Today at Apple / Apple Union Square / June 2018 through April 2019, as “guest” Head of Programming

Today at Apple / Apple Union Square / themes + variations 

context : a snippet from a Forbes article from May 20th 2017 ~ Today At Apple: How Angela Ahrendts Imagined a New Apple Experience by Pamela N. Danziger : “For years Apple has been way out front in imagining the possibilities of new retail experiences.  Now with its ‘Today at Apple’ program, officially launching worldwide this weekend, this information-age leader is evolving at the forefront of imagination retail, the essential step in transforming retail from a product-based (i.e. selling Apple computers and iPhones) to a people-based business. The concept behind ‘Today at Apple’ is simple, but profound.  Originally announced in late April  as a series of educational seminars to be offered in its 495 Apple Stores, on the surface it didn’t sound too revolutionary:  a computer store teaching people how to use their computers.  But the program’s goals and implementation are far more expansive than just some training classes. Apple wants to make each of its Apple Stores a community hub bound by shared technology and that lubricates personal connections.  Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior Vice President of Retail and former CEO of Burberry, said in the release announcing the program, “We’re creating a modern-day town square, where everyone is welcome in a space where the best of Apple comes together to connect with one another, discover a new passion, or take their skill to the next level. We think it will be a fun and enlightening experience for everyone who joins. In other words, all these virtual social connections that Apple technology enables now become real, meaningful and personal at each Apple Store.”


Below is a sweeping, comprehensive, (+ personal) visual essay of the programming from the past 12 months (through this past April 2019) as “guest” Head of Programming for Apple Union Square ~ all 170+ sessions, with a few of our collaborators highlighted, website links included, as well as global themes + series that punctuated the larger curatorial vision, the The Big Draw in Nov 2018 + Made by Women in March 2019 (which came to life in Apple flagships in Chicago, NYC, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Milan, Dubai, Singapore, Kyoto, Hong Kong).  Please go to Today at Apple website to check out the Apple-led and Talent-led programming near you ~ including Art Labs, Video Labs, Music Labs, Photo Labs + PhotoWalks, and other sessions…  To find more images + video footage of particular sessions mentioned below, you can go to #todayatapple or check my personal accounts @drcariborja or @cariborjafashionfilmfood… And to see a few of the short videos that Royal made (one of the gathering around the oakland-based film Blindspotting with Youth Speaks, Oaklandish and OMCA; another on pianist John Steven Morgan and on on Sol Development’s performance on MLK Day) go to #RoyalBorjaAppleSF.

It has been an amazing year and experience, particularly as an anthropologist thinking ethnographically about the relationship between corporate + retail + the larger Bay Area social and educational institutions (and Culture) as a whole. Looking forward to seeing where Today at Apple goes in the future, especially with the opening of the new Apple Carnegie Library and high-profile programming in NYC’s Apple Fifth Avenue.

Note that the images included are mostly snapshots from my iPhone, documenting a moment in time (and all views are my own). The very first session with novelist Vikram Chandra (whose 2007 book Sacred Games was the foundational text of the Netflix series Sacred Games; and whose other book Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty, juxtaposed with his most recent start up venture Granthika) was inspired by Apple’s Think Different campaign, in particular the version narrated by Steve Jobs himself… how do we as a society think different about where we are now (by revisiting our past to make a better, more integrated and thriving future) ~ and who are the people who are doing this in various forms, through different mediums? I always go back to this seminal 1995 interview with Steve Jobs, which if you haven’t seen/listened to, please do… it was done in conversation with Daniel Morrow as part of the Computerworld Information Technology Awards Program, as part of an Oral History Project … in many ways it inspired some of the thinking around and conceiving of the following collaborations with the following institutions and cultural heritage months: SF Pride, Oakland Museum of California, Coal + Ice Project, Robert Koch Gallery, Gray Area Festival, de Young Museum, California College of the Arts, Academy of Art University, SF Center for the Book, Let It Ripple, Stranger’s Guide, National Novel Writing Month, World Wide Women’s Girl’s Festival, Zoo Labs, Hispanic Heritage Month, Native American Heritage Month, Asian American Music Conference, Independent Lens + ITVS, Fashion Incubator SF, Tippett Studio, Urban Native Era, UC Berkeley Cal Bears/Rugby, Apple Music + All Blacks Sevens + Black Ferns Sevens, Walt Disney Family Museum, Black Arts Movement Business District Festival, SF Camerawork, Haight Street Art Center, Ratio 3, 2020 or Bust and Ashara Ekundayo Gallery. Enjoy… ~ cari 

“Here’s to the crazy ones.

The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.

They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can quote them, disagree with them,

glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.

Because they change things. They push the human race forward.

While some may see them as the crazy ones,
we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

~ Apple Computer, 1997


TODAY AT APPLE / APPLE UNION SQUARE / June 2018 – April 2019 

Perspectives: Vikram Chandra x James Cham

PRIDE WEEKEND ~ June 21st through 24th 2018

Braden Summers  / Dayla Soul + Margaret Seelie / Joquese Whitfield
Saturn Rising + Kerry Fiero / Ryan Nicole / Mya Byrne
The Onyx + Paloma Concordia / Oh The Nerve + Christina Luna / Butterscotch + Adisa Banjoko 



above / The ONYX, Dayla Soul + Margaret Seelie, Oh The Nerve, Ryan Nicole, Butterscotch + the Apple team…

“What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved like a road through mountains.” ~ Tennessee Williams

Chase Jarvis / Uma Kelkar
Black Ferns Sevens + All Blacks Sevens + Jack Clark / ClassKit + Quizlet



above / Chase Jarvis + CreativeLive and collaborating with Apple Music + Black Ferns Sevens + All Blacks Sevens + CAL rugby coach Jack Clark


In collaboration with Oakland Museum of California / RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom / July + August 2018

Ruby Ibarra / CHARI / Adam Mansbach + Chinaka Hodge + Bryant Terry + Torrance Rogers/DJ Max Champ
Eric Arnold / Rene de Guzman + Adisa Banjoko (photo: Jamel Shabazz) / Vogue
Mike Relm / Rita Forte + DJ Umami / DJ Quest + The DJ Project

Le Vanguard + SIRI + BESAME / Shino Smoke + Javon Salone / Rap Noir + Tajai + JJAAHZ
BLINDSPOTTING with Rafael Casal + Daveed Diggs + Eric Arnold + Oaklandish/Angela Tsay
Clyde Carson + DJ J12 + Youth Speaks: Darius Simpson, Jada Imani, Kaly Jay, Alex Fraknoi aka Frak
Unified Music Crew: Giveit2emLaLa + Cymone + Jae Laws + Kee + CTBeats + Joey Xanders



above / OMCA’s RESPECT collaborators Eric Arnold, Adisa Banjoko + Renee de Guzman; Vogue TDK, Rita Forte + DJ Umami and DJ Quest



above / images of SF Pride + HipHop, Style + Wisdom ~ Saturn Rising, Ryan Nicole, Joquese Whitfield, Ruby Ibarra, CHARI.



above / Sunday July 8th 2018 ( / DJ Max Champ + Adam Mansbach + Chinaka Hodge + Bryant Terry  ; Mike Relm and I + Bryant, Chinaka, Adam; SF Chronicle’s coverage by George McCalman, #ObservedSF ; DJ Umami and I. 


above / our “passive” session  August 9th 2018 around the Oakland-based film Blindspotting, by Carlos Lopez Estrada; with, left, historian Eric Arnold, Daveed Diggs + Rafael Casal (and Oaklandish’s Angela Tsay); middle, Youth Speak’s Darius Simpson; right Jada Imani, Kaly Jay + Frak.

Miles: “That is the life we’ve been living in since the beginning, and you know we’re stuck in that soil oil. Don’t be who you is!” 

~ Blindspotting, written by Rafael Casal + Daveed Diggs


Performances July + August 2018

Morgan Jay / Vega Victoria / Tukkiman
Cosa Nostra Strings / Sol Development / Mino Yanci
Art3misPrime + Jon Leon Guerrero / Mystic Bowie’s Talking Dreads / Anja Kotar + Dimitri Theodore





above / Morgan Jay, Cosa Nostra Strings, Sol Development; Vega Victoria + Tukkiman; a trio of images / Mystic Bowie’s Talking Dreads… Art3mis Prime and Anja Kotar with Dimitri Theodore Morris 


Photo Walks + Live Art / July + August 2018




Photo Walks to Robert Koch Gallery, YBCA Gardens, China Town + Live Art 

Ljubodrag Andric + Gary Meyer + Robert Koch Gallery / Stephen Texeira
Garrett Cornelison / Mr. Kat & Friends


Gray Area Festival / Josette Melchor + Ingrid LaFleur + Julia Kaganskiy + Layne
John Steven Morgan / PC Munoz + Demone Carter + Alex Kelly


above / John Steven Morgan and the Apple team…

“Music has always been a matter of Energy to me,
a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel.
I have always needed Fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car
with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.” ~ hunter s. thompson


Performances / September 2018



Owen Roberts / Mullerette
Emily Afton / Nate Arbelaez

The COAL + ICE Project

Nate Butkus + Dr. Shannon Bennett + Laura Sydell / TURFinc
Susan MeiselasJeroen de Vries + David Breashears
Youth Speaks: Carlynn Newhouse + Jeremy Joseph + Nubia Yasin + Jackson Neal + Christina Gayton



above / with Coal + Ice’s Marlene Saritzky and Tom Corwin, Nate Butkus, Susan Meiselas, David Breashears, Jeroen de Vries, Laura Sydell. 

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.” ~ Jane Goodall

September Performances + Collaborations / de Young Museum + Contemporary Muslim Fashions

DangerAte / Yiying Lu / Devlin Shand
Tiffany Shlain + Makenzie Darling + Let It Ripple / Moldover + Pixelpusher + Damian Sol
de Young Museum + Dian Pelangi
Clara Venice / de Young Museum + Mona Haydar / Jessica Zollman




above /DangerAte, Yiying Lu, Devlin Shand, Tiffany Shlain + Mackenzie Darling (Let It Ripple); Dian Pelangi + Mona Haydar + de Young Museum 

Elaine Ryan / Socorra / MAAYAN / Christine Tence


October / Highlight: Hispanic Heritage Month




World Wide Women’s Girls’ Festival + Mary Stutts + Tara McCannell/Gilead + Dion Lin/ABC7 News
ASTU + Zoo Labs / Youngin Floe

Hispanic Heritage Month:  Melissa San Vicente + Daisy Hernandez + Adriana Perez-Bell + Rocio Rivera + Chloe Elisa
Hispanic Heritage Month: Unlearn the World + Los Rakas + Zoo Labs / Vudaje / Delphi Freeman

“No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men. There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a third power stronger than both, that of women.” ~ malala yousafzai

October 2018 / The Big Draw 

Jessie Liu + Fashion Incubator SF / Sacre Cheu + Simon Ko / MeeWow Games

Victor Reyes / MarcyMoji / Stephanie Bodnar + EVGENIA + Fashion Incubator SF

Travis Ruiz / Colleen Quen / Amy Lu + Tippett Studio




above /Big Draw artists including Jessie Liu, Sacre Cheu + Simon Ko, MeeWow Games + Ben Ahroni + Alex Madrigal, Victor Reyes, Marcy Moji (Marcy Day + Andrew Williams), Evgenia’s Stephanie Bodnar + Fran Farmer,C raves Ruiz, Colleen Quen, and Amy Lu + Tippett Studio.



California College of the Arts / Empathy:  Owen SmithGhazaleh Khalifeh, and Juan Carlos Rodriguez Rivera

CCA / Curiosity:  Rachel BergerGregory Hurcomb, and Aynne Valencia

Lloyd Dangle / Liam Golden 

“I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.” ~ eleanor roosevelt


~~~~~ November 2018 ~~~~~

Stranger’s Guide + Kike Arnal / Ralph Steadman + Anita O’Brien + Haight Street Art Center

Barry McGee + Clare Rojas + Ratio 3 / NaNoWriMo : Grant Faulkner + Darynda Jones + Rachael Herron




above / Kike Arnal + Kira Don + Stranger’s Guide; NaNoWriMo + Grant Faulkner + Darynda Jones + Rachael Herron + the Apple team….

Barry McGee + Peggy Honeywell aka Clare Rojas ; Ralph Steadman + Anita O’Brien + Pamela Esterson + the Apple team…


Ian Acredolo / Pancho Morris + Zoo Labs / Chow Mane + Jordan Garrett

Jeff Turner / Vanessa Silberman + Carissa Johnson / Martin Luther

Asian American Music Conference + Rudy Kalma + Korynn OC / Ruby Ibarra + Evelyn Obamos


above / Chow Mane + Jordan Garrett; center, Ian Acredolo; right, Ruby Ibarra with her band + Evelyn Obamos


Beth Yarnelle Edwards / CCA + Martin Venezky

Yiying Lu + Chad Johnson, Center for the Book / Rose Goldthwait + Temple Ro + Fashion Incubator SF


above / left, with Martin Venezky + CCA; middle, Beth Yarnelle Edwards’ session; right, with Yiying Lu + Chad Johnson


Academy of Art University + Gary Miller + Mario Chinchilla + Church Iglesias / Jayne Foster + Vivid Yunan Ma + Eden Slezin

“There is nothing more comfortable than a caterpillar and nothing more made for love than a butterfly. We need dresses that crawl and dresses that fly. Fashion is at once a caterpillar and a butterfly, caterpillar by day, butterfly by night.” ~ coco chanel


November 2018 / Native American Heritage Month 

Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World + Independent Lens + PJ Vegas + Tim Johnson + Sherry Simpson Dean

Urban Native Era + Dio Ganhdih + Mato Wayuhi + Mia Ritter-Whittle

Calina Lawrence + Joey Montoya + Jackie Fielder


~~~~~December 2018~~~~~

Vaughn Smith + Tippett Studio / Contemporary Muslim Fashions Exhibition + de Young Museum + Wesaam Al-Badry

Ben VonZastrow + Tippett Studio / Carlo Velasquez



above / Vaughn Smith + Tippett Studio; Wesaam Al-Badry + de Young museum’s Asa De Sal and the Apple team; with Ben VonZastrow + Tippett Studio


Jessica La Rel / No Lovely Thing / Vanessa Silberman + Carissa Johnson

YASSOU + Zoo Labs / Felsen / Pig In Japan

DJ Cavem / Jennifer Johns + Ashel Seasunz / Christian Walker






above / left, YASSOU + BJ McBride + Zoo Labs; right, with DJ Cavem, Ashel Seasunz, Christian Walker (and friends) and the Apple team…


Kara Goucher / Dee Hibbert-Jones + Nomi Talisman / Don Hahn + Walt Disney Family Museum

Contemporary Muslim Fashions Exhibition, de Young Museum + Ben Segal + Linda Butler



above / left, Apple Watch’s Jay Blahnik with the Apple store team; right, Olympian Kara Goucher with everyone who came out to see her speak about her new book Strong: A Runner’s Guide to Boosting Confidence and Becoming the Best Version of You


above / left, Last Day of Freedom filmmakers Dee Hilbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman; middle, Don Hahn + Executive Director of Walt Disney Family Museum Kirsten Komoroske; right, Linda Butler + Ben Segal + de Young team + the Apple team…


~~~~~January 2019~~~~~


Zaldy Tubig / Leon Zai


HANDSMADE + Vessel / Brandon Ruffin

Jessie Deeter + Dayna Goldfine + A Love Song for Larry Harvey / Kate Webber + Kate Johnson + KIM SWIMS



above / left, documentary filmmakers Jessie Deeter (who just produced HBO’s The Inventor:Out off Blood in Silicon Valley by Alex Gibney and is also known for SPARK! A Burning Man Story and 2016 A Revolution in Four Seasons) + Dayna Goldfine (who is currently making, with partner Dan Geller Hallelujah: It Goes Like This which explores Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah); right, KIM SWIMS’ Kim Webber + Kim Johnson



Rainy Eyes / Jaylen Green / Socorra / Vanessa Silberman + Carissa Johnson


Martin Luther King Day / January 21st 2019

sol development 




Ellen Shershow / Colleen Quen

Rocky Rivera + Momo Dash + DJ Celskii / Marco David Castaneda

“If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.” ~ margaret mead


~~~ Preview of Black History Month / with BAMBD FEST 2019 ~~~

Black Arts Movement Business District, Oakland 


Ayodele Nzinga / Cat Brooks / Tureeda Mikell

Cheryl Fabio / Tom Bowden / Eric Arnold / Marvin X / Saturu Ned / WolfHawkJaguar


~~~~~~ February 2019 ~~~~~

BLACK HISTORY MONTH / in collaboration with Ashara Ekundayo Gallery


Golden Age Society / MJ’s Brass Boppers

Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi + Ashara Ekundayo Gallery / Jake Ricker / Matt B

School of Rock + Socorra / Solas B. Lalgee + Ashara Ekundayo Gallery / Xiomara + Amerigo Gazaway

CRSB / GAS / MJ’s Brass Boppers



above / CRSB aka Chris Ramos + Sonny B., with Royal.


Heart Month with the American Heart Association

Jeanette Jenkins + Sumbul Desai + Robert Harrington



“Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealously. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake up and live!” ~ bob marley 


Solas B. Lalgee + Ashara Ekundayo Gallery / Xiomara + Amerigo Gazaway / CRSB

above / with K-Dub, Adam Lamoreaux, Dug Infinite and the Apple team… / JJ Harris + Ashara Ekundayo Gallery 


Ken Light / Joshua Mays / Gina Madrid

Ian Acredolo / Tanya Habjouqa / Zakiya Harris


“Photographs are a way of imprisoning reality. One can’t possess reality, one can possess images ~ one can’t possess the present but one can possess the past.” 

~ susan sontag


~~~~ March 2019 / Made By Women / International Women’s Month ~~~~




Tanya Habjouqua + SF Camerawork / Zakiya Harris + Ashara Ekundayo Gallery

CCA + Leslie Carol Roberts + Mara Holt Skov + Lisa Conrad / Jaylen Green

Amanda Southworth / Melonie J. Green + Melorra Green + Ashara Ekundayo Gallery / CCA + Leslie Carol Roberts + JD Beltran

Tesia Blackburn / CCA + Margaret Ikeda + Leslie Carol Roberts

Kate Achatz + Miriam Klein Stahl + Hazel ~ (Rad Women / Rad Girls Can)



DJ Qbert + Thud Rumble + The Fresh Crew


~~~~~APRIL 2019~~~~~

Flore Morton / Krystyn Nakamura / Robert Bala / Academy of Art University 

above /with Flore Morton, Krystyn Nakamura, Robert Bala, Gabriel Gima, Elena Eberhard + the Apple team…



DJ Aux Cord / Daghe

Jonah Melvon + Adesha / Decap / Ayla Nereo

Jennifer Johns / Kara Maria / 2020 or Bust



above / a couple of other sessions April 27th ~ with Pixar’s Vaughn Smith + Frank Abney and May 8th with CCA’s Gregory Hurcomb, and the Apple team…below, with programming experts Joe DeStefano + Jeremy Patterson.

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”  ~ steve jobs

epilogue / in collaboration with a series we did with Ashara Ekundayo Gallery, artists Melorra + Melonie Green (part of YBCA100) built a virtual altar at Apple Union Square. Participants created their own piece of art inspired by a woman in their life that became part of the physical altar in the forum… 

1 Comment

  • Reply May 25, 2019

    Maureen Draper

    Wowee, a lot going on here! Mostly music groups I gather? You look like you’re having so much fun!!
    Must get together this summer…

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