Language of the Birds

Language of the Birds

Image by CoDiFi
Language of the Birds, a solar-powered art piece designed by artists Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn, is installed at the northwest corner of Broadway at Columbus in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood.

Photographs in this collection have been produced by Heather Do and Kathleen Markham at the request of UC Berkeley Anthropology 136k class, for the purposes of exploring the cultural heritage sites of surrounding Vesuvio Café and City Lights Bookstore in san Francisco, CA. This collection documents the walking path from Vesuvio Cafe in the North Beach area, with the intent to gain more of a spacial understanding of different heritage sites located in San Francisco.

Photographs in this collection were captured on Monday April 11, 2011, between 7:00 AM and 11:00 AM Pacific Time, under cloudy and overcast conditions. Photos were captured with a Canon XSI (CAM23). Lenses used were an 18-55mm and a 70-200mm telephoto. A tripod was used for pictures of Alcatraz Island and the Bay Bridge. The photos were developed in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.

Description written by Kenneth Chiu and Kathleen Salmond, following Alonso C. Addison’s proposed virtual heritage metadata format in his chapter "The Vanishing Virtual" in New Heritage: New Media and Cultural Heritage, edited by Kalay, et al., and published by Routledge in 2007.

Now known as North Beach, this section of San Francisco was once infamous as the Barbary Coast District. The area was renown for prominence in prostitution and gambling, which emerged from the destitute society of those bankrupt by the 1848 Gold Rush. Once an actual beach, the area developed into a residential and commercial region by the end of the 19th century. During the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, parts of the area were rebuilt largely through the labor of Chinese and Italian immigrants. These regions became the precursors to the Italian district and Chinatown. In the 1950’s, with the establishment of Vesuvio Café and City Lights Bookstore, North Beach became the heart of the beat movement in the San Francisco Bay Area.

All photos Copyright ©2011 Center for Digital Archaeology, Berkeley CA
Creative Commons
For more information contact Center for Digital Archaeology, Berkeley, CA, 94720 or visit


Original Filename: EBW01_CAM16-486.dng

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