There’s a Stoic exercise referred to as ‘the view from above’ in which you imagine looking at the world from a distance. It could help you achieve some mental equanimity and a more realistic perspective on your life.
Powers of ten by Eames reminds me of this exercise. In the video the camera zooms out from a scene in a parc towards the edge of the universe (and then zooms in again to DNA-level).
I tried to create my own view from above guidance based on a biological classification. Here it is in reverse order:
Galaxy: Milky Way
Life on Earth
Subgenus: Homo (homo)
Species: H. (h.) sapiens
Datestamp: Late 20th, early 21st century AD
You could expand the above in time with this beautiful video from the American Museum of Natural History about seven million years of human evolution:
We’ve got distance and time covered. We could add size with this interesting video by Harry Evett:
Maybe these videos affect you too. I find they have a soothing effect. They kind of ‘put me in my place’ by highlighting the fragility of my life.
Wonder how much your art might be worth? In search of more info before deciding whether to buy, sell or insure? Need to estimate the value of a damaged piece? Or just curious about the backstory of a work or artist? Get in touch with contemporary art expert Caroline Van Meerbeek.
I like this quote from John Armstrong’s How to Worry Less about Money:
At present, people define themselves as being ‘interested in art’. Then they go to art school, develop their ideas and later seek exhibitions. Galleries seek saleable work and try to promote artists. Collectors follow their own inclinations and, for whatever reasons they may have, make the careers of certain artists by buying their work. At some point, public institutions endorse and eventually canonize a few artists as highly important. Along the way there are various publicity mechanisms — reviews in newspapers, interviews in magazines, and so on. Somewhere in the background there are debates about the nature and value of art.