🪰✨The Nexialist #0070
Skin and Bones | A Fly | Interloper | Sahara Circles | Fake Authenticity | The Perfect Girl | Unsolicited Advice | 1960s Assumptions of Y2K
Welcome to the weekly visit to my second brain through links, The Nexialist
This edition was one of those that inspired me only after I started it, a reminder that sometimes you can’t wait for inspiration to come your way. Just take the first step, and start typing. Hopefully, at least one brainspark will come along and inspire you too. Get that cup of tea or coffee and enjoy. 🫀
🌧Skin and Bones
I had this 070 Shake video saved for last week but decided to wait for the 70th Nexialist edition. It’s nice to see this kind of meta-language, nonsense and intensity. Plus, (SPOILER ALERT!) videos of lots of people kissing always make me happy. A part of the lyric that I loved, pushing time to an ethereal past and a technological future.
And we spoke in past tense
Reminisce 'bout back when our spirits used to dance with each other
We been smoking gas, yeah
This is so romantic, I never wanna press fast forward
This video came up in the Messy Nessy’s newsletter, one of my favorites. Francesca Whitlum-Cooper, Associate Curator at the National Gallery made a video to explore some possibilities of why there is a fly on this lady’s head. While her presentation is pretty convincing, I scrolled down the comments, to find great additions and reminders of how we can learn together and complement each other’s knowledge. The curator said they’re not sure who the artist is or who is the woman in the portrait, but there a comment that a lot of people saw and liked:
B J Fitzpatrick: I believe the artist to be Albrecht Durer. It bears a strong resemblance to his portrait of Barbara Durer. which was his mother. Her maiden name was Holfer. As mentioned prior in this thread, the fly and Forget-Me-Nots would point to a rememberance painting of his mother.
Of course, I went to look for the images and it’s true, the resemblance is quite uncanny. I’m not an art major, but after finding these images, I could not stop thinking: Is it possible the artist was imagining a younger version of his mother?
Another newsletter I enjoy is Merriam-Webster’s word of the day. Recently they sent the word Interloper, which caught my attention because lopen in Dutch means To Walk. The feeling that came to mind was when you’re watching a scene/listening to a podcast that seems so intimate that you feel like an… interloper. Maybe this fly was an interloper in the painting.
Interloper (n.): one that interlopes: such as
a: one that intrudes in a place or sphere of activity
b: an illegal or unlicensed trader
I watched this video from Vox with a smile on my face. A question that started on Reddit, got the curiosity of Cristophe Haubursin, who decided to put on a whole investigation, for answers that were not online. I just loved the number of specialists and locals that got involved, sharing their knowledge to feed their curiosity.
Deep in the Sahara, far from any towns, roads, or other signs of life, is a row of markings in the sand. There are dozens of them stretching for miles in a straight line in central Algeria, each consisting of a central point surrounded by a circle of 12 nodes, like numbers on a clock. And when we started making this video, no one seemed to know what they were.
We first saw the circles back in September 2021, after finding a Reddit post on r/WhatIsThis with coordinates asking what the circles could be. With just two upvotes and two commenters, it wasn’t exactly a lively discussion. But seeing the circles themselves on Google Earth was fascinating: They were eerily perfect in their shape and regularity, but so deeply isolated in the desert. We were hooked on finding an answer.
So we decided to make a video out of trying to solve the mystery, no matter where it took us. We documented every step of the process — from Zoom calls and web browser screen recordings to vlogs and field shoots — to show the reporting process from the inside out. And when we maxed out what we could learn on the internet, we handed over this story to a team in Algeria to take it all the way.
Do you also have a thing for 2x2 Matrices? I just can’t help but go read it when I see one because they help explain things simply and visually. This week’s 3_Trends from Matt Klein’s Zine had Rachel Greenspan bringing the paradox (another word I might overuse here) of Fake Authenticity.
Rachel: The (latest) buzzy app BeReal sends daily push notifications prompting a snapshot of your life at that moment, capturing both a front- and back-facing image to share with friends. The result is an off-kilter, supposedly “unfiltered” look into your reality.
As Mashable reported, BeReal is “what ‘casual Instagram’ wants to be.” Apptopia says the app’s monthly user base grew +315% this year.
Seeming “fake” online is now embarrassing. Filters are dead. There’s been a shift. “Casual Instagram Has Killed The Finsta.” “Photo-dumping” (slideshows of “random” pics) is now in.
Matt: When Instagram came onto the scene, mindless novelty preceded overthinking captions and the number of times we could post in a week. Now, we photo dump... but still meticulously. You can strip the filters, but you can’t purge the posturing.
👄The Perfect Girl
Another week and another video where Violet Chachki graces us with her beauty and poise, and I’m just obsessed. The outfits, the attitude, the boys, the lipsync. Talking about the paradox of fake/authenticity, this fits like a glove. Isn’t it just perfect that a drag queen is portraying The Perfect Girl? Yes, the video is also perfect for the song, and the description of the band, also perfect:
Mareux is an electronic music project from LA based musician and producer Aryan Ashtiani. Releases like “Cold Summer” and “the Perfect Girl” sparked a cult following, particularly in Eastern Europe and South America. In describing Mareux's sound, reviewer Fabrizio Lusso puts it best: “Mareux‘s moody and strongly emotional electronic laden lo-fi approach straddles the line between synth-pop, coldwave and post-punk in a stunning and infectious blend of thick glacial beats, lustrous synth stabs, sparse droning elements, vigorous bleak bass pulsations and a superb passionate voice, flavored by a mournful shadowy-goth feel, a seductive 80s flair, and sometimes subtle groovy r&b inflection.”
• That thing that made you weird as a kid could make you great as an adult — if you don’t lose it.
• Something does not need to be perfect to be wonderful.
• Be a good ancestor. Do something a future generation will thank you for. A simple thing is to plant a tree.
• Ignore what others may be thinking of you, because they aren’t.
• If your goal does not have a schedule, it is a dream.
• History teaches us that in 100 years from now some of the assumptions you believed will turn out to be wrong. A good question to ask yourself today is “What might I be wrong about?”
• Advice like these are not laws. They are like hats. If one doesn’t fit, try another.
Also, recently I started writing things I learned about myself and the way I work in No.tion files, as learnings. I recommend everyone do the same: I’m finding it’s great at reminding myself of things I’ve learned, as well as understanding my methodologies and processes for work.
🔮1960s Assumptions of Y2K
I couldn’t stop thinking about this after I watched it. These kids were quite pessimistic about the future. It’s so crazy to see that the same subjects are being talked about 60 years after: automation, inequality, war, and overpopulation. Some of them got it right though.
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I truly believe innovation comes from bringing improbable areas together, and that’s why I called this project The Nexialist. Some sectors are known to be self-referencing and hermetic. Sometimes teams are on autopilot mode, focused on the daily grind, which hinders innovation. As a Nexialist, I like to burst these bubbles, bringing references from different areas, and maintaining teams inspired and connected to the Zeitgeist.
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