Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Playing It As It L.A.ys

Just back from a visiting artist gig at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena in their Graduate Media Design Program chaired by the best media designer I have ever worked with, Anne Burdick (among other things, Anne is the Design Editor of the electronic book review which I have been publishing for 15 years now).

The students in the Graduate course "New Modes of Reading and Writing" were investigating "the range of issues in the design and production of texts by designing a writing ecology (interface / technology / environment / system) to support a very specific, previously unaddressed (or poorly addressed) need." The students were asked to literally take on a fictional persona who would present a specific social group, institution or individual and their unique communication need (real or imaginary) and the constraints that make current technologies inadequate.

The projects that emerged played with conceptual 3-D picture languages, invisible messaging, and prehistoric remixologies. I was there for their final critiques.

While in L.A., which was awesome, I visited the house I rented in Beverlywood while going to film school at UCLA all those years ago (it's actually up for sale) and caught a couple of killer art shows, including this 30 year retrospective at Geffen's MOCA. It's great to see how SoCal supports their nationally and internationally recognized artists (wish I could say the same thing about the Denver art scene but unfortunately our big show the second half of this year is going to be King Tut).

For those visiting L.A. in the future, as always you need to be prepared to rent a car, and my experience was actually fantastic: the good folks at simplyhybrid.com were waiting for me as soon as I arrived at the airport. They had driven a fully loaded Prius to the airport and literally within ten minutes after arriving I was driving off into GPS-instructed Drive-Thru Land. The price was right and they also met me at the airport upon my departure so that the return took less than five minutes as well.

And for coffee lovers, the top barista in Boulder, Greg at Ozo, who was also in L.A. competing in the U.S. Barista Championships, suggested L.A. Mill which has the best iced coffee I have had (except for Ozo). They also had an organic roast from Bali that is unlike any other coffee I have ever tasted. Great vibe inside the place as well. Runner-up in the cafe experience: Intelligentsia on Sunset Boulevard where I got through another 50 pages of Bolaño.

I'll be back (soon).

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