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Q&A 2020-08-11

Tom Sachs. (office-hours)

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Tom Sachs hosts an office hours that questions relating to the ISRU dome challenge



“If you are an overnight success, what do you got to live for? Is only through. The failures that we learned.”
“We're all doing the same work. We're all going MIT. Even those of us who did not test well enough to get in.”
“I kind of in a way think that the Internet is the whole Earth catalog. Maybe Steve Jobs said that. The. Whole Earth catalog was his inspiration or what he thought the Internet should be, so I don't know, but yes. OK.”
“Like again, we like to quote the great Steve Jobs. I don't do market research. I don't build what clients want. I build them. What I think they need so you make the art for you for your friends, for your family and your community.”
“My favorite brand of broom is sweep dreams, handmade in Thailand. I bought my. Last one at Dean and DeLuca Oliver Sholom. And this is a handmade flat broom.”


00:01:52 Tom Sachs: Welcome to office hours. Geodesic Dome episode. Your questions.

00:02:05 Tom Sachs: From at SOLJ dot R will hot glue. And plywood fix criticism? Really fuck them. Of course it can. You just have to do the work. It doesn’t matter what they think, it only matters what you think. If that’s what you mean by criticism, I’m not even sure what criticism is a critic I always think is a person with an idea. In that way, critics are helpful to us because they help us. Get better at doing our stuff. They like 2 minds together. Make a bigger mind so.

00:02:50 Erum: For those Listening who don’t know can you tell us about the MIT Geodesic Dome challenge?

00:02:57 Tom Sachs: Yes, yes, so this is specifically. ISRU insitu resource utilization. How to build a geodesic Dome, and that is to build a geodesic Dome. With the Buckminster Fuller doctrinaire using materials and tools that are around you, so a lot of people are participating and you can see their progress both at MIT and at home on Instagram. On our story, every day we’re posting. So if you want to post what you’re working on at Tom Sachs. No, sorry hashtag Tom Sachs ISRU. We will regram it. Repost it if you if you don’t see it. That means we fucked it up so just post it up again and will try again. I’m getting a lot of submissions were posting everything we can because you guys are all doing great work. I’ve not seen anything I hate. Nothing. So please try and do shittier work so that we can not post you. I dare you. And that’s to answer some of your questions, and one of them is about.

00:04:14 Tom Sachs: How do I deal with failure from at RGALATE my how to deal with failure? My Dome construction was not an overnight success. That means you’re on to something. If you are an overnight success, what do you got to live for? Is only through. The failures that we learned. So yeah, that’s great. How do you deal with failure? You just keep going and you do. The parts that feel right for you. Don’t worry about it. Post your best stuff, maybe. Don’t post your failures. Post failures are for you. Going through it, it’s not about the end result as it’s much about the process itself.

00:04:53 Tom Sachs: Did I say enough about the MIT class so we’re teaching class with Nicholas Dimascio at the MIT School of Art? Going through it, it’s not about the end result as it’s much about the process itself. did I say enough about the MIT class so we’re teaching class with Nicholas Dimascio at the MIT School of Architecture. Got some amazing people there. You’ll see will be re posting them. You’ll see the man also we’ve got like I said, great people who are not in that class, but we’re all working together. We’re all doing the same work. We’re all going MIT. Even those of us who did not test well enough to get in.

00:05:10 Tom Sachs: Alright, so from Damien James Webb regarding the one pager for our assignment, yeah, so. The other part of this assignment, besides building a geodesic Dome, is get a one pager. These are by the way, all the questions I’m using today, so we’re going to make a Zine in the end and. You know, so this is what you have to work with. You can put whatever the fuck you want on that, as long as it’s got your name and the name of your Dome. I would like it as a picture of your Dome, but really just the name. Your name and the name of your Dome, right? Anything else that we did on that? Oh yeah, be mindful of the gutter, so if you put like an image of someones face, don’t necessarily put in the middle. They gotta put it off to one side. Digital graphic design tidbit for any zines? Because when you when the pages stack up they get fucked up. So just don’t put if you need to put a face, just don’t put their nose in the gutter, put their nose to the side you can cut like. Through between their nose in their eye, inside their mouth. That’s a good way to do it. Right?

00:06:28 Tom Sachs: From Beulah Abula Monster, how can my Dome be fewer than 4 inches in diameter? Is that OK? Can how weatherproof should it be? Those are entirely your decisions. It can be this big. It can be the size of a house. It can be outside, it could be inside. It doesn’t matter, it’s just about you using the materials that are. In your situation an. Extra credit make it somehow be a reflection of your surroundings of your environment, your trash. I’m interested in your trash and. In your life. An how this Dome is a reflection of your resources. Again, try to avoid the hardware store because that’s too easy.

00:07:11 Tom Sachs: Where do I download the instructions? I want to build a Mama chicken coop from at eating red hot atomic fireball. If you go to the post last week, the most current post on my Instagram feed there is the. Math. Right? The formula, the recipe and someone else said at Lee Collazo. What’s the formula to scale up and down the recipe? Well, you can just take that, print it out, put in a photo copier, press enlarge. Or you can do the math and enlarge it there. This isn’t about the math we try to make it as simple as possible, but you can take that to a. Place and blow it up. It’s it. Couldn’t be. We made it as simple as we could possibly make it.

00:07:56 Tom Sachs: Is there an internal structure required from? At 8 NJ. Underscore underscore. No, there’s nothing is required. Just do it. Um? Does the Dome have to survive a fire to be considered a Dome from at photo bug Peach and how? What’s your favorite Dome from at Scapp underscore? Andre? Well, obviously it’s. Montreal Expo. Favorite one, possibly the biggest geodesic Dome. It also had the lemon side as part of the World’s Fair. It was great. Expo 67 I think. Yeah that’s my favorite.

00:08:35 Tom Sachs: Dujac. Do chocolate domes count from Adam underscore Failured? Of course, chocolate domes count their delicious. Um?

00:09:00 Erum: We’ll put the recipe back on the story today.

00:09:02 Tom Sachs: Great recipe goes back on the story today so you can see it right. Those are all the dome questions for now. If other ones come up. You know, we’ll get to it.

00:09:12 Erum: One question. If you haven’t started and just heard about this today. Is it too late? Can I just make a dome today?

00:09:20 Tom Sachs: Absolutely you can. You must make a Dome. I don’t know what too late it’s gonna mean for our team. Are we gonna say are you gonna stop posting after awhile?

00:09:30 Erum: Hey, deadlines are just suggestions. We’re hoping everyone turns it in by Friday at 5:00 PM, but if you don’t make one until later this month still share it with us.

00:09:40 Tom Sachs: Can they hear you saying that?

00:09:42 Erum: I don’t know.

00:09:44 Tom Sachs: So the deadline is Friday at 5:00 PM. We’re really pushing everyone to do that. ‘cause we’re going to make a Zine. We’re going to make a little recap movie if you finish it later in the month. Repost it and we’ll try and get it up, but the main thing is like, let’s just try and make it today. It’s really not so important that this be like your Opus, it’s just about getting your hands dirty and continuing with building things in your situation with your resources. That’s what this entire class is about, so. That’s that’s the priority. Don’t worry about it being perfect. I see a lot of these questions everyone wanted to do it right. The only way to do it wrong is to not do it. Van Neistat’s rule number one about filmmaking finished the movie. So finish the dome by Friday.

00:10:31 Tom Sachs: And yeah, make it smaller. By the way, if you make it small and then you post on Instagram, it’s going to look really big. See if you make a big Dome and you posted on Instagram. Your Dome is going to look small, so if you make it small, looks big. And maybe it takes less time. Something to consider.

00:10:48 Tom Sachs: Alright, so here’s some other questions that are tangentially related, but I think are important from at Blonde bed head. Can you paint? Fuck yes, I can paint and we’re doing an awesome painting show an Aqua Bella Gallery in November in New York City. So come and watch it and that’s painting with like. Oil paint an acrylic paint on canvas.

00:11:11 Tom Sachs: Someone just asked how do you submit you? You send it by Hashtagging. Hashtag Tom Sachs ISRU.

00:11:23 Tom Sachs: Are you still friends with Gahns? Do you still make boards? And that’s from at pH capanema. Yeah, I love the Gahns, the King, yes, and we I’m still his board Caddy and I’m I am Q to Gahns being James Bond.

00:11:44 Tom Sachs: Whole Earth catalog bring it back from at no more Internet. Well your name kind of said it all. The whole Earth catalog is a much must read go buy one on. On eBay, don’t worry bout the quality or how rare it is. You know you could get one for 10 or $20 but. I kind of in a way think that the Internet is the whole Earth catalog. Maybe Steve Jobs said that. The. Whole Earth catalog was his inspiration or what he thought the Internet should be, so I don’t know, but yes. OK.

00:12:22 Tom Sachs: At at AKA underscore murph. What things do you consider when building shelves? Wow, alright, so we have this philosophy in the studio called Put Everything in the on the ceiling. So if you’ve got something in your hand. And the laziest thing you could possibly do is drop it and it falls to the floor. So the next and so we don’t generally store things on the floor. The next laziest thing you can do is drop it over a table. Put on a table, but that’s also not very knolling. Maybe the next thing you could the next thing you could do is is is put it on a shelf which is reaching. Write a counter or a high shelf each. Retire a higher shelf. You need a ladder and the last place you want to put something on the ceiling. You’d have to build some contraption or hooks, or a ladder and you would do it right, or else it falls and hurt someone.

00:13:17 Tom Sachs: So the idea is from a first order of retrieveability from dropping it on the floor too. Attaching a canoe or bicycle to the ceiling. The ceiling is an untapped use of storage space and if you look at my ceiling now, it’s all lighting and systems or a couple things stored up there. Not much, but I would encourage you to build your shelves strong and put them in the right place. Um? It’s a, it’s a. It’s a fundamental. Um? It’s a discipline that’s fundamental to the studio. Shelving I also like angle brackets that are open only when they have a triangular reinforcement of some kind I don’t like. Shelving track systems unless it’s easy shelf brand that’s easy shelf, that’s those are fantastic. There used in vehicles. They’re expensive, but they’ve been there for 30 years. They do not fail. Shelves are an art. Take them seriously, do not use them casually if you’re going to screw into sheetrock, make sure you hit a stud. OK. Um?

00:14:36 Tom Sachs: From at Wall, Christopher. This is a terribly written question, but it’s a good question. This is materials versus quality of the execution. Just try ‘cause if you want to VS if you love it. I love it. I don’t know. No, it’s not. If you love it, I love it. If I love it, I love it. And it doesn’t. I don’t give a. fuck what you think you gotta build for you first. Do not build for. The a client or a. A a person you build it for you and you. Like again, we like to quote the great Steve Jobs. I don’t do market research. I don’t build what clients want. I build them. What I think they need so you make the art for you for your friends, for your family and your community. People always ask you. Imagine your art in a Gallery or museum and the answer is no. You build it, we build it for the studio. The people in this community, and. That community grows and it includes the people in galleries and museums. Includes all of you ‘cause we’re whole, all here listening and talking and engaging today with your questions. So it’s for us. You build it for you and for us.

00:15:48 Tom Sachs: From SN 2018.150. Would you consider yourself more an Apollonian or Dionysian? Your art, or as an artist. Well, this is a great question. You know when I was. A little crazier and young ner an I I I think I was more Dionysian right I always I would kind of admired Bach in the Bakken Allen like that you know the orgies and the wine and revelry and all that. It was fun, but I think after looking at it a little bit more carefully, I think Apollo and Dionysus are within all of us. I think in a way the Greeks had it right. Apollo rational thought. Dionysis Wine and revelry. Passion and I think the they represent the duality of man, and that within all of us is the rational and irrational. And then. You know they kind of turn into the Romans and the Romans, yeah? Killed Jesus and they made a religious or religion around him in the end and the the the the. The idea of gods of multi many gods turning into one God, you know. Jesus or God or whatever kind of got confused because with the Greeks and the Roman mythology you had the, you know the whole experience of man spread out across many many gods and many myths so. But the duality of man of good versus evil or rational versus irrational still existed that didn’t go away. ‘cause human condition doesn’t really change. So the Christians turned it into God versus the devil, good versus evil. And I think that’s why people think that Satan’s bad and and wine revelry is often given a bad name, but it’s just part of who we are. So I think the the Dionysia and Apollonian split. That duality is worth re examining in our time, because within each of us lies, ruthlessness and compassion. Lies great logic and the ability to to use our mind to solve problems with the impulses of a Savage animal like we have to be both simultaneously.

00:18:22 Tom Sachs: From at changing around. 112 at changing underscore around 112 how do you feel about people uploading scans of your books online? Well. Are we doing that? I like that idea. I know that we had some conversations with David Felderman about authenticity and copyrights and trademarks and protecting zines and stuff. I think that ultimately that. Um? It would be really, really good because everyone could have that information. The problem of course comes when. People then print them and try and pass them off as something that this is a product of the studio. That’s really the only problem I have with with with fakes, even if they’re genuine fakes is that there is a. I think it’s fine to make fakes, it’s just.

00:19:20 Erum: Be transparent about it, don’t lie.

00:19:22 Tom Sachs: Yeah, be transparent about it. Don’t lie like say what this is about and I think that. You know, with their people making fake stuff on the Internet, fake things that we make, but then they they will say that they are fake. I think that’s that’s the difference and I think the whole idea of intellectual property’s kind of up for debate. I mean, if you think about it, was really only. Past 250 years that we’ve had patents and like a lot of that kind of really grew into effect with the Industrial Revolution. And that’s why I think we’re having this kind of conceptual war with China and Huawei because the Chinese have been making things for a millenia before. The West haven’t really like engaged with with intellectual property to go to China. It’s not really a thing. And. It’s more always been about who he who gets to market first or the best product or the best ability to sell it. An maybe a better example is the history of recorded music. So if you look at. The 20th century is, you know, from the 1920s to say 2008 or something. Artists made money on recorded music, but before that, and since then, if you wanted to get rich, or whether you’re Kanye or or or. Mozart, you had to go on tour and play and that’s how you would get money. But with recorded music, it started with a phonograph and then as it started gets smaller like a. Long playing record to A to a cassette to a CD to something that’s kind of invisible like a. Download as as the object gets more fugitive and less concrete and smaller, it gets harder and harder protects it’s in the air and now with file sharing it’s it’s hard to make a living so. I, I think that’s why you know it’s Kathy. Is Kathy Manning still being held prisoner? And can you look that up? So she’s the daughter of the guy who started Huawei and she was going to Mexico and then last year the Trump administration used so she was going to Mexico through Canada and she was detained. the Canadians collaborated with the Americans and detained her like this like this trophy in this trade war. Um? I don’t know if she’s still being held captive in this negotiation because Huawei the second largest phone maker in the world uses a lot of unauthorized American technology. They just steal it and they’re great phones and you can’t buy them in US, but you could buy them in Europe. She’s still in Canada. She’s still. She’s still, she’s still. Detained I mean, she’s been there for a year or something. Kathy, Kathy Ming political prisoner, but an I’m not not picking aside because clearly I I benefit from intellectual property. I just think it’s something that is. That’s it’s increasingly difficult to enforce, and. And we we. We enforce that we protect it and we live and die for it, but I think I think you’ll see in our lifetimes that that will change. I don’t know how. Um? So.

00:22:48 Tom Sachs: What’s your this is from? At 4:20 The chaff dog 69. What’s your favorite brand of broom? My favorite brand of broom is sweep dreams, handmade in Thailand. I bought my. Last one at Dean and DeLuca Oliver Sholom. And this is a handmade flat broom. It’s important to remind everyone that brooms before the Shakers were round, like a witch’s broom, like Wicked Witch of the West cylindrical broom and the Shakers figured out to weave brooms, flats. You could get into corners and the sweep dreams Broom, which is a corn broom with a bamboo handle, is the lightest, most high quality broom I’ve ever seen. They are very hard to get. I probably find him online sometimes sweep dreams. If you want to treat yourself, get a sweep dreams broom. In fact, if we ever the studio ever does a broom, it’s going to be a sweep. Maybe we should talk to Sam and go to Thailand and make a like space program like a loop, carbon fiber aluminum handles the bamboo or spray painted sweep dream room. So look up sweep dreams or stay tuned here.

00:24:00 Tom Sachs: So I think these are all the questions that I have answered for this week. Are there any others that come up now? Erum, do you have anything?

00:24:09 Tom Sachs: While we look, I’m just going to remind you all to tag hashtag Tom Sachs ISRU get your domes in by Friday.

00:24:19 Tom Sachs: Make your page one page a nap by 11 horizontal mind the gutter you’re not going to give you two were gonna also maybe make a movie if you want to make a movie.

00:24:30 Tom Sachs: Your Dome keep it one minute long or shorter if it’s longer than a minute. We probably won’t even like. Look at it. Sorry to be a dick about it, but Eames said that he loved constraints because it helped him against the existential abyss. So you’re welcome.

00:24:53 Erum: Yeah, and all of that should be posted. Including your film, yeah, do not DM it, do not.

00:24:58 Tom Sachs: Don’t DM me. If you DM me too much, I’m just going to mute you just ‘cause it’s just too much. Did you email me? I’m not going to look at it, just. Hashtag. Please.

00:25:08 Erum: You look at that more than your DM.

00:25:12 Tom Sachs: Yeah, I I do look at that and it’s it. Looked at by me and also by responsible Millennials who record it compact into a video and then repackage it. And I cannot do that. But it will happen if you do it right. Alright, so that’s it. Keep your stick on the ice.