Amanda Koster

thoughts and experiences of an international documentarian

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What is cool?

Have been shooting and writing a project about Seattle for a magazine out of Beijing, VISION . The feature is all about Seattle: art, music, coffee, neighborhoods… you get the idea. Its been a huge project, ultimately 80 pages, especially considering I am leaving to live in India for 2 months at the end of August. I couldn’t resist. This is a beautiful publication. It is an awesome opportunity to create Seattle for a young Chinese audience. The chance to go beyond grunge (which I missed) and whatever else we are known for.

We are definitely aware, very smart, diverse, socially concious, international, still drinking lots of coffee and yes, very cool. While shooting the coffee piece, I stumbled upon some smart young men, one being Dominic Canterbury of DC-Strategic. He saw me photographing some cool green sneakers, hoping to show Chinese what Seattleites were into, footwear wise. “I though you were a cool catcher”, someone how shoots what is cool around the world for designers, marketing, etc. “No.” Well not really. Why did I shoot the green sneakers, anyway?

We chatted for awhile about what made something cool. After plowing though and nixing some surface possibilities we landed on something. Dominique asked “What do you think is cool?” Quite for awhile. “Cool is when one is detached from it all. When someone chooses what IS, rather than what it isn’t or what it should be”. We were a quiet. Didn’t mean to be profound, just though about it, let my mind get past all the typical reasons for what makes things cool. “Tipping Point’s” Hush Puppy theory flashed through my brain as well. I landed on detachment. Not, ‘not caring’ but instead ‘being ok with what is.’

That’s cool to me.

Written by amandakoster

August 14, 2007 at 2:23 am

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