Project Los Altos

While Alec Soth was the main draw for Project Los Altos, I did enjoy exploring the rest of the galleries. A show like this is expected to be a bit hit and miss. Soth counts as a hit. The highlight though is Christian Jankowski’s Silicon Valley Talks.

This piece was hilarious. And painful. I could only watch one (Vacation) before overdosing on jargon. I want to watch the rest but I can only deal with it in small doses. This kind of jargon is exactly the kind of thing we do for fun.* It’s also the kind of thing that management does without realizing it.

*Yes we’re all geeks.

Part of me is aghast at the idea that this is what the future of English will be. The other part of me accepts that English always absorbs the technical jargon of the day and uses it metaphorically to describe other things. We already mix metaphors in talking about ourselves as needing fuel or not being able to compute things. Future jargon such as buffer optimization or packet management is only a matter of time.

I also liked Kateřina Šedá’s Everything is Perfect, and the idea of giving awards for whatever achievement you can think of. I enjoy that this piece suggests that it’s good that we celebrate the ordinary instead of focusing just on the extraordinary. Especially since the much of the Silicon Valley culture is focused on being the best. I also see the flip side where this piece suggests that we’ve deluded ourselves into believing that everything is actually perfect and that we’re perfect and that this area is better than anywhere else.

And I want to go to everythingisperfect.org and nominate my friend’s parents because they’re the best.

The other piece I really liked was the recognition of Charles Garoian’s work at Los Altos High School. He was the High School art teacher for over a decade. It’s fantastic to see his student projects get recognized by the museum. I can’t help but think that maybe there should be an art teacher recognized like this every year.

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