This essay was first published almost two years ago in August of 2016 by a friend of the project. We re-publish it here as we feel it is more timely than ever as the struggle grows against ICE, borders and, more generally, against this whole carceral society.
“Positioned increasingly as a ‘capital of capital’ in the Pacific Basin, Los Angeles has been surging toward the ranks of the three other capitals of global capital, New York, London, and Tokyo (its Pacific Rim cohort). […] Los Angeles broadcasts its self-imagery so widely that probably more people have seen this place – or at least fragments of it – than any other on the planet. As a result, the seers of Los Angeles have become countless, even more so as the progressive globalization of its urban political economy flows along similar channels, making Los Angeles perhaps the epitomizing world-city, une ville de venue monde.”
Edward Soja, Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory
Our Present Material Conditions in Los Angeles
“Los Angeles is barely treading water while the rest of the world is moving forward. We risk falling further behind in adapting to the realities of the 21st century and becoming a City in decline. […] Los Angeles is sinking into a future in which it no longer can provide the public services to which our people’s taxes entitle them and where the promises made to public employees about a decent and secure retirement simply cannot be kept. City revenues are in long-term stagnation and expenses are climbing. Year by year, our City – which once was a beacon of innovation and opportunity to the world – is becoming less livable”
The Los Angeles 2020 Commission (Dec. 2013)
The wood-slate fence has jumped from being a simple signifier of “this house has been flipped” to becoming a part of the construction of the house itself. The above is a photo of an actual house in Boyle Heights being offered for rent at $2995 for 3 bedrooms.
Whereas previously the function of this fence was to shield its new, well-heeled owners from the insufficiently gentrified neighborhood, these wood-slates now are free to signify “flipped” no matter where they are placed on the home. (more…)
Basically the art world exists to make money for a small number of people and to make a larger number of people feel like they’re cool. The first purpose is just capitalism. The second is an effect of capitalism, because only in a world as ridiculous as ours would standing around in mostly empty white rooms be considered a valid form of community. This probably sounds cynical, and in a way it is. But if you think about it, the fact that lots of people have nothing better to do with their “free” time than to stand around in mostly empty white rooms, rooms that make a huge amount of money for other people, is a good reason to destroy pretty much everything.
Originally published on Ediciones Chafa on May 24th, 2016. Here we re-publish it so that it can continue to be accessible for those of us with a critical view on Art and its role under Capital.
Eli Broad is a multibillionaire. He made his fortune constructing tract homes, which is to say by pumping hot air into the pre-2007 real estate bubble. Later he moved into life insurance as well. Some of that money ended up bailing out LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) around the time the housing market was going south – the museum had been hemorrhaging funds for years. It was a maneuver that some have described as closer to a hostile takeover than an act of philanthropy. Notably, Broad’s intervention was closely tied to the arrival of a new director – the gallerist Jeffrey Deitch – who fired the museum’s widely admired chief curator, Paul Schimmel, in 2012. Other wads of cash ended up at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) – where the donor had Renzo Piano build the quasi-autonomous Broad Contemporary Art Museum – as well as the Los Angeles Opera, which promptly used the funds to stage a full production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle. These actions, among others, won Broad a reputation in the art world as LA’s resident Maecenas-cum-Evil Emperor, with Deitch, perhaps, playing the role of a bumbling Darth Vader.
This text was first written in 2016 and has been re-vised and we felt it would be worthwhile to re-publish its re-visioning.
UN EJEMPLAR ORIGINAL DE EDICIONES INÉDITOS
originalmente publicado en inglés el 23 de enero 2017
Trump ya ha tomado el puesto de presidente de los EEUU y los de la Izquierda y los liberales han salido en masa para denunciarlo, incluso congresista & líder de derechos civiles, John Lewis, quien lo toma como ilegítimo. Pero lo toma como ilegítimo no por que, cual como dice, no porque Trump tiene una agenda racista, sexista, aislacionista, ultra-nacionalista o anti-gay pero porque piense que es el sujeto de una conspiración rusa. (Aunque hemos tenidos presidentes que han sido amos de esclavos, violadores, líderes de genocidio, fervorosamente anti-gay y por lo tanto han cumplido sus términos sin reproche.) Otros lo reprenden como un neo-fascista quien quiere rehacer 1939 sobre el territorio estadounidense. La Izquierda radical estadounidense clama para revivirse y crecer sus números. Pero por lo tanto este Izquierda radical ha decidido, cada vez más, usar el lenguaje de la política en vez de una lenguaje de la revuelta (o revolución). A vez en cuando este Izquierda radical habla del comunismo como un conjunto de asuntos cual los proletarios deben acostumbrarse, en vez de ser el medio por cual los proletarios van a liberarse.