What Will Your Legacy Be?
To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDEdspace and end it with #DoNowLegacy
For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.
If you were king or queen of the Universe, what message would you leave behind that would become your legacy for centuries to come? What are some of the major accomplishments you hope to achieve? What will you do to make the world better?
Art School-featured artist Ala Ebtekar created a project in collaboration with students at the Asian Art Museum that was inspired by the Cyrus Cylinder exhibition. “Cyrus the Great” was the King of Persian in the 6th Century BC and was discovered in 1879 in Mesopotamia, the area that is now known as Iraq. On the clay cylinder are inscriptions about Cyrus’ accomplishments and the legacy he left behind.
When the Cylinder traveled to San Francisco to be exhibited at the Asian Art Museum, Ala Ebtekar, whose work is influenced by traditional Iranian art forms, along with contemporary culture, set out to create a project that paid tribute to the Cylinder and involved a community of students. Students were asked to discuss their own ideas about legacy, and describe what they would inscribe on their own Cylinder. What would their accomplishments be? What changes would they like to see in the world, and how would they influence those changes?
Ebtekar collected recordings of students’ responses and worked with his uncle, Ata Ebtekar, to take the recordings and engineer a special audio track that was pressed onto wax cylinders, which are an early form of vinyl records. The recordings were played out of a gramaphone (also known as a phonograph) at the museum as part of the Cyrus Cylinder exhibition’s special programs.
Beyond this one-night event, Ala Ebtekar wants to continue the conversation with people around the world, and launched the Cylindr.us web site as a space to collect student responses to the question about future legacies. Now is your opportunity to contribute to the project, an ongoing conversation among people all over the world. Tweet your response to the question, or even submit your response in video or audio format, and take part in this conversation about our future.
KQED Arts Education video Ala Ebtekar’s Cylindr.Us Project
Artist Ala Ebtekar created a community art project inspired by the Cyrus Cylinder, an historical art object that tells the story of King Cyrus the Great of Persia. For Ebtekar’s Cylindr.Us project, he invited students to describe the legacy they hope to leave behind.
To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDedspace and end it with #DoNowLegacy
For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.
We encourage students to reply to other people’s tweets to foster more of a conversation. Also, if students tweet their personal opinions, ask them to support their ideas with links to interesting/credible articles online (adding a nice research component) or retweet other people’s ideas that they agree/disagree/find amusing. We also value student-produced media linked to their tweets like memes or more extensive blog posts to represent their ideas. Of course, do as you can… and any contribution is most welcomed.
KQED Art School video In the Studio with Ala Ebtekar
Ala Ebtekar grew up as a graffiti artist and studied traditional Persian art forms, later hybridizing these two interests to create work that is inspired by literary narratives, mythology, history, and hip hop culture.
KQED Spark video Ala Ebtekar
Spark caught up with Ebtekar as he created work for “Emergence” at the Richmond Art Center during the spring of 2006. In the exhibit, drawings based on vintage Iranian photographs of gymnasts and wrestlers are combined with images from hip hop culture in an exploration of heroic icons. In addition to drawings, the artist also creates installations and sculpture.
Ala Ebtekar’s website Cylindr.Us
Artist Ala Ebtekar will work with a number of collaborators to present Cylindr.us, a night of events surrounding the exhibition The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: A New Beginning. Cylindr.us is a project in seven movements, each exploring another facet of the exhibition. The night examines why, more than 2,500 years after the Cyrus Cylinder’s creation, the object remains so culturally significant, and how the legendary figure Cyrus the Great holds such strong influence on ideas about modern civilization. The project finds inspiration from the collaboration between the artist and Bay Area students. After a docent tour, students worked with Ebtekar to respond to the question, “if you were the Master of the Universe,thinking about your legacy, what message would you inscribe on a cylinder like Cyrus’s?”