Digital/internet artist and freelance creative Ivan Cash is behind a series of fascinating projects that make us reflect on our digital lives and bring into relief how connected, or disconnected, we've become thanks to our tech-driven tools.
Along with Buzzfeed CCO Jeff Greenspan, he created "Selfless Portraits," a site connects strangers by asking them to draw portraits of each other. Mr. Cash also shot the moving film "Snail Mail vs.Email," for which he trolled the streets asking people their reactions to receiving a handwritten letter, versus an e-mail note. More recently, Mr. Cash discovered interesting things about city-dwellers through the last photo they took on their phone.
His work has proved so inspiring, that it inspired us to launch "The Last Thing," a new series that will dive into the interesting "last things" of talented creators in and around the industry. To kick it off, we feature the series' muse, Mr. Cash himself.
Creativity: What's the last photo you took on your phone?
Ivan Cash: A screenshot of Spike Jonze's wikipedia page. I watched his movie "Her" last night, and there was a super poignant scene where [the lead character Theodore Twombly's] ex-wife is signing divorce papers. It's so riveting that I turned to my friend and whispered, "I bet he's been through a divorce." I figured to direct a scene that compelling, it can only come from experience. So when I got home, I looked him up on Wikipedia and sure enough, he has had a divorce. So I sent this screenshot to my friend...
Creativity: What's the last book or article you read that inspired you?
Mr. Cash: 1) My dad periodically sends me New York Times articles and they're always such gems! Here's the most recent one. The premise is, What if everyone got paid for their Facebook posts? It's a super interesting read about the possible future of digital media.
2) My roommate and I were literally having a conversation about dating and about pseudo dates and so she sent me this article, "The One Question You Should Never Have to Ask While on a Date."
Creativity: What's the last thing you'd like to undo?
Mr. Cash: I was talking to my friend on the phone yesterday and I asked him how his Costa Rica trip was, but it turns out he had gone to Puerto Rico and that's when I realized that I didn't actually know the difference between them. This is awfully embarrassing. I did some research right afterwards. But to answer this question more fully, I'd like to undo my geographic ignorance.
Creativity: What's the last thing that made you laugh really hard?
Ivan Cash: I was in upstate N.Y. over the holidays and there was a huge snowstorm at 1:30 a.m. I went out to the remote reservoir behind my parents' house. Being out in a blizzard in the middle of the night by myself in nature was such a surreal experience. I got the sudden urge to move by body. Before I knew, I was dancing around like a drunk idiot in the middle of the snowstorm and I just started laughing and laughing. I think it had something to do with knowing for sure that no other human being was watching me, allowing me the freedom to just be spontaneous and childlike without fear of being judged.
Creativity: What's the last thing that made you think, "I wish I did that" ?
Mr. Cash: "Her," the movie. I wish it was directed by Ivan Cash. There were a lot of thought-provoking scenes and dialog that really impacted me and got the gears turning. My highest aspiration is to make work that does that and inspires others in some way, shape, or form.
Creativity: What's the last thing that changed your outlook on the world?
Mr.Cash: The incarceration of a high school friend who I really looked up to. It really shook me up. We write letters to each other now and keeping in touch with him is a reminder that life is precious and everyone suffers and jealousy is a waste of time. So I'm trying to be more grateful for what I have and to practice compassion towards others.
Any other last things you'd like to share?
Mr.Cash: Last Song Played: Department of Eagles "Sailing By Night"