Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sam Bercovich

Sam Bercovich is a great man whom I have had the good fortune to get to know through my work at MAGNES.

Sam's in his nineties. He's also a member of my synagogue Temple Beth Abraham. In fact, the shul ain't named for the Jewish Patriarch, it's named after Sam's grandfather Abe.

We got together again, because Fred Isaac is working on a book for Arcadia Publishing about the Jews of the East Bay. Fred went to talk to Sam and take some pictures.

Below are a pix from my phone. I'll add more captions over time. Sam helped to found the original Oakland Raiders, so you'll see him below with Jim Plunkett and Sam's Super Bowl ring -- three diamonds for three wins.

Sam's family was in the furniture business and Sam Bercovich, perhaps most famously and of which he is most proud, also created the Oakland youth leagues that helped Frank Robinson and Curt Flood and others get their start. One of the drawn portraits of Sam below is by Curt Flood and done when Flood was in high school.

Non-profit Technology Push c. 1907

From a Vault in Paris, Sounds of Opera 1907
Published: February 16, 2009

PARIS — On Dec. 24, 1907, a group of bewhiskered men gathered in the bowels of the Paris Opera to begin a project that by definition they could never see to fruition. First, 24 carefully wrapped wax records were placed inside two lead and iron containers. These were then sealed and locked in a small storage room with instructions that they should remain undisturbed for 100 years.

The man behind this musical time capsule was Alfred Clark, a New Yorker who headed the London-based Gramophone Company and had provided the records. And in truth, once the ceremony was over, he had achieved his primary objective of drawing attention to his company and to the new flat-disc records it was promoting to compete with the better-known cylinders.

“I know of no other case where a commercial firm has obtained so much free publicity as we have,” he wrote to a colleague two days later.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

This is Twerrible...just twerrible

Power has gone to Rain Wilson's head. he tweets:

I have 16k followers. I type this... and 16k read it. Persimmon. Glory-hole. Cake. There. You all read those words. Sha-bam!

about 5 hours ago from web

(Source: Ev)

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Friday, February 06, 2009

MAGNES Treasures...(a teaser)

Joseph interprets Pharaoh's dreams
19th century, Iran. Ink and tempera on paper
Gift of Chimon Mayeri and Family
Photograph by Sibila Savage, 2007.

Magnes collection goin' "live" soon....oh, treasures!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Dr. Debbie Findling at GTU


Ok this is so's the funky Wachovia glyph blurring its way into focus on a billboard in the Embarcaadero station in San Francisco, with all its meaningless, squiggly lines that'd come to represent a North Carolina-based financial empire and had taken in the once-strong, Oakland-based World Savings in one swallow RIGHT before the mortgage crisis hit HARD, leveling the Sandlers from being two of the most prudent, level-headed, thoughtful, company-builing, new-home-making-possible people in the United States into targets of satire on SNL, and is now being taken in gracefully by Wells Fargo in what may be one of the most well-timed acquisitions in banking history, amybe the only business good to come out of all this business bad. But what's the sign mean? And why do some stylized write, calligraphed pattern laid over blue and green mean any of these things?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Yiyun Li

sweet, interesting interview with Yiyun Li, assistant professor of English at UC Davis and author of The Vagrants on Krasny's FORUM (to hear it click here) on KQED.

"Parochial is the new universal."

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Another Very Bad (*) Multiply-Culturally Signifying Thing

These are beautiful people.

This Joanne McNeil and team.

She's got this one post up now called "The Overexamined Life: Finding Bits of Ourselves in Digital Ghost Towns," and its so pretty I just wanna jump through into it and meet her there.

The writing veers kinda elegantly from pedantic to pedestrian, but its so humble and sweet.

The pix, sourced out from Dreamlike art by Anette Harboe Flensburg is really what makes the piece, but c'mon...

There's some kinda bathos here that strikes a chord. Thank you, Tomorrow Museum.

(* - as in "good")

Nancy Proctor's Making the Scene, Man, Making the Scene...

This is a fantastic summary of a lot of what's going on NOW.

Hoping to just steal her slide show for my presentation at the California Association of Museums.

This is so hot, it's JAZZ.

MAGNES Holocaust Symposium

This just up at Fora has gotten popular enough now that as soon as something goes up there are comments. Below are the two comments the MAGNES program drew really quickly:

SBell: Does this not disgust anyone? I understand how this could be construed as art by some, but it just seems to take a lack of consideration for those that endured this atrocity to a whole new level. Lego's? Seriously? I guess I just don't understand the reasons for going this route to create this form of "art".

adriennejohnson: I agree -- it's atrocious.

I am glad we are drawing feedback...only a little sorry that Apel's somewhat dated, sensationalistic presentation drew more energies than the artists' own sweet, personal and revealing explorations.

I mused on this very thing a few posts back.