Photo [Pixabay License] 2015 by Gerd Altmann

Not only was I intrigued after reading “sans papiers” by Lê Thị Diễm Thúy, but I was also interested by her response to why she chose Henri Matisse’s The Swimming Pool as inspiration for her poem. In “sans papiers”, Lê Thị Diễm Thúy writes about what immigrants — or those without papers had to experience as a result of being “born across water”. She explains that she took inspiration from Mattise’s work of art because the paper cutout reminded her of migrants crossing water. I was dazzled to hear about how she paralleled The Swimming Pool with her message about immigrants.

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Photo [Pixabay License] 2013 by No-longer-here

“No one is going to pick you. Pick yourself.”

When reading Seth Godin’s Reject the tyranny of being picked: pick yourself, the last two sentences of his blog post stopped me in my tracks and allowed me to come to a realization. Much like many others, I am a person who longs to get picked for anything, whether if its for a job, a project, etc. The most common and simple solution for this is to work harder, push harder, grind harder. Although, picking yourself is a completely different story. I was delighted after finishing Godin’s blog post because I realized that instead of following these “cultural instincts” and relying on others to get picked, I should pick myself.

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My screenshot from Animal Crossing New Horizons :D

I love this essay about Animal Crossing! Ananya Udaygiri writes about how this simple Japanese video game has such an effect on our generation. Not only is it a “miniature escape” from our everyday chaotic lives, but it is a way for Gen Z to have a vision about better times. I especially loved this essay, since I am addicted to Animal Crossing. I actually have over 400 hours of gameplay on Animal Crossing New Horizons as of now. After reading Udaygiri’s essay, I want to explore more about why and how video games, specifically simulation video games, have these kind of effects on our generation. Perhaps they make us want to escape from reality and have our own separate lives? Or maybe we simply enjoy the idea of living a life different from our current one.

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Photo [Pixabay License] 2016 by kalhh

“You see, Isobel. Beauty is in your mind, not in the rose.”

Agnes Martin is an American abstract painter famous for her work of art titled “With My Back to the World”. Hearing Arne Glimcher’s story about his granddaughter’s interaction with Agnes Martin stopped me in my tracks and made me come to a realization. Even if a rose cannot be physically present, it is still beautiful in the minds of everyone. This story delighted me because not only does it spread a powerful message, but it demonstrates how Martin was not only an abstract painter, but also a philosopher.

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ED RUSCHA “BREWS” SCREENPRINT, 1970

“In the early ’70s, Ed started painting with actual foods: chocolate, cilantro, catchup, caviar, hot sauce.”

Ed Ruscha is a famous American artist known for painting and drawing unique art and using unique materials. He is associated with the pop art movement and is most known for his book Twentysix Gasoline Stations.

After hearing about how Ruscha painted with food and drinks, I was originally disrupted but intrigued about this concept. Painting with random materials like gunpowder, juice, and squid ink would definitely catch my attention and pique my interests.

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