The beauty of art: Part 15

Let's look into some art again, and let's get back to sculpture. Please let me know (in a comment or on Facebook):

  • How this piece of art makes you feel

  • The name of the sculpture and the artist

Picture from Wikimedia commons

I believe this may be a bit hard, so I will provide som clues on my facebook page before the answers will come in a blog post.


Tear down the walls!

One of my colleagues who grew up in the German Democratic Republic recently described how the wall in Berlin was a big part of her childhood. She walked along it on her way to school, she saw it every time she went out to play and passing it when going on vacation was always a gamble due to the unpredictable guards.

Photo: Wikimedia commons

I grew up in Sweden so I did not see the wall when I grew up - but I knew about it. We all did. And many of us got used to it, and somehow thought it would always be there.

I still remember the surge of happiness I felt when finally, in 1989, the "wall of shame" was opened and later completely removed. The world was going in the right direction!

Before the Berlin wall came down, about 11 nations had border walls. How many nations do you think have walls today? I am sorry to give you an answer that - if you react like I did when I heard the statistic - will sadden you.
Today some 70 (!) nations have put up border walls or fences. (According to the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in an interview in TIME).
Are we moving in the wrong direction? Or is this just a result of some politicians having lost their way, while most of us still see the madness of putting walls between human beings?

The French artist JR created a piece of art, an installation, with a picnic on both sides of the US-Mexican border. The picnic table was a canvas with a large photo of the eyes of a young and undocumented immigrant called Mayra.

JR described the event like this:
“The table goes through the wall, and the people eat the same food and drink the same water and listen to the same music. For a minute we were forgetting about it, passing salt and water and drinks as if there were no wall.”
We know that fences will never successfully keep people apart. And they will for sure not protect anyone. Pink Floyd showed us that long ago, in their rock opera The Wall. Reuben Tasker describes the moral of the story like this:
Though there will almost always be personal and social barriers erected out of fear, oppression, pain, and isolation, it’s the job of every socially conscious individual and community to never rest in tearing down the walls that separate us.
Lets tear down the walls!


90booksin90days: Are you doing something great too late?

Let's go back in time, to the beginning of this millenium. All the telecom vendors wanted to be first with the next generation of telecom systems; the so-called 3G.

At the time I was working as a subproject manager in a project that was in dire straits. We knew we had to be first to get the biggest market share. We did not know how far our competitors had come, but we knew we didn't have much time left. But our node - one of many important pieces in the total 3G system - was not yet stable.

A seasoned top project manager from the head quarters in Stockholm was sent to our development site in Göteborg. (Later on Jack told me I had looked at him as on "something the cat had dragged in".) Despite my initial dislike of having some hot shot Stockholm-snob come and tell us what to do, I became impressed about what he managed to do in a short time.

One of the key things he did, was to change the way we looked at our end goal. He asked how long our node was stable.
"Sometimes several days, but sometimes not even ten hours"
"What does it take to get it stable again?"
"Oh, everything is fine after a re-boot, but..." 
"So if the operator restarts it before it crashes, it will be fine several hours until it needs another reboot?"
"Well, yes but... we can´t ask them to reboot it every now and then!" 
"No, but we can ask them to reboot every twelve hours. Until we come with the next release where we will have solved the problem."
That became our new goal. Make it stable for twelve hours. That goal we made. In time. We were first and we got plenty of market share! (It was at the celebration party that Jack told me that I had looked at him like something the cat had dragged in.)

What Jack knew, and what we learned, was that:

It is better to come with something good in time, than with something great too late.

Photo by Eugene Shelestov from Pexels

Now, almost two decades later, I have been that seasoned project manager for many troubled or critical projects. This has given me experiences and knowledge I apply in my Storyteller side-gig as well.

Those who follow my 90booksin90days challenge know that I have decided to sell 90 books before the end of February, You also know that I had an idea about creating literary music events together with a troubadour.

I have found good and interesting troubadours, and I have been in touch with some companies that are interested in these events. There is only one catch. We will not be able to prepare, sell and hold an event during February. We will create something great - but it will be too late.

So I decided to aim for good and in time instead: A read-, sing- and book signing event where I will do the singing - together with the audience who will sing along.

With this new ambition level I found a place willing to host my event in February. On the 24th I will have my "good" event at Kvillehyllan in Göteborg :).

And the best part of all. I will not choose between something good in time and something great too late. I will do something really good now, and together with others I will do something even greater a little later :).

Previous posts about my challenge:

Join my journey
New idea: Literary music events
Introducing the first Valentine's offer
Getting Ideas is the easy part
The second Valentine's offer