In Defence of Street Art

Ai Wei Wei projection graffiti, Hong Kong. Photo by Cpak Ming This month, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles opened a new exhibition on the history of street art and graffiti, the first such show at a major American museum. It has been greeted by controversy. One of the curators has been accused […]

Tunnel Vision: Subway Zoetrope

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/8207998[/vimeo] Bill Brand’s “Masstransiscipe” installation in New York’s subway I first noticed subway tunnel wall animations in Boston, where the long gaps between stations on the MBTA Red Line provides a captive audience. The animation, composed of dozens of stills that simulated movement as the train zoomed by, was an ad. The message: visit Vermont […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Transportation, United States, Video by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Tunnel Vision: Subway Zoetrope , , , , , , ,

Off Hollywood Boulevard

Former Mark Twain Hotel on Wilcox Avenue, Los Angeles Former home of Macintosh Clothes and Newberry School of Beauty, Los Angeles

Posted in: Architecture, United States by Marcus Benigno Comments Off on Off Hollywood Boulevard ,

Empty L.A.

Photo by Matthew Logue The density of urban slums once drove city planners and social workers mad — and, in some cases, still does today. But perhaps because of the vicious crime that followed mass abandonment of cities like Detroit, or the specter, for the first time, of an entire city’s virtual erasure in the […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Books, United States by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Empty L.A. , , ,

LA Art Walk

Los Angeles’s spin on the Art Walk serves more than just the obvious purposes of promoting foot traffic and celebrating art in the flatland of mini malls and gas guzzlers. The monthly spectacle constitutes a larger urban project: the gentrification and “revitalization” of Downtown LA. Since Antonio Villaraigosa’s first term in office, the LA mayor […]

Where Latinos Speak Korean

Se habla español in LA’s Koreatown. Photo by Hunhee. Multiculturalism is usually framed in terms of the relationship between immigrants and a “host society.” But what about the relationship between immigrants themselves? In Los Angeles’ sprawling Koreatown, a growing population of Latino immigrants is leading to a cultural and linguistic exchange that is unprecedented in […]

Los Angeles vs. Orange County

Downtown Los Angeles. Photo by Victor Obeck When they think of Los Angeles, people outside Southern California probably think of urban sprawl and freeways. In fact, although historically low rise in its built form, Los Angeles is quite densely populated. Nevertheless, when I moved to Los Angeles from central Tokyo in 1999, my first impression […]