042020: Learning to Love You More

Photo of a street light during blue hour

We stumbled into the exhibition by accident. And as we didn’t have any plans, we decided to put our masks on and have a look around. The gallery showed a collection of installations and sculptures, mostly focussed on internet art, and the artist’s exploitation. When we walked through the rooms, passing by a giant print of Alex Tew’s Million Dollar Homepage, I saw it in a corner: A tiny desk with a laptop, showing the website learningtoloveyoumore.com.

Learning to Love You More was an interactive project by Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher that ran until 2009. The website listed a number of assignments that people could fulfill and send in their results, which were then exhibited on the site. 39: Take a picture of your parents kissing. 35: Ask your family to describe what you do. 66: Make a field guide to your yard. 5: Recreate an object from someone’s past. I knew this site! When we were teenagers, me and my friends did some of the assignments, and they can still be found online. I had totally forgotten about the site and how much joy these tasks and perspectives brought to me. Asking my parents to kiss for a picture was weird and memorable. I actually enjoy creating those kinds of moments. Rediscovering the website on the tiny desk at Kunstraum Kreuzberg reminded me about it.

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Right now, it’s 9.55pm, I am sitting in my living room. As I turn my stiff neck towards the window, I catch the blue hour; tinting the house across the street in a tender blue, almost purple color. It’s not going to last long, I can see it passing by. Like most summer evenings. Like me cycling through Weserstraße, on my way home from a dinner with a friend. That’s when I usually catch the blue hour, too. All this won’t last long: The people sitting outside their Spätis, drinking beers, the kids running around with their dogs, the warm air and me and my bike: This is what we longed for the whole winter, and realizing every year anew that it’s worth the wait — It’s an easy thought, and I like it. I like easy, sometimes.

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One thing I am trying to learn is to smile in pictures.

One thing I already learned is that I don’t need to please everybody all the time (cool!). Now, however, I am scared that people might not like the new Me who doesn’t want to be liked by everybody. It’s a vicious circle.

On a bit more light-hearted note: I went looking for the best-designed watering can out there and wrote a little design critique (in German).

And to stop blathering about Corona in this newsletter, I wrote a Corona diary for German form design magazine, which you can buy here. The current issue deals with Crisis and Design, and I can highly recommend ordering it!

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Here’s my Learning to Love You More assignment to you: Educate yourself on your internalised racisms. Fight them. Keep on learning and strengthening your senses; speak up, and learn what to do next – Hire black illustrators, for example. Here is a list to get started with. In between, you can put the phone or computer away and go outside. Cycle through summer, because as we all know: It won’t last as long as we’d like to.

If you enjoy content like this: I send it out as irregular) monthly newsletter called Christel’s CornerSign up for it here.

2. Juli 2020