Posted: March 31st, 2013 | Author: Ellen | Filed under: Stories | No Comments »
It’s tiptoeing to the end of March.
It’s been the coldest, longest and toughest winter I’ve ever experienced since I came to Beijing. I also realized I’ve been in this city for such a prolonged time, haunting myself with this destructively procrastination.
Yet I am very much grateful to the city as it makes me grow, out of the previous versions of myself numerous times.
And it’s been almost 10 months. I am officially scared.
My life is irresistible. So are you.
Posted: February 22nd, 2013 | Author: Ellen | Filed under: Miscellaneous, Reasons | No Comments »
This issue came from the sub-theme for my upcoming TEDx event: “Dance to Fear”. I remember last summer I asked him what he was afraid of most—-”boredom and Sloth”, he said.
Right now I am really taking these two things seriously, so that I have been keeping myself insanely busy, as to stick with some leftover meanings in the bleak despair.
However, I do find the status of being hectic busy ignite my life at some point, that I even experience some eureka moments.
At that time he also asked me what I was going to do. I said “I don’t know”. Even now if he asks me the same question, I would also simply reply, “I don’t know”.
It’s because I fully understand that a solution, or a simple and short answer is too cheap to balance the weight of life itself. I am now more willing to take pains struggling with my own autonomy, and let my one self conflict iridescently with my other self.
That’s why poet Constantine P. Cavafy wrote, “As you set out for Ithaka, hope the journey is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery.” Life itself is never easy.
Posted: January 26th, 2013 | Author: Ellen | Filed under: Miscellaneous | No Comments »
因为给下次TEDx活动想主题，脑子快爆掉了，刚才手抖居然开始翻诗经了，就差点开始Google庄子老子，索性停止了。其实The Zeitgeist是我很喜欢的一个调调，但是还没有找到倾倒众生的中文翻译。。。当策展人真不容易，再加上还要写BP，deadline就在下周三! 两块脑子都混在一起了。
所谓“但愿你的道路漫长，充满惊喜，充满发现”，比如Joey走了之后，又出来了Yan Feng。一个五环外非主流美国艺术家，一个体制内根正苗红的中国艺术家，前面那个从美国来中国央美上学，后面那个去美国上学回央美教书，前面那个跟我一起开始TEDx，后面那个被我搞定为TEDx的特邀策展人。两个人都那么渴望成功，简直都是痴迷。关键是两个人都说我是一个艺术家，好不好，而且都用了感叹号的。我有时候想，Yan Feng就差开始问我感情问题了，要不然又是一个Joey了。
Posted: January 15th, 2013 | Author: Ellen | Filed under: Miscellaneous | No Comments »
I am now made start up a company by my boss(The current company will hold some percent of shares in it though)….It just freaked me out!! I told him I am not ready….He probably is mad, he just sees how I function in TEDx community in China, and heard of some stuff I did back in 36kr(I can’t imagine how those people in 36kr will think of when they got to know I would found a company, considered the fact that they kicked me out before). And now my this dear boss thinks I can do it.!
Wish me the best luck—-This is a real startup, and I am an entrepreneur.
And now I really understand how lonely one to-be-entrepreneur should be—-I don’t even know who to talk to at this point. I am sure I will freak out at some point. And I can only write some stuff in this blog!
I told him—-Okay, probably I will freak out seriously after several months, but I will surely make this company very transparent so someone can take over I am out.
Plus I am planning my adventure in New York in the near future. Split me that time.
Posted: January 1st, 2013 | Author: Ellen | Filed under: Miscellaneous, Reasons, Stories | No Comments »
Your writings always makes me reassured and gloomy at the same time. For one thing, every time when my google reader added one item, I was so relieved that you are still……alive, and many times I had an illusion that you are always there, never ever left; For another thing, despite the fact that the tone pretending to be peaceful, I can still sense the inner turmoil hidden inside a dark and pure and true soul.
Thanks to you, I have been learning to rediscover myself and seek for independence from within. Beijing is such a sad place, in many ways. However, please know that I am in no way escaping and making the decision for you—-It’s just a promise to myself that I need to continuously live to the fullest, and survive with meanings.
I don’t know how though. But at least it’s something called a dream and I will find a way on my own. Please wish me the best of all luck, and I will work extremely hard on it and never cease the steps.
In case you will have a chance to read this post in the future—–Please know I authentically adore you and empathize you. There are not that many people I could be able to say I adore…Okay, Jeff Bezos? Madonna? Or even back in college life when I was mesmerized by Otto von Bismarck….It’s a worship stripping all unnecessary rituals. Meanwhile, I also see myself inside you, a vulnerable soul with an evergreen determination.
Happy New Year!
Posted: December 21st, 2012 | Author: Ellen | Filed under: Stories | No Comments »
You can find it here.
1. JR’s Inside Out “反转世界”
I was contacted by TED team about expanding JR’s Inside Out project to China. JR is TED Prize Winner in 2011, an anonymous street artist, whose interview could only be found on New Yorker. In his TED Prize wish, “I wish for you to stand up for what you care about by participating in a global art project, and together we’ll turn the world…INSIDE OUT”.
I’ve never regarded myself as an “ARTIST” after I was 12—-though before that my dream was becoming an oil painting artist and I was working really hard on that. For me, artists are living for self-expression, but I was gradually growing to be living for self-reflection and creating things for others. Those superstars(Like Jeff Bezos) keep saying, they will please their investors and shareholders by pleasing their customers and employees. Everyone is earning a living by pleasing others—-I later call it “User Experience”.
However, I’ve been surrounded by various kinds of artists until now. And I literally became one when I took my whole team of TEDxFactory798 traveling throughout Beijing’s neighborhoods with cameras, speaking with local residents for a life-size photo exhibition of our upcoming TEDx event “City2.0″. We mixed perspectives of insiders and outsiders, kids and old, long-time residents and newly-emigrated. People wear T-shirts that said, “I am the City 2.0,” to show that whoever makes up the city today is a vital piece of the city tomorrow.
This led to my first ever art exhibition in my life, at Ullens Center of Contemporary Art, 798 Art Zone, Beijing.
Photos can be found here. Believe it or not, I was inspired by JR before TED contacted me. Later I know how precious these expressions are, and how important they are recorded, preserved, stilled and being seen, vulnerably and authentically. Pure portrait facial expressions are constructing a collective ritual, and solemnly stripping humanities down to the most essentials.
In JR’s interview with New Yorker, he said he would ”transform messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work.” Right now, 90 countries join Inside Out, and use photographic portraits to share the untold stories and images of people in their communities. They are exhibited freely in various streets of the world.
The Question is: How can I engage with people better and together accomplish here in China? How can I record the campaign here and tell others(here in China and the world) stories in a more effective ways?
2. Interaction Design 交互设计
I become interested in Interaction Design due to my accidental friendship with Yan Feng, an entrepreneur, an educator, an artist, a very award-wining designer…a Guru for me. Despite our limited conversations about what’s been going on in the world, he dragged me into the interaction design realm, which I knew nothing at all before. Later I started to read and think all about interaction design, and found out it’s our intrinsic relationship with the world, and it’s the only way we get to approach our humanities. Moreover, great interaction design builds exquisite narrative and tells great stories.
The Question is: I’ve never gained any academic training in Interaction Design.
I’ve been dedicated to build an unparalleled stage through TEDxFactory798, inspiring thinker and doers to tell the most authentic stories and share life-changing moments within 18 minutes. I’ve been working hard to produce the most influential and emotion-invoking events. Also as TEDx Ambassador in China, I’ve been trying to grow the most thriving TED and TEDx community, hopefully transforming the landscape of our society and country. I also kick off TEDx Activator program, empowering the most ignored people(Female migrant workers residing outside 5th Ring Road and Blind people in Beijing&Lhasa) through TEDx and building connections in between.
The Question is: TEDx is one-day event, but I wish to see something more solid, I wish to go beyond TEDx rigid format to have people get conversation on the stage occasionally, I wish to bring up Big Question to the audience in a more interactive way, and I wish to explore things such as the ultimate relationship between technology and design.
These are the stories of Objectified Studio and why I am here. With the humble wish of not spamming the world with meaningless and unused things, I am hoping ambitiously to create rare elegance and precious beauty here.
And “cc” in website domain means “for everyone”.
Posted: December 11th, 2012 | Author: Ellen | Filed under: Stories | No Comments »
This word has never stood out so remarkably to me until very recently, when I realized it’s the most important thing in the world. It’s linked so tight with “Authenticity”, and has been boiling down everything to its essentials.
这段时间研究交互设计的时候也一直在思考，trust是交互设计最珍贵的元素。那天关在家看Designing Interactions，虽然大部分时间都在回顾先人怎么发明鼠标，但有个很大的启发便是Vannevar Bush在1945年写下”As You May Think”时，说的是“让知识变得更易接受”—-这最初会被传统智慧批判，正如《大西洋月刊》批判TED把科学娱乐化。但这是趋势，技术民主化，就像高定日渐让位给street-wear。交互设计师便是引领这个趋势，让人与技术的隔阂消失，让人性找到边界，让人变得更好。
I also start to adore 1960s.
一方面为了更好地理解时代精神，偶尔在iPad上看Steward Brand做The Whole Earth Catalogue前的经历，读他游走在表演艺术、电子、光、游牧和技术的边缘。另一方面，为了成为一个更好的storyteller，我又开始看Mad Men。60年代的纽约，冷战和核威慑，民主国家丧失安全感，梦露与肯尼迪，传统价值观的崩溃。但最释然的是时代怎么将其沉淀出的无力感狠狠地强加给个人，沦落为宿命。
I made a secret wish, that I hope to run along Hudson River some day.
Sometimes I accidentally run into colorful glows upon the sky with awakening beauty, and I am thinking maybe you are also appreciating it in another part of the world, and lament on the humbleness of ourselves.
One thing I gradually learn is, I might probably fall in love with you after you left. Because of your existence(even remotely currently), I like myself more, I am more abundant than before. I substantiate my obscurity and sensitiveness, as well as endorse my vulnerability through you, which now I believe are enchantment, shining like moon and cuddling my inner kingdom. I am inspired by emotion, and rediscover myself.
Posted: November 30th, 2012 | Author: Ellen | Filed under: Stories | 2 Comments »
(原文为青蛙设计frog Design Mind约稿)
不久前，TED大会的策展人Chris Anderson在美国著名科技博客Gizmodo上回答了这样一个提问—-“10年之后的TED会是什么样子？” 他认为对于这个越来越受技术所驱动的世界，10年的时间因过长而无法预料，但是“我们的初心和终极愿景是传播有价值的思想。未来新技术的发展也许能让我们更好地履行这个使命，而我们则将接受和推动这些改变。”
在2010年的TEDGlobal大会上，Chris Anderson使用了”群体加速创新”(Crowd Accelerated Innovation)这个词来解释TED风靡全球的现象—–TED通过将演讲视频向全世界公开，继而召集了拥有同样兴趣和追求的人群，并将其中最优秀的人们放在聚光灯下，记录他们的故事和梦想。而“激进式开放”也日渐成了TED作为大会和媒体双重角色的最佳注解。
Posted: November 23rd, 2012 | Author: Ellen | Filed under: Reasons | No Comments »
Several days ago I discussed the future of digital publishing with my boss, and he said the reason he is trusting deeply about digital publishing is that the future lies in subscription instead of ownership.
It makes no sense to say the future is now or the only way to predict the future is to invent it. Somehow it occurs to me one reason hard-copy book will never die is you own it, you feel it physically, and you touch and smell the materials, like you own the stage when you give a speech, you own the world when you spread your soul and arms.
2. I was there
Last Saturday I had brunch with Wei, a Stanford MBA and serial entrepreneur working on a Global Visual Network product. We talked a lot, on work, experience, emotion, philosophy, etc, until ultimately she mentioned after two-year rock band and night pub experience in college life, she was reborn after her mother finished a dozen bottles of beer with her on the school playground into midnight. She said she felt demised before, but was reborn the second day and cut her dyed hair right away.
She said, “I felt I died that time.”
I said, “I was also there. ”
“It made you brave and let you know there’s nothing to scare.”
“Yes, it makes you fearless.”
We smiled to each other.
3. Maybe you
A question was raised: why Apple designed a Home button?
I have been literally quite interested in interaction design, especially after my guru Yan Feng spread the whole bunch of interaction design philosophies to me these days. One answer I particularly like was: When one was lost in a myriad of App functions, one can still simply use the Home button to get everything restored. It’s the home, sweet home, the place which provides you security and helps you regain reassurance, and tells you everything is fine.
Also to quote from Don Draper from Mad Men:
“He talked about a deeper bond with a product. Nostalgia. It’s delicate but potent. Switch it on. He told me that in Greek, nostalgia literally means, ‘the pain from an old wound.’ It’s a twinge in your heart, far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine. It goes backwards and forwards. And it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called ‘The Wheel.’ It’s called ‘The Carousel.’ It lets us travel the way a child travels. Around and around and back home again. A place where we know we are loved.”
As Coldplay sings along in The Scientist and reviewed afterward, “It’s weird that whatever else is on your mind, whether it’s the downfall of global economics or terrible environmental troubles, the thing that always gets you most is when you fancy someone. “
Posted: November 12th, 2012 | Author: Ellen | Filed under: Reasons, Stories | No Comments »
On my way back from 798 to office, I realized even I myself is a passer-by. A complete temporary passer-by. I am as transient as all the absolute beauty that ever astonishes me.
I also feel I died once, during this summer, but somehow I was reborn since I found I am still struggling with living. It’s also due to this feeling of death, I am aware there’s nothing I can’t risk losing, so that I am more fearless—–I am unreasonably working hard and expecting for the best and stuff actually matters to me. It asks for my patience, obsession and desire.
It’s said there will be a parallel self of everyone, that both will converge after each walks a long-winded road on its own.
So are you?