Artbound

S11 E3 | FULL EPISODE

Current:LA Food

This 2019 L.A.-wide exhibition of public art and events based around the theme of food. Each artist interpreted a different aspect or issue surrounding food or food systems in the city. Activating public parks throughout the city, artists created works to spark conversation about what it means to live in Los Angeles and how to work together for a sustainable and hopeful future.

AIRED: October 14, 2020 | 0:52:45
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

WOMAN: WE LOVE FOOD. WE ALL EAT

FOOD. FOOD IS YUMMY. HOWEVER,

DO WE THINK ABOUT THE

RELATIONSHIP WE HAVE TO FOOD OR

THE RELATIONSHIP OF FOOD TO THE

WORLD AT LARGE AND OUR SOCIETY?

CURRENT:LA FOOD WAS A PUBLIC

ART TRIENNIAL THAT LOOKED AT

ART AND LOOKED AT FOOD, AND IT

WAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO LOOK AT

THE MULTIPLE DIMENSIONS OF FOOD

THROUGH THE PERSPECTIVE OF

ARTISTS. ARTISTS ARE REALLY

GOOD AT STEPPING BACK AND

LOOKING AT WHAT'S HAPPENING AND

THEN RE-PRESENTING THESE IDEAS

IN NEW WAYS. THE ARTISTS WERE

GIVEN THE THEME OF THE

TRIENNIAL, WHICH WAS FOOD, AND

HARNESSED THE TOPIC IN AMAZING

WAYS WITH ART PROJECTS ALL

OVER THE CITY. 15 ARTISTS, 15

PUBLIC PROGRAMMERS DOING WORK IN

15 PARKS IN 15

COUNCIL DISTRICTS. SO IT

WAS VAST AND EXCITING AND

A WAY TO EXPERIENCE FOOD

DIFFERENTLY THROUGHOUT THE CITY.

ANNOUNCER: FUNDING FOR

"CURRENT:LA FOOD" WAS MADE

POSSIBLE BY THE CITY OF LOS

ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL

AFFAIRS. "ARTBOUND" IS MADE

POSSIBLE IN PART BY: THE CITY

OF LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF

CULTURAL AFFAIRS; THE

LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF

ARTS AND CULTURE; AN AWARD FROM

THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE

ARTS, ON THE WEB AT ARTS.GOV;

AND THE CALIFORNIA ARTS COUNCIL.

WOMAN: WE LIVE IN A GREAT CITY

THAT IS AN INCREDIBLY RICH AND

DIVERSE CULINARY SITE. IT'S AN

INTERNATIONAL CITY WITH SO MANY

CUISINES, BUT THERE'S SO MUCH

TO FOOD. FOOD IS PLEASURE, AND

IT'S PERIL. IT CAN BE

DELICIOUS, AND IT CAN BE

DANGEROUS. IT IS SOMETHING THAT

HAS THOSE POLAR TENSIONS. WE

HAVE AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF FOOD

INSECURITY FOR A POPULATION

THAT IS EXPERIENCING

HOMELESSNESS. WE TALK ABOUT

GOING GREEN AND FIXING THE

ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS, AND YET WE

HAVE AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF FOOD

WASTE GOING ON. WHAT KIND OF

FOOD ARE WE GONNA EAT WHEN THE

BIG ONE HITS? HOW OFTEN DO WE

THINK ABOUT OUR RELATIONSHIP

TO FOOD OR FOOD'S RELATION TO

THE WORLD AROUND US? THESE ARE

THINGS THAT WE TEND NOT TO

THINK ABOUT. SO ARTISTS ARE

REALLY GOOD AT STEPPING BACK AND

LOOKING AT WHAT'S HAPPENING

AND THEN RE-PRESENTING

THESE IDEAS IN NEW WAYS TO

INFORM US, TO INSPIRE US,

AND TO CALL US TO ACTION.

SO WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU THROW

OUT THE TOPIC OF FOOD TO A

GROUP OF ARTISTS? WHAT ARE THE

IDEAS AROUND FOOD, THE ISSUES

AROUND FOOD, THE WONDERS OF

FOOD, THE CONTROVERSIES OF

FOOD, AND IN THE CASE OF EMILY

MARCHAND, SHE'S LOOKING AT THE

EXISTENCE OF OUR HOMELESS

NEIGHBORS AND HOW THEY ARE

SUFFERING FROM FOOD INSECURITY

AND HUNGER.

EMILY: IN MY OWN PRACTICE, I

WORK WITH IDEAS AROUND

SURVIVAL, IDEOLOGY,

AGRICULTURE, FOOD SCARCITY,

FOOD ACCESSIBILITY, AND I FELT

LIKE I COULDN'T APPROACH THIS

TOPIC WITHOUT THINKING ABOUT

THE CITY I LIVE IN AND THE

HOMELESS EPIDEMIC THAT IS GOING

ON HERE.

WOMAN: OK.

EMILY: YOU TAKE ONE.

HOW MANY IS THAT? I

THINK--MAYBE ONE...

WOMAN: OK.

EMILY: WE ARE GOING TO BE DOING

LUNCH PACKING FOR 1,000 LUNCHES

FOR THE LOCAL HOMELESS

COMMUNITY, FOLLOWED BY A PICNIC

THAT WILL BE DONE ON AN

8,000-SQUARE-FOOT TEXTILE THAT

I AM CREATING--HA HA HA--RIGHT

NOW.

INSTEAD OF TRYING TO SOLVE A

PROBLEM, I'M TRYING TO BRING

LIGHT TO SOMETHING THAT IS VERY

CRUCIAL AND VERY IMPORTANT AND

VERY HUMAN, AND SO I FEEL LIKE

FOR ME, RATHER THAN THINKING ON

THIS HUGE SCALE, IT'S BECOME

VERY FOCUSED, WHICH IS REALLY A

BIG LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR ME

OF JUST LIKE IF YOU WORK SMALL

AND YOU GET ALL THESE PEOPLE

TOGETHER THAT YOU CAN START TO

PLANT THIS SEED FOR BRINGING

DIFFERENT IDEAS INTO DIFFERENT

COMMUNITIES TO HELP EVERYBODY

OUT.

ASUKA: SO PUBLIC ART TAKES MANY

FORMS. WE THINK ABOUT PUBLIC

ART OFTEN AS PERHAPS A

SCULPTURE IN A PARK. IT'S VERY

STATIC, BUT TODAY, PUBLIC ART

IS DIMENSIONAL. TOROLAB IS A

COLLECTIVE OF ARTISTS BASED IN

TIJUANA, MEXICO, AND THEY WERE

INVITED TO DO THEIR PROJECT IN

WATTS AT TED WATKINS PARK.

BEING UNFAMILIAR WITH THE

NEIGHBORHOOD, THEY GOT INTO

THEIR MODE OF RESEARCH AND

STARTED TO SPEAK WITH MANY

STAKEHOLDERS AND COMMUNITY

MEMBERS, AND BEING IN A PARK WAS

ALSO OF PARTICULAR THRUST FOR

THEM BECAUSE THEY LOOKED AT

THE CULTURE OF A PUBLIC PARK

IN LOS ANGELES AND THE BARBECUE.

TOROLAB IS REIMAGINING THE

BARBECUE EXPERIENCE AND IS

CREATING A POP-UP INSTALLATION

EACH TIME THEY DO AN EVENT, AND

THEIR PROJECT IS CALLED "THE

WATTS COOKBOOK." WATTS IS THIS

COMMUNITY OF MIXED DEMOGRAPHICS,

AND HISTORICALLY IT HAS FACED

ISSUES COMMONLY ASSOCIATED WITH

LOW-INCOME COMMUNITIES. IT HAS A

HISTORY OF SOCIAL UNREST, A

STRUGGLE FOR RACIAL JUSTICE, AND

THAT RESULTS IN A LACK OF

RESOURCES, PUBLIC SERVICES,

AND AFFORDABLE ACCESS TO HEALTHY

FOODS. WATTS IS ONE AREA OF

LOS ANGELES THAT'S CONSIDERED A

FOOD DESERT. HOWEVER, THERE'S AN

INCREDIBLE RESILIENCY FOUND IN

WATTS, THAT DESPITE ITS HISTORY

OF SOCIAL UNREST, ITS STRUGGLE

FOR RACIAL JUSTICE, AND

LACK OF RESOURCES, THERE

IS AN INCREDIBLE SPIRIT.

MAN: THAT'S IT.

OK.

[SPEAKING SPANISH]

DIFFERENT MAN: TODAY, IT'S "THE

WATTS COOKBOOK FIREUP AND

WORKSHOP." IT'S BASICALLY THE

CULMINATION OF A PROCESS IN

WHICH WE ENGAGED THE COMMUNITY.

SO THE RESULT OF WHAT WE'RE

EATING TODAY IS PART OF THIS

COOKBOOK.

THIS COOKBOOK ARE NOT ONLY THE

MEMORIES AND PART OF A

DOCUMENT, BUT IT'S PART OF WHAT

THIS COMMUNITY IS. IT'S A

PORTRAIT. IT IS THE WAY PEOPLE

LIVE, AND IT'S THROUGH THEIR

RECIPES AND THEIR FLAVORS IN

WHICH WE HAVE BUILT WHAT WE'RE

COOKING TODAY. NOW WHEN WE HAVE

THE COOKBOOK AS A PRINTED

THING, THE FIRST PART WILL BE

THIS HEALTH OF OUR BODIES AND

THE BODY OF THE CITY IN TERMS

OF THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE WAY

THAT WE GIVE NUTRIENTS TO OUR

BODIES FROM AN EMOTIONAL SENSE

TO THE PARTICULARS OF THE

VITAMINS AND MINERALS AND HOW

THAT LOOKS IN A MAP TO THE

RECIPES AND WHO EACH INDIVIDUAL

IS WHO HAS GIVEN US A RECIPE.

AND THE LAST PART IS WHAT ARE WE

GOING TO PROPOSE? WHAT IS

GOING TO BE LEFT BEHIND, NO?

SO THIS IS NOT SOMETHING THAT

JUST CAME AS AN OCCURRENCE, AS A

HAPPENING, ESPECIALLY IN A

PLACE LIKE THIS. IN A PLACE

LIKE THIS, I MEAN, WITH

ALL THE COMPLEXITIES--THE

ETHNOGRAPHICAL,

SOCIOECONOMICAL--THAT SOUTH L.A.

HAS. IT IS A CONVERSATION

BETWEEN THE INTERPRETATION THAT

WE HAVE RIGHT NOW OF WHAT WE'RE

DOING AND THE RECIPES THEMSELVES

THAT WE HAVE GATHERED. WITH

ALL THE INFORMATION THAT WE

HAVE, WITH ALL OF THE NEIGHBORS,

ORGANIZATION, PEOPLE WHO HAVE

ENTRUSTED US WITH THE CONFIDENCE

OF THEIR LIFE STORIES, IT IS A

VERY IMPORTANT DOCUMENT. IN

THE HANDS OF A SMART CITY

PLANNER OR A CITY MAKER, THEY

COULD ENVISION HOW THIS COULD BE

BETTER. ON THE MEANWHILE,

WE WILL TRY TO ENVISION

THAT OURSELVES CONTINUING

THIS TYPE OF ENGAGEMENT.

ASUKA: WHEN I THINK OF LEIMERT

PARK, I THINK OF THE VIBRANCY

OF ONE OF THE OLDEST

NEIGHBORHOODS IN OUR CITY. IT'S

THIS INCREDIBLE NEIGHBORHOOD

FILLED WITH RESILIENCY AND

CREATIVE CULTURE. SO HOW DO YOU

INTEGRATE PUBLIC ART IN A PLACE

THAT IS ALREADY VERY PUBLIC AND

MIGHT ALREADY HAVE A LOT OF ART

AND CULTURE GOING ON? YOU DO IT

VERY CAREFULLY.

MAN: SO THE PIECE THAT IS IN THE

PARK IT'S--A JACK TOTEM IT'S

CALLED, AND IT'S A PLAY ON

WORDS. IT'S MADE OUT OF CAR

JACKS AND TRUCK JACKS, BUT IT'S

ALSO A DIALOGUE WITH, UM, A

SORT OF OTHER NARRATIVE WITHIN

THE PIECE, WHICH IS, UH, "JACK

AND THE BEANSTALK." MY

INTERPRETATION OF IT IS THE

IDEA OF OVERCOMING YOUR FEAR

AND SUCCEEDING, YOU KNOW, BUT

ALSO KIND OF HAVING A DREAM

THAT MAYBE OTHER PEOPLE MIGHT

NOT NECESSARILY BE AS CONVINCED

ABOUT, BUT YOUR CONVICTION

TO PUSH FORWARD AND CLIMB.

SO THE ENTIRE SCULPTURE IS

ACTUALLY KIND OF MADE WITH ROOM

SERVICE--THEY'RE COVERS, THESE

KIND OF WARMERS, THESE SILVER

WARMERS, AS WELL AS BOOT LACES,

AND THE BOOT LACES FOR ME IS A

MATERIAL I USE IN MY WORK A LOT.

IT'S A KIND OF METAPHOR FOR

MOVEMENT. IT'S ALSO--WITHIN THIS

PIECE, IT'S A REFERENCE TO SORT

OF THE ADAGE PULLING YOURSELF UP

BY YOUR BOOTSTRAPS, WHICH IS

A KIND OF MISNOMER IN A SENSE

BECAUSE IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO DO

THAT. YOU KIND OF NEED HELP. YOU

NEED A COMMUNITY, YOU NEED

SUPPORT. THE REALLY IMPORTANT

COMPONENT OF THAT IN ADDITION TO

THE WARMERS ARE THE REBARS. IN A

LOT OF CULTURES AND THE CULTURE

I GREW UP IN JAMAICA, A REBAR

STICKING OUT AT THE HOMES SORT

OF IS A REFERENCE TO THE IDEA OF

PROGRESS, IN FACT, OR

POTENTIAL THAT CAN HAPPEN

FOR BUILDING ANOTHER FLOOR

FOR, FOR MOVING FORWARD.

THIS IS MY FIRST TIME GETTING

THE EXPERIENCE OF LEIMERT PARK.

I LIVE IN HARLEM IN NEW YORK,

AND SO I REMEMBER BEN CALDWELL

SAYING THAT LEIMERT PARK IS

LIKE THE HARLEM OF L.A., AND I

DIDN'T KNOW WHAT HE MEANT, BUT

IN BEING HERE I REALIZED THAT

IT'S A BLACK COMMUNITY, VERY

RICH, CULTURAL ROOTS, AND THE

COMMUNITY FOR ME WAS SPECIAL IN

THAT RESPECT. COMING FROM

HARLEM AND SEEING HARLEM

CHANGE, AND I THINK THEY'RE

FIGURING OUT WHAT CHANGE MIGHT

MEAN FOR THEM, LEIMERT PARK. YOU

KNOW, THERE'S A NEW SUBWAY LINE

COMING IN, A LOT OF TALK ABOUT

GENTRIFICATION, AND SO

THEY'RE TRYING TO FIGURE THAT

OUT, AND I'M INTRIGUED WITH

HOW THAT'S MOVING FORWARD.

ASUKA: IT WOULD BE REALLY HARD

TO TALK ABOUT FOOD WITHOUT

REFERENCING CULTURE, ESPECIALLY

IN LOS ANGELES. THE FOOD IS

FROM SO MANY PEOPLE BRINGING

THEIR RECIPES, BRINGING THEIR

FLAVORS, THEIR SPICES, THEIR

IDEAS, THEIR MIXES, AND IT ALL

COMES FROM SOMEWHERE.

JULIO AND MAX ARE VERY

INTERESTED IN WHERE FOOD COMES

FROM AND HISTORICALLY WHERE

FOOD COMES FROM.

THEIR WHOLE PROJECT IS

DEVELOPED THROUGH THE IDEA OF

HOME, YOU KNOW, THE DUALITY.

THERE'S HOME, YOUR HOMELAND,

AND THEN HOME YOUR NEW HOME.

MAN: OUR PROJECT IS

CALLED NEW SHORES.

MAX: IT'S A DIALOGUE BETWEEN

TWO HOMELANDS, AND IT'S BASED

ON THE FIRST CHAPTER OF "THE

ORANGE TREE"

WRITTEN BY CARLOS

FUENTES. THAT CHAPTER TALKS

ABOUT BEING OF TWO SHORES, YOU

KNOW, TWO HOMELANDS, TWO

CULTURES, TWO RELIGIONS, TWO

LANGUAGES, AND YOU DON'T FEEL

LIKE YOU BELONG TO EITHER ONE,

BUT YOU BELONG TO BOTH OF THEM

AND THAT STRUGGLE.

JULIO: SO THROUGH FOOD, WE'RE

LOOKING AT HOW DO IMMIGRANTS

CONTRIBUTE TO THE CUISINE OF

THE UNITED STATES, WHAT KIND OF

FOOD DID THEY LEAVE BEHIND,

WHAT KIND OF FOOD DO THEY HAVE

IN GATHERINGS, WHAT KIND OF

FOOD DO THEY NOT FIND IN LOS

ANGELES, AND ESSENTIALLY WE ARE

LOOKING AT THE IMPACT OF BEING

AN IMMIGRANT IN THE UNITED

STATES.

MAX: AND SO WE'RE LOOKING AT

THIS AS ONE SHORE IS IN THE

PAST, ONE SHORE IS CURRENT,

WHERE YOU ARE AT, AND THEN

WE'RE LOOKING FOR THE FIRST

TIME WITH OUR PROJECTS, WE'RE

LOOKING AT THE SHORE THAT'S IN

THE FUTURE AND, LIKE, HOW THE

FOOD AND CULTURE TRANSFORMED

BASED ON WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH

THE ENVIRONMENT.

JULIO: WE ARE REALLY INTERESTED

IN THE POWER AND THE ABILITY OF

FOOD TO ACTUALLY CREATE A

DIALOGUE, SO I THINK ONE OF THE

ASPECTS OF THIS PROJECT IS FOR

PEOPLE TO WALK AWAY WITH A

KNOWLEDGE OR AT LEAST AN

INQUIRY THAT THEY MIGHT BE

INTERESTED IN EXPLORING A BIT

MORE WHETHER THAT'S ISSUES OF

MIGRATION OR ISSUES OF

SUSTAINABILITY WITH THE FOOD

THAT WE'RE SERVING.

MAX: YOU KNOW, WE DON'T HAVE TO

BE RIGHT, BUT WE WANT TO AT

LEAST START THAT DISCUSSION.

ASUKA: SO YOU HAVE SOME ARTISTS

THINKING ABOUT THE FUTURE OF

FOOD THROUGH CULTURAL

MIGRATION, AND THEN YOU HAVE

OTHER ARTISTS WHO ARE THINKING

ABOUT WHAT WILL IT TASTE LIKE

IN A WHOLE DIFFERENT WAY

INVOLVING SCIENCE AND BIOLOGY

AND TECHNOLOGY AND WHERE THE

KITCHEN IS EVEN GONNA CHANGE.

MAN: SOMETHING THAT I FIND

PERSONALLY COMPELLING IS, YOU

KNOW, MAKING ART THAT'S USEFUL,

SOMETHING THAT IS PRODUCTIVE,

THINKING OF, LIKE, WHAT ARE THE

RESOURCES THAT GO INTO THE

ARTWORK, AND WHAT DOES IT

PRODUCE? OF COURSE, IT

PRODUCES, LIKE, DIALOGUE,

RIGHT? EVERYBODY TALKS ABOUT

THAT, BUT IT COULD ALSO BE

PRODUCTIVE IN A CONCRETE WAY.

SO IT'S NOT THE KIND OF ARTWORK

THAT, YOU KNOW, SITS ON A WALL,

BUT SOMETHING THAT'S A LITTLE

BIT MORE PART OF PEOPLE'S LIVES,

THAT GIVES THEM NUTRITION,

PROVIDES, YOU KNOW, SOMETHING

THAT'S NEEDED AND ESSENTIAL, AND

IN DOING THAT KIND OF CUTS AWAY

SOME OF THE WASTE THAT EXISTS IN

THE FOOD SYSTEM AS IT IS.

THEN THAT'S WHAT THIS KIND OF

BIOREACTOR FACILITY IS DOING.

NONFOOD IS A COMPANY THAT I

CO-FOUNDED. WE SPECIALIZE IN

ALGAE-BASED FOODS, AND THE

REASON WE FOCUS ON ALGAE IS

BECAUSE IT HAS A REALLY, REALLY

LOW RESOURCE FOOTPRINT.

ESSENTIALLY IT'S THE FIRST

PHOTOSYNTHETIC ORGANISM, SO

IT'S THE FIRST ORGANISM TO TAKE

LIGHT ENERGY FROM THE SUN AND

CONVERT IT INTO FOOD. YOU KNOW,

IT'S EVOLVED TO BE VERY, VERY

EFFICIENT AT GROWING REALLY

FAST. SO POTENTIALLY YOU CAN

MAKE THE SAME AMOUNT OF

FOOD WITH JUST 1%

OF THE RESOURCES. SO 1%

OF THE LAND AND WATER AND

1% OF THE CO2 EMISSIONS OF OTHER

PLANT-BASED FOODS LIKE CORN AND

SOY AND OTHER COMMON CROPS. SO

WE'RE GOING TO FILL UP

THOSE COLUMNS WITH WATER

AND HAVE ALGAE GROWING IN

IT SO YOU CAN EAT ALGAE.

ASUKA: AND SO IT'S A VERY

BEAUTIFUL AND INTRIGUING

ARCHITECTURAL INSTALLATION THAT

WILL BRING YOU IN AND SORT OF

TEACH YOU ABOUT THIS WAY OF

MAKING FOOD BUT ALSO REFLECTING

ON OUR SITUATION AND WHY WE

HAVE TO THINK THIS WAY ABOUT

FOOD.

RY ROCKLEN'S PRACTICE HAS AN

UNCANNY ABILITY TO BRING US TO

THINGS WE LOVE, THINGS WE LOVE

IN POPULAR CULTURE, AND ONE OF

THOSE THINGS WE LOVE IS JUNK

FOOD OR POPULAR FOODS THAT HE

THEN TURNS INTO POWERFUL FOODS.

RY: THIS PAST COUPLE YEARS,

I'VE BEEN WORKING ON A PROJECT

CALLED "FOOD GROUP," A CAST OF

CHARACTERS, GIANT FOOD COSTUMES

MADE SMALL AGAIN, AND THIS

FURTHER EVOLUTION OF THE "FOOD

GROUP" PROJECT, WHICH IS TO ME

SUCH A NATURAL EVOLUTION, IS

TO HAVE THESE "FOOD GROUP"

COSTUMES PERFORMED IN IN

PUBLIC.

ASUKA: SO WHEN WE WATCH ONE OF

THESE "FOOD GROUP" PERFORMANCES,

WE'RE ATTRACTED, OF COURSE, BY

THE MUSICAL, AND YET THERE'S A

SIDE OF IT THAT IS SORT OF

SAYING WE'RE OBSESSED WITH

THIS, AND PERHAPS THERE SHOULD

BE SOME WARNING LABELS AROUND

THIS OBSESSION.

RY: HAVE A QUICK SPRITZER. SO.

YEAH YOU GUYS ALL IN POSITION

AND THEN, UH...

MAN: POSITION?

RY: YEAH. LET'S JUST

START FROM THE TOP.

MAN: ALL RIGHT. HERE WE GO.

RY: THE FOODS I'VE CHOSEN AND

RENDERED IN COSTUMES ARE ALL

QUITE HEAVY LITERALLY, BUT THEN

I WAS THINKING MORE

FIGURATIVELY ABOUT THE

HEAVINESS OF THESE FOODS UPON

THE EARTH, THE KIND OF INTENSE

POWER AND ENERGY THAT'S NEEDED

TO CREATE THESE FOODS--THE COWS

IN THE PASTURES, THE MASS

PRODUCTION AND SHIPMENT OF BUNS

FROM WHEAT FIELDS AS BIG AS THE

STATE OF IDAHO. I DON'T KNOW.

SO THERE'S A KIND OF TREMENDOUS

WEIGHT IN THE PRODUCTION OF THIS

FOOD. THEY'RE INCREDIBLY

POWERFUL FOODS, THEY'RE

INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS FOODS,

BUT THEY'RE ALSO SO MUCH FUN.

PERFORMERS: ♪ CHA CHA CHA ♪

[SIREN]

ASUKA: WE'RE SURROUNDED BY

PROCESSED FOOD, COMMON EVERYDAY

SNACK FOODS, JUNK FOODS,

WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT,

AND WHERE ONE ARTIST IS

PLAYFULLY TALKING ABOUT HOW

WE'RE OBSESSED WITH THESE

POWERFUL FOODS, YOU HAVE

ANOTHER ARTIST THAT SORT OF

LOOKS AT THAT POWER IN A

DIFFERENT WAY, THE WAY THESE

JUNK FOODS ARE SORT OF OMINOUS

TO OUR HEALTH AND TO SOCIETY AT

LARGE.

WOMAN: I'M FROM SOUTH CENTRAL,

BORN IN, LIKE, COMPTON, BUT

THEN I MOVED OVER TO SOUTH

CENTRAL, SPECIFICALLY THE

NEIGHBORHOOD OF WATTS, AND I

CAN PIN DOWN 3 EVENTS THAT KIND

OF LED ME TO CREATE THIS WORK.

ONE OF THEM WAS TRAVELING AND

COMMUTING BACK AND FORTH FROM

SANTA CLARITA TO SOUTH CENTRAL

AND, LIKE, WITNESSING THAT FOOD

DISPARITY AND, LIKE, THAT

DIVIDE BETWEEN THE ACCESS THAT

MY COMMUNITY HAS TO HEALTHIER

AND ORGANIC FOODS. THE OTHER WAS

BEING HOSPITALIZED AT AGE

12. I HAD, LIKE, EMERGENCY

APPENDICITIS AND OVARIAN CYSTS

THAT THEY FOUND BY SURPRISE.

SO THAT WAS THE SURGERY THAT

CAME ABOUT FROM EATING A LOT

OF FLAMING HOTS, AND THEN THE

THIRD STEMMED FROM PRETTY

MUCH WATCHING MY YOUNGEST SISTER

STRUGGLE WITH ISSUES OF OBESITY.

SO MY PROCESS KIND OF BEGAN

WORKING WITH HER AND, LIKE,

USING OUR DIETS AS A WAY TO MAKE

WORK. WHEN I WAS IN MIDDLE

SCHOOL, EATING FLAMING HOT

CHEETOS WAS, LIKE, THE LIFESTYLE

FOR MY FRIEND AND I. LIKE, WE

WOULD HAVE IT FOR BREAKFAST,

LUNCH, DINNER. LIKE, THIS WAS

ALL THE TIME. WE CAN, LIKE, KILL

ONE OF THE LARGEST BAGS,

LIKE, AND EAT THAT THROUGHOUT

THE DAY. I USE IT BECAUSE OF THE

EXPERIENCE I'VE HAD WITH

THEM, BUT NOT ONLY THAT,

IT ALSO--LIKE, I'M USING

THEM TO TALK ABOUT RED

40, YELLOW 6,

AND ALL OF THE DYES THAT ARE PUT

INTO ALL OF THESE PROCESSED

FOODS THAT ARE MARKETED

ESSENTIALLY TO

OUR COMMUNITIES. RED 40,

YELLOW 6, BLUE 1,

AND ALL OF THESE OTHER COLORS

ARE UNIVERSAL ADDITIVES THAT ARE

PUT INTO PROCESSED FOODS.

SO ESSENTIALLY THEY LEAD TO

HYPERACTIVITY IN CHILDREN, ARE

CONSIDERED CARCINOGENS, AND

PRETTY MUCH, YOU KNOW,

AID TO, LIKE, DETERIORATE

YOUR HEALTH. SO, LIKE,

THEY'RE REALLY BAD FOR YOU.

ASUKA: HER INSTALLATION MAKES

REFERENCE TO THE HISTORY OF

MINIMALIST SCULPTURE OR

MINIMALIST FORM, BUT WHAT'S

REALLY INTERESTING IS THAT

SHE'S INSERTED A TENSION

BETWEEN SOMETHING THAT IS

MINIMALIST WITH SOMETHING

THAT'S MASS PRODUCED OR MASS

CONSUMED LIKE FLAMING HOT

CHEETOS, AND SO THAT

JUXTAPOSITION MAKES IT

ACCESSIBLE AND ALSO

CONTEMPLATIVE.

JAZMIN: WE'RE AROUND AN AREA

THAT HAS A LOT OF CONVENIENCE

STORES AND LIQUOR STORES AND

PRETTY MUCH SELL A LOT OF

PROCESSED FOODS, AND OTHER

AREAS IN LOS ANGELES ARE

ACTUALLY CONSIDERED FOOD OASES,

WHICH MEANS THEY HAVE, LIKE, AN

ABUNDANCE OF HEALTHIER FOODS.

SO IT'S KIND OF LIKE POINTING

OUT THOSE DISPARITIES. I

DEFINITELY WANT PEOPLE WHO COME

BY AND VISIT THE PIECE TO WALK

AWAY WITH KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT A

FOOD DESERT IS, WHAT AREAS ARE

CONSIDERED FOOD DESERTS

IN SOUTH L.A., BUT NOT

ONLY HERE BUT IN DIFFERENT

AREAS AROUND THE WORLD.

ASUKA: SO WE HAVE THESE

PROJECTS IN NEIGHBORHOODS THAT

HAVE BEEN CALLED FOOD DESERTS,

BUT TOROLAB IS PROVING THROUGH

THEIR RESEARCH AND THEIR

DIGGING THAT THEY CAN FIND A

WELLSPRING OF INFORMATION ABOUT

HOW FOOD IS MADE AND HOW IT HAS

BEEN MADE THROUGHOUT HISTORY IN

THE COMMUNITY.

RAUL: I DON'T KNOW IF WE HAVE

OVER ALMOST 300 RECIPES RIGHT

NOW. EVERYBODY WHO COMES EITHER

MAKES THE COMMITMENT OR

JUST GIVES US A RECIPE, AND

MAYBE IT'S THE RECIPE OF THEIR

LIFE OR MAYBE THE RECIPE OF

THEIR BROTHER, OR MAYBE IT'S

SOMETHING THAT THEY WISH TO EAT

OR MAYBE SOMETHING THAT HAS

BEEN PASSED THROUGH

GENERATIONS FROM THE

AFRICAN-AMERICAN PEOPLE WHO

CAME FROM LOUISIANA, THE VERY

BEGINNING, OR THE PEOPLE WHO

CAME FROM LATIN AMERICA, AND

THAT SHIFT CAN BE LOOKED AT

THROUGH THE FLAVORS OF THESE

RECIPES, RIGHT? SO IN ESSENCE,

THE CONSTRUCTION OF THIS

COOKBOOK IS ALSO PART OF

WHAT THIS LANDSCAPE IS.

WOMAN: OH, AND ALSO, THE LADY

RIGHT THERE HAS ALSO DONE ONE.

I HAVEN'T GIVEN HER ONE. YEAH.

DIFFERENT WOMAN: WELCOME.

[SPEAKING SPANISH]

DIFFERENT WOMAN: JUST GIVE ME

YOURS. THIS RIGHT HERE. TASTE

THAT. I'M SORRY. THIS IS

CHICKEN?

MAN: THIS IS CHICKEN OVER HERE.

WOMAN: YEAH. ONE OF THOSE.

MAN: I'M DIEGO BECERRA. I'M A

CHEF IN TWO RESTAURANTS IN

SINALOA, MEXICO.

WHEN RAUL AND TOROLAB DOES

EVENTS THAT INVOLVE FOOD, I GO

IN TO HELP THEM WITH THE

RESEARCH AND DEVELOP RECIPES.

KID: MAMA!

WOMAN: HI.

DIEGO: THIS EVENT WAS TRYING

TO BRING TOGETHER A COMMUNITY.

WE STARTED THINKING OF WHAT TO

SERVE. SINCE THERE'S SO MANY

DIFFERENT CULTURES AND

BACKGROUNDS IN THIS AREA, WE

HAD TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO HAVE

SOMETHING THAT WAS GOING TO

APPEAL TO EVERYONE.

THERE'S A DISH IN MY STATE

THAT'S CALLED FRIJOL CON HUESO,

WHICH MEANS BEANS WITH BONE,

BUT I MADE MY OWN VERSION HERE

WITH SHORT RIB AND BEANS THAT I

COULD GET HERE, AND IT TURNED

OUT A GREAT SOUP.

WHERE'S HIS HAPPY FACE?

MAN: HAPPY FACE? WHERE'S

THE HAPPY FACE?

RAUL: THE RECIPE OF THE BEAN

AND BONE WATTS SOUP, WHICH IN

ESSENCE HAS CERTAIN FLAVORS OF

LOUISIANA, OF SINALOA, OF

SONORA, OF LATIN AMERICA, AND

IT'S A UNIQUE PLATE.

DIEGO: LIKE THEY USED TO SAY IN

THE WESTERN MOVIES, IT STICKS

YOUR RIBS. THAT'S A KIND OF

FEELING, I THINK, THIS SOUP CAN

GET YOU, AND THE COOL THING IS

THIS RECIPE WAS MADE HERE IN

WATTS.

EMILY: FEEL INSIDE HERE.

IT'S GONNA BE HEAVY.

YOU GOT THAT?

ASUKA: WHAT EMILY HAS DONE WITH

HER PIECE, "A THOUSAND

LUNCHES," IS CREATE THIS

8,000-SQUARE-FOOT QUILT. 8,000

SQUARE FEET. IT'S ENORMOUS.

EMILY: IT'S HARD TO KEEP TRACK

OF IT. HA HA HA! THE RED-WHITE,

HUH?

MAN: YEAH. I'M, LIKE, REALLY

GLAD THERE'S A COLOR.

EMILY: THE BLANKET IS 1,400

YARDS OF 100% COTTON, AND THE

PIGMENTS HAVE BEEN SOURCED FROM

NATURAL MATERIALS.

WOMAN: SO IF YOU WANT TO PULL

YOURS CORNER TO CORNER AND

THEN...

EMILY: THERE'S HIBISCUS,

TURMERIC, CABBAGE, ONION PEELS,

INDIGO, AND I HAVE BASICALLY

MAPPED OUT MY DESIGN BASED ON

DIFFERENT SYMBOLS IN NATURE OR

SURVIVAL TOOLS. THERE'S, LIKE,

A BUTTERFLY SHAPE, THERE'S A

SUN, THERE IS RAIN DROPS,

THERE'S BLOOD DROPS. WHEN I DO

A LOT OF MY WORK, I RANGE FROM

LOOKING AT HIEROGLYPHICS AND

CAVE DRAWINGS TO CLIP ART ON

THE INTERNET BECAUSE BOTH OF

THOSE SPECTRUMS LOOK AT SYMBOLS

THAT HAVE BEEN DISTILLED INTO

THE MOST RECOGNIZABLE FORM TO

COMMUNICATE INFORMATION, SO EACH

OF THE PIGMENTS ARE CUT INTO ONE

OF THE SHAPES, AND EACH OF THOSE

SHAPES ARE A POCKET, AND IN EACH

OF THOSE POCKETS ARE SEEDS.

AT THE END OF THE DAY, EVERYONE

WILL JOIN ME ON THE PICNIC, AND

THEN WE WILL ALL CUT IT UP, AND

PEOPLE CAN PLANT IT IN THEIR

OWN POT, YARD, PUBLIC LAND,

SPACE, AND SO THAT'S WHAT I

DECIDED TO DO WITH THIS QUILT

THAT'S GOING TO EXIST FOR ONE

DAY. HA HA HA! YOU KNOW,

THERE'S A LITTLE BIT OF ANXIETY

OR SADNESS THAT YOU'RE WORKING

SUPER HARD THAT THIS THING THAT

IS JUST GONNA BE DESTROYED, BUT

I'M ACTUALLY LOOKING AT IT ON

THE OPPOSITE END OF, YOU

KNOW, WHERE IT'S LIKE

GOING TO GO OUT AND KEEP

LIVING IN DIFFERENT WAYS.

ASUKA: SHANA LUTKER HAS BIG

CONCERNS ABOUT OUR ENVIRONMENT

AND THE WAY WE CAN CHANGE OUR

BEHAVIOR IN TERMS OF HAVING

THAT CHANGE FOR THE BETTER

HAPPEN AND REALLY ENGAGING THE

COMMUNITY IN THE AWARENESS OF

HOW MUCH WASTE WE GENERATE.

SHANA: WE ARE STANDING IN FRONT

OF "THE CONTEMPORARY MUSEUM OF

TEMPORARY CONTAINERS." WHAT IT

IS IS A COLLECTION OF OVER

1,300 SINGLE-USE FOOD AND DRINK

CONTAINERS THAT I COLLECTED

OVER THE SUMMER WITH THE HELP

OF THE COMMUNITY OF THE VALLEY

PLAZA RECREATION CENTER, AND

ONCE WE HAD AMASSED THE

COLLECTION, WE DECIDED TO SORT

IT BY THE MATERIAL THAT IT WAS

MADE OF AND ITS SHAPE AND SIZE,

USING THE PLASTIC CODES THAT

ARE ON THE BOTTOM OF THE

CONTAINERS AND ALSO BY ALUMINUM,

BY PAPER, AND IN THOSE DIFFERENT

CATEGORIES, EACH ONE WAS

ASSIGNED A COLOR, AND SO

AS YOU WALK PAST THE COLLECTION,

THE COLOR SHIFTS IN ORDER TO

SIGNIFY A DIFFERENT SECTION OF

CONTAINERS. I REALLY WANTED

TO WORK WITH THE COMMUNITY

HERE AND MAKE A PROJECT THAT WAS

HOPEFULLY OPEN TO THEM, AND IT

IS, IN FACT, A PORTRAIT OF THEM.

IT IS THEIR TRASH, IT'S THEIR

CONTAINERS, AND I THINK THAT

THEY SEE IT IN A WAY THAT'S

DIFFERENT FROM HOW I SEE IT

BECAUSE THESE CONTAINERS LOOK

DIFFERENT THAN MY CONTAINERS. SO

IT KIND OF REFLECTS THIS

COMMUNITY IN A WAY, EVEN MORE

THAN I HAD IMAGINED. I USED THIS

PROJECT AS A WAY TO LEARN

ABOUT RECYCLING BECAUSE IT

WAS SOMETHING THAT I WAS CURIOUS

ABOUT, AND I AM BY NO MEANS

AN EXPERT NOW. I'M MORE

PERPLEXED THAN I

WAS WHEN I BEGAN. I MEAN,

RECYCLING IN LOS ANGELES RIGHT

NOW IS AN UNKNOWN. WE DON'T

REALLY KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON, AND

I DIDN'T REALLY THINK THAT I

WOULD GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THAT.

THIS IS NOT AN INVESTIGATION,

BUT IT'S A WAY TO FOREGROUND

THAT QUESTION AND SORT OF ASK

WHAT IS GOING--WHAT IS GOING TO

HAPPEN TO THESE CONTAINERS,

AND SOME WILL GO TO RECYCLING

AFTERWARDS, SOME WILL GO TO

THE GARBAGE, BUT THEY'RE

ALL WASTE, AND IT'S ALL OUR

PROBLEM WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH.

NARI: YOU KNOW, IN JAMAICA,

WHERE--YOU KNOW, WHERE I WAS

BORN, A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T

HAVE OPPORTUNITIES, SO THEY TRY

TO MAKE THEIR OWN

OPPORTUNITIES, AND IT'S QUITE

OFTEN YOU'LL SEE PEOPLE BUILD

THEIR OWN CARTS AND SELL

ANYTHING FROM MANGOES TO

COCA-COLA. WHEN I CAME HERE AND

SAW--IT JUST SO HAPPENED THAT

PARTICULAR DAY THAT I WAS

VISITING, THERE WAS A FOOD

TRUCK FESTIVAL, AND I WAS

REALLY EXCITED TO SEE THE

COMMUNITY COMING OUT AND

SUPPORTING AND THE

ENERGY AROUND IT.

AND "ENCHANTED SERVER" IS

REALLY THIS, THIS IDEA OF--IT'S

NOT A SERVITUDE. IT'S A KIND OF

MAGICAL CORRELATION TO WORKING

WITHIN THE NEIGHBORHOOD,

SERVING YOUR COMMUNITY. SO IT'S

MORE ABOUT YOUR ROLE WITHIN THE

COMMUNITY AND SERVING AS

SOMETHING MAGICAL, SOMETHING

BENEFICIAL.

WITHIN THE PIECE IS A KIND OF A

COMPANION PIECE TO IT, WHICH IS

THE PHOTO BOOTH, WHERE

THERE ARE COOKING UTENSILS THAT

ARE ALSO ENMESHED AND WRAPPED

AND WEAVED WITH BOOT LACES, AND

I'M ASKING PEOPLE TO GET

PHOTOGRAPHED WITH THESE.

PHOTOGRAPHER: RIGHT THERE. YUP!

RIGHT THERE, RIGHT THERE. COOL.

AND THEN BRING THIS RIGHT THERE.

NARI: SO THEY'RE COOKING

UTENSILS, AND THEY'RE WRAPPED

TO MAKE THEM AMBIGUOUS, MAKE

THEM MYSTERIOUS, AND ALSO GIVE

THEM ANOTHER ELEMENT OF

EXPECTATION AND LABOR.

PHOTOGRAPHER: A FEW MORE.

WE'RE GETTING THERE.

NARI: SO WHEN YOU HOLD THEM,

THE IDEA IS YOU GET TO IMAGINE

WHAT THEY CAN BECOME, WHAT THEY

ARE, SO IT'S REALLY A SPACE OF

FREEING IMAGINATION AND

CREATING PLAY FOR THE VIEWER TO

SORT OF PROJECT ANOTHER IMAGE

OF THEMSELVES INTO THE WORLD. I

THINK WHEN THEY PICK IT UP

THEY'RE A LITTLE ANXIOUS. THEY

DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT,

AND THEN THEY START SEEING THAT

IT'S SOMEWHAT FAMILIAR, AND SO

WHEN THEY GO INTO PLAY MODE,

IT'S REALLY FUN TO SEE WHAT

COMES OUT OF THAT. YOU KNOW, AS

A SCULPTOR, YOU ALWAYS WANT

TO TRANSFORM SOMETHING, AND

FOR ME, THIS TABLE SETTINGS

AREA IS REALLY ABOUT THIS

IDEA OF TRANSFORMATION, AND

ULTIMATELY THE SUBTEXT TO

"JACK AND THE BEANSTALK,"

SUBTEXT TO THE ENTIRE

"ENCHANTED SERVERS" PROJECT

IS ABOUT TRANSFORMATION, RIGHT?

ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION,

TRANSFORMATION FROM ONE KIND

OF EXPECTATION TO THE NEXT.

[LAUGHTER]

RY: THIS IS NICE.

>> IT'S LIGHTER WHERE IT IS.

RY: CAN WE TUCK THAT ONE

IN FRONT AGAIN?

YOU ALL RIGHT?

>> I'M GOOD. IT'S

JUST IT'S FUNNY.

RY: OK, OK.

THEY'RE CALLED WALKABOUT FOOD

COSTUMES. SO THEY TURN YOUR

ENTIRE BODY INTO THE THING, AND

SO WITH THEM, THERE'S THIS

SENSE OF SCALE WHERE IT'S GIANT.

VERY NICE, VERY NICE. OK.

TO ME, THERE'S SOMETHING

ABOUT FOOD IN THIS PROJECT.

OBVIOUSLY, IT'S THE THING THAT

IT'S LEADING WITH, BUT I THINK

IN SOME WAYS THIS PROJECT IS

INTERESTED IN ALMOST RETIRING

THESE FOODS FROM BEING FOODS

AND PROMOTING THEM INTO

BECOMING PURE ICON.

SO ARE YOU GUYS READY?

MAN: LET'S DO THIS.

RY: SO MY PERFORMANCE IS GONNA

START AT PALMS RECREATION

CENTER WITH A SET OF PICNIC

BLANKETS LAID OUT ON THE LAWN

WHERE PEOPLE WILL COME SIT.

THERE WILL BE BINOCULARS THERE

ON THE PICNIC BLANKETS TO SEE

THE FOOD GROUPS ENTER THE PARK

FROM FAR AWAY. SO THESE FOOD

GROUP COSTUMES WITH PEOPLE

INSIDE WILL BE WALKING THROUGH

THE PARK AS IF IT WERE A GIANT

BODY, SO THEY'LL BE ENTERING

THROUGH THE MOUTH, A BRIDGE

OVER ON THE SOUTH END OF THE

PARK, AND THEN MEANDERING

THROUGH THE PARK, AND THEN

WE'LL ASSEMBLE IN FRONT OF AN

AUDIENCE, AND WE'LL SING SONGS

AND TALK ABOUT THEIR ORIGINS.

[SYNTHESIZER PLAYING]

EMILY: I'M WORKING WITH A LOCAL

ORGANIZATION CALLED MEND.

STANDS FOR MEET EACH NEED WITH

DIGNITY.

THEY HAVE MANY RESOURCES FOR

THE LOCAL HOMELESS COMMUNITY.

THAT IS A SERIOUS DOLLY. WE

BROUGHT OUR LITTLE BABY

DOLLIES.

SO FOOD GETS DONATED TO MEND,

AND THEN THEY DISTRIBUTE IT TO

THE COMMUNITY.

MAN: I BROUGHT TWO PALLETS OF

WATER, UM, 12 BOXES OF PEARS,

12 BOXES OF ORANGES.

EMILY: SWEET

MAN: AND THEN A WHOLE

PALLET OF CHIPS.

EMILY: THAT'S PERFECT THANK YOU.

SO I TOOK THOSE IDEAS OF WHAT

THEY'RE GETTING. SO A LOT OF IT

IS SHELF STABLE BECAUSE PEOPLE

ARE ON THE MOVE, AND SO WE'VE

CREATED THESE LUNCH PACKS THAT

ARE GRANOLA BARS, FRESH FRUIT,

CHIPS, NUTS, DRIED FRUIT, AND

HAVE ASSEMBLED THOSE INTO THESE

LUNCH PACKS.

ASUKA: EMILY MARCHAND HAS A

MISSION IN HER PROJECT, WHERE

SHE'S ASKING PEOPLE TO GET

INVOLVED IN SIMPLE WAYS, AND

THROUGH THAT EXPERIENCE ONE CAN

DUPLICATE IT AND THEN CREATE

MORE IMPACT.

[LAUGHTER]

[INDISTINCT CHATTER]

I DIDN'T EXPECT EVERYONE TO

FINISH SO FAST. YEAH, I DIDN'T

EXPECT US ALL TO BLAZE THROUGH

1,000 LUNCHES..

WOMAN: SO YOU GUYS

DID 1,000 LUNCHES?

EMILY: YEAH, MINUS A

FEW BAGS THAT BROKE

WOMAN: 1,000 LUNCHES

IN UNDER AN HOUR?

EMILY: YEAH.

WOMAN: WHAT?!

EMILY: IT'S A VERY EFFICIENT

CREW HERE.

ONE OF MY GOALS WAS TO

BRING DIFFERENT PRIVATE AND

PUBLIC ORGANIZATIONS TOGETHER

TO SEE HOW THEY CAN OVERLAP IN

THE FUTURE, AND TO DO THAT

THROUGH ART IS PRETTY EXCITING.

DANIELLE: SO HOW DID YOU TWO

GET CONNECTED, THOUGH? DID YOU

APPROACH MEND?

JANET: THAT WAS MONICA

RODRIGUEZ'S OFFICE, WASN'T IT?

EMILY: YEAH, YEAH.

DANIELLE: SO THE COUNCILWOMAN

ACTUALLY CONNECTED YOU.

EMILY: ONCE I CAME UP TO

PACOIMA AND, YOU KNOW, I

LEARNED A LOT ABOUT THE

COMMUNITY UP HERE, AND

THERE'S A LOT OF NEED,

BUT THERE'S A LOT OF THINGS

GOING ON.

JANET: MEND RECOVERED LAST YEAR

IN 2018 3.5 MILLION POUNDS OF

FOOD, WE DISTRIBUTED

2.6 MILLION POUNDS, NOT ONLY AT

MEND BUT THROUGH A LOT OF OTHER

PARTNERS IN THE COMMUNITY.

DANIELLE: HOW MANY PEOPLE?

JANET: 100 TO 150 COME EVERY

TUESDAY, AND IT'S GENERALLY

OFTEN THE SAME GROUP.

DANIELLE: WELL, IT ALSO GOES

BACK TO YOUR WORK. I MEAN, YOUR

WORK IS ABOUT STITCHING AND

KNITTING TOGETHER. IT IS ABOUT

KIND OF SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES.

SO MANY ARTISTS COME INTO THE

WORLD THINKING THAT SO MUCH OF

THEIR WORK IS ABOUT REFLECTING

A MIRROR, AND I THINK WHAT'S

REALLY INTERESTING IN TODAY'S

KIND OF CONTEMPORARY ART,

SOCIAL PRACTICE REALM IS THAT

THERE REALLY IS THIS COMMITMENT

TO ENGAGING COMMUNITY PRACTICE

BUT FROM A VERY CONCEPTUAL

AND DEEPLY RIGOROUS PRACTICE.

EMILY: YEAH.

I WAS TRYING TO NOT JUST BUILD

A SCULPTURE IN A PARK. I WAS

TRYING TO CHALLENGE MYSELF TO

UNITE MY SCULPTURE AND TEXTILE

PRACTICE WITH THE COMMUNITY

ENGAGEMENT THAT I ALREADY DO,

AND SO BY CREATING THIS TEXTILE

AND DOING THESE LUNCHES, I FEEL

LIKE WE'RE BRINGING THE

COMMUNITY TOGETHER TO LEARN HOW

TO DO THIS IN SMALLER VERSIONS

BACK IN THEIR OWN

NEIGHBORHOODS. ONE OF THE

THINGS THAT OFTEN HAPPENS IS

PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE HOW EASY IT

IS TO ORGANIZE, AND SO

I'M TRYING TO SHOW HOW

SIMPLE IT IS TO GATHER

RESOURCES AND PITCH IN.

ASUKA: AND THAT PARTICIPATION

IS INCREDIBLE BECAUSE WE'RE

TALKING ABOUT THE QUILT OF

SOCIETY AND WHO MAKES UP OUR

CITY. THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE

SECURITY IN FOOD AND PEOPLE WHO

DON'T, AND EMILY IS BRINGING

THAT TO THE FRONT OF MIND IN

A BEAUTIFUL WAY.

EMILY'S PROJECT IS NOT JUST

SYMBOLIC. IT ACTUALLY TOOK

ACTION AND TOOK ACTION BY

MAKING NOT JUST A FEW LUNCHES

BUT 1,000 LUNCHES, AND THOSE

LUNCHES WERE IMMEDIATELY

DELIVERED TO THE HOMELESS

COMMUNITY.

[INDISTINCT CHATTER]

JANET: MEND HAS BEEN SERVING

THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY SINCE

THE EARLY 1970s, AND WE NOW

LIVE IN A 40,000-SQUARE-FOOT

BUILDING, SERVING OVER 10,000

PEOPLE DIRECTLY EVERY YEAR.

TODAY, THEY GOT TO BE THE

BENEFICIARIES OF THE 1,000

LUNCHES. THOSE 1,000 LUNCHES

ARE GOING TO GO TO THE 100-150

CLIENTS WHO COME THROUGH OUR

DOORS EVERY TUESDAY, AND THEN

ALSO THEY'LL BE DISTRIBUTED TO

OUR OUTREACH PARTNERS FROM THE

ANTELOPE VALLEY ALL THE WAY

DOWN TO SOUTH L.A.

[PERCUSSION PLAYING]

MAN: HOMELESS TENTS IN THE

SHADOWS OF TALL BUILDINGS.

HONEST LABOR TRAPPED IN A BOX

OF LITTLE ADVANCE. THOSE ONCE

BRANDED ON BUTTOCKS AND BACKS

NOW BRANDED ON MINDS BLINDLY

SEEKING BRANDS. NEW

PLANTATIONS, YOU DIG? DIGITAL

CHAINS. A MULTITUDE OF VOICES

UNITED TO RISE UP AND CHALLENGE

A SMALL PERCENT CLAIMING

OWNERSHIP OF MAMA EARTH AND HER

RESOURCES. COUNTLESS JACK AND

THE BEANSTALKS CONFRONTING THE

GIANT. THE MAGIC SEEDS WITHIN, A

MOVEMENT UPWARD PUSHED AND

PULLED UPWARD BY ANCESTORS.

CALLUSES AND SWEAT AND

PRAYERS, THE ENCHANTED

SERVER POSITIONED TO SERVE

THEMSELVES, AND

THEY SAID, "PULL

YOURSELF UP BY YOUR BOOTSTRAPS,"

WHEN WE HAD NO BOOTS.

NARI: ANY COMMUNITY IS VERY

COMPLICATED, AND I THINK ONE OF

THE THINGS THAT I REALIZE THAT

WITHIN LEIMERT PARK THERE ARE

THE PEOPLE WHO I CALL THE

FOLKS, WHO ARE THERE ALL THE

TIME, AND THEY FEEL A SENSE OF

OWNERSHIP TOWARDS THE PARK, AND

THEN THERE ARE THE BUSINESS

OWNERS WHO ARE IN THE

NEIGHBORHOOD, AND THEY FEEL A

CERTAIN SENSE OF OWNERSHIP

TOWARDS THE PARK, AND THEN

THERE ARE THE HOMEOWNERS, AND

SO THEY'RE NOT ALL THE SAME.

THERE'S VERY DIFFERENT

EXPECTATIONS AND, I THINK, ALSO,

UM, REGARD FOR WHAT THAT SPACE

MIGHT MEAN. SO IT'S RICH BECAUSE

THEY ALL COME TOGETHER IN

THAT SPACE, BUT THEY ALL HAVE

CONFLICTING NOTIONS OF WHAT

PROGRESS MIGHT MEAN FOR THE PARK

AND FOR ITS HISTORY. SO FOR

ME, IT WAS NAVIGATING THAT AND

KEEPING MY EGO IN CHECK TO MAKE

SURE THAT EVERYBODY GETS HEARD

AND JUST FIGURE OUT HOW TO BE AS

INCLUSIVE AS POSSIBLE IN THE

CONTENT AND CONCEPT OF THE

PIECE. THAT'S WHY IT GOES FROM

BEING VERY MUCH ABOUT SURVIVAL

FOR JUST FOOD TRUCK VENDORS

TO MAKE A LIVING TO KIND OF

POETICS OF THE FAIRYTALE

AND THE ABSURD WITHIN A

KIND OF ARTISTIC MILIEU.

KAMAU: THE MESSAGES THAT BABIES

CARRY INTO THE WORLD THAT WE

CANNOT DECIPHER, THE HIDDEN

BURIAL GROUND OF BIRDS AND ANTS

AND THE CONDUCTOR OF THE

OCEAN'S WAVES HIDDEN BATON, THE

FERTILE SOIL UNDERNEATH THE

FINGERTIPS OF HOMELESS FEMALE

SAINTS, THE APPLAUSE OF ANGELS

WHEN THE RAIN STARTS, THE BRAIN

CELLS MURDERED BY CELL PHONES,

FALSE MASTERS AND TRUE MASTERS

AT A TABLE SIT UP AT THE

CROSSROADS CONVERSE IN THE

LANGUAGE OF FRIED FISH FROM FOOD

TRUCKS IN LEIMERT PARK. THE

CANVAS IS STRETCHED ETERNALLY IN

ALL DIRECTIONS. THE CLAY OF THE

EARTH AT HAND TAKE THE FORM OF

THE WIND AND MAKE AN INSTRUMENT

THAT SPEAKS IN UNIVERSAL

TONGUES ABOUT THE WEALTH OF OUR

LAUGHTER. HERE IN THIS ROOM OF

MASTERS MEDITATING ON LOVE.

ASUKA: WHILE MAX AND JULIO TOOK

ON THE COMPLEX AND INTRIGUING

IDEAS OF MIGRATION AND THE

FUTURE THROUGH THE LENS OF

FOOD, THEY REALLY DREW FROM THE

SURROUNDING COMMUNITY AND

PULLED FROM THE VOICES OF THE

MANY PEOPLE ACROSS LOS ANGELES

TO SHAPE THEIR IDEAS OF HOW TO

EMPHASIZE TOGETHER,

COLLECTIVELY OUR VARIED

EXPERIENCES AS ANGELINOS SO

THAT EVERYONE CAN SHARE

KNOWLEDGE AND PREPARE THIS

INCREDIBLE MEAL ABOUT THE FUTURE

AND BE PREPARED FOR WHAT

MIGHT BE AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE.

MAX: WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT THE

FUTURE, IT'S EASY TO GO

DIRECTLY TO TECHNOLOGY, AND I

THINK AS HUMANS, WE HAVE A

HANDLE ON TECHNOLOGY. WE'RE

GOOD AT IT. WHAT WE DON'T HAVE

A HANDLE ON IS THE MORAL AND

ETHICAL AND BASICALLY HOW WE

RELATE TO EACH OTHER WITH THAT

POWERFUL TOOL, AND SO THAT'S

WHAT WE'RE LOOKING AT HERE IS

GOING BACK TO HOW DO WE RECOVER

FROM A REALLY HORRIBLE PAST AND

HOW CAN WE HEAL? AND WHAT DOES

THAT LOOK LIKE? IS IT POSSIBLE?

HOW LONG IS IT GONNA TAKE? HOW

MANY GENERATIONS? THAT'S WHERE

WE ARE LOOKING AT A NEW SHORE.

JULIO: WE'RE STANDING IN AN

AREA THAT REALLY HAS A RICH

HISTORY, AND SO WE WANTED TO GO

BACK TO REALLY THE BOOK AND

EXPLORE THIS TWO SHORES, THE

IDEA OF THE TWO SHORES AND

BEING FROM TWO CULTURES AT

ONCE. THE CONCLUSION IS THAT WE

CAN'T GET TO THE FUTURE UNTIL

WE DEAL WITH OUR PAST. BEFORE

THIS WAS BARNSDALL PARK, THIS

WAS AN OLIVE GROVE. BEFORE THAT

WAS AN OLIVE GROVE, IT WAS

MEXICO. BEFORE IT WAS MEXICO,

IT WAS FOUNDING

INDIGENOUS HERE, AND SO

ESSENTIALLY WE THOUGHT,

"WELL, WE SHOULD

WORK TOWARDS THE FUTURE

BUT WITH OUR

THOUGHTS IN THE PAST."

MAX: SO WE WENT BACK TO THE

FIRST PEOPLE OF THIS LAND. IN

THIS CASE, IT'S THE TONGVA, AND

THAT'S WHY WE'RE FOCUSING ON

ALL THE INDIGENOUS INGREDIENTS,

AND WE ALSO HAVE INVITED

INDIGENOUS SPEAKERS AND

MUSICIANS TO PERFORM TONIGHT.

[WOMAN SPEAKING INDIGENOUS

LANGUAGE]

KELLY: SAID HELLO. I'M VERY

HAPPY THAT YOU ARE HERE. MY NAME

IS KELLY. I AM TONGVA. I AM AN

ORIGINAL PERSON OF THIS LAND,

THE LOS ANGELES BASIN. TO

ACKNOWLEDGE THE TONGVA PEOPLE,

THE ORIGINAL PEOPLE OF THIS

LAND IS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT

NOT ONLY TODAY BUT IN MOVING

FORWARD IN A FUTURE THAT HONORS

THE LAND, THE ONE EARTH THAT WE

HAVE, THE ONE THING THAT WE

CANNOT GET BACK ONCE WE DRIVE

IT TO ITS DEATH.

JULIO: ONE OF THE THINGS THAT

WHEN WE'RE TALKING TO ONE OF

THE PARTICIPANTS--DANIEL

FRENCH--HE MENTIONED, "WELL,

YOU KNOW, THE FUTURE IS ALSO

ABOUT LAND, WHO HAS LAND, WHO

HAS ACCESS TO WATER, WHO HAS

ACCESS TO THESE ITEMS THAT

BASICALLY MAKE IT A DESERT

ISLAND OR IT MAKES IT

SUSTAINABLE FOR EVERYONE?"

DANIEL: AS WE THINK ABOUT HOW

WE'VE MIGRATED WHEREVER WE'RE

FROM, AS WE THINK ABOUT FOOD

AND HOW WE ARE RELATED TO THE

LAND, I WANTED TO SHARE THIS

SONG IN KANIEN'KEHA, IN MOHAWK,

AND WHAT IT SAYS IS...

[SPEAKS KANIEN'KEHA]

IT SAYS THAT WE LOVE OUR

LANGUAGE AND OUR CULTURE, AND

IT IS SO PRECIOUS. WE'RE ALL

CARRYING OUR ANCESTORS WITH US,

WE'RE ALL HOME. WHEREVER YOU

ARE, WHEREVER YOU'RE FROM, IT'S

HERE, AND YOUR ANCESTORS ARE

HERE. THEY'RE ALL KICKING IT

RIGHT NOW, EATING FOOD

TOGETHER, SO IF YOU DON'T SPEAK

MOHAWK, THAT'S DOPE. I'M STILL

LEARNING IT, BUT THINK ABOUT

WHERE YOU COME FROM AND HOW

YOUR PAST AND THAT STORY THAT

YOU TELL ABOUT THAT PAST IS

GOING TO IMPACT THE FUTURE THAT

YOU SET IN MOTION, AND THAT'S

HOW IT IS. SO HERE IT GOES.

RAUL: THERE IS CERTAIN ELEMENTS

OF WHO WE ARE AS HUMAN BEINGS

THAT CONNECTS US TO ONE ANOTHER

BECAUSE THEY'RE ABSOLUTELY

INTRINSICAL TO OUR INSTINCTS OF

SURVIVAL. FROM HOUSING TO

PROTECTION TO THE WAY THAT WE

EAT, TO THE WAY THAT WE RELATE

TO EACH OTHER AND WE SPEAK, AND

FOOD IS ONE OF THOSE ELEMENTS

THAT PUT THOSE THINGS TOGETHER,

NO? IT'S NOT ONLY SOMETHING

THAT SUSTAIN US, IT'S SOMETHING

THAT CONNECTS US.

[DANIEL SINGING "THIS LAND IS

YOUR LAND" IN KANIEN'KEHA]

RAUL: IF WE UNDERSTAND THROUGH

THE RECIPES AND INTEGRAL

CONNECTION THAT WE CAN HAVE,

YOU KNOW, LIKE THESE COGNITIVE

BRIDGES IN BETWEEN MEMORY AND

WHAT WE IMAGINE BECAUSE IT'S

NOT WHAT WE'RE EATING. IT'S HOW

WE'RE EATING, WHOM WE'RE EATING

WITH, WHEN WE'RE EATING, WHAT

WE'RE EATING BECAUSE WITH THAT,

YOU CONSTRUCT PROGRAM, AND WITH

PROGRAM, YOU CONSTRUCT FROM

ECONOMY TO PUBLIC POLICIES.

IT'S A WAY TO ENVISION THE WAY

THAT WE BUILD OUR ENVIRONMENTS.

SO IN ESSENCE, IT'S A WAY OF

UNDERSTANDING WHERE WE

COME FROM, WHERE WE ARE

RIGHT NOW, BUT REIMAGINING

WHERE WE WANT TO BE.

[SINGING CONTINUES]

[APPLAUSE]

DANIEL: HA HA!

WOMAN: AND NOW PLEASE PUT YOUR

PALMS TOGETHER FOR FOOD GROUP'S

FIRST EVER WHOLE FOOD, THE OJAI

PIXIE!

[SYNTHESIZER PLAYING]

FOOD GROUP: ♪ OJAI PIXIE GUY

OJAI PIXIE GUY

OJAI PIXIE LADY

OJAI PIXIE LADY ♪

ANNOUNCER: FUNDING FOR

"CURRENT:LA FOOD" WAS MADE

POSSIBLE BY THE CITY OF LOS

ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL

AFFAIRS. "ARTBOUND" IS MADE

POSSIBLE IN PART BY: THE CITY

OF LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF

CULTURAL AFFAIRS; THE

LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF

ARTS AND CULTURE; AN AWARD FROM

THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE

ARTS, ON THE WEB AT ARTS.GOV;

AND THE CALIFORNIA ARTS COUNCIL.

STREAM ARTBOUND ON

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