Fort Ross

Fort Ross is one of the coolest places that ever seen. The timelessness of wood construction was a sight to behold. Russians coexisting with norcal Indians:

The Kashaya Treaty between the Fort Ross settlement and the Kashaya Pomo Indians

On September 22, 1817, the Indian chiefs, Chu-gu-an, Amat-tan, Gem-le-le and others, appeared at Fort Ross by invitation. Their greeting, as translated, extended their thanks for the invitation.

Captain Lieutenant Hagemeister expressed gratitude to them in the name of the Russian-American Company for ceding to the Company land for a fort, buildings and enterprises, in regions belonging to Chu-gu-an, [land] which the inhabitants call Med-eny-ny. [Hagemeister] said he hoped they would not have reason to regret having the Russians as neighbors.

“Chu-gu-an and a second, Amattan, whose dwelling was also not far off, replied, “We are very satisfied with the occupation of this place by the Russians, because we now live in safety from other Indians, who formerly would attack us and this security began only from the time of [the Russian] settlement.”

And then:

After the hospitality, when [the Indians] departed from the fort, a one-gun salute was fired in honor of the chief Toion.

via

Below are a few photos from a recent walk around Fort Ross:

More on the Chapel inside the fort:

The chapel was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. The foundation crumbled and the walls were ruined; only the roof and two towers remained intact. Between 1916 and 1918, the Chapel was rebuilt using timbers from both the Officials’ Quarters and the Warehouse. On October 5, 1970 the restored Russian chapel was entirely destroyed in an accidental fire. It was reconstructed in 1973. Following Russian Orthodox tradition, some lumber from the burned building was used. The chapel bell melted in the fire, and was recast in Belgium using a rubbing and metal from the original Russian bell. On the bell is a small inscription in Church Slavonic which reads “Heavenly King, receive all, who glorify Him.” Along the lower edge another inscription reads, “Cast at the foundry of Michael Makar Stukolkin, master founder and merchant at the city of St. Petersburg.” via

fort ross chapel

¡Oye, Mira! at SFAI’s Walter and McBean Galleries

Until June 8th, ¡Oye, Mira! will be up at SFAI:

¡Oye, Mira!: Reflective Approaches in Contemporary Latin American Video Art brings together a selection of artists from Latin America who use video as a tool of reflection and contemplation, exploring relationships of identity to site, history, and memory. These artists play an important role as mediators in the geo-political landscape, seeking to place their work within the context of place/site and the intersection of high culture and daily life. In the featured works, materiality, form, and concept come together in an expression of each artist’s personal values and experience of the world. These range from place-specific issues of social justice and political oppression to the universal concerns of love and family.

Featuring works from Cuba, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, and Bolivia, all created in the last 12 years, the exhibition considers a wide range of approaches to production and display, including the use of the “loop,” narrative structures, sculptural installations/environments, and dialogues with complementary two-dimensional works. Audience participation will also be an integral part of the exhibition through an interactive video lounge and café, and live performances and dancing during the opening reception.

Since the early 1970s, the New Genres Department at the San Francisco Art Institute has been a pioneer in performance, moving image, and installation, and a breeding ground for work at the intersection of the three mediums. As one of the first graduates of the New Genre=s program and now Faculty Director of MFA programs at SFAI, curator Tony Labat, a Cuban native, has been an integral part of the development of New Genres since its inception. He continues to explore cross-disciplinary art production through teaching, curating, and his own practice.

Below are a few photos from the opening:

 

oye

Apricot Sprites, aka ‘the anthropomorphic heart wood critters’ my Dad unearthed

A week ago, my dad was pruning one of the many stone fruit trees in his yard in Los Angeles and came upon an eery woodland lady (click for full size):

My dad is coating the slices in acrylic for preservation, and keeping an unperturbed sample under lock and key in preparation for a visit from the SEG (Search for Extraterrestrial Gnomes).

Has anyone seen anything like this in tree cuts? I was pretty freaked. The first lady may resemble my mom if I squint. Perhaps her spirit animal entered the tree during a watering one afternoon. BTW: of course mum has a garden-themed blog avantgarden.org and she helped start the Santa Monica College organic garden.

From a brief search, I found a spotting of Jesus in a cabinet at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Wareham, Massachusetts, but nothing like this. Post your wood creatures in the comments!

A knowledgeable plant dude writes:

The discoloration in the heartwood is caused by a systemic fungal infection called Verticillium wilt. You can read more about it here:

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r5101111.html

The “normal” colorization is from the tree’s attempt to compartmentalize the damage and grow healthy tissue within it.

I’ve also heard back from the Internet in the form of a moose posted in the comments:

Pretty spooky.