21 - Aunia Kahn (Human Dignity vs The Internet)
This week’s guest is the artist, gallery owner, podcaster, web designer, and musician Aunia Kahn! Among her many notable achievements, she curates Alexi Era Gallery in Oregon, hosted the Create & Inspire Podcast, and survived eleven years housebound with disability to emerge more creative, passionate, and powerful than before.
In one of this podcast’s more rambling conversations, we discuss:
- Internet & Cellphone Addiction (and the problem of “gameifying” everything to seize attention).
- How the internet has changed the ways we present ourselves to one another online, splintered our identities, and changed our sense of time…
- Using technology (especially social media) instead of letting technology use you.
- Comparing the Internet and Organized Religion, and how institutions serve the role of “tigers” in the modern “jungle” of society.
- Looking at the historical context of disability and the relative nature of contemporary problems.
- How disease can shock us into a deeper sense of mortality and urgency with respect to our creative work.
- How sometimes the big life events change us…and sometimes, they don’t.
—Quotes from Aunia Kahn:
“Stop worrying about people judging you. Just make it.”
“If you people don’t like it, I’m sorry, stop following me. I’m not living my life to please you…I’m not going to sit there and pretend that I’m three different people, and that’s kind of what this digital age has created.”
“Where is that fine line? I’m taking it [the smartphone] to the dinner table and I’m not even paying attention to what I’m eating, I’m posting something to Instagram while I’m shoving food in my mouth, and I’m wondering why I’m choking! It’s dinner time. We’re going to put the phone somewhere else. It’s not work time.”
“Where do you get your value? Do you get your value from social media or do you get your value from true real conversations with people, like we’re having? Where is that true interaction?”
“I don’t think a lot of people are technologically consumed yet that they realize they’re missing out on the human, the real, the not-virtual. And having already gone through that, I just want to grab people and say, ‘PUT IT DOWN AND EAT YOUR DINNER!’ Everywhere you go, it’s always cellphone-to-your-face. Nobody’s looking at the trees, at each other…over time, people will start to crave the more-real, the tangible, the touching…we need that.”
“EVERYBODY’S valid. Everybody’s creativity is valid. I don’t care if I dislike it or not. Every human being on this Earth has value. Old people…are just like, ‘I’m going to live my life and if you don’t like it, kiss my ass.’ We should adopt that earlier on.”