This week: Hear D.J. Waldie talk about "Becoming Los Angeles;" learn how Imagineers combine storytelling and design; consider whether Ray Bradbury future is with us now; see posters fighting police brutality online and at 18th Street Art Center; get ready for the Burning Man Multiverse and the Museum of No Spectators
1) Vroman's Live - DJ Waldie discusses "Becoming Los Angeles"
In 1996 D.J. Waldie published "Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir," an eloquent meditation on the City of Lakewood, the blue collar, postwar suburb where Waldie grew up and became its deputy city manager. Since then he has written many more books but his latest, "Becoming Los Angeles: Myth, Memory and a Sense of Place," published by Angel City Press, has the same revelatory quality of Holy Land but also stands as counterpoint to that book.
Waldie will talk about the book at an online event hosted by Vromans bookstore, taking place Tuesday night.
He told DnA, "I began to realize that part of this book was a dialogue with my former self," adding "the me of 1995 is not the me of 2020 and I see the world and my experience of Los Angeles in a different way." That difference has in part to do with the current reckoning around the systemic racism that shaped the Southland, denying non-whites the opportunity, "my parents had to own a small houses and live a decent, dignified, life in a well-run new community," says Waldie.
Like Holy Land, "Becoming LA" is a celebration of the "sacred ordinariness" of life of the region, its many peoples, its history, its architecture, its land, climate and its mythmaking, told with affection, irony and, at times, melancholy.
Catch more of my interview with Waldie, coming soon on kcrw.com/dna.
When: Tuesday, August 25, 76 - 7 pm
Where: Vroman's Live. You can register here.
Cost: Free. Click here for more information.
2) Storytelling in Design with Disney Imagineering
Pass through the gates at a Disney theme park and find yourself in a fairytale setting, or one of your favorite Disney movies or a sequel where you are the hero. Translating story into physical experiences is one of the things Disney does best, thanks to the skills of the "Imagineering" team of designers and engineers. You can learn more about the Imagineering's creative process at a webinar Tuesday presented by AIA/LA's Interior Architecture Committee. In Storytelling in Design with Disney Imagineering Brent Strong, Executive Creative Director at Walt Disney Imagineering, responsible for the development of new attractions and experiences at Disney Parks, will explain how his teams infuse storytelling into the design of physical and virtual space. This lecture will help designers understand how to maximize the interaction between design creativity and storytelling.
When: Tuesday, Aug 25, 5:00 - 6:30 pm
Where: Zoom connection information provided with ticket confirmation.
Cost: AIA Members $10 / Nonmembers $20. You can get tickets here.
3) Lecture/Discussion: Are we living in a world Ray Bradbury Tried to Prevent?
Ray Bradbury was able to look at the world around him and brilliantly project an unchecked version into his future worlds of fantasy and dystopia. Think firefighters who 'protect' citizens from knowledge by burning books in Fahrenheit 451, or the lying, carnival-hawker, con-man living off the life force of those he enslaves in Something Wicked This Way Comes.
To mark the author's centennial (Bradbury was born August 22, 1920), Zócalo Public Square and the Fowler Museum are cohosting a discussion about Bradbury's projected future and whether we are living in it, now. How do his warnings of what could be, compare with what is? Did Mr. Dark win, or are we still in the good fight for our better selves? What will our current struggles with censorship, xenophobia, truth, equity and human rights look like in the next 50 years?
Oscar Villalon, Managing Editor, ZYZZYVA, will moderate a conversation with author Lilliam Rivera, Arizona State University Center for Science and the Imagination professor Michael Bennett, and Jonathan R. Eller, Director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at Indiana University.
When: Thursday, Aug 7, 6:30 - 7:30 pm
Where: A Zócalo Public Square / Fowler Museum online Event. You can register here.
4) To Protect & Serve?: Five Decades of Posters Protesting Police Violence
The current struggles against police brutality by organizations such as Hands Up United and Black Lives Matter are part of a long and global history of resistance against state-sanctioned repression, which is often documented in graphics and posters produced by the activists, artists, and organizers. Now the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG) and the 18th Street Arts Center at Santa Monica Airport have unveiled an exhibition of posters protesting police violence. "To Protect & Serve?" features graphics created during the last 50 years, from Los Angeles to New York, from Mexico to Bangladesh, and from Europe to Africa.
The exhibition was put together by a large team including Carol Wells, Founder and Executive Director of CSPG, which now has more than 90,000 social movement posters from the 19th century to the present, and Sherry Frumkin, LA based curator.
You can see the exhibition online or in-person, by appointment. 18th Street Arts Center will host a panel discussion on September 17 in collaboration with CSPG.
When: Through October 2, 2020, online 24/7 or viewings by appointment Monday to Friday, 10 am, 1 pm, 2pm.
Where: Online, or at 18th Street Arts Center’s Airport Gallery, 3026 Airport Ave, Santa Monica
Cost: Free. In-person viewing by appointment only. Click here to reserve.
5) Burn Week and Museum of No Spectators (MoNS)
While there will be no Playa burning out in Black Rock City this year, a crew of veteran Burners have created a virtual Burning Man experience to keep the party going. Burning Man 2020 will take place in the Multiverse - eight endlessly expanding virtual Universes created by Burners, open during Burn Week, starting August 30. "Burning Man is not a festival! It’s a city wherein almost everything that happens is created entirely by its citizens, who are active participants in the experience." You can enter the Multiverse here and learn about the many ways to participate, including contributing your own content.
One of those pieces of content, originally planned as a built, participatory exhibition for Burning Man 2020, is the Museum of No Spectators (MoNS), created by architect/artist John Marx, artist Absinthia Vermut, builder Jerry James, and virtual builder Tomek Miksa.
MoNS, intended as a non-elitist, accessible response to the "museum‐industrial complex", is now available as a 360 degree virtual experience. Enter its world and you will find eight galleries in which you are encouraged to use the structure to create new art and leave it changed. The goal is to break the hierarchical boundaries between exhibitor and spectator, elevating everyone to the role of creator. Read more about MoNS here, and find the portal to enter here. The physical realization of MoNS is scheduled for Burning Man 2021.
When: Burn Week, Sunday, August 30 - Sunday, September 6. Burn Night: Live from Home, Sept 5
Where: You can find the museum online here.
Cost: Free; click here for more information