Los Angeles

Art & The Unknown at LAX's SEE CHANGE

View by Kurt Hentschlager.jpeg
In partnership with Freewaves
Freewaves is dedicated to the creative exhibition of the most innovative and culturally relevant independent new media art from around the world.

By Anne Bray

Every year five million people arrive at LAX and five million leave from there. What is passing through those 10 million minds as they transition to and from Los Angeles? The unknown is part of their journey, maybe even its purpose. LAX international arrival area contains four hours of video art, enough for a serious plane delay, a span of time to contemplate life or to feel the anxieties of travel. Which way will you go?

There is a long list of concerns around a flight: time pressures, unheard announcements, delays, weather, finding people, maintaining possessions, security clearance, navigation, plus the emotional upheavals: reunions, break ups, and new encounters. For some, they travel so frequently unease has dissolved into habits and their minds are free to meditate during their passage. Art may be the antidote for both groups: the anxious and the bored.

For everyone, art is the opportunity to broach the unknown, that scary future, the ultimate ending, fear itself, or merely our penultimate priorities. Some of us need prodding, stimulus, or direct questions, while others prefer comfort. Both approaches converge at art. Art rebalances us among our oppositions. It reminds us of misplaced priorities. It helps maintain perspective among those priorities. It reconnects us with fellow alienated inhabitants at the same time as it examines our selves. Together we create collective meaning which art circulates among our human network.

Are these questions what you want to be thinking about at an airport?

Watch this clip from the LAX exhibit to see how some of the 17 artists all ask these questions and the final one: can you distinguish reality from illusion?

The following is a rundown of clips in the See Change exhibit in order of their appearance along with videos more specific questions:

Paul Rowley and David Phillips: "Local Time"
As we switch from analogue to digital, what were we gaining and losing?

Kurt Hentschläger: "View"
Is technology the opposite of nature?

Caspar Stracke: "Cities Out of Cities"
Does it matter which city you are in?

Seoungho Cho: "City of Light"
What is this new landscape of sunlight and artificial light?

Felipe Dulzaides: "Taking Chances"
What if we allow chance to rule?

Louis Hock: "Homeland"
What does "home" make you think of?

Todd Gray and Joseph Santarromana: "Intersect"
How do others greet you?

Chip Lord: "To & From LAX"
Do all airports form one city?

Hilja Keading: "Splash"
What are L.A.'s subconscious images?

Pascual Sisto: "Cumulous"
Is this trash or treasure?

Patty Chang and Noah Klersfeld: "Current"
What happens to our possessions once they head down the conveyor belt?

Ryan Lamb: "Five-Dimensional Parade"
What is the 5th dimension?

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Top Image: "View" | Photo: Kurt Hentschlager

About the Author

Anne Bray has been working at the intersection of public space and media art as a hybrid artist and director of the nonprofit media arts organization, Freewaves (see www.freewaves.org). The creativity of one and the social outreac...
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