Farmlab Public Salon
Evangeline Ordaz-Molina, Jose Delgado, Janet Favela & More
+ Live Mariachi Music
Friday, May 30, 2008
Free Admission

Mariachi Plaza and Hotel: Where the Music Still Lives

About the Salon

On the site of an old Mexican land grant, itinerant Mariachi musicians keep alive the Mexican roots of California, and are the soundtrack of present day Latino Los Angeles.

This salon will feature a discussion of the role geographic place and housing has played in sustaining this important part of Los Angeles history and the urban development that threatens its survival.

In addition to a musical performance by the Mariachis themselves, panelists will include Mariachi music producer and promoter Jose Delgado, and staff of the East LA Community Corporation, an affordable housing developer who is in the process of preserving and renovating the historic Mariachi Hotel as affordable housing and cultural space in an attempt to increase economic development opportunities for the Mariachis

About the Salon Participants

Sergio Mendez is a violin player and member of the group, Mariachi 2000; he lives in Boyle Heights. Jose Delgado is a mariachi music producer and promoter. Evangeline Ordaz-Molina is a co-founder of the East Los Angeles Community Corporation (ELACC). Janet Favela is mariachi organizer at ELACC; Isela Gracian is ELACC's Director of Community Organizing.

More information on participating mariachi musicians TBA soon...

Photos courtesy ELACC; top photo by Miguel Gandert

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Help Wanted

(Los Angeles)
Posted January 15, 2009

If interested in position, then please email us (links are great but please no attachments) to: info [AT] farmlab [DOT] org
Please put "Web+Print" in the subject field. No phone calls, please.

The Metabolic Studio (Farmlab + Chora + AMI) is seeking a collaborator who's into: Information as art, technology as art, big conceptual ideas, and when the time comes, hitting deadlines. Things we like include: Cabinets of wonder, antiquarian books, scientific journals, hypertext, mind-mapping (flow charts as well as brain scans), the work of Gordon Matta-Clark, Manuel Castells, Edward Tufte, the Center for Land Use Interpretation, seed vaults, lightning, social sculpture, general experimentation, and people who know things that we don't.

Know someone who might be interested? Then please pass along our contact info to them, or ask them to contact us via info [AT] farmlab [DOT] org. (Please put "Web+Print" in the subject field.)

(Los Angeles)
Posted, but not filled, 2008. Available, 2009

If interested in position, then please send cover letter and resume (no attachments) to: info [AT] farmlab [DOT] org
No phone calls, please.


Responsible for assessing, selecting, organizing, preserving and providing both immediate and longer-term access to archival information key to Farmlab’s (The Studio’s) work. Uses a variety of automated and manual archival systems to accommodate a diversity of materials (digital, documents, images, maps, photos, films, audiotapes, physical objects, etc.)

Key Accountabilities:

Collaborates with all members of the Studio staff to evaluate and select items for permanent historical archives. Organizes, stores, preserves and provides server-based access to archived materials

Prepares images of appropriate resolution, along with accurate captions and credit information, for team members’ distribution to news media and in response to other extra-organizational requests

Prepares digital media for offline and online workflow and distribution in a variety of exported formats

Keeps abreast of technological advances in electronic information storage and archival standards, protocols and systems. Determines most suitable storage alternatives for diverse materials, including digital, documents, images, maps, photos, films, audiotapes, physical objects, etc

Maintains and upgrades archival systems on an ongoing basis. Ensures that proper documentation and procedures are developed to reflect changes

Catalogs and maintains complete and up-to-date documentation on archived materials. Ensures that descriptions and procedures are written in such a way that members of the staff, outside institutions and the public can effectively use relevant portions of the archives. Responds to inquiries and provides assistance to people seeking access

Provides documentation for rights to publish archived materials and ensures that captions, credits and attributions are accurate

Works closely with Annenberg Foundation Archivist to maintain consistent and congruous digital asset system policies and procedures

May conduct research on topics related to the Studio’s archived work. May assist in organizing exhibits and displays

Performs other related duties and special projects as assigned

Supervisory Responsibilities:


Primary Interactions:

Regular contact with members of the Studio and Annenberg Foundation (LA Office) staff

Regular contact with the Studio Manager

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Deep understanding of the vision/mission/values established by the Trustees of the Annenberg Foundation

Deep understanding of the Studio’s history/vision/projects and ability to recognize the potential historical and research value of materials to be archived

Knowledge of basic archival principals and procedures

Expertise with server + digital asset management software (Aperture, Lightroom, iPhoto, iTunes, etc), workflow, and equipment

Experience with meta-tagging of digital media

Strong research skills

Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail and accuracy

Excellent written and oral communication skills

Strong critical thinking, analytical and problem-solving skills

Tact and ability to work effectively with colleagues and outside stakeholders

Strong project management skills

Familiarity with the special requirements and circumstances of the non-profit sector

Ability to balance priorities in a multi-task environment

Ability to effectively use a variety of standard office software applications (e.g., Word, Excel)

Strong team orientation and ability to work interdependently

Persistence, initiative and follow-through when completing independent tasks

Education and Experience:

Bachelor’s degree in history or archival/library/computer science plus 3 years of archive experience – or an equivalent blend of education and experience. Production studio experience (photographic + video) a plus.

Driver’s license

Working Conditions:

Works primarily in a studio environment but may also spend time on site visits or in public venues – use of computers requires hand/wrist motion and visual focus – requires extensive review of written and visual materials and archival documentation.

If interested in position, then please send cover letter and resume (no attachments) to: info [AT] farmlab [DOT] org
No phone calls, please.

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Farmlab Public Salon
Michael Dear, Hector Lucero & Jaime Riuz Otis
Friday May 23, 2008 @ Noon
Free Admission

Tijuana and Los Angeles
OR: Why international boundaries no longer matter in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands

About the Salon

The twin cities along both sides of the international boundary between Southern California and Baja California have always been intimately connected from birth to the present day. Despite current tensions over immigration, the LA-Tijuana metropolis now represents a 'transborder' world.

As one binational citizen observed: "The border has disappeared from my life. I forget which country I am in." Salon participants will examine the history of Baja and Alta California, and how the current explosion of artistic and cultural life in Tijuana reveals a different understanding of future U.S.-Mexico relations.

About the Salon Participants

Michael Dear is a Professor at the University of Southern California.
Hector Lucero works in the Cultural Affairs office, State of Baja California, Mexicali.
Jaime Riuz Otis is an artist based in Tijuana.

Photo captions:

(Top:) View of the new 'primary' fence at San Luis, just south of Yuma. 30-feet high and made of steel plates, the fence's 'doorway' (pictured here) is sealed shut and houses one of the 1892 boundary monuments. There are secondary and tertiary fences as well as the primary. The secondary is also 30-ft high, but made of un-climbable fencing that allows no purchase by fingers and feet; the tertiary fence is simply barbed wire. The extent and magnitude of this new walling has to be seen to be believed!

(Bottom:) The cemetery in Holtville, Imperial County, where unidentified/unclaimed bodies of migrants are buried. There are currently over 1,600 markers.

Photos and text courtesy Michael Dear



Farmlab Public Salon
Sean Percival, Kristen Rutherford, & Stephen Johnson
Friday, May 16, 2008 @ Noon
Free Admission

Identity and Virtual Space
(Or, "Are We Our Avatars?")

About the Salon

Join Percival, Rutherford, and Johnson for an examination of the affects of technology on our perceptions of identity and space. Speakers will discuss the meaning of relationships, fame, experiences and community in a virtual world. What does it mean for something to "happen" in a virtual space? Can you "know" a person through his or her avatar?

About the Salon participants

Sean Percival (Sean Voss in world) is the author of “The Second Life Travel Guide" from Que Publishing, a detailed guide to over 100 locations in Second Life. As a child Sean Percival dreamed of flying cars and the immersive technology painted on the big screen by Hollywood. While neither have truly materialized some 20 years later we’ve come just a little closer experiencing both in the form of the virtual world of Second Life. In this world the flying car isn’t even necessary, your avatar can fly just fine without it. In fact why fly when you can simply teleport to your next virtual destination? Second Life provides the platform for users (known as residents) to create their own forms of mixed reality. This of course can take on an infinite amount of experiences, perhaps best described by Eric Rice (a longtime resident) as "Massive Multiplayer Photoshop." The millions of these residents create everything you see in-world, from fantasy landscapes to corporate buildings and virtual art. In a world with few limitations 3D art helps to drive an endless amount of stories and unique experiences. More info:

Kristen Rutherford is a writer and actress from New York , so don't be surprised if she asks you how much you pay in rent or mortgage. It's not a rude question in Manhattan. She was the lead actress in ilovebees, one of the most popular and groundbreaking Alternate Reality Games to date, and most of the players - who call themselves "beekeepers," are still convinced that she's a rampant A.I. and are terrified by the sound of her voice. She is still heavily involved in the ARG community and is avidly following The Dark Knight ARG, The Lost Ring ARG, and has launched her own team of "beekeepers" in zeFrank's Colorwar2008. She is currently a staff writer for Attack of the Show! on G4, and the writer and producer of a web series that she's not allowed to talk about, so don't ask. In her spare time she likes to make up fake gang initiation rites and enjoys talking at her husband and their two dogs Dr. Doom and Shenanigans.

Images courtesy Sean Percival (top, bottom) and Kristen Rutherford (middle)

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More About Denny Zane

Denny Zane
506 Santa Monica Blvd., Ste 223, Santa Monica, CA 90401
310-570-5870 [email protected]

Denny Zane is Executive Director of Move LA, an organization that coalesces environmental, labor, business, and community leaders and organizations to champion the development of a clean, efficient, and robust transit system for Los Angeles County. The Move LA coalition includes the participation of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, the Los Angeles-Orange County Building & Construction Trades Council, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the Los Angeles Business Council, the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, the Sierra Club, the Coalition for Clean Air, Environment Now, Breathe LA, NRDC, the Transit Coalition, the Subway to the Sea Coalition, among others.

Move LA played a leading role in creating the coalition and campaign for Measure R, placed before Los Angeles County voters by LA Metro on November 4, 2008. Measure R provided for a 1/2 cent sales tax increase for transportation purposes. It was approved by nearly 68% of voters and will generate nearly $40 billion in new transportation funding over the next 30 years, 70% of which will be spent for public transit projects and services. Projects funded by Measure R include the Wilshire Blvd “subway to the sea,” several new or expanded light rail and bus rapid transit lines, as well as expanded bus services. Measure R has been hailed as an historic redirection of transportation priorities in Los Angeles County, the most auto dependent community in America.

With the victory for Measure R, Move LA and Zane turned their attention to securing, with the help of the federal government, accelerated financing that could ensure the development of 12 Measure R transit projects in 10 years rather than 30. This has come to be known as the “30/10 Plan.” It has gained the active support of Senator Barbara Boxer, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and virtually all of the Los Angeles County Congressional delegation.

From 1981 to 1994, Zane served as a city councilmember and one term as Mayor of Santa Monica, California. He began his advocacy career as co-manager of the Santa Monica rent control campaigns of the late 1970’s and founded Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights, the progressive community coalition which has held a city council majority for 24 of the past 30 years and has championed affordable housing, social services for the poor and homeless, a broad portfolio of environmental programs and policies.

As council member and mayor, Denny initiated and designed the revitalization strategy for Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade. He wrote much of the land use policy for downtown Santa Monica emphasizing pedestrian amenities, mixed-use development with housing and commercial uses, and effective transit access. These policies have since become widely acknowledged as an early example of “smart growth” land use policies.

Zane is also formerly the Executive Director of the Coalition for Clean Air from 1992-94. During his work at CCA, Denny initiated the successful campaign to convince the Los Angeles County Metro to switch to cleaner natural gas buses. He founded the California Truck Working Group with the late Carl Moyer and the California Trucking Association and worked with then Speaker of the Assembly Antonio Villaraigosa to create legislation to help finance clean alternatives to diesel trucks and other diesel technologies. The Carl Moyer Program that has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in grants for those purposes.

As a consultant to the City of El Segundo, Zane designed the successful campaign to stop the expansion of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Working with El Segundo Mayor Mike Gordon, he built a coalition throughout Southern California of over 100 cities and organizations to promote a regional airport solution.

During the same period, Denny was a member of the team that organized the constituency campaign in support of California’s Zero Emission Vehicle program and Assemblywoman Fran Pavley’s two landmark pieces of legislation to reduce greenhouse gases and allay global warming, AB 1493 and AB 32.

Zane is a graduate of Occidental College, class of 1969.



LA Weekly's "LA People 2008" Full of Farmlab Friends

On newsstands and online now, the annual "LA People" edition of the LA Weekly is full of salutes to and from folks with one-degree-of-separation to Farmlab.

This blog is surely forgetting a few people right now -- so apologies in advance. But here's at least a handful of the honorees, with a brief noting of among their Farmlab strands:

  • Elsa Longhauser and the Santa Monica Museum of Art have collaborated with Farmlab multiple times, including SMMOA's acquisition of Farmlab's Junker Garden #4.

  • Mojow & The Vibration Army were the house (travelin') band during Agbins on Skid Row delivery day, Saturday, June 16,2007. The LA Weekly write-up begins with a scene of the duo from that date.

  • Juan Devis produced and filmed this feature for

  • Joshua White took these photos of the Farmlab wildflowers project and of a junker garden and neon sign. (See first, fourth shots on the page.)

  • Writer, critic, and curator Holly Myers, who contributed various profiles to this "LA People" issue, wrote this about Farmlab in the Los Angeles Times.

  • Writer Linda Immediato, who likewise contributed various profiles to this issue, wrote about Farmlab in Angelino magazine's "Best of" issue (no link found).

  • Writer, critic, and curator Doug Harvey, who, yup, contributed various profiles to the issue, reviewed Not A Cornfield in the Weekly.

  • Also: Farmlab and NACproject artist Lauren Bon was featured here in the Weekly's 2006 edition.

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    Farmlab Friends In The News

    Various news stories about the work being done by past Farmlab Public Salon speakers have appeared of late. A small sampling of these articles include:

  • "Boyle Heights Goes Upscale,"a Los Angeles Times column about changes to the historic eastside L.A. neighborhood, features quotes from Evangeline Ordaz-Molina, who will lead the 5/30/08 salon, titled, "Mariachi Plaza and Hotel: Where the Music Still Lives."

  • "Saddled With Legacy of Dioxin, Town Considers an Odd Ally: The Mushroom," A New York Times piece about the work of mycologist and 4/13/07 salon presenter Paul Stamets

  • "Cut the Grass, Plant an Edible," A San Francisco Chronicle about the projects of artist and 12/15/2006 salon presenter Fritz Haeg. Also mentioned in the Chronicle: 5/25/07 salon presenters Fallen Fruit, and, yes, Farmlab.

  • "Activist Turns L.A.'s Traffic Islands into National Parks." a large, full-color feature about 3/28/08 salon'er, Islands of LA, that ran on the front page of Sunday's Los Angeles Times calendar section.

  • Stuffed and Starved author Raj Patel, who spoke at Farmlab on 4/25/08, saw his book included in a "Critic-At-Large" essay about the current state and future of the global food supply in the New Yorker magazine. (No direct link available.)

  • Tree People founder Andy Lipkis, who spoke at Farmlab on 8/24/07, featured in the Washington Post tale," The Greening of America." And last but not least on this brief round-up,

  • "X Prize: $100 Million for Clean Fuels," from Business Week, one of a spate of stories about recent competition-based philanthropy work done by the 11/2/07 salon team.

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    Little Help?
    Farmlab Seeking Oral Histories, Past Images of Area 'Under Spring'

    For an ongoing project, the Farmlab team would like your help.

    If you have stories to share about the distant or recent past history of the area underneath the Spring Street Bridge, then please call, email, or stop by and let us know.

    The area we're referring to is located directly behind our offices, and adjacent to rail tracks and the L.A. River. We're particularly interested in the area underneath the bridge -- the space we call 'Under Spring.'

    As we've previously posted on this blog, we're also still very interested in any video, film, and photos that predate the year 2006.

    If you can help, or know anyone or any place that might be able to, please contact the Farmlab office and ask for J.R.

    Thank you,
    The Farmlab Team

    Farmlab photos by Sarah McCabe and James Goodnight; Not A Cornfield Photo Illustration by Steve Rowell

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