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Time, what does it mean to you? A discussion by our features, narratives and short stories, along with timely photo series, editorials and segments. We invite you into the lives of those in the creative industry.

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Issue 4.0 - ON TIME: Featuring Throne, Melonie & Melora, Whisk, Gay Men Project


on time

Hello friends - Eli and Kenta-Thomas here! Welcome to the fourth and final issue of Invitation/Annual. We are so elated to share our TIME issue with you. From a creative perspective we have learned so much about the power of community, trust and risk. Thanks for helping us build such a powerful publication rooted in co-creation and introspection. This has been such an amazing journey filled with so many victories, both small and large. As you flip through the pages and connect with the various stories, perspectives and works from all around the world remember that time is constant. Fill your most loved moments with grace, humility and passion. So‌ for one last time, we invite you into the lives of those in the creative industry. We hope that you enjoy this issue, as you dwell - what does time mean to you? Warmth.

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THE TEAM

CONTENT Editorial: A Sunday with Justin Hopkins Facilitated Conversation: Magali Duzant Essentials Through the Senses - Jill Lindsey

Editorial Kenta T. Naoi - Founding Editor Elijah McKinnon - Co-Founder, Managing Editor Denayja Reese - Associate Editor

Featured Perspectives: Throne Watches The Gay Men Project WHISK Melonie and Melora Greene of SOMArts

Printing Adair Graphic Communications Advertising | Distribution howdy@invitationannual.com Invitation/Annual is published quarterly by MUDENTE LLC. All rights reserved. All material in this magazine may not be reproduced, transmitted or distributed in any form without the written permission of Invitation/ Annual. The articles published reflect the opinions of the respective authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the publishers and editorial team.

Contributors: PHOTOS Zack Dinh Maxine Sferra Patrick Ortiz

Printed in USA by Adair Graphic Communications (Dexter, Michigan).

WORDS Ibrahim Mimou Denayja Reese Stephen Wakulchik Francesca Wedemeyer Natasha Shompole Patrick Mooney DESIGN Dav Yendler Alexa Cassaro Jason Leonard CULINARY Nathan & Christina Murphey Kama Bdeir of The MedShed MUSIC Marty Mars Flowers on the Fence

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THE COLD OF WINTER ON A SUNNY DAY An interview with Cory Teese of Flowers on the Fence words + photos by Zack Dinh @dyatica

As the days become shorter, and the air colder. As fields fill with pumpkins from who knows where. As the birds leave. We are approaching the time of year where the sun lays low, casting dramatic shadows across the landscape. The year is coming to an end. Another revolution around the sun is completing. And the question is? Are things the way they should be? We spend most of the year consumed with living our lives, chasing our dreams. Eventually we notice that our world is changing, slowing, sleeping. As the leaves fall off the trees we question if the decisions we’ve made over the course of a year have been correct. For every year, for many back, I can recall the sounds that come to define this time of year. Brand New: Deja Entendu, Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago, Noah and the Whale: First Days of Spring. They are the anthem of my favorite time of the year. For they define this time of year so wonderfully, and although so full of uncertainty, their songs provide the power to accept and move on. Whatever we have lost, in time we will overcome. Cory Teese is a young musician and writer living in San Francisco. His recent project: Flowers on the Fence can best be described as the cold of winter on a sunny day. His songs transports listeners to that time of year when days grow short, the shadows long, and although the sun shines, the air is cold. In this frame of mind absent of either happiness or sadness, listeners are compelled to evaluate their own lives to determine if the untold number of decisions made daily have accumulated into a result that they can be okay with. I had the opportunity to catch up with Cory and these are some of words that transpired. 6


Tell us about what was going in your life when you were recording Winter’s Season. Recording Winter’s Season started in February of this year with my good bud, Jacob Montague. I was just writing and messing around while my friend Connor banged around on the drums to what I was playing. Then, the songs started constructing themselves and I ended up with this batch of four songs that all meant a ton to me because of where I was at the time. I was really doubtful in a lot of things in my life then; I didn’t know if what I was doing everyday was good, if I was anything like what I believe I am supposed to be and all of that eventually caved in on me. I got overwhelmed with the things I didn’t like about my life and myself so I escaped it in those songs. What is the meaning behind Flowers on the Fence? I think people are a lot like flowers- flowers are meant to bloom and be beautiful and I think people are too. And “on the fence” conjures up the idea that you’re in the midst of being on one side or the other- facing some kind of indecision or internal wrestling that keeps you from fully reaching either side. The name embodies the idea that people- me, you, anyone, try our best to bloom and be that beautiful flower but we’re constantly in the midst of some hell that keeps us from reaching it. You once described your music as being a tribute to a cold yet sunny winter’s day. Can you elaborate? Maybe writing the album in the winter makes me biased towards this. But I think for myself, each song on the album sounds somewhat haunting, where your current being is content but you’re haunted from some idea or feeling. And that’s like a cold and sunny day. The day is content looking with the sun, but the cold is like ice and it is the coldest kind of cold. Describe your favorite time of the day. Where are you, what are you doing, and why is it your favorite? Morning. Maybe 8AM on a foggy San Francisco day. All my roommates are asleep and I’m on my balcony drinking coffee and just being. The solitude is refreshing, being able to think about whatever the hell comes to my mind. What are your thoughts on the seasons? Seasons are good when you live in a place that has distinctive seasons. In San Francisco, its been shifting from long, sunny days to foggy, slow, grey days. When I wake up and it’s grey, I stay in bed longer and listen to the silence of the morning. I’m a fan of all the seasons, they all resonate uniquely with me and I find myself being affected by the feelings of that season- in creative terms.

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I can best describe your music as being dark, yet very hopeful. Is this accurate? How do you feel about time? Does everything painful become okay with time? Yeah, dark is a good description I think (laughs) and hopeful too. A huge part of the songs on the Winter’s Season EP revolve around the idea of finding something to hold onto when you’re in that darkness. I don’t think everything becomes okay with time, but I think in time we learn about ourselves, learn about the pain we go through and we grow from that pain. And I think if it’s done well, hope is found at the end of that pain. Flowers on the Fence Winter’s Season EP can be found on Band Camp. flowersonthefence.bandcamp.com

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ESSENTIALS THROUGH THE SENSES: JILL LINDSEY @jilllindseystore

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jilllindsey.com

370 MYRTLE AVE BROOKLYN, NY 11205

Jill Lindsey, Entrepreneur and Desinger Jill Lindesy, at a glance is a little slice of heaven. Eponymously named after the designer, the shop located in the lazy neighborhood of Fort Greene, Brooklyn is also a gift shop, clothing boutique, and a cafe/lounge. After stepping into the impeccably designed space there are many senses immediately activated. There are so many wonderful things to be found under one roof, one would say, Jill Lindsey’s shop is a mini-department store offereing more than beautfiully curated trinkets and locally sourced designs but is also a safe haven for the curious. With time on our minds, we thought it would be fitting to have the designer slash entreprenuer way in on the subject.

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How do you personally define time? Time is a simplified moment of breathing and experiencing. As a designer and entrepreneur how does time affect your decision making process? I feel that most things are pretty time sensitive, so I trust my instincts to make quick, meaningful and lasting decisions. You have a beautiful storefront located in Brooklyn; how did you form the concept and what was the timeline like? The concept came about because I wanted a place where I could sell products that I make as well as designers I support and to curate a community center for enriching experiences thru classes, events and everyday communication over coffee and wine. Was it important for you to open a shop with many different elements of engagement (i.e. cafe, boutique, etc.)? It was very important, I wanted a true lifestyle store. Like the feeling of coming into someones home so that you can do a variety of things all in one place. As a designer, how do you know when a design is complete? I know when a design is complete when my vision has become a reality. Can you describe your aesthetic in three words? Clean, golden and natural What is your favorite type of environment to shop in? I love to shop where the level of customer service is top notch! That is how I hope people feel entering my store, that they are educated on our products and have an amazing time while we share the space with them. Over the years, how has time influenced the success of your endeavors? Time has only kept me growing and imaging endless possibilities of what I can make! Over time I make more relationships with “makers and designers� as well as people in the community to keep the vision of what JILL LINDSEY stands for grow!

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THRONE WATCHES @thronewatches

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THRONE watches, started as a collaboration between maker and designers, Zach Sears, Travis Alexander, and Greg Mills. The three now co-operate THRONE out of their beautiful Brooklyn studio and show room alongside a team of friends who help design, develop, and manufacture. THRONE, a relatively young brand, started as a passion project between the three long time friends. What began as a need to make things, quickly turned into a business with interests from acquaintances and local vendors. One thing led to another, for the trio, as their community grew they began to see the beginnings of a truly unique brand. What stands out the most about THRONE is the inherent partnership between the three, it works - a genuine interest to spend time with one another and create, not for the sake of owning a product line, but for the sake of crafting beautifully designed goods with people who matter. To Zach, Travis, and Greg, the company comes second to their time together, simply making things 16

thronewatches.com

that they and their friends can get excited over. Of course, all of this shows in their products. Each watch is beautifully hand crafted, designed from a place of sheer excitement, and pieced together over time. These days, the three spend every opportunity they can get hanging out in their beautiful Williamsburg workshop, developing new goods and designing new ways to grow their brand. To them, time has played a big role in their lives - from the time they spend thinking about how their isn’t enough time in the day, to how precious it can all be, to the time it has taken them to get to where they are today. THRONE is not only a fantastic company, with truly worthwhile products, but is also one of my favorite companies, out of the sheer bias that I really wouldn’t mind grabbing a beer with these guys, talking design, life, and the pursuit of creative satisfaction.


What does time mean to you? I feel like the majority of my life is spent trying to make the best use of every minute. In my opinion time is the most valuable commodity we all have. And New York especially, has a funny way of making time move even more quickly, it’s so incredibly valuable here. If only there were more hours in the day, or I didn’t need to sleep to function. How did everyone come together to start a watch company? What has your timeline been like thus far? We all met organically really, through music, the city, mutual friends. We used to spend a lot of time together just drinking, watching basketball and riffing ideas. At one point we decided we should actually do something instead of just talk about it and Throne was born. From there everything happened very quickly, we’ve only been in business for two years. The concept was simple enough and unique enough that people really latched onto it and the response was incredibly positive. How does the idea of time play into your daily lives, for example, do you live by a schedule, do you tend to forget what time of week it is etc.? I wish I could forget what day of the week it is. I do sometimes when I’m up in Maine (where I’m from). When I’m here in the city, working for Throne every minute matters. Running your own business is so interesting that way, you are the gate keeper to your own success. Where do you feel THRONE watches is right now, as a company, and in your persona life? Throne is in an interesting period of growth right now. We had a lot of success really quickly and through the first year everything was so exciting that it didn’t really feel like work. In year two it’s been all about executing precisely and being creative about where we take the business. We’re no longer the young kid on the block, we actually have to deliver. There’s more expectation but the challenge is inspiring.

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What do you love about watches? Similarly, why a watch company? Watches honestly happened by accident. I think what was the primary driver behind Throne, at least for me, was the idea of creating something tangible. I’ve worked for years as a web designer and have been disheartened by everything I make being digital and fleeting. I was drawn to watches because I wanted to create something real, something that lasts. How have you been able to balance out your time amongst all of your various projects? With lots of hands, haha. We’ve been fortunate with Throne to have six people involved. We all care deeply about making Throne successful and having this many people allows us to each maintain other projects.

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Far Too Close words by Francesca Wedemeyer

The doctor drew a horseshoe with a line across the mouth of my mom’s hospital bed table. This sketch was supposed to placate us. The doctor, the horseshoe, and the line made no sense inside my mother’s skull but they would all be there in a few hours. After an entire year she decided to get the surgery that could kill her rather than the alternative; wait for an aneurysm to decide for her. The line was a clip that would hold the aneurysm and prevent it from rupturing. The surgery would leave a scar running along my mom’s hairline and they would have to temporarily remove a piece of her skull. She would not remember how she got that scar because she would be deep under anesthesia. In this way, approach can mean just another scar on the human form. Maybe we don’t remember precisely what happened to leave its mark on us or how it plays into the life we choose but it maps the stories and details that keep us moving.

and sliced version of Spanish getting tossed my way. The diminutive was nice though, in Chilean Spanish everything is small and friendly. The coffee is a cafecito or a nap is a dormecito. I was lost in a language littered with minified nouns. The physical state of Concepcion was still filled with broken buildings from the recent earthquake. My boss explained that the buildings had been left in their destroyed state because in order to remove them they had to be fully demolished which involved blowing up the remains and then clearing them for new construction. I realized that the buildings and the aneurysm, are both just decisions with possibly devastating results. On a macro scale with cities and the micro scale with the delicate architecture of the human brain. Despite all that science tells us we want a divine sign saying that it is the right time to take the chance for the cleared space, the growth, the next flight, the new construction, whatever it may be.

That year started drawing small wounds around my complacency. Seeing my mom accept the gamble of modern medicine forced me to consider the life I had accepted. A state of presumable mediocrity that let questions sit in the dark corners, left untouched and feeling unfamiliar.

The internship that brought me to the tiny city tucked between ocean and river unraveled and I left to work in a hostel for lodging in Santiago. While making beds and serving breakfast, I would hear stories from Martina about her families dramas and she would apply aloe vera on my sunburns from the hours I would spend in the pool. One night I met Phillipe, a Belgian wrapped in Peruvian sweaters with llamas dancing across his chest. He never wore shoes. We drank all the red wine left in the bar and tear gas leaked over the walls, into our eyes and mouths. During the day I would work and learn Spanish and he would smoke weed and take me for ice cream and

My nose started bleeding on the way to Concepcion. A man at the airport had a sign with my name on it and drove me to my new home. When I met my host family I held a tissue to my face with a speckling of blood along the edges. Same at my new office. The first thing I figured out was that I did not speak this fast 22

empanadas. At night we fell asleep to the hum of the tattoo machine in the next room and drunk Australians fighting. The Australians became our friends in the morning and in the course of a few days I had a bus ticket that would take me with them to Buenos Aires. It was interesting to watch my fear of not knowing my place and plan thaw into a warm and open invitation. There I was, freshly twenty-three years old, somewhere deep in Buenos Aires that kept us after hours because it was my birthday. We danced until the owner invited us back to his house where we bought champagne and watched the sunrise. The Australian sisters left and Ben stayed with me and we fell in love with Bianca, a friend of mine from home. After many dancing nights we knew we needed to leave Buenos Aires when we walked downstairs into a scavengers hunt for coke that had been hidden throughout the lounge by a pack of wild ones. With hair sweated to our foreheads, eyes bulging and a promise of aggression we ran for our ferry. The ocean calmed us and I rented a scooter to run along the edges of Uruguay. Late one night while Ben was working on his application for university I went on a scooter trip for more wine and chocolate. I thought it was the end of everything when a cop drove me to the police station after my parked scooter had clipped another car. As I cried and he drove I offered him chocolate and he told me about his son who played basketball. By the time we got to the station he wrote down my name, made me a coffee and took me back to my scooter. Back at our hotel I sank into a hot bath and tried

to understand the risks bobbing and weaving around me. Through Argentina to Bolivia, where I submerged myself into risk without pause. We sat on a stoop waiting for the bus that would take me away from Ben and my recklessness to Cuzco. I had set aside a small promise to climb Macchu Picchu before I went home to my bridge, and mountains, and freckled, laughing sisters . Ben argued that we should stay together but my stubborn, exhausted mind wanted to be completely alone. The strange mountains gave me back a sense of calm and the thin air pushed me back into balanced humility. The questions started creeping back into me through the new focus I needed to breath. On the bus to Ecuador, I turned over the remnants of different versions of myself and tried to see who they were all moving towards and woke up in the sleepy surfing town of Montanita. A pack of surfers took me with them to small satellite towns with empty beaches where I could take off my top and eat ceviche. Sitting in the airport I knew that a divine sign would not escort me to my seat and back into my old life, or a new one. The questions continued to stream through me instead of huddling in a corner. Leaving reintroduced me to a possibility I had abandoned, that I could demolish a life that had fortified. I did have some new scars and a better idea of my life and how easily it could move and change. That’s the best part of scars, they draw attention to a part of you in a different way. In that way, scars tell the best stories.


Time For Two: Cultivating More Than Just a Meal

Since the beginning of time, humans have been evolving into an increasingly complex being. It began with fire, then the wheel, then melting metal and creating buildings with stone. Today, we are at what seems to be the pinnacle of our achievements yet in reality, we have only just begun. We are a people of immeasurable resolve and unrelenting curiosity and these characteristics have seared their way into our lifestyle, our culture, our relationships, and yes, even our food. So when we think about food and creating a meal, it is more than just coordinating a time and a place to mindlessly consume calories. We cook food in an attempt to cultivate our curiosities and restore our resolve while creating an atmosphere that facilitates the exchange of ideas and provides a place where we can all cease striving, even if only for just a moment. Cooking food, and consequentially eating food, has been made colloquial through the prism of our society’s incessant desire to move faster, do more, and be great. What was once a communal experience has been demoted to something purely practical, and all semblance of using food as a tool to bring people together has been nearly exhausted. There are still traces of this that exist today, yet we still useextraordinary circumstances such as birthdays or promotions as a way to give ourselves permission to come together. Personally, we believe that a meal, not just lunch or dinner, but a meal is served with many sides and accouterments that cannot be shopped for in a store or prepped in a kitchen. We believe that a truly great meal has much more substance to it than just truly great food.

recipes and words by Nathan + Christina Murphy @nathanandchristinamakefood

Culture has also modified the way that we experience the creation and preparation of food, and has offered us convenience in exchange for quality and promoted efficiency without concern for process. Unfortunately, this is a trade that we most often willingly accept. Waste is now intimately associated with food, as products are packaged in plastic and “pre-made� has become commonplace. We aimed to ebb this tide of negligence, which we too are undoubtedly guilty of when we trade quality for convenience, by creating a meal where we used every ounce of a single ingredient across a three-course meal. That is ingredient was an orange. The orange

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itself holds no specific metaphor in our relationship nor does it have any special or mystical significance we could allude to, it’s purely an ingredient that is both dynamic and delicious. We used the oils and the peel in a cocktail, the juice in a stir-fry, the oils once again to season pork chops and finally the zest in our cookies. By weaving a single ingredient through the entire meal we felt as though we were able to expose the synergy of each course moving into the next, and be deliberate in both our process and our result. The time spent creating this meal together was one of the best experiences we have had while cooking and eating. Every detail was so meticulously planned yet spontaneity crept into every dish. This experience was never about making the meal special or making the meal perfect, but rather about creating the meal together. When you start with something as pure as the desire to be with another person, or other people, you can’t help but stumble upon perfection. With social media objectifying food using filters and captions, as a society we can’t help but make the final product an idol of our worship. Yet, as with all great victories and successes, it is never the trophy or the finished product that the creators remember. We don’t look back on fond memories of accepting the award or being given the medal. What we look back upon was the time we spent with the people we care about striving to do something extraordinary. We remember the process, not the product. So if you must strive, strive for community. If you feel the need to excel, excel at making time for those you care about. If you must move faster and be more efficient, find those efficiencies through repetitive practice and deliberate motives. Let food be more than just a staple, and whether you’re making time for two, four or ten, remember that the most important ingredients in any meal are usually the people with whom you share it.

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ORANGE FIRED NEGRONI

ORANGE SHRIMP STIR FRY

Yield: 1 serving Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 0 mins Total time: 5 mins

Yield: 4 servings Prep time: 10 mins / Cook time: 15 mins Total time : 25 mins

INGREDIENTS: •1.5oz gin •3/4 oz campari •3/4 oz sweet vermouth •1 orange peel, twisted & burnt •2 dashes Angostura Bitters (optional)

INGREDIENTS: •1 lb shrimp, clean & deveined •3 tbsp black pepper •2 tbsp crushed red peppers •1/4 c cooking oil •1/4 c orange juice strained (no pulp) •2 tbsp soy sauce •4 scallions, diced •1 red bell pepper, diced •1oz fresh ginger, minced

DIRECTIONS: Chill a martini glass in the fridge or freezer while gathering a glass or mixer, your gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. Add the ingredients into your glass or mixer with ice and shake for 30 seconds or until ice cold. Let sit while you peel your orange peel. Using a lighter, burn the outside of your orange peel until it blackens. Take your cocktail glass out of the fridge, twist the orange peel and run it around the rim of the glass, then drop it in your empty cocktail glass. Stir your cocktail mixture one more time and then strain it slowly into your chilled cocktail glass.

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DIRECTIONS: Preheat your wok to medium high. Meanwhile, dice up your bell pepper, scallions, and ginger. In a separate bowl mix the soy sauce and orange juice. In the wok, add the bell pepper, green onion, orange juice, soy sauce, chili peppers, and ginger. Mix together until the vegetables are softened, and the sauce is reduced by half. Add in the shrimp for 1-2 minutes, tossing them to coat them in the sauce and vegetables, Serve immediately.


ORANGE & CUMIN PORK CHOPS Yield: 2 Servings Prep time: 5 mins Cook time 20 mins Total time: 25 mins INGREDIENTS: •2 lean boneless pork chops •2 tbsp cumin •2 tbsp black pepper •2 tbsp garlic powder •1 large orange, peeled DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Start by removing excess fat from your pork chops. Sprinkle your cumin, garlic & black pepper on both sides of the chops, pressing the spices into the meat so that it does not fall when moving the cuts. Meanwhile, heat your grill or skillet on high heat with 2 tbsp of olive oil. When the grill or skillet is hot, add the chops. Sear the chops on each side for about 2 minutes, then flip them over to sear for 2 minutes on the opposite side. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil and add the pork chops along with orange rinds. Feel free to twist the peels over the dish to excrete some of the oils. Cover the whole dish with foil and place in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the thickest portion of the chops runs clear with juices when pierced.

ORANGE ZEST COOKIES Yield: 12 cookies Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 10 mins Total time: 15 mins INGREDIENTS: •3/4 c butter softened •2/3 c granulated sugar •2/3 c brown sugar •1 egg •1 teaspoon vanilla •1 1/4 c all-purpose flour •2/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder •1/2 tspn baking powder •1/8 tsp salt •6 tspn freshly grated orange peel •1 c carob chips (optiona) •2 tbsp olive oil DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Mix butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add in egg and beat until mixed in. Add the vanilla, flour, cocoa, carbo chips, baking powder and salt. Then stir in your orange peel. Mix well. Lightly coat your cooking sheet in olive oil, and add your cookie dough to the cooking sheet. We recommend 1’’ by 1’’ dough balls. Let cook for about 8-10 minutes. Take out, let cool and serve.

Let sit in foil for 5 more minutes outside the oven before uncovering. Once done, plate each chop & garnish with an orange peel. We recommend serving with green beans, asparagus, or a light grain.

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a wandering through words + photos by Patrick Mooney @pmooneyphoto

it stopped for a moment in 1994 for me for us piece number one brought to flames two through four remained crafted with strong hands, strong wood but even oak can splinter one floated through the blinds ashes to ashes parts of the left behind followed

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it has lurched slowly since a murder of four minus one further bonded through misery no longer just a creator pieced amongst the misty atmosphere scratching and cawing and scavenging passing brings closure, growth new grooves form chips in the stain scars in our pulp tell the story of ours together the craftsman is left to ponder it like snowflakes on eyelids crystal clear and perfect melted in a moment was he ever here? will he only exist in dream? toil to preoccupy, to pass it three more pieces to care after to sand, oil, and repair

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tit has blossomed again in 2014 blood red, viscous fractured orange and yellows mingle a lost piece emerges from slumbering heat your line continues in our time an elder lays down your lucid path you will flourish on this road we will construct a rugged base guardrails carefully placed and your second verse will be written

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THE GAY MEN PROJECT @kevkevtruong /

Kevin Truong is a gay photographer who is living quite the dream, but we’ll get to that a bit later. Born in a refugee camp for Vietnamese boat people in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia he immigrated with his family to the United States. After earning his first Bachelor’s degree in economics from Portland State University he spent a couple of years working in youth development programs. It wasn’t until 2009 when he decided to pursue a second education in the fine arts from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. This is where our story about The Gay Men Project begins. The Gay Men Project is the worlds largest collection of stories of gay men from all around the world. It’s hard to believe that a project with

thegaymenproject.com

so much weight gained it’s foundation in such a casual matter. “The project is simple. Basically, I’m trying to photograph as many gay men as I can. My goal is to create a platform, a visibility on some level, and a resource for others who may not be as openly gay,” says Kevin. Created at Pratt Institute, The Gay Men Project was a photography project that allowed him to not only explore his personal sexual identity but also create a resource for other gay men struggling with finding solace in their own stories. Photographed entirly by himslef and documented at www.thegaymenproject.com, Kevin has featured over 400 men, in over 15 cities, from more than 7 countries, and four

continents. He recently raised over $33,000 via Kickstarter to help him travel around the world and turn his simple, yet well-timed goal to newer heights. From Summer of 2014 till about Spring of 2015 Kevin is on a journey to visually document gay men and their various compelling stories. Kevin further explains, “My dream is to take the project to as many different cities as I can across the world.” We caught up with Kevin Truong via skype while he was in Chile to discuss his project, his idea of time and the power of the LGBTI community. - Photos courtesy of Kevin Truong

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we have progressed in ten years, and more recently in the past couple of years with DOMA and Prop 8 with the supreme court it is truly amazing. But because I know have the opportunity to travel to other counties and see where they are at in their LBTQI movement. It’s such a privilege to be able to compare and recognize where the LGBTI movement is globally. Can you elaborate on your personal connection to The Gay Men Project? I have always had dreams of joining the Peace Corp. After obtaining my bachelor’s degree in economics from Portland State University I worked with Americorp in Southern California for about a year which created a career path in non-profit work for me. I was about 27 or 28 when I joined the Peace Corp. The caveat in this story is that I was sent to Belize where it was illegal to be gay. I had came out a few years prior and communicated to the Peace Corp that I was gay. They were extremely supportive and valued my diversity but for my safety informed me that I would have to go back in the closet.

What does time mean to you and How does it resonate in your life? When I think of time, especially in regards to The Gay Men Project the idea of being timely resonates deeply with me. I think that time is a moment that we are currently. When you look at the LBTQI rights movement in the United States we’re definitely in a particular moment of movement, especially with gay marriage. I’m 32, so when I came out it was easier to be gay than the generation before but when I came out in the early 2000’s. At the time, I laid to rest the idea of getting married or having a family although that wasn’t necessarily true.

I ended up going to Belize and loving the country but struggling with my identity. There was a point where I had a breakdown and had to head back to the United States. It was a huge transition; I had planned to be gone for two years but I returned after two months which is how I got into photography. I took some photography classes and eventually applied to Pratt. The Gay Men Project started as a class project. It was very different. I would make prints, put them on the wall and talk about what

As a gay man then, we didn’t have those reference points. It wasn’t point of my reality but to see how much

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the photos meant to me.

project is currently in.

How do you think time has influenced the receptiveness of the project?

I will say, it’s constantly evolving, growing, and as much as I am the one at the reigns, I really try to let it grow and evolve at a natural pace.

I think it really depends on which part of the world we’re talking about. Obviously, time is key to relevance. In the United States for example, as mentioned, we have seen great strides with regards to LGBTI rights, and we have to remember this is a fight that has been going on for quite some time, since Stonewall and the HIV epidemic. So with a project like mine, which really aims to achieve visibility, in places where visibility is already present the project may not hold as much resonance. I have noticed in the United States the discussion is quickly moving towards trans rights, which although I have photographed trans individuals, is not the focus of my project. But in places like Brazil, or Chile, or Peru, I think there is a stronger interest in my work. Because visibility of gay men who are openly gay and willing to share their story on a platform such as the Gay Men Project, that visibility may not be as present. I’d say the strongest interest in the project has been in South America. Where do you feel The Gay Man Project is right now, as a project and in your personal life? To be honest, I can’t answer this question. I know when I started the Gay Men Project, but I don’t know when I will end it, if ever. This could be a lifelong endeavor or I could end it after I finish this trip around the world that I’m currently on. Because I don’t know the finish point, I can’t gauge at what stage the

How do you feel the Gay Man Project will serve as a resource of inspiration for the next generation of LGBT individuals? When I first started the project, I had very clear intentions with the work. But as it’s progressed, I’ve really learned to just let go. Honestly, what I want and hope for the work is no longer important. For me at least. Yes, I have very specific reasons for doing this project, but what I’ve learned is that the best that I can do is to simply do it, to build something, throw it out to the world, and let the world do what it wants with it. As a gay male, how has this project helped you understand or deeply connect with your identity? I’ll say this. Being gay doesn’t define me, but it defines many of my experiences. My work with the Gay Men Project wouldn’t have as much resonance in my own life if I wasn’t gay. Many of the most important experiences I’ve had in my life have been defined by my identity as a gay male. And I’ve always believed we are a product of our experiences. My perspective, my character, the way I choose to present myself to the world, these are all a product of the experiences I’ve had in my life, of which being gay has been an important component.


Alejandro + Ernesto, Buenos Aires Argentina

JD + John, Pleasant North Carolina

Jarrod, Mississipi

Joao Victor, Rio De Janeiro

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Thach Ho, Chi Minh City Vietnam Michael, New York City

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very dependent on the company’s ethos. With a number of smaller companies emerging from within the creative industry there’s a new and very dynamic way of work being implemented. For instance, here in LA, despite being a very new designer I have been graced with a sense of community from others within the clothing industry. This isn’t to say that everyone is nice but the acceptance provided by others around you eases all of that. Your colleagues understand that time is of the essence when it comes to this particular industry; there are so many moving pieces, it’s a collective effort. . Often you’ll find yourself eager to be at the top of your game and have your work produced because here in LA it seems like time is constantly whirling past you. Many days I feel like I can’t move fast enough.

No Stress in LA words by Ibrahim Mimou @ibrahimmimou

FUCK TIME Life requires an immense amount of understanding and time is a key concept in keeping track of it all. Understanding that time is merely a metric takes us so much higher. Stress endured because of time is unnerving, especially when you have to travel through LA traffic. Staying in the backwoods, choosing to separate oneself from the stress stricken days is seemingly easier than most believe it to be. There’s a couple of shortcuts that can help you keep calm without having to spark that doobie. To put it simply, when it gets too stressful and you feel like your back is up against the wall and time seems to be escaping you, it all comes down to perspective. It’s a constant push-pull. Resistance. There’s something beautiful about those creatives within our culture and industry, there aren’t many that will label what they do as just a job. Running Open Nine Five, my clothing label, will never be just a job to me.

Aside from being able to work as a designer for a living there are a few smaller things that help me carry out my day in relative focus and efficiency. I start my days with a black cup of coffee followed up with an espresso or two as the hours pass by. Each time I have a moment to stop and sit in one of the many dimly lit novel coffee shops downtown I get to briefly pause time. During this moment I am the ruler; I am in control of my time and deciding what my next move will be. And being that I am somehow always hungry, I’ll stop for lunch usually sometime after one and catch up with some good company. Now I’m back in my car, driving from place to place, constantly watching that damned hand tick away. The only thing that seems to keep me sane is listening to my music; it’s how I survive this traffic. This is when I take the time to clear my mind, prepare it for the sudden rush of clustered and often times frantic inspiration. A flood of true focus

Working in the fashion industry has given me an insight into a culture that I had only read about before. The way work is carried out is 46

appears once I’m in the fabric shop. My mind races as I start looking at the materials that are going to be the body of my art. I feel like everyone around me is always rushing, hastily trying to get places: they walk fast; they talk fast; they drive fast; they feel like they can’t go fast enough; and I feel like I’m still holding onto this journey. These stops, these moments between time and space is when I allow myself to put the pen to paper and see where my mind is at in regards to what the day requires me to execute. I tend to break my tasks down each week, doing as much as the day allows. In fashion everything happens several months in advance. Currently, I am designing our Fall/Winter 2015 collection for Open Nine Five which won’t hit stores for close to another year or so. I’ve just finished sourcing fabric and we only have a few weeks left for sampling before we have to shoot our lookbook in December. This can definitely be very daunting for some but knowing what has to be done ahead of time helps me break it down in the back of my head. Being able to break down my tasks for the week on to a piece of paper in my pocket really helps me maintain a comfortable role as a designer first, and then business owner. Multitasking to accomplish everything you need to do at once is a disaster. It’s one thing to text while in a conversation but it’s another to design clothes, make coffee, send emails, and then ship the garments. Sharing your ideas is a huge part of any business, especially one in the creative industry because it is precisely during these conversations with friends or colleagues that your ideas can be critiqued, improved, and solidified.

Los Angeles is a booming city. Yes, we’re not a small city but it has been a while since we meant this much. What’s really amazing is that our fashion industry itself is thriving. There are many designers and brands now, most of which are doing their own manufacturing right here in the city.. Collaboration amongst artists here in LA is not uncommon and it’s often between two different types of creative groups. What I have seen within similar communities in Williamsburg, Paris, and Portland is being shared by artists here. It’s an incredible city to be in right now despite the rush that deadlines bring to people no matter where you are in the world. Don’t let the ticking of a clock stress you out. After all, this is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time, make it known you were here.


WHAT’S UP, HEATHER’S DAD? illustrations by Dav Yendler davyendler.tumblr.com

view the FLIP BOOK in the digital issue at invitationannual.com

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RECIPES BY KARMA BDEIR OF THE MEDSHED @themedshed

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Mediterranean Chickpea Salad --< yield: 4 servings / prep time: depends on how fast you can chop / total time: same > INGREDIENTS •

2 cup drained canned chickpeas

1/4 cup parsley

2 tomatoes

1/2 red onion

1 tbsp olive oil

juice of 1/2 lemon

dash of Himalayan pink salt or sea salt

METHOD mix lemon, oil & salt pour dressing over drained chickpeas, let marinate while you finely dice & chop parsley, tomato & onion mix all together and serve alone or with pita bread per serving: 172 cals. / 15g carbs. / 1g fat / 3g protein / 1.5g fiber

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Smashed Granola Clusters --< yield: 36 smashed clusters / prep time: 5 mins / baking time: 15 -17 mins / total time: 20 - 22 mins > INGREDIENTS •

2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup oat flour

2 tbsp ground flaxseed

1 tbsp chia seeds

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt or sea salt

1/3 cup chopped pecans

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 cup maple syrup or honey

1/4 cup coconut oil

METHOD pre-heat oven at 350 °F mix all ingredients in a bowl (no need for a mixer or blender!) line your baking sheet with parchment paper spread mixture in cluster form on baking sheet (I used my 1 tbsp measuring tool) bake for 10 mins take out, smash each cluster into an almost cookie shape and bake for a further 5 - 7 mins let cool to harden per cluster: 56 cals. / 10g carbs. / 1.4g fat / 1g protein / 0.9g fiber

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“timing is everything” words by Denayja Reese @girlwthatlaugh “Time waits for no man.” “Time is money.” “Time heals all wounds.” “Time is of the essence.” “I don’t have time.”

wasted with my mother and all of the time I had ahead of me without her. For most people, time becomes like a distant relative, you know they are there but you don’t have to think about it more than a couple of times a year. Unless forced to consider it, you most likely won’t.

The concept of time and more importantly, each individual’s relationship with it, is as elusive and evanescent as each of those quotes. Like any other skill or muscle, time can work for you or it can work against you.

I, on the other hand, having lost so much of my family, both immediate and otherwise have adopted it into my soul. Time is my driving force. The looming pressure of my time on this earth or lack thereof is what motivates ninety-nine point nine percent of my life’s choices.

I remember vividly the day that I first became familiar with the concept of time. I was three years old and my mother was rushing around one day trying to get herself prepared for the day. When I inquired as to why she was doing this (again), she told it was because we were late (again). Feeling incredibly puzzled and having no interest in getting to my annoying cousin’s birthday anytime soon, I pushed her to explain this “late” thing she’d just tossed into my lexicon so casually. She then proceeded to explain to me the complexities of seconds, minutes, hours and so on using a microwave and episodes of “I Love Lucy” as her only teaching tool. To this day, whenever 30 minutes passes by, I visualize black and white credits rolling. Unfortunately for me, life doesn’t work that way. There is seldomly an indicator that it is time for someone or something to end.

I left Orange County within a year of being displaced there after my mother’s passing because I didn’t want to give such a dull place more than a year of my life. I left San Francisco because I saw my life flashing before my eyes, happy but unchallenged. I broke up with the guy I was seeing because I felt I had wasted my time falling for him when he had only been biding his time with me.

Time has a funny way of stacking up inside your memories as well. Whenever I recall learning about the concept of time, my brain immediately recalls when I was first exposed to the concept of death. I swear, they took me to Disneyland and shit too but I am a dark, twisted adult now and I just don’t remember any of that shit anymore.

The older I get, the easier it becomes to be discriminate, if not downright reserved with what I believe to be life’s greatest currency. There will come a day when my life ends. When my black and white credits roll. It is in that moment that I believe our entire lives flashes before us. I will suddenly be immersed in all of the weight or wonder of every minute that I have lived.

My aunt Caroline had passed away and my entire family was grieving. This time I asked my grandmother what this “death” thing was. She explained it to me, as only my very Christian grandmother would, with plenty of references to heaven and hell. I burst into tears while this information – the concept of death I had just learned – fully sank into my three year old mind and heart.

Today, however, every minute ahead of me remains a mystery. The potential for a great future unknown.

As I reflect, I now realize that I was crying because that was the day I found out that eventually my time on this earth would end. The black and white credits would come up and there would be no more me. Just lots of food and people crying.

“Time is of the essence.” “Time is on your side.” “You’ve got all the time in the world.” “The time is now.” “Timing is everything.”

Fifteen years later, when I truly met both death and time for the first time, my mother died very suddenly and very tragically on our living room floor. After, I’d lay awake at night crying about all of the time I had 62


A SUNDAY w/ JUSTIN HOPKINS @rarebitultra / rarebitprojects.com -

“Be cool, be cool,” he says to Shiro, his new dog. He positions himself on the couch. Shiro jumps up onto his lap. On this particular Sunday, I visited the home and studio of Justin Hopkins, a Brooklyn based artist. Originally from a small town outside of Seattle, Washington, this bearded and bold, painter made his name as a musician and illustrator in Los Angeles, CA before moving out to East Williamsburg, where he currently resides. As the only son of two established artists, Justin has a unique perspective on being a ‘creative’, one where being a fine artist means being economical, while constantly pushing the limits of the creative boundaries. “It’s like I always say, I’m trying to make the world a smaller place.” He’s referring to our monthly coffee conversations. “You have all these people you look up to, when you’re first starting off, and you just try to get better and better, and eventually these people start becoming your peers. That’s what you strive for at least.”

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Justin and I met online, I emailed him, asking him out to coffee after being mesmerized by his work. He was quick to reply. We’ve been grabbing drinks and talking ‘creativity’ ever since. His ideas about what it means to be an artist are far beyond in depth. You can really get a sense of how serious he takes his craft. He wants you to actively participate in his work, as the audience, and he wants you to see the time that’s been put into each piece. When I asked him, “What do you think about time?” He replied, “I take time really seriously. I meditate over this thing.” For him, the time he puts into his craft is dependent on what he needs out of the work. “I know it’s a bit selfish, right? But I try to explore things that I don’t fully understand, and let’s say I get what I need out of it [a painting], then it’s done. On the other hand, there is a piece like ‘Seppuku’, and that took me over a month. That piece needed to take that long. I set out to make a painting that was better than my last, but that’s not what really happened, right .. what happened was that I learned something different from it, and hopefully people will see that.” What I absolutely love about Justin’s ethics on creation, is that it’s not about the glory of the work, it’s honest, and it’s for himself, just as much as it is for the audience. It’s the journey that he embarks on, and the discovering of ideas that drive him. “I don’t stress about finishing things as much as starting something, and that’s the exciting part of it. The part of not knowing what I’m about to find

out.” I pause the interview, and look around the room. For someone who isn’t particularly interested in finishing a piece, he’s got a lot of work to his name. Then again, he does often tell me that it’s just as important to finish a piece, because when you finish it, then you can start the next one. Shiro climbs off of Justin, circles around on the rug a few times, locks eyes with me, and jumps up. I guess I’m sitting where the sun hits, I’m now a pillow. We both laugh, and get back to the interview. I ask him about his creative career, having lived, what seems like, many lives as an illustrator, a musician, and now a painter. I was curious to how he perceived time throughout the course of his creative lifespan. “From a career standpoint, sometimes you look back and you get resentful right?” “Like regret?” “Kind of, like my time being an illustrator or a musician, and I just think about how I spent my time doing those things, investing my time in it, and how I’m not doing them anymore. I feel like I should have started doing this [painting], a lot sooner. But of course, now I can see things in a different way. It’s all valid.” Justin goes on to tell me how he thinks of time both as Western linear, and Eastern cyclical, and how important both of these perspectives are. “I care about time a lot, it gives context. I’ve been thinking about life

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versus death, and time versus timeless. That’s something I try to utilize, you can’t tell if it’s in the process of being made or in the process of deteriorating, and does it matter, are they one in the same?” This is one of the many qualities of his work that drew me in. The way the pieces seem to deliberately guide you through an internal discussion about the nature of juxtapositions. There is this hauntingly beautiful narrative to his painting, one which he leaves for the audience to interpret. He describes art almost as this moment in time, a cumulation of experiences that the artist shares with the audience, and one which the audience then goes on and perceives based on their own experiences, and so forth. In one of his paintings, a feet floats, some see it as a peaceful, others as a melancholic dangling. Where we are in life, dictates our ideas of art, and he is very conscious about this nature of time, artist and audience. Of course time is very relevant to the way he engages with his life as whole. Listening to his philosophical tangents are one of my favorite ways to spend a Sunday. On the idea of growing up, he says, “You get a higher vantage point, you see where you’ve been traveling. The higher you get up, the more terrain you can actually see. It’s not like you’ve hit distinct levels, it’s just that you see the trails that have emerged below you, and things just start making more sense. Every few steps up, you think, what the fuck was I thinking, and then you just realize as you get older, that’s just how it is. In this way time does feel linear. There is always going to be space above you that you can’t see, and space below you that helps you see a trajectory.” We conclude the interview by con-

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necting over the curse of it all, how time is this thing that we, workaholics, think of as constantly running out. “There should be a feeling of immediacy though, and maybe it’s the life of growing up as an illustrator’s son, but I’m always antsy to get to the next level, but I think that’s part of wanting to be great, and I mean, you have to be conscious about the time you have left alive. Maybe it’s not healthy, but that’s how I feel.” The difference between our younger versions, who we are, and who we will become, is that we have the time to understand. “I liken it to the idea of exploration - when people thought that the world was flat, you keep going to the edge of the world, and you see more people and land and you just can’t go back to the way it was before, you have to keep moving forward.”


Take a little time to think about it: How time affects self perceptions of twenty-something year olds words + photos by Maxine Sferra @maxine_sferra How has time shaped who you are, how you view yourself and the way you do things? Answered by creative, free spirited twenty-something year olds. Time is a constant movement. We need a measurement for that movement so we can grasp the concept a little better. New things happen by the millisecond and we learn more and more about ourselves. There is no better time to accept these new ideas about ourselves than early adulthood. It’s when we fully choose to like what we like and do what we want to do, how we want to do it. It’s when we experiment and have fun while also taking into consideration our future. Out of high school, into college, out of college, into adulthood. The perspectives of this twenty-something generation are only a testament to how influential this period in life is.

“I feel like the more time goes by, the more my potential should be realized. I experience more pressure every year to become something and someone I’ve wanted to be. Often, time makes me loose faith in myself, and sometimes it gives me the opportunity to see how far I’ve actually come. I think at this point in my life, because of my experiences, I preeminently crave adventure and travel. If I am low on free time, I try and spoil myself in the near future, to feed my need for exploration.

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I just arrived home from a trip to Austin today, my treat to myself after weeks of work and school. I love my family, I spend as much time with my mom and sister as possible. If I can do something with them, I’d rather do that than doing it alone. I take any and all chances to be with them, life is more fun this way!” -Megan


“How does time affect my decisions? By simply experiencing the continuum. Time is a very real experience to me. I’ve felt it in such a variety of ways, which never seem constant. It’s an illusion, a shadow of “something” else completely incomprehensible since we mostly experience everything within the confines of space and time. Time always affects my decisions, and I affect it as well, whether I feel like I have a lot or a little. Different states of being, the perceived level of importance, potential urgency, who or what the decisions may affect. Is it something with potential consequences? Or should I do what feels right as fast as possible without thinking. It makes me feel that the more time I have, the more questions I start asking myself, and uncertainty is the only thing I start becoming certain of. Hopefully I make a much more compassionate decision. A fun decision! Something that makes me come alive, from a place of love and joy, as opposed to anger, frustration, or a sense of revenge.

Time allows me to see myself as more than just a static identity. It shows me where I’ve been and from that information I can plan and act upon goals I set for myself. The inevitable end of all our time on earth is death and knowing that is motivation to live with kindness, criticality and purpose, and above all, strive for balance in all aspects of life. -Michael

How are we defining time? And decision, for that matter? I’ve definitely made decisions that affect MY time! I guess that would be getting closer to my answer. Time could be perceived as the limiting force of the universe that allows life to consciously be aware of itself in a continuum in order to experience this material plane of our own ability, with others. Where it makes me feel that we are all from one source, and our decisions have an affect on time and space itself... wait, were you asking me about clocks? -Hiver

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The reason I take pictures is a perfect example of how time affects what I do and how I do things. I take pictures because I realize the present so quickly becomes the past. Over time I have been able to grow more into my own skin. I have been able to accept the flaws that I used to spend an exorbitant amount of time worrying about. Who I have come to associate with over time has changed my perception of myself as well. I have met a lot of empowering and inspiring people that are not only accepting of who I am but are also encouraging. Over time I have realized that I can choose those I want to surround myself with. I think it’s inevitable that my perspectives will change, my likes and dislikes will change, and I will slowly continue to mold into who I am. I’m only at the beginning of myself.

As time has passed I’ve managed to create a stronger self-image. I went from a shy, soft-spoken kid to a confident young man with a strong resolve. I also raise that time spent alone, and time spent with negative or positive association have vastly different impacts on self-image and growth. As for the effect that time has on the way I do things... I often find that a lack of the commodity puts me in an advantageous position. A sense of urgency forces action. Repetitive action builds momentum and momentum gives way to efficiency. I prefer to have intensity in all facets of my life. -Zach

-Lauren

Time is nothing. It is such a burden to consider time as change because that gives the idea that our being is only as good as the time that has passed. Time is a creation. Time is a human creation. We are often burdened by “time” that we neglect our self worth. If I can’t complete this task in two hours, I will fail. But you will succeed if what you hear is “now.” My motto: ‘Don’t think, just do.’ There is seldom ever a perfect time. Why have you been waiting so long to do what you’ve always wanted? -Diana

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WHISK @culturebywhisk

/

whisksf.com

Whisk: take or move (someone or something) in a particular direction suddenly and quickly. Whisk: beat or stir (a substance, esp. cream or eggs) with a light, rapid movement. Whisk: brush with a whisk broom.

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WHISK is experience design for significant brand moments. Based in San Francisco, New York and soon to be London. WHISK is a team of creatives that design experiential moments. Rooted in a whimsical sense of adventure this nimble group of light seekers aim to create delectable moments of joy and play. Maggie Spicer, the chief creative of WHISK, founded the culture consulting company in 2012. As she eloquently describes in an interview with Fast Company, “I found myself amidst the swirling of up-starts, the launch mania of new products, the collective economy growth spurt— this is a time in which we’re living smarter, connecting in new ways, and discovery is everywhere.” This led her to reimagine the business landscape by modeling a creative venture rooted in meaning and wonder. The elements of surprise that WHISK has become so fondly known for have been enjoyed by the likes of Airbnb, IDEO and General Assembly. Spicer and her team have a hidden advantage: curiosity. This tool fuels their passion and trickles through the veins of WHISK. Their sense of adventure is similar to a pulsating heart that thrives off of creative risks and solid execution. Trust is what allows the nimble team to dream big while still ensuring that even the pocket-sized details are met with the upmost quality and innovation.

So, What does time mean to you? How do you define it? How does the theme of time play into your daily lives? Time is ever-elusive yet one of the few constants we have to experience ourselves and our surroundings. It’s something we cannot control, and while we pretend to try to master it, extract youth from it, rush against in pursuit of catching a plane, ferry, or life itself, it’s that silent marker ticking in the rear of every frame, ushering us toward forward, yet only rarely giving us a moment to catch it. It’s like the snitch, in a sense, from Harry Potter. TIME > Being Present, and not only in the sense of being somewhere between past + future, but truly being HERE. All senses invited to the NOW as moment. Sense of “real time” compromises our sense of TIME now, and we’re living faster, we’ve grown impatient. How do we slow it down so we can benefit from every delicious moment in front of us?

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How did WHISK begin? What has your timeline been like thus far? Creation Story: It was and has always been about EXPERIENCE DESIGN. And in this journey, we have designed distinct moments to span a whole life of a company in this day and age (from levels of funding, to new executive leadership, to the onboarding of a fleet, a product launch, a great fiscal year, a retirement, an acquisition) we’ve been fortunate to design for ASPIRATIONAL, nostalgic, celebratory, healing moments for different companies WE LOVE and that was the need + drive in the first place and it continues to fuel our work now. What are your thoughts on the concept of “culture hacking?” Culture is ever-evolving because it’s a shared set of beliefs and norms across people. And people change. We help make people activate and come alive. We translate “HACK culture” to “cultivate” and “engineer culture”. Something that is designed and stewarded with intention. How does the idea of time play into your daily lives, for example, do you live by a schedule, do you tend to forget what time of week it is etc.? Often a melange of both, actually. There are moments when you’re caught in the whimsy of wonder and imagination, and others, where you literally feel the seconds tick by. I try to live/work as scheduled as useful but not cumbersome. Where do you feel WHISK is right now, as a company, and in your personal life? Hmm. Our best positioning yet. Feeling super alive by the alignment of our mission, values, strategy, team....the way we work, WHERE we work (and will work) and all the opens doors ahead waiting for us to trust and literally fall into from momentum of the universe and grace cascading us through. We’re aligned for flight, diving through waterfalls. Always up for adventure. We’re feeling expansive, clear, poised, directed via intuition, intention, purpose…less do this. Time is something creatives tend to always need more of; if you had four more hours in the day how would spend them? Paying more attention to self. We dedicate most of our waking hours and faculties to other things and other people. But to really cultivate growth and wellbeing of self takes investing too, and this usually is compromised, whereas the goal is to do so on a ritualistic basis.

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Excerpts from Heaven Water Blood

.orion in december My grandfather is a giant of a man, big bones, big voice, big heart. Last December we sat under the pink sky and watched the stars. Nine years of absence coalesced into that minute, that second. He pointed to Orion in the night sky, soft voiced he told my sisters and I how our ancestors, the Maasai followed the stars to rainy seasons, followed the heavens to water.

poems by N.L Shompole @nlshompole

** We sat on the side of a tarmac road riddled with open holes and stared at the same vast existence that his father, and his father before had read with unerring precision, how they mapped out seasons according to stars and the open sky.

.twelve names for December

In that sliver of time, caught between full light and full dark my bones melted against my skin. To know that last century, last millennia, a small epoch in this corner of earth my grandfather (a hundred generations ago, and a hundred more) stood open face to the dark sky and followed the three spiked belt to water, to dry land, to blood, to earth. To know that he followed Orion home.

You have taught me how to walk away, how to leave when the heart fails. Moonlight and compass guide me because my north is stuck to you. You have taught me how to yearn from across the country, 3000 miles away, you have taught me how to yearn from across the sea. I have seen too many Decembers since my leaving, I am across the globe and it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t rain much here. This yearning is so wide it stretches across the world with ease, the calendar and the changing seasons mean nothing to me now. I have learned how to melt and mellow in the bittersweet honey of memory. Since my leaving time has been moving slowly, I have been learning how to count the years by your birthdays. I have been learning how to count the years by my staccato heartbeat. What is your favorite type of environment to shop in? I love to shop where the level of customer service is top notch! That is how I hope people feel entering my store, that they are educated on our products and have an amazing time while we share the space with them.

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Time Spent. Time Earned. photos by Patrick Ortiz @its_pato

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facilitated conversation time words + photos by respective artists moderated by Magali Duzant

Recently the French artist Laurent Grasso and the American physicist Brian Greene sat down in conversation at the Manhattan workspace, Neue House. In discussing broad themes within the field of art, Grasso stated that artists in the 20th the physicality of Abstract Expressionism, the advent of performance art ) and that the 21stswitched to a fascination with time. As artists we struggle with the balance of time; how do we create our work in an age of constant connectivity, never ending image streams, and overlapping timelines? Art is often a mirror of our times; artists the authors of societal reflections. In discussing the theme of time amongst a group of young artists the conversation kept circling back to technology – specifically the time we spend with it and it’s effects on our comprehension of time. The artists assembled see time as fluid, flexible, and yet a constant. It guides our artistic decisions and the methods with which we work. Appropriation

is a tool used by Quinn Tivey as he withholds a reality for the pleasure of a fantasy. Stephanie Kaznocha reinterprets a historical archive through the exploration of surfaces within photography. Artists Matt Whitman and Mark John Smith work collaboratively under the name Franklin. Kristin Sigur∂ardottir collapses physical time into two dimensions while Beau Torres slows down the image making process in video. Max Branigan’s exploration of his hometown intertwines timelines, blurring objectivity and subjectivity. Shane Henken’s work records the physical act of pornography as an abstracted passage of time linking to the work of the Australian artist Ella Condon who sculpts with light, extending time to visualize what we cannot see.

view videos by Magali Duzant in the digital issue at invitationannual.com

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we have progressed in ten years, and more recently in the past couple of years with DOMA and Prop 8 with the supreme court it is truly amazing. But because I know have the opportunity to travel to other counties and see where they are at in their LBTQI movement. It’s such a privilege to be able to compare and recognize where the LGBTI movement is globally. Can you elaborate on your personal connection to The Gay Men Project? I have always had dreams of joining the Peace Corp. After obtaining my bachelor’s degree in economics from Portland State University I worked with Americorp in Southern California for about a year which created a career path in non-profit work for me. I was about 27 or 28 when I joined the Peace Corp. The caveat in this story is that I was sent to Belize where it was illegal to be gay. I had came out a few years prior and communicated to the Peace Corp that I was gay. They were extremely supportive and valued my diversity but for my safety informed me that I would have to go back in the closet.

What does time mean to you and How does it resonate in your life? When I think of time, especially in regards to The Gay Men Project the idea of being timely resonates deeply with me. I think that time is a moment that we are currently. When you look at the LBTQI rights movement in the United States we’re definitely in a particular moment of movement, especially with gay marriage. I’m 32, so when I came out it was easier to be gay than the generation before but when I came out in the early 2000’s. At the time, I laid to rest the idea of getting married or having a family although that wasn’t necessarily true.

I ended up going to Belize and loving the country but struggling with my identity. There was a point where I had a breakdown and had to head back to the United States. It was a huge transition; I had planned to be gone for two years but I returned after two months which is how I got into photography. I took some photography classes and eventually applied to Pratt. The Gay Men Project started as a class project. It was very different. I would make prints, put them on the wall and talk about what the photos meant to me.

As a gay man then, we didn’t have those reference points. It wasn’t point of my reality but to see how much

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How do you think time has influenced the receptiveness of the project? I think it really depends on which part of the world we’re talking about. Obviously, time is key to relevance. In the United States for example, as mentioned, we have seen great strides with regards to LGBTI rights, and we have to remember this is a fight that has been going on for quite some time, since Stonewall and the HIV epidemic. So with a project like mine, which really aims to achieve visibility, in places where visibility is already present the project may not hold as much resonance. I have noticed in the United States the discussion is quickly moving towards trans rights, which although I have photographed trans individuals, is not the focus of my project. But in places like Brazil, or Chile, or Peru, I think there is a stronger interest in my work. Because visibility of gay men who are openly gay and willing to share their story on a platform such as the Gay Men Project, that visibility may not be as present. I’d say the strongest interest in the project has been in South America. Where do you feel The Gay Man Project is right now, as a project and in your personal life? To be honest, I can’t answer this question. I know when I started the Gay Men Project, but I don’t know when I will end it, if ever. This could be a lifelong endeavor or I could end it after I finish this trip around the world that I’m currently on. Because I don’t know the finish point, I can’t gauge at what stage the project is currently in. I will say, it’s constantly evolving, growing, and as much as I am the

one at the reigns, I really try to let it grow and evolve at a natural pace. How do you feel the Gay Man Project will serve as a resource of inspiration for the next generation of LGBT individuals? When I first started the project, I had very clear intentions with the work. But as it’s progressed, I’ve really learned to just let go. Honestly, what I want and hope for the work is no longer important. For me at least. Yes, I have very specific reasons for doing this project, but what I’ve learned is that the best that I can do is to simply do it, to build something, throw it out to the world, and let the world do what it wants with it. As a gay male, how has this project helped you understand or deeply connect with your identity? I’ll say this. Being gay doesn’t define me, but it defines many of my experiences. My work with the Gay Men Project wouldn’t have as much resonance in my own life if I wasn’t gay. Many of the most important experiences I’ve had in my life have been defined by my identity as a gay male. And I’ve always believed we are a product of our experiences. My perspective, my character, the way I choose to present myself to the world, these are all a product of the experiences I’ve had in my life, of which being gay has been an important component.


Artist: Ella Condon Title: Trace (III) 2013

Artist: Stephanie Kaznocha Title: On board the fishing boat Alden out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Frank Mineo, owner and skipper, shouting orders to his crew

Artist: Kristin Sigur∂ardottir Title: Extension, 1 Artist: Stephanie Kaznocha Title: Gloucester fishermen resting on their boat at the Fulton Fish market, New York, NY

Artist: Kristin Sigur∂ardottir Title: Extension, 2

Artist: Franklin, (Mark John Smith and Matt Whitman) Title: Dreamlinear (still from video) 2014

Artist: Stephanie Kaznocha Title: A fisherman’s work is hard and many times they fall exhausted on the decks to sleep for hours at a time. Gloucester, Massachusetts 94


Melonie and Melora Green set out to answer one question, “Can art save a community?” The twins, based in San Francisco, CA began there journey with one mission - to create a discussion about the role of art within the community. The artist, curator, and activist duo, have been working on exhibits and engagements to document and further spread this timely message. As art and culture continue to find its way out of the gentrified cities of the Bay Area, the two help facilitate a very real conversation through the work that they produce and the space which they provide.

Melanie & Melora Green of SOMArts @somarts

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Recently their exhibits took on an additional persona, something to wrap their question around: Ubuntu. “We wanted to put compassion in the midst of the question. So we came up with Ubuntu which is a South African principal, it’s a way of seeing people, it’s a way of viewing and taking on humanity and seeing each other as ourselves. We wanted to put this in front of the dialogue. No on wants to say the wrong thing, and we want people to start speaking about their real experiences, so we can take it to a place of real preservation, so we open up those dialogues.”

somarts.org

When we caught up with them last, the two were working towards their third installment, a dinner conversation between civic leaders, artists, activists, and community members. Their goal is to not only begin a dialogue, but to give responsibility to those who have the power to enact these changes for the greater community. For the two of them, time has always played an interesting role, having began this journey with the shared understanding that they will spend the next three to five years furthering this project, it goes without saying, the two keep busy, and with everything on their plate, their understanding of time is one of constraint and freedom, and learning to accept their place in this construct in order to accomplish everything they have set out to do.

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What have you been up to outside of everything you’ve been working on? “Melora and I are still getting into our own creativity, we’re sketching more, creating more. We’re used to promoting other artists, and creating a place for them, and I’ve shown in some places, but I’ve never taken it on as ‘this is me’ - so it should be fun.” That’s amazing, it’s like you’re taking it on yourself to make sure you are actively participating, not just as organizers and activists, but also as artists. So as a rule of thumb, we always ask our features, what does time mean to you? Melonie: I’m like a magician with time - there is always something that’s all ready going on, there’s something we’re stepping into, and there’s something we’re closing out. We’re always dancing with time. There’s always time.. to make space, and to create space to work within. Time is one of those things that if you don’t treat it properly, that if you don’t really consider the beginning, the end, [and] what it takes to get the real meat of the project done.. its something that can get away from you, and it feels like gold, so it’s something that I’ve learned to respect and it’s something that I’ve learned to turn into soul food. Like, damn there’s not enough of it, but you make it plenty, you get creative. The way you divide up your day, the way you reach out to people, it matter, right? It’s a relationship that I’m still working with, and it’s taught me a lot, time has really taught me a lot. I have healthy respect for it, but I still do play with it. Melora: I struggle with time. My relationship with time, used to be that I thought I needed more time and then I tried to find a way to maximize time so I came up with a formula that if the higher power created this idea of time, that we get allotted .. let’s go with the 24 hours that we have, most people think about rest, they think about work, and they think about play - so I said okay, you have 24 hours of the day .. so you have 8 hours for each of those

things - now if I think about it - if I had 8 hours to do each of those things, then there’s something that I’m not doing right on my part, because 8 hours is a really long time to do anything, so what I’ve been working on is ways that I can empower myself and not resist those structures, to really make the most of time, so that I am feeding my soul, helping to be a vessel in my community and also having enough time to just be and learn more and engage and gain and give more. So, it’s something that I battle with, because I like the idea of freedom, and then.. but I have to consider the things that I just mentioned, and sometimes I become a brat about it - and so I say, I’ll take the time that I need and everyone else will deal with the consequences, so I’m just really working on not being this person who is not powerful, you know, because a powerful person can make happen what they need to make happen when they need it to happen.

year - we have go back and look and see if we are where we want to be, we evaluate and shift. We’re always looking back at our timeline, do we take two years to do our research … so it’s just making sure that we’re able to shift gears, and put out what we have, and so we can really get funding, to further this project. This will be our first documentary book efforts since we graduated years ago. Part of it is really using our ears as research. So time is a factor, because things change so quickly, but we definitely don’t want to be so rigid, that we aren’t allowing the project to evolve, but at the same time sticking to something so that we have something to release.

Is time constricting or freeing, you think?

Melora: For me I feel like, I picked up a torch, and I saw in certain artists, there message as it relates to how the world is beginning to change and I think that sometimes when we’re in it, we don’t realize the bubbling that’s happening, and it’s just like when everything was happening with the Black Panther Party .. whether they were scared of it, or ignoring, but now 20 - 30 years later we praise these people, and how they were courageous, and so now we look at the work of Emory Douglas and how he was simply able to create something that echoes decades later, and the right now, today, I have works of artists who are on the front line of different types of causes. I think it’s important to collect it, support it and ask why.

Yes, definitely! I guess, going back to this idea of being documenters of art and culture, or time keepers, um, what’s your perspective on being a collector, do we have a responsibility to preserve time through art?

When I’m the top of my game - time is freedom in excess. And that’s when we’re really in full power. I agree, that’s super interesting. So, do you ever feel like time is running out? Like you have this allowed time to create social change, because it’s trending, or because the subject is so timely? Melora: As our commitment to our community increases, with every challenge, with every victory, with every opportunity, there is no end, there is no finish line with being an artist, there is always going to be something that you can create that is going to help people realize what is going on in your time and we’ve realized that we’re record keepers. There is no finish line - even after our last breathe that timeline, that story continues.

Especially for people of color, we speak more than we write, so there is all this history that is lost, because no one took the time to write it down, and so when I collect I am so adamant about this, and doing this zine, because maybe I am the only who will be writing about these artists, so that people decades from now will see these artists and their work and wonder who they are, especially for these artists

Melonie: When Melora and I started this project we said, okay this is going to be a 3-5 year project, so we can build a solid book documenting the people who we have worked with. And after our first

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of color - like I don’t know where they will land, but I feel like it’s not enough to just let their work be beautiful, or just end up in someone’s garage sell or basement, it’s not enough, I think for me if I can appreciate it and start documenting this - there’s a bit of a movement that is happening, that in the space of being responsible, culturally, socially, environmentally, I think it’s so necessary, it’s almost an emergency. Melonie: It’s our responsibility - we’re always responsible to make sure that culture rises to the top one way or another, and rising to the top can be in your living room, in the suburbs, away from the city and all of that, and you’re telling them [your friends] where they can get it, and how they can get it- and so you are creating a web of exposure. People think that you have to know about art or have a certain eye - and no your eye is fine, it’s what you like, and so it’s getting people to understand that there is no certain art god that is going to tell them there personal aesthetic isn’t on, that it isn’t justified - so first of all creating a space and letting people know that their own aesthetics is important, that whatever you like is what you like, and your eye is just fine, I think that’s where a lot of people get stopped, they don’t really get that their beauty is just enough, what you feel is what you feel. Melora: When they walk into the gallery, they are so hesitant to own their words and feelings. We have a responsibility as people who are trusted [with our taste, and knowledge]. We continue to share the message [of art], and that’s our responsibility. Wow, yea … I have a lot think about. Thank you so much!


When Warmth Abandons the Heart photos by Jason Leonard @jasonleonard

https://vimeo.com/65330833

How long does it take for you to really understand what something is? How do you feel when you finally find out? Would you want to go back and relive it, just so you could experience that moment all over again? That moment where all the swirling comes together and slows down into one fleeting moment of clarity in time.

view video in the digital issue at invitationannual.com

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2X ANXIETY + PRESSURE = TIME photos by Alexa Cassaro @alexacassaro

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NOTE poem by Stephen Wakulchik @wakawaka104 one single note played in perfect ambitious imperfection. the stroke of a childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mind renders a tone profound and complete, like the word as it slips from the edges of distant memory. the last elephant on earth swings its trunk hypnotically, a grand pendulum ethereality. massive, wrinkled ears, creased aged leather, move as independent agents of rotund of its space and time.

the spiraling of leaves, like the workings of a restless mind in relentless pursuit to understand why and why and why. calm on his bed, the last speaker of a language ancient, complex and beautiful takes one last breath and whispers his last word that no one can comprehend.

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Marty Mars (Invitation/Annual Issue Four Boogie Warp Mix) https://soundcloud.com/martymars/invitationannualfour/s-7apdn

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Invitation/Annual: TIME  

A lifestyle publication where creative people get to be people.

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