SFMOMA Stories from the Evacuation from Jonn Herschend on Vimeo.

San Francisco-based artist and filmmaker Jonn Herschend talks about:

The Thing Quarterly, a 10-year-old, subscription-based project of customized book-inspired artworks/objects he co-runs with Will Rogan; it was launched with Miranda July’s pull-down window shade, which read, “If the shade is down, I’m not who you think I am;” The Thing has been so successful that there are two full-time and one part-time staff; Herschend describes it as an alternative route for art to be disseminated into the world, that it comes directly to your house (or office), which was perhaps the main ingredient that has brought so much attention to the project over the years; Dave Eggers’ project, a custom essay he wrote for a shower curtain; how he self-identifies (if he has to), and the dynamics of having a good conversation with a stranger; the lack of art education in describing the wide gap between contemporary art (& the arts in general) to the mainstream; his time living in S.F. (since ’93), from the Bohemian days of The Mission, through two tech booms and the rise of the ‘tech bro,’ entitlement, and how he resolves to remind himself that he was part of an earlier phase of gentrification of The Mission, and now he’s just experiencing another, later phase…and how he’s sympathetic because it’s the only way to not become pissed all the time; how his biggest problem now is Uber drivers (he’s been hit twice), who are actually people who live out of the city but come in to pick up rides; how he grew up with a front-of-house/back-of-house perspective in terms of entertainment and attractions, which led him to a documentary on the move/renovation of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – Stories from the Evacuation – which features a surprise twist; where he is with his filmmaking: he’s self-taught, and used a real casting director for the first time (instead of Craigslist) for the SFMoMA film, and he may or may not make a feature-length film at some point in the future, since there are obvious benefits to making films for an art audience as opposed to making more marketable films for a much wider audience, and how for now he’s happy to be in the in-between space of the art and film worlds.

Highland Park-based art and culture writer Alicia Eler talks about:

Her home in Highland Park, where’s she a tenant of the owners of the artist-run Adjunct Positions, and so never far from an opening and artists, and where she’s become a kind of permanent ‘writer-in-residence’;  her various experiences with standup comedy, as a culture writer and as a would-be standup; the performance artist Jibz Cameron, aka Dynasty Handbag; the distinctions and (limited) cross-overs between the art and entertainment worlds, particularly being in Los Angeles, with crossover examples including comedians/actors Maria Bamford and Kate Berlant; her take on the reality show ‘Work of Art: the Next Great Artist,’ which featured two of her friends (who both came in 2nd), Peregrine Honig and Young Sun Han; the differing bars to entry for the art world and the comedy world, and their respective pros and cons; her standup experiences, including figuring out that she needed to write herself as the hero of her story in order not to bomb; and her experience diving deep into Tinder, the dating and hook-up app, which she played a lot like a video game, detaching from the expectations of having any kind of actual in-real-life results, though just before canceling her account she met someone whom she’s still dating.