As the present becomes more fixed in the destructive-ideology of hyper-capitalism, this guide locates places in Southern California where other ideologies have reigned.Utopias of So.Cal. is a free printed map/guide to current and historic utopian communes, colonies, and intentional communities in Southern California. Sited in the guide are collectives founded on ecology, socialism, spirituality, free expression, queer liberation, and feminism. 23 current and historic lebenskunst sites ( a San Diego group committed to facilitating interplanetary dialogue, a LA based community founded on Chicana/o art and consciousness, and a Santa Barbara colony credited with inventing the hot tub and the Renaissance fair). In coordination with the release of this guide, Llano Del RIo is presenting a series of public events (May 28, June 25, July 23rd) in a tree house located by the Santa Monica Museum of Art.
Utopias of So.Cal. contains reflections on the persistence of these colonies in our own utopian consciousness’ written by contemporary artists, filmmakers, and writers; Sandra De La Loza, David Frantz, Janet Sarbanes, Mady Schutzman, Jodie Willie and the Women’s Center For Creative Work (WCCW). This guide, like all Llano Del Rio guides, is free and available to residents of LA county through the mail (send firstname.lastname@example.org your postal address) or around town (listed below). Utopias of So.Cal. was organized and written by the Llano Del Rio Collective with Erin Schneider, print design by Content Object.
Utopias Of So.Cal. Available Here (as soon as we get ‘em there)!
Ave. 50 Studios
Central Branch, LA Public Library
Echo Park Film Center
Erewhon Natural Foods
Golden Bridge Yoga
Highways Performance Space
Los Angeles Eco-Village
Mystic Journey Bookstore
One Life Natural Food Store
Santa Monica Museum Of Art
Self Help Graphics
Southern California Library For Social Justice
Thank You For Coming
The Public School
The Yoga Collective
Santa Monica City Public Library
Venice Beach Branch, La Public Library
Sounds For Another Tomorrow- a night of Utopian Music
Date Wednesday, June 25
Utopia, A Double Feature: Dear Comrade and The Source Family
Wednesday, July 23
Dear Comrade at 7:30
The Source Family at 9p
The Santa Monica Museum of Art presents Tour da Arts, vol. 5, its fifth annual cultural bike tour through the city of Santa Monica. In the words of Asuka Hisa, SMMoA’s director of education and public programs, “Tour da Arts, vol. 5 is a fantastic way to explore the arts in Santa Monica while embracing a greener, healthier, and more sustainable mode of transportation.” For this year’s tour, the Museum has partnered with community groups, cycling organizations, and creative individuals to bring you a day of cross-disciplinary, cycling-related activities on Sunday, August 18th from 11 am to 5 pm. Each of the three stops on the tour features a particular art form: visual art, music, and dance.Tour da Arts, vol. 5 kicks off at 11 am with a bicycle-themed festival at SMMoA. The focus of this year’s festival will be multi-modal transportation and the creative side of bike culture. To encourage participation in the ride, 25 free bike rentals will be provided by Perry’s Café and Rentals on a first-come, first-served basis. Partners from Metr
o will show participants how to load their bikes onto buses and light rail, Bikerowave—a local bike co-op— will provide complimentary pre-ride tune-up services, and Solé Bicycles will exhibit one-of-a-kind, artist-designed bicycles alongside their everyday line. As the first stop on the tour, SMMoA will host walkthroughs of its summer exhibitions: Joyce Pensato: I KILLED KENNY, dosa at SMMoA: Exploring Joshua Tree, and Marco Rios: Anatomy of an Absent Artist.
The tour will depart promptly at 1 pm for its next stop, the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club. At the club, riders will enjoy a combination of modern beats and line dances with Griffin Rodriguez and some of his Icy Demons bandmates. The ride will continue to Grant Elementary School for At the Oasis, a unique, site-specific Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre performance that uses a 1966 Oasis trailer as a stage and prop. Finally, riders will return to SMMoA for an exciting raffle, featuring products from Pedego Santa Monica Electric Bicycles and Linus
Bikes, and a brand new bike from Bike Attack. Tour da Arts will be led by certified cyclists from local advocacy organization Cyclists Inciting Change thru Live Exchange (C.I.C.L.E.). Hundreds of cyclists will join in for this celebrated annual tour, which will proceed at a sociable pace and obey all traffic laws.
SMMoA kicked-off Tour da Arts, vol. 5 in June with a “Bike Critter Art Contest,” an opportunity for people of all ages to submit cycling critters. The winning drawing, by David Chernobylsky, was selected by a panel of three professional judges—illustrator Calef Brown, artist Mel Kadel, and Giant Artists agency’s Jen Lamping—to serve as the event’s featured mascot.
Admission is FREE and open to all ages. Registration is required, and space is limited. Register at smmoa.org/tourdaarts.
What to Bring: Basic riding skills and a bicycle in good running order. All participants under the age of 18 must wear a helmet and be escorted by a parent or guardian. Children under the age of 9 should be on a tag-along, bike trailer, tandem, or other safe child-carrying device.
Tour da Arts schedule:
11 am – 1 pm: Tour da Arts, vol. 5 Festival and Check-in at the Santa Monica Museum of Art
Tours of SMMoA’s current exhibitions: Joyce Pensato: I KILLED KENNY, dosa at SMMoA: Exploring Joshua Tree, and Marco Rios: Anatomy of an Absent Artist
Bicycle Advocacy: Learn fun and safe biking tips from Santa Monica SPOKE/Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, LA Metro, City of Santa Monica Transportation, and C.I.C.L.E.
Art Bikes and Tune-ups: Get a complimentary bike tune-up from Bikerowave, LA’s volunteer-run, community operated bike repair shop. Check out Solé Bicycles’ Art Bikes, a series of unique, artist-designed bicycles
Food and Drink: Enjoy delicious options from ONE Coconut Water, Clif/Luna Bar, and Whole Foods Market SantaMonica
1 pm: Tour da Arts, vol. 5 Cultural Bike Tour departs SMMoA
1:30 – 2:15 pm: Second Stop: Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club
Enjoy music by Griffin Rodriguez and members of Icy Demons, an experimental music project
Refreshments and snacks provided by Whole Foods Market Santa Monica, Clif Bar, ONE Coconut Water
3:00 – 3:45 pm: Third Stop: Grant Elementary School Playground
At the Oasis— an exclusive performance by Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre
Additional refreshments and treats
4:15 – 5:00 pm: Final Stop: Return to SMMoA at the Bergamot Station Arts Center
Tour da Arts raffle, with products from Linus Bikes and Pedego Santa Monica Electric Bicycles, and a bicycle from Bike Attack.
A Report from the residency and exhibition titled Shifting Baselines including artists’ Cynthia Hooper and Hugh Pocockat the Santa Fe Art Institute in New Mexico, curated by ecoartspace founder Patricia Watts. Opens January 7th, 2013.
Shifting Baselines is my third show in the last year focused on water issues, and Cynthia Hooper has been in all of them. Actually, I also curated her video work in a show in 2010 titled EcoArchive in San Francisco. Needless to say, I think she is brilliant and is very informed about highly complicated political and economic issues around water distribution.
Hooper captures human interventions with video, mostly agricultural, in the landscape with an epic style of a romantic landscape painter. Although her landscapes are very luscious, they are also filled with montage of disruptions that can ironically be seenas poetic. And, she is also an talented painter who depicts very small realistic scenes that she paints with printed text on large sheets of watercolor paper to both inform her viewers visually and intellectually with her writings of the many layers of politics involved in water management.
I first met Hugh Pocock in 2004 at the Santa Monica Museum of Art where he created a salt evaporation garden in their project room that appeared like a laboratory setting for a scientist. It was the first installation I had seen at a museum that appearedaesthetically intriguing, as well as interactive, and educational.
Pocock works with materials such as water, dirt, wind, air in his performative installations. For Shifting Baselines he decided to build on similar installations he has done in the past that address where water comes from and how it relates to ourselves, our bodies, including a work he performed for the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore in 2009 titled myfoodmypoop.
Since his arrival in New Mexico, Pocock has been collecting buckets of snow from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains outside of Santa Fe, which he then filters after it melts to make bottles of drinking water available for participants in the exhibition space. –>
The great thing about this project is that as a curator it is the first time that I have been invited to be in residence along with the artists as they create their work in the gallery before the exhibition opens.
To learn more about the Shifting Baselines residency and exhibition, please go to the Santa Fe Art Institute blog HERE.
ecoartapace ecoartspace is a nonprofit platform providing opportunities for artists who address the human/nature relationship in the visual arts. Since 1999 they have collaborated with over 150 organizations to produce more than 40 exhibitions, 100 programs, working with 400 + artists in 15 states nationally and 8 countries internationally. Currently they are developing a media archive of video interviews with artists and collection of exhibitions ephemera for research purposes. Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator. Amy Lipton is east coast curator and director of the ecoartspace NYC project room.
A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999
Beat the pump, cycle the town, and enjoy Santa Monica’s sights and sounds. The Santa Monica Museum of Art’s third annual Tour da Arts bike event invites you to participate in a spoke-card workshop and a scenic ride with stops for music, dance, and art along the way. The ride culminates at SMMoA with the Bicycle Bell Ensemble – a tuneful collaborative performance of bicycle bells.
Register Today!Registration is now open. Activities are open to all ages (some restrictions apply). Workshop Admission $5 (free for SMMoA members); Bike tour and festivities FREE. Space is limited.
Stop 1 – ART (Noon – 2 pm)Santa Monica Museum of Art art workshop, exhibitions, and mini-festival
Check-in for the ride. Pre-registration required, REGISTER NOW!
The Santa Monica Museum of Art will be hosting two remarkable events this month which pair art making with social action. Taking place this Thursday, June 3, artist Mel Chin will be will make a special visit to SMMoA and participate in one of our signature programs, A Collection of Ideas…, to discuss his projects Operation Paydirt and The Fundred Dollar Bill Project. Over the past several years Chin has brought national attention to the serious issue of high lead content in water, particularly in New Orleans, through the collaboration of hundreds of thousands of art participants across the US (more information below). Next Saturday,June 12, SMMoA will also be dedicating our quarterly education workshop Cause for Creativity to Chin’s vision. In this workshop participants will have the opportunity to create their own Fundred Dollar Bills and become part of this country-wide collaborative art project.
Thursday, June 3, 7 pm A Collection of Ideas… Mel Chin: So I guess it has to be this way… Refraction, response to crisis, reframing a few dreams, and more on the delivery of a 300 million dollar difference
In 2006, artist Mel Chin was profoundly affected by post-Katrina New Orleans and developed, alongside scientists, an initiative called Operation Paydirt to help remediate the alarming levels of lead content in the soil there. The estimated cost of treating New Orleans soil is $300,000,000. Chin will discuss the Fundred Dollar Bill Project which supports Operation Paydirt through contemporary art, engagement, and action. TheFundred Dollar Bill Project is a way to become involved in monumental advocacy to inspire and enact change through a process of collecting hand-drawn Fundreds – $100 bill templates that allow for personal expression. Chin needs 3 million Fundreds by July 2010 when he will go to the steps of Congress and ask for $300 million to fund the soil remediation project in New Orleans and ultimately in all major U.S. cities. SMMoA will host its own Fundred Dollar Bill Drawing Party on Saturday, June 12 (see below)
Saturday, June 12, 2-5 pm Cause for Creativity: Fundred Dollar Bill Drawing Party
In collaboration with artist Mel Chin’s Fundred Dollar Bill Project, described above, participants will hand-draw Fundreds that will be collected and presented to Congress as a unique testament of civic engagement through art. Joining us at Cause for Creativity is Daybreak Designs – an arts and crafts business which empowers homeless women recovering from mental illness to rebuild their lives through creative, personal and financial growth. Daybreak Designs will have lovely hand-made goods for sale during the Fundred Dollar Drawing Party.
Joel Shapiro and Justin Yoffe, co-founders of Arts:Earth Partnership
About seventy people gathered on Friday, June 26th at the Santa Monica Museum of Art in Bergamot Station to celebrate the launch of a new organization that uses only one color in its visionary design: green. The kind of green that speaks to fresh foods, verdant forests, sustainable living and a healthy planet.
In the main gallery, several speakers addressed the audience, including Ken Genser Mayor of Santa Monica, Ernest Dillahay, Director of Cultural Facilities for the City of Los Angeles, Justin Yoffe, Cultural Affairs Director for the City of Santa Monica, and Joel Shapiro, Artistic Director of the Electric Lodge in Venice.
They shared their vision to reduce, recycle, reuse and rethink energy in measurable ways that are specific to the cultural community. The mood was leisurely, but the message from behind the podium was passionate: for the creative community to take a leadership role in halting the effects of global warming, we must think and act differently now.
The mechanism to do this is The Arts:Earth Partnership. Not some utopian fantasy, The Arts:Earth Partnership, or AEP, is a collective of cultural leaders, facilities, theaters, museums, dance studios, art galleries, performing arts companies and individual artists committed to achieving environmental sustainability.
AEP co-founder Joel Shapiro told the audience that 25,000 people come to the Electric Lodge each year. The energy of this performing and visual arts space is supplied by solar panels. To rent the space, independent producers are required to have a recycling plan for their sets, and all front of house and off stage lights are energy efficient.
Shapiro said that he and Justin Yoffe, who is the board president of the Lodge, got the idea for AEP when they started to wonder: what if more facilities shared the same philosophy as the Lodge? How many theaters or galleries or performing arts centers would share resources, reduce their own costs and contribute to the health of the planet? How many people would learn about the cost savings and start to make changes at home?
They started doing research seven years ago and found that bloated applications, expensive start up costs and programs that did not meet the needs of cultural organizations made ‘going green’ a black hole of despair. They decided to develop a new model, one that would make sense to most non-profit organizations whose daily work is often characterized by stretched dollars, resources and staff.
Shapiro and Yoffe started knocking on doors. The cities of Los Angeles and Santa Monica answered and joined with them as AEP founding partners. The City of Los Angeles pledged to convert all of their cultural facilities (30-35) into certified sustainable operations. Santa Monica also connected AEP to their own resource for going green, Sustainable Works, the non-profit organization that, in four years, has helped convert 35 businesses into green companies.
The staff at Sustainable Works trained AEP auditors to conduct energy use assessments at cultural facilities that want to reduce their environmental impact. AEP offers a two-year certification program that includes the assessment, tools, resources and staff support for changing to green technology and practices. Organizations pay a fee for the service and then become members of the collective. Fees are based on the size of the organization’s operating budget. To attract more organizations of all sizes, both Los Angeles and Santa Monica pledged to pay the first year of the two-year AEP certification fees for the artists and organizations that signed up at the reception to join the collective.
Jan Williamson, Executive Director of the 18th Street Arts Center and AEP advisory board member talks with Joel Shapiro.
Shapiro said that certification requires each member to use at least 25% renewable energy. The Lodge itself is the gold standard, using 100% renewable energy. In the first year, with 30 current members using at least 25% renewable energy, AEP will reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere by 50 tons. That’s roughly equivalent to the annual output of 7 households of 4 adults each. It may not sound like much, but the more organizations and artists join, the more CO2 emissions will drop, the more the creative community can help tip planetary scales back towards balance and inspire others to do the same. Indeed, it’s working already as 25 artists and 25 cultural organizations signed up on Friday.
AEP will track the progress of certified members, as they change from wasteful to efficient energy use and then publish its findings in an annual report. AEP plans to hold annual ‘convergences’ so that cultural leaders can learn from each other by sharing stories, news and information. On their website, AEP also offers a materials exchange board, a resource especially suited to theatres and galleries that rotate sets and exhibitions and frequently use production materials.
After the speeches, small groups hovered near the podium, eager to continue the conversation. The rest of the crowd took in the exhibition of Barkley Hendrick’s bold life-sized portraits, or wandered out into the warm evening air and over to the literature table and makeshift bar. Next to the bar was a sporty car that had been turned into a planter, with succulents and cacti bursting from its windows, trunk and hood. If you can envision a world where abandoned cars are ideal places for gardens, then AEP is an organization that needs your energy (renewable, of course) and commitment to paint the world green.