In the 25+ years I have been writing this monthly newsletter, the last one was the hardest one to write. I really appreciate the hundreds of emails of love and support from so many of you, from different backgrounds and different parts of the world. Thank you. You can find the text from the last newsletter here.
I am about to head to the east coast for both events in DC around getting the Equal Rights Amendment published and for Ken's new show at National Sawdust in Brooklyn on Saturday that he's co-creating with roboticist and dancer Catie Cuan and a robot. The performance is a commentary on the historical, cultural, and emotional complexity of our collective fears about artificial intelligence and the future of human labor. It's an 8-hour performance, called Breathless. Tickets are in shifts, I'll be there the whole day. You can find out more and get tix here.
Tomorrow in DC, I'll be there for the 100-year anniversary of the Equal Rights Amendment first being introduced. Though the ERA was ratified in 2020, it still has not been published. Our aim is to finally make this happen so all Americans have equal rights regardless of sex. We are not waiting one more year. Highlights from Dendrofemonology: A Feminist History Tree Ring on the National Mall will be shown there. Join us on Dec. 13, or sign petitions and find out other ways to take action to get. the ERA published as part of the constitution here.
There have been some great new articles about the Dendrofemonology art installation which you can read in White Hot Magazine, Print Magazine, and the Nob Hill Gazette. There's still one more month to see a large-scale photograph of Dendrofemonology in the Bay Area at the de Young Museum's de Young Open, a vibrant show of Bay Area artwork. You can see highlights from the opening at the de Young in September, what feels like a lifetime ago here.
NEW FILM ON ADOLESCENT BRAIN
For the last year my team and I have been working on a new film on the adolescent brain with the Mind Up Foundation, with Goldie Hawn executive producing. We’ve had fascinating interviews with the top neuroscientists of adolescent brain development, many of them featured in Ellen Galinsky’s upcoming book, The Breakthrough Years, which comes out this spring. We would love for you to be part of this film.
-If you're a teenager, hold your camera horizontally and film yourself answering this question: "How would you describe being a teenager?"
-If you’re a parent, aunt, uncle, grandparent, or helping raise a teen, film your teen answering the question: "How would you describe being a teenager?" I did this with Blooma, who is 14, and it was a very powerful conversation.
-If you’re an educator, we’d love for you to ask your students to participate.
Submit responses here or at the button below. (Sign-up is fast and easy.)
Happy Hanukkah — we certainly need more light right now.
P.S. Odessa, now a junior in college studying cognitive science, has started a newsletter that I love called Odessa’s Oddities & Curiosities. (Of course I love it, I'm her mother;) You can check it out here.
P.P.S. In addition to light, we need to laugh. For that, check out the great new documentary on my brother-in-law Albert Brooks' life Defending My Life on HBO.
In this issue, things to watch and listen to by Raquel Sancinetti, Lynda Carter, Michael Krasny, and The Bruces & Friends; art from the de Young; Djerassi, BAMPFA, Ana Teresa Fernández, Patrick Martinez, Yinka Shonibare, Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Judy Chicago, Gil Gershoni, and Creativity Explored; books from Adam Mansbach, Bettina Love, Shira Gill, Devorah Heitner, Ms. Magazine, Dr. Michael Rich, Jessica Elefante, Deborah Huber and Willow Older, Joy Buolamwini, Howard Schatz, and Rozella Kennedy; and more things to experience and explore below
Breathless: Catie and the Robot at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, Dec 16
Ken and Catie Cuan address the historical, cultural, and emotional complexity of our collective fears about artificial intelligence and the future of human labor, with the significant technical gaps that remain between science fiction and contemporary robotics. This duet pairs dancer/choreographer/engineer Catie with an industrial robot arm for an eight-hour dance performance that unfolds over the timespan of a single American workday, beginning at 2 pm and culminating with an artist talk from 10-11pm. At the conclusion of the eight-hour performance, Catie will sit down with Ken and NS+ Curator Elena Park for a conversation, including audience Q&A. Audience members will be welcome to enter, exit, and move about the space over the course of this performance, Dec. 16. The above photo I took from the dress rehearsal last week. It's so mesmerizing.
Equal Rights Amendment March and Rally, Dec 13 in DC
On December 13, 2023, the 100th anniversary of the Equal Rights Amendment's first introduction in the House of Representatives, supporters will gather together and rise up in solidarity in Washington, D.C. and virtually across the country to acknowledge that not one more year will pass without our rights being protected by the Constitution on the basis of sex. Register to join here and learn about more ways to engage here.
WATCH & LISTEN
Albert Brooks: Defending My Life
This documentary about my brilliant and hilarious brother-in-law Albert Brooks is now streaming on HBO.
"Rise Up" by Lynda Carter
It was so thrilling to have the original Wonder Woman Lynda Carter join us in DC for the art installation. Her new single, "Rise Up," is such a great song with a great message.
Grey Matter with Michael Krasny
I enjoyed talking about technology, fear, and inspiration with Michael Krasny on his podcast Grey Matter.
"Story of the Sky" by Morley and the Bruces & Friends
Story of the Sky is the debut family album by husband and wife team Morley and Chris Bruce. The collection is a multicultural and intergenerational treasury of nineteen original songs in praise of interdependence and the natural world.
Tech-Wise Digital Parenting Summit
I was proud to be a part of Susan Stiffleman's seminar sharing tips for setting limits, creating healthy tech routines, creating unplugged time, and more. The seminar has ended has ended, but you can purchase access to all the interview recordings here. Speakers include Jack Kornfield, Delaney Ruston, Jean Twenge, and more.
ART & CULTURE
de Young Open Show Through Jan 7
The de Young Open show, featuring Bay Area artists, continues through January 7. So excited to have a large-scale photo of "Dendrofemonology" included.
Djerassi Group Show
This photo above is of Carl Djerassi's son Dale and I at their Artful Harvest event where I had an artwork in their group show to benefit the Djrassi Resident Arts program. My late father, Dr. Leonard Shlain, did several artist-in-residencies at Djerassi and he would come back regaling me with stories of wild landscapes and ideas from fellow artists, and the calm beauty that was fertile soil for his mind to be present and explore new ideas. I also loved how Carl Djerassi and my father were both esteemed doctors, who then moved into deeply creative work with their writing. Their movement from the medium of the body to the medium of words was and is inspiring to me.. I selected my lightbox called AS IF EVERYTHING IS. Albert Einstein once said, “You can go through life as if nothing is a miracle, or as if everything is.” The Djerassi Resident Artist Program creates the space to look through the lens of “as if everything is.” (Yes I wore a dress to match my artwork.) 50% of the proceeds going to the artist residency program. Here's a link to find out more about the work and the group show.
What Has Been and What Could Be: The BAMPFA Collection Through July 7, 2024
This exhibit showcases works as diverse as seventeenth-century Japanese scrolls, eighteenth-century European paintings by women artists, and American landscapes and folk art of the nineteenth century, alongside mid-century abstract painting, feminist art, quilts, and conceptual art. The works are arranged thematically across time periods. Very compelling.
Listen Louder: Ana Teresa Fernández at Di Rosa Center in Napa, Through Jan 21
Ana Teresa Fernandez is one of my favorite artists and also happens to be a close friend. I am so excited to experience her show at Di Rosa. The show combines paintings, sculptures, and films alongside site-specific installations and performances exploring the intersection of migration and climate change. Her work is so bold and powerful.
Ghost Land by Patrick Martinez at ICASF, Through Jan 7
In this show by Patrick Martinez, large-scale works excavate urban histories as abstractions of the Los Angeles landscape, incorporating recognizable materials like distressed stucco, spray paint, window security bars, vinyl signage, ceramic tile, and neon. Martinez layers imagery inspired by graffiti, activism, and Mayan and Aztec symbolism to recount the overlooked stories of California residents—particularly concerning their resilience in the face of gentrification.
Yinka Shonibare CBE: The American Library at the Skirball Through Sept 2024
This extraordinary exhibit by British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare CBE features six thousand books wrapped in textiles with the names of US immigrants and Black Americans affected by the Great Migration. Absolutely stunning.
Barbara Stauffacher Solomon: Strips of Stripes at SFMOMA
Nellie King Solomon is an wonderful artist and good friend and her mother Barbara Stauffacher Solomon is a legend. Don't miss the show by Barbara Stauffacher Solomon at SFMOMA
Bay Area Now 9 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Through May 25
YBCA’s signature triennial exhibition highlighting artists working throughout the Bay Area continues through May 25. Don't miss.
Judy Chicago: Herstory at the New Museum in NYC Through Jan 14
Judy Chicago is an inspiration and one of my very favorite artists. I loved seeing this new retrospective at the New Museum in NYC.
Dear Dyslexia: The Postcard Project
Gil Gershoni, a creative powerhouse created Dear Dyslexia: The Postcard Project as an opportunity to showcase the diversity of the dyslexic experience. The project invites dyslexics of all ages — from students to professionals — to depict their relationship with dyslexia on postcards using words and images. The goal is to activate a global community around the unique strengths and perspectives that dyslexia offers — what we call “hyper-abilities.” Join in here.
Old Friends/New Friends at Creativity Explored in SF, Through Dec. 16
This "non-hierarchical, multiple, spread-out, all-proliferating, boundaryless art project includes a giant ceramic charm friendship bracelet made with visiting artist Reniel del Rosario, a string of painted paper lanterns made with guest artist Chelsea Wong, a hand drawn network of artists and friends made with Amanda Eicher, Dolores Park plein-air paintings made with visiting artist Ruby Neri, a 3-D visual rhizomatic sculpture built with Chris Johanson and Johanna Jackson, and a painted exhibition logo by Barry McGee- Curated by Natasha Boas with Josefin Lundahl is open untll Dec 22nd. More info here
The Golem of Brooklyn by Adam Mansbach
Adam Mansbach's new book brings the legendary Jewish tale to modern-day Brooklyn with hysterical and moving results.
50 Years of Ms.
This anthology of canonical feminist works from the canonical feminist magazine is a must-have.
Preorder The Mediatrician's Guide by Michael Rich with Teresa Baker
Parents have no better guide through the social media minefield than the brilliant Dr. Michael Rich, founder and director of Boston Childen's Digital Wellness Lab. His new book, out in February, is a vital resource.
Punished for Dreaming by Bettina Love
Bettina Love's new book offers a powerful exploration of the ways school reforms have failed black children and solutions for change.
Devorah Heitner's new book is a vital guide to raising kids in a world without privacy.
Raising Hell, Living Well by Jessica Elefante
This new book byJessica Elefante is an essential guide to living in a world where everyone is asking something from you and demanding your attention.
Today I Noticed by Willow Older and Deborah Huber
Willow Older and Deborah Huber's book invites us to notice the small things that truly matter.
Unmasking AI by Joy Buolamwini
Joy Buolamwini powerful new book explores what we need to be thinking about in terms of AI and a world of machines.
Pairs by Howard Schatz
I love Howard Schatz's photography. He's an old friend of mine who was a friend of my father's in Mill Valley; they both took on second careers later in life. This book explores his interest in the relationship between two subjects: the visual, graphic, emotional, social, physical and even spiritual dynamic resonating and resulting from such combinations.
Books Curated by Rozella Kennedy
The wonderful Rozella Kennedy, author of Our Brave Foremothers, curated this fantastic list of books with Buxton Books, a woman-owned bookstore in Charleston, South Carolina, for the DC event. Be sure to check it out.
"The Stage Is Ours"
Matt Nadel's feature in the NY Times T Magazine on what Jewish theater means to 50 performers is a delight.
"The Wisdom of Living in the Present, According to My107-Year-Old Best Friend"
In the last few years I've had the great fortune to make some great new friends who are from different generations. I have one great friend who's 20 years younger, and one who's 40 years older. It's a gift. Raquel Sancinetti, made this wonderful NYTimes Op-Doc on the joys of intergenerational friendships.
To friendships and light. See you in 2024.
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