Interview with Christoph Gielen, Creator of Ciphers: Decoding the Growth Machine


Artist Christoph Gielen has created a work of art that we consider to be both beautiful, terrifying, and hugely important. The book Ciphers: Decoding the Growth Machine collects his photographic aerial studies of infrastructure in its relation to land use in the United States. The fascinatingly abstract images reveal society of immense technological prowess but with little understanding of its own environment, or way humans want or need to live in the 21st century. While his images span the entire country, we were especially struck by his beautiful images of Southern California freeways, as the invoke the complex and problematic relationship we have to our car-obsessed city and culture. We reached Gielen by email to discuss sprawl, his techniques, goals, and equipment, and of course his favorite taco spot…

Your images can appear as abstractions, but in many ways they are the opposite of that as they are specific locations. The developments are”planned” and “cookie-cutter” but also precise places on earth. Have you come to notice distinct regional characteristics?
Variances in neighborhood planning commonly show along socio-economic lines – but less so regionally. Most anywhere, places with sprawl tend to express themselves as clusters of single-use family homes, and always a car-ride dependent distance away from everywhere. Their architectural expression is one of predictable standardization that we’re all familiar with.

Talking about sprawl isn’t new – but I hope my method for addressing it is.

At best, I feel that with Ciphers I can awaken a yearning for an ecological symbiosis between nature, society, and the built form. Discussing this topic is relevant, now – I could point to any number of wake-up calls, but would like to mention the recent rebuilding efforts in the Hurricane Sandy aftermath in particular.


|CH.R.O.M.E.| ENTER THE DARKNESS: Fire to the Prison Industrial Complex



This Saturday at Downtown LA punk space East 7th- art collective CH.R.O.M.E. presents new and neon work in resistance to the prison industrial complex.  Expect anti-authoritarian animated .gifs, black light printed matter, neon FTP installations, horror lighting and a goth DJ.

Saturday 7-11 PM. East 7th Warehouse, 1725 E. 7th St., Los Angeles CA 90021.

CH-R-O-M-E.NET | on Facebook | Press Release

Sideshow Brand Carrier Pigeons ~ Hollywood


Hollywood ~ CA

“Sub Par” Obama Street Art ~ Santa Monica


Santa Monica voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, and his approval rating among Democrats remains high at 82%. That hasn’t stopped one unknown artist in the Santa Monica area from putting up the above posters declaring the President’s job performance (or golf game) to be “SUB PAR”.


Full Moon Party To “Save Chain Reaction” ~ Sunday, Nov 17 ~ Santa Monica

Chain Reaction

Save Chain Reaction ~ Sunday, November 17 ~ Santa Monica


ReVITALize Toothbrush Collective ~ Black Rock Desert ~ Nevada


We assume Burning Man has to have at least one giant disco ball, right?  John Rifkind and Scott London provided the humongous dance-magnet you see before you, a thirteen-foot disco ball made from more than 7,000 toothbrushes, recycled by schoolkids. Rifkind is a founder of the legendary Loud Records, while London helped start Baby Phat and Zoo York, and is also president of Wu-Wear. They started a program to educate kids about sustainability as it pertains to the more than 1,000,000,000 toothbrushes thrown into landfills each year. It’s called ReVITALize Toothbrush Coalition. You can check it out right here and see the orb glow in front of a giant rubber ducky below the jump.


No Compromise ~ Venice

No Compromise

Photo: Tatiana Arbogast

Venice ~ CA

Lloyd’s ~ Santa Monica


Lloyd’s of London ~ Santa Monica


My Favorite Taco ~ Emanuel Pleitez

In our quest to get every L.A. Mayoral candidate on the record about their favorite taco (Eric Garcetti’s answer here), we turn to Emanual Pleitez, who describes himself as a progressive Los Angeles native who is running an unconventional campaign. Get more info on the candidate here. So, Emanuel, what’s your favorite taco?

“1. Mojica Tacos in evenings/late nights off Alhambra Ave and Hollister Ave
2. Carnitas Michoacan off Soto St and Whittier  to sit down late night
3. Hecho en Mexico on Huntington Dr if you’d like to get served
4. Tacos El Gavilan on Washington and Central
5. El Sombrero on Main St just north of Washington
6. And, when I want to accompany tacos with a tamal or torta, then it’s all about Tamale Man and King Torta in El Sereno, respectively

**Above all, though, my mom makes the meanest tacos and burritos in LA.  Join our campaign and you’ll get access to some.  As Mayor of Los Angeles, I will do what I can to increase the amount and quality of tacos available for all Angelenos.”

Democratic Republic ~ Culver City

Lucerne Ave. ~ Culver City ~ CA

Artists’ Tower of Protest ~ West Hollywood

 Artists’ Tower of Protest ~ Sculpture by Mark di Suvero ~ Sunset & Hilldale Ave.