Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘collaboration’

07 JANUARY, 2013

Introducing The Reconstructionists: A Yearlong Celebration of History’s Remarkable Women

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Illustrated portraits of trailblazing women across art, science, and literature.

It can be extraordinarily challenging to write about notable women without ghettoizing it as “women’s issues,” and yet some of the most remarkable hearts and minds to drive humanity forward have come equipped with two X chromosomes. It gives me enormous pleasure to announce a new collaboration with artist Lisa Congdon, titled The Reconstructionists — a yearlong celebration of remarkable women across art, science, and literature, both famous and esoteric, who have changed the way we define ourselves as a culture and live our lives as individuals of any gender.

Every Monday in 2013, we’ll be publishing an illustrated portrait of one such trailblazing woman, along with a hand-lettered quote that captures her spirit and a short micro-essay about her life and legacy. We’re launching with four portraits — writers Anaïs Nin and Gertrude Stein, artist Agnes Martin, and inventor/actor Hedy Lamarr — for a taste of the project’s scope and sensibility, but will be publishing one per week for the remainder of the year.

The project borrows its title from Anaïs Nin, one of the 52 female icons, who wrote of “woman’s role in the reconstruction of the world” in a poetic 1944 diary entry — a sentiment that encapsulates the heart of what this undertaking is about: women who have reconstructed, in ways big and small, famous and infamous, timeless and timely, our understanding of ourselves, the world, and our place in it. (Nin’s work was also how Lisa and I first crossed paths creatively, which adds a private celebratory element to the public project.)

The site was generously and thoughtfully designed by wonder-worker Kelli Anderson, my collaborator on the Curator’s Code project and one remarkable woman herself.

Please enjoy.

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13 DECEMBER, 2012

Remembering the Godfather of World Music: Ravi Shankar + Philip Glass, 1990

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East meets West in an exquisite meeting of the minds, hearts, and strings.

Legendary sitar player Ravi Shankar passed away this week at the age of 92. (Coincidentally, the same age at which we lost Ray Bradbury earlier this year.) Celebrated as “the godfather of world music,” Shankar not only brought a new appreciation of Indian sound to the West but also influenced generations of eclectic musicians around the globe. In 1990, he partnered with Philip Glass, one of the most influential composers of the 20th century, on an uncommon six-track collaboration: Passages unfolds into 55 minutes and 21 seconds of exquisite melodic fusion, blending the Eastern tradition with Glass’s classicism as the mesmerism of Shankar’s sitar and the magic of the saxophone, cello, and the rest of Glass’s signature instrumentation flow seamlessly into and out of one another. The result is the musical equivalent of when Einstein met Tagore.

My favorite track on the album is the beautifully restless “Meetings Along The Edge,” but the record is sublime in its entirety:

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20 NOVEMBER, 2012

Tiny Collaborative Stories

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A charmingly minimalist cross-pollination of word and image at the heart of being human.

Last year, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, better-known as RegularJOE in the hitRECord universe he created, asked thousands of contributors to submit tiny stories through words and images. He sifted through more than 8,000 submissions to cull 67 contributions, which were then collected in The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 1. The hitRECord crew is now back with The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 2 — a delightful compilation of 62 such tender, poignant, beautiful micro-narratives selected from nearly 15,000 submissions. All the stories are made collaboratively — a writer would submit a story to the site, then an artist who likes it would illustrate it, or vice-versa, then others would join in and remix the stories and artwork.

In a heartening twist on traditional publishing, hitRECord is splitting all proceeds from the book 50-50 with the contributing artists and writers.

The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 2 will be followed by Volume 3 in 2013, for which submissions are already being accepted.

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Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter and people say it’s cool. It comes out on Sundays and offers the week’s best articles. Here’s what to expect. Like? Sign up.

Donating = Loving

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Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter. It comes out on Sundays and offers the week’s best articles. Here’s what to expect. Like? Sign up.