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OUT of Site, performance-driven walking tours, March and May 2018

Recent Free Public Talks
January 2017-

A place to meet and talk unmediated by corporations, official spokespeople, religion, political parties, or dogma.

All events are free.
At 518 Valencia Street, near 16th, in San Francisco (close to 16th Street BART)

podcast subscription To subscribe to our Talks as a podcast, paste the link into your favorite podcast software (iTunes, Podcast Addict, etc.)

February 7

Building a Deep Map -- Beyond Buildings and Views

Celebrating the release of a new map of San Francisco, "Nature in the City" reflects a rich and fairly recent understanding of what comprises a place. An update of an original 2006 map, the rework includes a total of five maps, highlighting species that live alongside Homo sapiens, geology, gardening, restoration, and connections within the Bay-Delta. Mary Ellen Hannibal (author of Citizen Scientist), Rebecca Johnson (Academy of Sciences), and map artist Jane Kim highlight the making of the map, the contributions of citizen science to our broader knowledge of place, and how this collaboration expresses the kind of emergent creative work we all need to do together to meet the challenges of our day and going forward. Co-hosted by Nature in the City

Video here.

Photo: Anise Swallowtail feeding on a mallow flower growing among the industrial zone of Pier 70, by LisaRuth Elliott.

January 24, 2018

Dogpatch Then and Now

Few San Francisco neighborhoods have gone through as dramatic a change as Dogpatch. East of Potrero Hill, once an industrial neighborhood making warships, steel, sugar, rope, and more, where flimsy wooden structures teetered on long-gone hills, the area has had an arts renaissance that is now giving way to high-end condos, the encroaching medical/biotech industry, and even more grandiose plans for highrise development. A microcosm of San Francisco’s history from the 1860s to the present. With Glenn Lym, Steven Herraiz (Steven was sick, and we showed excerpts from his Potrero Hill History Night presentation), and Marti McKee

Video here.

Photo: West on 20th Street, old Union Ironworks and Bethlehem Steel offices on right, by Chris Carlsson

December 13

San Francisco's Freeway Revolt

Today’s San Francisco and our village-like neighborhoods, charming architecture, and quality of life is indebted to the Freeway Revolt that shocked the nation between 1956 and 1965. Most histories have focused on the politicians and city leaders who argued and voted in those years, overlooking the vital role of the emergent middle-class women who spearheaded the Revolt, and kept it going against overwhelming odds. Decades later, a second Freeway Revolt helped reclaim the Embarcadero and Hayes Valley from the blight of freeways, leaving us in the current configuration we have today. With Jason Henderson, Evelyn Rose, Chris Carlsson

Video here.

Photo: Central Freeway swerves across Gough and Franklin to end at Turk, Aug. 2, 1965. Courtesy San Francisco History Center, SF Public Library

December 6

Popular Front to the Cold War

In November 1938, California elected its first-ever liberal Democratic governor Culbert Olson, supported by a state-wide Popular Front coalition of liberals, unionists, communists, and other radicals. But by 1940 the Popular Front forces were already fracturing and from its wreckage emerged key elements of the Cold War. How did Communists help build this social movement, and how did the Communist Party undercut its own principles during WWII? And where did that leave California politics at the end of WWII and the beginning of the long post-war economic boom? With Jonathan Hunt, Chris Carlsson

Video here.

Photo: Sept. 8 1938 rally for Culbert Olson gubernatorial campaign at Dreamland Auditorium. Courtesy San Francisco History Center, SF Public Library

November 8

Art & Politics:
Seth Eisen "OUT of Site"

Seth Eisen and James Metzger and collaborators Colin Creveling, Rayan Hayes, Mary Vice, and Diego Gomez bring to life research and performance excerpts from Eye Zen Presents's newest project (a collaboration with Shaping SF)—a series of queer history performance-driven walking tours through the streets of San Francisco. This performative talk explores the ways that queer people have historically created community, how our communities have adapted over time, and ways we might sustain and nurture our historical and cultural queer essence. Revealing new ways to envision and preserve queer heritage, Eisen covers events such as the country’s first homeless queer youth movement, Vanguard of the 1960s, and the Compton’s Cafeteria riots which predated New York’s Stonewall riots; popular American dances which have roots in cross-dressing Gold Rush stag dances and early gay clubs; the 19th century out gay author of early SF bohemian literati, Charles Warren Stoddard; the life of late 19th century transgender writer and social activist Jack Garland; and the infamous queer gathering spots of the prohibition era Pansy Craze.

This Public Talk was made possible in part by a grant from The Creative Work Fund, a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund that also is supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. "OUT of Site" is also supported by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation and the Zellerbach Family Foundation.

Video here.

Photo: Cowboys dancing in 19th century saloon. Source: Wikimedia Commons

October 25

100th Anniversary of the
1917 Russian Revolution

Few events in the past century equal the importance of the Russian Revolution. And yet we only know it through the fog of propaganda and fear, and the actual events of 1917 are long forgotten in the mists of time. Find out what actually happened in that fabled year, and how it fit together with the world events of that epoch. Longtime Russian scholar Anthony D’Agostino (SF State) joins Anarchist scholar from socialist Yugoslavia Andrej Grubacic (CIIS) to unpack some of those tangled histories and together we’ll connect it to San Francisco then and now.

Video here.

Photo: Petrograd political demonstration, June 18, 1917. Source: Wikimedia Commons

October 18, 6 pm (Offsite Event!)

50th Anniversary of Stop the Draft Week Protests

Join the California Historical Society, Shaping San Francisco, and the Oakland Public Library, Main Branch, for a panel discussion that explores the intentions, planning, and outcomes of the historic October 1967 protests against the United States draft and the Vietnam War in general. Hear from organizers, including members of the “Oakland Seven,” who were tried for conspiracy and found not guilty by an Oakland jury, and from historians and others who will share context and stories of that era. With Frank Bardacke, Karen Jo Koonan, and Charles Wollenberg, and Chris Carlsson moderating. Event at the Oakland Public Library Main Branch, 125 14th Street, Oakland, CA  94612

No audio for this event. Video here

Photo: Oakland 7 waiting for verdict in Oakland, 1968.

October 11

Speeding Through the Unseen,
from Coding to Commons

Ellen Ullman writes in her new book Life in Code “The penetration of technology into the interstices of human existence is nearly complete,” and then demystifes how humans turn their intentions and ideas into the computer codes that are the language of computers. Katja Schwaller puts “Twitterlandia” under the microscope of her critical gaze, showing how the reconfiguration of mid-Market embodies a larger capture and repurposing of public space by private interests. And Dennis Hayes, a long-time tech writer and author of an early critique of Silicon Valley, brings his own historical and political chops to bear on our current predicament, both obsessed with and deeply oppressed by the technosphere that speeds up our lives to the breaking point even while it presents itself as the answer to everything.

Video here.

Photo: Market and 6th Streets by Chris Carlsson

October 4

Art and Architecture During
the Depression

The Maritime Museum at Aquatic Park recently underwent extensive renovation, bringing to public view murals and sculptures from the WPA that have long been hidden and overlooked. Other beautiful artworks grace public buildings throughout the East Bay and San Francisco, including Coit Tower, and on Treasure Island, where Maritime Museum artists went on to create work for the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939. Join Richard Everett (Maritime Museum), Anne Schnoebelen (Treasure Island Museum), and Harvey Smith (Living New Deal) for a revealing discussion of the art, architecture, and politics that challenged the economic impoverishment of the Depression by inspiring flourishing public art.

Video here.

Photo: Artists paint mural at Maritime Museum, May 18, 1938. Source: National Maritime Museum (P88-035.148p)

September 27, 2017

Other Food Systems are Possible

The Diggers served free food in an effort to address a massive influx of young people to the Haight during the Summer of Love and the Black Panthers’ Free Breakfast Program for youth began soon after. Drawing from this same desire to reimagine food systems, food conspiracies flourished in communes in the early 1970s and the People’s Food System built a network of stores and distributors out of this collective framework. Three worker-owned cooperatives survive — including Other Avenues Grocery — alongside various contemporary urban agriculture projects, continuing to address the where from and how of our food consumption. With Shanta Nimbark Sacharoff (author of Other Avenues are Possible: A History of the San Francisco People’s Food System) and Antonio Roman-Alcalá (independent food systems activist-scholar) we look at historic and current examples to use food systems to challenge the political and economic dictates of our world. Join a critical discussion asking if and how these are working to achieve their stated goals of political-economic change.

Photo: Alemany Farm by LisaRuth Elliott

Video here.

June 7, 7:30 pm

Kent Minault's "Diggerly-Do's"

Kent Minault tells of the explosive first six months of the San Francisco Diggers. Featuring stories of the San Francisco Mime Troupe, Tim Leary, Huey Newton, Emmett Grogan, Lenore Kandel, Richard Brautigan, and Gary Snyder. His chronicle charts the first Digger free food in the park, tense encounters with the police, the opening of the Digger Free Store, and the Invisible Circus at Glide Memorial Church. Accompanied by photos by Chuck Gould, and music by Peter Coyote. The evening chronicles a turning point in SF and the transformation of a youth into a life-long activist.

photo: Back cover of Issue 2, Diggers' Free City News street sheets distributed in San Francisco 1967–68. Courtesy Digger Archives

Video here.

May 31, 7:30 pm

Summer of Love or

Vietnam Summer?

 

Music, Art, & Politics of 1967: Was it all peace and love or did the anti-war movement really define the era? A conversational antidote to the narrow interpretation of a memorable summer in the City. With Calvin Welch (author, activist, and USF Faculty), original Digger Judy Goldhaft (Planet Drum Foundation), Mat Callahan (The Explosion of Deferred Dreams: Musical Renaissance and Social Revolution in SF, 1965-75), and Pam Brennan (Haight Ashbury Flower Power Walking Tours).

photo: 1967 at the corner of Haight and Masonic. Part of the Charles Cushman Collection, Indiana University Archives (P15560)

Video here.

May 10, 7:30 pm

From the Delta to the Bayshore: Adaptation Infrastructure and Rising Seas

Tim Stroshane (Restore the Delta) and Brenda Goeden (San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission) discuss the politics and prospects of facing our rapidly changing future around and health of the bayshore. Wetlands restoration, Sea Level Rise, Delta Tunnels, Clean Water Act, future of EPA, and more.

photo: Sears Point wetlands with San Francisco in distance. By Chris Carlsson

Video here.

May 3, 7:30 pm

Agents of Change!

Fred Glass (From Mission to Microchip: A History of the California Labor Movement), takes a long look at the labor history of California with Chris Carlsson (Foundsf.org), who focuses on the ebb and flow of class war in San Francisco.

photo: Members of the Marine Cooks and Stewards Union in a Hiring Hall in 1952, courtesy San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library

Video here.

March 22, 7:30 pm

We've Done This Before:

1980s Movements

The fight against the Reagan administration’s war build-up, emergency response against Central American wars, birth of the Peace Navy, stopping the USS Missouri, creating sanctuary cities, AIDS and Anti-Nuclear activism. We bring it up to climate justice & no nukes today. With activists and archivists Marcy Darnovsky, Steve Stallone, Lincoln Cushing, and Roberto Lovato.

photo: The Peace Navy obstructs the USS Missouri during a contentious campaign to homeport the ship in San Francisco in the 1980s. By Bob Heifetz

Video here.

March 8, 7:30 pm

Local History in Your Ear

Podcasts are shaping the presentation of history through audio delivery. Hosts of several local series tell us why they chose this new technology to delve into the past and how they gauge success. Hear clips of each program in a special podcast challenge! With David Gallagher and Woody LaBounty (The Western Neighoborhoods Project Outside Lands San Francisco), Liam O’Donoghue (East Bay Yesterday), and David Boyer (The Intersection).

Video here.

February 22, 7:30 pm

Progressive Transgressions

Crossing centuries and social mores, editors Ivy Anderson and Devon Angus (Alice: Memoirs of a Barbary Coast Prostitute) and author Clare Sears (Arresting Dress: Cross-Dressing, Law, and Fascination in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco) take us into 19th Century San Francisco’s underworld of prostitutes, cross dressers, and others who transgressed the strict gender norms of the time. We look at how normative gender and sexuality were policed and created by widespread mid-1800s laws as well as challenged by gender defiers. Our panelists share the fascinating detective work of the archival research process uncovering these complex and often hidden stories of history.

Video here.

February 8, 7:30 pm

Citizen Science/Extinction Culture

Doing science and making culture are increasingly intertwined as more and more amateur naturalists crowdsource the multi-layered experience of life on this planet. Authors of two new books Mary Ellen Hannibal (Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction) and Ursula Heise (Imagining Extinction: The Cultural Meanings of Endangered Species) illuminate the tangled, dynamic processes of thinking and doing that help us understand where we are and what we can—or ought to—do about living through this heartbreaking Great Extinction.

Video here.

January 25, 7:30 pm
Art & Politics: Packard Jennings

Visual and conceptual artist Packard Jennings talks about his work, through which he has reimagined and revisualized the world around us, shaking up our concepts and assumptions of how things are through humor and the reappropriation of pop culture imagery. Packard talks about his work which ranges from digital subversions to quiet mail-in actions to large scale, space interventions on billboards. He also speaks about work that gets made and that which doesn’t. This is part of a series of solo artists giving a behind the scenes and in depth look at what inspires them in the interrelationship between art and politics.

photo: courtesy Packard Jennings

Video here.