Profile of Adam Bell Living Blue
Name: Adam Bell
Hometown: Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Where you live now: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
I started out studying engineering in renewable energy and ended up doing International Relations with a focus on Development Studies. I also studied Philosophy with a focus on Political Economy and how that arose from the field of moral/ethical philosophy. I then worked for the public service writing strategic reports using data analytics as the investigative basis. I found the Public Service quite slow and ineffective so I changed to the private sector. There I worked for an environmental engineering company on energy efficiency and data migration. After I finished that project, I spent two years cycle touring in Asia and Europe. During that time, I lived for a period in London and Berlin working on startups and investments. Now I have a focus on Social Enterprise. I have a broad interest in problem solving in systems and I find that this is the common thread of my interests. I think that this diverse understanding of topics helps inform innovation and design.
Aesthetic Technology Sheet
From my aesthetics sheet, I see the tension in my culture between new, old and the natural. This interplay is not exclusive to my (Western) culture as Pasztory (2005, p. 18) points out, that other cultures also acquire things for purely practical reasons. That is, it is not the domain of the West. The mimetic aspect is the most intriguing as it is like a second nature of human made things on top of nature but not separate from it. It is also the attraction/repulsion aspect that Taussig (2008) refers to as "the mixture of beauty and horror that Conrad’s Marlow in Heart of Darkness would call ‘the fascination of the abomination’ " (p. 13 ).
What is your favourite colour?
Iridescent, like that of a beetles' wings/shell.
What do you think of when you think of the colour blue?
Firstly, the sky and the ocean. So it has connotations of consistency and purity. It also seems to be one of the 'default' colours that mainly men wear. Blue and black are colours that you use when you don't want to use colour. It seems to be widely used in computer platforms and business contexts. For instance, menus, buttons and highlighting are usually done in shades of blue and black or gray.
In my personal history, the 'blue room' in my childhood home that we somehow accommodated 8 people in the 3 bedrooms. I think the blue room was actually the girls room and we had the green room. I had a blue shirt with 'Adam' on it (I wish I had a picture at hand). My primary school uniform. For High School, we did not have to wear a uniform. A policy that I have found out since is rare and fairly unique to ACT school system.
Recently, on a political level, it reminds me of the horrifying aspect that children in the Middle East are afraid of a blue sky because this is when drone strikes occur.
But then on a cultural level, there is the Australian idea of 'True Blue' meaning genuine*.
*"The Australian National Dictionary Centre recently received a phone call asking if we had the phrase true blue in The Australian National Dictionary, and if not, why not - because, said the caller, it's a genuine Australian expression. John Williamson's song 'True Blue' proves that it is a dinkie-di Aussie expression, claimed the caller. Is true blue an Australian term? The term itself is certainly not Australian, and its history goes back to the medieval period. At a time when all colours were given symbolic significance, blue was the symbol of loyalty, constancy, faithfulness, and truth - perhaps with regard to the blue of the sky, or to some specially fast dye."Australian National Dictionary Centre, accessed 06/03/2015 from http://andc.anu.edu.au/australian-words/meanings-origins?field_alphabet_value=251
What are three cultural values that are important to you?
Anti-Exploitation - this manifests itself in several ways, from not producing waste and environmental harm to not subjugating other beings.
Balance - recognising that too much of anything can have a negative effect. The old adage that it is not the substance but the dosage that determines a poison.
Innovation - the ability to try new things (novelty seeking) and trying to improve (but still in respect to balance as progress for progress sake is dangerous).
Object: Worn out Tent
This was one of the tents I used over the two years. This conveys the idea of freedom, self-reliance, and seeing alternative opportunities (that is, finding somewhere that is good to wild camp but not intended).
Outside the tent/Inside the tent
Object: Op-Shopped Clothes
These are my embodiment of not being wasteful, both in an environmental and economic sense.
Object: Thoughtful Gift
This signifies family, friends, thoughtful connections and reciprocal relationships. .
My bike means human ingenuity, appropriate technology, efficiency, resilience and determination. It is the fastest and nicest way to get around (though it could be nicer in some ways in Melbourne!)
Riding through China.
Object: Water and Sky (Pamukkale, Turkey)
The infinity pool effect reminds me of the natural world and it's mysteries. Blue is the support structure on which green life is sustained, which in turn supports life of all colours.
Pasztory, E. (2005). Thinking with Things: Toward a New Vision of Art. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. Chapters 1-4, pp. 1-43.
Taussig, M. (2008). Redeeming Indigo. Theory, Culture & Society, 25(3), 1-15.