Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti argues that with the help of designers like the new graduates, cities will become the generators of solutions to contemporary problems. He stresses that the real work of SCI-Arc graduates will be with rich, human, mash-up cultures, for which actual buildings may serve as punctuation. Garcetti concludes by offering four words of encouragement:
- Be fearless, i.e. dare to dream boldly.
- Be humble, i.e. consider all the ways to powerfully benefit cities that are not ego-driven, or monumental–citing the Ise Grand Shrine and CicLAvia.
- Learn to listen, which combined with boldness and humility makes for a great leader.
- Lead with love–acknowledge that design is about connecting people, for purposes of furthering what Aristotle defined as the purpose of cities: the good life.
Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitzshow a video documenting the Electronic Café (1984), which they describe as a virtual space which functions as a “community information center.” Rabinowitz says “it is probably the most complex of all our projects” for the way it integrated technology, media and people across five different locations in Los Angeles. Galloway expresses their interest in virtual space is to create “teleconferencing terminals” ultimately for desktop use. Galloway and Rabinowitz answer questions from the audience. Galloway calls for a national policy for information and database access. Galloway is asked about ISDN and he replies, “It stinks.” Rabinowitz adds that the companies offering services, such as ISDN are trademarking processes and protocols, not products. Galloway also talks about the lack of “public dividend” from the developments of the defense industry, largely produced from taxpayer money. He also explains his and Rabinowitz’s term, “adventrepreneuring.” He believes in letting the market define the future rather than a company. Another question relates to the viability of telecommunicating video personas. Galloway then describes scenarios with h0lograms.
Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz present their lecture together. Rabinowitz says the theme of their talk is “virtual space,” which they consider a new frontier, and a “new way of being in the world.” They show videotapes which she says could be “considered environmental impact studies” for the digital world. Galloway talks about the term, “systems integrator,” and draws parallels to their work. They show a thirty-minute videotape of their project, Hole in Space (1980), which Rabinowitz describes as a live two-way satellite link between New York and Los Angeles enabling people to meet in a social, virtual space. The video documents the experience of the live event. The next video Galloway and Rabinowitz show is a 1977 satellite technology project demonstrating what they “composite image space” enabling people to share the same virtual space by combining live video images. They also show a video of their project, Aesthetic Research in Tele-Communications (1975-1982). Rabinowitz ties the videos back to architecture stating, “the image is the place and the architecture becomes the image.”
Phil Silberman introduces Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz as “telecommunications artists.” He outlines their teaching at UCLA and Loyola Marymount University. He mentions their projects, Hole in Space, and the Electronic Cafe which was part of the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival. He says they have an interest in “creating at that same level we destroy.”
Graduating M.Arch student Stefano Passeri characterizes Los Angeles as the most productively weird spot for SCI-Arc to inhabit, and describes his educational experience as learning how to change, and learning from each other, in a community where it’s impossible not to share.
A 8.5-minute film by Rebecca Méndez Studio to accompany the exhibit A Confederacy of Heretics, consisting mostly of Coy Howard’s 1979 recitation of Peter Schjeldahl’s poem “To Pico,” accompanied by quotes from the original 1979 Los Angeles Times reviews by John Dreyfuss, manipulated video clips, still photographs and work by exhibit participants Eugene Kupper, Roland Coate Jr, Frederick Fisher, Frank Dimster, Frank O. Gehry, Peter de Bretteville, Studioworks, Morphosis, and Eric Owen Moss. Creative director: Rebecca Méndez; Producer/Writer: Adam Eeuwens; Designer: Pauline Woo.
Peter Zellner begins by thanking the SCI-Arc administration, his SCI-Arc colleagues and students, and his office crew. He presents quick overviews of three different Los Angeles artists–Ed Ruscha, Doug Aitken, Akina Cox–whose work documents and creates taxonomies and categories. He feels this is what his own work, seen as a whole, is doing. Zellner discusses several art galleries he has designed in Chelsea, San Francisco, Culver City, and UC Riverside. He argues that with art galleries circulation is much more important than the plan. Zellner discusses residential projects, including the Martin house in West L.A., the Vielmetter house in Altadena, a speculative project to renovate foreclosed suburban homes, a treehouse, and the HDJ20 house in Tijuana. Zellner discusses some large-scale projects, including the For Your Art World Headquarters at Wilshire and Normandie, over the Metro Red Line. Peter Zellner concludes with a discussion of the genesis and construction of the Matthew Marks Gallery building on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, emphasizing its engagement with the ordinary, and the facade sculpture by Ellsworth Kelly.
Hernan Diaz Alonso reminds the audience that there will be a special lecture by Jeffrey Kipnis lecture the next evening. Eric Owen Moss introduces Peter Eisenman by asking if his aspirations, freedom, and self-invention might mean he is really a Los Angeles architect. In rhymed couplets he praises Eisenman’s dedication to deriving work from what architecture sits on.