Los Angeles

Finding unforbidden fruit in Los Angeles

It’s eleven years since I lived in Los Angeles. Something subtle seems to have shifted here, and for the better. One example of why is Fallen Fruit, a collective of two artists and a writer who live in the Silverlake district who started to map all the fruit and trees in their neighbourhood, the ones which had branches hanging over onto sidewalks so you can pluck their oranges or figs for free.

I’m here for a couple of days researching art projects that are about growing food and about the places where you grow it so I’m due to meet them later in the day. In the morning I check out their website, fallenfruit.org. For the last couple of years they’ve been holding Public Fruit Jams – communal jam-making sessions -  handing out free fruit trees for people to plant next to their fences, or encouraging others to make fuit maps of their neighbourhoods.

I notice that there’s a map for where I’m staying – Echo Park, made by someone who’s taken up their enthusiasm. After a couple of minutes trying to figure it out I notice there’s a group of fruit trees right next to my friend’s house. I walk 30 yards out of the door and there they are, just as they are shown on the map, right next to each other. A lemon tree overhanging the pavement, fat with ripe yellow fruit, and right next to it a small fig tree, figs just a few weeks away from  being ripe. I stand there, smiling, ridiculously happy to have found them.

They’re by no means the only example of this kind of strangely unironic sincerity that has taken root among some of the art projects here. I’m also here to see the artist Fritz Haeg whose Edible Estates Attack on the Front Lawn has been encouraging people to replace the uniformity of grass with fruit and vegetables.

I reach up and pluck a lemon from the tree. I doubt I’d have even noticed these trees  normally.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology Blog

ecoartspace: ecoLOGIC opens in Los Angeles

ecoLOGIC was inspired by the College Art Association CAA conference, which took place in Los Angeles in 1999, where a group of dedicated artists joined together to present a comprehensive studio session entitled Off the Mainstream, Into The Mainstream. The session included three chairs and nine artists presenting the state of environmental art in the 1990s.


West coast curator Patricia Watts, who lived in Southern California for over twenty years and attended the CAA conference in 1999, has participated in and observed this evolution of artists addressing environmental issues in the greater Los Angeles area. EcoLOGIC was developed to coincide with the 2009 CAA conference, once again in Los Angeles, to provide a survey of Southern California artists, architects and designers who pose aesthetic inquiries that express a unique logic, ecological reasoning or discourse including Calvin Abe, Kim Abeles, Samantha Fields, Sant Khalsa, Manfred Menz, Kathryn Miller, Lothar Schmitz, Glen Small, and Joel Tauber.

Cypress College Art Gallery

January 28 – February 28th, 2009

Opening reception January 28th 7-9pm

For more information go to http://ecologicla.blogspot.com

via ecoartspace: ecoLOGIC opens in Los Angeles.

Repent! Repent!

{An installation view of Moniqe Prieto at ACME, Los Angeles, 2009}

Moniqe Prieto’s show A Boatfull of Spaniards Sing opened this past Saturday at ACME in Los Angeles. I thought it was a great show, especially the Repent! Repent! diptych in the above image.

For the past few years, I’ve looked at and thought about Prieto’s wonky block-letter paintings. Maybe I just enjoy reading some words in paintings, but the colors, words and oblique imagery do it for me. So I was surprised in talking with a few friends making the gallery rounds that night who said they aren’t into it. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree—I’m a fan.

Oh and if you do go, don’t miss the canvas/acrylic rock (or is it an iceberg?) by Lisa Williamson in the sort-of project room at ACME.

> More images at acmelosangeles.com
Go to Eco Art Blog

MOCA faces serious financial problems

From the LA Times:

Since its inception, MOCA has grown to encompass three exhibition spaces. The “Temporary Contemporary,” later renamed the Geffen Contemporary, opened in 1983 in a warehouse at the edge of Little Tokyo that had been revamped by architect Frank Gehry. Three years later, the museum’s permanent home, designed by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, opened on Grand Avenue, where it is a mainstay of the planned redesign of the area known as the Grand Avenue project. In 2000, MOCA acquired an exhibition space at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood.

Before the national economic crisis hit, Strick said, MOCA was gearing up gradually for its first major endowment campaign since the mid-1990s, when it raised $25 million. Now, he said, there’s no time for that, and the focus is on “immediate issues and how to move ahead in a very different world.”

An irony of MOCA’s plight is that, thanks to the appetite of wealthy international collectors, the market value of its prime pieces has soared. Corporations and individuals routinely sell sculptures and paintings in an economic pinch, but a museum that did so would be violating its reason for existing, which is keeping art in the public domain. The codes of ethics of both the American Assn. of Museums and the Assn. of Art Museum Directors, although not legally binding, specify that the only acceptable reason for selling artworks from a public collection is to raise money for buying other, presumably more desirable, pieces.

As a Native Angeleno and frequenter of MOCA (admittedly primarily the Grand Avenue and Geffen Locations) this is a tragedy to me in my personal arts participation. To me this highlights the issues of reliance on contributed income in the arts world. 

See the Original Article by Clicking Here.

2008 Environmental Youth Conference

GET YOUR GREEN ON at the 2008 Environmental Youth Conference December 13, 2008, Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Los Angeles Convention Center — South Hall. Be part of the largest youth environmental event in the west! All Los Angeles residents ages 12 to 21 are invited to this green education event for the youth and by the youth. Come with your school, faith organization, or neighborhood group, and learn all about environmentalism through tree plantings, green jobs, and buying eco-friendly. For more information, visit www.milliontreesla.org.

Greenwashing Alert: Rose Brand Neo-Flex

I receive a lot of mail, electronic and other wise, that deals with the lighting industry. My personal artistic practice is heavily centered in the discipline of lighting design and it behooves me to keep up with what is happening in the industry.

Lighting design in theater is uses alot of resources. The amount of electricity needed to illuminate a show is staggering even on the lowest levels, as compared to your average home or office.  And, since technology is not in a place where you can really design a show in a traditional sense, it will be a very hard transition to make headway in this sector of the performing arts. I won’t go into it much here, but will refer you to my paper, The Ecological Sustainability of Theatrical Lighting, on the site here.

This morning I received an email for Rose Brand, a company that makes curtains, expendables and useful items for theater production, based in Los Angeles. It is promoting their NeoFlex product.  It is a Flexible Linear Light, which may as well be called rope light. It uses LEDs and can come in different colors as well as an RGB color change model.  It is diffused to look like a solid linear light and since it uses LEDs, it is extremely energy efficient, which is to say it is marketable as “green.”

So is it green?

For any application which it is suited, yes, it is a more “green” solution that others on the market. I won’t say it’s the greenest; I’m not going to do a side by side analysis of similar products. But if you need a linear lighting solution, sure, it is.  If you’re looking for an alternative to neon, it would be a good one. Neon, relative to an incandescent bulb, is pretty efficient, so the energy savings wouldn’t be huge. But, it is safer since it is not breakable glass and doesn’t require the high voltages that neon does. And it won’t be as hot as neon. There are some design advantages too: it is flexible, reusable, doesn’t need to be made to order and the color options are greater, especially the color changing RGB.

What other applications does it have? You could use it for cove lighting… where you have a wash against a wall or the ceiling to provide indirect decorative lighting. You could use it for any light rope application as well. You’d probably only want to replace rope light that was decorative though because of the look of the NeoFlex as it is much more expensive.  But,  the point is that it is primarily decorative, not a particularly practical light source at all. As a designer, I’m more interested on what its applications are and what I can do with it. As a color changing, cool to the touch, flexible linear light source I’m interested in it. I like that it uses much less power, and my clients will like that it would save them money if they’re looking for the effect that it produces versus an alternative.

So is it green?


Why? It doesn’t solve a problem. It offers an interesting solution to a design problem, but not a constructive solution to a particularly unsustainable and existing solution to that design problem.  It is a little more energy efficient than fiber optic solutions, but doesn’t do anything that you can’t already do with fiber optics. Furthermore, it uses more material and isn’t as adaptable as fiber optic solutions as I have used it.

There is a lot of lighting products out there being green washed.  LEDs aren’t yet practical or cost effective in general use, but they are pretty, colorful and you can control their use pretty extensively, so they are used a lot in theatrical settings. For putting color on stage or anywhere for that matter where you would otherwise use a lot of incandescent or halogen sources, LEDS offer a great step in the right direction on energy used and heat generated.  But, it seems that you stick an LED in something and it becomes green. It isn’t as green washed as the source four, which is marketed as green because it has high efficacy and outputs with 575w for which other instruments require 1000w, but it’s tiring.

Just because something use an LED doesn’t make it green, especially if you have developed it for the other benefits of LED use. It’s lazy marketing and a paid forward pitch for the marketing of the application, be it show or club or what have you, to pitch that application as one which use green technology over alternatives.

Using more of something which is more efficient is still using more.

Also in the email, which you can see if you click here, are the Flora Series of fabric hanging flowers, Design Master Colortool® Spray Paint, 12 oz. Cans and Panorama Tour Edition. What the first and last have to do at all with being green I don’t get and to call an aerosol paint “eco” because the can is partially recycled steel and it’s non-toxic after it dries is a  stretch (read the warnings on those labels folks). Be careful.