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Why should we step away from our desks?

The importance of going offline

In collaboration with Pietra Galli, Ritupriya Basu, Charissa Kow and Jaheed Hussain
Background

CANAL 180

presents

OUT OF

OFFICE

Over the last few months, we all have had to take our lives online. Online spaces, which had been taking increasing space in our lives, became, almost exclusively, the space to communicate and connect.

As we start coming outside this summer, the physical, offline events that have started taking place co-exist with digital ones. Over the next two months, we want to explore the dichotomies and boundaries between online and offline, between being connected and unplugging. This is a theme that feels particularly relevant today, but that has always been an interest of ours, especially with the 180 Creative Camp, which we should be hosting around this time of the year.

To start the discussion around the online/offline, we start by considering the importance of going offline and away from our desks. Emerging from the ideas behind the 180 Creative Camp, we started developing a project with Intern Magazine, for a publication exploring creativity, collaboration and offline connection in a digital world. Based on the four articles selected from the Open Call — by Pietra Galli, Ritupriya Basu, Charissa Kow and Jaheed Hussain —, we present a reflection on navigating the world of creative work when we give ourselves the opportunity to unplug, reflect and reconnect with those around us.

WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF GOING OFFLINE?

Pietra Galli, constructed her piece from the reflection a found object provoked on her. We challenged her not only to produce some illustrations that we included on the video, but also to write a piece reflecting on her article in particular, as well as on the theme of creativity in general, and how it relates to the moment we’re living.

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OFFLINE MEMORY

by Pietra Galli

It all started when I opened the oldest recipe book I had ever seen. It showed so much use with its coverless body filled with oil stains, random doodles and tiny notes inside.

I thought it was the full representation of my grandmother’s life. She spent her days in the kitchen, everyday from 9 to 12 cooking for everyone who would join for lunch. Eventually, in the afternoon, she would bake a cake because, as she told me many times, one had to have a cake at home to offer to any unexpected guests.

I always observed her cooking and tried to participate. Connecting through food was her way of showing care and legacy. I never really saw her using a recipe book, but every time she was in the kitchen she would tell me who she learned that recipe from and in what occasion.

So when my mum showed me this old recipe book she recovered from my grandmother’s place, I immediately saw it as a precious artefact. It was probably a book someone had given my grandmother at a very early age and which gave her all the bases to what she cooked later by memory, when I saw her. I barely knew that inside of it would also be a very old letter that would inspire me to write the article for this video.

It’s no surprise that at current times, some of us are going back to making our own sourdough, planting our own vegetables, roasting our own coffee. How many stories have I seen on social media during the lockdown period, and still now, of people sharing what they’re learning from their parents or grannies. Yes, it’s true, we’re becoming more technological each day and the online world is becoming a part of us at an accelerating speed. But it is also true that we’re carrying with us all the things that make us feel rooted. That when the online world is what is making us connected, we still care for these physical moments and interactions.

A friend once told me that when she watches an old video of her, that video replaces her real memory. I realised that’s what attracts me to objects, somehow they manage to retain memories in a much more powerful way than digital formats.

I hope we won’t ever forget what pictures, reflections, cities or countrysides are, but if we do, I hope there’ll be a cassette somewhere in the future where I can discover it all over again.

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the letter

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foto by Alvaro Campos

CONTRIBUTORS

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Keeping in Touch by Pietra Galli

Pietra is a multimedia artist interested in moving image, photography, critical writing, ceramics and book making. Based in London.

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Creative Space by Charissa Kow

Charissa is a Content Creator based in Singapore

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Group Work by Jaheed Hussain

Jaheed is a freelance graphic designer and founder of FUSE. Also writes and illustrates. Based in Manchester. 

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A Day Off by Ritupriya Basu

Ritupriya is a writer, storyteller and design maniac based in India

— Here's a special playlist for you to listen while out of office —

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