Field Trip 02: POPOS, Mona Caron, and Flipping a Switch
Photo courtesy of Tony Foster.
Photo via Kenneth Rainin Foundation.
Yesterday, we experienced three different modes of public engagement. We started our meeting at one of the POPOS (Privately Owned Private Open Spaces) at the 1 Kearny building. We then headed to meet with Mona Caron, a visual artist, muralist, and illustrator residing in San Francisco. After hearing talk about her process, we headed to the event “Flipping the Switch to Light Up Central Market.”
POPOS: The Secrets of San Francisco
Weeds by Mona Caron
A Brush With the Tenderloin
SF Chronicle article about the “Light Up Central Market” event
Six Rules for Effective Forecasting by Paul Saffo
Rule 1: Define a Cone of Uncertainty
A cone of uncertainty delineates the possibilities that extend out from a particular moment or event. The most important factor in mapping a cone is defining its breadth, which is a measure of overall uncertainty. In other words, the forecaster determines what range of events or products the cone should encompass. Drawing the cone is a dynamic process, and what we see here is just one iteration.
Rule 2: Look for the S Curve
Change rarely unfolds in a straight line. The most important developments typically follow the S-curve shape of a power law: Change starts slowly and incrementally, putters along quietly, and then suddenly explodes, eventually tapering off and even dropping back down.
Rule 3: Embrace the Things That Don’t Fit
The novelist William Gibson once observed: “The future’s already arrived. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.” The leading-edge line of an emerging S curve is like a string hanging down from the future, and the odd event you can’t get out of your mind could be a weak signal of a distant industry-disrupting S curve just starting to gain momentum.
Rule 4: Hold Strong Opinions Weakly
One of the biggest mistakes a forecaster—or a decision maker—can make is to over rely on one piece of seemingly strong information because it happens to reinforce the conclusion he or she has already reached. This lesson was tragically underscored when nine U.S. destroyers ran aground on the shores of central California on the fog-shrouded evening of September 8, 1923.
Rule 5: Look Back Twice as Far as You Look Forward
Marshall McLuhan once observed that too often people steer their way into the future while staring into the rearview mirror because the past is so much more comforting than the present. McLuhan was right, but used properly, our historical rearview mirror is an extraordinarily powerful forecasting tool. The texture of past events can be used to connect the dots of present indicators and thus reliably map the future’s trajectory—provided one looks back far enough.
Rule 6: Know When Not to Make a Forecast
It is a peculiar human quality that we are at once fearful of—and fascinated by—change. It is embedded in our social vocabulary, as we often greet a friend with the simple salutation, “What’s new?” Yet it is a liability for forecasters to have too strong a proclivity to see change, for the simple fact is that even in periods of dramatic, rapid transformation, there are vastly more elements that do not change than new things that emerge.
Even in periods of dramatic, rapid transformation, there are vastly more elements that do not change than new things that emerge.
Read Full Article @ Harvard Business Review
Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin
First published in 1999, this celebrated history of San Francisco traces the exploitation of both local and distant regions by prominent families—the Hearsts, de Youngs, Spreckelses, and others—who gained power through mining, ranching, water and energy, transportation, real estate, weapons, and the mass media. The story uncovered by Gray Brechin is one of greed and ambition on an epic scale. Brechin arrives at a new way of understanding urban history as he traces the connections between environment, economy, and technology and discovers links that led, ultimately, to the creation of the atomic bomb and the nuclear arms race. In a new preface, Brechin considers the vulnerability of cities in the post-9/11 twenty-first century. Via UCPress
Field Trip 01: 16th & Mission, Nick Marzano, and Christopher Lewis
Yesterday, we started our meeting by shortly performing as loiterers at 16th and Mission St. After taking a few notes about or observations we moved towards Dolores Park to meet Nick Marzano despite the unfavorable weather conditions. Once gathered under a tree to avoid getting wet, Nick introduced us to the photographic field work he has been doing. He was full of fascinating stories about the characters he has been meeting in recent months. Talking about being uncertain and being in between, we browsed through excerpts about the blasé look from “The Metropolis and the mental life” by Georg Simmel and “Metropolitan encounters” by Joanna Zylinska (bellow this post.) Replete with questions, we parted to meet Christopher Lewis at Corona Heights. There, Christopher gave us an introduction about the area we were standing at, anthropogenic bioturbation, Franciscan terranes, the Gray Brothers Quarry at Corona Heights, sedimentation rates for chert, and earthquakes.
Christopher Lewis is the Chair of Earth Sciences Department at City College of San Francisco. Click HERE to access Chris’ San Andreas Fault course website.
His Courses: https://sites.google.com/a/mail.ccsf.edu/chris-lewis/
Earth Sciences at CCSF: http://www.ccsf.edu/earth
Great 9-unit certificate in GIS:
Nick Marzano is a creative director, writer, and independent researcher living and working in San Francisco.
Metropolitan encounters (Excerpt)
An excerpt found in the chapter “Micro-Spaces of the every day” from the book “On Spiders, Cyborgs, and Being Scared: The Feminine and the Sublime” by Joanna Zylinska. Unfortunately, this book is out of print so we can no longer hold it in our hands. However, you can download a free copy (pdf download) by going to Joanna Zylinska’s website HERE.
The Outer and Inner
From “Point and Line to Plane” by Wassily Kandinsky.
Courtesy of Ana Montenegro.
Initial Thoughts Fall 2015
These are some recommended texts:
The Burnout Society by BYUNG-CHUL HAN.
Chapter 1 is entitled “The Neuronal Power” and sets out with the claim that frames the entire essay: “Every age has its main maladies.” Han differentiates the bacterial age that ended (at the latest) with the discovery of antibiotics, the viral age that ended with the advance of immunology, and finally the present age: the neuronal age. Its dominant maladies are neurological illnesses like depression, ADHD, borderline personality syndrome and burnout syndrome. The crucial difference between maladies of the viral age and the neuronal age is that between infection and infarction. An infection is caused by the negativity of the immunological other, whereas an infarct is the result of an excess of positivity. Unlike a virus, neuronal illnesses cannot simply be warded off like an outside attacker. Text Via axylus
Ubiquitous Photography by Martin Hand. 1st Edition.
Ubiquitous Photography provides a critical examination of the technologies, practices, and cultural significance of digital photography, placing the phenomenon in historical, social, and political-economic context. It examines shifts in image-making, storage, commodification, and interpretation as highly significant processes of digitally mediated communication in an increasingly image-rich culture. It covers debates in social and cultural theory, the history and politics of image-making and manipulation, the current explosion in amateur photography, tagging and sharing via social networking, and citizen journalism. The book engages with key contemporary theoretical issues about memory and mobility, authorship and authenticity, immediacy and preservation, and the increased visibility of ordinary social life.
The Anthrobscene by Jussi Parikka.
Smartphones, laptops, tablets, and e-readers all at one time held the promise of a more environmentally healthy world not dependent on paper and deforestation. The result of our ubiquitous digital lives is, as we see in The Anthrobscene, actually quite the opposite: not ecological health but an environmental wasteland, where media never die. Jussi Parikka critiques corporate and human desires as a geophysical force, analyzing the material side of the earth as essential for the existence of media and introducing the notion of an alternative deep time in which media live on in the layer of toxic waste we will leave behind as our geological legacy.
Read THE GEOLOGY OF MEDIA, an article by Jussi Parikka.
Watch “Erased Landscape” HERE.
HERE 5: Erased Landscape – the making of flat land in central San Francisco.
Watch the episodes of Saving the Bay
The Really Big One. An earthquake will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal Northwest. The question is when.
Disclaimer: This map only reflects a few cultural/environmental/art organizations and spaces in the Bay Area. More markers will be added.
Guests 02: Adam Rosendahl from LATE NITE ART
Yesterday Adam Rosendahl came by and gave us a sample of Late Nite Art.
LATE NITE ART™ (LNA) is an international social enterprise that unleashes the creativity in groups and teams. We bring people together using collaborative art-making, music, delicious food and insightful discussion. In a few words, it’s a social art experience.
Photos by Adam Rosendahl.
Field Trip 03: The Cranium Corporation, The Red Poppy Art House
Inaccurate Walking Time and Map by Google
Today we started our walk at the 16th and Mission BART Station, and headed to The Cranium Corporation to meet Angel Rafael “Ralph” Vázquez-Concepción. He is an independent curator from Puerto Rico based in San Francisco, California. His work oscillates between the rigor and structure of writing and architecture and the controlled chaos of scientific experiments and multimedia art installation. His projects range from exhibition design to community based work and generative art, and is a strong believer in art as a radical tool for education and innovation. We then moved to The Red Poppy Art House to meet with it founder Todd Brown. Todd is an interdisciplinary artist engaged in performative inquiry and visual arts. As a visual artist, Brown has 25 years combined experience in oil painting and mixed media, with 11 years professional teaching experience. The Red Poppy is a neighborhood center for the intersection of cultural and inter-generational artistic engagement located in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District. The Poppy is an artist-driven organization that seeks to empower and transform society by addressing current social issues that impact our community and society at large through creative processes.
Special Thanks to “Ralph” Vázquez-Concepción, Todd Brown, and Arezoo Islami.
Beyond Networks and “Humanity”
This selection (texts, images, videos) was shared in the Relational Cartographies class and therefore is missing some of the connecting tissue conveyed verbally and during discussion.
All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace by Adam Curtis
The Use and Abuse of Vegetational Concepts
The Monkey In The Machine and the Machine in the Monkey
Art School (Propositions for the 21st Century)
Paul Stamets: 6 ways mushrooms can save the world
Mycorrhizal Root Tips (Amanita)
The Emergence of Multispecies Ethnography
Unruly Edges: Mushrooms as Companion Species by Anna Tsing, Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz.
Friction:An Ethnography Global Connection
Chapter: Forest of Collaborations. Page 257:
“History is not an exclusively human affair, quite the opposite…It is unthinkable as well as unlivable outside the multi-species cat’s cradle games.” –Donna Haraway.
View north from the summit of Gunung Besar (Daniel Quinn, October 2011)
The Meratus Mountains is a mountain range in the Indonesian province of South Kalimantan, on Borneo island. The mountains run in a north-south arc that divides South Kalimantan province into two almost equal parts.
Ethnosphere refers to both the accumulation of living cultures and the ancient lineages from which they evolved. Ethnobotanist and anthropologist Wade Davis coined ethnosphere in his book Light at the Edge of the World.
“Indigenous people are neither sentimental nor weakened by nostalgia.There’s not a lot of room for either in the malarial swamps of the Asmat or the chilling winds of Tibet. But they have, nevertheless, through time and ritual, forged a traditional mystique of the Earth that is based not on the idea of being self-consciously ‘close’ to it, but on a far subtler intuition: the idea that the Earth itself can only exist because it is breathed into being by human consciousness. Now, what does that mean? It means that a young kid from the Andes who is raised to believe that that mountain is an Apu spirit that will direct his or her destiny will be a profoundly different human being and have a different relationship to that resource, or that place, than a young kid from Montana raised to believe that a mountain is a pile of rock ready to be mined. Whether it’s an abode of spirit or a pile of ore is irrelevant; what’s interesting is the metaphor that defines the relationship between the individual and the natural world.”–Wade Davis
ALUNA is made by and with the KOGI, a genuine lost civilization hidden on an isolated triangular pyramid mountain in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, nearly five miles high, on the Colombian-Caribbean coast.
Constellations of Indigeneity: The Power of Definition by Claire Timperley.
“While the political theory literature on historical injustice often addresses questions of what is owed to indigenous peoples, there is limited direct engagement with how—specifically—being indigenous might influence particular rights or duties. Focusing on the ways that indigeneity is defined and used might influence accounts of historical injustice, many of which assume that indigeneity is a legitimate, important feature of rights claims, without fully exploring what indigeneity might entail.
This is problematic, because defining indigeneity has at least two important consequences. First, it affects who has access to resources or rights reserved for indigenous peoples. While defining oneself or being defined as indigenous may have negative implications—such as those detailed above—increasingly, it may offer certain privileges in terms of rights, resources, and access to economic and symbolic reparations. Second, it shapes the kinds of privileges and resources available to indigenous peoples, including redefining development policies that are culturally appropriate, developing monitoring mechanisms to improve accountability of policies, and promoting non-discrimination and inclusion of indigenous peoples in local, national, and international laws, policies and projects. Certain conceptions of indigeneity may be driving some of these policies, thus affecting the kinds of programs organizations like the UN choose to support. For example, linking indigeneity to spiritual understandings of the land may require particular kinds of reparations not frequently considered in liberal, Western frameworks, which tend to privilege property rights over non-tangible resources or opportunities.”
Fuck for Forest is a non-profit environmental organization founded in 2004 in Norway by Leona Johansson and Tommy Hol Ellingsen. It funds itself through a website of sexually explicit videos and photographs, charging a membership fee for access. A portion of funds are donated to the cause of rescuing the world’s rainforests.
The Utopian City That Wasn’t
How two American architects won a competition to design Australia’s capital in 1912
Cartographies of Disaster
The Japanese earthquake changed our relationship to place, and post-disaster social media changed it again.
“Natural disasters are fundamentally experiences of place: The epicenter was here. It was this many miles from this other place. It affected here and here and here. Place is understood through position and relationship, through contact and distance.
Geography determines terrestrial points of contact. These change, but usually at a rate barely perceptible to the human eye. Politics and language anchor societal points of contact, through alliance, ideological similarity, and shared knowledge. These change more quickly than continents, but stay stable long enough to fill history textbooks. Communication technologies scaffold personal points of contact. These change quickly indeed.”
Ecumenopolis: City Without Limits
Directed by Imre Azem, Ecumenopolis tell the story of Istanbul and other Mega-Cities on a neo-liberal course to destruction. It follows the story of a migrant family on their on-going struggle for housing rights, and provides an in-depth context into the ongoing protests currently going on in Turkey. In this way, it presents an insightful picture of the history urban development, the pursuit of modernization, and the resulting effects.
Remember to hit the captions button (CC) on youtube to get the subtitles.
Thanks to Yoni Goldstein
Field Trip 02: LIZ, Center for New Music, The Body Appropiate
Inaccurate Walking Time and Map by Google
Today we started our walk at Yerba Buena Lane to meet Paul Chasan from Living Innovation Zones (LIZ). Paul is an Urban Designer/Planner for the San Francisco Planning Department. Among many of the project he is involved in, he spoke about Better Market Street SF, Pavement to Parks, and the Urban Prototyping Festival. Then, we walked towards the Center for New Music to meet Adam Fong. Adam is a Composer, Performer, Arts Administrator, Executive Director at the CNM, and co-founder of Emerging Arts Professionals/San Francisco Bay Area, a network dedicated to the development and growth of next generation arts and culture workers. Finally, we migrated to The Body Appropriate to talk to Stephanie Bailey, its founder. Stephanie is an Artist, Performer, Curator, and Museologist currently working at The Exploratorium. Among many of her practices, she works as an eye recovery technician, specimen preparer and taxidermist.
Special Thanks to Paul Chasan, Adam Fong, and Stephanie Bailey.
The Human Scale
“Based on the work of famed architect and urban planner Jan Gehl and his visionary work transforming urban environments from traffic-congested streets and cold urban landscapes into havens for people and real human interaction. Gehl has been leading a revolution in urban planning that has been transforming cities worldwide. From the expanded pedestrian spaces in New York’s Times Square, to Copenhagen’s famed bike lanes, to the rebuilding of earthquake devastated Christchurch New Zealand, Gehl’s team bring real solutions that promise a more humanistic dimension to cities where people are not displaced by congested streets, skyscrapers, and the car-centric urbanism of the 1960s and ’70s.”
Free Low-Resolution Full Feature with Spanish Subtitles
This selection (texts, images, videos) was shared in the Relational Cartographies class and it doesn’t reflect the long list of books and studies written on the subject.
Brasilia’s Monumental Axis with walking paths illustrated
Sao Paulo, Favela de Paraisopolis, photo Tuca Vieira
Tijuana, Baja California and San Diego, California
Environmental Psychology by Paul A. Bell
Environmental Psychology by Robert Gifford
The Image of the city by Kevin Lynch
The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert A. Caro
Wrestling with Moses by Anthony Flint
Seeing like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed by James C. Scott
Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal
Did Robert Moses Ruin New York City?
[Legibility] RibbonFarm: Experiments in Refactored Perception by Venkatesh Rao
The Truth About Photographic Memory
Ten-Year Forecast by Kathi Vian
More than Honey (00:14:20)
Automatic Google Car: Self-Driving Car on City Streets
Ai being tested by Tetsuro Matsuzawa, a primatologist at Kyoto University. Via
30 Cities From 200 Years Ago…And Where They Are Now
“The NYU Stern Urbanization Project is working on a stunning new series of animations, showcasing the expansion of 30 global cities over the last 200 years. The animations, created using information from The Atlas of Urban Expansion, clearly show the extremely rapid expansion in global cities in the 19th and 20th centuries. Particularly striking is the growth in the latter half of the 20th century, in which many cities increased their built-up area by more than 10 times.
This is in keeping with the theory of falling density, which holds that as cities have grown bigger and the world has urbanized, densities have been steadily falling. As a result, cities require more urban land per person, meaning total growth in the city area is much greater than population growth.” Text via NYUStern
Courtesy of Janet Delaney
Fade to 1906 by Shawn Clover
In 2010, San Francisco native Shawn Clover began compositing photos of the San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake aftermath with his own, and created a series entitled “Fade to 1906.” After completing over 150 all-new high-resolution photoblends, writing the text, and finishing the layout, he was not allowed to get permissions for some of the historical photos after repeated requests, and pleas.
To see more of his work CLICK HERE