9.5.17

Petrichor_2

Picking the press photo for Petrichor. I think Matteo is a genius, I had a fun time jumping up and down the stairs with him, moving black cloth, photographing my project. There was some concern that the results weren’t literal enough.

Bea there then gone. In the evening a party. On the balcony with Matteo. He said I was his favorite Fabricanti.

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Weekend in May

On Friday a group of us biked to a street festival where I guess they were celebrating long drink-lines, meat sandwiches, and outdated American pop music. Lorena, Kenzi, Quentin and I walked a few blocks to an uncrowded bar.

I ran into Lorenzo, the cute stranger who I had met after my set at Django. He’s from Treviso but did all his education in London (something about being a sommelier), the resulting accent is very smooth. Along with his radio-voice he has piercing green eyes.

Not my type at all (too fancy = not critical enough). But he is sharp, gets my jokes and whenever we were near one another we performed a mix of rapid-fire banter and enduring eye-contact. After thousands of kisses on the cheeks I left with an “I owe you a gin and tonic.”

Saturday brunch at Jenny/Bianca’s. Alexis and I brought the prosecco and tofu-scramble. It was about to rain and we were all about to bike to Fabrica. Product design team for an approaching deadline and me for a durational test of my vapor screen. Jenny with vegan pancakes in her backpack. 

18.4.17

The skeleton of the Sabatager is in the garage. Both wheels had been stolen by the time I retrieved it, after it broke on the way to my gig at Django. I walked the half hour home, promenading with the felled beast on my shoulder. I didn’t want to deal with explaining the carnage to the bike shop guy this morning – I’m waiting till payday to discuss trading in the frame for a discount on a new used-steed. So I walked to Fabrica, like I do.

When it started hailing I held my shirt over my headphones. It trailed behind in the wind, I was singing along to “Top of the Hill” and feeling epic. A nice Italian woman picked me up. I told her she was a saint and gave her directions to Fabrica. We sang along to “You make me feel like dancing” confirming my ever-growing suspicion that Italians love disco.

My feet remained wet until it was time to walk home. It was a beautiful storm-sky golden-hour. I Wondered if I should get walking potion at Ins, felt I shouldn’t, then did. Nicolas laughed at me. Alexis and Nick came home. Gianni came by to borrow my ipad, give me a chocolate egg, and ask me out for a drink.

We shut Trevisi down, mostly talking about crushes and stuff. He told me an elaborate and illuminating story of how he cast a girl in a movie, the actor dropped out and Gianni stepped in (kiss scene), then the girl reversed the script, did the same moves he had written, to him, and then they dated for a year. Other than that I explained the word “cisgender” and the concept “nonbinary.” Was a good night!

16.4.17

Antti, Akanksha, and I stood under the archways in the center of town, admiring sunlight filtered through rain, sharing a beer. We decided to go to my place before the show so I could make everyone dhal, rice, and salad, rather than just have alcohol for dinner like all of us had been secretly planning.

Leo joined us. Antti sharpened my knives, then laughed the hardest I’ve ever seen him laugh as he altered the toy from a kinder surprise that has been sneaking into all of our beds.

Carlo came, I played Los Saicos. Nicolas complained we were being noisy and we left. I wrote Nicolas a quick fb message apology, saying I’d buy him a gelato.

Carlo gave us a ride to the party, where they had a terrible sound system and hadn’t positioned the speakers properly. I still danced extravagantly. People came up to me like I was famous, mentioning my set from a few weeks ago. “You’re a legend in Treviso now” said Leo. I giggled.

8.4.17

Castles in dreams.

I have a little sunburn and I’m feeling giggly after a big beer.

I felt at home at the health food store. Picking out fancy groceries like purple kraut and a little jar of spicy chili, using up my Fabrica allowance on groceries instead of eating out.

I guzzled kombucha in the sun, carrying a bag of bottles on my back. I made a seitan burger and a salad with show-offy micro greens. Silvia came home, then Alexis. I sat laughing, looking at my phone, saying “chairs.” (My status “collect all the tote bags to win, Alex: “totes” Christian “what do they need tote bags for in Milan, me: “chairs?)

After Kenzi and I got home at 4:30am I slept until I woke up without an alarm, not worrying about being late for my Benetton shift. I felt refreshed, waking up at noon, doing some push ups, eating crackers, sipping strong black coffee.

Chatting with Leo about how I don’t like doing stuff that I don’t want to do. I’ve done stuff I don’t want to do at every job ever and I don’t want to anymore! 

Went out around 1. Saw Aalto and Eindhoven exhibits. My favorite was “Unreal Estate” and Fillip’s guided virtual visualization.

I am lying on a white bed, listening to the new Arca album, and the sounds of Alexis typing, thinking: “I am enjoying not being real.”

Alexis and I went to Akanksha’s couch-surf house-party. After the bros there started a “guitar concert” in the living room Alexis and I left.

The biggest warehouse squat in Milan, which has moved from equally iconic abandoned-buildings multiple times (before they had some tower, maybe a castle, now a prison or something) and which had a line outside with hundreds of people, carefully controlled through a system of hand-stamps, a gate with a lock and chain, and people yelling to enter slowly and without stampeding, also has a communal vegan kitchen. (Or something like that, my ears perked at “vegan” when Roberta was telling me more about the place).

Alexis and I patiently waited outside the gate, and eventually got into a Mecca of screechy techno and minimal lighting. We devised systems to communicate with friends lacking cell phone battery and contending with security and dominated the palatial dance floors on arrival.

Macao
We left when Jenny felt sleepy (5am). As we waited for the overcrowded and therefore free nightbus, Ainhoa saw two people with flowers in their hair, and shrieked “so beautiful!” They gave her and Alexis the flowers and then everyone got night-sandwiches.

 

“That’s a really big sandwich”

“It’s my wedding day”

7.4.17

Feeling tired upon waking. Showering, then lying down again. Eating porridge with apples with Leo and Alexis.

A little grey and muggy, with a jacket on, feeling a dark and angular way and walking quickly over the scars that motorcycles left on the pavement.

Enjoying looking up at plants up high on buildings in Milan.

Long line at Cos installation so I met Kenzi and Lorena at a dead designer’s studio.

After looking at the chairs therein with two tall Russians and the friendly, officious, Italian woman telling us things, we walked to the Marni installation – one of the best. Sipping shaved ice and spinning on a swing.

Lorena-Spin

 

Capitalism is Over may have been my favorite part of Design Week. The micro culture shock that accompanies any visit somewhere new had me reflecting on extravagance, luxury, and the class structures that make those two concepts exist in the first place. (Class structure being a product of capitalism). And products! And how to produce products. Seeing photos of shipping containers and distribution warehouse on old farmhouse walls made me feel so relaxed. Good that these friends who I don’t know are also thinking about this.

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Kenzi, Lorena, and I sat outside with the smell of lilacs, a small bowl of olives, black rice, and 3 beers. The scene was familial. A child hid in a man’s shirt as the man joyfully embraced another man. A woman in high heels wobbled on cobblestone with drinks in hand. The balsamic/mustard dressing accompanying my Pinzimonio di verdure was vivacious. We had pensive sunlit-beer conversations. Lorena read us an entry from her journal from a year ago.

Chewing gum, crossing the street, deciding whether or not to take the metro then buying underwear for Kenzi at a supermarket. Taking the metro, all of us in a line, indifferent to the inefficiency of the machine, laughing at the inefficiency of the machine. Everyone is one thing train feelings. Tired friends sitting together in comfortable silence.

The address I put into maps led us to a park, but then we found the castle, where a DJ played filter-sweep-reliant EDM, accompanied by uncool and lazy visuals, projected onto an elaborate infrastructure. We drank €4 beers (though they accidentally gave me 2 tickets, so €2.50 beers) and sat on the grass.

We walked to the Taiwanese restaurant where Jenny ordered for everyone. A lazy susan made sharing easy. As we were leaving I scared Ainhoa in the bathroom and Alexis laughed as hard as Ainhoa shreiked. (One of the last times we were all out together I started the rumor that Alexis likes to wait for us in the bathroom and then scare us).

Smelled like weed and cologne back at the Red Bull party tent. Same aesthetic and beer prices, but with a longer line and more bodies, none of them dancing very enthusiastically.

We left at the early hour of 1:30, but the level of inconvenience made it seem later. The metro had stopped running, night busses were few, far between, and overcrowded. Every taxi we tried to hail zoomed by, save for one who said he could only take 4 (we were 5).

So Kenzi and I took the night bus, which is free, because there is no place to buy tickets. Crowded on a bus with each other’s armpits. “Crowded on the night bus in a Rick Owens runway jacket” I thought. “This is the lifestyle that is most logical” I thought. And I agreed with myself.

“One more drink?” Kenzi asked, and we went to the Tiki-themed bar where they were playing Buena Vista Social Club. “One more drink?” Kenzi asked, and we went to Bar Basso, where every designer goes as a right of passage during design week. We wondered why. We went to the hookah bar next door (where they were still serving), then stood with our beers as designers postured, as bowtied older-men swept lemon slices from beneath our feet.

6.4.17

The greasy eyelids of travel.

I worked at the Benetton store in the morning, and by worked I mean stood there uselessly, looking like I would be able to answer your question but not being able to do so with words if said question was in Italian. Plus if people at a store are anything like me they don’t want anyone to talk to them and feel awkward having someone watch them. It reminded me of every job I’ve ever had and I hated it. I thought about how much I hate capitalism and how this kind of nearly functionless servitude is a waste of human life and potential.

I took a long lunch break.

There are vegan restaurants in Milan. I had an organic 5 cereal beer with my giant burger and fries. It was sunny and quiet. I went to a vintage store and tried on leather pants that fit me perfectly and looked really hot, laughed at myself, and left.

Walking home, eating a frutti di bosco popsicle, succumbing to my tragic hangover, taking a nap.

Quentin

Waking up to friends around, going to dinner, reservations for 25. Everyone super tired, as if we had all been spending our endless-waking deep in drinks.

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Hon ordering in Cantonese for everyone. A really good meal! A really long meal. A few cigarette breaks with Kenzi and his friend from Spain or something.

In Arizona in 2000 everyone sings along with Italo-disco, apparently. Sam’s birthday and everyone dancing like crazy.

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5.4.17

Up at 6:45, train at 7:30, I arrived at the station at 7:28, after eating all the leafs (don’t want leafs going bad while I’m gone.)

I started a grant application on the train. For some reason I find train rides the perfect time to focus on this type of thing. Monica and I met about shipping Petrichor to Athens Digital Art Festival. There was assigned seating and Jonas messaged me pictures from 1st class.

Upon arrival I had an emergency meeting with Angelo and Monica about fabricating the vapor screen I’ve been designing. We finished, had a Thai lunch, and go to Duomo for my Designer Box shift. “Wow!” I felt, and said, when I saw the cathedral itself, and the lil gold mama up top. Madonna.

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It was cool to see my Designer Box piece IRL, and in a window, and I felt I didn’t even do much work – I just made jokes about boxes.

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Here’s what I ended up saying:

Squared is the deconstruction of a box in a box. It reconstructs into modular shelving, with clips to further divide the negative space… Exponential!

The boxes arrive nested in golden ratio, with matching golden clips. Box X Box. Boxboxboxboxbox. 

The kindest comment in the online voting said: “optimiser l’utilisation de nos si belles boîtes!!! Projet complètement dans l’esprit du design utilitaire et responsable !”

It made me think I should have just designed the clips and then people who subscribed to Designer Box could use them with past-packaging.

Silvia and I danced to the shopping hits that bounced off the concrete, explained the pieces. I messaged with jonas.

Silvia and I walked to the Adidas party. I messaged Xtian: “Greetings from Adidas party. I think Nike and Adidas should do a collab… on empty dance floors. Burn!” Ainhoa and I started the party on both dance floors, then left.

Everyone did a standaround, talking about taxis. I Looked up public transit directions and eventually all the other ducks followed me.

No one could get into the Cos party at first. I took another bus to a venue by the airport. Googs had me walking down a highway, as it often does. Now I was the one getting a taxi. At the Cold Cave/Drab Majesty concert they just asked for my Aarci card and let me in for free.

I hung out with Deb afterward, who told me I could have any of the merch I wanted but that felt awkward so I just hung around until they were done taking photos with fans and made friends with a dynamic Swiss DJ (who’s dating Deb). Together we drank from the half-empty drinks that were around. I told the lead singer of Cold Cave his layering was nice, that his set was “okay,” chatted with Deb about the magic of Venice, helped everyone pack up and then went on tour with them. Well they invited me, but I just used them for a ride home ;)

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Embodiment of glamour.

1.4.17

The gig at Django had the exact amount of hyper-energetic fun that I crave to express whenever possible. I’m glad there is a cross-cultural language for the intensity I hold in both my body and music curation ;) ;) ;) Also it was on April Fool’s so my set reflected this, not that it wouldn’t have otherwise. EVERY DAY IS FOR FOOLS!

All the DJs played pretty smart and noisy. I would have danced way more but had to endure many free drinks and kind words.

Like for instance Gabi brought me a beer as we all talked around a table. She went back inside for moment and Cecilia wondered out loud if she might be interested in  me. I got excited about it. Then Gabi and Fillip left and everyone else talked about crushes and stuff.

I was locking up The Sabatager (who broke again on the ride over) when a blue-eyed black-haired boy came up to me complimented my set and gave his condolences about my bike. He was offering me help and I was saying I didn’t need it but then I realized what he was doing was flirting. I was getting his contact when we were interrupted by going to a party in the middle of the city, in a loft apartment with marble floors, a beautiful, minimal record player, and a hammock. Also some cats were around. I later heard it was Luciano Benetton’s grandson’s flat? Don’t know which one he was though.

Everyone was languorous and weed-infused, I was talking with a pretty girl. When she left I lay in the hammock with Cecilia. When we left the blue-eyed boy left with us. Then we had a threesome. Ha ha, just kidding.

18.3.17/19.3.17

Nothing like going to bed early on a Friday and then having a whole Saturday!Met C at the station, who was wearing an oversized-coat that draped nicely,  and red jeggings (I found out later). We went to Karim’s surprise going away party on the rooftop. When everyone got kicked off the “terrace” we went inside. Before making our exit C got innovative with green mint vodka (that had been lingering, party after party) and an empty coke can. We drank it on the train, found another empty coke can by the bus stop and put it “next to its friend.”

There was no place to buy tickets. There was no bus stop where we were supposed to get off. We climbed over the highway barrier with some Germans because Googs also led them astray. The bouncer checked my backpack, told me to leave the cheap beers I had forgotten in there outside, found a bottle of B12 that could have easily been ecstasy, after eyeing it suspiciously he let me keep it. I thought “I should sell these pills for €20 each now.” The vjing was Terrible, the music (Analogue Cops) was pretty good.

We intermittently danced and slurped tequila-soda, Left at 3, missed the bus, then walked back to pick up the cheap beers I had forgotten outside.
It was misty.

All buses are free because there is no place to pay. We stumbled back through Venice. I stole a kiss on a bridge at sunrise (“I think this is the bridge where we have to make out.” C looked at me dubiously.)

We walked through daybreak-Venice as people in bright orange uniforms swept the street with straw brooms.We fell asleep in a sunlit room, in an area where laundry was hanging, where everything was rendered in pastel hues, it was silent.

Waking up heroically hungover, we went grocery shopping, made a feast, and wiggled to Shakira in a small kitchen.