Professor of Art Mark Allen and Machine Project, his experimental art collective, were commissioned by the J. Paul Getty Museum to produce public programming for Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A., a citywide initiative examining Los Angeles' architectural heritage. This collaboration brings together several local arts institutions for a wide-ranging look at the postwar built environment of the city as a whole, from its famous residential architecture to its vast freeway network, revealing the city's development and ongoing impact in new ways. For The Machine Project Field Guide to L.A. Architecture, Allen invited 30 artists to create 30 new projects that respond to 30 notable architectural sites across the city.
Among the events are a tract home light show, a lecture on 19th-century aquaria inside a $3 million Frank Gehry-designed aquarium, a cave concert, an experimental theater piece performed in the only Schindler spec home ever built, a movement piece for pregnant performers in a domed church, collaborative walking tours, a theatrical performance of The Odyssey set in a Honda Odyssey circling the freeways, and a Miracle Mile memorial Starline bus tour guided by the spirit of Whitney Houston. Field Guide will culminate with a final screening of short films made in conjunction with each project.
Artist and event producer Bennett Williamson says that artists are re-inventing sites as places for cultural conversation, and the collaboration has "the potential to introduce audiences to parts of the city they've never seen, and give them a feeling of discovery and a new perspective on the built environment around them."
Allen founded the L.A.-based Machine Project in 2004 as an exhibition space to teach installation-based art and to promote collaborations between art, technology, natural history, music and poetry. For information on event dates, locations and artists, visit: www.machineproject.com and www.pacificstandardtimepresents.org.
Major support for The Machine Project Field Guide to L.A. Architecture has been provided by the Getty Foundation.
Pacific Standard Time, an initiative of the Getty, began when over 60 cultural organizations across Southern California came together in 2011 to celebrate the birth of the Los Angeles art scene from 1945–1980. Currently, smaller-scale programs continue the momentum and collaborative spirit of Pacific Standard Time until the second major offering in 2017. Pomona College participated in Pacific Standard Time with the Pomona College Museum of Art's three-part exhibition, "It Happened at Pomona," which chronicled the activities of artists, scholars, students and faculty associated with the College during 1969-73.