a new day' is a cliche. 

Cliches are continually given new life because of their widespread applicability, even despite often being trite, tired, worn out, and well... well usedA word or an expression can convey the richness of an idea and in a few words can capture what we are trying to articulate more concisely than we likely can on our own - less is more, if you will, and they are greater than the sum of its parts, if you really will.

Artists and writers attempt to avoid cliches. We might allude to them or attempt to incorporate them in (what we think are) novel ways, but we rarely overtly embrace them. We night use them to make a point or use them laden with sarcasm or irony, but rarely do we overtly recite or re-postulate them. The creative mind is striving to achieve - you guessed it - creativity. We aim for novelty, uniqueness, +/or a degree of critical composition. 

So, why the cliches? 

Laziness? Lack of discipline? 

No - cliches are being used to form the backdrop of this discussion. The theme here is really one of 'days' - new days, old days, any days. 

Days go by.

I haven't posted to this blog in over three years. 

Life comes at you quick, and life happens. 

Despite all of the pursuits that I find myself immersed in, I don't feel as though I've progressed as far as I feel I should have over the past few years. I measure progress by 'things' completed, and there have been few. However, I have many, many things that are indeed progressing and developing - a slow burn of sorts. The most significant change I have made has been towards attempting to create my best work by placing a large degree of focus on the details that form the underlying basis of each pursuit. 

Quality over quantity. 

With this said, I want to embrace and capture the process. Despite my careful and methodical (aka slow) development of all things creative, baby steps are being taken. This blog will be the place where everything lives during development and upon completion.

So not to beat a dead horse, and although needless to say that it might sound cliche, it is now time to pick this blog back up.


8 Nov 2013

38. almost 300

almost 300

wheels go round a-
all                        (at)

© 2013 kjh all rights reserved.

4 Nov 2013

37. blocks

blocks by kj hood on 500px.com

w e  a  t  h  e  r  e  d      b  -
l  o  c  k  s     r  e  s  - 
c  i  n  d    (u  n d)
e  r (r) a  t   t   i   c

© 2012 kjh all rights reserved.

18 Sep 2013

35. the next chapter

The past couple of years have been an experiment for me as I slowly and timidly entered the vast waters of the social media world. I have oscillated between passive and active engagement on a variety of social media platforms but have, however, consciously and deliberately avoided signing up for a Facebook account. From the first time I became aware of Facebook through its mammoth explosion in terms of popularity several years ago, and to its seeming current plateau, I really have not ever been entirely sure of the merits and benefits of being hyper-connected in a Facebook context.

The upsides or downsides of my decision could be debated almost infinitely, and trust me, they have been debated almost infinitely between a couple of my heavy FB-using friends and myself. Recently, in fact, I've perhaps started to see some of the first cracks in the walls of my FB avoidance since starting my own architectural firm.

The point here is that I was definitely hesitant in the first place to make my foray into the hyper-connected world of social media, sharing, public availability & accessibility, and even to some extent curation. I’ve never been one to shy away from a conversation with a stranger, but the adjustment to having these conversations in a digital medium has been tricky. Like so many, I am a busy person – I work hard and play hard (and apparently love clich├ęs) and find it difficult to dedicate time for the sole purpose of engaging in discussions or detailing my escapades in digital forums. Although I am amassing some quantities of work in music, photography, writing, and other pursuits, I have been historically poor at promoting the work.

Let’s face it. I know people are busy and don’t necessarily need to be bombarded continually with noise. Trust me – I’m bombarded with enough noise as it is and it can definitely be overwhelming. Also, I have no desire to compromise quality in favour of quantity, the challenge of course being that it takes time to create great work. Therein lies the rub – I’d rather spend my time working in pursuit of great work rather than expending the required effort to participate in the digital mediums promoting the work, connecting with people, and engaging in conversations. Which, frankly, is why my social media presence is, well, non-existent.

I don’t necessarily want to be an advocate of ‘balance’ here – I always advocate for balance and in all honesty, it can be a cop-out. However, an imbalance means that I have a collection of what I consider to be decent work and no infrastructure to promote it. And, I do understand that the best work in the world won’t find legs by itself – it needs mechanisms and mediums to live and breathe in.

As I mentioned at the start of this, my foray into the realm of social, yet publicly visible displays of communication has been an experiment of sorts over the past couple of years. The benefit, despite my inconsistency, is that I’ve learned quite a bit. I think I have an idea of the lessons I’ve learned and the directions I need to move in. In my mind, this is a time of new beginnings, and after over a year of not posting to this blog, I think it can play an important part in the collection and promotion of material. It will be a repository, a central place where I can keep track of all of my crazy endeavours and the work I’m creating. It will link to other more focused collections, but it should offer a home-base of sorts that will hopefully allow me to eventually cross-pollinate different works together.

I hope that something here will provoke, inspire, or at the very least entertain you. Whether you’re here just as one-time thing or wanting to follow me on my new beginnings, thanks for visiting.