Los Angeles, CA

City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Announces Artists’ Projects and Calendar of Events for CURRENT:LA Water

The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) today unveiled details about the artists’ projects to be presented at the fifteen public art sites throughout Los Angeles as part of the inaugural citywide public art biennial, CURRENT:LA Water, taking place from July 16 to August 14, 2016. DCA also unveiled the conCURRENT Calendar of Events with the public programming commissioned and planned at the installations and at various sites across the city during the month-long biennial. The biennial is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies Pubic Art Challenge.

CURRENT:LA Water opens on Saturday, July 16 and kicks off with a combination of public art and family-friendly programming throughout the city along the Los Angeles River and LA’s other waterways. All projects will be installed in open public spaces, and all events are free to attend from July 16 through August 14, 2016.

In June 2015, the City of Los Angeles was selected as one of four cities to receive up to $1 million as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, a new program aimed at supporting temporary public art projects that celebrate creativity, enhance urban identity, encourage public-private partnerships, and drive economic development. LA’s winning project, CURRENT:LA Water, will establish the first Public Art Biennial for the City of Los Angeles. The exhibition is also supported with a match from DCA’s Arts Development Fee (ADF) Program and a $50,000 grant from The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation.

“We created the Public Art Challenge to support innovative temporary public art projects that enhance the vibrancy of cities,” said Patricia E. Harris, CEO of Bloomberg Philanthropies. “Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Department of Cultural Affairs are demonstrating how public art can strengthen neighborhoods, inspire residents, and fuel local economies with the work of talented artists through CURRENT:LA Water.”

The artists and artist teams selected to participate in this inaugural biennial from among 130 considered include: Refik Anadol + Peggy Weil (team); Edgar Arceneaux; Josh Callaghan + Daveed Kapoor (team); Mel Chin; Chris Kallmyer; Candice Lin; Lucky Dragons (Luke Fischbeck + Sarah Rara); Teresa Margolles; Kori Newkirk; Michael Parker; Gala Porras-Kim; Rirkrit Tiravanija; and Kerry Tribe.

Initial curatorial oversight and selection of the artists were provided by artist and curatorial advisor Marc Pally and a committee of esteemed LA-based curators with experience in issue-based public art and biennial presentations. Ongoing curatorial support is provided by the following curators: Ruth Estévez (REDCAT, Roy and Edna Disney / CalArts Theater), Rita Gonzalez (LACMA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art), Karen Moss (Otis College of Art and Design and USC Roski School of Fine Arts and Design), and Irene Tsatsos (Armory Center for the Arts).

The CURRENT:LA Water Public Art Biennial 2016 Artists’ Projects include:

Refik Anadol and Peggy Weil
UnderLA: 1st Street Bridge
Historic 1st Street Bridge, East 1st Street between Santa Fe Avenue and Mission Road, Downtown LA, 90033
14th Council District
UnderLA uses scientific data generated from LA’s aquifers—layers of porous rock capable of holding and transmitting water—to create a site-specific projection for the 1st Street Bridge.
(#underlawater / underlawater.com).
Saturday and Sunday, July 16 and 17, and August 13 and 14, from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m.

Refik Anadol and Peggy Weil
UnderLA: Origin of the LA River
Origin of the LA River, 6883 Owensmouth Avenue, Canoga Park, 91303
3rd Council District
UnderLA uses scientific data generated from LA’s aquifers—a layer of porous rock capable of holding and transmitting water—to create a site-specific projection for the Origin of the LA River.
(#underlawater / underlawater.com).
Saturday and Sunday, July 30 and 31, from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m.

Edgar Arceneaux
Cheviot Hills Recreation Center, 2657 Motor Avenue, West LA, 90064
5th Council District
Edgar Arceneaux appropriates minimal forms often seen in drinking fountains found in public spaces to create a different fountain of sorts. The CENTER of the EARTH draws parallels between the use of altars and water in religious and everyday contexts. As an extension, Arceneaux’s work considers the below-ground transit of water and the above-ground ideologies of the people that regulate it.
Daily from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Artist Q&A on Saturday, July 16, from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.

Josh Callaghan and Daveed Kapoor
South Los Angeles Wetlands Park, 5413 South Avalon Boulevard, South Los Angeles, 90011
9th Council District
Collaborators Josh Callaghan and Daveed Kapoor’s Mothership is a large-scale sculpture comprising a mast, sail, and rigging that rises out of the South LA Wetlands Park’s landscape. The work addresses California’s colonial history and the vestiges of its destructive legacy; in doing so, Mothership occupies a position as both a cultural marker and an architectural feature that provides shade for park visitors.
Daily from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Mel Chin
The TIE that BINDS: the MIRROR of the FUTURE
The Bowtie, 2780 West Casitas Avenue, Glassell Park, 90039
1st Council District
Mel Chin reimagines the 18.6 acres that make up the Bowtie—an area adjacent to the LA River, near where the 5 and 2 freeways meet—with a new landscape of native, drought-tolerant plants. Visitors can take home a newly mapped “parcel” and plant it in their yards or community gardens.
Thursday through Sunday from 5:30 a.m. to Sunset (gates close at 9:00 p.m.).
See Event Calendar for details and visit the-tie-that-binds.org for related programs and events.

Chris Kallmyer
New Weather Station
Norman O. Houston Park, 4918 South La Brea Avenue, Baldwin Hills, 90008
8th Council District
The Los Angeles Department of Weather Modification is a performing group that collaborates with Southern California communities to address weather, water, and the evolution of the arid city. During CURRENT:LA, the group is headquartered at New Weather Station, a 20-foot open-air geodesic dome hosting a series of events featuring LA-based artists, designers, historians, urbanists, chefs, and thinkers exploring the intersection of water and weather modification.
July 31 to August 14, 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Weekend events on July 31, and August 11, 13, and 14. See Event Calendar for details.

Candice Lin
A Hard White Body
Westside Neighborhood Park, 2999 Clyde Avenue, West Adams, 90016
10th Council District
Candice Lin’s sculpture appropriates water filtration and microbe growth to consider how the power of small beings disrupts social hierarchies. By using bacteria found in kombucha as an active collaborator, the sculpture highlights the presence of bacteria in our environment as well as our continued vulnerability and dependence on it in order to live.
Daily from 3:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Artist event on Thursday, August 11.
See Event Calendar for details.

Lucky Dragons
Δ (Delta)
Bee Canyon Park, 17307 Sesnon Boulevard, Granada Hills, 91344
12th Council District
Mimicking the unstable nature of water, Lucky Dragons creates a series of unique performances at Bee Canyon Park in which characters uncover a new set of instructions and resources each weekday afternoon to engage visitors and respond to LA’s water infrastructure.
Monday through Friday, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Lucky Dragons
The Spreading Ground
Hansen Dam, 12272 Osborne Street, Pacoima, 91342
7th Council District
The Spreading Ground is a month-long series of workshops designed for public participation–with the understanding that the denizens of LA are dynamically bound together by water. These workshops culminate in a musical score derived and performed by Lucky Dragons and The Spreading Ground participants.
Saturday, July 23 and 30 evening open rehearsals. Saturday, August 6 and 13 evening performances.
See Event Calendar for details.

Teresa Margolles
La Sombra (The Shade)
Echo Park Lake, 1698 Park Avenue, Echo Park, 90026
13th Council District
With the assistance of volunteers from all over the city, Teresa Margolles washed over 100 public spaces where lives were taken over the course of the past year in LA. Collecting and using the water from each cleaning, Margolles erects a memorial to the victims of that violence. The work also offers an area of respite for visitors to rest, meditate, and reflect at Echo Park.
Daily from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Kori Newkirk
South Weddington Park, 10798 Bluffside Drive, Studio City, 91604
2nd Council District
Working with an American vernacular used in fountains and parks, Kori Newkirk presents a sculpture of horses installed in a trench. The work responds to the drought via exaggerating the concavity of fountains and addresses cultural boundaries present in parks and public places.
Daily from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Artist’s Talk on Monday, July 25 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Michael Parker
The Ides
Point Fermin Park, 739 West Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro, 90731
15th Council District
Michael Parker builds an arch that frames the ocean views of the San Pedro bluff to showcase the drama of Point Fermin, a site engulfed by water, sun, and the Port of LA. The arch, a collaboration with peers and developed through a dialogue between digital and analog processes, reflects the intersection of human engineering as seen in the Port of LA and the natural setting of Point Fermin.
Daily from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Point Fermin Lighthouse Tours Tuesday through Sunday at 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 p.m.

Gala Porras-Kim
Supplement to Ballona Discovery Park Informative Signs
Del Rey Lagoon Park, 6840 Esplanade Street, Playa Del Rey, 90293
11th Council District
Gala Porras-Kim creates signage that tells the story of the Tongva burial ground that is located at the Del Rey Lagoon Park. The work draws attention to the beginnings of the wetlands and the controversial handling of the burial ground, giving viewers an opportunity to learn about a history that has been removed.
Daily from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Rirkrit Tiravanija
Untitled 2016 (LA Water, Water Pavilion)
Sepulveda Basin, 6300 Lake Balboa Hiking Trail, Encino, 91411
6th Council District
An intimate timber-frame structure houses weekly events centered on public interaction with the LA River, its users, and the surrounding urban fabric. In this project, Tiravanija employs architecture to create a juncture between people and place, creating situations that bring us closer to the river.
Daily from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Special weekend events on July 16, 17, 24, and 25 and August 6.
See Event Calendar for details.

Kerry Tribe
Exquisite Corpse
Sunnynook River Park, LA River Bike Path, Atwater Village, 90039
4th Council District
Exquisite Corpse is an open-air nightly screening of a 51-minute film that traces the 51-mile Los Angeles River from its origins in the San Fernando Valley to its terminus at the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, Tribe’s camera captures its varied landscapes, neighborhoods, creatures, and communities through a string of meditative encounters that collectively describe the river at this juncture in its history.
Daily at 8:30 p.m. Pre-screening talks with the Theodore Payne Foundation every Friday at 7:00 p.m.
See Event Calendar for details.

“The CURRENT:LA artists are creating works that elevate the conversation about water, a vital and critical resource to the sustainability of Los Angeles,” said Danielle Brazell, General Manager of the
City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. “Through the CURRENT:LA Public Art Biennial,
artists will inspire change with the thought-provoking, innovative power of public art.”

CURRENT:LA Water Public Programming

The following CURRENT:LA Water public program providers were selected by the CURRENT:LA curatorial team from submissions received in response to a Request for Qualifications:

• Barcid Foundation Native Current Multimedia Workshop
• Bob Dornberger, Misa Lund, Emily Han, Pascal Baduar, and Erica Wohldmann
• Clockshop
• Community Services Unlimited
• Devon Tsuno
• Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR)
• Los Angeles Urban Rangers
• Self Help Graphics and Art
• Teatro Jornalero Sin Fronteras
• UCLA ArtSci
• Women’s Center for Creative Work

Selected presentations from the public programming partners will accompany the temporary art works as presented by the CURRENT:LA artists. Events include: pre-screening conversations; guided wetland and nature tours; printmaking workshops; audio, visual, and cooking performances; foraging adventures; and more. All events take place at CURRENT:LA Water sites and will be free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Check the currentla.org website for regular updates to the conCURRENT Event Calendar.

CURRENT:LA Water was also made possible by support from agencies in the local communities surrounding the sites and from government agencies at the federal, state, county, and city levels including the United States Army Corps of Engineers–Los Angeles District, Los Angeles County Flood Control District, and the multi-jurisdictional LA River Cooperation Committee, as well as the following City of Los Angeles agencies: the Bureau of Engineering; the Department of Recreation and Parks; the Department of Transportation; the Department of Water and Power; LARiverWorks, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s specialized interdepartmental team to accomplish revitalization of the Los Angeles River; and the 13th Council District Office (Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, Chair of the Council’s Arts, Parks, and Los Angeles River Committee).


CURRENT:LA, the City’s new Public Art Biennial initiative, uses contemporary art as a platform to encourage the exchange of ideas and inspire civic discourse about issues affecting Los Angeles and other global cities. Re-adapting the traditional art biennial model, CURRENT:LA uses outdoor public spaces as a venue; presents site-specific, temporary art projects uniquely created for residents and visitors; and provides a range of free and refreshing summertime cultural experiences across LA’s diverse neighborhoods. Developed and produced by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) in partnership with Mayor Eric Garcetti, this first presentation of the Public Art Biennial, CURRENT:LA Water, is funded by DCA and Bloomberg Philanthropies through its Public Art Challenge initiative.

For more information about CURRENT:LA, please visit currentla.org or follow CURRENT:LA on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

About the CURRENT:LA Hub at 3306 Riverside Drive, Los Angeles 90027

The CURRENT:LA Hub is a visitor and volunteer center designed to support and enrich the experience of CURRENT:LA Water. The Hub houses maps and resource materials for the biennial in addition to an artists’ lending library. The space encourages open dialogue and knowledge sharing from diverse interests and perspectives. During the biennial, the Hub hosts free public-engagement events, workshops, film screenings, talks, and panel discussions that serve as catalysts for conversations. The Hub aims to be a generative platform for discussion about the biennial’s theme of water both within and beyond Los Angeles. Parking, food, beverage, WiFi, and other amenities are available at the Hub. The Hub is open Mondays through Fridays, from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays from
9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

For more information about the CURRENT:LA Hub, please visit currentla.org for a schedule of programs, workshops, and events.

About the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA)

As a leading, progressive arts and cultural agency, DCA empowers Los Angeles’ vibrant communities by supporting and providing access to quality visual, literary, musical, performing, and educational arts programming; managing vital cultural centers; preserving historic sites; creating public art; and funding services provided by arts organizations and individual artists.

Formed in 1925, DCA promotes arts and culture as a way to ignite a powerful dialogue, engage LA’s residents and visitors, and ensure LA’s varied cultures are recognized, acknowledged, and experienced. DCA’s mission is to strengthen the quality of life in Los Angeles by stimulating and supporting arts and cultural activities, ensuring public access to the arts for residents and
visitors alike.

DCA advances the social and economic impact of arts and culture through grantmaking, public art, community arts, and strategic marketing and development. DCA creates and supports arts programming, maximizing relationships with other city agencies, artists, and arts and cultural nonprofit organizations to provide excellent service in neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles.

For more information, please visit culturela.org or follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/culturela; Instagram @culture_la; Twitter @culture_la; and Snapchat culture_la.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies

In June 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies selected the City of Los Angeles as one of four cities to receive up to $1 million as part of the Public Art Challenge, a program aimed at supporting temporary public art projects that celebrate creativity, enhance urban identity, encourage public-private partnerships, and drive economic development. Bloomberg Philanthropies has a history of supporting innovative public art projects in cities around the world.

Bloomberg Philanthropies works in over 120 countries to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Public Health, Government Innovation, Environment, Education, and the Arts. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2015 Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed over half a billion dollars.

For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.


Aunny Bathe, aunny@radixcollective.com, 310.367.9543
Rebecca Carriero, rebeccac@bloomberg.org, 212.205.0182

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