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🚗 A Luce Life Update ✈️

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First of all, if you were wondering why yesterday’s newsy had more typos than usual, it’s because I WENT THROUGH AND FIXED THEM ALL AT THE END BUT MY FINAL VERSION DIDN’T SAVE. I know I love a low-stakes error, but I do NOT allow that many typos usually, damn.
Anyway, typos aside, I feel like we haven’t had time to catch up lately (as in properly - I am aware that I literally talk to you every damn day), so I think it feels like time for a life update!!!
I’m going to the States!!
Suuuuuper last minute but super exciting. I got a v exciting call up to spend a few days in Austin, Texas for a few days in September to do some things with a cool new startup (it’s called Excellent and I’m really jazzed about being involved in their mahi.) So, next Thursday I’m flying off to San Francisco to see my cousins who live over there and I’ve never visited, and then next Monday I’ll be in Austin!!!
All of this is to say that the newsy will be a bit sporadic over the next few weeks, so please give me a lil bit of grace!!!! All of this is also to say that if you have any recs for while I’m over there, let me know! It’s a flying visit but who knows???
The SYSCA Roadie
We’ve been teasing this but the gals and I are also hitting the road in October to drive from Auckland to Dunedin and come see as many of you as we can at as many of the uni’s as we can! At this stage we’re still ✨planning✨ but we’ve been in contact with a bunch of media lecturers, some of the cool uni clubs, the uni magazines… we’re trying to squeeze in as much as poss! We’re also going to be doing some cute coffee catch-ups in each of the cities we stop at where you can come see us/ hang out!! We’re planning to kick this off in early October (during the last week of lectures for most of you) but will give you a more solid timetable when we’ve got our shit together!!
Battle of the Ad Bands
We’ve also been chatting about this a fair bit on our podcasts and you all must be wondering wtf we’re on about. Well, the SYSCA team works in an office alongside a creative agency called ‘Daylight’ and every year in Tāmaki Makaurau there is a competition called ‘battle of the ad bands.’ To cut a long story short, Liv and I (who sang together all through high school - and Liv still sings) are in the band, so we’ve been doing a lot of practising for that and it’s really fun!!! 
Dungeons and Dragons
Liv, Rubes and I are obsessed with this game. We’re playing again tonight and I just couldn’t recommend it more!
My mental health
I’m feeling pretty good right now!!! I honestly haven’t felt mentally down (drained yes, but down, no) since starting this newsletter, so I honestly think I owe a lot of my stability and happiness to all of you, which is a lovely thing to feel. This time of year tends to get pretty hard for me - this time a few years ago I was in a hospital in India looking after my little brother and trying to get him back to New Zealand, so all those iPhone reminders of what I was doing ‘a few years ago today’ can be a bit jarring. It’s also coming up to what would have been his 22nd birthday, and then three days after that, it will be three years since he passed away. That falls on a weekend this year, so I’ll get to spend it with Jimmy in all the ways he would want me to, so that’ll be nice.
I think that’s all from me at the mo, but lastly just a giant hug to all of you for sticking with me and supporting me through the chaos that is life, and allowing me to do this as a job.
  • Canada rocked by deadly stabbings in Saskatchewan
  • Liz Truss is the new UK Prime Minister
  • Do you try to fit in?
  • A really good response to the AI artwork winning a prize
Canada rocked by deadly stabbings in Saskatchewan
An unfortunate start to today’s newsy - at least 10 people have been killed and 15 more injured in multiple stabbings in Saskatchewan, Canada. The victims were found in 13 different locations, and right now there are two suspects: Damien Sanderson and Myles Sanderson.
We don’t know much else about what happened, except that a state of emergency has been declared in the James Smith Cree Nation (an indigenous community with about 2,000 residents), and police are still looking for the suspects. As always I’ll keep you updated as we know more!
Liz Truss is the new UK Prime Minister
Liz Truss is set to take Bojo’s place as the new UK Prime Minister, winning 57% of the conservative party members’ votes yesterday.
As per Toby Manhire in The Spinoff, here’s what she said in her acceptance speech:
In a short acceptance speech, Truss paid tribute to Johnson, “admired from Kyiv to Carlisle”, prompting an awkward pause before the audience lurched into applause. She praised the Tories as “the greatest political party on Earth. And she pledged her government would deliver. “We will deliver,” she said, adding: “We will deliver. We will deliver.”
For more about Liz and what she might bring to the table (aside from Yorkshire puddings I assume), you should read Toby’s piece here!!
Do you try to fit in?
The other day I was thinking about when the last time I tried to fit in was, and… I honestly couldn’t place it. I feel incredibly lucky that I have a community around me that has never made me feel less than comfortable being exactly as weird and loud and random and embarro as I am, and I feel like the older I get, the more I know myself and the less I care. This has taken a LOT of listening to myself, some life crises, a bit of therapy (mostly with friends), hating myself for most of my high school life, and making sure everything I consume is helpful, and everything (or most things) I think to myself are kind. After having this discussion about ‘fitting in’ with myself (and then with Liv) I wanted to see how you all felt, and it was split almost 50/50. 52% of you try to fit in, and 48% of you don’t. 
Trying to fit in isn’t necessarily a bad thing - belonging is such an underrated and important part of life. Fitting in can bring a sense of safety, community and love - as long as it’s not at the expense of being yourself. Not trying to fit in is often a privilege - maybe you conventionally ‘fit’ the mould of the group you aspire to be a part of so you’ve never had to try? Maybe you’ve grown up with people/ in a world where you’ve always felt you’ve belonged. Or maybe not trying to fit in is a form of rebellion for you - you don’t want to be like the people you’ve grown up with or you no longer feel content with who you are. Maybe you’ve just decided to stop giving a fuck and you want to be your truest self! This shit is nuanced, and however you’re feeling I hope you’re on the path to feeling content in whatever group/ world/ community you’re in. And if you’re still trying to figure it out, you’ve always got me 💘💘💘
A really good response to the AI artwork winning a prize
Yesterday I wrote about how a dude won a competition in a digital art category at a county fair for a piece of art he made with an A.I art generator, and how people weren’t happy about it! Liv and I have chatted about how we feel about Dalle-2 in the past (spoiler: we weren’t fans) but I received this email from Tessa in response to yesterday’s piece, and it brought a WHOLE new perspective to me. I’m a big ‘normalise changing your opinion when presented with new information’ girlie, so I love when you all enlighten me in my inbox!!! Anyway, here’s Tessa’s take:
“The AI generated art thing and the resistance to it is super interesting to me. It has so many parallels to the reaction of painters in the 19th century when the camera entered the mainstream. If anything photography massively sped up innovation in other art forms, as hyper-realistic paintings lost their dominance. This lead to the rise in abstract art, cubism, dadaism etc, and yet, hyper realism still exists!! And we also have this other, incredible, unbelievably dominant medium of photography that has completely changed the shape of culture, art, news, memory globally. 
No art form is a neutral tool and all art forms have their limitations and particular methods unique to their medium. Dalle (etc) requires input, and that input is unique to the person supplying it. It also has a style, Théâtre D’opéra Spatial is CLEARLY digital art (it also won the digital art prize, not some painting or photography award), and has all the visual features that can be recognised as digital/AI art: surreal/impossible warping of figure and form, the kind of hidden faces (AI seems almost reluctant to render a human face - same tho), and the kind of juxtaposition of two opposing aesthetic realities - renaissance and some kind of futurism. 
The tool is still useless without the artist. I don’t know that I could get the output that that artist got - and that’s what’s interesting about it. He also had to use his creative ‘eye’ to judge which output IS good art. And that’s a massive skill. It’s the same argument that is always made about modern art, "But I could have done that!! Anyone could have!” (and while I disagree with that, the conception of an idea and then actually doing it is the hardest part of art) YEA BUT YOU DIDN’T. There is also a particular irony in digital artists’ reaction to this - their tools: photoshop, illustrator, Maya etc were similarly resisted in the art world as they developed. The camera, photoshop, 3D digital modelling has not destroyed the art world (side note: capitalism kinda has tho) and I don’t believe AI will either. 
As a ‘creative’ (architect, writer) these AI art generators to me are just another tool, and quite an exciting one. I am lucky perhaps, that my particular ‘craft’ is not so threatened by this - even though I have seen some super cool architecture concepts/renders coming out of Dalle. I for one am looking forward to what kind of innovation and new styles, aesthetics, productions come out of this. And I’m also excited to see how I can use it as a tool to support my particular craft.“
And just a lil note on F1:
And a day in the life:
A very short day in the life for a very long day!!!
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