Heathware being stamped | Still from "Heath Ceramics: The Making of a California Classic" ABs10

Machine Project Field Guide to L.A. Architecture: The HafoSafo Chorus and the Sunset Foot Clinic Sign Online

As part of the Getty initiative Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A., Machine Project asked artists to take on the whole environment of Los Angeles and create performances shot on video and edited into short experimental films in response to notable architectural sites throughout the city.

I was not the first to discover the quirky Happy Foot/Sad Foot sign just a few blocks down Sunset from Machine Project. My friend Kevin lives in Echo Park and explained to me the sign's supposed predictive powers. Locals say when you drive by, the side you see first, happy or sad, will predict the fate of your day.

I was enamored with a lot of the sites that I found when researching "The Machine Project Field Guide to L.A. Architecture," and while I matched most of them up with other artists, I kept the Happy Foot/Sad Foot sign in my back pocket for a potential project of my own.

Behind the scenes at Machine, all the staff are artists too. Grant writers are directing plays, video editors are singing folk songs, and even the bookkeeper is working on new sculptures. The project manager in me knew a web-based project would give me the luxury of working without, permits, insurance, or the site owner's consent. But we also wanted to activate the site, in line with the rest of the Field Guide performances. So I invited our Programs Manager Jessica Cowley to lead a singalong on the street underneath the spinning sign in conjunction with the launch of the website.

I sat down with Jessica after the singalong and website launch to talk about our mutual love of vernacular signage, collective memory, and the catharsis of singing together.

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Masters of Modern Design: The Art of the Japanese American Experience

From the iconic typeface of “The Godfather” book cover to Herman Miller’s Noguchi table, the influence of Japanese American artists and designers in postwar American art and design is unparalleled. While this second generation of Japanese American artists have been celebrated in various publications and exhibitions with their iconic work, less-discussed is how the World War II incarceration — a period of intense discrimination and hardship — has also had a powerful effect on the lives of artists such as Ruth Asawa, George Nakashima, Isamu Noguchi, S. Neil Fujita and Gyo Obata.

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Heath Ceramics: The Making of a California Classic

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Día de Los Muertos / Day of the Dead

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The charming, unusual and at times polarizing Jeffrey Deitch left Los Angeles in 2013 after a tumultuous run as the director of MOCA ending in his resignation. He makes his return with a new gallery opening with the first LA exhibit of renowned Chinese artist and activist, Ai Weiwei. A behind-the-scenes look at the contemporary art world through the eyes of a legendary art dealer and curator.

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