|This week I’m starting off with a source of interstellar online beauty, riding through space with a bountiful of links and landing in heartfelt nostalgia. I let this one get away from me without too much intellectual or ambitious rigor that I often quickly aspire but that burns me out if I don’t proceed with caution. |
Enjoy and please share.
WHO WE’RE WATCHING
I’m in love with Maria Popova’s blog Brain Pickings.
When she writes about a children’s book with a title like THIS, I swoon. Then pair it with fascinating insights from Bruce Lee’s own diaries before his unexpected passing and this ode to Stephen Hawking by the poet Marie Howe that had me re-watching her performance in awe. Their posts are beautifully composed and colorful. I spent hours reading Brain Pickings this last week and weekend. I imagine more of my own writing on this will come, but I couldn’t resist sharing her work straight away!
Thank you to my friend Ed Woodham who got me on to Maria’s awesome blog and writings.
WHAT WE’RE MAKING
The week before last, a sculpture’s crate showed up at an artist studio in Palm Desert the same week I was visiting friends there. This last week, a curator I haven’t spoken to in months called out of the blue from Los Angeles while I was coming through for two days. There are no coincidences and I’m grateful for every moment I get to spend in the land we call California.
The curator I mentioned called to tell me that an artist’s project I was managing at the newly planned Ram’s Stadium (I hear that it’s a football arena…) was restarting! Days later I was walking the stadium grounds with her discussing installation logistics. And a few exciting things came to light.
First off, we quickly came across a lawn of falcons congregating on hooped perches. I found out that the stadium hires falconers for weekly fly throughs and I was lucky enough to see them up close and personal! This necessitated some background video research. And to my surprise, I’ve learned that to become a falconer requires two years apprenticeship in the US and carrying a license.
The stadium, designed by HKS architects in Dallas, is truly impressive and the grounds are not like any stadium I’ve seen before. The landscaping is a crowning achievement of the woman led landscape architecture firm, Studio-MLA. The Director of Art and Design for UAP NY, Jamie Perrow, and I were able to meet with the founding partner Mia Lehrer earlier in the year and she’s a wonderful force to be reckoned with. She also collaborated with my previous firm, OMA, on a beautiful parkscape in Southern California.
SoFi Stadium is in fact a massive mixed-use development with a man-made lake and park to support the surrounding neighborhood. It’s actually bigger than Disneyland. We will not take the time here to get into the politics of how the stadium and new development were sited, but I’d encourage you to take a moment to learn it’s background too.
The pandemic has caused a pause to parts of the stadium development’s construction. Yet our curators have been able to push forward a small group of large-scale public art projects on the grounds; one of which I’m helping to realize. The artist is incredibly sensitive to the natural siting around the stadium and the artwork is ethereal while being made of dense cast materials. I’m looking forward to showcasing the artist here later in 2021.
In the meantime, I was reminded of one of my heroes, Agnes Denes, while taking photos for the upcoming installation. The large stadium development in the background of the newly constructed artificial lake, was strangely reminiscent of Denes’ “Wheatfield-A Confrontation” in Battery Park NYC near the WTC in 1982. If you don’t see it, or even better if you do, send me a response and let’s discuss.
HOW WE’RE FEELING
I’m going to miss seeing my friends as much as I can now. I’m going to miss the easiness of outdoor park get-togethers and already miss beaching on the weekends.
Saturday a friend of ours had a group come together on their rooftop and I felt like I loved it more than usual knowing that it would soon be gone. There was a fire pit, wings, puppy off-leash and dancing under a water tower with half of us in costume and the other half in fashion like only NYC does with unapologetic pride. It was a great night and I’m grateful to have my crew.
That night was bitter sweet but mostly sweet cause we know how to have a good time even with an ominous cold front approaching. Cases are rising and we’re all looking ahead at the winter with above all else, preparation. Thankfully when you do preparation well, it means a good ass time with those you care about.