Issue 1:
Planta Live 7/21 Event Photos
2017 Relaunch Notes
On Quitting Social Media


My interest in photography has always been equal to that of music. Planta inspires me to take pictures and I love capturing their show on film. Without the option of chimping on an LCD screen, I had to get reacquantained with my camera in all manual settings with every flashing stage light. Trial & error. Like film photography, music reminds me to experiment, stay present, embrace the struggle, and never do anything in auto. No great band ever played their instrument in auto mode, certainly not Planta.

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The redesign for my website happened out of a strong desire to build something from scratch using a very basic TextEdit program and some memorized HTML codes. I wanted a simple, almost primitive approach to web design. Whether it’s basic HTML or complex Web 2.0 programming, I tried to keep the design approach down to the code.

At one point my site lived entirely on a heavily modified WordPress CMS, but the backend process was way too cumbersome to create content so I rebuilt from the ground up. I believe the environment in which people create is really important. It felt right to craft content within a UI that I can control 100%. Of course there was a weird kind of subversive sense of humor in the design. At first it felt like a strange form of graffiti or zeitgeist to code from scratch but eventually it turned to pure meditation.

Last year I grew intrigued by "anti-design" on the web at a time when so many people were using bloated frameworks and very clunky UI. That's how the redesign came about this year.


I often purge things from my life in dramatic sprees. Social media just happened to be one of those things. I suppose I could have scaled down my usage but I don't like half ass measures so I ended up deleting them all. At one point after purging social media I did jump back onto Instagram after pressures that some aspect of my work demanded it but the constant social interaction felt overwhelming so I deleted it again. I have no plan nor the interest to go back. Somehow I've managed to put myself in a kind of blissful ignorance from what everyone else is doing and frankly, it's a refreshing state to be in.

It's always sunny on social with everyone posting their happiest, proudest and most amazing moments for everyone else to gush over, but deep down I've stopped subscribing to that script a long time ago. I find it more important to maintain relations with the people closest to you rather than maintain contact with so many people that you don't really need nor have the desire to interact. Social media has a strange way of making people feel connected when they’re actually just plain out of touch with each other's realities.

This year I've started the process of getting rid of my smart phone. After much examination, it didn't feel natural for me to see the world through my phone, looking at newsfeeds, typing, communicating, commenting, and snapping to have something to show. It's not about privacy; my issue with the phone is more fundamental.

For many, it’s a new reality to live inside their phone, a new societal script dictating behavior. But scripts created by society should be examined at all times. Technology is wonderful when used properly, but when used to dictate behavior and create contrived experiences, that's where I draw the line. It’s more important for me to be honest and find ways to enjoy life outside of what the phone has to offer. I just don’t find it natural to always have an audience and live a life that could be conveniently displayed on the phone.

As a designer, contemplation is my greatest professional tool. The ability to sit and get lost in an idea is essential to the creative process. I love that I can sit, listen to my own thoughts and throw myself into that. Nowadays, artists are way too busy managing, promoting and digesting content in social media instead of actually creating art. I believe that simplicity and clarity propel creativity. This happens best without smartphones or social media. I did not want to be the type of artist to exhaustively promote and post updates on social. When I go to the computer and online, it is with more intentionality now. There is depth in that kind of limitation that requires true commitment. The creativity that commitment affords is evident in my most honest work. Contemplation is the center of that type of work.

With the Instagram generation, there is a particular aesthetic and mentality that is highly contrived, but I’m kind of overwhelmed and over it now.


©2017 Published by Lara Dominguez laradominguez.com