2016 street names and their meanings

Da Vinci's Workshop is inspired by the Italian Renaissance of the middle fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, when an historic convergence of inspired artistry, technical innovation and enlightened patronage launched Europe out of medievalism and into modernity. Our story will focus on the republic of Florence, for it was here, in a city-state of about the same size and population as Black Rock City, that humanist ideals, a rediscovery of science, and funding from a newly moneyed class of entrepreneurs fueled a revolutionary cultural movement that redefined Western civilization. Five centuries later, we will attempt to recreate this potent social alchemy by combining Burning Man art, maker culture and creative philanthropy to make Black Rock City the epicenter of a new renaissance.
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2016 street names and their meanings

Post by zeigen » Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:05 pm

Hey Eplaya! Dr. Z here. I'm part of camp DeBocceRi, located in the Planned Playahood village at 7&B. For DeBocceRi's public Facebook page, I wrote a series of posts about the street names. Here I've compiled them into one place, just in case you find it of interest. (If you visit the Debo public page, you can see the images and sources as well: https://www.facebook.com/debocceri/ -- and find a listing of our events, including our ice cream social on Tuesday at 3pm at 7&B!)

DeBocceRi loves all things Italian, but most especially bocce ball. In celebration of our Italian connection and the 2016 Burning Man theme of Da Vinci's Workshop, here's some discussion of the street names in Black Rock City this year.

A is for Arno. The Arno is a river in Italy. What's the connection between da Vinci and the river Arno? It turns out that in the 14th century, the two great cities of Pisa and Florence were in conflict. Florence's main commercial connection to the rest of the world was via the river Arno. Florence wanted sole control of the river, but Pisa was located at Arno's mouth. So the leaders of Florence wanted to divert the river to bypass Pisa, and they turned to two great engineers to accomplish this feat. One of those engineers was da Vinci. Leonardo's proposal was to dig an 80-foot wide ditch and build a dam. Since that proposal required a million tons of earth to be moved, Leonardo designed some machines to help make this happen. Unfortunately, the second engineer, Colombino (who had been assigned by none other than Machiavelli to lead the project), didn't care for da Vinci's plan, and came up with his own proposal: Two smaller ditches. Ultimately Colombino's plan failed. The world must forever wonder at how different history would have been had da Vinci's plan been carried out.

B is for Botticelli. Botticelli literally means "little jug," and the street's name refers to the famous painter, Sandro Botticelli. While best-known for the Birth of Venus, Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi (Botticelli's birth name) produced numerous works in the Early Renaissance period. Botticelli was a contemporary of da Vinci's born about seven years prior, circa 1445. Both da Vinci and Botticelli were likely students of Andrea del Verrocchio. And both turned to Lorenzo de Medici ("Lorenzo the Magnificent") as a patron. But over time, Botticelli's style came to be considered outdated, replaced by the High Renaissance style -- including famous works by da Vinci himself. It is not unlikely that when Botticelli died in 1510, having little to no employment for the previous eight years, he hated da Vinci's guts. We here at DeBocceRi will hold Botticelli in high esteem this year, as can be found at 7 and Botticelli. Viva Little Jug!

C is for Cosimo. This is a reference to Cosimo de' Medici, the first ruler of Florence from the infamous House of Medici dynasty. He was known as Cosimo the Elder, and was a very wealthy banker and patron of the arts. One of his grandsons, Lorenzo the Magnificent, was the patron of Leonardo da Vinci. It is doubtful that Cosimo and Leonardo had any particular relationship, as Cosimo died in 1464, and Leonardo was born only 12 years prior.

D is for Donatello, and while some may recognize that name as one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (the smart one with the staff and the purple bandana), it's more likely a reference to Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi, known to us as Donatello. Donatello was a sculptor, best known for his two depictions of David (as in David vs. Goliath), the second of which is said to have been commissioned by Cosimo. Donatello's bronze David was a free-standing nude and was controversial due to his enigmatic smile. Some of Da Vinci's sculptures are said to be inspired by Donatello.

E is for Effigiare. Effigiare is simply Italian for "to depict or portray." It's related to the English word "effigy," and both words come from the Latin "effingere" which means to fashion artistically. Da Vinci, as a painter, was a frequent effigiarista, and you can't pick a better example of an effigy than the Man that we burn on Saturday.

(One thing about E street: It's very easy to confuse Esplanade with E. But they are two different streets! E is the fifth street in from Esplanade, whereas Esplanade is the inner-most street circled around the Man. Check the map here: http://burningman.org/event/black-rock- ... city-plan/ )

F is for Florin. A Florin is a present and past unit of currency (in the Netherlands, Aruba, Hungary, East Africa, the Italian state of Lombardy-Veneto, Belgium, Italy, New Zealand, German, and many more). It's a fictional country in the book and movie "The Princess Bride." It's also a popular name, including a saint. But in the time of da Vinci, the Florin was a gold coin, originally from Florence -- the fiorino d'oro. It had 54 grains of gold, worth about $140 today. Historian Simon Black wrote, "Leonardo’s journals state that in a ten-month period, he was paid a total of 240 scudi and 200 florins from the king. The Italian gold scodo at the time was 3.42 grams of gold, and the florin was 3.54 grams. As of today’s gold price, that adds up to an annualized salary of $72,153.24."

G is for Guild. Guilds are long-standing trade and merchant associations for a particular craft in a particular region, with rankings from apprentice to journeyman to master to grandmaster. In 1472, when Leonardo da Vinci was 20 years old, he qualified as a master in the Guild of St. Luke, which was for both artists and medical doctors.

H is for High Renaissance. The Renaissance itself was a historical period from the 14th to 17th centuries in Europe that was the transition from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern Age. It was marked by flourishing intellectual and artistic achievement based on the philosophy of humanism. The High Renaissance portion of the Renaissance began with the creation of da Vinci's fresco of the Last Supper around 1490, and ended in 1527 when Holy Roman Emperor Charles V sacked Rome. This 30-year period produced some of the most iconic art of all time, including da Vinci's Mona Lisa, Michelangelo's sculptures Pietà and David as well as the his paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and Raphael's frescos in the Vatican.

I is for Italic. Mostly we think of italic type, where the letters are slanted and more cursive than in the roman version of the font. But that form of font letterform was based on a popular style of cursive handwriting developed in Italy during the Renaissance, known as chancery cursive, or Italic script. In that context the word "Italic" just means "having to do with Italy." (For example, the families of language descended from Latin are known as Italic languages, because they were spoken on the Italian peninsula.)

J is for Justice. "You will never have a greater or lesser dominion than that over yourself. . . . the height of a man's success is gauged by his self-mastery; the depth of his failure by his self-abandonment. . . . And this law is the expression of eternal justice. He who cannot establish dominion over himself will have no dominion over others." -- Leonardo da Vinci

K is for Knowledge. With this year's theme of Da Vinci's Workshop, K Street will represent the Renaissance ideal that each person is a master of many different artistic, scientific, and business endeavors. The unifying underlying ability is really knowledge -- facts, information, history. All of da Vinci's life's accomplishments, whether as an artist or an inventor, come down to his ability to reflect a physical fact of the universe in an object -- whether we're talking about reflecting a particular historical moment in a painting, or how wings might work when strapped to a human's arms. Knowledge was da Vinci's power.

L is for Lorenzo. And not just any Lorenzo, but Lorenzo the Magnificent, whom we discussed earlier. Lorenzo de' Medici (1469 - 1492) was a patron and sponsor of da Vinci (and many other artists and merchants), a powerful diplomat, businessman, and politician. Per a biography written by Hugh Ross Williamson, "Many signs and portents were claimed to have taken place at the moment of his death, including the dome of Florence Cathedral being struck by lightning, ghosts appearing, and the lions kept at Via Leone fighting one another."

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Re: 2016 street names and their meanings

Post by Traveller in Time » Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:37 pm

Great work keeps interesting all along :D

Just to prevent jet another urban myth :

The Florijn or Gulden is no longer in use in holland, not sure about some of the other countries as well. Europe is basically using Euros since 2001. <raising a mug of wine>
Dreaming a temporary world improving the default world

Not expressing yourself but embracing all other expressions is The Challenge

...I can make anything I can imagine . . . I just can't make _some_ things happen

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Re: 2016 street names and their meanings

Post by Token » Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:13 pm

All I gotta say is that if I was going, I'd execute some renegade art by fixing the names on the street signs in my radial:

Guild --> Guildenstern
High Renaissance --> High Rosencrantz

And then for historical sake, as Justice has been used before:

Justice --> Just Ass

As you were.


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