Cheers London, Hello LA

My trip to Europe is over, so I’m left to enjoy the rest of summer in California.
Los Angeles has always been criticized for its lack of culture. Our culture is often characterized as ‘horizontal’ as our landscape–flat and shallow.

But I would disagree, with a number of rising artists and artist space dominated the mainstream and urban culture, Los Angeles is quickly becoming a premier city for innovative art culture. Last weekend was the first ‘Dusk till Dawn’ event hosted at Santa Monica Pier. A number of different artist were commissioned to set up light exhibits across the beach. Hosted by KCRW, a number of DJ’s also featured the event.

Although reviews on the events were quite mixed, I was never the less impressed by its ambition. Seeking to bring together all types of Los Angeleisans, publicity for the event targeted a number of public avenues–public radio, trendy cafe’s, local galleries. I’ve never before witness a larger or more diverse gathering of people in any one location in Los Angeles. Literally every walk of life came out, reminded me of the intense diversity that thrives in the City of Angeles.

For the event itself, it sprawled light installations across the dark sandy beach of Santa Monica. Santa Monica has been a beach that used to be the pristine and historic get-a-way for the city of Los Angeles. But because of the increasing pollution popularity of the beach dwindled and shifted more towards the shops and stores on 3rd street. Therefore it seemed fitting for an event which has never been attempted before to simultaneously attempt to ‘re-claim’ the beach as a social and public space, as a space that is alive and vibrant with people gathering and socializing.

Each light exhibit was positioned some distanced away from one another. The sight of hundreds of individuals trekking across the sand, only to gather around the sources of light and art, reminds me of something of a pilgrimage. A pilgrimage of light, sound, and bodies. Although many individuals were disappointed by the lack of activities to do, I never the less found it interesting concept to hold such a large scale–and free–event from dusk till dawn. In a city that has so much light pollution that it always looks like the sun is about to rise, this event calls notice to Los Angeles’ unique urban and artistic culture.

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The lights change as people talk into the microphones spread across the sand.
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