My new video/sound installation, i dream in your language, will be presented at this year’s SoundWalk, “a one-night event of sound installations by over 50 local and international sound artists.” Works are spread throughout the area encompassed by Broadway, Atlantic Avenue, Ocean Boulevard, and Elm Street with a sound corridor on 1st Street that will connect the East Village and Pine Avenue. The art is exhibited in a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces. Mine will be at Phantom Galleries on the southwest corner of 3rd and Elm Ave.
SW09 PARTICIPATING ARTISTS:
Aaron Drake / After School Program / Alexander Jarman / AMO / Amy Ling Huynh / Andrea Dominguez / Bekkah Walker / Braden Diotte / Caroline Chang & Kyoung Kim / Clowns and Fetuses / D. Jean Hester / Divine Brick Research Sound Projects / Double Blind / Elisabeth McMullin & Kegan McGurk / Erin Scott / Eric Strauss / FLOOD / Flora Kao / Francene Kaplan & Ryan Hunt / Gary Raymond / G. Douglas Barrett (Buffalo) / Gintas K (Lithuania) / HOLLOW BODIES / HumanEar / j.frede / Iris Lancery & Cyril Marche (France) / Jeff Boynton / Jeff Rau / Joe Newlin / John Kannenberg (Chicago) / Joseph Tepperman & Dorian Wood / Julia Holter / Justin Varis & Kevin Ponto / Kadet Kuhne / Karen Crews & Brian Hendon / Kari Rae Seekins / Leah A. Rico / Lewis Keller / Machine Head / Madelyn Byrne, Randy Hoffman & Ellen Weller / Mark Cetilia & Jon Coulthard / Michele Jaquis / Mitchell Brown / MLuM (Singapore/USA) / MPG Interactive Arts / Noah Thomas / Object Control / Ori Barel & Gil Omri Barel / OTONOMIYAKI / Paula Mathusen / phog masheeen / Phil Curtis / Phillip Stearns / Redux / Sander Roscoe Wolff / Scott Cazan / Small Drone Orchestra / smgsap / Song-Ming Ang / Steve Craig / Steve Roden / Steven Speciale / Stuart Sperling / Tamara Mason / The Hop-Frog Kollectiv & Friends / The Carolyn Duo / Tom McDermott / UEM / Warren-Crow + Warren-Crow
Start Time: 05:00 Date: 2009-10-03 End Time: 10:00
A couple of video clips from Osborn’s Park(ing) day park last week.
I made a little ambient soundtrack of cow noises and crickets and birds so everyone could get a feel for the pasture. I the first video here you can hear it a little bit.
And a few photos for good measure. We had a great time out there, telling people about parking day, and giving out the cow balloons and flowers at the end of the day. The only problem for me was that I didn’t get to bike around LA to check out all the other parks around town. I will have to be satisfied with the summary of this years event on their web site.
John and I have been finalizing the English to Korean translations for my video project (i dream in your language – to be shown at SoundWalk on Oct. 3) and I am realizing how nuanced this whole process is. With four bilingual friends helping, we ended up with several slightly varying interpretations of the interview with Jonggeon Lee. So far I have 5 more interviews to translate, and several more to shoot. The project is becoming bigger than I imagined, and I am excited about it – enjoying the process, and trying to figure out how represent it in this piece or in another one. i dream in your language began at VSC when I saw that Le Kinh Tai was using google translate, which is often inaccurate, to communicate with all the rest of the residents. This morning Jeremy sent me an article about the UN interpretation process, which also seems to sometimes result in inaccuracies. Sounds Dangerous.
If any of you speak multiple languages in addition to English and want to participate in this project let me know. I still would like to interview people speaking German, French, Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi (Nicole I will interview you in Nov.), Japanese, Tagalog, and any Eastern European and/or African languages/dialects… I ask three questions in English and you respond in your native language (or language of preference): 1. Where are you from and what languages do you speak? 2. What is it like to communicate with people who don’t speak your native language? 3. What language(s) do you dream in?
The representatives from Johnnie Cochran’s law firm stressed this morning that JC (yes, he did compare Cochran to the other JC) didn’t want to be remembered by his infamous statement during the OJ Simpson trial. Instead his legacy should be that of stressing the importance of education. In fact it was at this school, originally named Mt. Vernon Jr. High, that Cochran learned the art of debating. The reason for my visit to the school was to celebrate the unveiling of several new murals created by Raul Paulino Baltazar (Otis BFA ’09) and Melly Trochez (current MFT/Art Therapy student at LMU). Raul has extensive experience as an arts educator, particularly with at-risk youth, and completed the Teacher Credential Preparation track of the Artists, Community and Teaching Program at Otis, then under the direction of Jerri Allyn. Although he was not one of my students, I was eager to support him and see what he’s been working on for the last year.
The morning began with presentations by Principal Schmerelson, Johnnie Cochran lawyers (who volunteer time mentoring the schools aspiring debaters), and Raul and Melly. The two fielded questions from the audience of family, friends, press, teachers and most notably “the top” students at the school who will be trained to give murals tours to their peers. One student apologized on behalf of the school for those who threw rocks and soda bottles at the muralists while they began their project. Apparently, once Raul and Melly engaged the students and community in the planning of the mural, they gained their respect and as evidenced by the tour of the school. One school security guard remarked “Isn’t our school wonderful? The students no longer deface it with graffiti!”
All and all the presentations were inspiring and encouraging. The principal referring to Raul and Melly as “World Famous Artists,” the Buddhists monks chanting in front of “The Five Harmonious Friends or Brothers” mural, and Raul encouraging the students to touch the mural on the basketball quart as a gesture of good luck. However, I was surprised by Melly’s choice of words when she tried to encourage female students to push themselves, by stating that through this emotionally and physically draining process she learned “I have my limits. I can’t do everything a man can do.” And I was disappointed to see a few low res images and at least one typo in the brochure produced by Hugo Hopping, who’s supposed to also produce a catalog for the project. But those minor details did not detract from the overall experience of the colorful and complex designs, with diverse symbolism and styles, representing the rich diversity of both Los Angeles and the student body at Johnnie L. Cochran Middle School.
Appointments can be made to see the murals by contacting Principal Scott M. Schmerelson (323.730.4315). You can also call or email Raul himself, but I won’t post his contact info here.
Last Friday, Jeremy and I went to Skylight Books in Los Feliz to hear my office-mate at Otis, Peter Gadol, read from his new book Silver Lake. I know him as the grad writing faculty who often sits at his computer with headphones on, office door shut, preferring the quiet solitude. He probably knows me as the undergrad ACT faculty who’s open door office policy disturbs said solitude. Despite our different office styles, we get along quite well and I was curious to learn more about his professional endeavors outside of Otis. His reading was well attended mostly by friends and fans, including many Otis Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty and both current and former students. I must admit Jeremy and I initially listened with a critical ear to the authenticity of some of Peter’s descriptions of the architectural firm shared by the two main characters in Silver Lake (Jeremy is, after all, an architect himself). However since having bought the book, by the end of chapter two I was hooked, wrapped up into their emotional lives, and couldn’t wait to get home today to continue reading, in order to find out how Carlo really knew Tom and what happens to disrupt his life with Robbie… I’ll leave it at that, as you have to read it for yourself. For now I’ve forced myself to put it down so that I can get back to work in the studio.
Friday Sept, 18th PARK(ing)* Day LA happens once again around Los Angeles. At Osborn we will set up a park on Brand Blvd. in Glendale to dream of a Bucolic Tomorrow – complete with hammock, meadow and cows. Sort of. If you have the time, explore the various parks scattered around town (It makes a great bike excursion) and stop by ours to say hello. Check PARK(ing) day LA’s website and map for more information and locations.
*I do not understand why designers need to break up words with brackets or parenthesis or inappropriate capitalization and I think it’s gotten out of hand.
There is a great critique of the recent work of local Los Angeles architectural institution SCI-Arc (the Southern California Institute of Architecture, my alma mater) over at Drowning in Culture. Its a critique I didn’t bother to write, though I had considered it Sunday night, as I felt that my heaping more negativity on the place wasn’t going to do anyone any good. Luckily, over at DIC they are a bit more thoughtful and well-spoken than I and make some excellent points about the direction of work at SCI-Arc as well as contextualizing the situation they have gotten into a bit. They also don’t really pull any punches or shy away from placing blame either.
Over the past few years the work has been exceptionally questionable in both its mission and educational scope, leaving behind any kind of critical discourse in favor of the droll world of affect and computational representation…
When architecture reaches this level of mindless digital twiddling it is no longer playing any productive role in the development of modern society and is leaving itself to be exploited purely as a slave to capital…
There isn’t much hope for the school so as long as it’s director, Eric Owen Moss is still at the helm. Moss has made a mockery of the long-touted revolutionary philosophy once present at the school by first alienating it’s more competent instructors to the point where all but the most dedicated faculty left for other institutions, and then by appointing a succession of supplicants who appear unwilling to make provocative decisions with regard to its curriculum.
While I was again disappointed by the Graduate level thesis presentations, I also attended the undergrad level thesis earlier this year, and at the time was actually impressed with the fact that those students were proposing viable buildings and delivering plans, sections, and models actually descriptive of the architectural features of the project at hand. The work was well crafted to boot. The trend toward digital/computational form and embellishment was still there, but it was starting to be applied towards the creation of spaces that had a semblance of use, structure, and service reminiscent of the requirements of building. I am not sure what is generating this schism between the two programs (where their end products used to be indistinguishable from each other) but perhaps those mentoring the graduates should take note of their peers ability to develop more holistic proposals, moving beyond the merely digital and bringing it back towards the physical realities of building.
Some guy named Max took the Beastie Boys album Check Your Head (historically important to my youth around that high school time period), jammed two or more tracks together in a blender, worked some magic with timing and duration and editing, and spat out Doublecheck Your Head. Its a worthy update of the original, and that’s saying alot.