Archives for posts with tag: Jonathan Harris

One of my favorites, Jonathan Harris of We Feel Fine, gave a talk during CreativeMornings’ Arts + Tech themed month done in partnership with RISD. Jonathan revisits different phases of his life and the medium that marked them in his work as an artist. Starting with paint, Jonathan speaks on data, life, himself, and tool(s) — addressing both the positives and negatives of each medium as well as what he hopes for the future of arts and technology.


I’m a big fan of Jonathan Harris. Ballons of Bhutan, Today and my favorite: We feel fine. His overarching theme is to capture and preserve memories and emotion from life’s most fleeting moments.

Recently, Jonathan Harris released Cowbird, a platform that hopes to unite storytellers in the process of deeply documenting not just their own lives, but the larger overarching sagas around them.

His goal is to offer a platform for the sort of longer, richer and multilayered stories you’re not going to find on your typical social platforms. The site states: “We’re trying to preserve and evolve the dying art of storytelling using technology as friend instead of foe.”


At the moment, the focus of the site is on The Occupy Movement, tapping individual experiences to depict a richer, more meaningful picture of our collective experience. A fascinating experiment.

And, why the name Cowbird? To represent the best attributes of its namesakes: “the slow, deeply rooted contemplative idea of a cow with the fast, efficient playful idea of a bird.”

In a Fast Company article he describes the idea behind the platform: “It wasn’t clear to me how there was going to be another level of compression after tweets, unless we reverted to monosyllabic grunts,” Harris says. “I thought we would hit some kind of wall, bounce back in the other direction, and people would start craving a little more depth.”


“We all have unique experiences and if we don’t pass them on, they evaporate when we die,” Harris says. “If there were a way to embody some of that wisdom so that other people could learn from it, that would allow us to grow on an individual level, but also a species level, from generation to generation.”

By encouraging people to document and catalog these experiences. Cowbird has the potential to become an organic anti-panopticon, capturing the stuff of life that can’t be sufficiently synopsized. Harris is confident that this is something people will want to do. “It’s asking something very different than firing off a tweet from your cell phone,” he says. “It ask a lot more of you as a storyteller, but I think it gives back a lot more too.”

A wonderful project.

One of my favorite artists, Jonathan Harris, turned 30 and started to take one picture per day. And art was born.

“No matter what you do in your life, what you create, what career you have, whether you have a family or kids, or make a lot of money… your greatest creation is always going to be your life’s story. Because it’s like this container that holds all of those other things. That was something I was really interested in with this project, thinking about life itself as a creation, as a story that you’re writing.”

Stunning video by m ss ng p eces