robertogreco + outreach   6

We (Still) Have Work to Do · An A List Apart Blog Post
"So, what have we done? It’s a fair question, and one that’s worthy of a response. Because the answer is this: everything, and also not nearly enough.

Over the past year, we’ve started discussing inclusivity constantly, across every facet of our work—the authors we encourage, the messaging on our website, the people we invite to events, the way we edit articles, the topics we cover.

And yet, we screw up constantly. We cringe when we notice too late that we published an article with a biased example, or used words that defaulted to male. We struggle to include more people of color and non-native English speakers in our pages. We hear that our submissions copy feels alienating.

We’re trying. But what we haven’t been doing is talking about it publicly—because it takes time, yes, but also because it’s scary to lay bare all our decisions, discussions, half-baked ideas, and partially executed plans. It’s scary to say, “we don’t know all the answers, but here’s where we’ve started.”

That changes today."



"MORE INCLUSIVE EDITING

When we edit, we no longer just look for stuff that violates the style guide: website as one word, or 4g with a lowercase g. We also look for biases and non-inclusive language in the words our authors use, and we challenge them to come up with words that pack power without excluding readers.

It’s not black and white: reasonable people have conflicting opinions on the use of you guys, for example. And some things are so deeply embedded in our culture—like calling things crazy or insane—that’s it’s tough, at first, to even recognize that they’re problematic.

One change you may have noticed, if you’re as nerdy about words as we are, is our move to the singular they. Writing “he” or “she” is fine, if you’re talking about a person who goes by “he” or “she.” But when we talk about a person in general, or someone who doesn’t identify as male or female, they’re now a they.

The most important part of this process is that it’s just that: a process. We haven’t “fixed” our editing style. We’re just having an ongoing conversation that gets more nuanced with time—and that everyone on the team is encouraged to participate in.

Some people might find the prospect of hashing and rehashing language tedious (ugh, do we have to talk about this again?!). But I’ve found it incredibly rewarding, because every discussion forces me to challenge my beliefs and biases—and to be a little more willing to listen."



"We’re also actively reaching out to more prospective authors, and encouraging them to write—especially people of color and women who are just emerging in their fields. Oftentimes, these folks have viewpoints and ideas we haven’t heard before—but they’re more likely to think they’re not “experienced enough” to submit an article. There is no shortage of articles talking about why this happens. The problem is, many of those articles simply end up telling marginalized groups that they’re responsible for solving the problem: here’s the careful tightrope you need to walk in order to promote your ideas without coming off as “pushy,” they seem to say.

We’re not buying it. Women and people of color—and particularly women of color, who often feel sidelined by the largely white “women in tech” movement—already have enough to deal with in this field. The least we can do is put in some effort to reach out to them, rather than complaining that they don’t come to us."



"“So…” So? That tiny word sets a tone of disbelief—like we might as well have added “then prove it” at the end. And don’t get me started on those verbs: challenge, refute, revolutionize. Why are we being so aggressive? What about articles that help our community grow, learn, or improve?

We had good intentions here: we wanted to make readers feel like an ALA article was special—not just a post you whip out in an hour. But it wasn’t working. When I asked people whom I’d like to see submit what they thought, I got responses like, “sending something to ALA sounds scary,” or “that seems like a really big deal.”

Oof.

Writing publicly makes most people feel vulnerable, especially those who are just starting to put their ideas out there for the world—in other words, the very people we’re most interested in hearing from. You might get rejected. People might disagree with you. You might even get harassment or abuse for daring to speak up.

We can’t remove all the risks, but what we can do is offer a more nurturing message to new writers. We started by overhauling our contribute page—in fact, we renamed it Write for Us, with an aim of making the message a little more human."



"Inclusion is a practice

I wish I could say that all these changes have been easy for me. But wanting to be more inclusive and actually doing what it takes to be inclusive aren’t the same. Along the way, I’ve had to let go of some things I was comfortable with, and embrace things I was profoundly uncomfortable with.

For example: I hated the singular they for years. It just didn’t sound right. That’s not how subject-verb agreement works, dammit. Our columns editor, Rose, suggested we start using it forever ago. I vetoed the idea immediately. I edited it out of articles. I insisted authors rewrite examples to avoid it. I stuck to my she and he like they were divinely prescribed.

Only grammar isn’t gospel. It’s culture. Language changes constantly, adapting endlessly to meet the world’s new needs and norms. And that’s what we have right now: a cultural shift toward less gendered thinking, less binary thinking. I wanted the culture change without the language change.

I was wrong.

If someone has a problem with it, they can complain to me."
diversity  gender  language  inclusion  sarawachter-boettcher  alistapart  2015  grammar  workinginpublic  tone  communication  outreach  learning  growth  improvement  inlcusivity  inclusivity 
june 2015 by robertogreco
End of the Road: LACMA9 Wraps Up Its Countywide Journey | Los Angeles | Artbound | KCET
"Nine cities. Sixteen months, 47 filmmaking workshops provided, 113 distinct films screened, 61 oral history dates, with numerous stories told, heard, and created, both on- and off-camera. There were countless communities inspired, and connections made.

In June 2013, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's educational initiative education department sprung the LACMA9 Art + Film Lab on Redlands, San Bernardino, Altadena. Monterey Park, Hacienda Heights, Montebello, Compton, Inglewood and Torrance. Over the course of 16 months, and using a big red steel and plywood structure, designed by sculptor Jorge Pardo, as a traveling mobile installation/event/community space, the Lab camped out in parking lots, community spaces, and parks in some of these nine cities for five weeks at a time. Each weekend, its crew screened movies, hosted musical bands, taught workshops on film and video, and gathered oral histories from community members. Supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation, the events and classes were free. It was a boon for the participants, many of whom had never heard of LACMA before.

While LACMA9 may have been the institution's first traveling educational endeavor, Sarah Jesse, associate vice president of education and public programs at LACMA, explained that the Lab was just a different iteration LACMA's outreach philosophy. "[We want to] build relationships with people on their own turf, in their own neighborhoods, before expecting them to come visit us." She added, "The nine cities were purposely picked so LACMA could have a chance to form relationships with organizations and individuals that we've never met before."

[video: https://vimeo.com/90709049 ]

And for many of the participants -- from community members to LACMA staffers to artists involved in the event -- the project was immeasurably moving. Hanul Bahm, LACMA's community engagement manager, produced the Lab and was part of every set-up in every city. (Read her missives from the road here). Bahm said, "The experience gave me a groundedness in California because it is home for so many different kinds of people, and I got to encounter so much of this area." A transplant to Los Angeles from New York by way of San Francisco, she added, "It was a big gift to encounter and serve so many Angelenos and hear their personal stories, share culture, and turn people on to filmmaking."

Participants came from all over for different reasons: some wanted to learn to be filmmakers and took part in the workshops. Some wanted to tell their stories in the oral history booths. Others wanted to dance and party during the opening nights, and others wanted to watch the free movies screened. "It made me think of our journeys as Angelenos and all the different places we come from, and fates that led us all to this place," Bahm said."

[video: https://vimeo.com/100325305 ]

The Lab connected families, developed cross-cultural interactions, and -- most importantly -- empowered the people. "We've had people who've never used a camera in their lives keep coming back to our workshops and now they want to make feature-length documentaries," Bahm said. "[LACMA9] gave [participants] access to all these world-class filmmakers who are giving you everything they can to make sure you can own this process [of filmmaking]. It's like, you have a camera in your hand, here's how to edit."

The sense of radical friendliness and accessibility that the LACMA9 staff tried to embody was especially effective given that Southern California houses a monolithic film industry that's so closed off to regular people, Bahm said. "I said that if even one person comes out of this project and self-identifies as a filmmaker, then we've succeeded. And hundreds of people now do that, and continue to collaborate with each other because they met each other at the Lab. We wanted to take away the exclusivity of relating to this medium, and I think we did that."

Other partnerships are continuing on beyond the LACMA9 lifespan as well. LACMA is developing an in-depth partnership with school districts in two cities, Compton and Torrance, wherein LACMA will provide teaching artists to select elementary and middle schools over the course of four years. LACMA will provide the schools artists who will expose students to works from the LACMA collection and inspire them to create hands-on art projects, and LACMA will provide NextGen passes to all the students. "We're providing an art curriculum where there may be a gap [in those communities]," Jesse said.

LACMA also commissioned artist Nicole Miller to create videos for every city. She filmed two residents who took part in the oral history booths to create an 18-piece video installation. The videos of every city were screened at LACMA during the days when the museum provided free admission to residents of those cities; highlights from the whole piece will be screened on Sunday, October 19 and Sunday, December 21 at 12:30 p.m. in LACMA's Bing Theater.

[videos:

Miller approached individuals interested in storytelling and cinema, the ones whose personal stories were somehow intertwined in these ideas. Her subjects include a man playing the harp speaking about abuse, a woman doing laughing exercises, a painter who nearly died in jail. "In every instance there was a transmission to be made," she said. "They all met me knowing exactly which of their stories needed to be told and why they should tell these stories on screen."

Artist Miller says watching her subjects watch themselves on the big screen in the LACMA theater was extraordinary -- a circle of each subject's experience, which was made into story, and then into image. At the first screening, Miller featured Ndinda Spada practicing exercises from a laughing yoga class. "Her beautiful smile and the ringing of her joyous voice projected to the audience from the giant screen. There happened to be a full audience of children, when Ndinda come on the screen laughing, they all responded with a chorus of ecstatic laughter, a wonderful back and forth between screen and viewers. This is the ideal of how my work is supposed to function, changing reality just so," Miller said.

Bahm says providing artistic venues to underserved communities is something more institutions should do. "To know that you're in a place that's hungry for creative outlets, and that LACMA was able to meet that hunger and transform it into something really life-giving, was a remarkable act, but it was possible because of the people who participated, not just the Lab," she said. "I hope to see more institutions and communities enact change, and solve problems together creatively.""

[http://www.kcet.org/arts/artbound/counties/los-angeles/lacma9-inglewood-art-film-lab.html
http://www.kcet.org/arts/artbound/counties/los-angeles/compton-artfilm-lab.html
http://www.kcet.org/arts/artbound/counties/los-angeles/montebello-art-film-lab-lacma9.html
http://www.kcet.org/arts/artbound/counties/los-angeles/hacienda-heights-art-film-lab-lacma9.html
http://www.kcet.org/arts/artbound/counties/los-angeles/monterey-park-lacma9-artfilm-lab.html
http://www.kcet.org/arts/artbound/counties/los-angeles/lacma9-art-film-lab-altadena.html
http://www.kcet.org/arts/artbound/counties/san-bernardino/san-bernardino-lacma9-art-film-lab.html
http://www.kcet.org/arts/artbound/counties/san-bernardino/lacma9-art-film-lab-redlands.html ]
lacma  lacma9  art  arteducation  education  mobility  jorgepardo  openstudioproject  lcproject  filmmaking  redlands  altadena  sanbernardino  montereypark  haciendaheights  montebello  compton  inglewood  torrance  losangeles  outreach  sarahjesse 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Kenneth Goldsmith - Talks | Frieze Projects NY
[Direct link to .mp3: http://friezeprojectsny.org/uploads/files/talks/Kenneth_Goldsmith.mp3 ]

"‘I Look to Theory Only When I Realize That Somebody Has Dedicated Their Entire Life to a Question I Have Only Fleetingly Considered’

A keynote lecture by the poet Kenneth Goldsmith, whose writing has been described as ‘some of the most exhaustive and beautiful collage work yet produced in poetry’ (Publishers Weekly). Goldsmith is the author of eleven books of poetry and founding editor of the online archive UbuWeb. In 2013, he was named as the inaugural Poet Laureate of MoMA."
kennethgoldsmith  copying  uncreativewriting  mercecunningham  writing  internet  web  online  remixing  culture  art  poetry  originality  appropriation  quantity  quality  curiosity  harrypotter  poetics  digital  reproduction  translation  displacement  disjunction  corydoctorow  change  howwewrite  pointing  data  metadata  choice  authorship  versioning  misfiling  language  difference  meaning  ethics  morality  literature  twitter  artworld  marshallmcluhan  christianbök  plagiarism  charleseames  rules  notknowing  archiving  improvisation  text  bricolage  assemblage  cv  painting  technology  photography  readerships  thinkerships  thoughtobjects  reassembly  ubuweb  freeculture  moma  outreach  communityoutreach  nyc  copyright  ip  intellectualproperty  ideas  information  sfpc  vitoacconci  audience  accessibility  situationist  museums  markets  criticism  artcriticism  economics  money  browsers  citation  sampling  jonathanfranzen  internetasliterature  getrudestein  internetasfavoritebook  namjunepaik  johncage  misbehaving  andywarhol  bobdylan  barbarakruger  jkrowling  china  creati 
august 2014 by robertogreco
paigesaez.org [Paige Saez]
"Paige Saez is an interaction designer, visual artist and social architect presently living in San Francisco, California.

In 2007 in Portland, Oregon she founded the Makerlab. Makerlab was a creatively focused collaborative space. We hosted weekly skill-share workshops, created original performance works, held concerts and events. As an organization it was Portland's first Makerspace devoted to the intersections between art, technology and urbanism. Under the guise of Makerlab I developed a number of geo-focused social applications for web and mobile devices. As a collective we are well versed in participatory cultures, creative cultural research, community advocacy and outreach, web, mobile, and device development, information architecture, and interaction design. Previous to this Paige curated for three galleries, co-founded Gallery Homeland, an is a longstanding member of Red76. You can email her at paige@makerlab.com."
web  outreach  advocacy  communityadvocacy  creativeculturalresearch  participatoryculture  urbanism  technology  interactiondesign  sanfrancisco  interaction  art  design  makerlab  paigesaez  from delicious
july 2012 by robertogreco

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