Archival Screening and Book Launch
Presented by threewalls


Saturday, March 29th at 7:00 pm

The Nightingale and Threewalls are pleased to host the Chicago launch of the new book, LEARNING BY DOING AT THE FARM by presenting a program of three films from University of California, Irvine’s Special Collections: The screening will be followed by a discussion with the book’s editors, Robert Kett and Anna Kryczka.

About The Farm:
In 1968, faculty from the University of California, Irvine’s Social Sciences Division began a short-lived pedagogical experiment in intercultural exchange and scientific/artistic learning through practice that brought indigenous craftspeople from Guatemala, Mexico, and Samoa to live, teach, and be studied on the undeveloped edges of the newly-built California Brutalist campus. Through previously unpublished archival documentation, Learning by Doing at the Farm: Craft, Science, and Counterculture in Modern California (recently published by Chicago-based Soberscove Press) offers access to the initial dreams of what the Farm could become and the collaborations–and commune–that eventually came to pass.

Program Details:
BIRTH OF A CAMPUS  (1965, 23 min, Digital File)
A KNBC Public Affairs presentation ; produced by Bob Wright, Dave Bell
The film was originally broadcast by KNBC, Los Angeles  as an episode for a television show entitled Survey ’65 and documents the development of Irvine and UCI on the former ranch lands of southern California. The documentary offers sweeping commentary on the region, its history, and its future and conveying the optimism that undergirded the development of the Cold War Californian frontier.

OLLERO YUCATEO (1965, 22 min, color/sound, 16mm ->Digital File)
Produced  by the Motion Picture Service, University of   lllinois.  Consultants:  Duane  Metzger , Donald  W. Lathrap
This film documents the ceramic practice of Alfredo Tzum, a potter from Mexico who lived at the Farm, served as an informant for social scientists’ attempts to document culture through quantitative methods and computer analysis, and taught countercultural communalists pottery manufacture.

(1968, 10 min edited selection, Digital File)
Shot by staff from the UCI Communications Office
This unedited footage documents the building of a canoe at the Farm by a Samoan chief, its sailing in the Newport Beach harbor, and a series of cross-cultural encounters between the visiting craftsman, researchers, and Orange Country residents.

Robert Kett is currently a doctoral candidate in anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. His dissertation connects histories of archaeology, oil geology, biological sciences, and Pan-American art in twentieth-century southern Mexico to consider their collective role in the constitution of natural/cultural resources and the region itself.

Anna Kryczka holds an MA in art history, theory, and criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is currently a doctoral candidate in visual studies at the University of California, Irvine. Her dissertation examines how Cold War taste cultures shaped and were shaped by sixties discourse around domesticity, expertise, and national belonging.

threewalls is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to increasing Chicago’s cultural capital by cultivating contemporary art practice and discourse. Through a range of exhibition and public programs, including symposiums, lectures, performances and publications, threewalls creates a locus of exchange between local, national and international contemporary art communities.

Soberscove Press seeks to make available art-related materials that fill a gap in the literature, are difficult to access, or are created in collaboration with artists. Our publications are intended for a general readership that thrives on intellectual curiosity and visual pleasure.

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