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Journeys of discovery

Archetype: Explorer

Rasa: Kāruṇyam

Explorer stories tend to emphasize personal freedom and the breaking of conventional boundaries. In this month’s list listen to Forest Swords's song "Crow," where haunting soundscapes evoke the thrill of the unknown. Look at Aaron Siskind’s "Pleasures and Terrors of Levitation," capturing the emotional duality of exploration through powerful imagery. Think about Ian Bremmer's inspiring speech, "Don't Drink the Poison," urging graduates to embrace uncertainty with courage and curiosity. Discover Satisfy's "Equipment for our World" campaign, showcasing gear designed for adventurous spirits. Finally, be inspired by Van Neistat’s series "The Spirited Man," celebrating creative living and the relentless quest for new experiences.

Listen to…

  • Forest Swords's song "Crow" parallels the explorer archetype through its atmospheric and haunting soundscape that evokes a sense of mystery and discovery. The song's evolving layers and experimental structure reflect the explorer’s journey into the unknown, embracing uncertainty and seeking new experiences. The music creates a mood that evokes mystery and introspection, often associated with the journey of an explorer.

Look at…

  • Aaron Siskind, an influential American photographer known for his abstract expressionist images, captures the essence of the explorer archetype in his series "Pleasures and Terrors of Levitation." The tension between pleasure and terror in the images reflects the emotional duality faced by explorers as they navigate uncharted territories, experiencing both the thrill of discovery and the anxiety of uncertainty. 

Think about…

  • In his commencement speech to the 2024 graduating class at Columbia University; titled "Don't Drink the Poison," Ian Bremmer emphasizes the importance of resilience, adaptability, and the courage to navigate an unpredictable world—qualities central to the explorer archetype. Bremmer urges them to approach challenges with curiosity and an open mind, akin to an explorer's adventurous spirit. He highlights the necessity of forging one's path and embracing the unknown, paralleling the explorer's journey of self-discovery and transformation. 

Products and services

  • The "Equipment for our World" campaign by Satisfy, a business known for its lifestyle and high-performance running gear, is an example of a commercial story channelling the explorer archetype. This campaign emphasizes the idea of venturing into the great outdoors equipped with gear designed for resilience and adaptability. The campaign's imagery and messaging reflect a spirit of curiosity and adventure. By highlighting the balance between performance and the unknown, Satisfy captures the emotional duality of the explorer's experience. The transformative nature of exploration is often leveraged to signify personal growth and self-discovery.

Lifestyle and inspiration

  • Van Neistat, an acclaimed filmmaker and storyteller, embodies the explorer archetype in his series "The Spirited Man." Through this series, Neistat delves into the art of living with creativity, resilience, and a relentless curiosity for the world. The episodes highlight his journey of self-discovery and the pursuit of unconventional paths, mirroring the explorer's quest for new experiences and knowledge. Neistat’s storytelling captures the essence of independence and the courage to challenge the status quo, encouraging viewers to embrace the unknown and transform their lives. The series resonates with the explorer's spirit of adventure and growth, showcasing how confronting and navigating life's uncertainties can lead to profound personal transformation and a deeper understanding of oneself.


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