robertogreco {tumblr}


grecolaborativo

writing
mentoring

twitter/rogre
pinboard/robertogreco

lizettegreco.com
flickr/lizettegreco
flickr/robertogreco
vimeo/robertogreco
stellar/robertogreco
reading/rogre

tcsnmy8.tumblr.com
tcsnmy7.tumblr.com
tcsnmy6.tumblr.com

random post

Close-ups of the Californias project

Poto and Cabengo is a 1980 documentary film made by Jean-Pierre Gorin about twin girls Grace and Virginia Kennedy, who used Poto and Cabengo as names for each other.


  Grace and Virginia are young San Diego twins who speak unlike anyone else. With little exposure to the outside world, the two girls have created a private form of communication that’s an amalgam of the distinctive English dialects they hear at home. Jean-Pierre Gorin’s polyphonic nonfiction investigation of this phenomenon looks at the family from a variety of angles, with the director taking on the role of a sort of sociological detective. It’s a delightful and absorbing study of words and faces, mass media and personal isolation, and America’s odd margins.


"Documentary, late 70s, children, parenting, media, language, San Diego (inc. Geisel Library), more." That’s what drew me in and that’s what kept me watching. Grace and Virginia are contemporaries of mine. Their parents overreacted to the comment of a surgeon shortly after their birth. They lived in a bilingual household. The media swarmed around the story, but pretty much dropped it when the facts began to be revealed. And this all took place in San Diego. Their neighborhood for the bulk of the film was Linda Vista, which was becoming increasingly Latino at the time and has gone through additional changes since. The screenshot above comes from a sequence inside the Geisel Library at UCSD, then known as the Central Library. There are also scenes at the San Diego Zoo, at the beach, and driving along SR-163 and other freeways in town.

The film is available as part of the Criterion Collection, on Hulu Plus, and on YouTube (for now, at least). Additional screenshots are available on Tell Ya What.

Side note: in searching for some of the references for this post, I came across Poto and Cabenga (Cabenga, not Cabengo), a 2010 indy video game for the iPhone. I wonder about the name origin.

Update: In 1988, Lynne Tillman interviewed Jean-Pierre Gorin for BOMB Magazine. There is lengthy conversation within about Poto and Cabengo, as well as his other films.

Poto and Cabengo is a 1980 documentary film made by Jean-Pierre Gorin about twin girls Grace and Virginia Kennedy, who used Poto and Cabengo as names for each other.

Grace and Virginia are young San Diego twins who speak unlike anyone else. With little exposure to the outside world, the two girls have created a private form of communication that’s an amalgam of the distinctive English dialects they hear at home. Jean-Pierre Gorin’s polyphonic nonfiction investigation of this phenomenon looks at the family from a variety of angles, with the director taking on the role of a sort of sociological detective. It’s a delightful and absorbing study of words and faces, mass media and personal isolation, and America’s odd margins.

"Documentary, late 70s, children, parenting, media, language, San Diego (inc. Geisel Library), more." That’s what drew me in and that’s what kept me watching. Grace and Virginia are contemporaries of mine. Their parents overreacted to the comment of a surgeon shortly after their birth. They lived in a bilingual household. The media swarmed around the story, but pretty much dropped it when the facts began to be revealed. And this all took place in San Diego. Their neighborhood for the bulk of the film was Linda Vista, which was becoming increasingly Latino at the time and has gone through additional changes since. The screenshot above comes from a sequence inside the Geisel Library at UCSD, then known as the Central Library. There are also scenes at the San Diego Zoo, at the beach, and driving along SR-163 and other freeways in town.

The film is available as part of the Criterion Collection, on Hulu Plus, and on YouTube (for now, at least). Additional screenshots are available on Tell Ya What.

Side note: in searching for some of the references for this post, I came across Poto and Cabenga (Cabenga, not Cabengo), a 2010 indy video game for the iPhone. I wonder about the name origin.

Update: In 1988, Lynne Tillman interviewed Jean-Pierre Gorin for BOMB Magazine. There is lengthy conversation within about Poto and Cabengo, as well as his other films.

A few years ago, when the media was reporting about “the endangered state of California,” we screen-printed some shirts with the bear from the flag of the state of California on them. The shirts were gray and the ink we used matched the color of the shirts making the bears intentionally difficult to see. We followed the shirts with a reproduction of the Bear Flag using a gray-blue fabric for each component and allowing the edges of each component to fray. It was a reminder that our state is always a blank slate and that as citizens we have a choice in what our state is and what it can and will be.

That flag led to a series of flags that do some or all of the following, but are still recognizable as the California flag:

  • rearrange or reposition the components (star, bear, ground, stripe)
  • recolor or retexture (through fabric choices) the components
  • resize or re-proportion the components overall or in relation to each other
  • remove components
  • use anagrams of CALIFORNIA REPUBLIC
  • reproduce another historic California flag

When we travel and when people visit us in our home, the flags are often shared and a conversation ensues about the diverse past, present, and imagined futures of our state. People play with the components of the flag and we inevitably create new flags as a result of their ideas. We call this project Californias, a conversation about our collective hopes and dreams for the place that we have called home for over twenty-two years. These are parallel Californias, Parallelifornias that coexist in time and space. They are not a call for splitting the state that we love for all its contrasts, its imperfections, and its beauty. It’s exactly the opposite, an appreciation for our California, simultaneously one and infinite.

We have several more flags in the works and we’re always on the lookout for ideas. If you would like to be part of this conversation, please contact us with your thoughts. Last year, Sophia and Enzo made a Scratch project that allows you to move around the components of the flag. It’s not the same as sketching or playing with fabrics, but if you make something you like with it, please take a screenshot and share it with us.

Grecolaborativo

Update: Close-ups of the flags are now on Tumblr too.

Their openness to new experiences reminded me to be more open in turn to their unique ways of visiting and looking at art. Marianna Adams, “Falling in Love with Your Visitors
I want to pay more attention to invisible pedagogies – both how the physical space itself instructs and how actions from people (me included) communicate behaviors and attitudes. Marianna Adams, “Towards a More Mindful Practice
Wikipedia: “The original Fountain by Marcel Duchamp photographed by Alfred Stieglitz at the 291 (Art Gallery) after the 1917 Society of Independent Artists exhibit.”

Another passage from Kay Larson in Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists:


  But its actual title in The Blind Man was Buddha in the Bathroom. In Stieglitz’s photo, the bulbous porcelain body looks exactly like the Buddha in outline. (Duchamp must have instructed Stieglitz to aim the camera from a certain angle, since other photographs of the urinal don’t resemble a Buddha.) The white porcelain arc serves as the Buddha’s robe. Where the Buddha’s head would be is a bright white spot that could represent the “third eye,” one of the classic attributes of enlightenment.


See it?

The Blind Man refers to “a little magazine Duchamp and his allies [Henri-Pierre Roché and Beatrice Wood] put out.” [That’s quoting Larson.] You can see scans of the issue in question here.

Wikipedia: “The original Fountain by Marcel Duchamp photographed by Alfred Stieglitz at the 291 (Art Gallery) after the 1917 Society of Independent Artists exhibit.”

Another passage from Kay Larson in Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists:

But its actual title in The Blind Man was Buddha in the Bathroom. In Stieglitz’s photo, the bulbous porcelain body looks exactly like the Buddha in outline. (Duchamp must have instructed Stieglitz to aim the camera from a certain angle, since other photographs of the urinal don’t resemble a Buddha.) The white porcelain arc serves as the Buddha’s robe. Where the Buddha’s head would be is a bright white spot that could represent the “third eye,” one of the classic attributes of enlightenment.

See it?

The Blind Man refers to “a little magazine Duchamp and his allies [Henri-Pierre Roché and Beatrice Wood] put out.” [That’s quoting Larson.] You can see scans of the issue in question here.

Rigid Ego Habits

Kay Larson, writing about the reaction to Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain in Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists:

The eruptions of violated sensibility were coming from human beings, whose unexamined expectations, habitual beliefs, moral rigidity, squeamishness about the body, conditioned responses, and exalted sense of propriety were causing howls of anguish. This raging cyclone of emotion is a succinct definition of dukkah—the Sanskrit word that sums up the suffering of cyclical existence, brought on by our ego fixations. Buddhists call this realm “samsara,” the troubled world created by our rigid ego habits: our clinging to the categories we invent, investing them with reality, punishing those who don’t agree.

See also the synopsis of “The Inadequacy of Mass Education & the Case for Autodidacticism" by Jordan Bates:

(…) autodidacticism is an attitude one brings to learning, an attitude which is essential to gaining substantive insight both within and beyond the confines of traditional educational institutions. This attitude consists of a willingness to question all of one’s assumptions and preconceived ideas, a strong desire to learn and to apply what is learned, and a fiery love for knowledge in and of itself.

Sounds like one way to combat the rigid ego habits. See also cultural dark matter.

sevensixfive:

Coming late summer 2014, in the cloud, on the moon, and beyond: link

sevensixfive:

Coming late summer 2014, in the cloud, on the moon, and beyond: link

nemejo:

Blindly chasing the likes on social media (via Colossal).

nemejo:

Blindly chasing the likes on social media (via Colossal).

Screenshot from The Time of the Game, a project by Teju Cole, Jer Thorp, and Mario Klingemann (Read more about the project in this Robinson Meyer article.)

Screenshot from The Time of the Game, a project by Teju Cole, Jer Thorp, and Mario Klingemann (Read more about the project in this Robinson Meyer article.)

Letter from Barrowford School (@BarrowfordSch) to sixth grade students at the end of their primary school years and with regard to their standardized test results:


  Please find enclosed your end of KS2 test results. We are very proud as you demonstrated huge amounts of commitment and tried your very best during this tricky week.
  
  However, we are concerned that these tests do not always assess all of what it is that make each of you special and unique. The people who create these tests and score them do not know each of you—the way your teachers do, the way i hope to, and certainly not the way your families do. They do not know that many of you speak two languages. They do not know that you can play a musical instrument or that you can dance or paint a picture. They do not know that your friends count on you to be there for them or that your laughter can brighten the dreariest day. They do not know that you write poetry or songs, play or participate in sports, wonder about the future, or that sometimes you take care of your little brother or sister after school. They do not know that you have travelled to a really neat place or that you know how to tell a great story or that you really love spending time with special family members and friends. They do not know that you can be trustworthy, kind or thoughtful, and that you try, every day, to be your very best… the scores you get will tell you something, but they will not tell you everything.
  
  So enjoy your results and be very proud of these but remember there are many ways of being smart.


Note: The contents appear to have come from another source.

(via Richard Wiseman)

Letter from Barrowford School (@BarrowfordSch) to sixth grade students at the end of their primary school years and with regard to their standardized test results:

Please find enclosed your end of KS2 test results. We are very proud as you demonstrated huge amounts of commitment and tried your very best during this tricky week.

However, we are concerned that these tests do not always assess all of what it is that make each of you special and unique. The people who create these tests and score them do not know each of you—the way your teachers do, the way i hope to, and certainly not the way your families do. They do not know that many of you speak two languages. They do not know that you can play a musical instrument or that you can dance or paint a picture. They do not know that your friends count on you to be there for them or that your laughter can brighten the dreariest day. They do not know that you write poetry or songs, play or participate in sports, wonder about the future, or that sometimes you take care of your little brother or sister after school. They do not know that you have travelled to a really neat place or that you know how to tell a great story or that you really love spending time with special family members and friends. They do not know that you can be trustworthy, kind or thoughtful, and that you try, every day, to be your very best… the scores you get will tell you something, but they will not tell you everything.

So enjoy your results and be very proud of these but remember there are many ways of being smart.

Note: The contents appear to have come from another source.

(via Richard Wiseman)

Kevin Buist posted this image to Twitter with the caption “institutional critique.” (via Sal Randolph)

With a reverse image search, I was able to learn more about the image:


  I first saw this photo on sfmoma's blog about a year ago, without information about the photographer or when it was taken. Today, after re-spotting it - again without credits - I thought I check the web if I can find any reliable information about this photograph, and voilà, here it is:
  
  It was taken by Herb Slodounik, who worked as staff photographer for The Montana Standard where the photo was published in April 28, 1968. For everyone with a newspapers.com account: you can check it here.
  
  The Montana Standard caption:
  
  
    "GRATE," BUT IS IT ART? is an example of candid humor where the photographer does not intrude or control the situation. This picture was taken several years ago by staff photographer Herb Slodounik in the San Francisco Museum of Art Shot with a Rolleiflex 2. (+)
  
  
  A few years earlier the photo was published on the famous ‘Miscellany’ back page of Life Magazine / Issue July 26, 1963 (I guess it was taken around that time).


The photo also reminds me of “TORAFU’s Haunted Play House At The Museum Of Contemporary Art In Tokyo,” which I posted here last year.

Kevin Buist posted this image to Twitter with the caption “institutional critique.” (via Sal Randolph)

With a reverse image search, I was able to learn more about the image:

I first saw this photo on sfmoma's blog about a year ago, without information about the photographer or when it was taken. Today, after re-spotting it - again without credits - I thought I check the web if I can find any reliable information about this photograph, and voilà, here it is:

It was taken by Herb Slodounik, who worked as staff photographer for The Montana Standard where the photo was published in April 28, 1968. For everyone with a newspapers.com account: you can check it here.

The Montana Standard caption:

"GRATE," BUT IS IT ART? is an example of candid humor where the photographer does not intrude or control the situation. This picture was taken several years ago by staff photographer Herb Slodounik in the San Francisco Museum of Art Shot with a Rolleiflex 2. (+)

A few years earlier the photo was published on the famous ‘Miscellany’ back page of Life Magazine / Issue July 26, 1963 (I guess it was taken around that time).

The photo also reminds me of “TORAFU’s Haunted Play House At The Museum Of Contemporary Art In Tokyo,” which I posted here last year.

Maybe you remember the Infocom games (interactive fiction). Maybe you have Frotz installed on your computer or on your iThing. Maybe you’ve seen the @YouAreCarrying bot. Maybe you asked it for your inventory. I did. I am carrying a medium drill bit, a grue suit, a validation stamp, a laser-assisted monkey wrench, a broken brass lantern, and a large knife. Well, I dropped the broken brass lantern. It was broken. Enzo drew me with my things.

Maybe you remember the Infocom games (interactive fiction). Maybe you have Frotz installed on your computer or on your iThing. Maybe you’ve seen the @YouAreCarrying bot. Maybe you asked it for your inventory. I did. I am carrying a medium drill bit, a grue suit, a validation stamp, a laser-assisted monkey wrench, a broken brass lantern, and a large knife. Well, I dropped the broken brass lantern. It was broken. Enzo drew me with my things.