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Hello Stranger!

In case you are wondering what happened to me and why I’ve gone M.I.A during the month of February and most of March, the board above is one of the reasons. As it happened in 2010,
our school underwent an enormous accreditation visit, which meant preparing for months collecting, documenting and providing evidences.

One of the best things to come out of the work leading to the Accreditation was that Faculty was once more asked to prepare a record of what we have been doing – outside of teaching- the past five years.
It is a monumental task to audit, select and curate five years of life, work, art – yet I welcome the chance to take stock of where I have been, for it points to where I want to go. This process of self-evaluation is a privilege not afforded to many professions, and I was thankful for the challenge.
We were also asked to write a brief narrative. I worked on this more hours than I care to admit and I am happy to now share this with you: words, drawings and travel photography — some of which hasn’t been seen here yet! Hope you enjoy it.


“The French writer Daniel Pennac describes the notion of  the passeur, of the ‘transmitter’, as intimately connected to the ownership of culture.  He considers pedagogy as a branch of dramaturgy: a great teacher is a playwright, a vector of knowledge who instills curiosity, personifies her subject, and communicates passion. As an academic, designer, artist, and poet , storytelling is central to my work.

When I was six years old, fascinated by a book of folktales of Northern Europe, I decided I wanted to be a collector of legends. Though my path took me to Architecture and Fine Arts, teaching History of Architecture brought me to travel to Latin America, the American Southwest and the Caribbeans  where I began to record the history of place through the stories of its native people, These ‘stories of architecture’ become the framework of my courses. Through drawing, urban sketching, collages, photography, and writing, my preoccupation has been with collecting, documenting, processing and communicating narratives – while letting the spontaneous unfold.”


Miti Aiello, San Diego, March 2016

Writer Update:

My abstract on my research on Storage Cities has been accepted by one of the two main Architecture academic bodies here in the U.S for presentation at their International Conference! They are sending me to Santiago, Chile in June, and will publish my academic paper. Too excited for words. If you want to get a sneak peek and read my abstract check out my academia.edu page.

This is likely a hello/byefornow.
I wanted to update my blog now that classes have ended for the quarter, and before once again leaving for Mexico, this time in Baja California Sur for a week of volunteering. Faculty and students of my school are going to help build a healing center using natural architecture in a location that is three hours away by car from the closest road. It will be very remote, challenging and, I am sure, transforming. I will document everything.

Few weeks ago I wrote that, sometimes, we don’t have time to do art because we are too busy living a life that is art itself.
That is a true blessing, amidst the inherent challenges.

Although I have not posted here, I have not stopped taking photographs, seeing, collecting, thinking. My hope of hopes is to get caught up with my posts this summer…Promises we have heard before…

“You don’t need motivation.
What you need is discipline, young lady!”

Joe

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Timing Is Everything Exhibit Poster- digitally modified.

Timing Is Everything Exhibit Poster- digitally modified.


An apropos message from the Universe tonight- in form of a collage.

This is a promising exhibit at the UCSD University Art Gallery-
up until December 6.

In my non-teaching/working hours (very few since October) I have turned from an artist to a professional architecture/art/urban design event goer, organizer, supporter, disseminator and even instigator.

I was even called a ‘charming mistress of ceremony’ yesterday {blush}.

I miss my art, poetry languishes, yet I am galvanized by the many opportunities for interconnectedness between the non-profit sector,art,architecture and public space. The potential for a seachange in the urban landscape of San Diego is finally palpable.
It is so exciting to be contributing from the Academic angle, and involving my wonderful, patient students.

Yesterday Milenko Matanovic of the Pomegranate Center spoke about the difference between cleverness and creativity, and of being an artist, and an artist who is a community organizer.

Being clever involves prioritizing one goal above others, often the furthering one’s artistic vision. It is a solo flight.
True creativity contains a collaborative element, and is welcoming and sensitive to the goals of others. It is Mindful of the collective good, of timing, and rhythms.

Creativity is like farming.

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A Moon Over Berkeley
[We Became Art for a Moment]

There is no need to seek her
For she is the Moon
Her stunning face hangs over me
Never lets a night go without
The ache of her beauty
Do you see the small star by her?

Her shadow is cast over the city
Like Brunelleschi’s cupola over all of Tuscany.
The heaviness of her copper lies
[in my mouth]
She hides under train tracks and asphalt
She peeks from our longtrodden alleys
She’s under and above me.

I have to see about a City
-I said to him-
The way others go see about a Girl.
‘The city is a girl’ he replied.

They wrote about us
We became Art for a moment
Part of the city like streetlamps
A collage of colors
Red for San Francisco cars
Mustard like her scarf
White, my fedora
Red was our debaucherous light
Her crisp apple shirt matched paintings
[gray as planes]

In Buena Vista park we laid on the grass
Fed mosquitoes and waited fairies
I crafted stories on Bechtle’s California suburbs
Stories of quiet misery and afternoon beers, for her…

Blue for too many train tickets
We sat in a room full of patterns
And listened.

Under brilliant suns we walked
To the edge of Sunset.
Faded too early in the streets of Janis Joplin
Among Tibetan jewelry stores,
Earrings and beads,
We found minstrels and poets.

Lemonade and Mate,
I told her about the weight of flowers
Narrated the geography
Of my broken heart.

It is night again
And I still choose my dandelion poetry
Over sleep
And being on time.

San Diego, March 7, 2011

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The girl with the ukulele. Oakland, Feb. 19, 2012. Ink on hand.book paper





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Various Graphite Media, depicting 'Dwelling for Imaginary Civilization of Little People,1998' by Charles Simonds. Made in clay, adobe, paint and housed in the New Mexico Museum of Art. August 2011.


Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.

It is a beauty of things modest and humble.

It is a beauty of things unconventional.


From
Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers


Photo via minecaching.tumblr.com. Click for source.



Charles Simonds began building clay villages, ruins and what he termed ” dwellings for imaginary civilizations of little people” in the 70’s, in New York.

His microscopic urban interventions at one point could be found, among others, in Paris, Venice, Shangai, Dublin.

They are now housed as prestigious artifacts in art collectors’ homes and museums (like the Whitney in NYC).

Photo via whitney.org. Click for source.

Photo via whitney.org. Click for source.


Click for more Charles Simonds’ dwellings

Watch the video: Dwellings 1972

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Simonds and Sarah



Salmon kisses,

I knead  essays at night

dream perfect poems–

lost silver strands become your hair.

I make collages of languid bathroom quotes,

images and cities.

Night drunk with words,

your eyes are full of them–

nestled in the cup of your arms

like Simonds’ tiny city in a new york warehouse.

A word thief,

of raspberry essence–

the poetry of portugal:

“Your toes are

little ducks

Sita to Shiva…”


You say I’m used to you like my mandatory doppio cappuccino,

Sarah’s velvet voice,

heaven in Corcovado nights.

You say my poems always have three words:

almonds, apricot, oil.

Here you go:

Downtown is on fire

Your almond eyes float like moons

Your skin is oil on water,

Apricot lips.


Berkeley, August 2011

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Still from 'One Room in Rome'. 2011


Escape Velocity

I wake up in San Francisco.

I attained

Escape velocity

From you and your gravity

Your slate roofs

( to my terracotta tiles).

The bee drinks from the flowers in the fields

Liberally

There is only

So much happiness in one day.

I lost words

They slipped by and became dreams

And in dreaming, perfect sentences

(to poems that will never be, yet exist).

I asked my own

About a thousand years from now,

and if there’s a heaven for love stories

‘If there’s delight in love’, I said, ‘Tis when I see

that heart which others bleed for, bleed for me.’

Jilynnette said yesterday

her name like Ginger Ale

Gingerelle

our life is measured by streetlight time.

I told her about boulevards and run-on sentences

piazza, urban commas and periods.

I fell asleep reciting

Borges, Cortázar, the Center for the Art of Translation

as a rosary, not to forget.

You are gone at Harvest time

As the grains burst open

With sunshine.



Berkeley,  August 2011

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Entry for ONE LIFE | An International Photography Competition.

I decided to participate ( characteristically last-minute) to ONE LIFE, an international photography competition, in the ‘City Imagery’ category.

Click here (or on the image above) to see the entry at a higher resolution and, if you like what you see, vote and share my photograph.

The prize is $10,000 or a trip around the world. Guess what I would pick.

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