“Los Angeles, it should be understood, is not a mere city. On the contrary, it is, and has been since 1888, a commodity; something to be advertised and sold to the people of the United States like automobiles, cigarettes, and mouth wash.” (Morrow Mayo)
As we turn our gaze to the start of the Fall 2020 semester, in the continuing wake of COVID-19 and necessity of remote learning, the context of this class on Topics of Contemporary Architecture/Art, will be responding to the layers and tendrils of contemporary life in the third decade of the 21st century. There is a growing suspicion that after COVID-19 is behind us, we will actually not go back to what we perceived as “Normal”. More and more it appears that the “Normal” that was January/February 2020 has changed and will be different from here on out into the unknown.
The city of Los Angeles was “founded” by the Spanish governor Felipe de Neve on September 4, 1781. The land that encompasses Los Angeles was originally home to the Chumash and Tongva indigenous peoples. In 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo claimed the land for Spain. As of 2016 census, Los Angeles is the second-most populous city (behind NYC) and third-most populous city in North America (behind NYC and Mexico City).
Los Angeles is known in Popular Culture as the “Creative Capital of the World”! The city holds that title because one in every six residents of Los Angeles are engaged in the creative industry. We will examine the creativity, diversity, and broad range of professional fields of aesthetic expression that separates and continues to brand Los Angeles as a cultural hub in the post WWII era to the present time in the 21st century.
“If most American cities are about the consumption of culture, Los Angeles and New York are about the production of culture – not only national culture but global culture.” (Barbara Kruger)
As we begin to enter into an analysis of Los Angeles architecture and art, what are your thoughts of this city? For those of you who have spent time in Los Angeles, what are your memories of this place? For those of you who have yet to spend time in Los Angeles, what do you imagine this city to be?