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Why the Spanish Dialogue in 'Spider-Verse' Doesn't Have Subtitles
"While watching the new animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – featuring Miles Morales’ big screen debut as the arachnid superhero – it’s reassuring to notice the subtle, yet transcendent details through which the creators ensured both parts of his cultural identity are present.

Miles (voiced by Shameik Moore), an Afro-Latino teen who lives in Brooklyn and first appeared in Marvel’s comics back in 2011, is the son of a Puerto Rican mother and an African-American father. The protagonist’s significance – when it comes to representation – cannot be overstated, making the fact that he and his mother (Rio Morales who’s voiced by Nuyorican actress Luna Lauren Velez) speak Spanish throughout the action-packed narrative truly momentous.

Although brief, the Spanish phrases and words we hear connote the genuine colloquialisms that arise in bilingual homes as opposed to the artificiality that sometimes peppers US-produced movies and feels like the result of lines being fed through Google Translate. It might come as a surprise for some that Phil Lord, known for writing and directing The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street with his close collaborator Christopher Miller, was not only one of the main scribes and a producer on Spider-Verse, but also the person in charge of the Spanish-language dialogue.

“I grew up in a bilingual household in the bilingual city of Miami where you hear Spanish all over the place, and it’s not particularly remarkable,” he told Remezcla at the film’s premiere in Los Angeles. Lord’s mother is from Cuba and his father is from the States. As part of a Cuban-American family, the filmmaker empathized with Miles’ duality: “I certainly understand what it’s like to feel like you’re half one thing and half something else,” he noted.

[image]

Despite the massive success of Pixar’s Coco, including Spanish-language dialogue in a major studio’s animated release is still rare – doing so without adding subtitles, even for some of the longer lines, is outright daring. “It was important for us to hear Spanish and not necessarily have it subtitled,” said Lord. “It’s just part of the fabric of Miles’ community and family life.”

For Luna Lauren Velez, whose character speaks mostly in Spanish to Miles, Lord and the directors’ decision to not translate her text in any way helped validate the Latino experience on screen. “That was really bold, because if you use subtitles all of a sudden we are outside, and we are not part of this world anymore. It was brilliant that they just allowed for it to exist,” she told Remezcla. Her role as Rio Morales also benefited from the production’s adherence to specificity in the source material, she is not portrayed as just generically Latina but as a Puerto Rican woman from Brooklyn.

With the help of a dialect coach, Velez and Lord were also partially responsible for getting Shameik Moore (who has roots in Jamaica) to learn the handful of Spanish-language expressions Miles uses during the opening sequence were he walks around his neighborhood. “[Luna] has been getting on me! I need to go to Puerto Rico, and really learn Spanish for real,” Moore candidly told Remezcla on the red carpet.

Aside from Rio and Miles, the only other Spanish-speaking character is a villain named Scorpion. The insect-like bad guy who speaks only in Spanish is voiced by famed Mexican performer Joaquín Cosio. “He is an actor from Mexico City who was using slang that we had to look up because we didn’t understand it! I had never heard some of the words he used,” explained Lord.

[video: "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - "Gotta Go" Clip"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Q9foLtQidk ]

For Lord, having different Spanish accents represented is one of the parts of Into the Spider-Verse he’s the most proud of. He wanted to make sure Miles and Rio didn’t sound alike to indicate how language changes through different generations. Being himself the child of a Cuban immigrant, the parallels were very direct. “Miles is second-generation, so he speaks different than his mother.”

Velez, who like Miles is born in New York, identifies with what it’s like to communicate in both tongues. “Growing my parents spoke to us in Spanish and we responded in English. Now this happens with my nieces and nephews,” she said. “You want to make sure kids remember their culture and where they come from.” In playing Rio, she thought of her mother who instilled in her not only the language but appreciation for her Latinidad.

Clearly, casting Velez was essential to upholding the diversity and authenticity embedded into Miles Morales’ heroic adventure since not doing so would have been a disservice to an iteration of an iconic figure that is so meaningful for many. “If Spider-Man’s Puerto Rican mom had been played by somebody who isn’t Latino I’d have a problem with that,” Velez stated emphatically."
language  translation  spanish  español  bilingualism  bilingual  srg  edg  glvo  carlosaguilar  2018  spider-verse  spiderman  miami  losangeles  nyc  coco  subtitles  specificity  puertorico  cuba  immigration  via:tealtan  accents  change  adaptation  latinidad 
8 weeks ago by robertogreco
An Essay by Miho Nonaka | Kenyon Review Online
[So good. There's really no good way to quote this one, so here are just a few sections.]

"Heavenly Worm

Mrs. Itō, our fourth-grade teacher, drew a new kanji character on the board: 蚕. “Worm from heaven,” she announced, “as you can see.” Heaven splits open like a curtain (天) and inside it dwells the worm (虫). For each student, she took out five worms from her basket and put them in a small paper box to take home. Having just hatched from their eggs, these worms were still covered in little black hairs. That’s why at this stage they are called kego (hairy baby), Mrs. Itō told us. To feed these dark babies, julienne your mulberry leaves first."



"Platinum Boy, 2006

After decades of research, Japanese silkworm breeders discovered a reliable method of hatching exclusively male silkworms. Female silkworms eat more, sleep more, take up more space, and are measurably less efficient in transforming mulberry leaves into silk. The verdict was clear: female silkworms are inferior for silk production.

Silk spinners and kimono weavers are unanimous in their praise of male silk: their thread is consistently finer, sturdier, glossier, whiter, and their cocoons are easier to harvest when boiled.

The birth site of Platinum Boy is literally black and white. When you look at a piece of paper where silkworm eggs are laid, white eggs are the empty shells from which male larvae have already hatched. They will thrive on the diet of tender mulberry shoot which, combined with their spit, will eventually turn into raw silk, translucent like frosted glass. The dark eggs contain female larvae that will never hatch and only keep darkening."



"Ten Thousand Leaves I

Compiled in the mideighth century, Man’yōshū (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves) is the oldest Japanese anthology: more than forty-five hundred poems in twenty books. In the sweltering heat of the attic, I wasn’t looking for any particular motif when I happened on poem No. 2495, composed by Kakinomoto no Hitomaro, a low rank courtier and one of the “Saints of Japanese Poetry”:
like my mother’s
silkworms confined
inside cocoons,
how can I see my love
who lives secluded at home?

Poem No. 2991 is almost the same poem by another poet, simply tagged “unknown”:
like my mother’s
silkworms confined
inside cocoons,
sadness clouds my heart
when I cannot see her

The motif of a silk cocoon as the inaccessible, lyrical interior goes back to the dawn of Japanese poetics. The cocoon encases the image of the beloved, the poet’s longing that keeps building inside, and in my poem it holds the mother as a mythical seamstress, stitching blue in each wrist of her unborn daughter."



"職人 I

I used to blame my grandmother on my father’s side, who was described to me as fierce, frantic, funny, a destructive visionary and unsuccessful business entrepreneur during the critical times of the Second World War. When I felt defeated by the radical pull of my own emotion, I would attach them to the face of the woman I had never met in person, only in a fading picture where she stands next to my young father without glasses, still a student with surprisingly gentle eyes.

My father recently told me during one of our late-night international calls from Tokyo: “Your grandfathers were both shokunin (craftsman), remember? It’s in your DNA, too.” His father had come from a large family of silk farmers. After he left home, adopting the newly introduced Singer sewing machines, he began manufacturing Japanese cloven-toed socks, the traditional kind that used to be hand-sewn, and during the war, he took the assignment to sew parachutes for the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force. While he worked under dimmed light, my young father put up his primitive drawing of warplanes on the wall, covered in fine grains of sand."



"Small Things

They say (I love the convenience, but who are “they”?) that attention to detail is a characteristic of the Japanese. I am drawn to small things: tadpoles, silica beads, star sands in a vial, a notebook the size of a thumbnail, fish scales, a nativity scene inside half a walnut shell. I am terribly myopic like my father, and I like things that are near. Large things loom over and terrify: airports, Costco, churches in Texas, the Tokyo Skytree, Mount Rushmore (those granite faces I once believed had surfaced in response to the historic atomic bombing), and that elusive word “global.”"



"Komako

It didn’t occur to me until I tried translating a few passages from Snow Country that the young geisha’s name Komako (駒子) means Pony Child. What inspired the author Kawabata to portray his heroine as a woman of equine grace? We don’t know her family name. On the other hand, we don’t know the first name of Shimamura, who is referred to only by his last name.

I imagine if your family name is a gate to the house, your first name must be its interior. In the days when the first book of Man’yōshū was composed, asking a maiden’s first name was synonymous with proposing to her. Knowing it meant possessing the person.

Komako’s body is translucent like a silkworm, and an unearthly room encloses her fruitless passion like a white cocoon. While writing Snow Country, Kawabata says he distanced himself from Shimamura, who serves merely as a foil to Komako. “As an author, I entered deep inside the character of Komako, but casually turned my back to Shimamura,” he writes in the afterward. “Especially in terms of emotion—Komako’s sadness is nothing other than my own sadness. . . .” And so it is; his heart has become subsumed into her heart."



"Body

I find it impossible to talk about the body (mine and everyone else’s) without sounding embarrassed or oddly distant. I don’t mean to self-deprecate, but it has been almost too fashionable, too charged a topic for me to feel safe around. (A cowardly thing to say—the truth is, no one is safe.)

I won’t pretend my body is a plain blockhouse, or a slab of flesh aching with desire or lack thereof. Who could have taught me to stay at home in my own body all the while I traveled from one country to another, turning from the spontaneous, if careless, music of my mother tongue to the cautious economy of English, reaching out, in the hope of actually reaching and being reached?

For the subjects most critical to me, I find no teachers. Perhaps there is not enough demand? I believe I am badly behind everyone and that I missed an opportunity to ask questions long ago. People my age in this country sound fluent in the body, discussing it with just the right amount of sarcasm and laughter without revealing much, like they have been on intimate terms with it since they learned to speak. I suppose I should have listened to the body harder, without ulterior motives."
mihononaka  silk  essays  canon  howwewrite  2017  silkworms  multispecies  japan  japanese  language  gender  via:ayjay  poetry  writing  fabric  textiles  srg  glvo  insects  history  cocoons  craft  translation  languages  childhood  change  materials  process  form  details  weaving  texture  morethanhuman  shinto  bodies  body  small  slow 
9 weeks ago by robertogreco
The Creative Independent: How to make a website for your creative work
"A guide to getting your work on the internet so you can share it with others, written by Jason Huff and illustrated by Sean Suchara."



"If you’re a creative person living in the world today, people will expect to be able to find some examples of your work online. How you choose to put it there, though, is completely up to you.

I got started on the web in the early aughts when I created a gallery for my creative work. I call it a gallery because it was just that: a blank space with images in a row that linked to some projects I wanted to share with friends. Since then my site has evolved, disappeared, come back, and spawned other sites that express my ideas and identity online. Each evolution was a chance to share new work in a way that reflected how I wanted people to experience it.

I work on the web everyday. I help designers, artists, and galleries discover and create their online presence. And for seven years, I designed and led teams at Etsy, a platform that helps millions of creative humans around the world use the web to make an income from their craft. In all of my work, I’ve learned that every person brings their own body of knowledge and point of view when they create their own space online. The unique approaches that each individual brings to the experience are what make the internet an interesting place to explore.

Before digging into this guide, I recommend reading Laurel Schwulst’s essay, My website is a shifting house next to a river of knowledge. What could yours be? It’s a great sister piece to this more practical guide, and provides many poetic explorations of the website format. Like Laurel mentions in her essay, “Artists excel at creating worlds.” I hope this guide will help you start creating yours.

— Jason Huff"
webdesign  webdev  howto  websites  seansuchara  jasonhuff  art  glvo  projectideas  laurelschwulst  morehshinallahyari  petracortright  americanartist  ingridburrington  damonzucconi  jennyodell  seokhoonchoi  tomjennings  carlyayres 
january 2019 by robertogreco
The Relentlessness of Modern Parenting - The New York Times
"Experts agree that investing in children is a positive thing — they benefit from time with their parents, stimulating activities and supportive parenting styles. As low-income parents have increased the time they spend teaching and reading to their children, the readiness gap between kindergarten students from rich and poor families has shrunk. As parental supervision has increased, most serious crimes against children have declined significantly.

But it’s also unclear how much of children’s success is actually determined by parenting.

“It’s still an open question whether it’s the parenting practices themselves that are making the difference, or is it simply growing up with college-educated parents in an environment that’s richer in many dimensions?” said Liana Sayer, a sociologist at the University of Maryland and director of the Time Use Laboratory there. “I don’t think any of these studies so far have been able to answer whether these kids would be doing well as adults regardless, simply because of resources.”

There has been a growing movement against the relentlessness of modern-day parenting. Utah passed a free-range parenting law, exempting parents from accusations of neglect if they let their children play or commute unattended.

Psychologists and others have raised alarms about children’s high levels of stress and dependence on their parents, and the need to develop independence, self-reliance and grit. Research has shown that children with hyper-involved parents have more anxiety and less satisfaction with life, and that when children play unsupervised, they build social skills, emotional maturity and executive function.

Parents, particularly mothers, feel stress, exhaustion and guilt at the demands of parenting this way, especially while holding a job. American time use diaries show that the time women spend parenting comes at the expense of sleep, time alone with their partners and friends, leisure time and housework. Some pause their careers or choose not to have children. Others, like Ms. Sentilles, live in a state of anxiety. She doesn’t want to hover, she said. But trying to oversee homework, limit screen time and attend to Isaac’s needs, she feels no choice.

“At any given moment, everything could just fall apart,” she said.

“On the one hand, I love my work,” she said. “But the way it’s structured in this country, where there’s not really child care and there’s this sense that something is wrong with you if you aren’t with your children every second when you’re not at work? It isn’t what I think feminists thought they were signing up for.”"
parenting  helicopterparents  anxiety  stress  surveillance  children  inequality  2018  schools  schooliness  glvo  hovering  capitalism  economics  freedom  free-rangeparenting  unschooling  deschooling  learning  youth  psychology  society  attention  helicopterparenting 
december 2018 by robertogreco
NOPHOTO. Colectivo de Fotografía Contemporánea
"NOPHOTO es un colectivo de fotografía contemporánea nacido en 2005 con el objetivo de hacer viables proyectos individuales y colectivos NO convencionales.


Se caracteriza por una actitud abierta en contenidos, una tendencia interdisciplinar en las formas, la utilización de múltiples soportes de difusión de los proyectos, como web y proyección digital y la implicación personal en el proceso de gestación y producción de los mismos.


NOPHOTO hace de la negación su punto de partida. NOPHOTO no es una agencia de fotógrafos, sino una ACTITUD. Una manera de ver. Una revolución. Un NO (que nunca está de más).


Esta actitud estética hace que NOPHOTO no renuncie a ninguna forma de creación o exhibición. Los trabajos del colectivo ofrecen una experimentada mirada sobre lo cotidiano que siempre conduce a lo extraordinario. Este proceso es resultado de la reflexión en grupo y de la interacción de procesos de creación alternativos.

“No es que nos guste ir a la contra, es que lo que nos divierte es caminar despacio, torpemente, observar las diferencias menudas entre las cosas, descubrir sus ritmos. Tratar de describir un objeto, dar una vuelta alrededor, acariciar su contorno y cubrir todo el perímetro. Preguntarse de qué está hecho y qué papel cumple en la historia. Obligarse a agotar el tema y no decir nada. Obligarse a mirar con sencillez y no resolver nada. No ilustrar, no definir, no fotografiar. Lo que nos gusta es desfotografiar las cosas y desnombrarlas.”

NOPHOTO ha sido galardonado con el Premio Revelación 2006 del Festival Internacional de Fotografía y Artes Visuales PHotoEspaña."
nophoto  photography  spain  españa  collectives  lcproject  openstudioproject  interdisciplinary  español  slow  differences  difference  betweenness  between  margins  periphery  unschooling  deschooling  opposition  discovery  howwelearn  learning  glvo  liminality 
november 2018 by robertogreco
By The Bay
[See also: https://www.ballot.fyi/ ]

"Take a break from the national chaos, and dip into the fascinatingly bizarre world of local elections. We explain California, San Francisco, and San Jose propositions & races so you'll laugh, cry, and vote on Election Day, November 6th.

We also made this neat tool so you can save your votes and talk about local issues with your friends.

Okay, let's do this civic duty dance and show how Democracy is done, shall we?



ABOUT US (REALLY)

By The Bay is led by Jimmy Chion and Yvonne Leow, two San Franciscans, who love almost all things Californian.

Our mission is to transform residents into citizens. We think local issues like housing, homelessness, and public transit affect us everyday, but it's hard to know how to participate. By The Bay is our way of changing that, starting with elections.

WE'RE NONPARTISAN, BUT NOT BORING
We try to convey all relevant arguments as fairly and factually as possible. We are human though – so please email us at hi@bythebay.cool if you see anything that needs some TLC.

WE MADE A THING BEFORE
In 2016, we built ballot.fyi to explain all of the confusing CA propositions. To our surprise, it reached ~1M people in one month. This year, we're covering local elections again. Hopefully making you a little smarter and our community a little better.

WE'RE FUNDED BY THE KNIGHT FOUNDATION
In 2017, we received a $75K grant from the Knight Foundation to continue ballot.fyi. The Knight Foundation is a nonpartisan non-profit that supports local journalism initiatives across the country. BTB is a for-profit organization, but fiscally sponsored by the non-profit Asian American Journalists Association.

WHO WE ARE (AS PEOPLE)

JIMMY CHION was a designer and engineer at IDEO, an instructor at California College of Arts, and an Artist-in-Residence at Autodesk. He has two degrees from Stanford, neither of which have anything to do with politics. He created ballot.fyi, and now leads design and development at BTB. Send him a punny message at jimmy@bythebay.cool

Yvonne Leow
YVONNE LEOW is a digital journalist by trade. She has worked at Vox.com, Digital First Media, and the AP. She is currently the president of the AAJA and was a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford. Yvonne leads editorial and partnerships at BTB. Send her a haiku at yvonne@bythebay.cool."
bayarea  sanfrancisco  sanjose  elections  votersguide  voting  politics  srg  edg  glvo  california  propositions 
november 2018 by robertogreco
California State Propositions – a nonpartisan guide [updates every election]
"nonpartisan
We're tired of fliers telling us how to vote. ballot.fyi doesn't tell you what to do, instead we give you the facts and arguments about each proposition so you can come to your own conclusion. We cite all of our sources (try clicking this little circle
) and try to represent all relevant perspectives – that's what we mean by nonpartisan. But, we're human, and we don't know everything, so if you know something we didn't cover, email us at fax@ballot.fyi (with sources cited)

concise
We've read the full text of the propositions, the official arguments of both sides, and many, many opinion articles so we can give you concise but comprehensive digests of what's on the ballot. These are real issues that affect real animals, and we hope these summaries get you interested in what's happening in CA and make you feel ready to vote.

a tool
We want you to feel good – amazing even – on Election Day, and we also hope that you'll want your friends to feel fantastic, because this site's only purpose is to get more folks voting. So do us a solid and tell your friends they get to vote on Daylight Saving Time this November.

About Amir & Erica
Amir & Erica (you know, like "America") was created by Jimmy Chion (a designer and engineer) and Yvonne Leow (a journalist) with the help and balance of many friends, left and right. We first made ballot.fyi in 2016. It reached a million people in one month, and in 2017, we received a $75K grant from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to continue ballot.fyi into 2018. The Knight Foundation promotes informed and engaged communities through funding in journalism, arts, and technology.

If you live in San Francisco or San Jose, we created By The Bay to cover those local propositions. [https://www.bythebay.cool/ ]"
votersguide  voting  california  propositions  politics  srg  edg  glvo  sanfrancisco  sanjose  bayarea  elections 
november 2018 by robertogreco
Juana Gómez
[via: "Chilean artist Juana Gómez uses photography, weaving and embroidery to explore themes of genealogy, biology and interconnectivity in her own (and her daughter's) female lineage #womensart"
https://twitter.com/womensart1/status/1043741688320151553 ]

[See also: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2017/dec/05/juana-gomez-embroidered-family-photos-in-pictures-distaff-michael-hoppen-gallery ]
chile  glvo  embroidery  art  artists  juanagómez  geneology  interconnected  biology  interconnectivity 
september 2018 by robertogreco
Unravel Two - Wikipedia
[via: "Lovely game by Coldwood, which encourages collaborative play—really works if kids are roughly the same level (roughly). Beautiful setting, too. (Discovered via good games exhibition at Tekniska Museet in Stockholm, feat many Swedish games.)"
https://www.instagram.com/p/BmnSFiBgevo/ ]

"Unravel Two is a puzzle platform video game developed by Swedish studio Coldwood Interactive and published by Electronic Arts under the EA Originals label. It was released on 9 June 2018 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The game centres on two Yarnys, small anthropomorphic creatures made of yarn.[2] It is the sequel to the 2016 game Unravel.

Unlike the first game, Unravel Two is both a single-player and a multiplayer game, though local co-op only. The game centres on two Yarnys, which can be controlled with either one player or two, which must work together in order to solve puzzles and manipulate the world. The game contains a main storyline, set on an island, as well as challenge levels, significantly more difficult levels.[3]"

[See also:
https://www.ea.com/es-es/games/unravel/unravel-two

Trailers:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2TmLrTl6gs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eRmkCVHEbQ ]
games  videogames  toplay  collaborative  srg  edg  glvo  yarn  puzzles  classideas  cooperativegames 
august 2018 by robertogreco
Clayton Cubitt on Twitter: "Three step guide to photography: 01: be interesting. 02: find interesting people. 03: find interesting places. Nothing about cameras."
"Three step guide to photography: 01: be interesting. 02: find interesting people. 03: find interesting places. Nothing about cameras."
claytoncubitt  photography  edg  srg  glvo  classideas  howto  cameras  2013 
august 2018 by robertogreco
Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen | BAMPFA
"This first survey exhibition of the work of Chilean-born artist Cecilia Vicuña traces her career to stage a conversation about discarded and displaced people, places, and things in a time of global climate change. The exhibition includes key installations, sculptures, texts, and videos from a multidisciplinary practice that has encompassed performance, sculpture, drawing, video, poetry, and site-specific installations over the course of the past forty years.

Working within the overlapping discourses of Conceptual art, land art, poetry, and feminist art practices, Vicuña has long refused categorical distinctions, operating fluidly between concept and craft, text and textile. Her practice weaves together disparate artistic disciplines as well as cultural and social communities—with shared relationships to land and sea, and to the economic and environmental disparities of the twenty-first century.

The exhibition presents a large selection of Vicuña's precario (precarious) sculptures produced over the last four decades that feature found objects in lyrical juxtaposition, as well as a monumental hanging structure created out of materials scavenged from the ever-diminishing Louisiana coast. Reframing dematerialization as both a formal consequence of 1960s Conceptualism and radical climate change, Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen examines a process that shapes public memory and responsibility."

[See also: https://bampfa.org/event/reading-cecilia-vicu%C3%B1a
https://bampfa.org/event/cecilia-vicu%C3%B1a-performance ]

[via: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bk37axFFoPk/ ]
ceciliavicuña  togo  tosee  glvo  chile  art  bampfa  2018  displacement  multidisciplinary  artists  video  poetry  sculpture  climatechange  memory  responsibility 
july 2018 by robertogreco
Akari Tachibana
"​​Born and raised in Japan and moved to San Francisco to learn Fashion Design in 2010. All the clothes are handmade by Akari Tachibana from design to finish in San Francisco. Striving to design and make durable garments that can be worn for 20-plus years and develop their own character with the wearer.​"

[See also: http://akaritachibana.tumblr.com/ ]
sanfrancisco  glvo  akaritachibana  fashion  clothing  uniformproject 
july 2018 by robertogreco
[Easy Chair] | Abolish High School, by Rebecca Solnit | Harper's Magazine
"I didn’t go to high school. This I think of as one of my proudest accomplishments and one of my greatest escapes, because everyone who grows up in the United States goes to high school. It’s such an inevitable experience that people often mishear me and think I dropped out.

I was a withdrawn, bookish kid all through elementary school, but the difficulty of being a misfit intensified when I started seventh grade. As I left campus at the end of my first day, people shouted insults that ensured I knew my clothes didn’t cut it. Then there was P.E., where I had to don a horrendous turquoise-striped polyester garment that looked like a baby’s onesie and follow orders to run or jump or play ball — which is hard to do when you’re deeply withdrawn — after which I had to get naked, in all my late-bloomer puniness, and take showers in front of strangers. In science class we were graded on crafting notebooks with many colors of pen; in home economics, which was only for girls — boys had shop — we learned to make a new kind of cake by combining pudding mix with cake mix; even in English class I can remember reading only one book: Dickens’s flattest novel, Hard Times. At least the old history teacher in the plaid mohair sweaters let me doze in the front row, so long as I knew the answers when asked.

In junior high, everything became a little more dangerous. Most of my peers seemed to be learning the elaborate dance between the sexes, sometimes literally, at school dances I never dreamed of attending, or in the form of the routines through which girls with pompoms ritually celebrated boys whose own role in that rite consisted of slamming into one another on the field.

I skipped my last year of traditional junior high school, detouring for ninth and tenth grade into a newly created alternative junior high. (The existing alternative high school only took eleventh and twelfth graders.) The district used this new school as a dumping ground for its most insubordinate kids, so I shared two adjoining classrooms with hard-partying teenage girls who dated adult drug dealers, boys who reeked of pot smoke, and other misfits like me. The wild kids impressed me because, unlike the timorous high achievers I’d often been grouped with at the mainstream school, they seemed fearless and free, skeptical about the systems around them.

There were only a few dozen students, and the adults treated us like colleagues. There was friendship and mild scorn but little cruelty, nothing that pitted us against one another or humiliated us, no violence, no clearly inculcated hierarchy. I didn’t gain much conventional knowledge, but I read voraciously and had good conversations. You can learn a lot that way. Besides, I hadn’t been gaining much in regular school either.

I was ravenous to learn. I’d waited for years for a proper chance at it, and the high school in my town didn’t seem like a place where I was going to get it. I passed the G.E.D. test at fifteen, started community college the following fall, and transferred after two semesters to a four-year college, where I began, at last, to get an education commensurate with my appetite.

What was it, I sometimes wonder, that I was supposed to have learned in the years of high school that I avoided? High school is often considered a definitive American experience, in two senses: an experience that nearly everyone shares, and one that can define who you are, for better or worse, for the rest of your life. I’m grateful I escaped the particular definition that high school would have imposed on me, and I wish everyone else who suffered could have escaped it, too.

For a long time I’ve thought that high school should be abolished. I don’t mean that people in their teens should not be educated at public expense. The question is what they are educated in. An abolitionist proposal should begin by acknowledging all the excellent schools and teachers and educations out there; the people who have a pleasant, useful time in high school; and the changes being wrought in the nature of secondary education today. It should also recognize the tremendous variety of schools, including charter and magnet schools in the public system and the private schools — religious, single-sex, military, and prep — that about 10 percent of American students attend, in which the values and pedagogical systems may be radically different. But despite the caveats and anomalies, the good schools and the students who thrive (or at least survive), high school is hell for too many Americans. If this is so, I wonder why people should be automatically consigned to it.

In 2010, Dan Savage began the It Gets Better Project, which has gathered and posted video testimonials from gay and lesbian adults and queer-positive supporters (tens of thousands of them, eventually, including professional sports stars and the president) to address the rash of suicides by young queer people. The testimonials reassure teenagers that there is life after high school, that before long they’ll be able to be who they are without persecution — able to find love, able to live with dignity, and able to get through each day without facing intense harassment. It’s a worthy project, but it implicitly accepts that non-straight kids must spend their formative years passing through a homophobic gauntlet before arriving at a less hostile adult world. Why should they have to wait?

Suicide is the third leading cause of death for teens, responsible for some 4,600 deaths per year. Federal studies report that for every suicide there are at least a hundred attempts — nearly half a million a year. Eight percent of high school students have attempted to kill themselves, and 16 percent have considered trying. That’s a lot of people crying out for something to change.

We tend to think that adolescence is inherently ridden with angst, but much of the misery comes from the cruelty of one’s peers. Twenty-eight percent of public school students and 21 percent of private school students report being bullied, and though inner-city kids are routinely portrayed in the press as menaces, the highest levels of bullying are reported among white kids and in nonurban areas. Victims of bullying are, according to a Yale study, somewhere between two and nine times more likely to attempt suicide. Why should children be confined to institutions in which these experiences are so common?

Antibullying programs have proliferated to such an extent that even the Southern Poverty Law Center has gotten involved, as though high school had joined its list of hate groups. An educational video produced by the S.P.L.C. focuses on the case of Jamie Nabozny, who successfully sued the administrators of his small-town Wisconsin school district for doing nothing to stop — and sometimes even blaming him for — the years of persecution he had suffered, including an attack that ruptured his spleen. As Catherine A. Lugg, an education scholar specializing in public school issues, later wrote, “The Nabozny case clearly illustrates the public school’s historic power as the enforcer of expected norms regarding gender, heteronormativity, and homophobia.”

I once heard Helena Norberg-Hodge, an economic analyst and linguist who studies the impact of globalization on nonindustrialized societies, say that generational segregation was one of the worst kinds of segregation in the United States. The remark made a lasting impression: that segregation was what I escaped all those years ago. My first friends were much older than I was, and then a little older; these days they are all ages. We think it’s natural to sort children into single-year age cohorts and then process them like Fords on an assembly line, but that may be a reflection of the industrialization that long ago sent parents to work away from their children for several hours every day.

Since the 1970s, Norberg-Hodge has been visiting the northern Indian region of Ladakh. When she first arrived such age segregation was unknown there. “Now children are split into different age groups at school,” Norberg-Hodge has written. “This sort of leveling has a very destructive effect. By artificially creating social units in which everyone is the same age, the ability of children to help and to learn from each other is greatly reduced.” Such units automatically create the conditions for competition, pressuring children to be as good as their peers. “In a group of ten children of quite different ages,” Norberg-Hodge argues, “there will naturally be much more cooperation than in a group of ten twelve-year-olds.”

When you are a teenager, your peers judge you by exacting and narrow criteria. But those going through the same life experiences at the same time often have little to teach one another about life. Most of us are safer in our youth in mixed-age groups, and the more time we spend outside our age cohort, the broader our sense of self. It’s not just that adults and children are good for adolescents. The reverse is also true. The freshness, inquisitiveness, and fierce idealism of a wide-awake teenager can be exhilarating, just as the stony apathy of a shut-down teenager can be dismal.

A teenager can act very differently outside his or her peer group than inside it. A large majority of hate crimes and gang rapes are committed by groups of boys and young men, and studies suggest that the perpetrators are more concerned with impressing one another and conforming to their group’s codes than with actual hatred toward outsiders. Attempts to address this issue usually focus on changing the social values to which such groups adhere, but dispersing or diluting these groups seems worth consideration, too.

High school in America is too often a place where one learns to conform or take punishment — and conformity is itself a kind of punishment, one that can flatten out your soul or estrange you from it.

High school, particularly the suburban and small-town varieties, can … [more]
rebeccasolnit  2015  highschool  education  schools  schooling  adolescence  unschooling  deschooling  oppression  teens  youth  hierarchy  agesegregation  internships  apprenticeships  mentoring  mentors  popularity  jockocracies  sports  rapeculture  us  society  peers  hatecrime  conformity  values  helenanorberg-hodge  lcproject  openstudioproject  cooperation  competition  segregation  bullying  bullies  splc  persecution  gender  sexuality  heteronormativity  homophobia  angst  cruelty  suicide  dances  prom  misfits  friendship  learning  howwelearn  srg  glvo  edg 
june 2018 by robertogreco
Juxtapoz Magazine - Red Bull Arts New York Produces “RAMMELLZEE: It’s Not Who But What,” Examining the Groundbreaking Artist
"Elaborating on the ornate and abstract visual language of wild style graffiti, Rammellzee decided to create his own Alphabet, arming the letter for assault against the tyranny of our information age. A visionary, polymath and autodidact, Rammellzee infused urban vernacular with a complex and hermeneutic meta-structure that was informed equally by the illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages, the history of military strategy and design, radical politics and semiotics.

A persistent and formidable figure in New York’s Downtown scene since he moved from his childhood home in the Rockaways and relocated to a studio in Tribeca in the late ’70s, Rammellzee garnered a legion of followers (notably including A-One, Toxic and Kool Koor) to his school of Gothic Futurism and stormed public consciousness with his performances in films like Charlie Ahearn’s Wild Style and Jim Jarmusch’s Stranger Than Paradise. His most famous collaboration, however, was with his one-time friend and life-long nemesis Jean-Michel Basquiat, who immortalized him in his masterwork Hollywood Africans and produced Rammellzee’s signature single “Beat Bop,” releasing it on his own label, Tar Town Records. To this day, it is considered one of the foundational records of hip hop. After enjoying much success in the art world in the ’80s, Rammellzee would turn his back on the gallery system and spend the rest of his life producing the Afrofuturist masterpiece The Battle Station, in his studio loft.

Guided by his treatise on “Ikonoklastik Panzerism,” the first manifesto he wrote while still a teen, Rammellzee was at once the high priest of hip hop and a profoundly Conceptual artist. In his expansive cosmology, born of b-boy dynamics, the wordplay of rap and the social trespass of graffiti, Rammellzee inhabited multiple personae in an ongoing performance art where identity and even gender became fluid and hybrid. Over the past two decades of his life, increasingly focused on his studio practice, he created a mind-blowing universe of Garbage Gods, Letter Racers, Monster Models and his surrogate form, the vengeful deity of Gasolier. Though his art, working with toxic materials, and lifestyle brought about an early death in 2010, his ideas and art remain a legacy we’ll be trying to figure out for generations to come. —Carlo McCormick"

[video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjAfVHSeIvY ]

[See also:

"The Spectacular Personal Mythology of Rammellzee"
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/05/28/the-spectacular-personal-mythology-of-rammellzee

"The Rammellzee universe"
https://boingboing.net/2018/05/23/the-rammellzee-universe.html

"Art Excavated From Battle Station Earth" (2012)
https://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/26/arts/design/rammellzees-work-and-reputation-re-emerge.html

http://redbullartsnewyork.com/exhibition/rammellzee-racing-thunder/press/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rammellzee ]
rammellzee  via:subtopes  nyc  history  art  music  1970s  artists  video  basquiat  afrofuturism  jimjarmusch  charlieahearn  gothicfuturism  autodidacts  polymaths  jean-michelbasquiat  middleages  illuminatedmanuscripts  streetart  graffiti  edg  costumes  performance  glvo 
june 2018 by robertogreco
University of the Underground
"The University of the Underground was founded in February 2017, as a charity with a ANBI status (RSIN 8575.82.781), with the purpose of creating a global engagement with society as a whole, bringing generations together, to democratise access to public institutions and trigger changes and critical reflections through the use of creative, experiential and design practices. With an explicit focus on social dreaming, critical design, social actions, politics, theatrical practices, film, music and experiential practices; it aims to provide toolkits for members of the public to actively participate in revealing power structures in institutions. The University of the Underground supports unconventional research and practices that apprehend and challenge the formulation of culture, the manufacture and commodities of knowledge. The University of the Underground believes in a transnational form of education, which goes across borders and beyond nation-states. We are based in Amsterdam but we are nurturing other tuition-free global initiatives.

We work on multiple outlets:

WE ARE AN EDUCATIVE STRUCTURE
What is the Master Design of Experiences?
What is the structure of the MA Design of Experiences?
Who is encouraged to apply?
Why is it a tuition free programme?
Why is it most urgent?
What is the output of the programme? What do students create?
What is the Design of Experiences' manifesto?
What are the criterias of the MA Design of Experiences?
Is the MA Design of Experiences an accredited MA curriculum?

WE ARE A CULTURAL INSTITUTION SUPPORTING UNCONVENTIONAL RESEARCH PRACTICES
We are a research office for unconventional creative practices
We are producing live events: The Dreamers of the Day talk series
We are a library
We are a radio station and sound studio"
lcproject  openstudioproject  education  culture  design  research  glvo  learning  altgdp  democracy  politics  change  amsterdam  alternative 
april 2018 by robertogreco
La Scuola Open Source: Education and Research for cultural, social and technological Innovation
"We’re a community of digital artisans, makers, artists, designers, programmers, pirates, dreamers and innovators. We act together, testing new research, teaching, mentoring, co-living practices and models. We are involved with: research for public and private interest; teaching for learners, freelancers and managers of all ages. We design social and technological innovation.

☛ Non-linear learning paths
☛ Learning by doing
☛ New professions & skills
☛ A sharing space to grow up"

[from: http://lascuolaopensource.xyz/en/manifesto

"La Scuola Open Source is a space dedicated to social and technological innovation, where to perform educational activities, cultural performances and research projects:

☛ A hackerspace, where people with shared interest in the fields of craftsmanship, technology, science, visual arts, poetry, editing, robotics, domotics, biology, electronics and more can gather, socialize and/or cooperate;

☛ A re-use promotion center where obsolete technology is collected with the aim of promoting their smart upcycling;

☛ A FabLab: a small workshop offering customized digital fabrication services, equipped with a kit of fast prototyping tools (3d printing, laser cut, etc.)

♥ This opens up to new opportunities.

↓ We believe in

☆ Non-linearity
Founding principle of Plato’s accademia: “a free individual should not be forced, as a slave, to learn any discipline”, diametrically opposed to the monastic principle (and that of today’s school system), well represented by Benedict’s rule: “Speaking and teaching is a teacher’s job, staying silent and listening is what a disciple should do”.

☆ Co-design
Design as a “catalyst to collectively redefine our relationship with reality”, envisioning things for how they could be, altogether.

☆ Open work
The School’s structure allows us to build - by co-designing it - its teachings offering in an open way, allowing us to evolve each of its aspects with time.

☆ Multiverse
In modern physics, multiverse is a hypothesis postulating many co-existing universe beyond our space-time dimensions.

☆ Antifragility
The world around us is mutating and ever-changing. Upon this constant transformation we are building a model capable to adapt to mutations and making good of any erraticity and change happening. (N.Taleb, Antifragile).

☆ Learning by doing
We believe that teaching should be always combined with a continuous activity of research and exploration. Doing things and learning while doing, situational learning, are absolutely central in our vision and in the project we intend to realize.☆ Do it yourselfWe promote an alternative and aware approach to designing and production processes, stimulating self-production as a form of self-employment.

☆ Opensource
Open source, in its incremental logic, represents the blueprint for a collaborative, adaptive and recursive cultural system. We believe that such approach needs to be used in all fields of knowledge, so to enable possibilities for everyone.

☆ Hacker ethics
Linux’s big innovation was not the Operating System, but the open social dynamic that was set up to make that project happen.

☆ Sharing
We welcome people, ideas and projects to share space, knowledge and values. Through a constant and mutual exchange, both a collective consciousness and a better informative quality can be quickly developed.

☆ Osmosis
La Scuola Open Source intends to facilitate and generate osmotic processes between experiences and skills, aiming to increase everyone’s intrinsic value for the community.

↓ Our value proposition

☛ Access to future, a better one
We therefore need to train ourselves, learn by doing, fail, consult with others, cooperate, work on projects with a tangible impact on the real world.

☛ Customized and non-linear learning paths
We believe that people need to be pushed to ask questions, curiosity being the engine of progress. We therefore want to apply the open source approach to humanities as well, promoting a transversal and peer-to-peer approach to the learning topic.

☛ Spaces for social aggregation to learn in a cooperative context
It is necessary to restore sharing spaces and practices, re-discovering the ability to build relationships and team up to achieve common objectives, leveraging on education and learning as vehicles for a social and economical renewing process. Spaces where to discover and cultivate curiosity, turning it into the engine to each one’s learning path, a self-built path within a virtuous system, providing input and stimula on several channels and levels.

☛ New professional figures
Tomorrow new jobs will rise, while others could disappear. Things change, therefore we need to change things. We have to reform this educational sector in a generative way, keeping in mind the context’s evolution into account and making it mutate within time, continuously adapting."
lcproject  openstudioproject  altgdp  learning  communities  community  design  pirates  nonlinear  learningbydoing  unschooling  deschooling  sharing  space  italy  glvo  italia  bari  non-linear  opensource  linux  osmosis  hacker  hackerethics  antifragility  multiverse  co-design  resuse  hackerspaces  art  technology  alinear  linearity 
april 2018 by robertogreco
The Crunchy Rice at the Bottom of the Pot, How Different Cultures Cook and Eat It | Bon Appetit
"Don't waste the crunchy stuff at the bottom of the pot! It's a cherished treat from Spain to Senegal to Thailand. Here's how to make it even yummier"
rice  food  cooking  glvo  srg  2013 
december 2017 by robertogreco
Software Are Thou: Knit One, Compute One with Kris Howard - YouTube
"Knitting and computing may seem completely unconnected, but they're very similar. Every beginning knitter learns that there are only two stitches - knit and purl. So knitting is inherently binary, and that opens up a world of possibilities for a coder.

Knitted fabric can be used to encode data in a number of ways, from QR code mittens to a fluffy red virus scarf. Patterns themselves become algorithms, and new syntax proposals allow for automated testing, compilers, and even visualisers. Crafters and programmers are working together in the burgeoning Maker scene to hack hardware, create innovative e-textiles, and push the computational limits of sticks and string.

In this Software Art Thou talk, developer and knitting enthusiast Kris Howard shows how knitting can make you a better coder."
knitting  coding  krishoward  2017  glvo  punchcards  jacquardloom  charts  schematics  notation  patterns 
november 2017 by robertogreco
Leslie Watts Fine Art: Drypoint with a pasta maker
[via: https://twitter.com/lesliewattsart/status/893142096139440128

"Did you know that you can use a pasta maker as a printing press? My first drypoint, scratched on the lid of a plastic salad container.

I used a scalpel.

The soft white lids from yogourt containers are interesting, but the lines are mushier. I like these transparent, more rigid plastic.

So [to prevent slippage] now I roll card+printing paper in 1" and then carefully place the plate between. Then roll slowly & pull it out the bottom."

"I first put a drawing under the plastic for guidelines. Then I rub graphite powder into the scratches so they show against white paper."

"Takua intaglio, Mars Black."

"You can find lots of videos on YouTube. Search for drypoint technique and pasta maker printmaking. Also intaglio techniques."]

[Some videos:

Rosie Scribblah: "In this short and informative film Rosie Scribblah shows you how to use use a recycled, domestic pasta machine for dry point etching. Yes it works. And the cat helped too."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEE1hzz_xdI

Paul O'Dowd: "Vlog 0037 - Pasta Machine Print Press"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrPIZkocAOA

Pasta press modified to be better for regular printmaking: "What stops a lot of people from printmaking at home is that they don't have a press. By adapting a pasta press there is a cheap easy to use press that can make small postcard size prints."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IywvwD8shg

World of Woodcraft: "Printing with a pasta press and learning an art cheat at the same time. In this video I share an inexpensive method of creating interesting prints."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtuEL2mSOtk ]
classideas  printmaking  printing  art  2017  sfsh  pastamakers  lesliewatts  glvo 
august 2017 by robertogreco
Seasonal recipe guide: Preparing meals fresh from the market
"These recipes showcase the best of Bay Area seasonal produce. Many come from our region's top chefs, and all have been tested in the Chronicle Test Kitchen. Go to your local market and get cooking."
food  recipes  california  sarahfritsche  seasons  produce  sanfrancisco  bayarea  glvo 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Kilometre.Paris – Travel by Fashion
"“Kilometre is a luxury brand like no other.

We believe that the discovering the world is the ultimate luxury. Our clothes are destined for travellers and for those who love life. We combine flavours, destinations, literature, sound, and music to create a community of travellers for whom beauty has no limits or frontiers. Kilometre.Paris surfs the waves of fashion to travel in original and unexpected ways. The brand has launched a series of exclusive designs embroidered onto 19th century white dress shirts from the south of France. The exquisitely detailed embroidery is done by hand in Mexico and India, and each shirt is based on the idea of travel. Company founder Alexandra Senes (former editor of Jalouse magazine, judge on the French version of Project Runway, consultant for luxury brands such as Hermes and Harpers Bazaar), carefully selected over 20 up-and-coming destinations (the St. Tropezs of tomorrow) and teamed up with designers and artisans to transform the shirts into illustrations of our destinations. With each shirt comes a “second skin” and a passport containing a guide to the destination.”

[See also: https://www.instagram.com/kilometre.paris/ ]
glvo  embroidery  textiles  clothing  fashion  travel  geography 
july 2017 by robertogreco
A Book About Colab (and Related Activities) - A new publication and fundraising edition - Printed Matter
"Printed Matter is pleased to announce the publication of A Book About Colab (and Related Activities). Edited by Max Schumann, Director of Printed Matter, and with a Foreword and Afterword by art writer and Colab member Walter Robinson, the book traces the output of Collaborative Projects Inc. (aka Colab), the highly energetic gathering of young New York downtown artists active from the late 1970’s through the mid 1980’s.

A Book About Colab serves as an exhaustive homage to the group’s work and a testimonial about their particular practice of collaboration, collectivity, and social engagement, while reflecting an iconic period of NYC cultural history. Advocating a form of cultural activism that was purely artist driven, the group created artworks, negotiated venues, curated shows, crafted their own PR, and engaged in discourse that responded to the political themes and predicaments of their time, among them the recessions of the 1970’s, the Reagan era of budget cuts and nuclear armament, the housing crisis and gentrification in New York City, and other pressing social issues.

In form, A Book About Colab captures the busy energy of the group as it focused on a battery of overlapping projects staged in artists’ lofts, vacant storefronts and abandoned buildings, as well as on the airwaves and in print. With extensive documentation of the printed material and media (posters, books, ephemera, films, broadcasts) steadily produced in the course of their collaborative undertakings, A Book About Colab offers a vivid account of the diverse aesthetics and concerns of the group as they embarked on X-Magazine, The Real Estate Show, The Times Square Show, the A. More Store, the cable access TV show Potato Wolf, and a myriad of other projects.

To illustrate the broader reach of the group, the book also explores a number of Colab-related efforts which took place in addition to their communal activity. Artists’ initiatives such as Fashion Moda, the New Cinema, Spanner Magazine, and ABC No Rio, while not purely Colab projects, derived their vitality from its members and reflected the spirit of that community.

In keeping with the democratic “by and for artists” ethos of Colab, the publication places this material alongside newly solicited texts from many of the group’s members – a mix of reflections and anecdotes, statements, manifestos, and excerpts from the ‘Colab Annual Report’, which provide a close perspective on the meaning of Colab for those who came into its orbit.

A Book About Colab (and Related Activities) is published by Printed Matter, printed full color, paperback, 256 pages, in an edition of 1000 copies. The book features a two-sided color wraparound cover, with the interior showing a selection of Fingerpaint Portraits of Colab group members by Cara Perlman.

The publication is a companion piece to the exhibition A Show About Colab (and Related Activities), organized by Schumann at Printed Matter, October 15-November 30, 2011.

Printed in Canada by The Prolific Group.
Edited by Max Schumann
Design Direction by Garrick Gott,
Design by Yoshié Hozumi"

[via: https://www.instagram.com/p/BUg334xgPhf/ via ??]
books  art  collaboration  collectivism  collectivity  glvo  altgdp  lcproject  openstudioproject  printedmatter  walterrobinson  colab  collaborativeprojectsinc  1970s  1980s  socialengagement  posters  ephemera  film  broadcasts  community 
june 2017 by robertogreco
Tyrian purple - Wikipedia
"Tyrian purple (Greek, πορφύρα, porphyra, Latin: purpura), also known as Tyrian red, royal purple, imperial purple or imperial dye, is a bromine-containing reddish-purple natural dye. It is a secretion produced by several species of predatory sea snails in the family Muricidae, rock snails originally known by the name Murex. In ancient times, extracting this dye involved tens of thousands of snails and substantial labor, and as a result, the dye was highly valued."



"The dye substance is a mucous secretion from the hypobranchial gland of one of several species of medium-sized predatory sea snails that are found in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. These are the marine gastropods Bolinus brandaris the spiny dyemurex, (originally known as Murex brandaris Linnaeus, 1758), the banded dye-murex Hexaplex trunculus, the rock-shell Stramonita haemastoma,[10][11] and less commonly a number of other species such as Bolinus cornutus. The dye is an organic compound of bromine (i.e., an organobromine compound), a class of compounds often found in algae and in some other sea life, but much more rarely found in the biology of land animals.

In nature the snails use the secretion as part of their predatory behaviour in order to sedate prey and as an antimicrobial lining on egg masses.[12][13] The snail also secretes this substance when it is attacked by predators, or physically antagonized by humans (e.g., poked). Therefore, the dye can be collected either by "milking" the snails, which is more labour-intensive but is a renewable resource, or by collecting and destructively crushing the snails. David Jacoby remarks that "twelve thousand snails of Murex brandaris yield no more than 1.4 g of pure dye, enough to colour only the trim of a single garment."[14]

Many other species worldwide within the family Muricidae, for example Plicopurpura pansa,[15] from the tropical eastern Pacific, and Plicopurpura patula[16] from the Caribbean zone of the western Atlantic, can also produce a similar substance (which turns into an enduring purple dye when exposed to sunlight) and this ability has sometimes also been historically exploited by local inhabitants in the areas where these snails occur. (Some other predatory gastropods, such as some wentletraps in the family Epitoniidae, seem to also produce a similar substance, although this has not been studied or exploited commercially.) The dog whelk Nucella lapillus, from the North Atlantic, can also be used to produce red-purple and violet dyes."
classideas  sfsh  dyes  animals  color  history  purple  snails  glvo 
may 2017 by robertogreco
California Today: A Strike Looms in Hollywood [bookmark not about this] - The New York Times
"To escape the concrete and clamor of San Francisco, you might drive 45 minutes to the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge and slip into a redwood forest.

Or you could go the center of the city.

There rises Mount Sutro, an 80-acre hill forested by blue gum eucalyptus trees. Nourished by the enveloping San Francisco fog, many are more than 100 feet tall.

Among the reserve’s inhabitants are coyotes, red foxes, hoary bats and ringneck snakes. At least 80 species of bird have been spotted, including great horned owls. [http://ebird.org/ebird/hotspot/L1011743?yr=all&m=&rank=mrec&hs_sortBy=taxon_order&hs_o=desc ]

Sarah Gustafson, a reader in San Francisco, said she walks regularly with her dog along Mount Sutro’s meandering five miles of trails. [http://www.peasepress.com/sutromap.pdf ] She shared a picture she took in December.

Entering the forest is almost immediately transporting, she said. After a few minutes of walking, the clatter of the city fades to silence.

“It’s really a fascinating place, especially on a foggy day,” said Ms. Gustafson, 27. “It’s got this sort of ethereal vibe.”

Mount Sutro has not been immune to the tree death sweeping California’s drought-stricken forests. A survey last year found that roughly a quarter of its trees were dead. A revitalization plan calls in part for clearing out the dead trees and introducing more native species (the eucalyptus are from Australia). [https://www.ucsf.edu/sites/default/files/Sutro-Management-Plan-TAC-Draft-081216.pdf ]

If you want to pitch in, they’re looking for volunteers.

Sutro Stewards [https://www.sutrostewards.org/ ], a nonprofit conservation group, invites people to help with trail and habitat restoration on the first and third Saturdays of each month. Get the details here. [https://www.sutrostewards.org/events] "
sanfrancisco  nature  mountsutro  glvo  2017  animals  parks  birds  coyotes 
april 2017 by robertogreco
Urban Omnibus » City as Playground
"How does the design of your childhood environment affect you? For the better part of a decade, painter Julia Jacquette has been excavating memories of her childhood playground on the Upper West Side. Her family history dovetails with a chapter in New York’s built environment that has been largely forgotten: a “playground revolution” in the 1960s and ’70s. Designers like Paul Friedberg, Richard Dattner, and Jacquette’s own father created innovative adventure playgrounds, child-size cities for imaginative play.

Adventure playgrounds appeared all over New York City, from Central Park to residential buildings and vacant lots. They were part of larger changes in the design and use of the city’s public spaces during the Mayoral administration of John V. Lindsay (1966-1973) that responded to accelerating suburbanization, changing demographics, displeasure with the functionalist environments of urban renewal — in short, a sense of impending “urban crisis.” The playgrounds were meant to make the city more inclusive, more attractive, and more malleable: a place where everyone could thrive.

What happens to a playground when it’s torn down? Many of the playgrounds are now gone, others have been renovated beyond recognition. In her graphic memoir, Playground of My Mind, Julia Jacquette revisits and reconstructs the playgrounds that marked her childhood and have stayed with her ever since. We are pleased to publish an excerpt of Playground of My Mind in the slide show above. Then, Jacquette and writer James Trainor, who is also at work on a book on the city’s playgrounds, explore their childhood memories and grown-up investigations of a critical chapter in the history of New York’s public spaces."
cities  urban  urbanism  2016  jamestrainor  juliajacquette  publicspace  playgrounds  sfsh  glvo  nyc  illustration  childhood  paulfriedberg  richarddattner  sesamestreet  rossryanjacquette  adventureplaygrounds  children  play  aldovaneyck 
march 2017 by robertogreco
FOR-SITE Foundation
"Established in 2003, the FOR-SITE Foundation is dedicated to the creation, understanding, and presentation of art about place. Our exhibitions and commissions, artist residencies, and education programs are based in the belief that art can inspire fresh thinking and important dialogue about our natural and cultural environment.

FOR-SITE has broken new ground and provided a model for engaging audiences through artistic collaborations on national park land. In the unprecedented project @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz, the internationally renowned Chinese artist and activist created a series of new works for Alcatraz Island, the notorious prison turned national park. Raising urgent questions about freedom of expression and human rights, the exhibition revealed new perspectives on the island for nearly 900,000 visitors during its run in 2014–15. The 2012 exhibition International Orange, enjoyed by more than 145,000 visitors, celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge with site-specific installations at historic Fort Point. FOR-SITE projects in the Presidio of San Francisco include Andy Goldsworthy’s installations Spire, Wood Line, and Tree Fall and the acclaimed Presidio Habitats exhibition, for which artists, designers, and architects created animal habitats in the park.

The foundation’s residency program offers artists space and funding for reflection, production, and exhibition. Residencies take place at a 50-acre site on the edge of the South Yuba River gorge, just outside the historic gold-mining town of Nevada City, California. FOR-SITE partners with museums and other institutions to show the work created in these residencies. Past artists in residence include Mark Dion, Chris Drury, Richard Long, Cornelia Parker, and Shi Guorui; museum partners include the de Young Museum, Oakland Museum of California, Nevada Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

FOR-SITE’s education program enriches the learning experience of graduate-level art students by offering educators the space and resources to create courses focused on their interests. The foundation provides access to the Nevada City residency site and funding that covers project expenses. Participants have included such distinguished faculty as landscape architect Walter Hood (University of California, Berkeley), artist Donald Fortescue (California College of the Arts), and designer Amy Franceschini (San Francisco Art Institute).

The FOR-SITE Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization. It is governed by a five-person board of directors and supported by contributions from individuals and foundations."
glvo  art  sanfrancisco  architecture  environment  landart 
march 2017 by robertogreco
Youth Art Exchange
"Youth Art Exchange sparks a shared creative practice between professional artists and public high school students, furthering youth as leaders, thinkers, and artists in San Francisco. To accomplish this, Youth Art Exchange offers citywide arts, high quality education programming, field trips, events, and more including:

Our current disciplines include Architecture + Construction, Black + White Photography, Digital Beatmaking, Fashion Design, Dance, and Printmaking."
sanfrancisco  youth  art  glvo  edg  srg 
december 2016 by robertogreco
The American Thanksgiving - The New York Times
"Americans all come from somewhere. Their families may have roamed the continent for thousands of years before the Mayflower dropped anchor. They may have been on the ship. They may have come on later ones, freely or in chains. They may have come by truck, train or airplane. They came. And their journeys are reflected in the food they or their descendants eat. The Times asked 15 families from across the country to show us the holiday dishes they make that speak most eloquently about their heritage and traditions. The stories of these home cooks help tell the story of the nation, the story of who we are. — SAM SIFTON"
diversity  thanksgiving  us  2016  food  recipes  families  video  glvo  classideas  immigrants  immigration  culture  society  cooking 
november 2016 by robertogreco
Imperfect Produce-Ugly Produce. Delivered.
"In America, 1 in 5 fruits and vegetables grown don't fit grocery stores' strict cosmetic standards -- the crooked carrot, the curvy cucumber, the undersized apple -- usually causing them to go to waste.

Imperfect's mission is to find a home for these "ugly" fruits and veggies, starting with our produce delivery subscription in the Bay. And because they look a little funny, you get the 30-50% off!"

[via: https://twitter.com/shu/status/789887617563111425 ]
produce  waste  food  sanfrancisco  oakland  bayarea  glvo 
october 2016 by robertogreco
Darning Sampler | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
"When we talk about sustainability, why don’t we talk about mending?

The Netherlands-based Platform 21=Repairing project and its offshoot, Repair Cafés, do just that. Platform 21=Repairing published a manifesto extolling the benefits of mending, and the Repair Cafés bring together skilled tinkerers and those with items in need of repair together in a free social space over tea and coffee. Both of these initiatives engage the community, promote the sharing of hand skills, and resurrect a culture of caring enough to repair.

This darning sampler is also Dutch and was made in 1735 by a girl of about 12. She was confronted with a piece of fabric with 17 square-cut holes and with all four corners cut away. In the center and lower right corner she carefully darned the missing bits back into place and the rest she repaired with needle weaving (what you might call re-weaving if you were at the dry cleaners with a hole in your favorite wool pants). Each hole is filled in, thread by thread, with a different woven pattern to demonstrate the girl’s skill at repairing weave structures found in common household and clothing textiles such as herringbone, birds-eye twill, etc. Bright colors were originally selected to make it easier for the instructor to check for accuracy, but also contribute to a wonderfully fresh and modern overall effect.

While the textile industry is striving along with other industries to create fabrics from recycled, rapidly renewable or organic materials, the only truly sustainable option is to consume less. This sampler shows a reverence for the humble everyday objects that fill our homes (such as napkins, dishtowels, jeans, etc.) that we cannot afford not to emulate."

[Also here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BKmn7ktj6T2/ ]
cooper-hewitt  sustainability  via:litherland  clothing  fashion  textiles  fabrics  reuse  mending  glvo  repair  repairing  slow  recycling  platform21  darning  susanbrown  consumption 
september 2016 by robertogreco
A Textile Collage | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
"Tsugihagi was designed by Reiko Sudo (b. 1953), one of Japan’s most important contemporary textile designers. Educated at Musashino Art University, she is currently managing director of the Japanese company and store NUNO where she has been since 1984. NUNO produces textiles of extraordinary ingenuity and beauty. Sudo and the other designers at NUNO combine tradition and advanced technologies with remarkable creativity, which led them to the forefront of textile design field.

In 1996, NUNO began working with various kinds of embroidery techniques to create new effects. Tsugihagi, designed in 1997, is a delicate combination of embroidery and collage techniques made with remnants of NUNO fabrics that are laid out to cover the surface of a base fabric. The remnants are stitched down by sewing machine, and the base fabric is dissolved away leaving a lacy and net-like patchwork of different fabrics. Each piece is unique and twenty years later they continue to produce these textiles. Tsugihagi can be used as a window covering or for other interior purposes. This type of embroidery technique, in which the ground fabric is destroyed, began in the early 1880s when protein fibers like silk or wool were more than likely used because they could be dissolved by a solution of caustic soda or potash, leaving the embroidery thread of cellulose fibers like cotton or linen intact."
reikosudo  japan  textiles  glvo  cooper-hewitt  matildamcquaid  design  art  fabrics  embroidery  collage  nuno  sewing  remnants  reuse  sustainability 
september 2016 by robertogreco
No-waste Cotton Cape | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
"Resourcefulness has been a key component of Japanese life for centuries. In design, one sees this most dramatically with materials and objects being repurposed, recycled, or reused. This nineteenth-century cloak is called Hikimawashi kappa, which literally means pull-around (hikimawashi) cape or raincoat (kappa). Capes were not common in sixteenth-century Japan. This style was modeled on the Capa overcoat, which Spanish missionaries wore in the Momoyama era (1573–1615). The raincoat would originally have been made waterproof with tohyu-gami, oil paper made from the paulownia tree, which would have been encased between the lining and the outer layer. Kappa became a more prevalent outerwear garment during the Meiji era.

This cape-like raincoat with a stand-up collar is tied around the neck by bone clasps and belted at the waist by a knotted cord. This garment is made from leftover indigo-dyed homespun cotton collected from home production or purchased from local commercial weavers. Traditionally, broken yarn of random colors was collected after weaving. They were reused to create new fabrics called zanshi-ori, zanshi meaning “vestige” or “leftover.” Cotton thread was a precious commodity during the late Edo period in rural Japan and none was wasted, regardless of how rough or worn. For instance, if the lengths of yarn were not long enough, they were simply knotted together to create a longer strand with varied shades of blue. Because of the use of highly diverse remnant threads in the weft, combined with a more regulated warp, an overall pattern of irregular striations is created. This raincoat boasts a unique woven texture with very fine dark blue warps and thick recycled cotton wefts. It also reflects a spirit of eco-friendly and sustainable textiles and the idea of constantly finding ways to repurpose materials at hand, with nothing wasted in production."
matildamcquaid  cooper-hewitt  design  japan  clothing  clothes  glvo  textiles  resourcefulness  capes  weaving  remnants  reuse  sustainability 
september 2016 by robertogreco
Reclaiming Paper and Textiles | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
"Newsworthy is a wallpaper made of recycled newspaper and nylon filament. It is designed by New York-based textile designer Lori Weitzner and is woven in India on traditional handlooms using the coiled newsprint for the weft and nylon filaments as the warp. After the paper is woven, it is shipped back to the United States where it is paper backed to facilitate being pasted to the wall. The weaving process is handled by Xylem Papercraft, a design studio in Noida outside of Delhi, India, that manufactures and exports handmade paper for stationery products distributed globally. The company won the UNESCO seal of Excellence in 2006 for its innovative and sustainable approach, working mostly with paper waste and other reclaimed materials.

Xylem has also produced the one-of-a-kind covers of the newly published book Scraps: Fashion, Textiles, and Creative Reuse. In the spirit of the book’s content dedicated to recovering textile waste, the covers are done of hand block-printing textile padding cloths. Traditionally hand block-printing is made on a padded table covered with a muslin backing cloth called achada in Indian. With each impression, ink is deposited on the textile, but also bleeds through the padded surface below. Over time, fragments of a variety of patterns and colors accumulate on the backing cloth, which must be changed every few days. These discarded achada were used for the cover of Scraps: Fashion, Textiles, and Creative Reuse."
fashion  textiles  cooper-hewitt  recycling  glvo  loriweitzer  delhi  india  xylem  design  achada 
september 2016 by robertogreco
Green Glossary: A for Artisanal | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
"Artisanal work is a practice that relies on hand skills to produce distinctive objects on a small scale, outside the industrial system. Promoting artisanal production by working with skillful artisans and prioritizing the handmade is a good alternative to the “$5 t-shirt” industry that is responsible for alarming overproduction and waste. Since the 1960s, drastic changes have affected the fashion industry, shifting from small made-to-order and artisanal runs to globalized and highly industrialized collections in order to reach lower prices, sell more, and make more profit. This phenomenon has led to a severe loss of value and quality of garments. Quality of craftsmanship is a key component to ensure the lasting value and durability of our clothes. “Slow Fashion” takes its inspiration from the concept of “Slow Food,” a movement started in Italy by Carlo Petrini in the late 1980s that encouraged a sustainable agriculture with slower production schedules, fair wages for the farmers and lower carbon footprints. American fashion brands such as dosa by Christina Kim, one of the three designers presented in SCRAPS: Fashion, Textiles and Creative Reuse, Alabama Chanin, a label founded by Natalie Chanin, and Study NY directed by New-York-based designer Tara Saint James, all embrace a similar way of designing and producing clothing.

Christina Kim has indexed a variety of artisanal techniques, textiles, people, and organizations and has shared this list on dosa’s website in the form of a beautifully illustrated glossary. Each entry includes a picture, a short description, indication of geographical origin, and tells how it entered the company’s history. This approach not only provides better quality and longevity to the garments, but it also changes the dynamics between designers, makers, and users and raises awareness of the craft of clothes-making."
clothes  artisanal  design  glvo  textiles  small  slow  fabrics  slowfashion  carlopetrini  christinakim  creativereuse  reuse  longevity  quality  nataliechanin  alabamachanin  scraps  magalianberthon  cooper-hewitt 
september 2016 by robertogreco
Life of a Jamdani | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
"Jamdani is a Persian term for the extremely fine handwoven figured muslins made in India and Bangladesh. Thicker cotton threads laid individually into the weft produce the illusion of a suspended pattern on the surface of an almost transparent cloth. Intricate color motifs seem to float on the cloth. Jamdani is generally thought to have derived from jam-daar, a Persian weaving term for floral art in cotton thread, there are other possible sources, including jama, the Bengali word for dress.

The system of production, from dyeing thread to setting up the loom, is determined by the length of jamdani’s most marketable end-product, a sari. Looms are set up with warps eleven meters long, each warp yielding two saris, 5.5 meters in length. The patterns in these two saris will not be repeated again by the weaver.

Producing jamdani is very labor intensive with specialties divided amongst workers by religion, village and especially gender. Pit looms are still used and the original throw shuttle has been replaced by a more mechanical technique using a fly shuttle, which is faster and more efficient, but still depends upon the hand for guidance. The best quality jamdani is produced from locally grown fine cotton and is always woven during the monsoon season when the humid air prevents the fine threads from becoming brittle and breaking. Traditionally the plain weave background was white, off-white or grey, though today, colors are chosen from a vibrant array.

In fall of 2001, Christina Kim, founder of the clothing and accessories line dosa, attended a handloom fair in Ahmedabad, India where she was inspired by the transparency and unusual mix of colors and bold patterns of jamdani fabrics. Working within the eleven-meter format and tied to the idiosyncrasies of the individual weaver, Kim began to use jamdani in her designs for dosa.

Since 2003 she has used 11,000 meters of jamdani. The cloth is shipped to Los Angeles (the headquarters of dosa), where it is cut and sewn into garments. Remnants from this clothing production have been collected from the cutting room to make shopping bags, and since 2007 are inventoried, catalogued, and sorted by size and color to make new running yardage. The scraps for the new fabrics are reassembled in Gujarat, India.

This recycled panel is made of large remnants of plain, pattern-less jamdani, joined to make a four-meter base cloth onto which smaller, patterned scraps are positioned and basted into place. Hand appliqué adds another layer of texture to the patchwork cloth. Representing ideas of sustainability, longevity, and preciousness, Christine Kim’s jamdanis give new life to pieces of cloth."
textiles  design  persia  india  bangladesh  christinakim  jamdani  recycling  appliqué  cloth  longevity  sustainability  preciousness  fabrics  glvo  cooper-hewitt  matildamcquaid 
september 2016 by robertogreco
Artist in Residence Program
"About the Recology Artist in Residence Program
The Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco is a unique art and education program that provides Bay Area artists with access to discarded materials, a stipend, and a large studio space at the Recology San Francisco Transfer Station and Recycling Center. By supporting artists who work with recycled materials, Recology hopes to encourage people to conserve natural resources and promote new ways of thinking about art and the environment.

Since 1990, over 100 professional artists and twenty student artists have completed residencies at this one-of-a-kind program and have made art from discarded materials. The studio is located at the San Francisco Solid Waste Transfer and Recycling Center (Recology San Francisco), a 47-acre facility that includes the trash transfer station (where trash goes before being sent to landfill), the Household Hazardous Waste Facility, the Organics Annex, the Public Disposal and Recycling Area ("The Dump"), and other recycling areas. The facility, which is located west of Highway 101 near Candlestick Park, also is home to a three-acre sculpture garden containing work by former artists-in-residence.

During their residencies, artists have scavenging privileges and 24-hour access to the company's well-equipped art studio. Artists speak to elementary school classes and adult tour groups about the experience of working with recycled materials. At the conclusion of their residency, Recology hosts a two-day public exhibition and reception for the artists featuring the artwork made during their residency. When the residency ends, artists contribute artwork to the program's permanent collection and these pieces continue to be shown in off-site exhibitions that promote recycling and reuse."
sanfrancisco  residencies  art  via:lizette  recycling  ecology  glvo  recology 
september 2016 by robertogreco
Pressure Mounts to Reform Our Throwaway Clothing Culture by Marc Gunther: Yale Environment 360
"Americans dispose of about 12.8 million tons of textiles annually — 80 pounds for each man, woman, and child. In the U.S. and around the world, a growing number of environmentalists and clothing industry executives say it’s time to end the wasteful clothing culture and begin making new apparel out of old items on a large scale."



"London-based Worn Again began “upcycling” a decade ago by turning textile waste — including discarded McDonald’s uniforms, Virgin Atlantic airplane seats, and prison blankets — into clothes, shoes, and bags. But founder Cyndi Rhoades soon realized that making consistent products out of a variety of materials was “a very difficult business.” She turned her attention to recycling cotton and polyester, which poses a different set of obstacles. Mechanical recycling of cotton lowers its quality as chopped-up fibers get shorter and less soft, while recycled polyester costs more than new. Harder still is recycling clothes made from a blend of fabrics, which must be separated.

After several years of research, Worn Again joined forces with H&M and the PUMA division of Kering to develop chemical processes that will capture polyester and cotton from old textiles that have been broken down to the molecular level. Says Rhoades: “The holy grail is a process that can separate blended fibers, recapture the raw materials, and reintroduce them into the supply chain at a price competitive with their virgin counterparts.” The technology has been proven in a lab, but Rhoades declined to predict when it will be deployed more widely.


A partnership between Levi Strauss and Seattle-based startup Evrnu recently brought forth the world’s first pair of jeans made of post-consumer cotton waste. A preliminary lifecycle assessment of the product generated encouraging results, according to Paul Dillinger, vice president and head of global product innovation at Levi Strauss. “Cotton cultivation versus Evrnu, we’re looking at a 98 percent reduction in water use,” says Dillinger, noting that cotton is cultivated in places like China, India, and Pakistan that are — or could soon be — water-stressed.

Stacy Flynn, a former Target executive who is the co-founder of Evrnu, says its patented process purifies cotton garment waste, converts it to a pulp, and extrudes it as a clean new fiber that is softer than silk and stronger than cotton. Evrnu expects to announce partnerships with two more retailers soon, one of which wants to make knit shirts out of textile waste. The other will focus on footwear.

Flynn says: “Our goal — and we’re not there yet — is to use no virgin product in the creation of our fiber, and create no waste.” "
clothing  recycling  mending  textiles  us  fashion  environment  sustainability  wste  pollution  upcycling  levis  levistrauss  wornagain  glvo  h&m  puma  nike  patagonnia  zaa  thenorthface  eileenfisher  americaneagle  cotton  fabrics 
september 2016 by robertogreco
Female Artists Give Advice to Women in Art World
"6. Nyeema Morgan

My first thought is what would I tell myself if I had to start from the beginning of my career. There is so much to be said, so many caveats. I think in this cultural moment one of the greatest detriments to a young artist’s creative practice is conformity. The desire to be desired, to be ‘liked’, for every utterance to be acknowledged and lauded.

It would be too easy and expected to accept the rewards of self-exploitation. Resist. Contrary to popular belief it is not an enriching practice of feminist empowerment. Instead, cultivate a critical mind. Always ask questions of yourself, your work and the world around you. Learn to embrace challenge and avoid settling into a way of working that is too comfortable. This doesn’t mean your should live in a place of agony.

Do not torture yourself, but find the joy in what you are making, dismantling, and discovering."



"10. Adrian Piper

First, you should be clear about what you are aiming for: (1) public approval, (2) commercial success, or (3) art-historical significance. These three are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and there is nothing wrong with any of them. But my remarks address only (3).

The best means to art-historical significance is financial independence. Don’t even think about trying to earn a living from your artwork, or else you’ll start producing the artwork that will earn you a living. A trust fund will divert your energies in a different way. The best means to financial independence is a day job in a different field. Waiting tables, driving a cab, office work, and teaching are traditional alternatives for artists, but the digital revolution opens up many others. All of them will free you to make the work you are most deeply driven to make, regardless of whether or not anyone else likes it or buys it. That’s the work that’s most interesting and important to you. You won’t have time to waste on producing work that doesn’t obsess you.

Your day job will also free you to be selective about what you do in order to promote your artwork, and with whom. It will protect your pursuit of quality. That’s one reliable path to art-historical significance (although of course not the only one)."
art  artists  money  adrianpiper  purpose  glvo  cv  freedom  fundding  compromise  ideals  values  nyeemamorgan 
july 2016 by robertogreco
PodOmatic | Best Free Podcasts: Techlandia 97 - Unschooling w/ @rogre
"A chat with Roberto Greco about unschooling and other topics. Rob just finished up the year teaching at Hillbrook School in Los Gatos. He has a great take on how learners should learn, and uses this philosophy by unschooling with his own children. Austin Kleon was mentioning Rob on Twitter, so we are hoping that one of my heroes will listen to this episode. Crossing fingers!"
unschooling  cv  podcasts  teaching  davidtheriault  jonsamuelson  2016  ego  amyfadeji  bmc  blackmountincollege  leapbeforeyoulook  edg  srg  glvo  schools  education  progressive  blackmountaincollege 
july 2016 by robertogreco
David Chang’s Unified Theory of Deliciousness | WIRED
"MY FIRST RESTAURANT, Momofuku Noodle Bar, had an open kitchen. This wasn’t by choice—I didn’t have enough money or space to put it farther away from the diners. But cooking in front of my customers changed the way I look at food. In the early years, around 2004, we were improvising new recipes every day, and I could instantly tell what was working and what wasn’t by watching people eat. A great dish hits you like a Whip-It: There’s momentary elation, a brief ripple of pure pleasure in the spacetime continuum. That’s what I was chasing, that split second when someone tastes something so delicious that their conversation suddenly derails and they blurt out something guttural like they stubbed their toe.

The Momofuku Pork Bun was our first dish that consistently got this kind of reaction. It was an 11th-hour addition, a slapped-together thing. I took some pork belly, topped it with hoisin sauce, scallions, and cucumbers, and put it inside some steamed bread. I was just making a version of my favorite Peking duck buns, with pork belly where the duck used to be. But people went crazy for them. Their faces melted. Word spread, and soon people were lining up for these buns.

That became my yardstick: I’d ask, “Is this dish good enough to come downtown and wait in line for? If not, it’s not what we’re after.” A chef can go years before getting another dish like that. We’ve been lucky: Hits have come at the least expected time and place. I’ve spent weeks on one dish that ultimately very few people would care about. And then I’ve spent 15 minutes on something that ends up flooring people like the pork bun.

Believe me, nobody is more surprised about this than I am. Cooking, as a physical activity, doesn’t come naturally to me. It never has. To compensate for my lack of dexterity, speed, and technique, I think about food constantly. In fact, I’m much stronger at thinking about food than I am at cooking it. And recently I started seeing patterns in our most successful dishes that suggested our hits weren’t entirely random; there’s a set of underlying laws that links them together. I’ve struggled to put this into words, and I haven’t talked to my fellow chefs about it, because I worry they’ll think I’m crazy. But I think there’s something to it, and so I’m sharing it now for the first time. I call it the Unified Theory of Deliciousness.

This probably sounds absolutely ridiculous, but the theory is rooted in a class I took in college called Advanced Logic. A philosopher named Howard DeLong taught it; he wrote one of the books that directly inspired Douglas Hofstadter to write Gödel, Escher, Bach. The first day, he said, “This class will change your life,” and I was like, “What kind of asshole is this?” But he was right. I would never pretend to be an expert in logic, and I never made it all the way through Gödel, Escher, Bach. But the ideas and concepts I took away from that class have haunted me ever since.

DeLong and Hofstadter both found great beauty in what the latter called strange loops—occasions when mathematical systems or works of art or pieces of music fold back upon themselves. M. C. Escher’s drawings are a great, overt example of this. Take his famous picture of two hands drawing each other; it’s impossible to say where it starts or ends. When you hit a strange loop like this, it shifts your point of view: Suddenly you aren’t just thinking about what’s happening inside the picture; you’re thinking about the system it represents and your response to it.

It was only recently that I had a realization: Maybe it’s possible to express some of these ideas in food as well. I may never be able to hear them or draw them or turn them into math. But I’ll bet I can taste them. In fact, looking back over the years, I think a version of those concepts has helped guide me to some of our most popular dishes.

MY FIRST BREAKTHROUGH on this idea was with salt. It’s the most basic ingredient, but it can also be hellishly complex. A chef can go crazy figuring out how much salt to add to a dish. But I believe there is an objectively correct amount of salt, and it is rooted in a counterintuitive idea. Normally we think of a balanced dish as being neither too salty nor undersalted. I think that’s wrong. When a dish is perfectly seasoned, it will taste simultaneously like it has too much salt and too little salt. It is fully committed to being both at the same time.

Try it for yourself. Set out a few glasses of water with varying amounts of salt in them. As you taste them, think hard about whether there is too much or too little salt. If you keep experimenting, you’ll eventually hit this sweet spot. You’ll think that it’s too bland, but as soon as you form that thought, you’ll suddenly find it tastes too salty. It teeters. And once you experience that sensation, I guarantee it will be in your head any time you taste anything for the rest of your life.

It’s a little bit like the famous liar’s paradox, which we studied in DeLong’s class. Here’s one version of it: “The following sentence is true. The preceding sentence is false.” As soon as you accept the first sentence, you validate the second sentence, which invalidates the first sentence, which invalidates the second, which validates the first, and on and on.

Most people won’t ever notice this sensation; they’ll just appreciate that the food tastes good. But under the surface, the saltiness paradox has a very powerful effect, because it makes you very aware of what you’re eating and your own reaction to it. It nags at you, and it keeps you in the moment, thinking about what you’re tasting. And that’s what makes it delicious.

This was an important realization for me, because it seemed like I’d discovered an unequivocal law. And I figured if I could find one, there had to be more—a set of base patterns that people inherently respond to. So then the challenge became discovering those patterns and replicating them in dish after dish. If you could do that, you’d be like the Berry Gordy of cooking; you’d be able to crank out the hits."



"We used to have a chicken-and-dumpling dish at my new restaurant Nishi. People liked it, but once I saw these three Korean guys crying over it. They were that emotional. The reason is that our chicken and dumplings is basically the same thing as this Korean stew called sujebi. They’ve both got an umami-rich broth—one is made with chicken, the other with seaweed and dried anchovies. Sujebi has noodles instead of dumplings. It’s basically the same idea. So these guys were completely overwhelmed, because they ordered chicken and dumplings but were tasting sujebi. It grabbed them. Unfortunately, without the sujebi in mind, most people just thought they were eating a variation on a classic American dish. It was too familiar for them, and that made it not as emotional."
davidchang  food  edg  srg  glvo  2016  flavor  paradox  culture  cooking 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Why Children's Drawings Matter - YouTube
"Children can’t draw very well in the technical sense - but their art has important value for us nevertheless."
bobbykennedy  children'sdrawings  art  drawing  children  schooloflife  childhood  imagination  play  playfulness  inaccuracies  accuracy  glvo  sfsh 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Southern Exposure
"Southern Exposure (SoEx) is an artist-centered non-profit organization committed to supporting visual artists. Through our extensive and innovative programming, SoEx strives to experiment, collaborate and further educate while providing an extraordinary resource center and forum for Bay Area and national artists and youth in our Mission District space and off-site, in the public realm.

An active presence in the Bay Area since 1974, SoEx is continually evolving in response to the needs of artists and the community while engaging the public in artists' work. Central to our mission is to remain the most accessible space for visual artists to produce and present new work, learn, and connect. SoEx provides visual artists with the tools and resources they need to experiment in an open and supportive environment. We also work to advocate to new, diverse audiences and build an ever-growing community of enthusiasts and supporters of the visual arts."



https://www.soex.org/artists-education/about-aie

"About AIE
About Artists in Education

Southern Exposure's nationally recognized Artists in Education (AIE) program brings together diverse youth, artists, schools and organizations in a dynamic series of interactions, experiences, conversations and collaborations.

AIE offers youth enriching opportunities for critical, artistic, vocational and cultural experiences beyond the traditional school and home environment. It also presents professional teaching opportunities for local emerging artists, enabling them to become arts educators and extend their practice into the community.

Sparking a dialog on contemporary artistic practice and sociopolitical issues, AIE illustrates the role of artists in society and uses the conceptual underpinnings of SoEx's exhibition programs to provide new means of expression for youth. Each year, Southern Exposure works with more than 150 youth artists between the ages of 12 and 21 and employs more than 20 teaching artists. In an age of decreased art-centered curricula in public schools and a lack of positive, creative outlets for youth, AIE fills a crucial need in the community."

https://www.soex.org/artists-education-program/spring-2016-community-arts-internship-program

"The Community Arts Internship Program (CAIP) offers young artists and activists the opportunity to exercise leadership skills and engage with their community by exploring relevant social and personal issues through the visual arts. This semester CAIP interns will be working with artist, Eliza Gregory, and examining the relationship between justice and representation. How do you feel accurately represented in the world? How could you accurately represent someone else? Using an expanded understanding of relationships between justice and representation, interns will identify questions they are interested in representing and then explore those questions in a way that invites an audience to witness and perhaps even participate in that exploration. The culminating exhibition will showcase these inquires in SoEx’s gallery space from May 19-28, 2016."

https://www.soex.org/artists-education-program/spring-2016-youth-advisory-board

"The Youth Advisory Board is a small cohort of passionate AIE youth artists who help to promote and facilitate youth involvement in Southern Exposure. By providing YAB members with the materials and support to sculpt their own space, both in the gallery and on the website, YAB seeks to make their collective youth voices heard. YAB artists meet twice a month to plan youth-initiated and organized art events, exhibitons, and projects."
sanfrancisco  art  glvo  themission  edg  srg  education  missiondistrict 
july 2016 by robertogreco
How to Make Pancakes - NYT Cooking
"Through all the breakfast fads, pancakes stand resolute, the definitive breakfast dish, something almost everyone loves and all of us should master. They are the indulgent heroes of the breakfast table: eggy, salty and just this side of sweet. There may have been struggles with burned bottoms and raw interiors in your past, but with a well-made batter and some practice with your stove, you can achieve pancake perfection."
food  cooking  pancakes  recipes  srg  glvo  vi:tealtan 
june 2016 by robertogreco
WOVNS
"This tutorial will show you how to design textiles using code, specifically the Processing software. Using code makes it easy to create complex and precise patterns that would be difficult to draw manually – and to quickly explore a lot of different variations."



[from http://www.wovns.com/about :

"WOVNS is the first platform of its kind, a San Francisco/Maui based company that is a textile studio and technology platform, giving designers access to the means of textile production.

Working with US textile manufacturers, we have developed a patent pending system for jacquard looms that enables textile production in quantities as small as a single yard. Customers simply access our selection of colors and qualities, apply them to their own designs, and submit for purchase / production. In addition, our platform promotes independent designers through the WOVNS Collection, a curated fabric and product collection that offers royalties to contributors on every yard sold. We proudly offer this collection to the design community.

In the era of digital fabrication platforms, desktop 3D printers and milling machines, our goal is to revolutionize textile production, creating access and immediacy for woven textile development. Start bringing your designs to life!"]

[See also: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wovns/wovns-a-platform-for-on-demand-production-of-woven
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gq4baT5bKF4 ]
processing  code  learning  patterns  textiles  denamolnar  chelseamolnar  glvo  coding  wovns 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Random Institute
"Random Institute is a testing ground for new exhibition formats and random ideas"

"Random Institute is an extension of what a contemporary art institution can be, that is to say, truly unbothered by rules and bureaucracy. Ultimately, it brings together Sandino Scheidegger & Luca Müller curatorial and publishing activities.

We are happy to announce that as of March 2016, Random Institute will be running the curatorial program for Despacio in San Jose, Costa Rica.

The best color is transparency. [http://randominstitute.org/transparency/ ]
The best defense is a good offense. [http://randominstitute.org/game/ ]"

[Curating: http://randominstitute.org/art/curating
Publishing: http://randominstitute.org/art/publishing/ ]

[via: https://twitter.com/soulellis/status/719189530813800448 ]
art  bureaucracy  openstudioproject  lcproject  rules  curation  imagination  sandinoscheidegger  lucamüller  exhibitions  distributed  glvo  publishing  sfsh 
april 2016 by robertogreco
DIY Photo Prints - Skillshare
"Create your own work of art with a DIY image transfer!

Materials:
• Laser printed photo
• Acetone
• Spoon

Steps:
1. Choose an image
2. Print with a laser printer
3. Select a surface to print on
4. Flip your image
5. Tape your image face down to the surface
6. Apply nail polish to the back of the photo
7. Rub the wet area with the back of a spoon until the image fully transfers
8. Lift to check on transfer
9. mExperiment on other materials"
glvo  phototransfers  classideas 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Imagining Your Future Projects Is Holding You Back
"What is Idea Debt?

I got this term from Kazu Kibuishi when I interviewed him for Out on the Wire episode 7: Dark Forest. His name for the concept was new to me, but it solved a huge problem: what to call this struggle with creative sunk costs that I understand all too intimately. Here’s Kazu:
I try not to to look at what I’m going to do as this amazing great grand thing. I’m not just fulfilling some old promise that I made a long time ago. Now I’m actually solving problems in the moment, and that’s so much more exciting than than trying to fill years of what I like to call my “idea debt.” That’s when you have this dream of this awesome thing for years. You think, “Oh, I’m going to do this epic adventure. It’s going to be so great.” The truth is, no matter what you do, it will never be as great as it is in your mind, and so you’re really setting yourself up for failure.

I like snowboarding, and I used to like hitting all the jumps. And when I would go down the mountain, I would notice a bunch of young snowboarders who were waiting at the top of the jumps.

They may look like they’re waiting their turn. But in fact that they’re waiting there because they’re afraid to hit that jump. And what they don’t realize is that, over time they’re getting colder.

The Idea Debt of having to make that jump, and land it, and be impressive, is getting greater because of the amount of time they’re investing, waiting there, getting colder, at the top of the hill.

By the time they actually do it, they’re probably not going to fulfill that dream. So I learned to just hit the jump or pass it. Do it in the moment, or not at all.

Idea Debt is when you spend too much time picturing what a project is going to be like, too much time thinking about how awesome it will be to have this thing done and in the world, too much time imagining how cool you will look, how in demand you’ll be, how much money you’ll make. And way too little time actually making the thing.

If…

• You tell 15 friends about your screenplay idea, but devote zero time in your week to facing the blank screen.
• You buy a domain name, spend weeks or months researching and reading up on how to build a website, but you don’t actually install WordPress.
• You have a drawer full of half-finished stories and novels and a to-do list item every week that reads, “work on writing.”
• You’ve read 15 free online guides to blogging, built three editorial calendars, have notes on a dozen posts, but you haven’t gone live with your blog.
• You have “binders of lore” and no book.

…you’re living with serious Idea Debt.

I’ve seen so many students struggle for years with Idea Debt. Carrying that debt crippled them. They were beholden to their 12-year-old selves, who had imagined their grown-up future selves as famous manga authors with 40-volume series under their belts. But they did not have the tools yet to actually make the work happen. And so they invested more and more into this grand idea, making it less and less likely that they’d ever be able to pay it off.

They had binders of lore.

If you recognize yourself, you are definitely not alone. There’s nothing crazy about having Idea Debt. It’s the most natural thing to result when you have big creative ideas, but no real plan for actually working towards making them happen.

Even if you’re extremely productive, you can have Idea Debt. There are only so many hours in a week, and you have to make choices. But all of those undone things weigh us down, make it impossible to think clearly about what we should devote our time and energy to now."
jessicaabel  ideadebt  making  doing  2016  kazukibuishi  creativity  art  writing  glvo  srg  edg 
february 2016 by robertogreco
The Crowd, the Community, and Patronage | Harry Giles
"I like talking about patronage, though, and I like the idea of opening up what patronage can be. I like making it clear that art is not something that just happens, is not something that other people decide to make happen, but rather something that we all have a stake in making happen, and in making happen in more radical ways. For me, Patreon is a way of not asking single entities for patronage, but asking the crowd — or the community — for support. Like all crowdfunding, it’s a means of circumventing various power structures and barriers to survival, but unlike Kickstarter and most crowdfunding sites, the regular contribution makes it more about sustainable support, long-term income, and a relationship with the people who like what you do.

It’s also just about the only way I can think of to make the art I really want to make. Possibly because I grew up on the internet, making lots of things and giving them away feels natural to me. I don’t just want to make the art that sells, and I don’t just want to make the art that meets the targets of state funding bodies: I want to make the art that I believe in. And I don’t just want to make big monolithic state-of-the-world art projects (though sometimes they’re fun): I want to do little things, and silly things, and radical sparks, and awkward moments that drive a wedge into difficult politics. And I don’t want only the people who can afford it to be able to enjoy my art: I want everyone to be able to enjoy it, and then pay me if they like it. I think I’m good at making art like that. Maybe I want too much. Maybe that’s not the world we’re in together. But I’d like to try, and this seems like a good way of asking everyone if I can."
harrygiles  patronage  art  2014  via:tealtan  funding  making  internet  glvo  openstudioproject  lcproject  small  crowdfunding  income  relationships 
january 2016 by robertogreco
hillary fayle
"I use found botanical material such as leaves, seedpods, and branches to explore human connection to the physical world. By combining these organic objects with the rich traditions of needlecraft, I bind nature and the human touch. Both tender and ruthless, this intricate stitch work communicates the idea that our relationship with the natural world is both tenuously fragile and infinitely complex.

The way I think about and make art mirrors the way I think about my life and how I walk through the world. What I do is about elevating details. It is about noticing cycles and connections. It is about regarding a familiar object in a new way. It’s about seeing things and considering their connection to you, their potential futures and possible pasts. There is a depth and an importance to what is present, and what is absent. Invisible narratives are woven into and around each piece, each interaction. As I gather materials with which to work, I consider what connections might exist between us, or how each object might be related to another. I am a cartographer, drawing and plotting an imaginary map, from one object to the next, intervening with each. These objects naturally fit into categories, which relate to my own experiences, but also to their origins and how they came into my hands. The vertices of experience and the actual life trajectory of an object are what interest me the most; the points at which the object and I intersect.

I grew up in Western NY, and earned a BFA from Buffalo State College, and an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University."

[See also: http://www.hillarywfayle.com/ ]
embroidery  sewing  leaves  plants  glvo  hillaryfayle  art  trees 
december 2015 by robertogreco
The Pickle: A Conversation About Making Digital Books — Medium
"But I also wonder if there’s a factor beyond straight economics — a way in which the currently ascendant Startup Narrative can get applied where it doesn’t quite belong. Robin, you brought up the question of platforms vs one-off, artisanal apps. I think the answer has got to be somewhere in between — an assortment of platforms, plus an accrual of code libraries and lessons learned. But I also think that question itself can be inhibiting to the creative process — this drive to anticipate the future, to guess correctly, to fit optimally within larger trends. To me, maybe that’s the true reality-distortion field — the blurring of “worthwhile” and “scalable,” the idea that valuation will tell us whether something’s a good idea. That standard might work well for, say, grocery-delivery startups, but is it how we want to think about our novels, our stories, our art-whatevers? Publishing has grappled with these tensions for centuries, but they might be less familiar in the tech world.

Sorry to sound like an elderly hippie! I guess what I’m trying to say is this: If every novel is an implicit declaration of a definitive Future of Publishing, we’ll miss out on a lot of great novels — and, what’s more, we might miss out on some great futures of publishing too. I don’t know if these answers can really be found without rolling up our sleeves and just Making Stuff — seeing what works, what doesn’t, what’s annoying, what’s fun, how many dumb pickle jokes are too many, etc. Having a strange idea and then bringing it into reality, regardless of efficiency or scalability.

This comes back to Russell’s description of the process — meandering, playful, with lots of back-and-forth between the two of us and between the various demands of the project. What he describes is typical of many creative endeavors, but it might be a bit unusual for a traditional programming job. Pickle could never have resulted from me handing Russell a finished text and a list of specs — I mean, we thought we had a decent idea about what we were making two years ago, but we were very wrong. The project had to find itself, and that required actual collaboration, not just outsourcing — fluidity and looseness, experimentation and fun.

As for whether “eight years of ebooks” is a blink or an eternity, I have no idea. But I do know that there’s no guarantee that we’ll end up in a place that serves us as individuals, as readers and writers. I mean, look at television — finally flowering after, what, sixty years? And not as a result of any fundamental change to the medium, but just a bunch of smaller evolutions that opened the door to new creators and new audiences. I’m hoping we won’t have to wait til 2068 for ebooks to do the same (though I’m sure Russell is itching to whip up a multiplatform rendering of 91-year-old Eli’s epic poem, Incontinence on Mars)."
elihorowitz  2015  books  creativity  publishing  economics  tv  television  playfulness  play  making  experimentation  future  thepickleindex  storytelling  scalability  scale  platforms  suddenoak  russellquinn  fluidity  looseness  glvo  srg 
december 2015 by robertogreco
What if All they want to do is Play Video Games? | Sheila Baranoski
"“Easy for you to say unschooling works,” someone told me. “Your kids are interested in academic things. You don’t know my kids. If I unschooled, all my kids would do is play video games all day.”

To which I can only laugh. Because, you see, I could spin it two ways. I could tell you that before my son decided to learn Japanese, he read about how long-term and short-term memory works, and came up with a plan based on his research. I could tell you how my teenage boys have been to three different symphonies, and enjoyed them all. I could mention the programming they’ve worked with. I could tell you how well they work in the family business.

Or I could tell you that all they want to do is play video games.

Both versions of the story would be true. Because they are such avid video game players, they have pursued interests that came from their passion in video games, but their core passion remains video games.

Because of the hours and hours and hours and hours, day after day after day after day, month after month after month, year after year after year of video game playing, they naturally became immersed in Japanese things because that’s where Nintendo headquarters is. That led to their interest in manga and anime. They have Twitter accounts so that they can follow things about video games, and sometimes along the way, the video gamers they follow share an interesting article about something else. They listen to podcasts about video games, which, as podcasts often do, sometimes talk about off-subject things.

Their games sometimes have historical or mythological creatures in them, which gets them curious, resulting in google searches and family conversations.

Because of their love of Japan, I got them each a subscription to Japan crate for their birthdays, where they get a box of Japanese goodies each month.

The symphonies I mentioned? Video game themed. Music from the Zelda video games with footage from the games playing behind the orchestra. Once, the conductor used the Wind Waker baton.

As a matter of fact, through the years, they’ve been so into music because of video games. The Zelda series of games has always been, and remains, a favorite. The main character in the game, Link, plays an ocarina, so they bought themselves and taught themselves to play the ocarina. We listened to some of their favorite video game music on youtube, first on ocarinas, and then we listened to people playing guitar, piano, violin, harp, marimba, you name it. We learned about a lot of musical instruments through youtube, by following their passion for the music in their video games wherever it led us.

They took guitar lessons for awhile, and one of them took piano and trumpet lessons as well. Their sole reason for learning new instruments was to learn to play Zelda songs.

We went to the Renaissance Faire because the Zelda games have a very medieval feel to them. While there, one boy bought a pan flute and learned to play it.

The reason one of them took horseback riding lessons was so he could ride a horse just like Link. We found the most awesome teacher in the world, who was even willing to put the cones he was supposed to ride around in the shape of a triforce.

Of course, we had to sew our own costume so that he could look like Link while he rode. Then we made our own shields out of foam board. Then we decided to try making wooden shields with a jigsaw. We made rupee bags (rupees are the currency in the Zelda games). We hiked through the woods with our shields once, going on an adventure just like Link.

We used Sculpey clay to make triforces and our own ocarinas. We painted on magnifying glasses to make the Lens of Truth.

We went to Nintendo World in New York City.

We made cake pops that looked like Koopa shells. Well, we tried to make them look like Koopa shells. We made pumpkin soup, a delicacy in one of the Zelda games.

I took them to Pax East in Boston, which is a huge video game conference. While there, they were able to play many indie games before they went on the market, hear a panel of video game developers talk about their careers, and hear one of their favorite podcasts live. While we were there, they had their first Pho from a Vietnamese restaurant and fish and chips from a British restaurant.

Some of the very first words they read were video game-related (save, continue) , and some of their earliest reading was video game guides.

They’ve always enjoyed making up their own levels in games, from the time they were little and played Freddi Fish. They spent days making elaborate Lego versions of Mario Party games, complete with their own minigames. This inspired them to work on an idea for a game they wanted to make and sell as an app, which led them to learning some programming. They didn’t follow through on that to completion, at least not yet. Who knows what the future holds.

Some of the programming they learned was aided in part by Minecraft. When one of them was building a giant spider on Minecraft, he did a lot of research on spiders first. When I needed help figuring out drop box, they were able to easily help me, because they’d used it for Minecraft.

Sure, they work hard selling things in our family business. So that they can buy video games and add to their growing amiibo collection. Even when they were younger, they gave a lot of thought (thought that involved arithmetic) to how they would spend their birthday and Christmas money.

I haven’t even mentioned my daughter yet, who when she was around ten, was very into an online role playing game called Everquest. She played during the day when many kids her age were in school, so she played with adults who assumed she was an adult too, but one who couldn’t spell well. She was called “bimbo” one too many times, and because she was taking on leadership roles in the game and wanted to be taken seriously, got serious about figuring out grammar and spelling. She asked me the difference between to, too, and two and their, there, and they’re. She verified spelling of a lot of her words, or looked them up in the dictionary if I wasn’t around. She learned how to use commas and periods correctly. She started to be taken much more seriously in the game.

I never sat down and said, “Today, we’re going to learn about instruments!” or “Today, we’re going to have ocarina playing lessons!” I never said, “Our next project will be sewing a costume!” I didn’t even say, “Why don’t you pick a video game-related art project to do!”

I never said we had to supplement their video game playing with academic things, or told them that they had to “learn something” today. I trusted that they were learning all the time, and that their interests would take them wherever they needed to go. I paid attention and talked to them, and when they asked a question, I answered or looked it up if I didn’t know. I googled lots of things for them when they were little, and looked a lot of things up on youtube for them. When someone said, “I wish I could ride a horse like Link” I considered how we might be able to make that happen, and if they were interested in my ideas, we did them.

And some days, a lot of days actually, all they did was play video games."
unschooling  education  deschooling  learning  howwelearn  edg  srg  videogames  games  gaming  sheilabaranoski  2015  glvo  homeschool  informallearning  tcsnmy 
october 2015 by robertogreco
What Art Unveils - The New York Times
"I think a lot about art. As a philosopher working on perception and consciousness, and as a teacher and writer, maybe more than most. It’s part of my work, but it is a pleasure, too. The task of getting a better sense of what art is — how it works, why it matters to us and what it can tell us about ourselves — is one of the greatest that we face, and it is also endlessly rewarding. But at times it also seems just endless, because art itself can be so hard to grasp. And so is the question of how to approach it. Is there a way of thinking about art that will get us closer to an understanding of its essential nature, and our own?

These days, as I’ve discussed here before, the trend is to try to answer these questions in the key of neuroscience. I recommend a different approach, but not because I don’t think it is crucial to explore the links between art and our biological nature. The problem is that neuroscience has yet to frame an adequate conception of our nature. You look in vain in the writings of neuroscientists for satisfying accounts of experience or consciousness. For this reason, I believe, we can’t use neuroscience to explain art and its place in our lives. Indeed, if I am right, the order of explanation may go in the other direction: Art can help us frame a better picture of our human nature.

This may be one of the sources of art’s abiding value. Art is a way of learning about ourselves. Works of art are tools, but they have been made strange, and that is the source of their power.

I begin with two commonplaces. First, artists make stuff. Pictures, sculptures, performances, songs; art has always been bound up with manufacture and craft, with tinkering and artifice. Second, and I think this is equally uncontroversial, the measure of art, the source of its value, is rarely how well it is made, or how effective it is in fulfilling this or that function. In contrast with mere technology, art doesn’t have to work to be good.

I don’t deny that artists sometimes make stuff that does work. For example, Leonardo’s portrait of Duke Ludovico’s teenage mistress, “The Lady With an Ermine,” works in the sense that it, well, it shows her. The same could be said of a photograph on a shopping website: it shows the jacket and lets you decide whether to order it. I only mean that the value of the artwork never boils down to this kind of application.

Why do artists make stuff if the familiar criteria of success or failure in the domain of manufacture are not dispositive when it comes to art? Why are artists so bent on making stuff? To what end?

My hypothesis is that artists make stuff not because the stuff they make is special in itself, but because making stuff is special for us. Making activities — technology, for short — constitute us as a species. Artists make stuff because in doing so they reveal something deep and important about our nature, indeed, I would go so far as to say, about our biological nature.

One of the reasons I’m skeptical of the neuroscientific approach is that it is too individualist, and too concerned alone with what goes on in the head, to comprehend the way social activities of making and doing contribute in this way to making us.

Human beings, I propose, are designers by nature. We are makers and consumers of technologies. Knives, clothing, dwellings, but also language, pictures, email, commercial air travel and social media. Tools and technologies organize us; they do so individually — think of the way chairs and doorknobs mold your posture and the way you move; and they do so collectively — think of the way the telephone or email have changed how we communicate. Technologies solve problems, but they also let us frame new problems. For example, there would be no higher mathematics without mathematical notations. Tools like the rake extend our bodies; tools like writing extend our minds.

Technologies organize us, but they do so only insofar as they are embedded in our lives. This is a crucial idea. Take a doorknob, for example. A simple bit of technology, yes, but one that presupposes a vast and remarkable social background. Doorknobs exist in the context of a whole form of life, a whole biology — the existence of doors, and buildings, and passages, the human body, the hand, and so on. A designer of doorknobs makes a simple artifact but he or she does so with an eye to its mesh with this larger cognitive and anthropological framework.

When you walk up to a door, you don’t stop to inspect the doorknob; you just go right through. Doorknobs don’t puzzle us. They do not puzzle us just to the degree that we are able to take everything that they presuppose — the whole background practice — for granted. If that cultural practice were strange to us, if we didn’t understand the human body or the fact that human beings live in buildings, if we were aliens from another planet, doorknobs would seem very strange and very puzzling indeed.

This brings us to art. Design, the work of technology, stops, and art begins, when we are unable to take the background of our familiar technologies and activities for granted, and when we can no longer take for granted what is, in fact, a precondition of the very natural-seeming intelligibility of such things as doorknobs and pictures, words and sounds. When you and are I talking, I don’t pay attention to the noises you are making; your language is a transparency through which I encounter you. Design, at least when it is optimal, is transparent in just this way; it disappears from view and gets absorbed in application. You study the digital image of the shirt on the website, you don’t contemplate its image.

Art, in contrast, makes things strange. You do contemplate the image, when you examine Leonardo’s depiction of the lady with the ermine. You are likely, for example, to notice her jarringly oversized and masculine hand and to wonder why Leonardo draws our attention to that feature of this otherwise beautiful young person. Art disrupts plain looking and it does so on purpose. By doing so it discloses just what plain looking conceals.

Art unveils us ourselves. Art is a making activity because we are by nature and culture organized by making activities. A work of art is a strange tool. It is an alien implement that affords us the opportunity to bring into view everything that was hidden in the background.

If I am right, art isn’t a phenomenon to be explained. Not by neuroscience, and not by philosophy. Art is itself a research practice, a way of investigating the world and ourselves. Art displays us to ourselves, and in a way makes us anew, by disrupting our habitual activities of doing and making."
culture  art  design  learning  perception  glvo  making  humans  2015  alvanoë  philosophy  purpose  via:Taryn  neuroscience  research  investigation  howwelearn  transparency  technology  tools  probelmsolving  social 
october 2015 by robertogreco
San Diego Opens First Public Library Biotech Lab
"The world’s first biotech lab in a public library celebrated its grand opening September 1 in the La Jolla-Riford Branch Library of the San Diego Public Library (SDPL). The Bio Lab is part of the library’s Life Science Collaboratory, which has hosted a variety of classes and talks from visiting scientists since it opened its doors in April. The Bio Lab, however, promises to take Collaboratory’s citizen science mission a step further.

Outfitted with used and donated equipment from local sources, the Bio Lab meets Basic Safety Level (BSL) 1 standards, the equivalent of a high school laboratory. It currently offers microscopes, centrifuges, DNA copying machines, electrophoresis gel boxes, a vortex mixer, and other basic molecular biology equipment, as well as access to the branch’s 3-D printer lab and a 50-person classroom. Drawing on San Diego’s thriving biotech community, the Collaboratory has assembled an enthusiastic volunteer staff to helps lead demos, lectures, workshops, and hands-on participation for users of all ages.

All-ages workshops are held monthly, as is a lecture aimed at adults. Workshops, offered by volunteers from the Wet Lab, a local citizen science facility, have included lessons in DNA extraction using a strawberry; lectures have covered topics such as the sensory system of sharks and rays, alternative energy sources, the intestinal parasites Giardia lamblia, and gene splicing.

The Wet Lab has been a critical partner, helping branch manager Shaun Briley set up the laboratory, creating the initial programming, and serving as its advisory board. The Collaboratory has also formed a partnership with the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, as well as local organizations Biomimicry San Diego and the San Diego Barcode of Life Initiative."



"SDPL director Misty Jones is pleased with the program’s reception. “The Library’s mission is to inspire lifelong learning through connections to knowledge and each other,” Jones said in a statement. “We are naturally technology facilitators and guides to the future. We know that fun and educational workshops pique the interest in the sciences among young people. She has already expressed interest in setting up a similar lab space in another branch.

While the regional biotech industry has helped ensure the success of the Collaboratory and Bio Lab, Briley feels that the program could be tweaked to serve any type of community—substituting an emphasis on environmental science or conservation, for example. Hyland agrees. “We want to make sure that this isn’t just something that happens once,” she told LJ, “that we set up a model that can be picked up by other communities.”

“What’s happening in biotechnology and how it’s going to impact everyone’s life is revolutionary,” said Briley, “and in order for there to be a proper civic debate about it, people who aren’t biologists need to understand it. We’re positioning ourselves as a place to do that. Most of what’s available right now is institutional laboratories in universities or in corporations, so one facet of this is that we’re providing public education to enable that civic engagement; the other is that we’ve actually created a Maker space for biology.”

“I love how everyone’s gotten into this, even people who don’t have a background in science,” Hyland said. “That’s why I think this is so fantastic—it’s allowing people who aren’t scientists to make science a part of their everyday life. And it’s not just people coming down from the ivory tower talking for half an hour and going back. This is actually something that’s going to be a part of people’s lives.”"
2015  sandiego  biotech  biotechnology  libraries  laboratories  hacking  citizenscience  science  lajolla  biology  biohacking  edg  srg  glvo 
october 2015 by robertogreco
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