Foretaste Nº 16
An occasional newsletter as a deep dive into the minds, habits, obsessions, affairs, and influences of our friends and fam.
Together & Kimberly
After another summer hiatus, here’s a new issue of our irregular newsletter. This time a very well curated and XXL version by our good friend Kimberly Lloyd. Kimberly’s Qompendium and our own Another Something go way back. Early bloggers time - exploring what books could be in the early days of digital publishing - we ran into each-other at the Frankfurter Book Fair almost two decades ago. We stayed connected since, inspired each-other in our extreme forms of FOMO and we were often blown away by the quality, craftsmanship and always luxurious touch that Kimberly can give the world. Honoured and excited to give her this stage, we couldn’t done any better by showing what Together& really is. A group of friends that inspire each-other and share their part of the universe, a glimpse into their brains, showing worlds that were hidden before (but were most likely always there). Enjoy!
Prelude. There ain’t Nothing New under the Sun
What has been will be again,
What has been done will be done again;
There is nothing new under the sun.
I am an agnostic skeptic, leaning strongly towards atheism now in my adult life, so not religious at all, and yet this is one of my favorite quotes from the The Book of Ecclesiastes which was likely written towards the end of King Solomon’s reign in approximately 935 BCE.
As much as we are all fixated on the next big trend, or secret Discord server, or the most unique fountain of inspiration in this data-driven era, what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again. Just a little different. And that little detail will be the significant depiction of signs of the times.
So, I might not be bringing anything new to your screens today… but I do hope that one thing or another that you read here might make you feel newly-inspired. Or at the least, invoke some curiosity to explore a topic that you might not have otherwise.
Running Lloyd and Associates, our branding and creative studio for a quite a while now – since 2005 to be exact. I am currently living in London and also working alongside Pentagram Partner, Sascha Lobe, to develop visual identities for a wide range of brands.
Many moons ago, I ran into Joachim Baan at the Frankfurter Book Fair, an immediate soulmate and agent provocateur as myself. Shortly after I started working on Qompendium, which is my third magazine project and the one that satisfies me supremely. Maybe because it allows me to surf the pop-science wave and indulge in philosophy, art, culture, products and brands, while actually repurposing all the research through print publications, and materializing products for museums and concept stores. Nothing is more useless to me, than hoarding research material with no results.
This list is quite lengthy, you might want to save it to your Pocket app for later.
Firstly, I have a subscription to Blinkist through which I listen to a handful of book summaries per week, if not more. When? During every walk to the grocery store, to the park or to a meeting, it’s always playing in my ears. If the book seems noteworthy or that it deserves more attention, I’ll dive deeper into further reading – scanning at the very least, I am a habitual scanner. This is a life routine for me.
In terms of novels and paperback books, I am not a big fan of fiction. I prefer to read something where I can derive knowledge about a subject or field I don’t know so much about. For that reason, I tend to gravitate toward non-fiction supplemented by a little bit of sci-fi. But I am also a highly visual person; I need eye-candy, so museums, galleries, photo books, supermarkets, shops and the likes are an absolute must. London is very giving in that regard.
Some books that are currently on my radar:
The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company by William Dalrymple — The power that The East India Dutch Company once held is endlessly fascinating to me – you could say it is one of the only reasons Britain exists as it does today. As I am currently based in London, I’ve been doing a lot of research on that matter, studying many of William Dalrymple's works in particular. “The Anarchy” is one that I am currently working through.
The Global Merchants: The Enterprise and Extravagance of the Sassoon Dynasty by Joseph Sassoon — The Sassoons were a powerful family of cross-continental Jewish merchants whose influence played a massive part in bridging the East and West through trade. They were also, in a way, the first real estate brokers of London – and they were not even British. Their understanding of trade through the silk road and ability to connect vastly different cultures has been of great interest to me. (Article on Qompendium)
Open: How Collaboration and Curiosity Shaped Humankind by Johan Norberg — Johan Norberg and I first met back in 1999 while doing an interview and photo shoot. A then young twenty-three year old author who was revolutionizing Sweden with his anti-protectionist world-views. Today, Johan Norberg is the sort of historian whose writing focuses mainly on globalization, humanity and individual liberty. I am a big fan of his, and in particular, his work that discusses and celebrates our economy. His book “Open” makes a compelling case for why a world with an open economy is worth fighting for.
Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries — “Positioning” should be at the top of the must-read list of anyone who is interested in branding. I first read this book twenty years ago, it is still just as relevant today as it was then. Much of my branding work is based on Al Ries’ methodology, just contemporized to better represent today's brands.
Sign and Design. The Psychogenetic Source of the Alphabet by Alfred Kallir — I never formally studied design; I am an economist at heart. Therefore, constantly educating myself on typography and design is a must, which is why I personally consider this book by Alfred Kallir a great study.
My Country Is the world: The Adventures of a World Citizen by Garry Davis — Those who are familiar with the World Passport are hopefully also familiar with Garry Davis, the man behind the movement. His autobiography recounts the early days of the world citizen movement and his travels using the first World Passport.
A few other fascinating sources:
Cambridge Quantum — Quantum science has made up a decent amount of my reading material as of late since my studio has been working along-side Sascha Lobe (Pentagram) on their visual identity.
The Matrix Screenplay — As a Matrix and Bladerunner fangirl, I even own a paper copy of The Matrix screenplay which was purchased on a recent trip to New York. Amidst a plethora of online resources, one can – believe it or not – still buy Xeroxed scripts from the only friendly script salesman in Soho.
A few more titles that are on my reading list are the following, which give insight into the art and practice of listening:
Quantum Listening by Pauline Oliveros
Deep Listening: A Composer’s Sound Practice by Pauline Oliveros
Ways of hearing by Damon Krukowski
The 1995 American crime drama Heat.
A guy told me one time, “Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.” Now, if you’re on me and you gotta move when I move … — Neil McCauley
The heist movie genre – that is my thing. But above all, I love movies and series directed, written or produced by Michael Mann (the new Kubrick). Especially Heat, Collateral and his ingenious series Miami Vice – which forever changed the face of television.
Michael Mann’s direction is the definition of cinematography – genius wide angles and intimidating close-ups. It’s absolutely exemplary in many ways and perfectly captures the essence of his otherworldly concepts. His iconic and calculated use of color in his films creates these highly-stylized, substantial masterpieces that trigger exceptional emotional reactions from viewers. It also calls viewers’ attention to details that otherwise might be lost – among other things. His “dadcore” aesthetic is anything but empty, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Mann directs his blueprint for each department to the utmost perfection: hyper-specific costuming, makeup, background direction, prop placement, blocking, lighting, shooting, production design, et al. and truckloads of water for the streets just to get the right amount of light reflections.
“To me, Heat was always a highly structured, realistic, symphonic drama. I never thought of it as doing a genre piece.” — Michael Mann
Listen to “Force Marker” – an epic composition for the shooting scene in Heat by Brian Eno
And the good news – Heat 2 is in the works after 27 years. I hope it will not disappoint.
Mad Max, Bladerunner and The Matrix Trilogy.
Dystopian sci-fi movies like Mad Max, Bladerunner and The Matrix trilogy are always a must-watch. I went to the cinema to watch The Matrix three times in a row when it first came out in 1999. My fascination with it stems from the fact that The Matrix revolutionized camera direction, SFX transitions and the sci-fi genre altogether on many levels.
Qompendium Short Films — When I am able to, I enjoy creating short ASMR films for Qompendium’s Youtube channel. These short films showcase printed fine art collectibles sourced from international art fairs, book fairs, second-hand stores and libraries which we delve into page by page.
Henry Wu aka Kamaal Williams — Somewhere along the way, I got lucky enough to work on this artist’s visual identity as well – his latest single Phone Call was just released! It’s a rewarding experience when you are able to work with the musician you truly like. These are his past albums; we are currently working on a new LP. So stay tuned. Here is my interview with him.
Podcasts that I listen to regularly:
The End of the World with Josh Clark — This one is ein großes Ohrenschmaus – a feast for the ears. It’s a ten-episode deep dive that explores the future of humanity and speculates on potential catastrophes we humans as a species might encounter in the coming years. It’s all science-based and narrated in a very engaging manner. I find it absolutely amazing.
The Human Upgrade with Dave Asprey — Dave Asprey, “the father of biohacking,” and genius founder of the Bulletproof phenomenon hosts his own podcast where he speaks about everything from science and technology, to personal development and human performance. He releases a couple episodes each week that I listen to when I am able.
Dan Carlin's Hardcore History. Episode 56: Kings of Kings — History can be super boring in school, but this guy knows how to narrate in such a compelling way. This one episode in particular was magnificent. The series tells the stories of many great ancient kings, though this episode is of personal interest to me as it explores the glorious heritage of the Achaemenid Persian empire, which happens to be part of my own ancestry.
When it comes to food, London is simply a dangerous city to live in. Contrary to what people have to say about London’s food scene being dull and tasteless, there are young, fresh eateries opening right and left. Nevermind the established restaurants the city has been home to for years. These are some of the restaurants that have captured my attention as of late:
Kiln — The menu here proudly articulates Northern Thai flavors through small plates of bitter leaves, citrus & fermented soy bean, and aged cull yaw & cumin skewer. I always sit at the bar to watch the burning embers from the kiln blazing in the open kitchen just opposite me. I do love a bit of drama with my dinner.
Brat — No, their name is not advertising for the spoiled children of London, it refers to the Old English word for turbot – which is exactly what you should order. It’s grilled whole in a handmade basket over wood charcoal, and covered in a sauce made from the collagen and gelatine released as it cooks. Delicious.
Paradise — Inspired by the spirit of Colombo and Galle, you can really feel the true essence of modern Sri Lankan cooking here. All their dishes are based on family recipes.
Personal favorites: the hand-chopped raw aged beef kokis with green chili and cured egg yolk, and cashew and roasted hazelnut curry with almond and curry leaf brittle.
Brooks and Gao — This quaint specialty coffee shop is my go-to for a quick sandwich or salad made with fresh Italian produce, like cantaloupe melon with juicy tomatoes and jamon bellota paleta. They also make a sticky date and cinnamon bun with pistachio that is to die for.
Four Legs — The Plimsoll (formerly known as Four Legs), first gained recognition for their legendary burger, the Dexter Cheeseburger, though their menu is so much more than just that. Expect dishes served on your great-gran’s best mismatched dinnerware in an unapologetically brazen “pubby” atmosphere. You’ll either love it or hate it.
St. Johns — Don’t be put off by the fancy-schmancy visual identity. The best thing about St. John’s is that they use the entire animal, from nose to tail, and specialize in very common grandma-style dishes. If you miss your granny’s home cooking, just go eat there. Seriously.
17 Little Portland Street —17 Little Portland Street is one of my regular stops for Mr. Javier’s genius modern Middle Eastern Asian Fusion cuisine. His menu is crafted around stunning displays of pickled mackerel dolma, saganaki cheese with honey and oregano, herb and smoked herring rice pilaf and potato tahdig. He is one of the most exciting young chefs doing Middle Eastern food in the city at the moment. I eagerly await his modern Sichuan-Cantonese restaurant project that is set to open later this year.
Doogh; a yogurt-based drink that is popular in Iran, Afghanistan and other neighboring Middle Eastern countries. Doogh is an ancient drink and has roots in the Persian word “dooshidan,” which means milking. So, doogh means “what comes from milking”. Traditional doogh is fermented and seasoned only with salt, but each country prepares this drink differently. In Afghanistan, doogh is made with mint and cucumbers, which creates this crazy, intense freshness.
250g of thick greek yogurt
1 large pinch of salt
1 small pinch of black pepper
1 whole lemon
1 handful of fresh mint leaves
250ml of carbonated water – you can use still if you prefer, but trust me, carbonated is better
1 handful of ice cubes
Blend all ingredients until smooth and serve over ice.
Currently obsessed about
Transhumanism, Biohacking and Neurofeedback techniques.
Dave Asprey is someone whose work I’ve followed for at least 5 years or so, but not before looking into the history of his biohacking methods upon first encounter. He’s really onto something – there is quite a lot of substance behind what he is talking about. It’s interesting to follow someone so determined to prolong life in a sustainable and healthy way, and see what conclusions he comes to through his experiments.
But you probably already know Dave Asprey by his Bulletproof coffee. The whole concept behind the drink originated as an Eastern Asian concoction, whereby the Sherpas mixed butter with their tea (imagine a sort of chai) to help them to survive the cold winters living at higher altitudes. Dave Asprey simply found a way to westernize this concept by marketing a mixture of grass-fed butter, coffee and MCT oil, and providing people with the ingredients to make it themselves.
Similarly to biohacking, transhumanism is the social and philosophical movement that advocates for the enhancement of the human condition. Unlike biohacking though, this methodology makes use of available technologies rather than hacking our natural human systems.
Neurofeedback focuses on the mind and helps people learn to alter patterns of brain activity associated with any number of behaviors. Essentially, Neurofeedback is to the mind what Biofeedback is to the body. I find it all extremely fascinating as it is all interconnected in some way, and shares a somewhat common goal.
Currently distracted by
Ben Jensen, founder of Surrey Nanosystems and the inventor of Vantablack Tech; a super-blackcoating that holds the world record as the darkest man-made substance, otherwise known as the blackest color in the world. NASA uses this in space.
Elon Musk, who needs no introduction. I like this agent provocateur very much.
Aubrey de Grey; his research amazed me back in 2009 and still does. He is known for his findings regarding how medical technology might enable humans to avoid dying from age-related causes. He has uncovered the real reasons as to why people die and wants to implement solutions to slow the aging of each cell. Meaning, we as humans could live longer in good condition. I would definitely want to do this, who wouldn’t?
Currently transcended by
This is not a forecast per-se (sorry). But for me, it continues to hold true that we are all dwarves sitting on the shoulders of giants.
The amazing brains and crafts of Isaac Newton, without whom Quantum Science would not be possible. Nicola Tesla for his ingenious inventions; if not for him we would not have the Internet today. John Baskerville for his absolutely beautiful typeface which provided me with inspiration for many of my branding projects.
P.T. Barnum, who was a skilled businessman – and essentially the first marketer on the planet – and later in life a politician and writer among other things. He was, in a way, the inventor of what people do today on Tik Tok, et all – a life of hoaxes.
And also Garry Davis; the first person to question the need for state-issued passports and to declare himself a “citizen of the world”. This idea resonates with me because as a young child, I often found myself annoyed that a person could be limited based on the circumstances that they are born into. You cannot choose the place of your birth, and there are so many people who are born into a bad environment thanks to a whimsical move on the part of their parents, or whatever other circumstances.
This sets them up for certain failures – or success – if they cannot travel or cannot access proper passports or visas. And that to me is silly because basically, the world belongs to all of us. The movement that Davis started (known as mondialism) still exists today. World Citizen passports are even still being issued, and it’s a legit company. Barack Obama owns one, as does Edward Snowden.
A little interesting fact is that at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Davis issued and disbursed a world currency based on kilowatt-hours of solar power produced, an idea proposed by Buckminster Fuller. This was the earliest documented emissions reduction currency.
Lastly – and albeit all skepticism – I am extremely interested in all subjects surrounding transhumanism, from biohacking to cryonics. I would love to be frozen and see what happens to me 300 years from now. The idea is something that very much excites me. If you are perhaps interested in planning what will happen to you after death, you should take a look here.
Currently frightened by
Uneducated militant vegans, Beyond Burgers promoters, the Kardashian scam and too many baseless me-too allegations and how the TikTok Cancel Culture younger generations have degenerated to actionism when it comes to demonizing things left and right.
I’m also both frightened and fascinated by the conniving eavesdropping technologies crafted by Silicon Valley media and tech giants. Buy hey, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, as there ain’t nothing new under the sun.
Thank you for reading.
Thank you Kimberly 🙇🏻
Quick highlights from the Slacks (in no particular order):
Listen to Fred again at Boiler Room London, via Joakim
ATHENA directed by Romain Gavras, via Chris
The Almost Perfect Podcast, by Luis
New York Times Columnists on What They Got Wrong, via Joachim
The Real Review kickstarter, via Jordi
Black Bird, via Joakim
Status and Culture, by W. David Marx, and his influence
Michael Heizer’s megasculpture is finally revealed, via Joakim
Four Tet’s 155-Hour Spotify Playlist, via Joachim
the Electronic Materials Office Altar I, via Jordi
Dimensions, via Kimberly
Ext. Queens Evening — With Actor Buddy Duress, via Chris
Thom Browne’s Path to $500 Million, via Joachim
Hope you enjoyed this one - And as always, let’s get Together soon on Slack & IRL!
PS. There are enough bots and ghosts in our lives. We’ve always seen Together&, human and alive, so please enjoy, participate, share and forward this. And we'd love to see you in Slack to discuss things often. If you know people who should join, let us know!