These are the three most inspiring things I’ve read all week, the things that made me sit back and actually think about them, rather than simply digesting and moving on. I showed these things to other people, thought about them at the gym, which is always a sign that a piece has stuck with me.

Most artists are brought to their vocation when their own nascent gifts are awakened by the work of a master. That is to say, most artists are converted to art by art itself. Finding one’s voice isn’t just an emptying and purifying oneself of the words of others but an adopting and embracing of filiations, communities, and discourses. Inspiration could be called inhaling the memory of an act never experienced. Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos. Any artist knows these truths, no matter how deeply he or she submerges that knowing.

From The Ecstasy of Influence: A Plagiarism by Jonathan Lethem

Hip-Hop architecture is not characterized by any definitive or predetermined aesthetic manifest8ion/expression (as an end result). It is however about processes — the process of conceiving (thought), the process of making (building/construction) and the process of inhabiting (experiential, phenomenological) — understood best both by the acts of walking and dwelling of human end-users. Its success is gauged by whether people feel the flow of energy, which is Hip-Hop, as they circul8, circumnavig8 and ambul8 through the spaces. This notion separ8s it from the so-called avant-garde, which is focused — almost solely — on the visual aesthetic of the final result.

From Resonant Spaces/Dynamic Flow by James Garrett, Jr.

Where no one believes in a better future, despair is a logical choice, and people in despair almost never change anything. Where no one believes a better solution is possible, those benefiting from the continuation of a problem are safe. Where no one believes in the possibility of action, apathy becomes an insurmountable obstacle to reform. But introduce intelligent reasons for believing that action is possible, that better solutions are available, and that a better future can be built, and you unleash the power of people to act out of their highest principles. Shared belief in a better future is the strongest glue there is: it creates the opportunity for us to love one another, and love is an explosive force in politics.

From Optimism is a Political Act by Alex Steffen

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