The new real is here now
Virtual treasure Oh, man, these are great times we are living in. If only the 11-year-old me could’ve have had access to a digital treasure map to follow along with as I searched for interactive cartoon characters!!! Like the rest of the planet, I tried Pokémon Go this week. And I’m pretty damn amazed at how overnight we’ve created a new frame of reference for seeing the world, augmenting reality with this on-the-street interactive game filled with characters from a video game/TV show/card game franchise born in Japan in the mid-1990s. This is just the cultural tipping point, of course; augmented-reality isn’t new. Everything from hospitals to the NFL to digital artists and the military are already using technology to expand the definition of what is real.
While it was a kick to experience first-hand, Pokémon Go didn’t really do much for me. I’m much too old to have any nostalgia for it, and walking around swiping balls at cute little cartoons was kind of boring. To hold my interest, Arts DEVO’s reality would need to be augmented by deeper personal fantasies, like riding a giant eagle shooting lasers from its eyes, or being OK with being seen in public without a shirt on.
Arts opening Without a doubt, the most exciting development on the Chico arts horizon is the opening of the newly completed Arts and Humanities Building at the southeast corner of the Chico State campus. The fancy new digs will be open to students starting with the upcoming fall semester, and to celebrate its opening, the College of Humanities and Fine Arts is christening the maiden year 2016-17: Year of Creativity, and many of the department’s public performances and presentations will revolve around the theme.
In addition to becoming a new permanent home for the school’s Janet Turner Print Museum and newly named Jacki Headley University Art Gallery (in honor of the late Chico State arts alumna and downtown Chico ambassador/entrepreneur), the new arts building features a brand-new performance venue, the Paul and Yasuko Zingg Recital Hall. The intimate room named for the recently retired university president and his wife seats 200 in a state-of-the-art, wood-finished acoustic space. The first public performance in the hall will be Sept. 11, and will feature a quartet of Chico State faculty/alumni ringers—Russell Burnham (clarinet), John Milbauer (piano), Scott Cole (violin) and Michal Palzawicz (cello)—playing a free recital of inventive pieces in line with the year’s theme, with works by Chopin, Dahl, Shostakovich and Brahms. To scope out the entire School of the Arts (and Chico Performances) 2016-17 schedule, pick up a copy of the just-released Arts + Ideas catalogue, or peruse it online at www.csuchico.edu/upe/performance/flipbook.
Raise a Pale AleSierra Nevada Brewing Co. has announced that longtime brewmaster Steve Dresler will be retiring in 2017. The company’s longest-running employee has been a part of every change and innovation at the brewery since the mid-1980s and has been one of the most important figures in the craft-beer movement. And he’s a helluva nice guy. Thanks for all the great beer, and good luck in your next adventures, Steve. Cheers!