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minimalism (where applicable) THE BOOKAZINE

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CONTENTS HOW TO USE (A Bookazine?) – p.3 WOW (a prologue) – p.4 CHAPTER ONE: FASHION – THE NEW MINIMALISM IS TAKING OVER – p.5 The Questions i)

Is this a Revolution? – p.6

ii)

Who is she? (the new minimalist woman) – p.9

iii)

When does Less = More? – p.13

The Examples - p.16 CHAPTER TWO: THE MODERN WORLD = A MINIMAL DESIGN SCHOOL – p.21 The Questions i)

Did Ikea kill Craftsmanship? – p.22

ii)

Is Minimalism for the home? – p.25

The Examples – p.28 CHAPTER THREE: MINIMAL ART – p.33 The Question i)

Is it art at all? – p.34

The Examples – p.40 CHAPTER FOUR: A MINIMAL LIFESTYLE: SLOWING DOWN IN A FAST FUTURE – p.45 The Questions i)

What do a bunch of bloggers and the Amish have in common? – p.46

ii)

Can you simplify life? – p.49

The Examples – p.51 APPLICABILITY (an epilogue) – p.56

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A Bookazine? It’s the centaur of print. Part book, part magazine, all fresh ideas. How to use: 1.

Read

2.

Think

3.

Add your notes; make it your own

4.

Keep

5.

Reread

6.

Rethink

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Wow (prologue) Someday in your life, you’ll be walking down the street, or looking down from a window several storeys up, or perhaps you’ll be in an airplane, or a small coffee house or maybe just sitting on the floor in your room. On this someday, you might pick up a piece of paper, or watch a woman walking past, or be looking at a building or the lamp next to you. Whatever it is, it will distract you for a wondrous moment, with its cleanliness, it’s simplicity and cleverness; you’ll think something like ‘Wow’. On other days, you might be busy, or distracted by lots of other things. On these days you wouldn’t notice lots of couches, or rooms, or jackets, or books or pieces of art that might also make you think ‘Wow’. Were you extraordinarily observant, you might notice all of these simple, clean things in your life; maybe you

would wonder why they all make you think ‘Wow’; maybe you would conclude that it was because of their minimalism; maybe you would speculate on all the forms of minimalism you see. Sometimes a distraction can occur that is one off – you note something, and then move on to thinking about what you saw on the news two nights ago. But sometimes a pattern of distraction can emerge, where you notice a thing, and then you continue to notice it in other situations, places and times and marvel at this thing ad infinitum. Sometimes you can keep thinking wow about it until the day you die. In case you didn’t know, this is what minimalism does. The thing with minimalism is that it produces a ‘wow’ in many different forms.

In fashion, in design, in literature, in art, in the way someone lives his or her life. Perhaps the ‘wow’s it produces will be increased in the future, its applicability spanning across every aspect of a modern world. This Bookazine is an investigation, an exploration, a question, a comment, a study and an experiment on the current state of minimalism. At the very least, it should help you be more observant, so you can say ‘wow’ a little more.

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CHAPTER ONE: FASHION – THE NEW MINIMALISM IS TAKING OVER

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IS THIS A REVOLUTION? Models storming down runways clad in clean, classic, geometric versatility wear the same grit as the National Guard at the Storming of Bastille in Paris, July 14, 1789. A revolution can be defined as a radical/momentous/drastic/far reaching change in a situation, way of thinking or behaving. This is what the new minimalism is.

For the past few seasons, the slate has been wiped clean and designers are removing themselves in waves from the promotion of over-the-top glamour and the creation of short-lived, fast trends. The result? Whites, Blacks, Neutrals, Colour Blocking, Sharp silhouettes, classic pieces to replace the it item of the week, something wearable, something versatile, something subtle and quietly chic. Where French Revolution was born from the combined effect of hunger and poverty in a strained financial system, a kind of indifference on the part of the royal court to the struggle of lower classes and new ideals for freedom, democracy and reason.

The New Minimalists seem to have been inspired by similar factors in a similar situation. The global financial crisis of 2007 was a wake-up call. People were no longer willing to swipe away for purchases which may not last more than a season in the wardrobe. Luxury Fashion houses were hit particularly hard by this new paranoia. It soon became obvious to them that a different kind of inventiveness was necessary for survival. They needed a product which was fashionable yet lasting and therefore a worthwhile buy – a rare and difficult combination. Trends, pre the GFC, were glamorous, ostentatious and always pushing the

frontier of newness in fashion. The proponent items were coveted by millions of women. Yet they were also lamented (albeit quietly and ashamedly) due to their their complete lack of practicality, versatility and functionality.

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One did not wear their Chanel tweed skirt suit to a cocktail party, just as one would not dream of wearing their Oscar de la Renta gown to coffee. Peasants of the French revolution were perhaps caught in a direr dilemma (i.e. famine, poverty etc) but they and the modern woman had a problem all the same. In many ways, designers were failing to recognise the needs of their customer base, namely, a fashionable practicality for everyday life. Enter Celine and Stella McCartney. They presented a solution to disposable fashion – the new minimalist aesthetic, which won over consumers and expanded rapidly, sweeping up many designers in the trend’s front. The appeal of dressing minimally is not only in its worth as a purchase and but also in its wearability.

The new minimalism introduced new values of versatility and wearability stemming from the creation of understated silhouettes with a day-to-night ambiguity. Less is more, or, the less there is, the more you can use it. These needs were always there, but had not been recognised until now. However, a mood, that was perhaps not always present in the fashionable folk of the world, has risen to the surface with the new minimalist trend, just as the new ideals did that fuelled the French Revolution. It was a realization, a reprioritization: Not everything has to be New. Newness was so overdone that it didn’t feel new anymore and it didn’t matter. It was a shift of focus from what’s never been done to what’s been done that has worked so well,

we could do it again or even improve. The outcome is a return to the minimal pieces from past decades, which were so lasting unlike flashier pieces. The tried-and-true basics are being remodeled, recreated, becoming reference points and given tributes. Designers are looking back, starting from scratch and not adding much else. So far, the new minimalism has been celebrated by many of the fashion world, professional writer and amateur blogger alike. But, like every revolution, it comes with it’s negative consequences. The new minimalism may be argued as having adverse effects in relation to methods of garment design and creation. The clean cut form of tailoring can be argued to have left no room for techniques which produce a more detailed silhouette, and the neutral color palate may well have

closed doors in the design of more graphic prints and textiles. The decline of Haute Couture partially due to the recession may be further exacerbated by the new minimalist trend as it rejects inaccessible and impractical glamour. While the new minimalism is pushing design away from traditional aesthetics, it is also giving designers room to experiment with what is desirable in modern fashion – something which could be considered delayed, as we began to modernize long ago. 7


Do you agree? Yes/No

Draw a picture/write a haiku to explain why you agree/disagree:

How did this make you feel? a) Like a Grecian statue at a spelling bee. b) Like an old paperback book sitting on a train seat c) Like a sea of pink tears d) Write your own simile ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________

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WHO IS SHE? (THE NEW MINIMALIST WOMAN)

She is young, and like a lot of younger people, doesn’t quite live anywhere. Her home is somewhere between Stockholm, Madrid and Dubai; the collective white, starched hotel beds with sheets always too-tightly tucked under the mattress, and two tidy black suitcases. The smaller one is for her clothes. A wardrobe so cleverly created it weighs little but produces a number of outfits amounting to ∞. The bigger suitcase is full of books, and postcards she has been meaning to send. A permanent tourist, she’s never looked like one. She is practical chic, paired back and polished, simple, timeless but compellingly progressive. She starts her day off looking out a window, from which early morning sunlight pours. She’ll walk around on cobblestoney streets, buy something to eat for breakfast and then walk through to a small back alley where she accidentally finds a store, small, and elusive even to locals. Maybe she’ll buy a scarf, something interesting to fit into a corner of the smaller suitcase, which will surprise her when she unpacks it. She continues to walk, hands in pockets to find somewhere nice to sit and read one of her books that she brought in a smaller bag she carries on her shoulder. This bag is new; she bought it from the ‘flagship store’ of a designer that she likes. She wasn’t at all afraid of the sales assistants there. She finishes reading, feeling restless and begins to walk again. She will continue the day in this fashion, one of the few people capable of walking all day without breaking a sweat or displaying any sign of discomfort. She looks like she belongs in every city. Locals wonder at her, a visitor who could have been there all this time. A time will come when she will no longer want to visit, but find a home that is stationary, firmly planted in the ground. A different life, but she’ll keep her values. Especially her values of simplicity, which she applied to her clothes. She knows already that in the future, whatever it holds, her clothes she has now will become her favourites for a very long time.

Or maybe… 9


She lives in a house that’s furnished with Ikea and buys from craigslist.com that she painted white. It floats between central urban and suburban in the convenient and sought after no-man’s land. She has a smallish, German car but also likes to walk places. Early mornings she is at the gym, accompanied by a duffel bag carrying something clean and simple to change into, a blouse, maybe, and a long skirt that seems to ooze ease. She’ll change after showering and head into the office, takeaway cup of coffee in hand. Coworkers peer over from their workstations, admiring her composure. She can be seen striding across the city from one meeting to the next, taking calls on a glossy blackberry. In the afternoon she’ll pick her two kids up from school, driving barefoot, her heels on the

seat next to her. She’ll make dinner when she gets home, serving up a plate of organic (always organic) greens. She might be vegan. Often she wears doesn’t change her outfit for evening functions; managing to pull off her daywear as nightwear with an elegance that turns the nearby cocktail dresses into flimsy coloured castoffs. It’s quite dark when she gets home. She showers again, but in the ensuite bathroom of the open plan bedroom she shares with her husband of 15 years, or maybe she’s single and has a room to herself, which she might like better. After reading to and talking with her children, she sits cross-legged under the Egyptian

cotton sheets and reads Chuang Tzu. She thinks about her age (thirty something, forty something) and her parents and work and then falls asleep, ready and centred for the next day’s arrival. Her routines are altered, rearranged, changed as she progresses. A constant that she clings to is found in her favourite clothes, which will remain her favourites for a very long time.

But perhaps... 10


She is even older, fiftyish going on nearly sixty or seventy, but her skin is smooth and tanned, with cheekbones that became more pronounced through the years. Her hair is curled always immaculately. She enjoys wearing clean colours and seems to always flatter her appearance with a grace unseen in younger generations. That chic pantsuit is her favourite. It makes her feel liberated. She lives in a house with a large garden, with expansive trees that her grandchildren like to climb. She’s retired, but teaches piano or runs a horticultural society or paints pictures which

remind her of New York when she was younger. She’s funny and smart with words, sometimes writing for her local newspaper. Community is important to her. She has a large oak wardrobe, which clothes flit in and out of, borrowed by her daughter and granddaughters. If she is in a big city, photographers like to take pictures of her riding her old white bicycle and post the pictures to their respective blogs and websites. Her subtle glamour is fervently praised. She’s seen the world, been to every continent (Antarctica included) and met many people. She always has a word of good advice. Her daily routines will ultimately get busier as she takes on more projects than she ever thought she could do before. Slowly, her routine may become quieter as age finally catches up, but her timeless elegance remains always with her in her favourite clothes, which have been her favourite clothes for a very long time.

The new minimalism has found a following in the modern woman. These three examples are just speculations, guesses. But these three profiles demonstrate the thoroughly modern lifestyles that women of today lead. Women of today are busy, requiring practicality make balancing their lives easier. They are strong but find elegance in simplicity. They are worldly, educated, career orientated and are admired for their timelessness. These qualities are reflected in their style, an overarching minimalism.

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Do you agree? Yes/No

Draw a picture/write a haiku to explain why you agree/disagree:

How did this make you feel? e) Like a Grecian statue at a spelling bee. f)

Like an old paperback book sitting on a train seat

g) Like a sea of pink tears h) Write your own simile ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________

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WHEN DOES LESS = MORE?

Less apples does not equal more apples. This is a rational conclusion, one that corresponds with how we understand the world to function. Less cash does not equal more cash and less effort is not more effort. However, this is a time where that kind of narrow-minded logic is

useless. A clearer way to look at it might be by sliding an ‘impact’ next to the ‘more’. And, if you’re getting dressed in the morning, add any of the following next to the ‘less’: bling/glamour/magnitude/fads/garnishing/EFFORT. LESS BLING/GLAMOUR/OVER THE TOP/FADS/GARNISHING/EFFORT = MORE IMPACT LESS = MORE Is this the fashion formula for life? Turn the page to find out.

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On average, a human spends 97,464 hours working in their lifetime. A minimalist approach to corporate dressing would perhaps make the hours easier. The modern woman finds her minimalist impact in the sharp skirts and polished shirts – practical, elegant, sharp but not boring. LESS BLING/OVER THE TOP/FADS/GARNISHING/EFFORT = MORE IMPACT

Approximately 20 million pairs of shoes were produced in 2010. The average American woman on average own nineteen pairs. That is, nineteen pairs to go with only a few outfits per shoe. There is a Cinderella slipper that, upon effective application, could be your pair of shoes for life; Timeless, ever appropriate and effortlessly chic. LESS BLINVER T

HE TOP/ FADSGARNISHING/EFFORT = MORE IMPACT

The average price of an Oscar De La Renta gown starts at $5000 USD. With several formal evening functions in a month, the purchasing of a dress for each cocktail party leaves a woman knee-deep in debt. Building a minimalist evening wardrobe based on subtly glamorous but not overly decorative pieces will lots more room for option and prevent against satin ghosts collecting dust at the back of the cupboard. It also allows for a better relationship with the bank. LESS BLING/OVER THE TOP/ FADS/GARNISHINGEFFORT = MORE IMPACT

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Do you agree? Yes/No

Draw a picture/write a haiku to explain why you agree/disagree:

How did this make you feel? i)

Like a Grecian statue at a spelling bee.

j)

Like an old paperback book sitting on a train seat

k) Like a sea of pink tears l)

Write your own simile ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________

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THE EXAMPLES

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Selected looks from: 1. Celine SS 11

2. Jil Sander FW11

3. Calvin Klein SS11

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1.

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2.

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3.

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CHAPTER TWO: DESIGN; THE MODERN WORLD = A MINIMAL DESIGN SCHOOL

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DID IKEA KILL CRAFTSMANSHIP? Minimalist design encourages the basic. A typical piece of minimal furniture will only include the necessary elements for it to be functional. Admittedly, it sounds sensible and reasonable, making it difficult to imagine what a drastic change it was from the decorative styles that had dominated design previously. This really is, then, a new age in design.

It didn’t begin overnight but has been rapidly developing since the period between the first and second World Wars. And it started with a school. It was at the end of WWI that Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus, an amalgamation of two other schools of art, something he had been waiting to do since 1915. It was there where the principles of Bauhaus design were developed by an up-and-coming faculty of artists-turnedprofessors and then taught to a new generation of

students. The education was that of a thoroughly modern design reformation. While the world had been industrializing, most design had remained stagnant, the outdated styles unsuited to a progressive era. The Bauhaus championed design that was minimal, rational, functional, economical and durable; design for mass production. The Bauhaus school was closed under the Nazi regime, but the ideas remained and today nearly all everyday objects fit to the Bauhaus principles and have a palpable minimalism about them. Today, nearly everything is designed to be mass produced.

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Elements of modern, everyday design are filled with the simple, modern and mass produced. Simplistic furniture is a staple in nearly every home and has been widely embraced with the commercial success of Scandinavian furnishing giant Ikea. Understated is the new cool in packaging. Design in new mobile and portable technology, Apple being a standout in particular, sees increasing emphasis on the streamlined and clean cut. Advertisers are discovering the advantages of white space, as are

web and print designers. Elaborate, detailed craftsmanship is far less common, simply because of its inaccessible nature. This, for some, is a source of regret. Traditional skills in the creation of everyday objects are being rapidly replaced with computers, robots and machines; this loss will further increase as our technology advances. Some will never stop lamenting this skill and indeed culture loss. But some embrace it as a necessary progression, something that had to occur for our world to grow. While the appreciation of traditional craftsmanship will never be as great, minimal design is the path for more innovative techniques, design and ideas as the human race’s needs and wants change and grow. Minimal design may have shut the door on the past, but is paving the way to new ideas, with the future right alongside it.

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Do you agree? Yes/No

Draw a picture/write a haiku to explain why you agree/disagree:

How did this make you feel? m) Like a Grecian statue at a spelling bee. n) Like an old paperback book sitting on a train seat o) Like a sea of pink tears p) Write your own simile ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________

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IS MINIMALISM FOR THE HOME?

Minimal furniture is practical, simple, smart and attractive. It’s accessible thanks to Ikea, and is timeless, appropriate to a changing lifestyle. Everyone is singing its praises; unaware of the fact that said praises can be a double-edged sword.

Minimal furniture is geometric and often full of sharp corners. Buying that hexagonal white table for your kitchen might look stylish and add interest to a part of the home that involves a lot of hard work (cooking, cleaning). However, a table of this shape equates to six sharp corners, which equates to six opportunities for bruising your thighs, and if you have a small child, their forehead. (And in hospital, a dent in your child’s skull cannot be attributed to your great taste in furniture, just less-than-perfect parenting).

Minimal furniture is nearly always white Having a less colourful home might be less awkward for the colourblind, but when in combination with white walls, several difficult situations might arise. Firstly, people might mistake your house for a hospital. They might start cueing up at your front door, claiming first in best dressed, or surgeons might open up a patient on your white leather couch. Secondly, you may have trouble distinguishing shapes when everything blends into white, especially if there is a snowstorm outside (you won’t be able to see your windows). Thirdly, you might temporarily blind yourself upon entering your all white room on a daily basis.

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Minimal furniture is affordable This means everyone can have it. You might find this really cool ikea couch and buy it straight away. Then you invite your neighbours over to admire it, only to find they have the exact same loveseat. No matter how soft the Italian leather is, the situation is inescapably uncomfortable.

Minimal furniture is clean Clean design can appear ideal on the glossy pages of home magazines, but a totally minimal home can lead to

intense boredom. You will end up dragging your feet from room to room, only to find they look exactly the same. The clear, sharp lines will be so clean and sharp that they send you down the spiral of insanity until you buy a loud, orange and brown couch from the 70s as prescribed by your doctor.

But really, minimal furniture’s pros outweigh their cons. If you feel like buying that hexagonal table, all white wallpaper, the super affordable Ikea couch and purging your house of all furniture lacking the clean-cut look, go ahead.

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Do you agree? Yes/No

Draw a picture/write a haiku to explain why you agree/disagree:

How did this make you feel? q) Like a Grecian statue at a spelling bee. r)

Like an old paperback book sitting on a train seat

s) Like a sea of pink tears t)

Write your own simile ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________

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THE EXAMPLES

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Pieces of minimal design from everyday life: 1. The Apple iMac

2. T2 packaging

3. Ikea Furniture

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1.

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2.

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3.

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CHAPTER THREE: MINIMAL ART

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IS IT ART AT ALL? In early 20th Century Russia, everything melted off the artist’s canvas except for squares, circles, or a single colour. Their forms were laced with mathematical thinking and rationalism. The Suprematists and the Constructivists had fashioned a new function for art. Completely conceived and shaped by the mind before it’s execution; art was secular, representative of only itself and existing for itself. Fast forward to the end of the 50s in North America – The war was behind them, Elvis Presley was on the radio. Cars indicated prosperity, and highways were built. An abandon to creative freedom emerged, typified by the abstract expressionist movement. Every stroke of colour denoted a spiritual and philosophical revelation. Principles and theory were crumpled up, thrown absently into a trashcan which was emptied out the window. A small, underground revolt occurred. Practitioners of minimal upturned all the spontaneous and liberal values of the Abstract Expressionism or ABC art, some of whom were painters in the former movement. The 60s arrived and New York was awash with this new Avant Garde art movement. The medium was predominantly sculpture, it included lone or repetitive geometric shapes, created from industrial materials such as steel and concrete, colours being non-symbolic, the result being particularly deliberate and striking. The shapes, materials and colours appeared resplendent in themselves. Gallery installations would render people visiting an exhibition as humans feeling themselves move through a space. Though the popularity of minimal art in the 1960s surpassed any other following decade, the philosophies and ideas of the

movement remained within the art scene, resurfacing again in the 80s and 90s, leaving its mark on the most influential galleries and collections of today. BUT It’s not uncommon for a visitor to a gallery to step up on the echoing floor to a piece of minimal art, hands clasped behind their back and exclaim smugly that ‘I could have done that!’. Or perhaps, ‘My dog/my small child could have done that!’. Critics of minimal art described it as a ‘feat of ideation’, ‘theatrical’, and a novelty intended to shock. The Modernist experiment of exploring the boundary between art and non-art was being ‘undermined’ by Minimal art, they said. It was being taken too far even from Modernist art, works of which today are also subject to the ‘I could have done that!’ reception.

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There are perhaps three traits that art is popularly believed to require so that it may be art: Application of the artists skill and imagination; Evidence of the artist’s self-expression or interpretation; The artwork’s ability to make the audience feel. Minimal art can be argued to possess none of these traits and therefore is not art-enough. Or it can be argued to be art regardless of these traits. You are about to see both perspectives.

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1. Application of the artist’s skill and imagination a. Minimal art does not show skill or imagination Minimal artists use neither skill nor imagination in their creation of their ‘art’. It does not require much skill or imagination to

place a square on a canvas or attach fluorescent lights to walls or place a piece of wood in the middle of the floor. b. Minimal art does show significant skill and imagination Minimal artists use a considerable amount of skill in the creation of their art beyond the amount of skill attributed to traditional art. Their installations are often arranged according to complex mathematical algorithms and are created using materials that require industrial skill to work with. Being among the first in 40,000 years of art to conceive the idea to place a square on a canvas and create a new function for art indicates a substantial application of imagination.

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2. Evidence of the artist’s self-expression a. Minimal art does not show any self-expression The point of art is self-expression. It is a medium, a vehicle for self-expression. Minimal art is not so much like a person without a car, but a person without legs. Disabled art. b. Minimal art does not need to show any self-expression Self-expression was the training wheels attached to the bicycle of a Tour de France cyclist. Minimal art allows art to stand on its own two feet, to be conceptual, an idea of itself, not symbolic or riddled with hidden meanings, resplendent only as itself, by itself. Meaning is a burden on materials and the art’s construction, which should be admired as itself.

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3. The artwork’s ability to make you feel a. Minimal art does not make you feel Put simply, quadrilateral shapes and plastic offer no stirring of emotion nor profound reflection, just inescapable sensory deprivation. b. Minimal art does more than make you feel Minimal art is maximum impact. Its simplicity can make you wonder why we bother having anything else. Visually striking, it allows your mind to explore art, as you have never seen it before. It transforms a gallery into a space where you feel conscious of yourself and your movements; you become part of the art.

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Do you agree? Yes/No

Draw a picture/write a haiku to explain why you agree/disagree:

How did this make you feel? u) Like a Grecian statue at a spelling bee. v) Like an old paperback book sitting on a train seat w) Like a sea of pink tears x) Write your own simile ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________

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THE EXAMPLES

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Minimal art from the 20th Century: 1. Carl Andre, Cascade, 1984

2. Dan Flavin, The nominal three (to William of Ockham), 1963

3. Donald Judd, Untitled, 1976

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1.

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2.

43


3.

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CHAPTER FOUR: A MINIMAL LIFESTYLE - SLOWING DOWN IN A FAST FUTURE

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WHAT DO A BUNCH OF BLOGGERS AND THE AMISH HAVE IN COMMON?

It’s a resolve. A mantra. A philosophy for life that’s been around since Biblical times, and even further back to 1100 BC. Generally associated as a lifestyle choice for monks, it’s now for the average American. Any guesses? It’s called simple living, voluntary simplicity and the minimalist lifestyle. The choice to cut out all

unnecessary things in your life. The Amish, a subgroup of Mennonite Christian Churches have their own, simple way of life in order to maintain their faith and community. In our materialistic world full of conspicuous consumers, reducing your lifestyle is an escape. And it has never been more relevant. A movement, most popular in America has been gathering momentum, headed by several bloggers with urls like livingminimal.com; zenhabits.com;becomingminimalist.com;theminimalist path.com. At these blogs, the writers detail their paths and provide guidance to readers to achieving minimalism and its various goals - of having only the necessary possessions, eschewing nearly all technology (except, of course, their blogs), eating healthy and self-sufficiently, purging their home, losing weight, travelling light, living light, de-stressing, detoxing. And the list goes on. On the surface, it sounds bizarre, something that happens only in America. But the reasons for such borderline-drastic measures stand valid.

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Living a minimalist lifestyle saves cash. We live in a material world where wastefulness, hoarding and impulse buying are encouraged and beginning to run rampant over our lives. Avoiding fruitless purchasing in minimal living saves money, as well as room in that dark closet where you keep all your snuggies, shamwows and George Foreman grills you bought teleshopping on the lifestyle channel

Living a minimalist lifestyle is a mental health kick. Reducing your stress is a key step to achieving a minimal way of life – also a result of achieving a minimal lifestyle. By getting rid of the stuff you don’t need, you’re getting rid of unnecessary burdens = no unnecessary worries = no stress.

Living a minimalist lifestyle is fat-eliminating. Reducing your screen time gets you off the couch. Getting rid of fast

food is getting rid of the rolls. Decreasing stress is decreasing your waistline.

Living a minimalist lifestyle slows down your life. New technology is becoming dangerously fast. Online updates are becoming more and more rapid. It’s hard to keep track. By pursuing simpler habits towards your technology, you can gain perspective on life and finally kick that facebook addiction.

Living a minimalist lifestyle leaves time for everything else. Without all the unnecessary distractions in life, you

can have more time, space and freedom to enjoy and live your life.

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Do you agree? Yes/No

Draw a picture/write a haiku to explain why you agree/disagree:

How did this make you feel? y) Like a Grecian statue at a spelling bee.

z) Like an old paperback book sitting on a train seat aa) Like a sea of pink tears bb) Write your own simile ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________

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CAN YOU SIMPLIFY LIFE?

Despite its title, the transition to ‘simple living’ from a modern lifestyle can seem daunting. Our society has altogether lost the ability to distinguish between needs and wants. Getting rid of a bread decruster versus your last litre of water has become a tough decision. The blogging advocates of minimalism go about their life reduction in methods such as limiting their total possessions to only 12 things or only wearing one dress, of which you have seven pairs. Sounding just like another bunch irrational bloggers overhyped for their radicalness, their life choices appear inaccessible and pointless. This is not actually the case. You can, in fact, simplify life, and you can do it in 5 steps: 1. BE SELF-SUFFICIENT Get going on that greenhouse and install a solar panel. Buy less and create more. 2. GET NATURAL Less fast food, more organic. Less driving, more walking. Get back to nature. 3. DECLUTTER

Purge, reorganize. Clean surfaces just look better. 4. GO LOW-TECH Reduce the things you have to do with a computer, phone, the internet and reduce your reliance on technology. Reduce the amount of communications you have with people and leave time for yourself; reduce the amount of time in front of a screen and get outdoors. 5. ZEN OUT It might sound difficult, but minimize your thought processes. Reduce your worries, slow down, stop overthinking and meditate.

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Do you agree? Yes/No

Draw a picture/write a haiku to explain why you agree/disagree:

How did this make you feel? cc) Like a Grecian statue at a spelling bee. dd) Like an old paperback book sitting on a train seat ee) Like a sea of pink tears ff) Write your own simile ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________

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THE EXAMPLES

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Selected excerpts from zenhabits.com 1. A brief guide to life

2. The Zen of Doing

3. Simple Living Manifesto

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1.

53


2.

3. 54


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APPLICABILITY (AN EPILOGUE)

Minimal Fashion, Design, Art and Lifestyle are all: 1. Based on the principle of less = more 2. movements against unnecessary glamour 3. results of a modernising world These four disciplines of Fashion, Design, Art and Lifestyle, on their own, are diverse; separate worlds. But minimalism can be applied to any and all of them, with progressive, clever and attractive results. So now, the question is raised:

If minimalism fits into these four, where else does it fit? Take time to explore your world, and then record your answers below:

___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________

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thank you for reading.

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Joanna Pope An Independent Learning Project

2011

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Minimalism (where applicable)