Wednesday, November 23, 2022

On the Schedule: December, 2022

This December please join me for at MOCA for "Staying Cool," a look at what architects and engineers Kulapat Yantrasast, Frederick Fisher, Lance Collins and Simone Paz are doing to lighten art's footprint in Art for Earth's Sake... come to talks with me about LA's multifamily housing at book events for Common Ground... join a workshop about "air," featuring artist Laurie Lipton and the team at NAHR at Helms Design Center... and hear from architect Moshe Safdie as I talk to him about his life at the Skirball Museum. Read on for details.


Common Ground: The Conversations

Now Common Ground: Multifamily Housing in Los Angeles is out, I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to talk about the buildings, the residents and the issues around housing that I explore in the book, whether it’s the case for community centered housing in a time of social isolation; a celebration of historic courtyard buildings (like El Cabrillo, above, designed by Arthur and Nina Zwebell, photo by Art Gray) and the lessons they offer for new housing on our thoroughfares; or, simply, a validation of apartment living in a region that demeans it.

Please join me at the following events, open to all:  

On December 1 at 6pm I'll talk about the book with friends at GGA architecture firm in Pasadena.

On December 7 at 12pm I'll join Adrian Scott Fine for an online conversation hosted by the L.A. Conservancy.

Hope to see you there!


Tilt Up: A fundraiser to support the Kings Road House 

In 1922, R.M. Schindler and his wife Pauline, and Clyde Chace, an engineer, and his wife Marian took up residence in what was probably the world's most radical duplex: the King's Road House in West Hollywood. Made of tilt-up concrete slabs (with tips on this new construction system from Irving Gill), the building consisted of an S-shaped sequence of single, undefined rooms (one for each resident to use at will) wrapped round two grassy courts, with light penetrating from slender vertical windows, and expansive sliding wood-framed glass screens. There were sleeping baskets atop the structure, capping a building that was highly experimental structurally, socially and even in terms of bedroom planning! 100 years later this marvelous house, now a cultural center run by MAK, the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna, is suffering the ravages of age -- and needs a costly overhaul. So on Sunday, December 4, at  4:30 - 6:30 pm, the Friends of the Schindler House (FOSH) will host a fundraiser.

Enticements include drinks and appetizers under a tent on the grounds; access to purchase one-of-a-kind commemorative "classic napkin sketch" mementos created by the architect, design, and art community and a limited edition deck of 12 photo images of the Schindler House through the lens of six celebrated contemporary photographers.

Click here for details.


AIR: Commons, Chaotic Fluid, Inspiration

Last year the Nature, Art and Habitat Residency (NAHR) invited people working at the intersection of art and the environment to contemplate soil. For the 2023 Residency, the topic is air, specifically “AIR: Commons, Chaotic Fluid, Inspiration.”

On Thursday, December 8th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, come to the design center at Helms Bakery District for an evening conversation about the role of air as a connector, and help imagine future scenarios about how and what we will be breathing. Questions on the agenda include:

    How can human relationships with air help to stop or slow the climate crisis?
    What is our awareness of the ecology of air?
    How does air connect us and highlight issues of global justice?

NAHR's co-chairs Deborah Weintraub and Richard Molina and I will moderate the dialogue, following a keynote to be delivered by Laurie Lipton, remarkable artist of epic, dystopic visions of domestic and urban life today rendered in intense pencil drawings. Her latest opus is entitled, appropriately enough, Smoke.

Click here for details.

Art for Earth's Sake

Staying Cool: Designers Green Art Buildings

Museums and private collections can generate a high energy footprint, from the construction of new buildings to the climate-controlled storage. Add to that the emissions and waste generated by the production, installation and demolition of temporary exhibitions and art fairs. So what are architects and designers doing to lighten this impact? Does the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA itself offer clues–through its genesis as an adaptively reused, rather than new, building? What can we learn from “living buildings,” and how to keep museums cool as they use more and more computer technologies to tell their stories? 

Get answers on Sunday, Dec 11, starting at 3pm, when I talk with architects Kulapat Yantrasast of WHY Architecture, designer of permanent and temporary art spaces including David Kordansky Gallery, the Academy Museum, and the installation for Frieze LA; Frederick Fisher, whose firm has designed art spaces from MoMA P.S.1 to the expansion of the Los Angeles Natural History Museum; and Lance Collins, director at Partner Energy, provider of energy efficient engineering for buildings including the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, along with expertise in Environmental, Social, Governance and Resilience (ESGR). They will be joined on stage by Simone Paz, MOCA’s Associate Director of Sustainability.

Click here for details.


If Walls Could Speak: My Life in Architecture

Moshe Safdie in Conversation 

In 1967, Moshe Safdie stunned the architecture world when he designed Habitat, a landmark demonstration project for the 1967 Montreal World Exposition. The extraordinary superstructure was made of 365 prefab concrete modules containing 158 apartments of varying sizes that opened onto personal open spaces and garden terraces, typically found in single-family homes. 

Habitat pioneered a vision for high density urban housing, and Safdie went onto to forge a career spanning five decades, and including L.A.'s very own Skirball Cultural Center. 

On Sunday, December 11, starting at 6:00 pm, I will talk with Safdie about his new memoir, If Walls Could Speak, which "takes readers behind the veil of an essential yet mysterious profession to explain how an architect thinks and works—from the spark of imagination through the design process, the model-making, the politics, the engineering, and the materials." 

Safdie is a warm and lively conversationalist so I look forward to speaking with him, and hope you will join us.

Click here for details.


Thursday, November 3, 2022

On the Schedule: November 2022

This November please join me for at MOCA Art for Earth's Sake x 2 -- a look at art in which the medium is the message, and then the "dirty topic" of environmental injustice, captured by Los Angeles artists... come to talks about LA's multifamily housing at book events for Common Ground... an Art World 101 in smARTtalks at Helms Design Center, with Shana Nys Dambrot, Miles Regis, Ronnie Pirovino, Heidi Johnson, and Daniel Nomad... a tasty talk about The Menu with Evan Kleiman and Sang Yoon, hosted by KCRW...and a peon to the eternal modernist ethos with Michael Boyd and Michael Webb at Helms Design Center. Read on for details.


Art for Earth's Sake x 2

Dirty Topic: Environmental Justice in L.A. Art

On Sunday, November 20, Art for Earth's Sake considers environmental justice. Many Angelenos live in neighborhoods devastated by the environmental blights of polluted air (from refineries, manufacturing, shipping, freeway and air traffic) and toxic waste at brownfield sites. Some LA artists have found ways to bear witness to this environmental (in)justice. 

 Jennifer Swann, a reporter whose stories include coverage of an art biennale at Salton Sea, will lead a conversation between Eric Avila, scholar of the Chicano painters who captured Boyle Heights when it was destroyed by freeways, joins Kim Abeles, whose work address the invisible killer -- smog -- and Maru Garcia, maker of artworks about the lead-contaminated soil at the Exide battery plant in Southeast LA (her artwork Membrane Tensions, 2021, is shown above).  

How much can these testaments to inequity also serve as calls to action? Find out, at the Geffen at MOCA at 12pm, 11/20. 

That's followed right after by The G•Spot, a traveling festival organized with fashion designer Rio Uribe, and celebrating LA-based LGBTQ and BIPOC artists. Uribe will lead a panel entitled, QuĂ© Onda: The New Wave of Chicanx Artists and Creators with Rafa Esparza, Willy Chavarria, Lupe Rosales, and Selena Ruiz. And while at the Geffen, check out Judith F. Baca: World Wall, nine panels from Baca's famed, utopian, collaborative, portable mural World Wall: A Vision of the Future Without Fear, begun in 1987.

Click here for details.

The Medium is the Message 

On Saturday, November 5, head down to the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA where we continue the series Art for Earth's Sake (that I've co-organized). Moderator Jason EC Wright, artists Lily Kwong and Julia Christensen, NRDC's director of art partnerships Elizabeth Corr, and bio-sonifier Modern Biology will consider art in which the Medium is the Message: Clean Artmaking from Earth to Outer Space. 

Forget toxic paints and glazes, fixatives and glues. Think installations made of plant materials that comment on our relationship with flora and fauna (Kwong, above); or a self-regenerating space ship conceptualized to raise awareness about e-waste and the upgrade economy (Christensen;) and, to conclude, a sound experience drawn from the plant life on display. But is this didactic art also good art? And how effective is its message? 

The convo kicks off at 3pm in the outdoor plaza but you should make an afternoon of it, and catch the unmissable Judith F. Baca: World. Wall and Garrett Bradley: American Rhapsody while you are at the museum. And then catch Henry Taylor: B Side at MOCA Grand Avenue, opening on the 6th!

Click here for details.


Common Ground: The Conversations

Now Common Ground: Multifamily Housing in Los Angeles is out, I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to talk about the buildings, the people that live in them and the issues around housing that I explore in the book. Please join me at the following events, open to all:  

-- On November 1, at 12 noon, I'll join Jon Haeber and the California Preservation Foundation for an online conversation. Later on November 1 I will head to the welcoming community bookstore Village Well in Culver City to sit down with councilman Alex Fisch, currently running for reelection and a passionate advocate for housing for all.

-- On November 6 I will meet online with Sian Winship and friends at the Society of Architecture Historians

-- On November 10 I'll be at Santa Monica Museum with Tara Barauskas, Executive Director of the nonprofit Community Corporation of Santa Monica. We will focus on Santa Monica and its rich legacy of multifamily housing role as well as the innovative affordable housing by Community Corp (such as The Arroyo, designed by KEA, shown in photo above by Eric Staudenmaier). We will also screen this film about Community Corp at 40, that I co-produced.

-- On November 12 at 2:30pm I'll sit down with John Ripley and Juan Dela Cruz at Pasadena Heritage (John and Juan shared their invaluable knowledge about bungalow courts with me for the book), and then on November 12 at 5:00pm I will join architect Michael Folonis and photographer Art Gray and members of AIA/LA for a tour and book talk at Millennium Santa Monica. MSM is the new multifamily building whose side facade appears on the cover of the book and demonstrates how it is possible to create a very large and dense apartment building without double loaded corridors and with plenty of personal and shared outdoor spaces! 

On December 1 at 6pm I'll talk about the book with friends at GGA architecture firm in Pasadena.

On December 7 at 1pm I'll join Adrian Scott Fine for an online conversation hosted by the L.A. Conservancy; and then December 7 at 3pm, I'll talk about the book on Zoom with Cole Akers and friends of the Glass House.


smARTtalks 2022

Since cofounding Crewest Studio more than two decades ago, Scott "Sourdough" Power, Man One and their team have developed programs, podcasts, events and grants programs aimed at elevating artists and helping them thrive commercially. Now Power has co-created a series of talks to educate artists at every stage of their careers about the art world -- how to navigate it, how to think about the issues confronting it. The ticketed series takes place at Helms Design Center, starting September 24.

smARTtalk 2 takes place Saturday, November 12, with a terrific line up of industry insiders and critics who will take on two juicy topics: 

--The Power of Story in Selling Art: How Narrative Can Help Artists Drive Sales in a Social Media Landscape with speakers: Shana Nys Dambrot (above) and Miles Regis 

--Has Digital Art Finally Earned Respect? How Web3, NFTs, AR, VR, AI and The Metaverse Are Impacting The Art World with speakers: Ronnie Pirovino, Heidi Johnson, and Daniel Nomad 

Click here for details. 

The Menu

On Tuesday, November 15, I'll join Evan Kleiman, beloved host of KCRW's Good Food, and chef and restaurateur Sang Yoon for a tasty conversation about restaurant design, following a screening of the outrageously brilliant forthcoming new movie The Menu. Think of a ritualized foodie experience on the level of Vespertine, add madness and murder, and you get the picture.

Click here for details. 


Millennium Modern

Designer and composer Michael Boyd lives by Le Corbusier’s mantra: “To be modern is not a fashion, it is a state." Now he has created an opus to celebrate that state: the lavishly illustrated compendium of essentialist design, MILLENNIUM MODERN Living in Design. On Wednesday, November 16, I'll sit down with him and his friend and editor Michael Webb to discuss modernism as design philosophy and mode of being an in age of distraction. That's at 6:30pm at Helms Design Center.

Click here for details.






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