Jeremy Martin

Jeremy Martin

About Jeremy
Hello, my name is Jeremy Martin, and I'm a writer fascinated by place. Place is much more than a result of geography, it's a product of history and culture too. It is a complex concept;...
Projects
I always have a few irons in the fire, something I'm trying out for the first time or for the thousandth time. Pursuing a project is a way of exploring, and the best part of...

About The Restless Lens

Hi, welcome to The Restless Lens, my website. I’m Jeremy Martin. This site is an outpost for my personal interests, inspirations, ideas and work on the internet, hosted outside the walled gardens of social media sites.  I also run the websites Culture Curious and Culicurious with my wife, Addie.

My Writing

The Key and the String
The Key and the String
Addie and I are staying the month in a small and very lovely war-era Dutch row house, which our host generously gives us freedom to...
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A Brief Guide to My Emoji Usage
A Brief Guide to My Emoji Usage
I was sending someone a text message the other day and needed just the right emoji. The conversation was completely over by the time I...
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The Magical Times of Day
The Magical Times of Day
I'm just going to go ahead and assume that everybody has a "magical" time of day: a moment on the clock face you enjoy, and...
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The Knowledge it Takes
The Knowledge it Takes
Was just walking around Luling, Louisiana, thinking about how much you have to know to really understand a place, when I found the perfect example...
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Interesting Links

Evidence
Evidence
Can the cryptic, strange, and disparate contents of government agency photography archives be art? Of course they can! At least when assembled by artists with the...
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The Writer Can Xue
The Writer Can Xue
I just finished Frontier after reading about it and Can Xue in this article, which I can say is very accurate when it comes to the...
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George Saunders Explains What Writers Do
Leave it to a guy like George Saunders to explain what writers do when they write in a completely new and pretty unique and totally fascinating and...
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A Jordanian “Emergency Room for the Mind”
A Jordanian “Emergency Room for the Mind”
Allow me to introduce Hamzeh Al Maaytah, one of my newest personal heroes, who maintains a 24 hour, pay what you can, exchange what you've got...
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The Night Sky Over the Next 5 Million Years
Thanks to the work done by the ESA's Gaia mission, we have a map of two million stars and enough history data that we can...
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Check Out These Succulent Cakes
Check Out These Succulent Cakes
I'm blown away by these cakes by Iven Kawi, which apparently really are edible food and not merely gorgeous arrangements of various succulent plants. -...
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On the Polar Architectural Vernacular
On the Polar Architectural Vernacular
Though it falls well outside my usual reading habits (and why should that matter, you ask, quite correctly), this book, "Many Norths" looks pretty intriguing. From...
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The New Clouds Are Here!
The New Clouds Are Here!
For the first time in 30 years, the World Meteorological Organization in adding new cloud types to its atlas! So, this begs the question: are...
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Read On

This site is a place for expression, curation, and exploration. You can select specific types of content through the menus up top, or just dive in the whole stream below!

Medicine, Magic, and Art

It’s a turn-around jump shot
it’s everybody jump start
it’s every generation throws a hero up the pop charts
medicine is magical and magical is art
think of the Boy in the Bubble
and the baby with the baboon heart.

– Paul Simon, “The Boy in the Bubble” Graceland

Tourist Traps

These days it seems like the whole world is a highway lined with tourist traps: word got out that we’re all yokels on a long and confusing journey, ready to jump at the chance to purchase anything that reminds us why we’re so far away from home.

Evidence

Can the cryptic, strange, and disparate contents of government agency photography archives be art? Of course they can! At least when assembled by artists with the vision to think beyond the more conventional forms of art to realize that everything human beings create carries with it some kind of inherent artistic statement. The book that Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel assembled in the 1970’s, Evidence, did something like this:

All the wealth of information the photographs in Evidence provide, disrupted from their original context and placed into an intuitive visual essay about the ridiculousness of vanity and the pathetic loss of power, makes the pictures themselves essentially unknowable and inscrutable, and more strange and potent for it.

The article does a great job of explaining this. Check it out.

Is is any wonder that art is the only thing that makes any sense to me any more?

– via The Paris Review

The Writer Can Xue

I just finished Frontier after reading about it and Can Xue in this article, which I can say is very accurate when it comes to the book. This is some of the most mysterious, difficult fiction I’ve ever read, and I adore it. Writing like this is a welcome reminder that not all books need to be nascent little movies, some books can be much better: they can be half-remembered, fading fast like the infuriating whisper of a dream just passed.

– via Numero Cinq

Translation

When I say: “I refuse to chase after clicks,”

I mean: “I’m tired of making Mark Zuckerberg rich by chasing constant validation.”

LONG LIVE THE OPEN WEB!

*crickets*

Television Memories

Imagine all the television shows living on like ghosts in the cacophonous subconscious of media-saturated America: the classics, yes, but also the ones that never aired for a whole season, and the ones that managed to drag on pointlessly for years, and the epoch television events that became national experiences, …

Typical

Every week or so, I take all the little scribbles I accumulate in various apps and on strange, half-forgotten scraps of paper and I file them in their proper place in my system; a process I call my notebook démêler (h/t to the Cajuns of my wife’s homeland for the term, which is a fantastic way of saying “de-messification”). Today I was doing all this de-messificaiton and I noticed my list of books to read was kind of outdated (new books to add, books I’ve read to remove). Anyway, my point is that in the ten minutes it took me to update the list, I somehow managed to buy yet another book of poetry. Typical.

Also: to all the publishers who are thoughtful enough to include a page that helps you set the text size correctly on your e-reader so the poem line breaks are shown correctly, thank you, thank you, thank you. And thank you for publishing poets.