mal’s Weblog











“Marina Abramović, “Rhythm 0,” 1974

Marina Abramović

Marina Abramović

Marina Abramović is best known for her performance pieces, in which she tries to explore what is possible for an artist to do in the name of art. Her best known piece was the recent “The Artist Is Present,” in which she sat motionless for 736.5 hours over the course of three months, inviting visitors to sit opposite her and make eye contact for as long as they wanted. So many people began spontaneously crying across from her that blogs and Facebook groups were set up for those people. 

Her bravest piece, however, is my favorite. This piece was primarily a trust exercise, in which she told viewers she would not move for six hours no matter what they did to her. She placed 72 objects one could use in pleasing or destructive ways, ranging from flowers and a feather boa to a knife and a loaded pistol, on a table near her and invited the viewers to use them on her however they wanted. 

Initially, Abramović said, viewers were peaceful and timid, but it escalated to violence quickly. “The experience I learned was that … if you leave decision to the public, you can be killed… I felt really violated: they cut my clothes, stuck rose thorns in my stomach, one person aimed the gun at my head, and another took it away. It created an aggressive atmosphere. After exactly 6 hours, as planned, I stood up and started walking toward the public. Everyone ran away, escaping an actual confrontation.”

This piece revealed something terrible about humanity, similar to what Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment or Stanley Milgram’s Obedience Experiment, both of which also proved how readily people will harm one another under unusual circumstances. 

This performance showed just how easy it is to dehumanize a person who doesn’t fight back, and is particularly powerful because it defies what we think we know about ourselves. I’m certain the no one reading this believes the people around him/her capable of doing such things to another human being, but this performance proves otherwise.”

Source: Facebook Sharing

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{February 20, 2013}   categorizing social media platforms
striking that balance is as much on you as on others' perception of you (photo credits: google images)

striking that balance is as much on you as on others’ perception of you (photo credits: google images)

As a Marketing and HR bi-major (MBA from one of the top business schools in my region) and professional, it irks me to no end when potential employers or line managers scan your personal social media profiles to arrive at a judgement of your work-related potential. Common examples are pictures uploaded on facebook where you might be acting silly with your friends, and a potential or current employer, boss, or colleague takes that to mean you have a non-serious attitude that applies everywhere and anywhere, and makes sure to have it noticed in the work place environment. Another common example is the need for people to mention in their twitter bio data something along the lines of “RT’s are not endorsements,” or “Views my own, not my employer’s”.

However, given the kind of background we all come from in Pakistan, a background where people are only beginning to understand and practice professional HR standards and practices, I believe those who face such problems are also at a bit of fault.

where to draw the line (image source: google images)

where to draw the line (image source: google images)

For instance, a simple measure that could be taken is to avoid mentioning you work related background on a twitter account that you are using solely for entertainment, or, for instance, ensuring that colleagues are kept off your facebook profile. One of my colleague-cum-bosses I worked with went so far as to make 2 facebook profiles, one was strictly personal, and the other to keep in touch with professional contacts as per facebook’s ways. Like, why should you mention where you work or what professional background you hold, on a twitter bio, when you know that the purpose of that account is more personal (such as RT-ing jokes & quips, most of which may not be acceptable in a professional setting) than corporate? 

You have LinkedIn for professional contacts and communication, apart from your professional email address, office number etc. Must you have all your professional contacts on all your personal interaction forums?

Simple rule: decide what the objective of your social profile is, for each social platform: Do you want your facebook profile to be the primary manner in which to keep in touch with professional contacts or seek out professional opportunities? Do you want people not to confuse your twitter account with what your employer or your work ethics represent? Do you want to restrict professional activity to LinkedIn only? How would you prefer people contacting you for work – via personal email ID or via a professional one?

find that balance & stick to it - message is consistency & updation (image credit: google images)

find that balance & stick to it – message is consistency & updation (image credit: google images)

Even if you use more than one social platforms for several purposes each, in the end, it all boils down to the weightage you give to each objective on each profile. That, and strict adherence to your own rules, will help you fend off professional attacks due to activity on personal profiles/accounts.



{February 18, 2013}   the grand limitation of being human

the grand limitation of being human

(photo source: facebook sharing)



{February 15, 2013}   in the name of religion

heart stringsSo yesterday was, almost globally, being celebrated as Valentine’s Day. And once again, what a sad turn of events it is all taking in Pakistan.

Personally, I am not in favor of restricting love to be celebrated on a single day, and this includes Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Labor Day, every day for that matter. Personally, I believe that one should believe in what they believe in every day of their lives, should try their best to practice what they preach every day of their lives, try not to always be preaching, and focus on self instead of everything everyone else is doing.

However, people will use every opportunity to earn a buck or prevent someone else from earning that buck. Which is why, one sees extra focus on some value or the other, some sentiment or the other, on one particular day, so that an industry could reap exponential profits on that particular day (take any day that people celebrate with special preparations and decorations and rituals etc).

There will be those who understand that business will not only make use of opportunities to earn, but will in fact strive to create opportunities which they can then reap benefits off. There will be those who will use the same opportunities for the benefit of businesses of other kinds (such as political or religious or social agendas). And then there will be those poor souls of fools who are so insecure and sensitive that they will play right into the hands of the two groups defined above. Read the rest of this entry »



{February 9, 2013}  

this author just won every lover’s heart. for penning these things down, as well as for providing these explanations for use.



{February 8, 2013}  

i wonder what it’d be like to slay a beautiful horse while it thinks you’re happily riding it on the perfect kinda field on the perfect kinda day…



{February 4, 2013}   on missing out

i don’t understand people’s craze about capturing things because they don’t want to miss it. like sunsets. i mean, i get it if you loved a sight so much that you pounced on the opportunity to capture it so that you can revisit it at will in future. and i get it if you’re a photographer by occupation/passion. but all other people who take like a million pictures of EVERY scenery they come across – like, dude, get a life. you say you dont wanna miss it? you wanna preserve it? what for? do you realize how many sceneries you have missed already because you weren’t born then? do you realize that preserving every day in a number of ways is not really preserving anything for future generations because they will have their share of beautiful sceneries. this – this crazy snapping of things and environments – is only wasting your day, each day that you do this.

get a life. enjoy whatever comes your way for its sake, and for your own sake. it is for you to keep. sure take a snap or two, or a few. a handful of albums from your past are usually a nice thing to have around you. but know that that day was sent for you to enjoy, so live it, rather than waste time trying to capture it. capture it with your heart & soul, for the most part at least. and no matter how much you yearn for it to happen, sometimes, you just cant share everything you want to with everyone you want to, and you cant save everything. you cant save everything.

here is a little sunset for you: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151988291425647&set=vb.837380646&type=3&theater



{February 3, 2013}   of sick pleasures

watching re-enactments of crimes televised by news channels. regularly. religiously. becoming a paranoid freak due to them, yet not using one’s own mind to differentiate between what is hurting you & what you should simply get rid of.

 

list to be continued.



{February 2, 2013}  

this is a good reference list i think. what say you?



{February 2, 2013}   on feminism

this post is inspired by certain life incidents that have often made me think to such an extent that it irritates the crap out of me. 

i’ve often been labelled a feminist. and it has, simply speaking, pissed me right off. the first time i got called a feminist i had to look the word up in a fat oxford dictionary. and from what i understood of the definition, i could not agree with myself being labelled as such in absolute terms. the next few times it happened happened after a long long break. during this break, i used to go to school where the uniform demanded that i be covered in loosely fitting clothes, a large dupatta and a scarf, (other facts of the context are that the school was co-ed, and that i used to be very active participant in competitions of almost every sort, especially sports). anyway, so the next time it happened i was 3 years into university, and at an internship, where the rest of the 6 interns were all girls and just one guy. it was this guy who called me a feminist, which made me stop whatever i was doing, taken slightly aback, and look at myself objectively. the only things i could come up with were that i was active, enthusiastic, and vocal about things i believed in. which i consider an incomplete definition of feminism.feminism Read the rest of this entry »



et cetera
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