All posts filed under: LA

VIDEO PROJECT: “Database as Artistic Form”

“Database as Artistic Form” is a video project that I completed this past spring for an interactive media course at USC. The project was inspired by Lev Manovich’s essay “Database as Cultural Form” and city symphonies of the 1920s such as Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera (1929) and Manhatta (Paul Strand & Charles Sheeler, 1921). For the project I created a database of video and sound clips which I then edited together by running three Java programs to determine the order and length of each clip. In his 1999 essay, “Database as Symbolic Form,” Lev Manovich argues that Man with a Movie Camera is possibly the clearest example of database filmmaking. He points specifically to a scene where Elizaveta Svilova, Vertov’s wife and the editor of the film, is seen examining and organizing strips of celluloid. In this especially self-reflexive moment, Svilova is essentially working with a material database. For my video project I was interested in a digitally mediated take on Svilova’s database, where I would compile a catalogue of sound and video clips, which would …

A Letter to Los Angeles

Dear Los Angeles, I’ve been living in your expansive, complex, beautiful sprawl for over a year now, and it’s been quite a wild ride thus far. In some ways you’ve met my expectations, but in total, this relationship has grown and evolved in ways I could have never imagined. I came here worried I’d hate driving alongside “California drivers,” as some Arizonans derogatorily refer to maniacs who cut you off and zip by smugly. Worse than that, I was worried that I couldn’t drive your streets; I thought that maybe the freeways would be so fast and frightening that I simply wouldn’t have it in me to get behind the wheel. I fretted about this for months before moving, but within a day of driving your crowded streets, I realized that I’m rarely moving fast. And surprisingly, I’m becoming a “California driver” myself. Many Californians (though definitely not all) drive smart, aggressively, and prepared to slam on their breaks or move out of the way at any given moment. Despite the often unbearable traffic, I somehow enjoy driving here. I’ve learned that you’re nothing like the way …

Visiting Farm Sanctuary

Farm Sanctuary is a non-profit that is devoted to protecting farm animals from cruelty, while also working to inspire people to make choices that are more compassionate and sustainable by promoting a vegan lifestyle. Farm Sanctuary is the country’s largest animal rescue and protection organization, with sanctuaries in Watkins Glen, NY, Northern California, and the Los Angeles area. And thanks to Tracey and Jon Stewart, Farm Sanctuary will soon be opening a fourth location in New Jersey. This past weekend I visited the Los Angeles sanctuary (located in Acton, CA) for the second time, and captured photos of some of the gentle creatures that are lucky enough to act as ambassadors for the 9 billion farm animals that die each year in the U.S. alone. If you are in the upstate New York area, or Northern or Southern California, be sure to visit a sanctuary and get to know these unique, kind, and beautiful animals.  

Video of the Day: Exploring Sunset Boulevard

Though I’ve only lived in Los Angeles for a little less than a year, I feel as though I have discovered so much. Living in LA and learning more about the city each and every day has fueled my desire to explore and make new things; there’s a creative energy here that’s electric. For those who have never been to Los Angeles, you may envision the Kardashians driving through Beverly Hills, trendy tech guys sipping on lattes, and fashion bloggers doing photo shoots in front of some cool building – or maybe you imagine traffic, smog, and an income disparity that is excruciatingly palpable. But beyond the glitz, glam, and grit, there’s so much more to Los Angeles. So much, in fact, that I’ve just barely begun to peel back the layers. There’s something for nearly everyone in LA: culture, music, food, art, movies, academia, activism, ocean, mountains, architecture…the list goes on and on. And of course, there’s the spectacular weather! But despite everything I love about Los Angeles, I know that this city has a rich, complicated, and sometimes troubling history, and I’m eager to learn more. There is no …

AFI FEST ’15: A Week of Films, Filmmakers, and Fun

This year marks my first time attending AFI Fest, and my experience was truly one to remember. Festival passes start at $375, but my class schedule only allowed for me to attend a few screenings, so I took advantage of the fest’s free tickets (yes, free!). This year I attended the premiere of By the Sea, with an introduction by Angelina Jolie-Pitt, Mustang with both an introduction and Q & A with the film’s director, Deniz Gamze Ergüven, and ensemble cast, and Youth, followed by a conversation with Michael Caine and director Paolo Sorrentino. I had plans to see The Lobster, which looks bizarrely entertaining, but unfortunately had to miss it due to schedule conflicts. After as much fun as I had this year, I plan on attending AFI Fest for as long as I’m living in Los Angeles – it’s a festival that all film lovers should experience at least once! What I found so refreshing about AFI Fest can be summed up in their mission statement: AFI Fest is “American Film Institute’s annual celebration of international cinema from modern masters and emerging filmmakers. ” In her introduction of Mustang, festival director …

Ride With Me – My Essentials For Driving in Los Angeles

As you know, or could easily imagine, commuting in Los Angeles can be a frustrating task at times. As a recent transplant from a city where nearly everyone is overly cautious and drives too slow, I’ve found that the general aggression Angelenos have behind the wheel suits me well. That being said, bumper-to-bumper stop-and-go traffic isn’t a blast for anyone involved, but it can be fun if you have on good music and are willing to unabashedly dance in your car. I was inspired by Turo and their Los Angeles car rental team, a non-traditional car rental community, similar to Lyft and Airbnb, to share some of my driving essentials. I hopped on the opportunity because I enjoy supporting businesses that are based on community values and sustainability. Here are some of my driving necessities, for when running a few errands turns into a day long adventure: 1. Sunscreen: Sun protection is a serious matter, particularly when you live in a city where the sun shines often and the weather calls for rolled down windows. I recommend Alba Botanica sunscreen, which is cruelty free and never disappoints. 2. Protein …

Yes, I Want to Share Another LA Video

This may be the fourth or fifth time I’ve shared a similar video – one that features swooping images of Los Angeles’ beautiful skyline and an impressive array of street art – but I must share this one, because it’s just that good. Simply titled Los Angeles, Ian Wood’s newest video comes as a city-wide follow-up to his previous downtown exploration. As someone who fell in love with Los Angeles and decided to make the move here recently, I’m struck by how much of this city I have left to explore. As evidenced by the range of stunning shots that are stitched together perfectly, this sprawling metropolis is wildly diverse in so many ways. From culture, to architecture and nature, Los Angeles seems to have something for everyone. The experience of watching Los Angeles is so much fun that I find myself enthusiastically bouncing around to the music with every new viewing. Each shot is a sight to behold, and the soundtrack exquisitely compliments the varied imagery. So watch the video and let me know what you think! And if you’re interested, check out this map that highlights all of the shooting locations.

Summer of Independence

The summer I attended the Cannes Film Festival and spent three weeks in Italy was definitely the best of my life, but this one turned out to be pretty interesting too. I didn’t see Brad Pitt, and I didn’t climb to the top of a castle from the 10th century, but I did learn a lot about myself. These past few months were all about settling in to a new city and experiencing as much as possible before starting graduate school. I had a lot of fun, and I feel like I’ve definitely grown up a bit. As I get older, I find that what’s most difficult is that I’m constantly learning and adapting my world view, and sometimes, it’s hard to keep up. This summer I worked at a store in Beverly Hills, went to my first improv show, attended a Hollywood premiere, rode the subway, volunteered at a film festival, interned at a film festival, roamed the streets of downtown Los Angeles, rediscovered Disneyland, explored museums, showed my mom the city, visited home, and found myself just a little bit closer to becoming the woman I aspire to …

EXPLORING: MOCA / The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Earlier this week I decided to check out The Museum of Contemporary Art on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles because I knew I was running out of time to see Kahlil Joseph’s video exhibit, ‘Double Consciousness’. I’ve been a fan of Kahlil Joseph for a few years now, with my introduction to his work being the stunning music video for Flying Lotus’ ‘Until the Quiet Comes’. I’ve watched Until the Quiet Comes maybe 50+ times and it still moves me with each new viewing. He is, without a doubt, my favorite short filmmaker. His work is so stunning, so emotional, so impactful, that I honestly can’t put into words exactly how it makes me feel. Double Consciousness features Kahlil Joseph’s m.A.A.d, a double screen projection accompanied by the music of the equally as talented artist/rapper/visionary, Kendrick Lamar. Below are a few images from my visit. If you are in the Los Angeles area, be sure to check out Kahlil Joseph: Double Consciousness before it ends on August 16th.

My Month Working in Beverly Hills

Oh Beverly Hills. So posh. So beautiful. So vapid. Believe it or not, I’m an enormous fan of Bravo’s reality series, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I’m guilty of indulging in a little mindless entertainment and RHOBH does the trick. What can I say? It can be fun to watch an hour of rich people doing rich people stuff, and it’s also humbling to see that money doesn’t buy happiness. We all have issues, whether we can afford a Bentley or not. But my enjoyment of Beverly Hills does not extend beyond the television screen. About two weeks after moving to Los Angeles I was offered a job somewhere small and cute and just off Rodeo Drive. After only four weeks of working there, I came to terms with the fact that the job wasn’t the right fit for me. But as is the case with all things in life, the experience certainly wasn’t a waste. I met some wonderful women, discovered what I was and wasn’t willing to accept in a working environment, and realized that …