Viewing Los Angeles through the lens of a camera. What do you see? What do you see literally? In the book Rethinking Los Angeles, Michael Dear wrote: “Robbert, the first time I saw your work, I immediately thought, ‘That’s it, that’s Los Angeles! “That’s exactly how I see this city. From the street, and at speed, it’s a punctual, inner experience, not continuous as in a movie. The city is perceived essentially as an interrupted sequence. In addition, your photographs convey the flatness of the city, the absence of verticality in Los Angeles, it’s un-dimensionality. Are these some of the effects you’re striving for in your work?”
Robbert Flick responded: “Yes, these are some of the core problems in representing Los Angeles visually…What has always struck me about the city is the possibility for the scan, a left-right/right-left movement. There is always the open sky. The horizon line here is perpetually present in any vision of Los Angeles, and I think that has a lot to do with the shaping of the perceptions, the notions of light and space. This kind of openness, combined with speed, was the starting point for me…I began to realize that my representation of Los Angeles was totally based on being in the driver’s seat.”
As you drive, at or above speed on the freeways of Los Angeles—depending on the time of day and traffic conditions of course—your gaze is constantly sought to glance outside the windows of your intimate capsule assimilating perceptual fragments of Los Angles as they rhymicaly ‘interrupt’ your concentration on the freeway movement. As an aspiring architect/designer/artist, how do you attempt to visualize your contribution to the context that is Los Angeles’ built environment/culture when perception of this city is often just a construction of interrupted flashes of spaces allowing you to see fragments of form/color/size/density/texture/light/darkness—all continually suspended between left and right glances? Is it possible to for you to create a sense of community within the larger rhythm that powers Los Angeles?