Yellow wildflowers and water in the Baylands

Mundane Monday: CITO Events

This past weekend was Earth Day in the United States. There were marches in support of science in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, which I agreed with and supported, but didn’t end up going to. I am an introvert and don’t like crowds.

I did something more mundane, which was to go to CITO events. “CITO” means “Cache In, Trash Out,” and these are geocaching events in which cachers look for trash instead of geocaches, and pick it up and take it out of the park. Frequent CITO-ers carry trash grabbers, poles with a handle and button on one end and two pincers on the other, which close when you press the button. Having one of these means you don’t actually have to touch the trash with your hands, which can be a good thing. I bought my husband a really crappy one last year. It broke at our first event. We tried to fix it at subsequent events, but it never worked properly and we finally ended up throwing it in one of the trash bags. I bought him a new one this year that seems to be working better!

SchwanLakePark
Schwan Lake Park, Santa Cruz

We went to two events, one each day of the weekend. One was in Santa Cruz and one was in the Baylands Reserve near the Googleplex. As you can see, neither of them ended up having a lot of trash to pick up, but they were gorgeous walks in beautiful weather. The wildflowers are out and you can see them blooming, in contrast to the bright blue sky.

IMG_8678
Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Mountain View

And then, I used this online bio generator to make a satirical “artist bio” for my landscape photography for Mundane Monday. I thought the bio was surprisingly accurate (or at least amusing. And I learned some new words!) Plug in your own information and see what you get :-). For the Mundane Monday Challenge #106.

Karen Allendoerfer (°1965, Providence, United States) is a photographer who mainly works with the iPhone. With Plato’s allegory of the cave in mind, her photos references post-colonial theory as well as the avant-garde or the post-modern and the left-wing democratic movement as a form of resistance against the logic of the capitalist market system.

Her photos demonstrate how life extends beyond its own subjective limits and often tells a story about the effects of global cultural interaction over the early part of the twenty-first century. It challenges the binaries we continually reconstruct between Self and Other, between our own ‘cannibal’ and ‘civilized’ selves. By choosing mainly formal solutions, she makes work that deals with the documentation of events and the question of how they can be presented. The work tries to express this with the help of physics and technology, but not by telling a story or creating a metaphor.

Her works are characterised by the use of everyday objects in an atmosphere of middleclass mentality in which recognition plays an important role. By taking daily life as subject matter while commenting on the everyday aesthetic of middle class values, she investigates the dynamics of landscape, including the manipulation of its effects and the limits of spectacle based on our assumptions of what landscape means to us. Rather than presenting a factual reality, an illusion is fabricated to conjure the realms of our imagination.

Her works establish a link between the landscape’s reality and that imagined by its conceiver. These works focus on concrete questions that determine our existence. By demonstrating the omnipresent lingering of a ‘corporate world’, she tries to develop forms that do not follow logical criteria, but are based only on subjective associations and formal parallels, which incite the viewer to make new personal associations.

Her works are an investigation into representations of (seemingly) concrete ages and situations as well as depictions and ideas that can only be realized in photography. By exploring the concept of landscape in a nostalgic way, she often creates work using creative game tactics, but these are never permissive. Play is a serious matter: during the game, different rules apply than in everyday life and even everyday objects undergo transubstantiation.

Her works are based on formal associations which open a unique poetic vein. Multilayered images arise in which the fragility and instability of our seemingly certain reality is questioned. Karen Allendoerfer currently lives and works in Mountain View.

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14 thoughts on “Mundane Monday: CITO Events”

    1. Sure, I was serious when I picked the subjects. I said something like landscapes and everyday objects. I forget the third one though. And I changed the first line to “iphone” because it just said “photography.” I thought “iphone” was funnier and more accurate.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I think I ought to get into CITO-ing! My husband and I frequent all the amazing natural areas around where we live in Massachusetts (he’s a photographer so we’re always hiking) . It’s staggering the amount of plastic bottles we find in the streams. He also jokes that we should make a coffee table book out of the interesting places people put dog poop bags. Seriously? You’re going to go through the trouble of putting it in a bag and then leave it in the woods? Explain THAT logic! Anyways, glad you made the earth a better place!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there, my husband and I lived and geocached around MA up until July 2015, when we moved to the SF Bay Area. Here’s the first blog I ever wrote about CITO-ing, along the Charles River in Cambridge: https://klallendoerfer.wordpress.com/2015/05/03/cache-in-trash-out/
      There tend to be a lot of CITO events on Earth Day weekend, but there must be others too in the spring and summer. At this point, I think we geocachers may need to go a little further afield and find places where there’s more trash to clean up. These parks are pretty clean. But I heard that trash and junk around highways in CA is at an all-time high this year 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow! Small world! I lived in Somerville for years, but now I’m in Arlington on the Lexington line. So much beautiful conservation land around here that is abused. 😖 Anyways, mundane as cleaning up trash may be, thanks for the inspiration.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Your bio stopped me in my tracks. At first I thought it was real and wondered about you! Then I re-read what you clearly wrote, and realized that I need a bio like this one, too. What a hoot. Thanks for the link.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had the same experience with my Facebook friend who posted the link and her own fake bio from the generator. But I know her well enough to figure out pretty quickly it had to be satire (and we both appreciate the kind of satire it is!)

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I think this paragraph is especially good for us “Mundane Monday” Challenge participants:

      “Her works are characterised by the use of everyday objects in an atmosphere of middleclass mentality in which recognition plays an important role. By taking daily life as subject matter while commenting on the everyday aesthetic of middle class values, she investigates the dynamics of landscape, including the manipulation of its effects and the limits of spectacle based on our assumptions of what landscape means to us.”

      Liked by 1 person

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