18TH STREET ARTS CENTER 2009 PROGRAM ANNUAL 1
THANK YOU TO OUR 2009 SUPPORTERS FOUNDATION SUPPORTERS ALLIANCE OF ARTISTS COMMUNITIES ANDY WARHOL FOUNDATION FOR THE VISUAL ARTS ASIAN CULTURAL COUNCIL CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION CALIFORNIA CULTURAL & HISTORICAL ENDOWMENT CITY OF LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS CITY OF SANTA MONICA ARTS COMMISSION COUNCIL FOR CULTURAL AFFAIRS –TAIWAN DURFEE FOUNDATION J. PAUL GETTY FOUNDATION JAMES IRVINE FOUNDATION JUMEX FOUNDATION LOS ANGELES COUNTY ARTS COMMISSION NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS RASMUSON FOUNDATION TRUST FOR MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING PRIVATE DONORS ABBY SHER ADOLFO V. NODAL ALICE SALINAS ALLEGRA SNYDER ANGEL LUIS FIGUEROA ANN PETERSAN ANNA MCDONNELL ANNIE BUCKLEY ANTHONY ELLIOT BARBARA CROCKETT BARBARA T. SMITH BG & ASSOCIATES BREE TURNER BRURIA FINKEL BUFF GIVEN CAITLIN STROKOSCH CHERI CAULKE CHERNA GITNIK CHERYL ANNE WOODARD CHUCK COUGHLIN COUNTERINTUITY LLC DALILA SOTELO DAPHNE DENNIS DAVID CORWIN 2
DAVID PALMER DEAN MATSUBAYASHI DENISE FAIRCHILD DORIT CYPIS ELAINE KILTGAARD ELYSE AND STANLEY GRINSTEIN EMILIE CONRAD-DA’OUD ERINN BRUBAKER FELICIA FILER FRANCINE ELLMAN GIGI SZABO HAQQIKA LINDA BRIDGES HELEN HOWARTH JAIME MIZRAHI JAMES DREYFUSS JAMES HAYMAN JAMES ROJAS JAN BOOK JAN WILLIAMSON JEFFREY GOLDMAN JILL MELTZER JOAN ABRAHAMSON JOANNE PRICE JOHN GORDON JOYCE HAYASHI KAREN MAISH KATHARINE DESHAW KATE JOHNSON KIRA CARSTENSEN KIRA PEROV KIT GALLOWAY LADDIE JOHN DILL LAURIE NEWMAN LAWRENCE SCARPA LESLIE LABOWITZ STARUS LESLI LINKA GLATTER LISA CONKLIN LISA MARR LOIS CAMPBELL LORI HARRIS LOU ANNE WHITE LYNN JEFFRIED MARINA FORSTMANN DAY MARINA ROTA MARK DALEY MARK GREENFIELD MARK WINKLER MARLA BERNS MARLA KOOSED MARLA MICHAELS MARTHA KOPLIN MELINDA DEAMON
MELISSA BACHRACH MICHAEL W. BARNARD MICHAEL MASSUCCI MICHAEL DATCHER MICHAEL FINK MICHAEL HERSH MICHAEL WRIGHT NANCY BERMAN OLGA GARAY PAM POSEY PATRICIA DAKIN STERLING PAUL AND ELAINE O’LAGUE PAUL BOSNER PAUL LIVADARY PETER GIANNINI PETER GOULDS PETER KIRN PHYLLIS FORMAN PHYLLIS GREEN PICHIN PRODUCTIONS RACHEL BIRD ANDERSON RAYMOND JUNG RICHARD DEL BELSO RICH ERICKSON ROBIN CONERLY RUTH B. WILSON SANDRA COX SEAN SASHARA SYLVIA TIDWELL SUSANNA B. DAKIN TARA PHOENIX STERLING THAO NGUYEN TOM ENGELL TONIA SHIMIN ULYSSES JENKINS VALERIE FOWLER VALRI SWIFT WAYNE BLANK IN-KIND DONORS ABBOT’S PIZZA COMPANY ARTILLERY MAGAZINE BURNETT’S VODKA CITIZEN LA CYBELLE WINES EFFEXIS SOFTWARE FRITTO MISTO HPNOTIQ LIQUEUR IZZE SPARKLING JUICE PAMA POMEGRANATE LIQUEUR SANTA MONICA MIRROR THE ARGONAUT
FROM THE DIRECTORS We are pleased to share with you our 2009 annual program catalogue. This year it is expanded in scope and size to include coverage of our major exhibitions, a sampling of our numerous events, and a roster of our international and local residencies. At the beginning of 2009, it was abundantly clear that dramatic worldwide financial conditions presaged a season of change. Predictions ranged from full on banking collapse to a recovery that would bring us charging back within twelve months. All of us were caught between the optimism of a new political regime and the pessimism of the daily news. Today, conditions on the ground reside somewhere in flux. While economies are bouncing back in some areas, the State of California and the City of Los Angeles are experiencing unprecedented financial debt which is affecting essential services in health, safety, welfare and education. How all of this will affect the arts community in Los Angeles over the long term is unclear. Yet we are gratified that 18th Street has had one of its best years in memory, not only in terms of funding and increased support; but especially because that support has resulted in outstanding art making from a host of talented, creative individuals whom we have worked with in the past twelve months. On behalf of the staff and Board of Directors of 18th Street Arts Center, we invite you to enjoy our 2009 catalogue, aptly named Almost Utopia, in which we strive to realize our dreams but with a small and important dose of no nonsense pragmatism mixed in.
/ 1 / ArtNight May 2, Volunteers welcoming guests
Yours truly, CLAYTON CAMPBELL ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
JAN WILLIAMSON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
ALMOST UTOPIA INTRODUCTION
We wish to thank the artists represented in the catalogue and the following persons for permission to use their photographs: ALEKSANDRA ADJUKOVIC ALI AYDIN (p. 3) ZANDIE BROCKETT CLAYTON CAMPBELL (cover) LEO GARCIA (p. 64, Highways) RONALD LOPEZ DIANE MEYER
CULTS, COLLECTIVES AND COCOONING
WITHOUT A CAR IN THE WORLD
INTERNATIONAL & VISITING ARTISTS
JOHN LUCAS (p. 29, #47; p. 32, #52â€“54) CHARCHI STINSON (p. 30, #48 and 49)
Almost Utopia was designed by Brooklyn Brown (www.madebybrooklyn.com)
71 GENERAL INFORMATION CONTENTS 1
“ART EXPANDS OUR WORLD VIEW. ART KEEPS THE PEACE. ART MAKES THE WORLD MORE BEAUTIFUL.” CLAYTON CAMPBELL
INTRODUCTION BY CLAYTON CAMPBELL, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF 18TH STREET ARTS CENTER
/ 2 / Ali Aydin, Untitled (Santa Monica Pier), Digital photograph, 2009
ALMOST UTOPIA (LOS ANGELES 2019) After a bruising 2008 in which the presidential election dominated discussion and would culminate in the election of Barack Obama, our annual theme, The Future of Nations, was our vehicle for hosting dozens of contemporary artists making art about critical issues. The work undertaken by artists was out of necessity, a reactive response to universal issues and national policies that had spun out of control and needed refocusing. For many years 18th Street Arts Center has supported artists involved with an array of broadly defined social justice issues. It is probably why we have become realists with an edge of altruism. We appreciate the enormity of the many social challenges needing immediate attention and have seen progress and success along side the setbacks. In 2009 I established the theme, Almost Utopia: Los Angeles 2019, as a way for curators and artists to proactively look forward. We are concerned with quality of life issues, what we can do to affect change that is meaningful and holistic. Coincidentally, 18th Street Arts Center is in the midst of a redevelopment project of its site. It means thinking and planning about how to design a creative community; one that will be relevant and dynamic well into the future, serving the needs of artists, creators, and the public. The most fascinating thing about the process is projecting it into the future to ascertain what relevance means, what art making might be like, what creators will need in terms of sustainable community, tools and inclusion that supports diverse sensibilities. In light of this effort, Almost Utopia looks forward with optimism and the desire to expand our worldview and quality of life. Our theme for the 2009 exhibition year asked curators to look forward at least ten years to 2019 and wonder what Los Angeles could be like.
The curators and artist fellows selected for the year met over dinner in our gallery on five occasions, to discuss each of their projects, cross reference ideas, learn from each other and challenge assumptions. During this process of gathering together, a unity developed among the artists through shared resources and ideas. One of the wonderful outcomes of our annual themes is the synergy created with this creative team. It has been a privilege for me to work with all of them. In the film Blade Runner, set in 2019 in a city like Los Angeles, the world is a dystopian universe of failing, artificial systems. This is the kind of image of Los Angeles we wanted to avoid, it is too well worn a path. The challenge I made to our curators and artists was to bring forth ideas and works of art that are “almost utopian,” imperfect yet brilliant, unexpectedly beautiful and above all achievable. As the curators considered this, there was tremendous flexibility in the approaches they took. They discussed how they might explore what will contemporary art look like in ten years; how we may be living in new social spaces such as intentional communities; how civic space can be non-lethal, a space of healing and resolution; and what will our cultural institutions be like or should be like? I wish to thank our curators for Almost Utopia (Los Angeles 2019); Ichiro Irie, Ciara Ennis, Pilar Tompkins and Diane Meyer. I also wish to thank this year’s 18th Street Artist Fellows who each created a significant new work or works during the course of the year: Marcos Novak, Sandra de la Loza and Nuttaphol Ma. CLAYTON CAMPBELL ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, 18TH STREET
/ EXHIBITION /
ARTISTS ANIBAL CATALAN
CURATED BY ICHIRO IRIE
INFRANATURAL MARCOS LUTYENS, DANIELA FROGHERI & FERNANDO MENESES MARCOS NOVAK OYLER WU COLLABORATIVE JAMES ROJAS CHRIS TALLON
ESSAY BY ICHIRO IRIE Shangri-La, as normally spelled, refers to a fictional place in the Far East first described in Lost Horizon, a novel by British author James Hilton, and later popularized in a movie by Frank Kapra with the same name. Colloquially, the term Shangri-La has become synonymous with an earthly paradise or utopia, and also with seemingly unattainable dreams or goals, carrying both positive and negative connotations. The first part of the title for the current exhibition, Shangri L.A.: Architecture as a State of Flux, takes its cues from these ideas. Shangri L.A. deals with the future of architecture in Los Angeles as something much closer to thought, desire, and perhaps science fiction, than one which has a literal corollary, as of yet, in the outside world. This exhibition celebrates architects, and non-architects, who make work that serves as visual/structural enhancers and pressure valves which might one day help Los Angeles or a city like it be more fun and less monotonous, more livable and less alienating.
FEBRUARY 7 – MARCH 27, 2009
SHANGRI L.A. ARCHITECTURE AS A STATE OF FLUX
DEBBIE HU RICKS & CEDAR MILLER
ORIGINS The initial impetus for this exhibition began about four years ago as a series of conversations with my friend and colleague Anibal Catalan. In relation to his own work, we would informally discuss a broad range of topics and issues including the work of Russian Constructivist artists such as Malevich and El Lissitzky, modern architects such as Mies Van Der Rohe and Le Corbusier, contemporary architects such as Zaha Hadid and Vito Acconci, experimental architects such as Libbeus Woods and Marcos Novak, and the work of contemporary artists whose work overtly references architecture such as Julie Mehretu, Kevin Appel, and Tomas Demand. From these conversations emerged the idea to one day do some kind of group exhibition about architects who make art objects, and artists who make work informed by architecture. At the time, I had no idea when or where. Fast forward to mid-2008, I find myself in the 18th Street Arts Center office with Artistic Director Clayton Campbell, and I ask him about his plans for next year’s series of exhibitions, and he explains to me his idea about a proactive vision of the future with the umbrella title Almost Utopia: Los Angeles 2019. I ask Clayton if I could curate one of the shows, and no sooner does he ask “About what?” Without hesitation I answer, as you might have guessed, “Architecture!” SHANGRI L.A. 3
/ EXHIBITION /
/ 3 / Installation in progress of Mutually Assured Architectures, Marcos Lutyens
My original concept was to do a more expansive exhibition with contemporary artists and architects from around the globe who were both critical and celebratory of the history and the potentials of architecture. However, considering the mandate of imagining a nearly utopian Los Angeles a decade from now, decided that I should establish more rigorous parameters that would not only be aligned to the overarching theme, but that would present a more focused vision in the context of the exhibition space at 18th Street. So, I began to ask myself: 1) Who are the artists who make work about architecture or architects who make art related to their architectural designs and proposals, 2) who make work somehow related to Los Angeles, 3) who make work somehow related to the future, and 4) who make work somehow related to some utopian ideal? As I continued with my investigation, the answer to question 2 became increasingly problematic. Very few architects in this day and age set out to construct a specifically regional architectural proposal, and although there are several examples of iconic contemporary Los Angeles architecture, it is almost impossible to identify and define any characteristics that make a structure particularly “L.A.” Thom Mayne famously stated at a New School Symposium before the “Angels & Franciscans” show in New York: “I think the whole idea of architecture being regional is preposterous (Jayne Merkel, 1994).” I concur with Mayne, because any commonalities, real or imagined, that might exist between the work of a group of artists such as Mayne, Gehry, Owen-Moss, or Israel would be more incidental than due to an aesthetic or ideology based in geography. The fact that all artists are working across continents blurs these lines even further.
SHANGRI L.A. 4
Almost equally, if not more, dubious is my ability to envision a probable architectural future only ten years from now that would be radically different from what it is today. First of all, I make no claims to be a psychic or to have any scientific prognosis on the trends of the near future as it relates to buildings and urban planning. Secondly, I really doubt they are going to tear down all the preexisting buildings to reconstruct a new and better Los Angeles. Now that would be an ecological, dystopic nightmare. My prognosis actually is that L.A. 10 years from now will pretty much look like L.A. today, and probably 20 years from now for that matter. Aside from some enticing and not so enticing additions and subtractions here and there, such as the plans to re-enliven the L.A. river area, to install and operate a fully functioning subway system, the dismantling of Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, or the need to accommodate a sharp increase in population in a failing economy, I think L.A., will always be L.A… at least for a few decades more... architecturally speaking that is. Instead of over-obsessing about these issues, I decided to take the position of “What if?” and “Wouldn’t it be interesting if?” instead of saying “This is what’s going to happen” or “This is what should happen.” And instead of attempting to make the artists/architects fit into a paradigmatic and stylistic hole, I decided to limit the artists, for the most part, to those who reside and/or work in greater Los Angeles. By their mere presence here, by default, their ideas would originate from a definable place geographically and historically. I also decided to limit the artists/architects to those who are in relatively early stages of their careers, or to those who have not realized their ideas into actual buildings or structures, because this to me speaks more about the possibilities of things to come rather than ideas already established and made reality.
/ EXHIBITION /
/ 4 / Fabrication of sculpture in progress of Evidence of Time, Debbie Hu Ricks
As I began to consider the artists that should be included in the show, I knew they should somehow represent an alternative to the present and status quo. The present and status quo are many things to many people, and it is as much an imagined reality as a physical one. To me, the image of Los Angeles architecture is based on the gridiron urban planning which was set into motion by the Spanish colonists over two centuries ago. My image of Los Angeles is the single unit houses, condos, strip malls that fit comfortably within this matrix and the massive freeway system that together, according to David Gebhard and Robert Winter (2003), contribute in generating “an individualistic hedonism rarely experienced since Sodom and Gomorrah” and “the most privacy-conscious people on earth.”
The artists in my curatorial endeavor would have to somehow deviate from these preconceptions. For a moment, I thought to look to SCI-ARC as a breeding ground for young fresh ideas, but soon changed my mind. Although I wanted to acknowledge their contribution to architectural practice in my own exhibition, I didn’t want the show to look like a SCI-ARC show for no other reason than that SCI-ARC does SCI-ARC better than anyone else… at least better than me. Another precedent might be Experimental Architecture in Los Angeles, which was also dubbed “Gehry’s Kids,” a book published in 1991 featuring a number of younger architects who also happened to be former students of Frank Gehry. In contrast to their efforts, I decided I wanted to do an actual art show with works that would function autonomously, as opposed to doing an architecture show with a bunch of maquettes, photos On the other hand, there is the mediated image of Los Angeles and renderings of some real or hypothetical structure that would architecture projected by film, television and coffee table books be re-situated in the gallery environment. So, I kept asking myself, such as An Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles (a.k.a. The Blue who should I invite? Book) and LA 2000+: New Architecture in Los Angeles, and survey exhibitions such as Angels and Franciscans which took place in New York nearly 15 years ago. This is the Los Angeles where architects such as Phillip Johnson, Gehry and Morphosis have become household names and the object of envy and admiration of many an architecture students. This is the Los Angeles where buildings such as the Bradbury in downtown L.A., the Getty Center, and the L.A.X., have projected a particular iconic status to the L.A. brand of urbanity. When I think of the present state of architecture in Los Angeles, I think of it as an amalgamation of all these past and present influences, the celebrated and the banal coexisting and competing with each other in constant flux.
SHANGRI L.A. 5
/ EXHIBITION /
THE ARTISTS AND THEIR WORKS
/ 5 / Anibal Catalan, (Installation view) Proun Project, Coroplast, aluminum, steel, wood and lights, site-specific, 2009 (courtesy of artist) / 6 / Anibal Catalan, Morpho 1, Acrylic and ink on paper, 8" x 17", 2009
ANIBAL CATALAN The first artist I thought of was, Anibal Catalan. Although he resides in Mexico City, he has exhibited in California and specifically in Los Angeles more than a half dozen times in the past few years, and has spent a great deal of time here also. Furthermore, I felt his participation in the exhibition would be indispensable considering the fact that the idea for the show was largely inspired by our ongoing dialogue, and that his contribution would not be antithetical due to the fact that he has always been heavily influenced by architecture and architects from Los Angeles, at the same time bringing his own idiosyncratic chilango twists and contortions. For Shangri L.A., Catalan presented two projects, one in the 18th Street Lobby Gallery, and another in the Main Gallery. In the Lobby gallery Catalan constructed a site specific-installation, Prouns,named after El Lissitzky’s two dimensional works with the same name. Catalan considers the Russian Suprematist a major influence, and in this piece he unabashedly appropriates El Lissitzky’s work. He creates large scale sculptures which look as though a couple of the older artist’s paintings transformed themselves into corrugated plastic, fluorescent light, metal tubes and strips, and lumber that lift into the air as if they were satellites orbiting the earth. Catalan decided to realize this installation in the lobby because of the utopian ideals the suprematist possessed. He also felt the orthogonal planes that characterize his and El Lissitzky’s Prouns correspond to the gridiron design of many of L.A.’s city streets. By manipulating scale and elevating the pieces overhead via steel cables at diagonal angles, he creates a visceral installation that must be experienced with body as well as the eye to be fully understood. SHANGRI L.A. 6
In the Main Gallery Catalan presents Instant Architectures L.A., a series a continuation of Polaroid interventions he creates with ink and cut vinyl. With this series, Catalan first constructed an improvised miniature structure made of balsa wood and metal that vaguely resembles an insect. He then visited a number of prominent architectural landmarks in Los Angeles and took Polaroid photos of the bug in front of the buildings. The buildings include the Bradbury building (a reference to Bladerunner), the Borofsky clown ballerina, Los Angeles City Hall, the old May Company building which is now LACMA West and the Gehry/ Oldenburg Binocular Building. Due to the framing of the photos and the nature of Polaroid pictures, reference to scale is almost completely lost, and it appears as though a giant insect structure has landed and attached itself on or very close to these iconic buildings. By intervening the images with vinyl and ink, he further obscures the separation between landscape and maquette.
/ EXHIBITION /
MARCOS NOVAK The second artist I was eager to have participate was Marcos Novak. Although he has had a well recognized and illustrious career as a self proclaimed transarchitect, theorist and global nomad, his work has, by design, remained for the most part in the virtual world. I felt his would be the quintessential work to set a tone for the exhibition. I knew he would be someone the other contributors admire, and that his participation would motivate everyone including myself to develop work beyond what the available resources would allow. What I did not know was whether he would agree to be in the show. He did. I gave Novak the option of showing work in the Main Gallery or in the project space, and he chose to present his work in the project space, because the more isolated room would provide autonomy for his interactive video/sound installation. He had recently presented a body of work entitled Turbulent Topologies at Garanti Galeri in Istanbul and at the Venice Architecture Biennial. What he proposed for 18th Street was a variation conceptualized for this exhibit with the new title, Turbulent Shangri L.A. 7
The work was manifested in two parts; one for the opening and one for the gallery walk through towards the end of the exhibition. The installation consisted of four C-stands set up in the four corners of the project space with compact motion sensors attached to its arms. From the sensors ran cables which were attached to small devices encased in two transparent bulbous shells attached to the walls on either side of the space. More cables ran from the devices which connected to a main computer. On the floor were a series of black and white concentric circles which represented the diameter of an invisible object. On the back wall a digitally generated image would be projected. This armature recalled a futuristic movie set reflecting the notion of Hollywood both behind and in front of the camera. The piece itself consisted of an invisible sculpture floating in the middle of the project space, which could only be experienced with the use of a hand carried object that would respond to the carefully calibrated motion sensors. When the visitor entered the room with the hand held object, each point in space would produce a sound corresponding to the specific part of the invisible sculpture. Accordingly, the projection would shift in shape, proportion and scale depending on the part of the sculpture the participant would occupy in any given moment. The first manifestation spoke to me more about a condition, with a more stark projection in black and white, and with more cacophonous sounds of the city. When you sliced through the invisible sculpture with the hand held rod, the sculpture screamed as if you were gutting it alive.
/ 7 & 8 / Marcos Novak (2009 Artist Fellow), (Installation view) Turbulent Shangri L.A., Multimedia installation, site-specific, 2009
The second manifestation was, I would say, more utopic in nature with the projection consisting of a more three dimensional object which was derived from a previous “immersion.” Now with two hand held objects the visitor could actually rotate the invisible sculpture and travel though it. A line was produced on the projection which would track the movement of the participant which Novak states would be later used in the “eversion” process, that is to say in the fabrication of actual, material sculptures. The resulting sound, while still abstract, approached something close to ambient music and was quite soothing. SHANGRI L.A. 7
/ EXHIBITION /
MARCOS LUTYENS, FERNANDO MENESES & DANIELA FROGHERI / 9 & 10 / Marcos Lutyens, Daniela Frogheri, Fernando Meneses, (Installation and detail view) Mutually Assured Architecture, Mixed media, 96" x 48" x 96", 2009 (courtesy of artist)
The third group of artists I thought would make a compelling contribution to the exhibition was the collaboration between Marcos Lutyens and the artist collective known as Infranatural. I had followed Marcos Lutyens’ work for some time, and knew that he often collaborated with architects on some ambitious projects using his background in hypnosis as a means of tapping into preverbal states of awareness. I also knew he had begun working with Oliver Hess and Jenna Didier from Infranatural on a number of public projects that dealt with technology and robotics that were quite impressive in their scale, and many of these projects were in fact, architectural structures in their own right.
For this exhibition, Marcos Lutyens and Infranatural opted to work on separate projects. Lutyens collaborated with architects Fernando Meneses and Daniela Frogheri on a project entitled Mutually Assured Architecture. They state, “As architecture is progressively ‘skinned’ with media screens on the walls of megamalls, the hard surfaces of buildings dissolve into figments of the mind reflecting desire, aspiration, envy and a host of other emotional states.” Inspired by developments in brain-computer interfaces (BCI’s), the team envisions a super-computer that uploads people’s ideas and feelings and plays it back on an urban fabric in a public arena. The resulting piece, although not able to read visitors minds (yet), portrays a giant cloud of translucent plastic straws joined together at the ends that float on top of an urban landscape. On the cloud abstract images are projected, which metaphorically represent the thoughts and emotions of those who inhabit the landscape. There also exists a sound component to the piece generated by sound designer Amanda Hoffman in collaboration with Sardinian Throat Singers responding to the unfolding visuals in real time.
SHANGRI L.A. 8
/ EXHIBITION /
Infranatural proposed a variation on an ongoing project which they have been developing for some time, now consisting of a reconfigurable building skin that can adaptively translate coordinates of time, air quality, moisture, noise and heat to create visual depictions of conditions that humans are incapable of monitoring. In addition to serving an aesthetic function, this skin will act as its own cooling or heating system, and provide niches to support life, creating a living microhabitat. What they have exhibited for Shangri L.A. they call Node Incubations comprised of notes, drawings, prototypes and experiments for this sustainable building skin. One of these experiments compares the process of electromineral accretion between seawater, rainwater, and tap water. According to Jenna Didier’s investigations, “Mineral accretion materials have a mechanical strength comparable to, and often greater than, concrete (Hilbertz, 1979).” Didier also adds, “The potential of this process for fabricating aquatic architecture is evident [because] they require very little energy, the energy used is from a sustainable source—either solar or wave-generated, and the more the structures grow, the stronger they become and the more habitat they provide.” They also present a separate albeit related piece Periodic Table of Elements which looks just like any periodic table of elements in any high school chemistry class, except for the fact that each element is color coded depending on the number of years it would take for each element to be completely depleted. Oliver Hess compiled the data from extensive internet research, and presented it at this year’s TED conference. It is interesting and frightening to see how several elements only have 5 to 50 years until they are totally exhausted, a seemingly un-utopian prospect. Hess and Didier, on the other hand, see this data as an opportunity for architects and engineers to explore new more sustainable materials which have yet to be explored.
/ 11 / Infranatural (Jenna Didier & Oliver Hess), (Installation view) Periodic Table of Elements: Years until supply depleted, Colorplot on paper, 36" x 72", 2009
/ 12 / Infranatural (Jenna Didier & Oliver Hess), (Detail view) Node Incubations, Mixed media, site-specific, 2004–2009
SHANGRI L.A. 9
/ EXHIBITION /
/ 13 / Oyler Wu Collaborative, Model #1, Mixed media, 35-3/4" x 12" & 38" x 12" 3 35-3/4", 2009 (courtesy of the artist)
/ 14 / Oyler Wu Collaborative, Model #1 & #2, Mixed media, 35-3/4" x 12" & 38" x 12" 3 35-3/4", 2009 (courtesy of the artist)
Oliver from Infranatural suggested I look at the work of Oyler/Wu Collaborative, an architectural firm directed by Dwayne Oyler and Jenny Wu both of whom happen to also teach at SCI-ARC. Oyler/Wu Collaborative had recently worked with Oliver and Jenna on a major project at Materials and Applications, an alternative exhibition space in Silverlake and another brainchild of the Infranatural team. Oliver’s description of their work seemed a perfect fit for Shangri L.A., and my further investigation of their work via internet, and my subsequent visit to their office/studio only confirmed Oliver’s recommendation. Their work appeared to me the next stage in architectural design, making them a fortuitous addition to represent the prescient group of architects who have passed through SCI-ARC’s doors. While Oyler/Wu are highly admired within the architectural community, I have reason to believe it is only a matter of time before their name and work carries the same resonance as their employers in the community at large. The work they exhibited for Shangri L.A. was based on the assumption of an imminent, ongoing verticalization of buildings and freeways reaching upwards, subways and underground spaces extending downward, and how the designers could acknowledge and comment upon these conditions and reinvent space. What they constructed with were two models made of sintra, reminiscent of their previous designs and installations, yet arguably even more radical in their dissection of space. One of the objects hung on the wall protruding in three dimensional relief, while the other sat on a pedestal made of the same material as the object itself with the same base dimensions. At once minimal in its pure white palette and austere perfectionism, and at the same time uber-baroque in its horror vacuii of converging and diverging lines which extend upward and downward, and side to side; the piece conveys cool detachment with a dizzying pyrotechnic flair.
SHANGRI L.A. 10
/ EXHIBITION /
CHRIS TALLON Chris Tallon is best known for making hyperreal paper sculptures which mimic found objects such as toasters, hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches and weight benches. The processes he usually employs are extremely labor intensive, meticulous, and specifically those of an architect, although the results are uncannily postDuchampian. In prior conversations with the artist, who has his Architecture training at the University of Florida (undergrad) and UCLA (grad), he has boasted about his prowess as a designer. Nevertheless, the majority of his art work demonstrates an obsession with mimesis as opposed to highlighting his personal voice as a designer. I presented the invitation as a sort of challenge to put his â€œdesignâ€? where his art is. Using stacks of brown cardboard discarded at 18th Street Arts Center, sheets of chrome mylar, fluorescent colored strings, and a glue gun, Tallon assembled, in less than two days, a large corner installation which protruded at sharp angles from the gallery walls creating an object which constantly struggles to reform itself. The final form, determined by the tension between a preordained set of rules based on convention, and the desire of the materials to resist or break its own rules, demonstrates ambivalence toward modern architecture and reflects a sense of rebellion and spontaneity embodied by the artist.
/ 15 & 16 / Chris Tallon, (Installation view), Archi-torture, cardboard, mylar, monofilament, site-specific, 2009
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/ EXHIBITION /
/ 17 / Debbie Hu Ricks & Cedar Miller, (Detail view) Evidence of Time, Resin, stone, steel, wood, glass, cement, 50" x 11" x 11", 2009 / 18 / Debbie Hu Ricks & Cedar Miller, (Installation view) Evidence of Time, Resin, stone, steel, wood, glass, cement, 50" x 11" x 11", 2009
DEBBIE HU RICKS & CEDAR MILLER Thus far, all the artists I had invited have had relatively significant trajectories and resumes to prove it, but as a curatorial philosopher, I always like to mix in at least one artist with little or no exhibition history in every show I organize. I mean, what are you really proposing if everyone in your show is already kind of famous? This time I decided to invite artist Debbie Hu Ricks who had been in only one professional exhibition (that I curated) in a small artist run space in Ventura, California. She received her bachelors in Architecture at USC, a discipline she rejected for a very long time, and perhaps still does. Her work usually deals with animals such as deer, wolves and birds that inhabit an “Artificial Forest” made of recycled bottles and packaging material. This quasi-utopian vision presents a dark outlook of the future where environmental annihilation meets eco-mania in a world where trees no longer exist and animals are kept in synthetic habitats sponsored by major corporations. Although she usually constructs wall mounted images, she opted this time to create a massive (not that big, but very heavy) sculpture in collaboration with another emerging sculptor, Cedar Miller. Instead of looking at the future so bleakly, I gave her and Cedar the mandate of coming up with a more optimistic image of the future. They did not disappoint in delivering a poetic and in my opinion, an utterly convincing work.
SHANGRI L.A. 12
The resulting object was a freestanding sculpture called Evidence of Time. Layers upon layers of materials such as lava rock, rebar, concrete and wood were frozen in resin, standing in for the architectural residue left by past generations. On top of this transparent pedestal sits a plush moss landscape of dome shaped structures. Upon closer inspection a miniature couple, one dressed in blue, the other in yellow, seem to be engaged in conversation. In an instant, the tiny people evoke the notion of the several lifetimes of debris humans have left on this planet. The couple seems to live peacefully on this “futuristic” green environment.
/ EXHIBITION /
/ 19 & 20 / James Rojas, (Detail view) Santa Monica Off the Grid, Mixed media, 30" x 4' x 8', 2009
The roster of artists was nearly complete, but I still felt like there was a missing ingredient to make the exhibition feel whole. As you may have read elsewhere, the four exhibitions in Los Angeles 2019: Almost Utopia were discussed and developed collectively around a series of monthly meetings/dinners hosted by Clayton Campbell and held at the 18th Street gallery. Initially present were Clayton, Program Coordinator Ronald Lopez and the four invited curators including myself. Mine was the first of the four exhibitions, and I was excited and honored to meet the other curators and dialogue with them. Aside from being privy to some exquisite stomach and brain food, one of the most tangible things I got from the first set of meetings was the recommendation of urban planner/guerrilla artist James Rojas by curator Pilar Tompkins. His work turned out to be the perfect counter to the rest of the exhibition.
Rojas has been exhibiting and implementing variations on his interactive 3D model at urban planning conferences and art events around the world. For Shangri L.A., he reconfigured downtown Santa Monica in a half circle shape that promotes community, sustainability and energy efficiency. He declares, “My utopia is a place where energy is efficiently used and humans get back to what we were designed for, walking.” The model is designed as a pedestrian only environment with roundabouts, diagonals streets, vistas, parks, plazas and areas which represent the subway stations that will bring people from Downtown and Culver City. The interactive element consists of miniature woodblock and plastic buildings that resemble “pencil” buildings ala Tokyo, rustic structures that conjure an old town feel, and Art Deco and Nouveau inspired buildings that provide necessary eye candy for its visitors and inhabitants. From beginning to end of the opening, there were hordes of people gathered around the installation constantly playing with and reconfiguring Santa Monica as they saw fit while Rojas, close at hand, remained eager to explain his concepts and ideals regarding his piece. SHANGRI L.A. 13
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CONCLUSION: ARCHITECTURE AS A STATE OF FLUX Although I did not start with a specific theme (well, besides that of envisioning a fictional and optimistic future of architecture in Los Angeles) as I examined all the artists’ works and their proposals for this exhibition, I did start to notice a thread that, I felt, loosely bound all the works together. “Great” architecture as I had been taught was something relatively permanent that would supposedly “stand the test of time.” In Japanese and Spanish, the word “real estate” translates into the words “fudosan” and “el inmobiliario,” which literally mean “non-moving commerce” and “the immobile.” As an extension of property, I always thought of the architecture and the land surrounding it as something which might be considered a relatively static entity. In contrast, all the artists’ works in Shangri L.A. seemed to present architecture as an organism which is capable of evolving before our eyes and in our minds’ eyes. From this realization emerged the second part of the show’s title, Architecture as a State of Flux. The works exhibited in Shangri L.A. approach architecture as something fluid and ephemeral, at times virtual, recycled, improvisatory and/or purely cosmetic. It builds on and dissects what is already there, exploiting in between spaces, and shifting as needs, values, emotions and desires shift. Perhaps with these strategies one can conceive of transforming, some day, the urban landscape as acts of transgression by individuals and small groups, within one’s own means, and by any means necessary; not unlike an artist deals with a site specific installation. As Le Corbusier, the Constructivists, the Bauhaus and Schindler challenged notions of architecture from the prior century, a new wave of artists and architects are challenging and building upon the innovations of the 20th century. Although some of the assumptions of these historical figures may have proven to be erroneous, the influence of the forms they created, and the ubiquity and triumph of Modernist design and architecture is undeniable. Perhaps ten or a hundred years from today, some of the artists in this exhibition will have a similar influence.
SHANGRI L.A. 14
/ 21 / James Rojas, (Installation view) Santa Monica Off the Grid, Mixed media, 30" x 4' x 8', 2009
REFERENCES: Architecture of Dislocation: The L.A. School, Art in America, Feb, 1994 by Jayne Merkel Towards self-growing structures, Industrialization Forum, 1975 by Wolf Hilbertz Electrodeposition of minerals in seawater: Experiments and applications, 1973 by Wolf Hilbertz, Oceanic Engineering An Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles, 2003 by David Gebhard and Robert Winter, Gibbs Smith, Publisher, Salt Lake City LA 2000+: New Architecture in Los Angeles, 2006 by John Leighton Chase, The Monacelli Press, Inc. Experimental Architecture in Los Angeles, 1991 by Aaron Betsky, Rizzoli Books
/ EXHIBITION /
ARTISTS CATHY AKERS
CURATED BY CIARA ENNIS
FALLEN FRUIT OLGA KOUMOUNDOUROS NUTTAPHOL MA JASON MIDDLEBROOK BEDE MURPHY WITH UNARIUS MACHINE PROJECTS WITH JIM FETTERLY WILLIAM RANSOM STEPHANIE SMITH/WANNA START A COMMUNE? JOEL TAUBER
ESSAY BY CIARA ENNIS Despite worldwide financial panic, ecological disasters, and general global malaise, the exhibition LA 2019: Cults, Collectives and Cocooning conjures a surprisingly positive image of what Los Angeles might be in the near future. Presenting an alternative to the doom-ridden scenarios of future dystopias prefigured in speculative fiction’s Blade Runner, Fahrenheit 451, and Soylent Green, this exhibition instead suggests a destiny of collaborative and community based ventures that focus on the group rather than the individual experience. LA 2019: Cults, Collectives and Cocooning pictures a prospective Los Angeles that rejects its anonymous sprawling suburbs in favor of a return to village life with all the allegiances and intimacy that it entails. Neighborhoods become self-sustaining and self-governing entities that rely on home production and barter, rotation of back-yard crops and fertilizing their vegetable gardens with the guano of patio-raised chickens. Business is conducted between hamlets traveled to and from by bio-fueled vehicles, delivery tricycles, donkeys, and rafts.
MAY 2 – JUNE 27, 2009
L.A. 2019 CULTS, COLLECTIVES, & COCOONING
LA 2019: Cults, Collectives and Cocooning looks at three related themes: real and fictional intentional communities, the power of the collective versus the individual and sustainable solutions for future living. Inspired by historical and fictional utopias—Thomas Moore’s Utopia, Samuel Butler’s Erewhon, B.F. Skinner’s Walden Two and Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower—the exhibition explores current attitudes towards intentional communities and the desire to commit to alternative belief systems. The re-emergence of contemporary artist collectives that focus on communal art-making activities, diverse practices and disciplines, and increased audience participation are examined in relation to their predecessors. Artists weary of costly approaches to green living explore alternative sustainable solutions for a future lifestyle that focuses on affordable, practical resolutions that reference the past as much as they do the future. L.A. 2019 15
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CULTS Published in 1948, Walden Two, by behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner, conjures a vision of a highly functional utopian community that, unlike many of its speculative fiction counterparts, was set in the time it was written and could easily be mistaken for present day. Existing as a self-sufficient, self-governing and income sharing rural community, the members work a total of four hours a day, and earn extra credits—fewer work hours—if the job is boring or unpleasant. Focused on creativity, wellbeing, and adherence to certain behavioral codes, Walden Two has become a model for real-life intentional communities like those represented in Cathy Akers’ photographs taken across the United States. Divided loosely into three groups—behavioral, experimental, and guru driven—the cults provoke questions about group versus individual experience, societal control versus unfettered freedom and the basic need to belong. Surprisingly sober, Akers’ photographs depict the various communities in their full mundane glory. They present provisional living quarters, makeshift outdoor cooking facilities and melancholic and solitary burial mounds—rented out for a fee—without romance or drama. Ironically, people seldom inhabit Akers’ sparse tableau, suggesting a less than thriving commune population, but when they do—naked bathers at a nearby natural spring—they are photographed from a respectful distance.
/ 22 / Cathy Akers, Teepee, C-print, 28" x 28", 2009 (courtesy of artist) 22
/ 23 / Heather Cantrell, Landon, son of Kitty Lutesinger and Robby “Bobby” Beausoleil—aka “Cupid”, Fiber print, 20" x 20", 2005 (courtesy of the artist)
L.A. 2019 16
Choosing to live outside conventional society generates fear and fascination from those who do not, who often mistake communes or cults for dangerous enclaves of extreme behavior. Artist Heather Cantrell plays off these simplistic and base assumptions in her series of photographic portraits entitled Extended Family (2005). Complete with fake birth certificates stamped with infant footprints, Cantrell presents black and white portraits of Charlie Manson’s fictional orphans. Despite their dubious pedigree, Manson’s grown-up offspring—eight children in all—exhibit a spectrum of healthy ‘normal’ behavior for young adults of their age—driving, reading, smoking and hanging out—thereby refuting the ‘sociopath-by-association’ notion that immediately springs to mind. The decision to print in black and white creates an immediate temporal distance locating the subjects firmly in the past and linking them to the dark and troubled time of their fabricated history.
/ EXHIBITION /
/ 24 / Bede Murphy with Unarius, (Installation view) Universal Articulate Interdimensional Understanding of Science, mixed media, site-specific, 2009 / 25 / Unarius, UFO image (courtesy of Unarius)
BEDE MURPHY Commitment to alternative belief systems suggests disenchantment with traditional faith-based ideas that perhaps can no longer plug the abyss of our impending mortality. As a result, interest in new religions, lifeforms, intelligence and galactic exploration seems perfectly reasonable. It is not surprising then that groups such as the UFO Unarius cult—dedicated “to exploring the frontiers of science and expanding our awareness and connection with galactic intelligence1”—have emerged, providing potential solutions to our existential crisis. Fascinated by this phenomenon, New York based artist Bede Murphy has been following Unarius, and making work about them for the past two years. Working collaboratively with the group, Murphy’s installation for LA: 2019 takes the form of a reading/welcome room that traces the development of the cult’s history through spiritual self-help texts, posters of spiritual directives and portraits of transcendence. Merging fact with fiction, the work includes original promotional videos from the mid- 80s, re-mixed by Murphy, found and fabricated curriculum and a detailed portrait of the organization’s dynamic founder Ruth Norman, a self-described cosmic visionary— who above all advocates ‘interdimensional’ understanding. Fictional examples that resonate with our desperate desire to believe in something greater than ourselves include Octavia Butler’s brilliant sci-fi work Parable of the Sower, which charts the evolution of the Earthseed community and religion based on the idea of an ever-changing God shaped by its worshippers and whose destiny is to take root among the stars. The backdrop of this experimental religion is a Los Angeles of the near future on the brink of total destruction.
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/ EXHIBITION /
/ 26 & 27 / Machine Projects with Jim Fetterly, (video stills) Glass Eater & Fire Walker, DVD, 9 minutes, 2009
L.A. 2019 18
Arguably, the cult of the individual with its emphasis on rampant competition, brazen self-promotion and flagrant gratification above and beyond all else is waning in favor of a more progressive, collective position. The need for a more egalitarian distribution of wealth is now being discussed—whether this is out of necessity (a response to the current US economic meltdown) or enlightenment is up for debate. Regardless, group effort may prove to be more expedient and rewarding than individual enterprise, and is increasingly visible in artists’ collectives. Early twentieth century predecessors include Bauhaus—who replaced the traditional hierarchical art school model with less elitist workshops that placed art, architecture and design on the same artistic level. Similarly, Joseph Beuys’ “Organization for Direct Democracy through Referendum” and his theories surrounding “Social Sculpture” sought to provoke social, economic and ecological change through direct engagement with the public in his performances and actions. More recently, the artists of Atelier van Lieshout founded the AVL Free Ville, a free state in Rotterdam’s port area that is home to twenty community members who work on architectural, design and art projects. These collectives seek to define their practice in a much broader sense; a position epitomized by Los Angeles based contemporary collective Machine Project, a group predicated on collaborative projects with diverse cultural and scientific practitioners. Audience members become co-producers in their highly experimental practices that range from lectures on the “Sex Life of Aliens” and “Cranioklepty: A History of Phrenological Grave-Robbing” to workshops on electronic sewing. Other events are more politically inclined and involve pairing up with obscure socio/ecological organizations like the Black Cloud Citizen Science League to assess air quality in Echo Park. Emphasizing education and participation above all, Machine Project coaxes highly talented individuals with unique skills to donate their time and expertise for the greater good.
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FALLEN FRUIT Such generosity within the art world is unusual and is shared by another Los Angeles based collective, Fallen Fruit, which conducts socio/politically empowering fruit tours of LA neighborhoods. Combining guerilla tactics, performance and installation, Fallen Fruit is committed to pursuing and identifying all available free fruit in public places, campaigning for local fruit harvesting and production, and protesting against costly fruit and produce imports. Jam and salsa production, nocturnal and educational tours are a few of their strategies to increase awareness of available resources and combat unnecessary food waste. Neighborhood Infusions, included in LA: 2019, maps LA neighborhoods through the production of fruit vodka, where each harvest represents the fruit from a specific neighborhood.
/ 28 & 29 / Fallen Fruit (David Burns, Matias Viegener, & Austin Young), (Detail view) Neighborhood Infusions, edition of 72 bottles, public fruit, TRU vodka, 2009
L.A. 2019 19
/ EXHIBITION /
OLGA KOUMOUNDOUROS The Los Angeles of the near future calls for radical re-thinking of the current suburban model in favor of self-governing autonomous hamlets that cater for their own social, economic, and environmental needs and survive through home production and inter-village bartering. A re-thinking of realistic, sustainable solutions that are accessible and affordable is also essential and in marked contrast to the current dollar-driven green model, where living an eco-friendly existence is a luxury that most cannot afford. As resources dwindle, more creative solutions are required to abandon exorbitant “eco” gadgets in favor of re-cycling and repurposing existing materials to multiple ends.
Mindful of these concerns, both Olga Koumoundouros and Jason Middlebrook present alternative views of future dwellings that combine recyclable, low-cost materials that merge ancient and contemporary domicile models. Inspired by contemporary architect Shigeru Ban—the first Japanese architect to build a house almost entirely of paper and renowned for his DIY refugee shelters—Koumoundouros developed a cave-like structure from recycled paper tubing, a large photographic poster and coal. Reminiscent of early human shelters, Koumoundouros’s work reconnects us to times past when our relationship to the earth and its natural resources—as a source of survival and renewal—were much more symbiotic.
/ 30 / Olga Koumoundouros, (Installation view) Golden State, variable dimensions, load securing jack, concrete, palm tree, 2009 / 31 / Olga Koumoundouros, (Detail view) Foundation, variable dimensions, concrete & bread, 2009 30
L.A. 2019 20
/ EXHIBITION /
JASON MIDDLEBROOK Similarly, Middlebrook’s highly fastidious drawings of village settlements reference the past as a way to talk about the future. Drawn on recycled cardboard, the resulting townships share some structural affinities with medieval hilltop communities while simultaneously presenting an image of future eco-urbanism— structures stacked atop one another, each complete with solar panels, outside stoves for communal cooking, and gutters fashioned to collect rain water. For LA: 2019, Middlebrook’s muralsize drawing imagines Los Angeles partially flooded due to global warming and therefore forcibly split into autonomous hamlets traveled to and from by boats and rafts.
/ 32 / Jason Middlebrook, (Detail view) A Fresh Start, Pencil on paper, 55" x 132", 2009 (courtesy of Sara Meltzer Gallery) / 33 / Jason Middlebrook, (Installation view) A Fresh Start, Pencil on paper, 55" x 132", 2009 (courtesy of Sara Meltzer Gallery) 32
L.A. 2019 21
/ EXHIBITION /
Koumoundouros and Middlebrook examine overall village architecture, while William Ransom’s meticulously crafted utilitarian objects focus on the details within. Fashioned entirely from recycled and found wood, Ransom’s work explores the relationship between the natural and the man-made and plays with agriculturally inspired anachronistic forms—field ploughs, rowing boats, pitchforks, and spits—that hark back to preindustrial modes of transportation and labor. The use of recycled materials combined with Ransom’s subject matter imbues the work with a by-gone age, suggesting a return to community-based production methods as a necessity. Joel Tauber also employs wood in its live form. He spent the past two years rescuing a sycamore tree—dying of thirst, suffocating from encroaching tarmac and scarred from careless cars—from Parking Lot K, at the Rose Bowl, in Pasadena. Then, as shrines to urban trees, he propagated the Southern Californian landscape with its healthy offspring. Sick-Amour (2006 – present), the project’s title, is reminiscent of Joseph Beuys’ formative 7000 Oaks (1982) inaugurated during Documenta 7, which involved the heroic planting of 7000 trees over a five-year period in and around public sites in Kassel Germany. Both projects seek to raise ecological consciousness and activate public space in a radical way.
/ 34 / William Ransom, (Installation view) Compost, water filter system, compost, soil, shopping cart, variable dimensions, 2009 / 35 / William Ransom, (Detail view) Spring, redwood, rope, 108" x 44" x 16", 2008
L.A. 2019 22
/ 36 / Joel Tauber, Tree Baby Map (Southern California, April 15, 2009), Light-jet print, 40" x 40", 2009 (courtesy of the artist and Susanne Vielmetter Gallery)
/ EXHIBITION /
/ 37 / Stephanie Smith/WSAC, (Detail view) Wanna Start a Commune?: 18th Street Artists In Residence Commune, Mixed media, Dimensions variable / 38 / Stephanie Smith/WSAC, (Diagram) Wanna Start a Commune?, Dimensions variable 38
V Low maintenance, affordable and environmentally responsible contemporary communal living minus eccentric gurus and outlandish beliefs is at the heart of architect Stephanie Smith’s Wanna Start a Commune (WSAC). Encompassing rural, suburban, semi-urban, and urban models, WSAC, otherwise known as the Cul de Sac Commune Project, challenges people in apartments, townhouses, or detached homes, to share everything with their neighbors from wellness education and elder care to landscaping and energy systems. Bartering for services is especially encouraged and epitomizes the resource-sharing, low budget, anti-consumerist green approach of their practice. Smith’s architectural design firm, Ecoshack, has inspired three selfsustaining Cul de Sac Communes in the Los Angeles area— Topanga Canyon, Santa Monica and Los Feliz. They encapsulate Smith’s desire to combine 70s commune idealism with a 21st century pragmatism that is fiscally responsible and truly sustainable. Hers is a radical project that encourages significant modification of collective behavior, which she plans to export globally.
Unarius Academy of Science, website: www.unarius.org Gore, Al. “Can We Save the Planet and rescue the Economy at the Same Time?” Mother Jones, November & December, 2008
Slow Food Movement website: www.slowfood.com
CONCLUSION Is it possible, as Al Gore stated in a recent article2, that 100% of electricity in the U.S. could be zero-carbon by 2019? Or that the Slow Food Movement’s goal of “changing the world socially, economically and politically through people’s stomachs3”—could replace distrusted global agribusiness and industrialized food production? If we accept this as true, then it is equally possible that Los Angeles could be profoundly altered in several radical ways—structurally, culturally and philosophically—as suggested by this exhibition. Perhaps it is not frivolous to imagine LA as a series of tight-knit, commune-driven, self-sustaining hamlets--or to envisage a thorough blurring of artistic practices where artists assume the role of small scale manufacturers, designing and producing functional goods from recycled materials that no longer need to be trucked in from distant lands. Given the increasing lack of faith in mainstream religions, it is also likely that confidence in alternative faith-based groups will abound to include more radical interpretations of spirituality such as the Unarius cult’s belief in interdimensionality. As Earth becomes increasingly uninhabitable, due to the inescapable effects of global warming, it is unsurprising that we are starting to look at alternative galaxies. Colonization of space, although in its infancy, is a bona-fide consideration and has spurned groups like the Space Cowboys—founded in 1998 by the Mars Society—to acclimate potential space tourists to life on Mars by conducting training missions, in full astronaut gear and for weeks at a stretch, in the Utah desert where they rehearse rituals of a glorious future. Although ten years is a relatively short period of time, great changes can happen—consider the days before iPods, cell phones and ATM cards. Los Angeles in the next decade promises changes just as dramatic but incremental enough that we will scarcely remember how we lived before. L.A. 2019 23
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NUTTAPHOL MA Wet treebarks rest in the shadow of light. After rainfall, moving with, in tandem with, flow. Shadow flickers wind, wind flickers shadow. Emerge from sound cocoon, the collected debris of uprooted selves. Calling the anthem of, longing and not BE longing.
/ 39 / Nuttaphol Ma, (2009 artist fellow), (Detail) longing and not BE longing, site-specific installation, lemon grass tea room gallery intervention
There is a succinct political tone in my recent installation works yet my studio is a container of poetic objects, stories and gestures. I have arrived at a place where I ask myself how do I connect the gap between poetry and critique on the abuse of power. The points of departure within my work is to create a poetic backdrop for me to talk about power and the abuse of power; to talk about the psychological tension between being bound and the arrival of completeness; the longing and the not BE longing; the dreams of leaving and dreams of roots. The entry into my work and how the work can be â€˜readâ€™ stems from my use of materials, movements and juxtaposing and reassignment of symbols. I create open-ended interactive works that erase the boundaries between artist and viewer and provide a social space for meaningful dialogue about the forth-mentioned themes. STATEMENT BY NUTTAPHOL MA
L.A. 2019 24
CURATED BY PILAR TOMPKINS
ARTISTS CAROLINA CAYCEDO SANDRA DE LA LOZA HUGO HOPPING ASHLEY HUNT VINCENT JOHNSON GLENN LIGON ADRIAN PACI VINCENT RAMOS CHEN SHAOXIONG
ESSAY BY PILAR TOMPKINS In Fareed Zakariaâ€™s 2008 book The Post-American World, which was published prior to the major global economic crisis, the author argues that the end of U.S. economic and cultural hegemony is upon us, as the growth of countries such as China, Brazil, India and Russia will lead to a balancing out of power across the globe1. While these nations, along with the United States, face an unstable financial climate and the repercussions of this economic downturn, change is at hand. In the recovery period still yet to come, nations will seek cooperative strategies for recuperation while simultaneously staking out their own territory as dominant world powers. In the struggle for influence, the U.S. will likely no longer find itself at the helm as director of the rest of the world, but will have to learn how to exist as a team player, equal to or trailing other nations instead of dominating them.
AUGUST 1 â€“ SEPTEMBER 26, 2009
/ EXHIBITION /
In preparation for this major global shift, it is critical that the plans for the community we wish to see in ten years time are considered today. While in the midst of shifting distributions of power on the international stage, we ought to examine what impact such changes will have on our city, neighborhoods, schools and social services in the coming years. By 2019, the population of Los Angeles is projected to increase by several million inhabitants (projections vary, yet they are mostly slated to be immigrants from Latin America and Asia). As it stands today, the demographics of the city already reflect transitioning populations, such as soldiers returning home from war, increasing homeless and prison populations, and new hordes of unemployed and uninsured Angelenos. How will we find our footing in a new global society without fully examining our preparedness on the local level? The exhibition Post-American L.A. features artists that question the scope, sphere and impact of American predominance, from the international stage to municipal politics. As the power of influence exercised by the United States has come into question, it is critical to underscore this changing course of history with realistic reflection. Drawing from a variety of strategies, such as installations rooted in community outreach, researchbased practices, video work, conceptual interrogations and photography, the artists in Post-American L.A. are invited to consider distinct observations, proposals and strategies for our civic and national roles. POST-AMERICAN 25
/ EXHIBITION /
A BIRD’S EYE VIEW OF THE POWERS THAT BE
ASHLEY HUNT In the work A WORLD MAP: in Which We See...(2004), Ashley Hunt presents a very telling flow chart that illustrates how superstructures of globalization filter down to the current conditions of individuals across the world. This conceptual mapping project delineates a direct cause and effect relationship between the mechanisms of profit-seeking corporate bodies against individuals and the labor forces they represent. In this installation, the artist sets a geographic course situating migration patterns and the criminalization/marginalization of the poor against international policies, laws and institutions.
/ 40 / Ashley Hunt, (Detail view w/Hunt) A World Map: In Which We See…, Chalk, blackboard paint on MDF, 85" x 199", 2009 / 41 / Ashley Hunt, (Installation view) A World Map: In Which We See…, Chalk, blackboard paint on MDF, 85” x 199”, 2009
/ EXHIBITION /
Adrian Paci’s video works are rooted in collective and personal experiences surrounding mass expatriation. Paci, along with an untold number of fellow Albanians, reflect a wave of immigration to Italy and elsewhere since the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s. This particular history becomes a metaphor for shifting populations on a global level in the video Centro di Permanenza Temporanea2 (2008), where a multi-ethnic group waits in limbo on an airport tarmac. Whether through voluntary or involuntary migration, the circumstances presented in a changing understanding of citizenship are complex. While the viewer is confronted with what appears to be transient laborers, there is an unspoken narrative that is told by their faces. Insecurities—both personal and political—are amplified by a sense of loss for those left behind. Uprooted from home, their personal displacement is underscored by the potential decline of their own traditional cultural practices in the face of globalization. Global urban development is rapid and expansive. The notion of a city has given way to the idea of a megalopolis as populations swell in metropolitan areas around the world. In the video Ink City (2005), Chen Shaoxiong takes the viewer through a day in the life of what a modern, global mega-city looks and feels like. With a nod to traditional animation, the piece is a moving assemblage of classically inspired Chinese ink wash drawings showing an urban melee of activity where industry and humanity are densely packed. Through a compilation of quick snapshot-like studies, the artist captures the shifting cityscape of Guangzhou, China, as its adaptive inhabitants navigate it. Ink City alludes to the near future or present conditions of cities across the globe. (Southern California is currently home to 24 million people, putting the region in the same rank as the greater metro areas of Mexico City and São Paulo, whose population estimations range between 22 million to 30 million inhabitants each3).
/ 42 / Adrian Paci, Centro di Permanenza Temporanea, Video projection, 2007 (courtesy of Francesca Kaufman, Milan) / 43 / Chen Shaoxiong, Ink City, Video projection, 2005 (courtesy of Art & Public, Geneva)
/ EXHIBITION /
THE CHANGING FACE OF L.A.
VINCENT JOHNSON Vincent Johnson’s photographic montages utilize found images to create a collective portrait of iconic events from American history. In retrospect, it is now possible to see how profoundly the subjects Johnson addresses—issues such as the Cold War, the Arms Race, Vietnam and the Civil Rights Movement—were to stimulating cultural shifts. Yet on a regional level, for example, Johnson also traces the influence of these occurrences on L.A.’s layered development, linking the city’s vernacular architecture to the region’s military history. For this exhibition, Johnson assembles images from L.A.’s Korean-American and Mexican-American communities, seeking parallels between these groups’ home countries and their Southern Californian neighborhoods. The artist postulates that over the course of the next decade, the cultural manifestations of these populations will become ever-increasingly part of the landscape of the city—from technology to entertainment to food.4
/ 44 / Vincent Johnson, Mexican Los Angeles 2019, Lightjet print, photomontage, 30" x 40", 2009 (courtesy of the artist) / 45 / Vincent Johnson, Korean Los Angeles 2019, Lightjet print, photomontage, 30” x 40”, 2009 (courtesy of the artist) opposite page / 46 / Carolina Caycedo, Mexicamericana, Nylon sown flag, 8' x 5' (Collection of Aurelio Lopez Rocha, Guadalajara) / 47 / Glenn Ligon, (Installation view) Hands, Silkscreen on unstretched canvas, 82" x 144", 1996 (Collection of Eileen Harris Norton, Santa Monica)
/ EXHIBITION /
CAROLINA CAYCEDO Artist Carolina Caycedo uses a broad variety of media, ranging from public intervention, performance, installation, video and sculpture to weave a set of experiences together that question the concepts of nationalism and citizenship. As part of a larger body of work of mixed flags and banners, Mexicamericana (2007) reflects the interconnected nature of Los Angeles’ two most predominant politic bodies by creating a hybrid Mexican and American flag. This image exemplifies the two countries’ dependence on one another by utilizing the most identifiable icon meant to represent nationalism and ethnic pride—the flag. While the miscegenetic history of Mexico and the United States is the foundation for California and the Southwest, the acceptance of an integrated cultural amalgam is far from being widely accepted today. Caycedo’s simple proposal addresses the slippery notion of territory, pointing out that geographic borders lie somewhere between the real and the imaginary.
A CALL TO ACTION Further contemplating an understanding of collective identity, Glenn Ligon’s silk-screened mural Hands (1996) calls the viewer’s attention to group consciousness. This image was taken during the Million Man March in Washington D.C. on October 16, 1995 when, under the leadership of Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, African-American men were called upon to rededicate themselves to the American family. While the scene portrays a mass of hands in allegiance to these ideals, Ligon also considers those who were left out of this event—specifically women and gay men—by titling this series Day of Absence.5 While the image is inspirational, the artist sends the message that the event still needed to connect to the entirety of individuals that constitute the masses.
GLENN LIGON 47
/ EXHIBITION / / 48 / Vincent Ramos, (Detail view) Science-Fiction Film, 1959, 2009, 2019, Mixed media installation, Dimensions variable, 2009. Prop: Monster Costume, Collage on fabric, 2 pieces, 63" x 36", 2009. / 49 / Vincent Ramos, (Installation view) ScienceFiction Film, 1959, 2009, 2019, Mixed media installation, Dimensions variable, 2009. Prop: Time Machine (for Ben Talbert), Mixed media assemblage, 59” x 72” x 40”, 2009 (Study for) The Grand Wazoo (for Fred Mason), Mixed media assemblage, 18” x 18” x 17”, 2009
VINCENT RAMOS Vincent Ramos’ project addresses the role that youth may play in answering questions about the future, by posing a scenario of looking to the past at a group of students from Venice High School in Venice, California. Working directly with the graduating art class from Ramos’ own alma mater, the artist presented students with the works of science fiction author and Venice resident, Ray Bradbury. Bradbury’s tales of the future speculated on our present. While these imagined, dystopian scenarios may or may not have come to pass, Ramos hones in on the difficulties that we face in imagining the world that lies ahead of us, while undertaking a meaningful measure of mentorship. 48
/ EXHIBITION / 50
/ 50 / Sandra de la Loza, (Installation view) The Revolution Willâ€Ś, Mixed media installation, Dimensions variable, 2009 / 51 / Civic dialogue and film screening with Elias Serna, part of The Revolution Will.. public programming, 2009
Advancing an agenda of direct community dialog, Sandra de la Loza, representing the collective The Pocho Research Society, will work as an artist-in-resident during the course of the exhibition to develop a series of events entitled The Revolution Will... These encounters and discussions include individuals from diverse sectors interfacing and discussing topics such as environmentalism, labor and alternative economies, and the future of cultural production. Resulting materials including sound recordings, video footage, photographs, collectively created drawings and maps will be incorporated into an ongoing multi-media installation, in which the artist acts as a performative archivist.
SANDRA DE LA LOZA 51
/ EXHIBITION /
HUGO HOPPING Tying these ideas back to the conundrum of the artist, Hugo Hopping speculates on the concepts and issues that could exist as the source materials for artistic discussion in the near future. In his conceptual, sculptural installation, New Directions for Future Pilgrims (2009), Hopping asks, “What will be the result of cultural discourse today?,” “What topics will be at the forefront of critical dialog in ten year’s time?” and “What will take the place of gender studies, multiculturalism, post-Modernism, post-Colonialism, post-Black and post-Latino politics a decade from now?”
Will we be post-American in 2019?
CONCLUSION Given the current downturn in the economy and its attributed causes and consequences, it is apparent that the U.S. is in the midst of a major historical change. The end of the United States’ “era of excess”6 may be likened to the abatement of the dominance of any such global hegemon throughout history, when the decline of a super-power is followed by the rise of other nation-states that fill the void left by the declining nation. Perhaps a key concept to remember during these defining shifts is that the sustainability of nationalism is dependent on true adaptability and realistic planning. As the world rebalances its centers of power, recoups its financial markets and realigns its global partnerships, the changing composition of Los Angeles and its citizens are a representative cross-section of the assets that should be responsibly embraced in this transition.
REFERENCES: Zakaria, Fareed. The Post-American World. W.W. Norton 7 Company, Inc., New York, NY: 2008, pp. 1-5.
Centro di permanenza temporanea refers to an Italian immigration structure known as “Center for Temporary Stay” or “Center for Identification and Deportation” established to accommodate aliens subject to deportation, according to Wikipedia.
Population figures come from various internet sources and from regional reports from Mexico City and São Paulo.
Email exchange with the artist, March 9, 2009.
Meyer, Richard. Borrowed Voices: Glenn Ligon and the Force of Language. http://www.queerculturalcenter. org/Pages/Ligon/LigonEssay.html
Roach, Stephen S. After the Era of Excess. What Matters by McKinsey & Company. February 26, 2009. http://whatmatters.mckinseydigital.com/credit_ crisis/after-the-era-of-excess
/ 52–54 / Hugo Hopping, New Directions for Future Pilgrims, Wood, framed photographs, acrylic on canvas and ink, Dimensions variable, 2009 (courtesy of the artist) 54
/ EXHIBITION /
CREATED BY DIANE MEYER
WITHOUT A CAR IN THE WORLD: 100 Car-less Angelenos Tell Stories of Living in Los Angeles
ESSAY BY DIANE MEYER Los Angeles is the epitome of car culture: a horizontal city connected by freeways, where personal freedom is defined by the automobile. It is a megalopolis where store entrances are accessible through parking lots rather than sidewalks and city residents spend over ninety hours a year in traffic. Despite it all, in the first weeks of 2008, I made the least-L.A.-like decision possible. I got rid of my car. For the first 20 minutes after selling my Volkswagen Jetta to Car Max, I was overcome with fear…and curiosity. Exactly how would I navigate the city and do everything I need to do—in Los Angeles, of all places!— without an automobile? My initial assumption that I could rely on the car-sharing company Flex Car proved incorrect. The day after I ditched my car, Flex Car announced that it would merge with Zipcar, and would then on only provide service to USC and UCLA. That day also marked the arrival of a January storm and eight straight days of rain. Hence, my belief that I would be able to get anywhere, at any time, by bike seemed similarly misguided.
OCTOBER 17 – DECEMBER 11, 2009
WITHOUT A CAR IN THE WORLD
Perhaps I had not thoroughly thought this out. Perhaps I had acted a bit impulsively. But then I experienced a new feeling: relief. No longer would I set my alarm clock to remember to move my car from one side of the street to the other for street cleaning, or suffer another parking ticket. No longer would I arrive home at night only to drive for an additional ten minutes looking for street parking in an over-crowded residential neighborhood; nor would I be taking anyone to the airport at six in the morning, or feel self-conscious about always having the dustiest car in the parking garage at work, no matter how many times I had it washed. No more buying gas, pumping gas, caring about gas prices, counting the miles down to my next oil change, paying $900 per month in car-related expenses or sitting in traffic. What started as a temporary lifestyle adjustment, originally planned for a few months at most, has freed me from any desire to own a car ever again. The experience has also truly opened my eyes to the joys of living in this city. While saving money, transcending traffic and reducing my environmental impact were easily anticipated benefits, many unexpected benefits came from de-car-ing. I found that my life and what I could accomplish in a day, changed surprisingly little. Whereas in the past I avoided driving east of the 405 on weekdays, I now regularly attend events in downtown L.A. during the week. The Wilshire Rapid bus is pretty fast and costs $1.25—way less than gas and parking. Plus, I can get things done on the bus. Answering email is much easier, and safer on the bus than while driving (doubly true for reading—not that I often read while driving). WITHOUT A CAR 33
/ EXHIBITION /
Walking, biking and riding the bus have completely changed my whether it’s the parking attendant asking if he can validate my psychological and spatial relationship to the city. Our freeways non-existent ticket or a new friend trying to make plans to meet up. bypass the city’s incredibly diverse neighborhoods, as drivers This is often a clumsy exchange which leaves me wondering if I am consider only their originating and terminating points and missing out on an essential Los Angeles experience. neighborhoods become divided and isolated. By being out of my In July of 2008, I received a grant from the California Council car, I interact with the city and other Angelenos in a way that I for the Humanities California Stories Fund to interview and never did before. L.A. now feels more like an urban space than a photograph 100 other car-less Angelenos. My initial interest in series of loosely connected suburbs. When biking, one becomes the project came from a desire to share resources and stories intimately acquainted with the topographical features of the city. Areas that seemed flat while driving can now be recognized as hilly. with other car-less people. According to the 2000 Census, L.A. Cyclists know the uphill grades of the various streets much as New County residents are more than twice as likely to have three or more cars than zero cars. When I gave up my car, I only knew York City cab drivers must be able to map out every pothole. two other people who didn’t have cars, even though L.A. County The city also seems to have shrunk in scale. Now that I can bike has the second-most-active bus system in the U.S., with a from Santa Monica to Los Feliz in 75 minutes, the amount of time daily ridership of almost 2 million people. To find participants, it sometimes took to drive, makes the city’s sprawl feel more I searched the Web, polled friends and friends of friends, put manageable. I used to use “I’m too busy” as a euphemism for ads on Craigslist, answered ads by car-less people in search of “I’m too lazy” when excusing myself from exercising, whereas now rides, wrote to various transportation agencies and approached I am more physically active and in much better shape. Climbing strangers on the bus. the single flight of stairs to my apartment no longer leaves me I want to use this project to dispel the myth that one has to have out of breath, and I’ve lost about a third of my body weight. a car to lead a productive life in L.A.—or any other major city. Transporting large items has not been an issue either—almost all I originally chose to get rid of my car to save money, having been large stores deliver, and most do so for free. Additionally, without overwhelmed by inflated lease payments, insurance, parking my car trunk, which had become a cluttered graveyard haunted tickets and gas prices. But I ultimately found that my car-free life by the ghosts of buyer’s remorse, I am now careful to buy only was so much better that transportation alternatives became a what I need. Finally, I enjoy a palpable feeling of independence very important issue to me. that comes from living in Los Angeles without a car, but with the confidence that I can still get absolutely anywhere. For the first two photo shoots, I rented a car to carry my equipment, but couldn’t bear the irony. So I experimented until Of course, there are drawbacks. Buses are not always reliable. I came up with a way to pack my equipment so that I could carry They are often late, crowded and confusing. On most lines, neither everything by myself onto the bus. My gear consists of a 4x5 the driver nor an automated sign indicate what the next stop will camera, a medium-format camera, a tripod, two light stands, two be, forcing riders to carefully study the unfamiliar views out the windows in hopes of finding clues that might indicate their location. strobe heads, two umbrellas, a power pack, a light meter, a tape recorder, film and a book to read on the bus. Sometimes these Similarly, bus stops are frequently unmarked. More than once I’ve wondered “Is this a bus stop, or just a random bench?” Sometimes expeditions make me think of the 19th-century photographers who lugged their gear through mountain passes to document the this thought occurs after sitting for quite a while, only to discover expansive and mythic Western landscape. Interesting that those that it is, in fact, just a bench. I am often warned that public buses expeditions eventually led to the contemporary West, in which the are dangerous and populated exclusively by crazy people. Since manmade landscape depends on the car culture that created it. there are probably more crazies in my immediate family than could fit on a double-sized “red bus,” I am unfazed by this warning. My shoots took me everywhere from the South Bay to Boyle I have been roped into many strange, uninvited conversations, Heights, from the Valley to Altadena. The fact that I was able to get which mainly make me nostalgic for New York. Many buses and to all of these places relatively easily by bus, carrying almost 150 all Metro lines stop running before midnight, so I’ve had to plan pounds of equipment, demonstrated again how accessible L.A. is accordingly, sometimes cutting activities short. I’ve been caught by mass transit. I met people from a wide range of backgrounds, in the rain on my bike. And going anywhere in Orange County, Ikea socio-economic levels, occupations and heard an amazing and most of the Valley is pretty much out of the question. And range of reasons for not driving. I met single moms, teachers, it is inevitably awkward when I tell people that I don’t have a car,
WITHOUT A CAR 34
/ EXHIBITION /
writers, consultants, comediennes, actors, urban planners, computer programmers, analysts, bakery workers, students and unemployed. I met people whose physical disabilities kept them off the road, and people who did not drive because of firm ideologies about the detrimental effects of car culture. Others had been in accidents, their cars had blown up, they were afraid to drive, they lost their licenses after receiving a third DUI, they preferred bicycles, or they were simply tired of spending so much money on a car. Many could not afford to have a car—the average Angeleno spends almost $9,000 a year per vehicle. In a city notorious for being difficult to meet new people, I met a hundred. Many have become friends that I see socially or at transportation-related meetings or events. One of the great joys of the project has been to excitedly share observations, experiences and frustrations with other car-less people. The positives and difficulties stemming from not having a car are real and universal. Despite great differences in the backgrounds of my subjects, a number of themes emerged from the interviews: Car-less single men had high levels of anxiety when it came to dating. Car-less children of immigrant families faced disapproval from their families, as if choosing not to have a car was a rejection of the better life their parents sought in coming to the U.S. Geographical biases abounded: Santa Monicans, for example, were often assumed to be environmentalists, while people from less affluent neighborhoods were rarely given credit for making the choice for reasons other than financial. With a few exceptions, those who had willingly given up car life were not raised in Southern California, but had lived in dense cities in the Midwest or the Northeast. Almost everyone cited not having a car as being easier than anticipated. Most called for more bus and train lines that run 24 hours. Some people felt embarrassed about taking the bus, enough to hide it. However, for others public transportation was the norm in their peer groups. Many were repeatedly warned of the dangers of mass transit by people who had never tried it. And some reported being passed over for jobs because they did not have a car. I am lucky to have had the option of giving up my car. While I initially got rid of it due to financial need, I probably could have figured out a way to keep it. Many of the people I interviewed, however, never had a car, or the option to choose. Their views of being car-less in L.A. often skew negatively, since choice never came into play. Based on these interviews and my observations, it is clear to me that this city—and others—can sustain their independence from car culture. The stresses of driving in traffic detract from our quality of life. Almost everyone reported a sharp decrease in feelings of stress after they stopped driving. A recent
study by the American Heart Association found that persons prone to heart disease were 3.2 times more likely to have a heart attack if they had been stuck in traffic early in the day. One interviewee told me of a co-worker with whom it is immediately obvious which days she drove and which days she took mass transit—she is much more relaxed and social on the days that she does not drive. In addition to the mental and physical tolls of driving, air quality is a major issue facing the city, as is the worldwide impact of global warming. Twenty percent of greenhouse-gas emissions in the U.S. come from personal automobiles. It is logically in the best interests of L.A., and the entire world, to explore transportation alternatives and to improve current transportation systems. Mobility is freedom, and it should be a right of all citizens equally. Unfortunately, this is not the case in L.A. When bus service essentially shuts down at midnight, how are car-less workers on the graveyard shift supposed to get home? How are people who don’t feel safe walking in their neighborhood, even to the bus stop, supposed to access other parts of the city? How should disabled people get around when many of our sidewalks are in grave disrepair, the supply of wheelchair ramps does not support the demand, and one has to cross busy streets for bus transfers that are poorly timed and sometimes many blocks away? How do people bicycle safely when bike lanes suddenly stop, depositing cyclists on a crowded street with cars zooming passed? Who will feel encouraged to try taking the bus when buses don’t provide maps or notification of the approaching stop? I hope that the stories recorded here will encourage others to consider using their cars less and to experiment with alternatives to driving. I hope to see improved transportation options, and increased mobility and access to the city. To that end, putting more riders on the bus and more cyclists in the street will hasten needed improvements. The 100 people featured in this project prove that the city can be enjoyed, productive lives can be led, and lifestyles can be maintained, even improved, without a car. At the same time, the universal difficulties faced by car-less people clearly indicate that Los Angeles has a long commute ahead. ESSAY BY DIANE MEYER
WITHOUT A CAR 35
/ EXHIBITION /
ANDREW BURRIDGE I think there’s definitely a lot of that kind of second-class citizen persona about cycling. It’s the same with taking the bus… When I moved to LA, I asked around a lot and I tried to ask people who I knew had lived in LA about the bus and the reaction was confusion or disbelief that the bus could be a useful service— or this kind of statement that no one takes the bus and it was— I quickly realized that that meant no white people take the bus, basically.
BROWNE MOLYNEAUX (BROWNE BUNNY) AND RANDALL FLEMING (BUSTARD) For me, it becomes weird because not having a car becomes more of a class issue… Growing up where I grew up, I was really protected— of course, racism exists, but I was protected against certain things because, well… I had everything. I had all the little things I could checkmark—I had a degree from a nice place, I had a good GPA, I had the internship, I had a car, I had the right address, I had everything that everybody wanted. And it was weird that once that one thing got taken away—like that one piece—it’s weird. It’s like my status, my class status, has fallen…. I’ve gone from middle class in some peoples minds to being almost below working class because I don’t have a car—like, “Oh, you don’t have a car…. what’s wrong with you, if you don’t have a car?” and it’s really been very obvious and it’s made me a lot more aware of a lot more things in the city just because of that.
WITHOUT A CAR 36
/ EXHIBITION /
CORINNE BIRD People are surprised. I tend to tune it out, but I notice it more when I’m with somebody else because they point it out. I can quote my boyfriend who says that when we’re walking and I’m unicycling, everybody looks…. I get so focused on it because I just need to go where I need to go—I need to get to work, I gotta to get to class somewhere, so I’m not even thinking about it. But, I guess I kind of stand out. They know me at Santa Monica College as “The Unicycle Girl.” It’s not the most efficient means of travel, but it’s a pleasurable and fun means of travel and I get a lot of joy out of it. I go to the grocery store with my unicycle. I go to school with my unicycle… I run all kinds of errands on my unicycle.
DJ WALDIE Public transit is the great classroom of urbanity in the city. People learn to be urban, they learn to be city dwellers in situations where they are compelled to rub shoulders with people they do not know and would otherwise not associate with. The subway is like that. The lightrail system is like that. I wish I could say that the bus system offers a comparable classroom of urbanity, but unfortunately, on most buses, most of the time, there’s just the burden of being on the bus.
WITHOUT A CAR 37
/ EXHIBITION /
KRISTINA WONG There’s this kind of feeling of vulnerability when I don’t have a car—because everyone else in the city is going after their goals at 75 miles, on their time, without stopping every 3 blocks to pick up people—there’s a kind of helplessness sometimes about it… But there’s some very sweet things—when was the last time I witnessed two strangers in the city interact with each other at all and be generous to one another in a very kind of unconditional way. It’s like, wow—this is a whole different way to look at people in the city. I think when people complain that LA is full of fake people, they’ve never taken the bus. You don’t know real until you’ve seen some guy wearing his underwear on his head on the bus.
LOIS ARKIN I wanted to get rid of all of that stress around the cars and taking care of them and changing their parking spaces and so forth. And once one does that little twist in their head and really getting rid of it, getting it out of my life, it is a very big piece of new found freedom, and the walking, the biking, the intimacy of learning your neighborhood in ways that you may have not known it before is enormously gratifying… and that twist in ones head—the idea of sacrifice versus freedom. Getting rid of it is getting free of, giving up is sacrificing. And people that make that distinction ultimately are very happy about getting rid of the car.
WITHOUT A CAR 38
/ EXHIBITION /
LINDA HILL My girls don’t like to be on the bus a lot because a bus can be overwhelming—it can wear you out… I miss taking my daughters places—they’re really like pretty much homebound… They don’t have friends—if they have friends, they couldn’t get to their house… And like my middle daughter— she had to take a writing test. And cause she had to take a writing test, she was like, ‘Momma, please—I don’t want to get off the bus to take my test.’ So, I had to rent a car. She was embarrassed—everyone else’s parents dropped them off… All my girls would just rather be in a car and drive rather than walk and carry bags all the time.
Los Angeles is plagued with a long list of transportation problems. If you live here this should come as no surprise. This multicentered metro-area is constantly criticized for its auto-centered culture, endless urban sprawl and major access problems. Traffic congestion is the most obvious problem and probably one of the more difficult to solve. The metro-area is dominated by single-family homes and the use of the private automobile with each home having, on average, ten auto trips per day. Multiply this equation by a city of almost four million and a five-county region of over seventeen million and what you get is congestion on the largest of scales. Perhaps the most elusive of L.A.’s transport problems lies in the lack of cohesion between land use and transportation planning. Local officials make decisions that will best serve the people within their jurisdiction, while a neighboring city can barely cover basic services. The result is a fragmented metropolitan area with little cohesion. From the air, our cities look orderly and well planned. From the ground, cities like Los Angeles are some of the least accessible places on earth.
The cost of buying expensive land for light rail and other mass transit projects coupled with the lack of population density needed to make such projects work well, and you’ve arrived at one of the biggest challenges with public transit planning in a car-dominated landscape. The rising age of hyper-NIMBYism even makes it difficult to build highway projects. Nobody wants a highway running through their backyard. The freeway revolts of the 1960s and 70s were about race and class issues. Today they still aremoney talks and being a NIMBY works when you have it. Pollution is another transport-related concern. Even though cars are becoming cleaner each year, the particulates associated with partially burned diesel fuel remain a significant problem. Other unburned hydrocarbons and known carcinogens come out of the tailpipe of most gasoline powered automobiles. And so while living next to major freeways can lead to asthma and cancer, in a city saturated by cars it’s hard to escape toxic air. Another serious issue associated with transportation is obesity. Many have laughed at the connection between health and land use, but can it be denied? If most of our walking involves shuttling back and forth from cubicle to parking lot with numerous trips to the drive-thru, is it surprising that we’re putting on the pounds? Studies have shown that people who live in transit-friendly U.S. cities weigh less and are much healthier. WITHOUT A CAR 39
/ EXHIBITION /
MEGAN AMBERSON AND DARCY NELSON I think Los Angeles is sort of the epicenter for our cultural extreme—it’s so focused on wealth and status and fame. And I know there’s all these other things to it, but there is that sort of over-arching money, glamour, entertainment aspect to the city. The cars are a reflection of success for so many people. What we’ve noticed in this area, people live in sort of lower-level apartments, but they have brand new cars. So obviously, their finances are put towards their car. So in the world, they look very successful, but if you saw the whole picture, you might not get that same impression.
So what are the alternatives? How can we get around Los Angeles in a way that reduces stress levels, engages our bodies and provides greater access for all? Clearly there’s no quick fix to L.A.’s transportation woes and anyone who tells you otherwise is unquestionably delusional. On the bright side, there are lots of forward thinking people, plans and movements currently changing L.A. for the better. The rise of Bus Rapid Transit, or buses that ride in their own designated lanes and operate much like a light rail train, is a smart transit choice for a city like Los Angeles. The Orange Line is currently exceeding ridership expectations and plans are in the works for a bus-only lane on Wilshire Blvd. Admittedly, buses are a hard sell in the L.A. metro area. Most of those who ride the bus in L.A. do so because they have no choice, and unfortunately, a second-class citizenship standard is imposed by the dominant automobile culture. The MTA’s ridership is overwhelmingly Latino while its white riders are an obvious minority. The immense size of this metro-area makes bus use an option that cannot be avoided. If we can just get more people on the bus, the frequency and quality of the service will only get better.
WITHOUT A CAR 40
One of the dark horses in L.A.’s transport picture will undoubtedly be the bicycle. Bicycles are an inexpensive mode of transportation that can be used alone and also work well with mixed-systems transit options. As L.A.’s transit system continues to develop along key corridors, bikes will become even more flexible when it comes to making connections between transit modes. Infrastructural needs for the bicycle are extremely cheap and require much less space when compared to the rising costs associated with automobile infrastructure and unstable asphalt prices. At present, there are a growing number of people in Los Angeles who are using the bicycle as a form or resistance against the hegemony of automobile culture. These folks, often burdened by student loans and high housing costs, want to live an urban lifestyle freed from the shackles of the car. Match this with the rise of groups like C.I.C.L.E., the LACBC, the Bicycle Kitchen and it’s various offshoots, and a growing number of car-free events, and you have a substantial movement taking shape. In short, the bicycle and the simple-living associated with it are becoming more common and a way of life that is making sense for an increasing number of people.
/ EXHIBITION /
Cars will not go away in our lifetime. They will continue to play a major role in the L.A. transport picture, but the peaking of global oil supplies and climate change impacts will probably reduce automobile usage in the coming years. If the City of Los Angeles, and its immense metro area, is to have a more livable future, people will need to look beyond the car and imagine a city with better access, less pollution and an infrastructural system of roads that is maintainable. We must continue to look at the big picture and think about how everything works together. The mono-modal infrastructural model of the 1950s is outdated. Our cities will require overlapping systems and cheap solutions. The time is now to think about relationships and access. Outlying areas and inner cities must be looked at together. We need to think at the scale of the metropolitan region and make careful choices.
MELBA THORN Because it’s the car culture and most people don’t think they can, right? … And that’s what we know as living in LA is, in LA, you have to have a car… and so if you actually try to move around without one, it’s actually not that difficult—it’s quite easy… It’s really quite fun… And, don’t get me wrong—the public transportation should be improved, but it has improved a lot in the past ten years.
ESSAY BY CLAUDE WILLEY .
WITHOUT A CAR 41
/ EXHIBITION /
PAULA HESS Getting to school is not tough. But it’s the end of the day—you’re really tired and you gotta wait for the bus and it’s two buses and so sometimes we don’t get home until 6:30, even quarter to seven. So, that’s a long day. Enough of their friends ride the bus that they don’t get teased about it but, you know, the bus is cheap and dirty. They know they’ve given up something by taking the bus.
WITHOUT A CAR 42
/ EVENTS /
18TH STREET EVENTS
/ 1 / ArtNight August 1, Special Performance by Francisco Aguabella and his Latin Jazz Ensemble
/ EVENTS / 2
/ 2 / ArtNight February 7, 18th Street Connect, Citizen LA’s Senior Writer Jim Marquez presents his latest book The Beast from the East: A Rambler’s Tales Circa LA / 3 / ArtNight May 2, Alex Kizu and Virginia Avenue Park Teen Center, live graffiti art demonstration, part of 18th Street Connect
/ 4 / ArtNight August 1, Post-American L.A. Opening Reception, Adrian Paci’s video in background / 5 / ArtNight August 1, Performance by New Playwrights Foundation, part of 18th Street Connect
/ 6 / Open Studio with Lita Albuquerque / 7 / The Pasillos, Chuck Koton, Jazz Moods II, August 1-28
/ EVENTS / 8
/ 8 / Open Studio with Yvette Gellis / 9 / 20th Anniversary Birthday Benefit Dinner with guest speaker Sir Ken Robinson, table center pieces by Marina Day, April 11
/ 10 / 20th Anniversary Birthday Benefit Dinner with guest speaker Sir Ken Robinson (left) and Lee Wochner, CEO, CounterIntuity (right), April 11
/ 11 & 12 / Santa Monica Latino Community Access Partnership grant recipient Raul Baltazar with Virginia Avenue Park Teen Center, It Takes More Than Balls, Mixed media, variable dimensions, Presented during the May 2 ArtNight, Project February â€“May
/ EVENTS / 13
/ 13 / Santa Monica Latino Community Access Partnership grant recipient Raul Baltazar with Virginia Avenue Park Teen Center, It Takes More Than Balls, Mixed media, variable dimensions, Presented during the May 2 ArtNight, in this pic performer with artist Raul Baltazar, Project Februaryâ€“May
/ 14 / ArtNight August 1, Special Performance by Francisco Aguabella and his Latin Jazz Ensemble / 15 / ArtNight August 1, Ronald Lopez, Program Coordinator introduces guest performer Francisco Aguabella
/ 16 / ArtNight May 2, L.A. 2019: Cults, Collectives, Cocooning opening reception, Car of Unarius part of the installation, Bede Murphy with Unarius
/ EVENTS / 17
/ 17 / ArtNight May 2, Performance by Marcus Kuiland-Nazario, The High Performance (C)Art / 18 / Lunch for artists in residence, foreground Asian Cultural Council recipients local artist Dan Kwong and visiting international artist Clodualdo â€œDindoâ€? Llana of Philippines, in background from left to right: David of Continuum Studio, Marcus Kuiland-Nazario
/ 19 / ArtNight May 2, Video projection 18 20, pictured Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz of Electronic Cafe International,The 18th Street Arts Center 20th Anniversary, Film by Michael Barnard
/ 20 / Lunch for artists in residence. (from left to right) Lita Albuquerque, Ramla Roussel, April Banks, Victoria Goldfarb, Luciana Abait, Leo Garcia, Yvette Gellis, Ichiro Irie
/ EVENTS / 21
/ 21 / Margaret Bong, Visiting artist-in-residence from Malaysia, December 2008–February 2009
/ 22 / Opening Night Post-American L.A. / 23 / Ashley Hunt, A World Map: In Which We See…, artist workshop part of the Post-American L.A. exhibition curated by Pilar Tompkins, July, 2009
/ 24 / Joaquin Segura, visiting artist-in-residence from Mexico, holding up The Younger Than Jesus Artist Directory published by Phaidon that he is included in, Visiting artist in residence from Mexico, April–June 2009 / 25 / Clayton Campbell, Artistic Director, at the Annual Birthday Dinner
/ EVENTS / 26
/ 26 / 20th Anniversary Birthday Benefit Dinner, Jan Williamson, Executive Director with Alex Donis, 18th Street artist-in-residence 2000, April 11
/ 27 / Open Studio with Otis College of Art and Design Graduate Public Practice Studio
/ 28 / Ramla Roussel, Business Manager with Gabriel Tenorio, Gallery installer
“I THINK WORKING AT 18TH STREET WAS IMPORTANT FOR ME BECAUSE I WAS ABLE TO WORK ON A PIECE THAT A LOT OF OTHER PLACES WOULD NOT NECESSARILY ALLOW ME TO WORK ON. THE PIECE WAS VERY POLITICAL AND IT WAS ACTUALLY BEING CRITICAL OF THE POLICE, AND THERE ARE A LOT OF INSTITUTIONS THAT DO NOT NECESSARILY WANT TO HAVE THE BACKLASH OF BEING CRITICAL OF THE POLICE. 18TH STREET WAS VERY BRAVE AND GAVE ME THAT SPACE AND ALLOWED ME TO HAVE MY OWN VOICE.” AMITIS MOTEVALLI
INTERNATIONAL & VISITING
ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE
PAUL ADAIR AUSTRALIA (AUSTRALIA COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS) Paul Adair’s work considers both formal and conceptual concerns as a methodology for continued exploration in medium and representation. His particular interest is in artificial spaces and our perceived experiences. He believes the process of re-making objects and environments and re-presenting them photographically (a depiction of a depiction) complicates the relationship between reality and representation, offering both new and separate interpretations and responses. Paul Adair is an artist based in Brisbane, Australia.
Paul Adair, Untitled, mixed media on canvas, 16" x 20", 2007 (courtesy of artist)
“ART IS OUR REFLECTION OF A CULTURE THAT WE LIVE IN AND WE ARE THAT MIRROR TO SOCIETY. WE DOCUMENT OUR HISTORY.” JANE CASTILLO
MATT HINKLEY AUSTRALIA (AUSTRALIA COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS) While at 18th Street Art Center, Hinkley used his time as a resident to explore particular artists and architects whose works are located within Los Angeles. The intended purpose was to draw parallels between older and current artists, serving as a basis to inform his work. His time at the residency proved beneficial and yielded future projects due a heightened sense of liberation from everyday distractions. He devoted much of his time towards at presentation this fall at the Frieze Art Fair in London.
Matt Hinkley, Untitled, Paper intervention, 6" x 6", 2008 (courtesy of artist)
DAVID KEATING AUSTRALIA (AUSTRALIA COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS) David Keating’s recent works have used sculpture, performance and spatial intervention to explore our habitual understanding of objects and actions as signifiers with particular historical, social and political associations. Through appropriation and modification, Keating isolates everyday items or familiar activities and inserts them into a different context. These shifts create tension between conventional readings of form, function and use, while setting up the possibility of humorous new connections, multiple interpretations and strange chains of association. David Keating currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Recent solo exhibitions include There’s a Storm Blowing Up Above Us at Wendt + Friedmann Gallerie.
David Keating, (Installation view), Say Over Again, and yet once over again, Table tennis table, mirrors, 2008 (courtesy of the artist)
“WE DID A CONFERENCE MANY YEARS AGO WITH JONAS SALK AND HE EXPLAINED THAT ART WAS A BIOLOGICAL FUNCTION NECESSARY FOR SURVIVAL, FOR THE CREATIVE PROCESS... OFTEN WHAT’S LEFT BEHIND AFTER ALL THE DUST SETTLES ARE THE ARTIFACTS CREATED BY ARTISTS.” KIT GALLOWAY
MARGARET BONG MALAYSIA (ASIAN CULTURAL COUNCIL) Margaret Bong is a video maker, trained in Broadcasting and Film Studies. She has written, produced and directed six short films. In 2005 “Lie Beneath” was shown in festivals in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore, while my short documentary “Tudtu, The Salt Boy,” which focus on one of the Indigenous group has been shown in South Korea, Italy, Brazil and Lebanon. Margaret is fascinated by recollections provoked by photography and memories in order to give volume to suspended feeling in the moment. She is keen on exploring the chances to find co-production partners from anywhere to work together with my coming feature project. More importantly, she strongly believes her residency benefited her in terms of her artmaking practice.
Margaret Bong, Retrace, DV, 5 min, 2007 (courtesy of artist)
JUDITH MARGOLIS ISRAEL As a feminist and an “observant Jew” from Israel, Judith Margolis reveals the “point where the political and spiritual confront each other” to explore the ways in which themes such as violence and sexuality are articulated in the media. Margolis’ own experiences and her role as a member of society have inspired various projects such as “Life Support” that visualize the paradoxes that exist in spirituality and their relationship to shared human experiences. Through the shocking nature of her paintings and their powerful reflections, Margolis strives to activate the viewer who is a significant receiver of her messages in the challenging path of being a successful artist.
Judith Margolis, (installation view) Untitled, work in progress while in residency
“CAN YOU IMAGINE LIFE WITHOUT [ART]? I CANNOT. I MEAN, IF YOU TOOK THOSE THINGS AWAY FROM A CULTURE IT WOULD BE SO UTTERLY DREARY AND BORING.” BARBARA T. SMITH
JOAQUIN SEGURA MEXICO (JUMEX FOUNDATION) Segura’s action, installation, intervention and photographic work have been shown in solo and group exhibitions in Mexico, USA and Europe. He is known for his provocative performances and outspoken visual projects. In 2006, he received a production grant from La Coleccion Jumex to support his project Fire in the Taco Bell, in collaboration with Renato Garza. During his residency he developed a solo show project for Arena México Arte Contemporáneo, due mid-2009.
Joaquin Segura, Inaugural Address, Confederate knife & Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address, 8" x 5" x 10", 2009
CLODUALDO “DINDO” LLANA PHILIPPINES (ASIAN CULTURAL COUNCIL) Clodualdo “Dindo” Llana is a painter known for his sociopolitical satires that incorporate local cuisine, political leaders and Filipino folklore. His work carries a sense of cynicism that is both humorous and tongue in cheek exhibiting a clash of popculture and neo-social realism. During his residency, his first time in Los Angeles, he explored and researched local phenomena and cultural offerings.
Clodualdo “Dindo” Llana, Na Coup! Acrylic on canvas, 92 x 92 cm, 2003 (courtesy of artist)
“[18TH STREET] SUPPORTS ARTISTS, IT EXPOSES PEOPLE TO ARTISTS AND ART. ONE PERSON HAVING THAT EXPOSURE, IT MIGHT CHANGE THE COURSE OF THEIR VERY LIVES.” MICHAEL D. MCCARTY
APRIL BANKS OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA (JAMES IRVINE FOUNDATION) April Banks, is one of six visual artists in California to be a recipient of the 2009 Visions from the New California award. Her work explores the processes and realities involved with satisfying human desires and their relation to beauty. By being part of 18th Street Art Center Residency program, she was given the time and space to experiment with ideas ‘without the pressure of an outcome.’ She felt the residency validated her position as an emerging artist and helped to secure an invitation to exhibit at the California African American Museum.
April Banks, (Installation view) Rice Riots, Ice, food color, photos, rice, filament line, 48" diameter by 10 ft tall, 2009 (courtesy of artist)
ROBIN ADSIT CLAREMONT, CALIFORNIA I became interested in memory, aging and identity while caring for my mother with Alzheimer’s. My new work depicts figures that merge together and suggest replication and/or connection. The deliberate replication, or connection of figures suggests the flux of identity through aging, time and our changing memories. I am interested in the role of lived experience on memory and our attempts to recover a moment in the past that is unrecoverable. In my figurative works, the replication of the figure suggests cloning, which I use to investigate the multiple ways identity can be created and changed through lived experience, genetics and our memories.
Robin Adsit, Coming and Going, Oil and pencil on paper, 80" x 51", 2008 (courtesy of artist)
“ART MATTERS BECAUSE FOOD MATTERS, BECAUSE OXYGEN MATTERS, BECAUSE PRETTY THINGS MATTER.” MARCUS KUILAND-NAZARIO
CHUN-YI CHANG TAIWAN (COUNCIL FOR CULTURAL AFFAIRS, TAIWAN) During her residency, Chang created a new body of work and established alliances with other artists that will become future projects. The environment embodied at 18th Street Art Center and the horizon of the Santa Monica coast informed a series of concepts she will work on upon her return to Paris, where she currently resides.
Chun-Yi Chang, La Ville, video still, 1 min 30 sec, 2008 (courtesy of artist)
YUNG-CHEN (AARON) NIEH TAIWAN (COUNCIL FOR CULTURAL AFFAIRS, TAIWAN) Aaron Nieh (Yung-chen Nieh) is a graphic artist and art director that had created over 1,000 current graphic art works for Chinese pop music albums, movies, performances and book covers in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. In recent years, he was awarded “Best Attention” and “Best Art Designer” several times in the annual report of Elite readers. He was also awarded the “Best Cover Art Award” of the Golden Butterfly Awards and the “Best 100 Music Artworks and Director” of the International design book “Musikraghics.” His workshop “Aaron Nieh Workshop” was one of the “50 small studios” which was published by Hesign, an authoritative artistic publishing company in Berlin. He’s also a member of TDC (Type Director Club), the wellknown international creators’ organization in New York.
Yung-Chen (Aaron) Nieh, TBD, photo on paper, 2009 (courtesy of artist)
“I THINK 18TH STREET IS REALLY IMPORTANT AS A COMMUNITY BASED ARTS ORGANIZATION BECAUSE IT’S ONE OF THE ONLY PLACES WHERE YOU ACTUALLY HAVE AN ARTIST COMMUNITY. YOU HAVE A COMMUNITY OF ARTISTS FROM ALL DIFFERENT PLACES, SPEAKING MANY DIFFERENT LANGUAGES AND THEY REALLY SHOW HOW ART CONNECTS TO REAL LIFE.” MICHAEL SAKAMOTO
ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE For further information about current artists and residents and to link to their websites, please visit www.18thstreet.org/resident_artists.html
(dub)zeck, Performance view at Highways Performance Space, 2009 (photo by Patrick Kennelly)
“WE NEED ARTISTS, WE NEED A PLACE WHERE ART IS REVERED, NURTURED, AND THIS IS THE SOUL OF SANTA MONICA.” VIDA SIMON
ASUKA IIDA Born and raised in Japan, Asuka Iida completed her BFA studies at “La Esmeralda” National School of Painting, Sculpture and Printmaking. She uses a variety of material including beads, buttons and sequins on a painted surface to create fantastic landscapes and portraits that relate to popular culture and events in her daily life. Iida has exhibited her work in venues such as Casino Metropolitano and MUCA Roma in Mexico City, and McNish gallery and 643 Project Space in Southern California.
Asuka Iida, Untitled, mixed media on canvas, 16" x 20," 2007 (courtesy of artist)
BERNADETTE FOX Bernadette Fox experiments with Art and Architecture and explores the relationship between space, boundaries, infinity and limits. She is inspired by the transformation of energy at its moment of release or change. Her current full scale “intervention” explores the collapse of a system to release space. A small Santa Monica House will be used as the base material. Large “sections” of the building will be detached and repositioned in a way that will heighten the observer’s sense and understanding of space. The latent energy built up during the historic use of the house, and the political significance of the site, will stimulate debate over the shape of urban renewal.
Bernadette Fox, Untitled, House intervention, life-size, 2007 (courtesy of artist)
“WE’VE SEEN 18TH STREET CONTINUE TO GROW, CONTINUE TO CREATE MORE AND MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR ARTISTS NOT JUST HERE IN LOS ANGELES, BUT FROM THROUGHOUT THE WORLD AND CONTINUE TO TRY TO CREATE A VOICE HERE IN SANTA MONICA.” MICHAEL MASUCCI
CALIFORNIA LAWYERS FOR THE ARTS California Lawyers for the Arts is a non-profit service organization which provides lawyer referrals, dispute resolution services, educational programs, publications, and a resource library to people in the creative arts and arts organizations. Founded in 1974 by lawyers and artists, California Lawyers for the Arts’ programs and services are designed to help artists understand and apply legal concepts.
Alma Robinson, Executive Director, California Lawyers for the Arts
CINDY DESANTIS Cindy DeSantis is a visual artist, published cartoonist and musician who entices her audience with striking social commentary and unique wit and irony. She creates small objects on scrap wood, using written text and pop iconography gathered from yard sales, eBay, Happy Meals, and other eclectic and unusual sources. DeSantis has worked with various LA bands as a singer and songwriter, most notably Micah Barnes, Loudboy, Mantle, Deadlee, Rodney Waltrip Experiment and ENU (Experimental Noise Unit).
Cindy DeSantis, Save Me Andy Warhol, mixed media on wood, 2007
“IT’S A RARE PLACE WHERE THIS COMMUNITY OF ARTISTS COME TOGETHER AND SPEND AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME AND CREATE A DIALOGUE.” KYUNGMI SHIN
CLAYTON CAMPBELL Clayton Campbell is known for his conceptual photographic projects that contain an element of social commentary. In January 2009, his newest work, After Abu Ghraib, was exhibited at Pitzer College Art Galleries. His traveling exhibit, Words We Have Learned Since 9-11, was exhibited in September 2009 at the WYSPA Art Institute, Gdansk, Poland, and in Kurdistan. Future exhibitions are being organized in Europe and Asia.
Clayton Campbell, LALIKEITIS, Corrupted digital image, 34" x 58", 2009 (courtesy of artist)
CONTINUUM MONTAGE Continuum Montage is an organization founded by Susan Harper who offers Continuum Movement events, Em’oceans and Sensations Trainings, and Portals of Perception seminars with Hubert Godard. Susan teaches a wide range of skills, and inquiry in the fields of movement, emotions, shock and trauma resolution, dreams, perception and relationship. The intention of Susan’s work is to elaborate somatic awareness, emotional communication, and creative expression, movement, and thinking. Artist Kristy Schaefle works with Susan to produce and care for these events.
Continuum Montage, Susan Harper (courtesy of artist)
“IT GIVES ARTISTS A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF FREEDOM TO BE EXACTLY WHO THEY ARE, ASSISTED AND UNENCUMBERED BY THE KIND OF MINUTIA OF LIFE.” LISA SIMMONS
CONTINUUM STUDIO In these times of extreme fragmentation and stress, delving deeper into summoning our inner resources within our communities and ourselves is essential to live as a truly unified consciousness. A Continuum workshop is an invitation to dive into the play of life. As we enter our own pool of existence spiraling within our cells we encounter a pulsating presence that is timeless. It stirs through our tissues with an undulating memory of all species, millions of years of an embracing life stream. Continuum Studio hosts workshops concerned with experiential practices including movement and a variety of voicings, expanding our consciousness in a deeply healing environment.
Continuum Studio, (Performance view) Emilie Conrad demonstrating movement, 2009 (courtesy of artist)
DAN KWONG An award-winning performance artist, writer and teacher, Dan Kwong draws upon his own life experiences to explore the personal, the historical, the social and the unspeakable. His solo works combine autobiographical storytelling with multimedia, dynamic physical movement, martial arts, and music. His work has been presented in Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Cambodia, China, Canada, England, Mexico and across the United States. In October of 2009 Dan was sponsored by 18th Street to be the first guest artist at the new Gyeonggi Creation Center in South Korea.
Dan Kwong, It’s Great 2B American, written, choreographed, produced and performed, 2009
“THE IDEA HERE IS TO CREATE, AND JUST THAT IMPULSE OF CREATING EFFECTS THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE, BUT CERTAINLY IT EFFECTS THE LOCAL COMMUNITY AND THE BIGGER COMMUNITY, AND I THINK EVEN IF PEOPLE DIDN’T KNOW 18TH STREET EXISTED AT ALL WE WOULD HAVE A PROFOUNDLY POSITIVE EFFECT OF CREATING.” MICHAEL W. BARNARD
DAVID MCDONALD David McDonald is a painter and a sculptor who constructs his objects by assembling one line, one material and one square at a time. His unique process of accumulation allows his works to function both as a micro scale of detail and macro objects that are a unified whole. While his art is often discussed in terms of architecture, McDonald actually focuses his interests on fragments of architecture or on building materials, especially those that appear to have no purpose. He uses these fragments without identities because of their lack of context and his lack of knowledge about their original purposes. McDonald most recently exhibited his work at Jancar and Jail Galleries in Los Angeles.
David McDonald, FurYu Monji, Wood, hydrocal, mortar, acrylic, 62" x 29" x 24", 2009 (courtesy of artist)
ELECTRONIC CAFÉ INTERNATIONAL Sherrie Rabinowitz and Kit Galloway were the first artists to demonstrate a live multi-user and fully immersive images-space network to reveal the tele-collaborative implications for artists and others separated by great distances. They created the first encounters between pedestrians in distant cities via large-as-life video imaging and audio systems that adjoined distant public sidewalks. Currently Sherrie and Kit are the keepers of the formidable archives of the “Electronic Café International Network,” and their large body of personal work. Their work was most recently included in The Art of Participation at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. ECI will be included in the 18th Street exhibition in 2011, Collaboration Labs: Southern California Artists and the Artist Space Movement, sponsored by the Getty Foundation.
Electronic Café International, Hole in Space Revisited Installation, Multimedia, 1980–2009 (courtesy of artist)
“THERE’S NOT ENOUGH OF THESE PLACES AROUND. THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE A PLACE THAT HELPS ARTISTS OUT WHEN IT’S, YOU KNOW IT’S, MOST ARTISTS ARE TRYING TO MAKE A LIVING. IT SEEMS LIKE YOU’RE EITHER BROKE OR YOU’RE RICH WHEN YOU’RE IN THE CREATIVE BUSINESS.” JERRY “WYZARD” SEAY
EZTV MICHAEL MASUCCI AND KATE JOHNSON EZTV’s critical role in the evolution from studio to desktop video production has been recognized internationally, from leading conferences and festivals to governmental agencies. EZTV digital/ video work has been exhibited internationally at such venues as the Cannes Film Festival, the Museum of Modern Art (NYC), Institute of Contemporary Art (UK), Lincoln Center, SIGGRAPH, MOCA, DV Expo, UCLA, USC, and many other venues worldwide. EZTV will be included in the 18th Street exhibition in 2011, Collaboration Labs: Southern California Artists and the Artist Space Movement, sponsored by the Getty Foundation.
EZTV, Libra Barcode, video still, 2006 (courtesy of artists)
HENRIETTE BROUWERS Dutch director Henriëtte Brouwers has performed and directed movement and theater in Europe and the US. She has worked as Los Angeles Poverty Department’s associate director since 2000. La Llorona, Weeping Women of Echo Park (2008–9) features a cast comprised of immigrant women. It is the third in a series of performances Brouwers has directed, based on the Mexican legend of La Llorona (the weeping woman), who wanders the earth searching for her children. She recently presented the LAPD All-Stars at Highways Performance Space.
Henriette Brouwers, (performance view at Highways Performance Space) CPR, Performance, 2009 (courtesy of artist)
“IT DOESN’T MATTER MORE THAN MAYBE OTHER THINGS LIKE HAVING ENOUGH FOOD TO EAT. ALTHOUGH I MUST SAY THAT IN A LOT OF MY WORK, FOOD TO EAT AND ART HAVE BEEN COMPARED. YOU KNOW ‘LET’S SEE, SHOULD WE GIVE YOU MONEY TO DO AN ART WORK OR FOR FOOD TO EAT?” SUZANNE LACY
PERFORMANCE SPACE Highways Performance Space, in its twenty-first year, encourages fierce, new, socially involved artists from diverse communities to develop and present innovative works. Recent Highways projects include Fringes-MarginsBorders, a commissioned multi-artist collaboration comprising eight short pieces by San Francisco and Los Angeles LGBT artists Global Descent, featuring world-renowned Butoh Master Katsura Kan; (dub) zeck, a free performative mixtape that used Patty Hearst, the expressionist classic Woyzeck, and the Mickey Mouse Club to map a shadowy post-future America. In the coming months Highways will present its 5th Annual Latino New Works Festival, a festival that enables the region’s emerging Latino artists to reach their target audience, and its 6th Annual Poetry Festival, a series of performances and workshops that embrace local and national poets, slam champions, editors, actors, authors, teachers and cultural workers from the queer, black, Asian, literary, Latino, and hip-hop communities.
(dub)zeck, Performance view at Highways Performance Space, 2009 (photo by Leo Garcia)
ICHIRO IRIE Ichiro Irie is a visual artist and curator living and working in Santa Monica. As an artist he works in a variety of media including painting, sculpture, installation, video and most recently drawing. He had a solo exhibition at Yautepec Gallery, Mexico City in April 2009. He is also a founding member of the artist collective Cacahuates Japoneses whose work has been recently exhibited in the exhibition Laugh Track as part of the off-program at the Brussels Biennial. As a curator he has organized more than two dozen exhibitions including Shangri L.A., which opened in February 2009 at 18th Street Arts Center.
Ichiro Irie, from the series Back to Nature, ink on paper, 9" x 12", 2008 (courtesy of artist)
“PEOPLE THAT WERE HERE A LONG TIME AGO AND PEOPLE THAT ARE HERE NOW, THERE SEEMS TO BE A FLOW BETWEEN GENERATIONS AND THAT REALLY PROVIDES A LINEAGE.” JOHN MALPEDE
JOHN MALPEDE John Malpede, directs, performs and engineers multi-event arts projects that have theatrical, installation, public art and education components. In 1985, Malpede founded and continues to direct the Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD), the first performance group in the nation comprised primarily of homeless and formerly homeless people. LAPD’s mission is to create performances that connect lived experience to the social forces that shape the lives and communities of people living in poverty. In 2009 Malpede produced various projects including the working with communities in Santa Monica and Bolivia.
John Malpede, (performance view at Highways Performance Space) CPR, Performance, 2009 (photo by Leo Garcia)
KEITH ANTAR MASON Keith Antar Mason says, “We at the Hittite Empire conduct residencies with the new significant other communities in the 21st Century. We transform bullets into words—we take rage, put it on the page and take it to stage for release. Can you help us to continue to change the world? Allow us to make Art within the strong communities of this world now. We rise from the ashes of lamentation to visionary joyful glory.”
Keith Antar Mason, Untitled, mixed media on unstretched canvas, 2009 (courtesy of artist)
“FOR ME IT’S LIKE A HOME, A HOME TO NURTURE MY PARTICULAR CREATIVE SPIRIT. I THINK IT IS FOR A LOT OF ARTISTS AND THAT’S ONE OF THE REASONS I’M ON THE BOARD AND I WANT TO SEE IT LIVE ON.” LESLIE LABOWITZ-STARUS
LESLIE LABOWITZSTARUS In the past two years at 18th Street, Leslie has devoted her time to the Performing Archive, a collaboration with Suzanne Lacy that began in 2006. It houses the documentation of their public performance work organized under Adriadne: A Social Art Network, which occurred between 197782 during a seminal moment in the international feminist art movement. Leslie’s work is creating a bridge to younger women artists working today. Leslie will be included in the 18th Street exhibition in 2011, Collaboration Labs: Southern California Artists and the Artist Space Movement, sponsored by the Getty Foundation.
Leslie Labowitz-Starus, (detail view) In Mourning and In Rage, Photomural
LITA ALBUQUERQUE Lita Albuquerque consistently investigates the relationship of the stars to the earth through the alignment of the stars to the individual. In 2006/2007 she received a National Science Foundation Grant which sent her and a team of five to Antarctica to install Stellar Axis: Antarctica, a project she conceived to be a mirror reflection of the stars above the South Pole onto the Ross Ice Shelf. She has been developing The Lita Albuquerque Project, mapping the alignment of the stars to points all over the globe. Stellar Suspension, conceived for indoor installation through animation, video and sound, is one part of the project. Her future exhibitions include a program in Alaska with architect Christoph Kapeller, and shows in Egypt and China.
Lita Albuquerque, (Installation view) Stellar Suspension, (created with the help of Cal Tech Astrophysicist, John Good, and the Spitzer Science Center, for Observe, an exhibit at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA), Site-specific installation, 2009 (courtesy of artist)
“SOMETIMES PEOPLE COME TOGETHER WITH A BRILLIANT, IMPOSSIBLE IDEA. AND DESPITE THE DIFFICULTIES OF COLLABORATING TOGETHER AND THINKING BEYOND THE BORDERS WE CALL THE NATION OF ART, PEOPLE PERSEVERE AND CREATE AN ORGANIZATION THAT AMOUNTS TO MORE THAN ANYONE THOUGHT IT COULD BE.” FRANCISCO LETELIER
LIGHTNINGBOLT PIX LightningBolt Pix is a boutique company that specializes in all-digital, high-quality production and post-production, as well as Visual FX work. Michael W. Barnard has produced, directed, photographed and edited many film projects, including the features Nights In White Satin, Cries of Silence, The Invisible Kid, Lock and Roll Forever, and Chasing Robert. His award-winning feature-length documentary Chihuly River of Glass has been broadcast most recently on the Sundance Channel. He recently finished 90404 Vanishing, a film about communities in transition in Santa Monica.
LightningBolt Pix, Production shot from 90404 Vanishing
MICHAEL W. BARNARD Michael W. Barnard continues to create works in film, photography/painting and music. He has published various written works including poetry and essays in a variety of journals and books. Recent exhibits include one-person shows at the R Street Gallery in Washington D.C., and a largescale, 12-piece public art commission at the new Lewis Library & Technology Center in Fontana, CA.
Michael W. Barnard, (Installation view at Lewis Library & Technology Center, Fontana, CA) Photofields, fade resistant ink mounted on aluminum, 24" x 96", 2008 (courtesy of artist)
“HERE I DON’T FEEL SO DIFFERENT. I FEEL LESS OF AN EXILE AND MORE GROUNDED THAN I DO IN OTHER PLACES.” OFFUNE OBIAMIWE
MARCUS KUILANDNAZARIO Marcus, a long time resident of 18th Street Arts Center, is currently working on a multi-site performance/installation project, High Performance Squad (HPS). The mission of the HPS is to recreate and adapt, with an intergenerational cast and mobile unit, the works held within the pages of High Performance magazine that have been both his teacher and tormentor. He is one of the many founding artists of Highways Performance Space, VIVA, Max10, Pop Tarts Performance Lab and Clean Needles Now.
Marcus Kuiland-Nazario, (Performance view) The High Performance (C)Art, installation and performance at ArtNight May 2, 18th Street Arts Center, 2009
MARINA FORSTMANN DAY Marina Day’s is a visual artist, whose assemblages and collage art making is a meditative form of experience and communication. She utilizes materials that are fragmentary, yet familiar: old maps, prescriptions, ledgers, stamps, fabrics, children’s game pieces and journals. Her collages are missives documenting the preciousness of life, existing as a form of evidence of an ephemeral emotional state. Her most recent exhibits were at the Mendenhall-Sobiesky Gallery in Pasadena and the Karpeles Manuscript Museum in Santa Barbara.
Marina Day, Many Mansions, mixed media on canvas, 36.5" x 34.5", 2008 (courtesy of artist)
“ I SEE THAT WITH 18TH STREET, THEY’RE RIGHT INSIDE THE COMMUNITY, REACHING OUT RIGHT IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD AND ALWAYS MAKING IT AVAILABLE FOR LOCAL ARTISTS OR INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS TO INTERACT WITH OUR COMMUNITY HERE IN THE WESTSIDE, WHICH I FEEL IS SO VITAL THESE DAYS.” VITA VIERRA
LUCIANA ABAIT Drawing inspiration from tropical surroundings, Abait creates her photographic media-like paintings, uniquely developing her work on canvas in shades of aquamarine and coating the surface with clear gel. Her most recent work is a series of underwater shots of swimming pools presented as light boxes. Abait uses her work to entice the viewer into the peaceful world that exists beneath the surface. Her recent exhibits include work in the Laura Haber Gallery, Buenos Aires and Metro Pictures in New York.
Luciana Abait, (Installation view) Ivy, Mixed media on wood, installation, 2009 (courtesy of artist)
MICHELLE BERNE CELEBRATION ARTS Michelle Berne is an internationally renowned, multi-media artist that uses her art to engage communities in the creation of artistic expressions. Out of almost nothing she creates these magnificent 10-15 foot puppets as symbols to celebrate “people powered” parades, spectacles, and site specific performances involving thousands of participants and spectators. Through her organization, the Center for Celebration Arts, she has toured all over the world using her puppets as instruments for huge celebrations. Currently Berne is working on her newest addition to her puppet collection, which is a giant replica of the Minerva Awards logo. Berne’s puppet will be on display at the 2009 Minerva Awards Ceremony.
Michelle Berne of Celebration Arts working on latest puppet, 2009
“18TH STREET IS ONE OF THOSE PLACES, IT’S LIKE A HALFWAY HOUSE FOR CREATIVE PEOPLE THAT COME AND JUST HANG ON UNTIL YOU FIND OUT WHAT YOU’VE GOT TO DO TO CROSS OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE. AND YEAH, IT’S VERY NECESSARY.” JERRY “WYZARD” SEAY
NADIA REED Nadia Reed is a long time resident of 18th Street Arts Center, Reed’s work originates from her Pacific Northwest Coastal Native American heritage. Her richly colored paintings convey a mixture of symbolic, expressionistic imagery depicting dancers, waterfalls, forests, animals, fish, masks and mythical beings. Reed’s current work focuses on the rebuilding of modern Native American culture by bringing to the life the spirit of a sacred ancestral history. Her art becomes a metaphor for change and growth while artistically celebrating the rich heritage of a people whose language and myths have been stripped away over time. Reed showcased her most recent works at the Red Mermade in Venice Beach from September 25 through October 27. Entitled NADIA REED, New Works, it featured paintings that express the beauty of the land of modern Native American Coastal tribes.
Nadia Reed Studio, 3 Dancers, Tryptic, Acrylic on canvas, 36" x 36", 2008 (courtesy of artist)
OTIS MFA PUBLIC PRACTICE Over the past decade, public, social, and community-based visual arts specialties have fostered invigorated global debate and have contributed to a growing interest in how artists of many disciplines relate to the public realm. The Otis College of Art and Design’s MFA Graduate Studies: Public Practices located at 18th Street Arts Center is an important aspect of this overall plan, providing a state-of-the-art program that introduces graduate students to the theory and practice of community engagement through visual, performance and public arts. This interdisciplinary program of highly individualized study specializes in a rigorous and simultaneous development of both theory and practice.
Otis MFA Public Practice, Photographer Raul Vega photographs resident Evelia Garcia at her farm in Laton, CA, 2009
“IT’S VITAL, ESPECIALLY IN TERMS OF YOUNG PEOPLE AND THE SCHOOLS. AN ORGANIZATION LIKE THIS, IT KEEPS THE ART IN SCHOOLS, IT BACKS THAT UP, IT SUPPORTS THAT. YOUNG PEOPLE WITHOUT ART ARE, IN MY OPINION, LOST. SO 18TH STREET IS NECESSARY.” VIDA VIERRA
SUZANNE LACY Suzanne Lacy is an artist and writer whose work includes large-scale performances and installations, photographs, video and texts on art, social justice and the public realm. Her collection of essays for Duke University Press will come out in 2009. She is working on a book describing her ten-year projects with youth and civic leaders in Oakland, California with the On the Edge research programme at Gray’s College of Art in Aberdeen, Scotland. Her work was exhibited most recently in Los Angeles at the Suzanne Vielmetter Gallery. She will be included in the 18th Street exhibition in 2011, Collaboration Labs: Southern California Artists and the Artist Space Movement, sponsored by the Getty Foundation.
Suzanne Lacy, (installation view) Susan Vielmetter LA Project: artistic vision, installation, 2009 (courtesy of artist)
YVETTE GELLIS Yvette’s work is inspired by the everyday world all around her. She makes metaphoric recordings of her perceptions; the stains, textures and marks embossed into the pavement as if she is recording the passing of thousands of feet until a kind of mind map is achieved. The tally of information and visuals, and the initial response to all the stimuli are sifted through to find a balance between the restraints of representation and the vast ambiguities of abstraction. Her paintings are represented by Kim Light at Lightbox.
Yvette Gellis, (detail, in progress) Sylmar Revisited, Mixed media on canvas, 9’ x 14’, 2009 (courtesy of artist)
IN MEMORIAM ZARA KRIEGSTEIN 1952–2009 ARTIST IN RESIDENCE, 2006 Zara was the quintessential painter, at home with canvas, oils paints, and cans of turpentine while she worked in her silk lounge jacket with a bejeweled cigarette holder dangling in her free hand. She was old school; dramatic and exotic, with a talent for drawing and painting from life that few could approach. They don’t make them like Zara anymore. Emigrating from Germany to Santa Fe, she was a seminal artist in the Southwest mural movement of the 1970’s. I was privileged to be her long time friend and colleague, and when she came to be an artist in resident at 18th Street in 2006, it was at a rough patch in her life and she had come to a creative standstill. We all get to these points sometimes, and I do know that her time spent at 18th Street was rejuvenating. She began painting again with passion and ferocity and came back from a dark place to be her old self again. Not long after, she became ill with liver disease, brought on in part by her use of toxic art materials. If there is a cautionary tale here at all that I am sure Zara would wish to be shared, it is to be careful what you work with and be mindful of others around you while you are doing it. After a bitter struggle, in which she remained courageous, funny and warm, she passed away much too soon. I would like to dedicate our 2009 program catalogue to the life and work of Zara Kriegstein. May she live on in the history books as an artist of substance and meaning.
JUDITH HOFFBERG 1934–2009 Judy may have attended more public events at the 18th Street Arts Center, since our first event in 1989, than any other human being. She came here whenever her Umbrella was not wafting to other parts of the world. Linda Burnham had known Judy for years. Under the imprimatur of AstroArtz, Linda and I had published Umbrella in the mid ‘80s, but our distribution needs were too different. Around 1994 Joan Hotchkis, a resident artist here at 18th Street at the time, told me she thought Judith Hoffberg was a “national treasure”. Hearing such an accolade I thought, “I want to get to know this treasure!” So I did. I got to know Judy in all her extraordinary range of talents and quirks, and got to know that in spite of her status in Joan’s and others’ minds as “treasure” she hadn’t much “negotiable treasure” available to her. She was constantly at risk for a place to live. I’d just bought a nearly 60 year-old “tear-down” house on Pier Avenue in Santa Monica. I hesitated to tear it down, because it had an
octagonal living room, a great space for reconciling ephemeral and material interests, I thought. So I hired a Salvadorian roofer to replace most of the well-aged roof. I offered Judy a bedroom and an enclosed porch at the front of the house. She saw the enclosed porch as perfect for her office. It had a translucent ceiling that gave wonderful light. That translucent roofing was the only part of the roof that my roofer had not replaced. Maybe that residency wasn’t such a wonderful gift after all. Judy was to take care of the place while I was away. Well, soon enough I was away during a huge storm. In the pounding rain that lovely translucent ceiling collapsed and dumped buckets of water all over her work! What a mess! What a trauma! I was mortified on coming home. Eventually friends and I were able to secure her a place to live and work that was less flimsy. I am grateful that I was able to contribute to the stability of Judy’s last decade or so. She really was a treasure. SUSANNA B. DAKIN
“IT TEACHES US HOW TO ENVISION A BETTER FUTURE AND THEN HOW TO CREATE THAT VISION.” JAN WILLIAMSON
CULTS, COLLECTIVES AND COCOONING
SHANGRI L.A. CEDAR MILLER is a self taught painter and sculptor living and working in Los Angeles. He has shown his work at Verve Gallery and Perrell Fine Art Gallery in Los Angeles, and Night Light Gallery and Fifth Avenue Gallery in Portland. INFRANATURAL was started in 2004 by Jenna Didier and Oliver Hess as their design partnership that works with embedded technology systems like machine vision, artificial intelligence and networked systems to generate real space and time phenomena in the public realm. Their approach to public sculpture re-contextualizes vernacular civic architecture forms as foundations for free forms of expression—taking cues from the environmental, cultural and historic factors preexisting at a site. MARCOS NOVAK is a global nomad, artist, theorist and trans-architect. He is recognized as a pioneer in the field of architecture in cyberspace, of the critical consideration of virtual space as an architectural and urban place, and of the use of generative computational composition in architecture and design. His most recent research involves nano and bio technologies, and explores the hypothesis that we are in a cultural phase characterized by “the Production of the Alien.” Novak currently is a Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he is affiliated with CNSI (the California NanoSystems Institute), MAT (Media Art and Technology), and Art.
MARCOS LUTYENS AND FROGHERI MENESES are Architects who have collaborated to form a small community referred to as the Mutual Assured Architectures. Frogheri and Lutyens have worked on several projects in the past, including one of which involved a psychological assessment of the city of Cagliari, Italy and culminated in a show at the image festival in Firenze, Italy (also involving the collaboration of Oliver Hess and Eric Lozano and curated by Marco Brizzi).
ANIBAL CATALAN, from Mexico City, is
STEPHANIE SMITH received her BA from
an architect at the University of Anahuac, and a visual artist at the National School of Painting, Sculpture and Printmaking in Mexico City. Catalan works in painting, drawing and installation as a continuation of the spacesculpting and space-creating discipline he acquired during his architectural training. Locally, Shangri L.A. represents Catalan’s sixth exhibition in California and his fourth in Los Angeles.
Bennington College and was trained as an architect at Harvard. In 2003, Smith started Ecoshack, an experimental design lab in Joshua Tree, California. Today it’s also an LA-based design studio inspired by the ad hoc, indigenous and archetypal typologies typically found at the fringes of society and culture. Her recently completed projects include a set design for the reenactment of Allan Kaprow’s seminal 18/6 ‘happening’ for MOCA as part of its ‘Allan Kaprow: Art as Life’ show.
DEBBIE HU RICKS received her Bachelors degree in architecture at the University of Southern California. Aside from her education in architecture, she has spent several years working in the film industry. Hu Ricks’ work involves the construction of a hypothetical dwelling, which exists as an intervention of layered accumulations of urban residue. CHRIS TALLON is a visual artist with a background in architecture. He received his BFA with honors at the University of Florida. Tallon was a founding member of the artist collective Kudzu and ran space for the Latch gallery in Los Angeles. He has exhibited individually at Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles, and Steven Wolf Gallery, San Francisco. Recently, Tallon was awarded second prize for his work at the Los Angeles Juried Exhibition at the Barnsdall Art Park.
NUTTAPHOL MA was born in Bangkok, Thailand in 1972. Ma received his MFA from Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California in 2009. He has participated in numerous solo and groups exhibitions including: In the Red, East Gallery, Claremont California; Four Hummingbirds Flew Over the House Full of Puddles, Upstairs at the Market Gallery, Los Angeles, California. Ma has been awarded the Walker / Parker Memorial Fellowship and the Stratton-Petit Foundation Mentor Art Student Award. WILLIAM RANSOM received his MFA from Claremont Graduate University in 2008. Ransom has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions including: Los Angeles Art Show, Los Angeles Convention Center,; William Ransom: Emerging Artist Series #1, Lenzner Art Gallery and Pitzer College, Claremont, California.
OLGA KOUMOUNDOUROS received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California in 2001. Koumoundouros has participated in numerous solo exhibitions including: REDCAT, Los Angeles, California; The Unreposed, Adamski Gallery for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany; Great Expectations and the Wreck of the Hope, Susanne Vielmetter, Los Angeles, CA. She is a 2008 Creative Capital Grantee.
“IT REALLY IS ITS OWN LANGUAGE, ITS OWN RELIGION IF YOU WILL. PEOPLE WHO MOVE IN THOSE CIRCLES REALLY CAN RELATE AND I THINK THERE’S POWER IN THAT.” RONALD LOPEZ
POST AMERICAN L.A. JOEL TAUBER received his MFA degree
CATHY AKERS received her MFA from the
SANDRA DE LA LOZA received her B.A. in
from Art Center College of Design. His Flying Project has been shown in solo exhibitions at the Adamski Gallery, Aachen, Germany, and at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. He has been included in the California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, in Light and Spaced Out: 11 Artists From Los Angeles at the Herve Loevenbruck Gallery, Paris, in Stuff From L.A. and Other Places at Christine Koenig Gallery, Vienna, Austria.
California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. Her many solo exhibitions include, Hertopia: An Illustrated History of the New World, Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2008); Learning By Example, The Manual Archives, Los Angeles, CA (2008); Natural Selection, MFA Thesis, D301 Gallery, Valencia, CA (2006); and Shadowplay/Nightvision, A401 Gallery, Valencia, CA (2005).
Chicano Studies at the University of California, Berkeley and her MFA at Cal State Long Beach. She has collaborated with other artists and activists to generate artist-led spaces for practice and critical dialogue. Such efforts have resulted in community centers, conferences, art events and discussion groups including Transitorio Público (2007), From the Barrel (2006-2008), the October Surprise (2004) and Arts in Action (2000-2004).
JASON MIDDLEBROOK received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA in 1994 and participated in the Whitney Independent Program, New York, NY from 1994 to 1995. Middlebrook has participated in numerous solo exhibitions including: Jason Middlebrook, Live with Less, University Art Museum, Albany, NY (2009); Jason Middlebrook, Sara Meltzer Gallery, New York, NY (2008); One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure, Kevin Bruk Gallery, Miami, FL. (2007); A Serious Paradise, Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco, CA (2007); What is your hobby?, the Fireplace Project, East Hampton, NY (2007).
BEDE MURPHY is a painter, photographer and writer based in Brooklyn, New York. He is director of the LAND Gallery (League Artists Natural Design) in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn in New York. Bede Murphy’s solo exhibitions include: Popular Fanatics, THINC LAB, Hudson, NY (2006); Name Dropper Series: New Paintings, Irvine Contemporary, Washington, DC (2006); Something Charming, -A Street, Boston MA 1998 A Street, Boston, MA (1998-99); and Sweet Cheeses, The Space at artsMEDIA, Boston, MA. (1997
FALLEN FRUIT is an activist art project whose members include David Burns, Matias Viegener and Austin Young. Fallen Fruit has participated in numerous solo exhibitions including: Fallen Fruit, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA (2009); A Spectre is Haunting the City, Clockshop, Los Angeles, CA (2008); Public Fruit Jam, Machine Project, Los Angeles, CA (2008); Salsa Salsa, Farmlab, Los Angeles, CA (2008); Public Fruit Jam, Museum Of Contemporary Art—PDC Complex, Los Angeles, CA (2008); and Public Fruit Jam, Machine Project, Los Angeles, CA (2007).
VINCENT RAMOS received his B.F.A. from Otis College of Art and Design (2002) and his M.F.A. from The California Institute of the Arts (2007). He has had solo exhibitions at Crisp London Los Angeles, CA (2008), The Wrong Gallery @ LAXART, Los Angeles, CA (2007), Sixteen: One Gallery, Santa Monica, CA (2005) and 4-F Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2002).
HUGO HOPPING is a graduate of CALARTS and since 2000 has worked through various strategies in contemporary art to explore definitions of social identity and politics in his work. He often employs video, photography, installation, sculpture, product design and architecture to generate systems. His recent exhibitions and projects include Mapping Viborg, Copenhagen (2008); A Select Survey of Art from Los Angeles at the Center for Contemporary Art in Sacramento, CA (2007); and the MexiCali Bienniale (2006). VINCENT JOHNSON’s work is a form of sustained cultural mining into the depths of his subjects. His photographic works created from 2001-2007 delve into architecture as fantasy, from the vernacular architecture of Los Angeles to that found in the American West. His recent exhibitions include Atomic Afterimage, Boston University Art Museum (2010); Patriot Acts, 18th Street Arts Center, (2008); and Civil Air Defense Project #1, LAXART, Los Angeles, CA (2007); Ab Ovo, Steven Turner Gallery, San Francisco, CA (2006).
“THE STRENGTH OF THIS COUNTRY REALLY IS IN ITS DIVERSITY AND YET WE DON’T KNOW HOW TO USE THAT DIVERSITY. I THINK PLACES LIKE THIS, THERE SHOULD BE MANY OF THEM AROUND THE COUNTRY. IT’S AN OPPORTUNITY FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE VERY DIFFERENT TO GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER AND LEARN HOW TO CREATE TOGETHER.” SUSANNA BIXBY DAKIN
WITHOUT A CAR IN THE WORLD CAROLINA CAYCEDO responds to the effects of global capitalism with a practice rooted in processes of communication, movement, and exchange. Her varied projects—from street actions and itinerant markets to public marches—all germinate in dialogues with communities outside of the art world. Recent exhibitions include Words Don’t Come Easy, Black and White Gallery, New York (2007); Locomotion, Blow de la Barra, London (2006); Solo Under, Galeria Comercial, San Juan, Puerto Rico (2005). GLENN LIGON lives and works in New York and frequently uses appropriated texts and images in a variety of artistic media that explore issues surrounding race, sexuality, identity, representation and language. His works have been featured in: Here is Every, Four Decades of Contemporary Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (2009); The 7th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2008); Progress, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2008) and Repicturing the Past/Picturing the Present, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (2007). Solo exhibitions include: Thomas Dane Gallery, London (2009); Yvon Lambert, Paris (2008); Regen Projects, Los Angeles, CA (2007). CHEN SHAOXIONG lives and works in Guangzhou, China and engages in social critique in a variety of media including video, photography, installation and ink painting. His subjects range from issues of urbanism, terrorism, propaganda and globalization. His works have been recently featured in: Up close, far away, Heidelberger Kunstverein, Heidelberg (2009); 7th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju (2008); Xijing Olympics, Universal Studios, Beijing, Beijing (2008); China Power Station:Part III, MUDAM, Musée d’Art Moderne, Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg (2008); Asia Triennial Manchester 08, Asia Triennial Manchester, Manchester, England (2008).
ADRIAN PACI lives and works in Milan Italy
DIANE MEYER is an Assistant Professor of
and is an artist whose works are rooted in collective and personal experiences surrounding mass expatriation. Recent exhibitions include: 8th Baltic Biennial of Contemporary Art, National Museum Szczecin, Poland (2009); ARTLV_08, Tel Aviv Biennale, curated by Andrew Renton (2008); Center for Contemporary Art CCA, Tel Aviv, curated by Edna Mosenson (2008); Prague Biennale 3, Prague (2007); Adrian Paci, Galleria Civica di Modena, curated by Angela Vettese, Modena, Italy (2006); Perspective 147: Adrian Paci, at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (2005); Venice Biennial (2005).
Photography at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Her work has been exhibited at a wide range of venues throughout the United States and Canada including solo exhibitions at AIR Gallery, NYC; and the Society of Contemporary Photography, Kansas City; and group exhibitions at The Bronx Museum of Art, NYC; Jessica Murray Projects, NYC; Jen Bekman Gallery, NYC; Spaces, Cleveland; Arthouse, Austin; Cuchifritos Gallery, NYC; Lennox Contemporary, Toronto; Rotunda Gallery, NYC; Fox Gallery, Phildephia; and others. She has been an artist in residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Smack Mellon, and the CUE Art Foundation.
ASHLEY HUNT is an artist, activist and writer who explores the ideas behind social movements, modes of learning and public discourse. His works include the ongoing Corrections Documentary Project (correctionsproject.com), 9 Scripts From a Nation at War, made collaboratively with Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Katya Sander and David Thorne for Documenta 12 (9scripts. info), and a continuing collaboration with dance artist, Taisha Paggett. His work has been included at the Tate Modern, the 3rd Bucharest Biennial, the New Museum for Contemporary Art, the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Atlanta, and numerous communitybased venues throughout the United States.
“NO IT DOESN’T NECESSARILY PUT FOOD ON YOUR TABLE, BUT IT’S FOOD FOR THE SOUL.” SUZANNE LACY
LOOKING FORWARD TO 2010 Each year 18th Street develops a theme for Here is the existing line-up: its programs as a way of deepening artistic Inspired by Allan Kaprow’s words of wisdom: engagement with the important discussions “Life in the museum is like making love in a of our time. In 2008 the theme was The cemetery,” Robert Sain’s and Andrea Bowers’ Future of Nations and focused on important project investigates the opportunity and election year issues such as constitutional law, obligation for arts organizations to be socially demographics, urban ecologies, and conflict responsible and responsive in an age of resolution. In 2009 our theme asked curators diminished resources and uncertainty. Titled and artists to look ahead ten years, and the Love in a Cemetery, up to 100 people in the results are in this catalog, Almost Utopia. Los Angeles arts and culture community are For 2010 we have chosen the theme, Status invited to respond to 4 questions about the Report: the Creative Economy. The economy life of cultural organizations. Respondents was selected as a theme prior to the to the survey will include artists, curators, worldwide banking contraction, and therefore educators, and art school faculty. Sain will becomes even more relevant as artists set up visual presences in the main gallery proactively develop new strategies to address to create a community-wide dialogue about a host of issues. the role, function, and fundamental purpose of LA’s arts organizations while Bowers A creative economy is characterized by the will have her own installation in the Project key economic factors of talent, innovation and Room, in cooperation with the Otis College creativity. As the notion of a creative class is of Art and Design Public Practice MFA class. widely discussed, promoted and debated, it is The objective of Love in a Cemetery is to apparent through recent research that these examine an expanded dimension for cultural factors are not distributed evenly across the organizations to take an active approach in economy, but instead seem concentrated in civic life. specific locations. Where people gather is critical in stimulating new sources of growth, Martin Durazo’s project entitled Pain new idea generation and an increase in Management 100 is what he calls a threeproductivity. month “hands on” laboratory meant to investigate and expose the connection Los Angeles is often described as one of the between the illegal drug trade economy and creative economy cities. After a turbulent the “legal” pharmaceutical drug economy. economic year where do we stand? Are we In Durazo’s installation, he will arouse the on the way up, on the way down, or stuck in sensation of the popularized rave and drug neutral? Who are the players and mediators culture and challenge society’s desensitized in a creative economy, and how is it changing? attitude toward the drug phenomenon by Who is included and who is excluded? How inspiring dialogue among the public on a local, are artists responding to seismic changes national and global level. The laboratory’s run in the arts and culture market, and what will also consist of a series of video interviews are the new models they are developing to with the community along with installations support the production of their work and the concerned with images of the allure of drugs dissemination of their ideas? How should our and other artistic aspects of the project. cultural institutions, both non-profit and forprofit, be responsive to the overall health of Visual Artist Elena Siff will address how the the Los Angeles creative economy? Internet plays a major role in this new artistic economy by setting up an actual and virtual After an open call, the most innovative artists marketplace that will allow participating proposals were chosen that present new artists an opportunity to sell their creations models and approaches to art making. in person and online. For three months 18th They look at new methods of research and Street’s main gallery will be transformed artistic production while addressing issues into an enlightened and socially conscious that reflect the mission and core values of marketplace flourishing with novel artists 18th Street Arts Center. from all over Los Angeles who have come to showcase their designs or utilize the space to work on new creations. Conceptual artist Dorit Cypis plans to utilize the space by further investigating her thesis, Foreign Exchanges Bridging Equality and Difference, which actively explores an ongoing development of new participatory and collective models of engagement. During her time in the residency she will archive her
personal writings written over the last three decades, develop a pro-active curriculum for engagement that can be used by others and offer a series of workshops on mediation and somatic movement. Dorit will also host a variety of forums among centralized artists to produce a large dialogue for a local Los Angeles public about social engagement. Ana Guaradjo will create a project that will illustrate how a community of Latino artisans breath life into a localized, self sustaining community, crafting a space where their clothing, jewelry, healing products and decorative art designs circulate into street festivals, community farms, art openings and the interiors of homes. This project maps the tree of life grown from a community of Latino artisans to illuminate the economic tactics that allow them to subsist, self-fund and remain free to create in the midst of this great recession. History making dinners, workshops, an exhibition, panels and archiving efforts will guide this project and expose the mechanics of this community. Carla Herrera-Prats’ project will explore the role creativity plays in pairing education standardization and democracy. Prats will create a space that promotes discussions among various groups, institutions and people involved in the design and the implementation of standardized tests with the purpose of enhancing education at every level. Some of the sectors that will be invited to participate in the dialogue for this project include: Department of Education at UCLA, the College Board, Baron’s Editions, The Princeton Review, Sylvan test Prep Course, Kaplan Test Prep designers of test-scoring machines and several other organizations that are instrumental to the educational ring. In the inventive spirit of 18th Street Arts Center’s new theme, the Creative Economy, artist Matthias Merkel Hess’ project will consist of him contracting out his artistic services to the public for free. Hess’ services cover a wide array of artistic expertise ranging from ceramic art and wooden sculptures to oil, watercolor, acrylic painting, writing and photography. For advertising purposes, he will market his services through bandit signs that convey the irony between unnoted artists and what he refers to as “fly-by-night” businesses. The project’s overall goal is to comment on the economic status of artists and how our society values artistic labor, and at the same time bring Hess recognition as an artist. The schedule of events for these projects will be found at www.18thStreet.org
PUBLIC INFORMATION 18th Street Arts Center was founded in 1988, and since that time has supported over 6,000 artists who have worked, lived and created their work in multiple disciplines and formats. The mission of 18th Street Arts Center is to provoke public dialogue through contemporary art making. 18th Street is a community which values art making as an essential component of a vibrant just and healthy society. 18TH STREET HAS THREE AWARD-WINNING PROGRAMS ADVANCING CONTEMPORARY ART MAKING: 18th Street’s Presenting Program engages and connects the pubic with notable artists through exhibitions, panels, workshops, events and performances. Please call to schedule a free tour of our changing exhibitions, visiting artist studios and the facility (for groups of 5 or more). A current schedule of events and exhibitions can be found on our website. The Visiting Artist-in-Residence Program funds short-term residencies for artists coming from abroad or nationally to live and work at 18th Street. Through this program, over 200 thought-provoking artists have made their mark in Santa Monica and Los Angeles. Throughout the year visitors have the opportunity to meet artists from around the world such as Australia, Cameroon, China, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Serbia, South Korea, Sudan, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. 18th Street’s Residency Program provides long-term affordable studios, office and live/work space for California artists and arts organizations working locally. The artists and organizations in the Residency Program are important partners in jointly expanding our reach to the public. For a complete list of our current and past alumni and the dynamic programs they offer, visit our website.
GALLERY & OFFICE HOURS Office Hours Monday–Friday, 10 am–6 pm Gallery Hours Monday - Friday, 11 am – 6 pm Closed Saturday, Sunday, And Major Holidays
ADMISSION AND PARKING Admission to 18th Street Arts Center is always free, unless otherwise noted for special events.
CONTACT 1639 18th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404 310.453.3711 fax 310.453.4347 www.18thstreet.org
GETTING HERE From the 10 West: Take the 26th Street/Cloverfield Exit Turn right and travel two stop lights to Olympic Blvd Turn left and continue to 18th Street Turn right (our parking lot is at the end of the block on the right hand side)
STAFF JAN WILLIAMSON, Executive Director CLAYTON CAMPBELL, Artistic Director RAMLA ROUSSEL, Business Manager
NICOLE GORDILLO, Development Associate RONALD LOPEZ, Program Coordinator AMBER T. JONES, Outreach and Marketing Coordinator
ADELA RUELAS, Housekeeper
CL OV E
OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SUSANNA B. DAKIN, President 1 CO
MICHAEL W. BARNARD, Secretary JOAN ABRAHAMSON ANDREW BEATH LADDIE JOHN DILL
CO AS TH
LORI HARRIS LIN
LESLIE LABOWITZ-STARUS BL VD
JAMES ROJAS ALICE SALINAS
PUBLIC INFO 76
WARMEST THANKS TO THE MANY WONDERFUL PEOPLE WHO DEDICATE THEIR TIME AND RESOURCES TO ENSURE THAT 18TH STREET CAN CONTINUE TO BE AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THE GREATER CALIFORNIA ARTS COMMUNITY. AARON DADACAY ADELA RUELAS ALEKSANDRA ADJUKOVIC ALEX DONIS ALEX KIZU ALFRED DURON ALMA RUIZ AMY KRAMER ANDREA BROKAW ANDREA LAHUE ANDREW LEPE ANGEL FRANCO ANGEL VILLANOVA ANGIE BROOKS ANNA CARRILLO ANNETTE LOPEZ ANTONIO GARCIA ASUKA HISA BARBARA T. SMITH BERNADETTE FOX BETH KAPLAN KARMIN BILL MAXWELL BREANA COWART CARLA FANTOZZI CARLINHOS PANDIERO DE OURO CAROLYN BOLIN CEDAR MILLER CHARLES SALAS CHINA BROTSKY CHRISTIAN KNUDSEN CHRISTINE LOPEZ CHUCK KOTON CINDY DESANTIS CLAUDIA HUIZA CLAUDIA MENDOZA COLE AKERS CRYSTAL ANDRES CYNTHIA GUEDEA DAN SOLTIS DANIEL ANDRES DANIELLE LOPEZ DARRYL PERKINS DAVID SHEALOR DEBBIE WARREN DENISE GRAY
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Published on Feb 3, 2010
18th Street Arts Center presents its' 2009 Program Annual. Almost Utopia: Los Angeles 2019 was the name of our theme for 2009 for the exhibi...