Plays Softly

Uno listens to whatever Jacob Åström shares.

Another Sunday, Another Naive Weekly — Observations From The Internet Wilderness.

Good morning,

I’ve played around with the layout of the newsletter. The sections are the same. The content is the same. The delivery time is the same. Maybe it is so similar that you don’t even notice.

Or maybe you do. Maybe you love it. Maybe you hate it. In any case, I wish you a wonderful Sunday and please remember that I am only the reply button away.

With care,



Levi Hayes is your Australian dream come true: surfer, architect and artist. Master of seizing the moment and life-philosopher extraordinaire, Levi is only one good idea away.

K: How do you archive your thoughts?

Levi: I noticed recently that I have been stuffing many of my favourite books full with A4 paper, marked with notes and drawings, it is a lot of fun to go back to the pages and cross examine my bits of paper against the writing or image. Although I barely do this. An old professor sternly told me in my first year of architecture school to use stacks of printing paper instead of note pads as a means of recording ideas, since the idea can either be preserved or scrunched up with equal ease. I am easily impressioned. Subsequently these bits of paper fossilise in my favourite architecture books. It also makes me feel strange when I find my own sketches lying next to a Le Corbusier drawing.

K: How would you like to be remembered online?

Levi: As some type of new atmosphere that invites new sensibilities. Stay with me... There is an architectural expression called tectonics, which simply means the way things are joined together. I would love for the different digital elements to have some sort atmospheric impression to whoever finds my odd website. Joining things in architecture involves screwing, mitering, butting etc etc etc. But the other aspect of joining things involves thinking about how the tectonic will influence the spatial atmosphere.

I am fascinated with trash and its different geometry. I have been a little obsessed lately finding discarded timber and plastics, filling up my Volkswagen and then dumping it in the workshop, trying to transform this trash into objects that signal attraction rather than repulsion. For me; in this infinity of joining things together there is new spatial atmospheres to be found. There is also the constant fear of perhaps being impressioned by the rawness and unrefined nature of rejected material. Perhaps I’m doomed to be raw and unrefined if I am unable to solve the trash alchemy equation.

K: How would you describe your work to my grandparents?

Levi: Banalchemy.

K: Who would you like to provide a website for that can’t make it themselves?

Levi: The Temple of Luxor in Egypt. This building was built in 1400BCE, cosmically speaking just before the internet was founded. The temple was a self-help transformative experience not so different to the youtube self help section. The building is special because important figures in Egyptian society would engage in a ritual that would provide higher orders of being. The ritual was a slow journey through the building’s vastly different rooms where the hieroglyphics on the walls, shaman’d by the priests, saturated in the giant like architectural atmosphere, would create a divine experience. A website with this type of atmosphere would be cool.

K: What is progress to you?

Levi: Feeling uncomfortable in a new environment, and then slowly feeling myself mould into a slightly different version myself.

K: What webs are you woven into?

Levi: Lately I’ve been listening to NTS this great radio website. It feels like every hour when the DJ changes you get taken somewhere new. My Spotify algorithm was beginning to eat itself and was becoming a little sad.

K: What is the strangest being you have encountered while surfing?

Thousands of butterflies that appeared to be flying past me with absolute confidence straight out to see. Surf conditions are perfect when the wind blows out to see, giving a silky velvet appearance to the ocean. In Australia for this to happen, the wind often travels thousands of kilometers over desert and bush collecting insects and other small creatures. I don’t believe the average lifespan of butterflies in Australia is long.

K: What is the most touching you’ve experienced online?

Levi: Nick Cave’s Red Hand Files is always a touching experience. Fans write Nick a question and he replies in the most thoughtful way. A fan wrote to Nick asking about loneliness. Nick replied in saying that there is loneliness and aloneness. As an introvert, aloneness is my ultimate state, although Corona very much strained this relationship.

K: How do you prepare for an internet exploration?

Levi: Ancient history is one of my favourite places to venture into on the internet, because archaeologists are such great storytellers. I always get stage fright when I am thirsting for some type of novel experience online, except I often find that I have no idea where to go. Getting lost on blogs and forums reading discussions on ancient historic empires like the Assyrian’s or more recently the Dutch empire are for me timeless.

K: How would you start a letter to a frog?

Levi: Hej, I hope you’re keeping that skin of yours wet. (Always handle frogs with wet cloths, dry hands can hurt frog’s skin)



Dark Skies

Our cities are so bright that we can’t see the darkness. Only when we escape to the countryside does the sky reveals its magic. Through this photo essay, Bear Guerra encourages us to reconnect with darkness, because that is the only time when you can see the stars. Side-note: please no Starlink.

Resistance Is Futile: The Myth of Tech Inevitability

I can recommend L. M. Sacasas’ newsletter called The Convivial Society. It touches on everything related to living with technology, from disembodiment to the absence of silence. In the linked edition, Sacasas makes the case for why we should not believe the myth of tech inevitability.

Plays Softly

If you want to make your work softer and Spotify cooler, then there is only one option: Jacob’s Plays Softly newsletter. Each edition is in your inbox every Friday before lunch, ready with soft tunes for a hard life.



“I finally got a Sunday to catch up on the past 5 newsletters. A day well spent.”

Calliewe on May 16, 2021

Hi, I’m Kristoffer and you have just read Naive Weekly — Observations from the Internet Wilderness.

Last week this letter was sent to 768 people. Thirtytwo are crazy enough to chip in every month/year to support me making time to write. Logo by Studio Hollywood. Print by Luka. Photograph by Ana Santl.