Improvised Life » video If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Sat, 18 Apr 2015 23:34:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 FAB, Curiously-Addictive Miniature Food Videos Wed, 08 Apr 2015 06:13:58 +0000

(Video link here.) The Japanese YouTube channel Miniature Space has married the satisfying addictiveness of food shows with doll-house fantasy-thinking into strangely mesmerizing videos that we can’t seem to get enough of. Miniature Space prepares real food in teeny cookware. Some videos focus on assembly, like a layer cake and a sushi plate. Others require actual cooking (over a tealight), including a boiled egg, a doll-sized onion ring tower and a tiny stack of pancakes (which we find ourselves wanted to eat). All are lessons in inspired improvisation. (more…)

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Found Objects Music + Attitude for Monday Mon, 23 Mar 2015 07:29:20 +0000

Click to embiggen

At Under the Sun we stumbled on this reminder of the many objects around us that can be used to make music.

Type in Found Objects Music into YouTube’s Search and you’ll find A LOT of interesting improvisations. Here’s a favorite, with a great beat for Monday morning, and a long list of found objects used. (Video link here.) (more…)

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Lemesoff’s Weapon of Mass INSTRUCTION + Other Brilliance Thu, 19 Mar 2015 05:26:25 +0000

(Video link here.) We are smitten with Buenos Aires-based artist Raul Lemesoff’s brilliant ‘Weapons of Mass Instruction’, a 1979 Ford Falcon transformed into a military-style vehicle/traveling library with a serious function of peace. Lemesoff tours through Argentina’s cities, towns and rural communities, offering free books to anyone interested in his a varied collection of poetry, novels and biographies.

But beyond this singular creation, the video proves Lemesoff a creative FORCE to emulate. (more…)

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Chris Burden’s Beam Drop: steel, concrete + CHANCE Tue, 17 Mar 2015 06:55:43 +0000

Video link HERE. Artist Chris Burden used some of our favorite materials — concrete, steel beams, a construction crane…and…chance — for his Beam Drop. For us, the crazy power of the piece is in watching it: pure gravitational and other mysterious forces violently plunking the beams  into wet concrete, fueled by Burden’s vision. (more…)

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Annals of Invention: Poop Spray (to Buy or DIY) Thu, 12 Mar 2015 21:44:37 +0000

(Video link here.)  When a grieving friend came for dinner, the conversation eventually turned from sadness to LOL hilarity. He told us that he had recently heard that an entrepeneur was making a fortune selling “poop spray”, a scented liquid that you spray in the toilet “before to go” to literally prevent your shit from stinking.  You’re kidding, we said, thinking this had to be a joke on American anxiety about bodily processes.

I kid you not, he said, and what is even more amazing is the commercial. So we checked it out on YouTube, and laughed like crazy. We were happily surprised that the makers of  Poo-Pourri Poop Spray managed to make their product both funny and compelling.  The next day we did some research into just what was in their million dollar idea. (more…)

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Owl Poem, via Mary Oliver + Vine Thu, 12 Mar 2015 06:59:32 +0000

A convergence of two owl poems: one, wordless, at Vine…one by Mary Oliver, when we opened Blue Horses:

Owl Poem

One has to say this for the rounds of life

that keep coming and going; it has worked so far.

The rabbit, after all, has never asked if the grass

wanted to live.

Any more than the owl consults with the rabbit.


Acceptance of the world requires

that I bow even to you,

Master of the night



—with thanks to Maria Robledo


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Klee’s Pink Spring in Deep Winter Wed, 11 Mar 2015 07:01:01 +0000

(Video link here.) A camera mounted to an umbrella captures the experience of walking down the snow-covered streets of New York City in winter in this short video from the New York Times. We saw it not long after we heard a mother reassuring her little girl, as they walked through the frigid, still-snowy park across the way, that Spring was going to come SOON.  We realized that the one thing we could all still count on is Nature and change. That is the rule, as this wondrous, very pink “Young Tree” by Paul Klee attests. (more…)

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Holi: Throw Happiness Around Like Confetti! Mon, 09 Mar 2015 06:09:41 +0000

The Hindu traditional day of festivity known as Holi, celebrated on March 5th, is a religious celebration that has come to signify a lighthearted goodbye to winter and joyous welcome to Spring. Celebrants throw vibrantly colored powders on each other, as though blessings, in a jubilant day of transformation.  Spring is literally in the air! (more…)

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View Shifter: Mister Rogers’ Perfect, Tiny Meditation Thu, 05 Mar 2015 08:14:14 +0000

(Video link here.) Every so often, we check in with artist/educator Paul Zelavansky’s YouTube channel, where we find salient, carefully-edited clips of Mister Rogers’ wisdom. They are as transformative for adults as it is for kids. Zelavansky opened our eyes to the power of Rogers’ work.

“Taking a Breath” is a perfect .58 seconds to view any time you need a shift.

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Tom Sachs’ Video Homage to Plywood Will Help You Create Wed, 04 Mar 2015 18:00:48 +0000

(Video link here.) When we stumbled on the sleek, illuminated video, Love Letter to Plywood, on Kottke, we hadn’t realized it was by artist Tom Sachs. Of all the plywood “makers” we know, he is among the most inspiring. The guy seriously understands and works the stuff, from his plywood “concrete” block, to his black plywood clad fridge (below).

A few years ago, we posted his video Love Letter to Plywood. Since then, he’s updated, refined it, added to it to create not only an homage, but simple lessons that will help you work with it: essential plywood understanding will pour right into your head in the most pleasureable way.

It might inspire you fashion a chair like the wonderfully odd throne by Ross Anderson… (more…)

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Morning Wakeup: Kid’s Dancing to Eddie Kenzo’s Jambole Tue, 03 Mar 2015 07:28:39 +0000

(Video link here.) Here’s our second inspiring video of kids dancing to Eddy Kenzo‘s new song, Jambole. Play it full screen and LOUD.  The music will get you dancing. And the kids are a testament to the INFINITE number of MOVES YOU CAN MAKE!

(Dig that little girl in the pink dress!)

Pure JOY.

Listen to more Eddie Kenzo HERE.

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Weekend Magic: René Lavand + Li Po Fri, 27 Feb 2015 08:18:25 +0000

(Video link here.) David Saltman of The Houdini File alerted us to René Lavand, the extraordinary artist of illusion who passed away recently. His performance of the classic “cups and balls” is mesmerizing. Lavand, who has only one hand, performs with the grace of a dancer, weaving a hypnotic spell as he whispers “siempre tengo tres” (I have only three).

After he lost his hand in a car crash at the age of nine, Lavand taught himself magic (more…)

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Morning Wakeup: Dolphins Surf the Waves Wed, 25 Feb 2015 07:09:41 +0000

(Video link HERE.) A visual poem for the day; no words needed.

Susan Dworski

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Cookie Monster’s Profound Zen Koans about Food Fri, 20 Feb 2015 08:57:17 +0000

(Video link HERE.) In this curious performance piece, famed Muppet-of-few-words Cookie Monster tours New York City museums as he shares thoughts about food that seem like…zen koans, succinct paradoxical statements to be used as meditations… (more…)

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