Welcome & Suggested Readings

Fabulous Downtown Las Vegas Sign #1Hi friends. We want to start this blog by suggesting a few readings that might whet your curiosity about the Las Vegas and the Downtown Project. We have asked some of our presenters to suggest readings, too, and we’ll pass those along as soon as we have them. I’ll also add here YOUR wonderful reading suggestions that came via Eli’s questions to the group.

We’ll be adding to this list in the next few weeks. If you see a great TED Talk, read an interesting article, or hear something on NPR — just for starters — that you’d like to share with the group, please send it to Jennifer or Dave and we’ll post it.

We also wanted to share with you the  very compelling readings that you suggested to Eli based on his initial question:  What 1-3 texts (films/stories/novels/magazine article/essay/photograph) speak to your connection to your community? (Note: These are in no particular order.)

Pyramid of Success – John Wooden

Architecture of Happiness – Alain de Botton

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals – Michael Pollan

String Quartet in A minor, Op. 132 by Beethoven, Third Movement, “Heiliger Dankgesang”  – Tokyo String Quartet Performance – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiZRq6sJKeg

Death and Life of Great American Cities – Jane Jacobs

Saul Alinsky and the Democratic Tradition, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WEeVGSz-qo

Hollowing out the Middle:  The Rural Brain Drain and What It Means for America  – Patrick Carr and Maria Kefalas

Dakota: A Spiritual Geography – Kathleen Norris

In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto – Michael Pollan

A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf

“The Subject and Power” – Michel Foucault

The Long Haul: An Autobiography – Myles Horton, http://www.visionaryvalues.com/wiki/images/Long_Haul_M_Horton.pdf

Sister Outsider – Audre Lorde

October Sky (film)

Immigrants Raising Citizens:  Undocumented Parents and Their Children – HIROKAZU YOSHIKAWA

Yoga and the Quest for the True Self – Stephen Cope

A Second Wind in Life: Eve Ensler on Inhabiting the Body After Cancer,   http://www.onbeing.org/program/a-second-wind/6050

The Everyday Art of Listening: David Isay, Founder of Storycorps,  http://www.onbeing.org/program/transcript/6274

The Practice of Everyday Life – Michel de Certeau

The Poetics of Space – Gaston Bachelard

Jesus’ Son – Denis Johnson

Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin


Make the Impossible Possible – William Strickland

– “Dérive” – operating principle of “Our Las Vegas,” the cultural animation project I [Jon Winet] collaborate on in Las Vegas. Excerpt: “In psychogeography, a dérive is an unplanned journey through a landscape, usually urban, on which the subtle aesthetic contours of the surrounding architecture and geography subconsciously direct the travellers, with the ultimate goal of encountering an entirely new and authentic experience. Situationist theorist Guy Debord defines the dérive as “a mode of experimental behavior linked to the conditions of urban society: a technique of rapid passage through varied ambiances.”

– Nicolas Bourriaud’s entry for “Art” in the glossary of his seminal text “Relational Aesthetics,” included below. Also a driving force in my research and practice:  “Art” – General term describing a set of objects presented as part of a narrative known as art history. This narrative draws up the critical genealogy and discusses the issues raised by these objects, by way of three sub-sets: painting, sculpture, architecture.

“Nowadays, the word ‘art’ seems to be no more than a semantic leftover of this narrative, whose more accurate definition would read as follows: Art is an activity consisting in producing relationships with the world with the help of signs, forms, actions and objects.”

– Geoff Carter of Seven Magazine | DTLV





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