[Did not read this, but it seems I wrote it during my travels. TODO: need to read and expand. Also see, SPD in Korea]
During much of my time in Asia (Taipei, Taiwan, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, India, and Taipei again) I experienced high anxiety, loss of reality, and unimaginable happiness.
At first, I figured it was simply the effect of weather [link to effects of weather] on dopamine. Clearly high temperature and sunlight affected me. After reading a few articles of Wikipedia, I re-diagnosed this time as mania.
I experienced all of the effects of Mania: extroverted characteristics, pressured speech, racing thoughts, unable to work for long periods of time without external stimuli, ADHD; problems with physiology: sleeping less, more active lifestyle.
During travel in Asia, I’d wake up, rush to figure out what to do, then somewhat execute it, making up trip along the way. Every hour of travel was a new experience, something to consume, extending time [link to time]. I was at awe and wonder throughout, meeting people, exploring, deeply thinking about the things around me (how things have come to be, anthropology, etc.), and thinking about ways for me to produce something from my interactions.
I didn’t talk to people. I extract the information I wanted from them. Or, explored together. I was a monster and information from external sources was my food.
All I had to do was spend time moving around outside, seeing the public for a few hours during the heat and sunlight to satisfy my body. I’d often return to a hostel late at night socialize.
Perhaps in countries I could not interact with locals, I substituted with observing.
[TODO: did not read, just posting!]
Mania and Creativity
Despite all of this, I felt these were some of my most creative (although not as productive) time in my life.
Creativity and productivity are separate. Creativity is the process of creating ideas. Productivity is implementing them.
During mania, I am so creative (flight of ideas) that I continue consuming and creating new ideas. The problem is that I never want to settle one. How does one choose one to work on? How can any work be worth the time? As a person with a limited lifetime, wouldn’t it be efficient to only work on things with high effect low work ratio?
At this time I felt that even spending time to implement art onto a medium was a waste of time. Isn’t performance better, netting a direct result?
My work moved from medium to direct interaction. It supplied faster feedback, which was crucial as I worked alone. Humans of Taipei. Vincent Moon like documentary videos.
A constant stream of performance-oriented events is best. And travel is the best way to consume the most amount of information.
My ideas trended toward interaction with people. [link to Ideas of a Maniac]
Perhaps both are true to some degree. But one forgets, all information is not useful. And even good performances and documentation require some work.
A thought from Japan:
Is it possible to strive toward something great while living such a balanced life? Life needs tension. Fine art provides this without real life. Without the time and money of going to the slums of India.
A quote from Tsai-Ming Liang:
“I want a few audiences, who have been hurt and worried about life, living, agony and grief, to see my movies.”
Not creating enough! Need to put self into new social situations constantly.
Talking is creative. It’s easy to forget, but once one is learning a language, one’s brain works.
It’s the inscription onto mediums that are painful, because they are not social.
It’s hard to imagine.
Just a few decades ago, there was only books, newspapers, magazines, comic books, posters, and televisions with a few channels.
I feel that the less information there is, to a certain point, the less likely one will believe at face value, question it, and perhaps, react to it.
Now, that there is so much information, it seems people have become more indifferent to media. Do Americans shrug at imperialism, knowing but not caring? Or is it the discontentment of failed urban planning and a failed government?
I can’t imagine solidarity in action similar to Taiwan and Hong Kong in America. Does America even have the protest experience and institutions anymore?
Homeless East Asians are special. Testaments of the crime-less, thrifty ethics of East Asians; Modest modern scavengers of urban waste a la recyclables, they fertilize the city’s sidewalks every night, take care of the city like under-appreciated mothers do their shit-spewing babies.
I’ve always had a fascination with bums since I first moved to a city. A fascination for the human condition perhaps. They are incredible beings.
The Asian kind, especially. I feel no difference between the Asian recycling ladies of New York and certain night market vendors of Taipei whom clean the streets every night. Perhaps they are the same. I walk down the streets with them, comforted by their presence, inspired.
Wherever I settle, I hope they are always near.
When going from a densely populated area to a sparsely populated one, perhaps in addition to the lack of social liveliness, a fear of solitude comes about.
Simply, if one human is having a problem, without another within vicinity, how will that person get over it?
Densely populated areas feel safe because there are more people. More people more justice.
More desolate areas allow have more space between people and less light. Both of which attract petty crimes.
Favelas are populated, yet have crimes.
Are those crimes only restricted to dark alleys and unlit pathways?
If one grows in a house where one is accustomed to lock the door, turn on lights at night, come home before night, never walk alone, never go out without a car, a fear to go out, and perhaps a fear to meet people (“strangers”) could develop.
The lack of crime in East Asia is factor of freedom. One doesn’t worry about where they are, how, or when they will get home. Sleeping outside is a viable option.
I can’t say the same for America, especially suburban America, even after traveling.
I had a more positive view during my nights in New York after travel, but there’s still a bit of insecurity.
When I came back to New York, I decided, out of exhaustion, convenience, and change in cost of living, to sleep in Washington Square park. There were a few bums playing music and a few drunk university kids enjoying it, both equally harmless. Later there were just drunk university kids. I believe, the bums were cleared out by the police (I’ve seen them clearing bums out on a different day).
Over-policing cause the bums to continually move toward other covers from wind for warmth: under bridges, in subways stations, in underpasses. An unfortunate migratory pattern.
From my experience in East Asia, I did not see this. A homeless person (and a drunk university kid, and a businessman) could sleep in a public park. They appear quite alright, perhaps tired from the world, but unagitated.
Homeless Asians are special.
Property is a concept I struggle to understand. To pay an enormous amount of money for space above earth. Does this directly derive from slave and slave-masters? Shouldn’t this concept be dead in the Information Age? [todo: read Debt: The First 5000 Years]
Even after much travels, the place I fear the most is where I am now: a large house in a gated community. A whistle is useless here.
The characteristics are:
One that contains knowledge
One that directly affects humans via physical interaction.
One that is social
One that is beautiful
These are also forms of pleasure.
Physical interaction can be satisfied without manmade objects; The sublimity of nature is enough. So is eating and exercise.
In another view:
One that affects the mind, and
One that affects the body
The potency of art depends on the potency of the characteristics of the art and the audience. A more sensual art more strongly affects a more sensual person. A more mindful art more strongly affects a more rational person more. Beautiful and social arts affects everyone.
The more potent, the greater chance of reacting to it.
If social, potency, and therefore chance of reacting, is multiplied.
Hmm, is a social experience the end?
Or the beginning of another?