Quotidianism is a simultaneous reaction against our twenty-first century Western industrialized technology-saturated way of life and against the increasingly popular “smartphone vacation” idealistic train of thought. Quotidianism celebrates technological progress and industrialization, because it recognizes that science and technology has given us the tools that are necessary to build a better future for everyone. However, Quotidianism also condemns its lifestyle corollaries: social isolation and technology addiction disorders, the disruption of natural cycles, and the loss of our humanity amid a technologically savvy landscape. Quotidianism knows that the solution to those problems does not lie in condemning obsessive smartphone usage; technology and industrialization are essential parts of our world. Rather, it wants to harness their omnipresent aspects and transform them into something that will enable us to be even more human instead of alienating us. The Danes even have a word for this: hygge (see appendix). Unfortunately, no English equivalent exists. And Quotidianism is determined to change that.
FIRST PRINCIPLE: MEANINGFUL
This is the most important principle on which all the others are based. A fast-paced way of life is not an excuse for stress, boredom and mental disequilibrium. It is not an excuse to stop appreciating high quality art, and settle for Facebook posts that annoy us while waiting for the bus. We don’t want to wake up another morning seeing that there really is nothing hiding behind all the fast-paced busy work that is modern life. Quotidianism will force us to look at scenes presents in our everyday lives from an unusual angle and give meaning to them. It will make us see beauty where we might have only seen monotony before. What we previously thought of as a mind numbing commute through the city to get to work or school will suddenly become an unforgettable journey where every day something new unfolds before your eyes. This insight into meaning is increasingly important as we move into the twenty first century, because it is so easy to lose it amidst our information saturated lives.
SECOND PRINCIPLE: EASY
Our hectic existences do not allow us a lot of uninterrupted peaceful time for contemplation. Often, this leads us to forget about what makes life beautiful altogether, which has been known to cause mental health issues, chronic fatigue, stress, bad decision making and pessimism. We want to inject meaning back into our lives, but we understand that it would be unrealistic to ask us to carve out an uninterrupted chunk of time to produce artworks with great meaning. We know that going away to lock ourselves into a cabin in the middle of nowhere in monastic isolation to produce art is not a viable proposition (financial support, anyone ?). So we want to make meaningful art that is simple enough to fit into our busy lives. Stuck in traffic in your daily commute ? Snap a picture of the unusual reflection the sunlight plays with your windshield. Waiting to pay for your groceries in a line that is twenty people long ? Pull out a paper, press it on your shopping cart and doodle the imprint of its metalwork. Great art does not have to come from someone with decades of artistic training. An artistic master lives in each one of us; all we have to do is harness it and learn how to use it.
THIRD PRINCIPLE: IMMEDIATE
Thanks to Mark Zuckerberg, social media is an integral part of our lives. We love social media because of its transformative power to topple governments, to launch massive social movements in minutes and to make interesting friends we have never met in person. However, we are against its isolating properties, its addictive nature, its role in the disconnect we currently feel with the natural world and the flesh and blood people in our lives. We want to reconcile those contradictions by harnessing this technology in a way that will make people feel like they matter and that their lives are meaningful. So we will make use of its potent immediacy to spread the meaning of our art. We want to make art that is shareable over the Internet without losing any of its meaning or high quality. We want you to be able to see our art when you are checking your Facebook feed on the train and have a nice moment of spiritual reflection amidst your busy schedule. We want you to share the beauty and meaning of your reflections and artistic creations with as many people as you can, to ultimately make our world a better place to live.
Life is too short to let moments that have no quality in them populate it. Seek meaning everywhere you go, and your lives will feel more full.