The LookUp Times - Live In The Moment, Stay Focused & Reduce Screen Time

Ep .06- Public Art, Summer Shows, & Tuna Melts

Posted by Jackie Hamilton, Creative Director at LookUp on

Welcome back to The LookUp Times, (yes, new name!), your weekly LookUp newsletter chatting all things offline. What’s bringing us joy, connection, inspiration and more, far, far away from the scroll.

Ways we’re looking up: 

  • Leaning into our passions outside of work: The jury is still out on whether our day jobs should be something that deeply fulfill us, or if it is better to lean into our strongest skill sets and focus on the outcome of a paycheck that will then allow us to live the fullest and most aligned life outside of work, but either way I do know it is important to make space for what lights us up. And for me, as the most gemini-y gemini, I have a wide and ever-changing rotation of passion areas (see the guitar, keyboard, paint and canvases, and more scattered around my apt). One of my long consistent passion areas though is art, and more specifically art in public spaces. This week I was lucky enough to attend a chat about the art featured around our NYC Transit system and station refurbishment projects, as well as a discussion between Sarah Sze, a world-renowned contemporary artist (literally just back from her install trip to Venice for the Biennale) who created a massive hanging art piece in LGA’s Terminal B, and Teju Cole, a decorated photographer and writer/commentator, hosted by Public Art Fund. The consistent themes centered around the democratization of contemporary art (at a time when so little of our lives and enjoyment comes “free”) and the implicit message to communities and city constituents that they matter when the places they frequent on the day to day are up-leveled and honored. While harder to track, these works are correlated with a decrease in violence and crime, and anecdotally with bringing a huge amount of pleasure to commuters (I mean, duh, but still).

Check out this before and after of the NYCT Broadway Station. I refuse to believe that Public Art doesn't have significant impact well beyond beautification.

Art in public spaces like our subway stations and airports quite literally bring our eyes up during our commutes. These often stressful moments are diffused and interrupted by moments of surprise and beauty, and the space that is created for inspection and imagination. For now public art and spatial design are passions, but maybe one day will be a space I work in.

Sarah Sze's, "Shorter Than The Day" at LaGuardia Airport

What we’re listening to: 

  • Love Me JeJe, Tems: We’re leaning into some New Music Friday picks this week. The weather is turning and I’m on the hunt for my songs of the summer. You know that playlist you make that ties you back to a moment in time? Well I’m building mine now, and like all playlists I make and love, Tems has a central place on it. This was more mellow than I had expected the new single to be, and yet I can’t stop listening. Just good vibes. 

  • OK (feat. MAVI), Amindi: Like Tems, Amindi is a playlist staple and an artist I’ve been obsessed with since her album, Take What You Need, came out last year. Green House remains my favorite song of hers but OK is a bop and getting a feature on the summer playlist. She comes to New York mid-June and I will be at her show, come with! 

  • Colors, Black Pumas: Okay I’m deviating from my own theme of New Music here, but I started thinking about Amindi’s show this summer, and it reminded me of another show I’m incredibly excited for, which is the Black Pumas at the recently refurbished and reopened Brooklyn Paramount Theatre at the end of July. I knew the Black Pumas before but really locked in on my love for them when they came on at a small vinyl listening bar I happened upon in Mexico City last fall. They belong on all playlists, can really fit all vibes, and will be such an incredible live show. 

Something that reminded us why we started LookUp:

  • Getting featured in Dieline!! Listen, we’re not in this for the press, but as a small, three person team who for the large part of the last two years were building something behind the scenes, it feels really, really good to know that what we’ve worked so hard to create is something that people understand, appreciate, and are starting to really resonate with. And honestly, having our product finally out in the world has also meant starting to receive real feedback based on people touching, feeling, and actually using the product, and we are so excited and grateful to hear it all. It has led to such interesting and honest conversations around phone usage, how hard it is to really, actually put it away, and what those inhibitors are. We’re also learning more about what people want to see from us as a brand, from events and activations, different sizes and variations of the box, and more. If you have thoughts, too, please reach out!!! We’re all building LookUp, the brand, and LookUp, the habits, together. 

Best thing I ate this week that made me put my phone down: 

  • The Hoxton Williamsburg Lobby: I spend more time here than I’d like to admit, but it is truly the best coworking space and a short walk from Corepower (where I the rest of time). Everyone is so locked in on work and I’m so productive here, but maybe more importantly, the food is fantastic. I guess it is really coming from the restaurant downstairs, K’Far, and not the generic “lobby” itself, but my favorite order when here is their Tuna Melt. It’s on a Jerusalem Bagel (a long, thin, seed-covered loaf situation), and it is both divine and massive. I am a tuna sandwich GIRL and while I’ll usually take a (well-made) cold tuna salad sando over a tuna melt, I do not discriminate and I look forward to treating myself to this sandwich once a week or two. I just ordered one right now, happy Friday to me. :)

Stay cool and Look Up. 

Xo, Jackie, your LookUp Creative Director and phone-health evangelist