“Learn to do common things uncommonly well; we must always keep in mind that anything that helps full the dinner pail is valuable.” -George Washington Carver
The world is changing. Of this, there is little debate. We must, each one, decide how we will move into a future that is different than the past and what changes we can make in order to sustain not just our own existence but that of the world as a whole. A return to old ways in many realms could be the key to the future of our planet. Producing what we can at home, easing the burden on a strained supply chain, treading gently on the only place we have to call our home – these are the actions of a civilization accepting responsibility for generations to come, a civilization holding itself accountable for the path on which we collectively tread.
Mark Jason Weston spoke to us this February 10 from Philadelphia. The pandemic, he says, has turned things on their head in the city where his understanding is that the vaccine rollout has been heavily flawed. For almost a year, like many of us, Weston has been working from home. He finds that time slows down to the point that at times it seems to flow backward. Although he says this is an interesting time to be alive, he does qualify that statement by saying that may not be such a good thing in all respects. At present, Weston is working on smaller pieces, which he says reflect his feelings of confinement and isolation. In addition, he began making collages in an old ledger book. To hear more about his work and experience during this time of pandemic, listen to the complete interview.
Sandra Mann spoke to us from Frankfurt, Germany where COVID infection rates had begun to drop. The pandemic has limited the number of exhibitions Mann, a photographer, has been able to accomplish and has pushed her role as a photographic history and design teacher at European School of Design to online classes. This year, Mann was awarded the Plaque of Frankfurt for her work in photography. The other recipient this year was famed composer Hans Zimmer. To hear more about her work and life, listen to the complete interview.
Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:
How will you contribute to the future we all share?
Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a shareable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.
Books to Read
What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Mark Jason Weston is reading Known and Strange Things: Essays by Teju Cole. Praxis user Kevin Marshall is reading The Age of Wood: Our Most Useful Material and the Construction of Civilization by Ronald Ennos.
Salmon Creek Journal, the student-run arts and literary journal of Washington State University, Vancouver, is accepting submissions for the spring issue under the theme of growth. Current and alumni WSU students may submit as many works as they like, and public submitters may submit up to three pieces per category. Visual artists are asked to upload a visual representation of their work and, if accepted, will be contacted for further details. To learn more and submit your work, visit the website. Deadline for submissions is March 6.
Brainard Carey is an author, artist and educator. He is the director of Praxis Center for Aesthetics. He has written six books for artists; Making it in the Art World, New Markets for Artists, The Art World Demystified, Fund Your Dreams Like a Creative Genius, Sell Online Like a Creative Genius, and Succeed with Social Media Like a Creative Genius.