Arts + Letters

Creating Art Piece a Day in 2013, Business Lecturer Discovers the Art of Everything

Clark Kellogg, a lecturer in innovation and design thinking at the Haas School of Business, had an epiphany on New Year’s Day 2013. Actually, a friend of his had the epiphany, and he co-opted it.

“With her consent, of course,” Kellogg says. “She told me she planned to post a photograph a day on Instagram. And when she said that, it came to me: I wanted to do the same thing, but with art, not photos.”

The Road Not Taken: A Berkeley Bard from the 60s Became Rare Breed—the Trucker Poet

There are cowboy poets, of course—so many that cowpoke poesy conferences, or “gatherings,” are held regularly in most of the western states. But while there are plenty of country and western song lyrics about truckers (“I got ten forward gears and a Sweet Georgia overdrive;  I’m taking little white pills and my eyes are open wide”), trucker poets are a scarcer breed.

Cal Performances Explores Why World War I Coincided With Feverish Artistic Creativity

The First World War was an early preoccupation of Cal Performances’ director Matias Tarnopolsky, who lately rediscovered a book of poems he treasured as a child in England. At age 11, he had written his name inside.

“I was profoundly impacted by the British war poets—Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke, Siegfried Sassoon,” he said, speaking in his office in UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall on a recent chilly afternoon. As a music student, he would soon learn that the cataclysm of war accompanied a period of feverish experimentation in all the arts—in fact, the birth of modernism.

Would Twain Have Tweeted?

Would Mark Twain tweet if he were around today? Quite likely—he was an enthusiastic early adopter of the high-tech media of his era and an aphoristic genius. “Not that he’d tell the world what he had for breakfast,” says the Bancroft Library’s Harriet Smith, one of the editors of the two recently published volumes of The Autobiography of Mark Twain.

From the Winter 2013 Information Issue issue of California.

Sculpting Geometry

Carlo Séquin lives in a world of impossible objects and mind-bending shapes. Visiting the computer science professor emeritus’s office is like taking a trip down the rabbit hole. Paradoxical forms are found in every corner, piled on shelves, poised on pedestals, hanging from the ceiling—optical illusions embodied in paper, cardboard, plastic, and metal.

From the Winter 2013 Information Issue issue of California.

The Dilbert System: Fail until you don’t

The definition of failure is lack of success, but for most people it means much more: Failure destroys hope, it crushes goals, it steals energy, and it strips us bare of our resources. But not everyone sees it that way.   

“I have cultivated a unique relationship with failure. I invite it. I survive it. I appreciate it. And then I mug the shit out of it.”

Face Off: Edith Head gets a Google Doodle

Before Edith Head became Edith Head—the legendary costume designer who was the subject of a recent Google Doodle on what would have been her 116th Birthday—she was just another Berkeley graduate with a French degree.

Recipe for Success: Cal alum dishes on the Food Network

Allen Salkin has spent the majority of his career writing about the sometimes bizarre but always fascinating ins-and-outs of American culture. During his tenure at The New York Times, Salkin explored nearly every crevice of popular culture, from the Hollywood “Bling Ring” to Bernie Madoff’s beach house to the real-life adoption of Festivus—a fictional holiday featured in a 1997 episode of “Seinfeld.”

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