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S P A C E | HCMC, 'Humanity'

This issue features cover art and inside photography by contributing art director Nils Don Sihvola.

The lead story is 'Humanity,' by longtime S P A C E contributing editor Michael Bridgett, Jr.

Art Direction by Van Tran. Editing by DK's Dipika Kohli.

Six months of conversations in DK's online S P A C E led to this story

nils don sihvola

'DIGITAL VISUAL arts-digital SLR and image processing-is my thing. In 2013 a friend sold me his Canon 500d digital camera. Instinctively and instantly, I knew that the digital camera would be my tool to make art. Art: something I’ve known since I was a child I wanted to make. Every year I practiced, and in 2017, went to study photography at Kymenlaakson opisto in Inkeroinen, Finland.Ever since, I’ve wanted to investigate questions like, ‘How does form support content? What’s “balance” in a composition? What can an image say, in complement to, for example, a spoken message?’In a world that relies on the flat 2d spectacle, rotating the axis to discover a fresh perspective can mean the difference between “love” and “pain.”'

Instagram @nils_don_sihvola

michael bridgett, jr.

DK and Michael Bridgett, Jr. share an interest in ephemera---Mike makes music that amplifies a stage, for a moment, and we make, well, a weekly e-mag. Short shelf life. Short, and sweet.‘I believe in the power of spontaneity and improvisation–the creation of something powerful in the moment,’ says Michael Bridgett, Jr., also known as Mike Dynamo, a multi-disciplinary artist based in Phnom Penh. ‘And possibly never to be seen again. It allows me to be fully present. When I perform, I draw on the energy of the crowd and the people around me, amplify it, and give that energy right back, ten-fold. It’s my superpower... In my writing, I strive for honesty, speaking about things that many don’t like to talk about. I want to make people think about their assumptions, because assumptions are a direct result of not being present and not engaging with what is in front of you. Of course, sometimes I just want to riff on video games, comics, and movies I love and analyze.’ 

mikedynamo.wordpress.com | Instagram @mikedynamo

A shot from Nils don Sihvola's photo essay, 'In Finnish Autumn'

văn trần

‘SOME PEOPLE say my photos are sad, but I don’t think they get it,’ says Văn Trần, defiantly. ‘These are my photos. I love them. They tell my stories.’ DK bumped into him while on the road in one of our usual quiet moments, reflecting quietly and apart from the hubbub of noise and people, in Đà Lạt, Việt Nam. He told us he enjoys cooking and traveling, and, we soon found, also investigates philosophical questions. This is where we found rapport. Currently, he is leading the program, Atelier S P A C E // HCMC, and the conversations there led to the work that set the table for this issue. And a few others, coming up, in the Winter 2020-21 series of S P A C E called, simply, 'Trust.'

Instagram @huyvan.ne | @mainua

dipika kohli

DK's written and visual work, as well as curations, juxtapose people, place, and found imagery in 'minitheaters' as well as digital 'zines' like S P A C E. She engages with media at hand, wherever she is, to build something out of what's available in that moment, with that feeling. A bricolage artist at heart, she thus invites the new to enter any frame: when mixed, there is invitation for those who are participant to connect, reconnect, and revisit their idea of such fixed thinking as 'this is where this is taking us' and 'here is what we know.' Do we know anything, for sure? Ask the quantum physicists. Ask N. Bohr: 'How wonderful that we have met with a paradox; now we have some hope of making progress.' DK is currently writing a new short book, Reality & Trust (Kismuth Books /2021).


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