The Upside of Being Nobody

The Upside of Being Nobody

The subtitle of Lama Marut’s new book, Be Nobody(Beyond Words), encapsulates the quandary of its contents: “We’re all desperately trying to be somebody. Maybe we’ve got it all wrong.” Being a “nobody” would seem to be a mark of failure rather than a goal in our overachieving and hyper-busy world. Why would we want to dismantle this self we take…

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Minimal Living Amid Maximal Distraction

Minimal Living Amid Maximal Distraction

Donald Judd (1928-1994) was one of the founders of Minimal art, a movement in which art was stripped down to pure form and proportion, no longer representing anything at all, but simply existing as an elegantly conceived, often geometrically simple object. Judd lived his art, designing geometric furniture and pure living spaces for himself and his family, filtering out all…

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Soundings: A Contemporary Score

Soundings: A Contemporary Score

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City is currently presenting Soundings: A Contemporary Score, its first major survey of sound-based art. Most of the artworks combine both sound and visual components, but some are pure audio with nothing to see at all. As I walked through the exhibition, I began to consider and categorize the types of sounds…

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Here I Am

Here I Am

As I was growing up, the idea of fatherhood haunted me. I don’t remember my own father—he died when I was only three. I’ve been told that I resemble him more than my siblings do, so I felt that I was carrying on the legacy of someone I didn’t know. I would often imagine what it would be like to…

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