Intro | Background 2 | Breathe 2 | Manchester | Propositions 2 3 4 | References | Results 2 | Inquiries | Notes
Propositions — continued
9. Pleasure is also important in a balanced time-perspective.
Psychologists Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd identified six time-perspectives common in the Western world: past-negative, past-positive, present-fatalistic, present-hedonist, future, and transcendental future.12 An optimal time-perspective consists of healthy attitudes towards the past, present and future and simultaneously balancing all three. Readers are advised to embrace, with moderation, present hedonism.
A hedonistic present gives you energy and joy about being alive. That energy drives you to explore people, places and self. Present hedonism is life-affirming, in moderation….13
10. If tying pessimism to the mundane and optimism to transcendence creates an imbalanced perspective, then optimism can and should be found in the mundane.
11. One pathway towards finding optimism in the mundane is in Manchester’s discount and pound shops. They epitomize cheap and cheerful, signifying immediacy and pleasure.
Cheap and Cheerful #10, 2009, neon and glitter pen, 11.625 x 7.75 inches / 29.5 x 45 cm. Produced in the Breathe Residency at Chinese Arts Centre. more info
Cheap and cheerful is an English phrase notable for its thoroughly appreciative tone, even though Mancs can seem unsentimental.
It’s also characteristic of the Northern Soul. As Stuart Maconie put it,
...many of the north’s market and mill towns … have become shrine[s] devoted to binge drinking and discount shopping.14
Cheap and cheerful also reminds me of a Chinese expression, which is nearly identical:
[Literally, “also cheap, also attractive”].
For my ultra-frugal immigrant parents, no higher compliment could be
12. Making works that embody modest expectations, in tandem with works of higher expectations, can be a viable method for pursuing a more nuanced understanding of optimism, and result in a more varied practice.
12. Zimbardo & Boyd 52
13. Zimbardo & Boyd 298
14. Stuart Maconie. Pies and Prejudice: In Search of the North. Reading: Ebury Press