Farmlab Public Salon
Holly Myers + Tamala Poljak
Friday, July 25 2008 @ Noon

Party Favors + Conversations that Never Happened

About the Salon

This summer has seen the opening in Chinatown of two exhibitions devoted to the exploration of community-based practices prevelent in the LA art world today.

"Party Favors," curated by Holly Myers, is a group exhibition exploring the party as a subject, an idea, a state of mind, and a model of artistic practice.

"Conversations that Never Happened" is an exhibition of photographs by Tamala Poljak and a series of community-based performances and events co-curated by Anna Oxygen that explore relationships and intimacy developed during the ritual of eating, asking the questions: how does community evolves through individual interaction, and how can food and its surrounding architecture facilitate such interactions? Organized independently but deeply sympathetic in their aims, both exhibitions have combined visual art with an extensive schedule of events to bring as wide an assortment of people as possible into the often static and exclusive space of the gallery, using food, drink, performance, games, and music as tools to facilitate social interaction.

Join Myers and Poljak for a discussion of the ideas behind each show, lessons learned over the course of the month, and thoughts on where the trajectory may lead.

About the Salon Participants

Holly Myers is an LA-based writer and independent curator. Her criticism appears regularly in the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weeklyand Art Review. Past curatorial projects include Possible Impossible Dimension: Six Artists on the Brink of Abstraction at the Eagle Rock Center for the Arts and the LA Weekly's Second Annual Biennial.

Tamala Poljak has participated whole-heartedly in underground punk, art, and queer communities for two decades in los angeles and the pacific northwest as a photographer/artist, musician, & performer. she has been working on conversations that never happened for the past two years

Photograph by Samantha Magowan

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Farmlab Public Salon
Manuel Castells
On the Occasion of Farmlab's 75th Public Salon
Friday, July 11, 2008 @ Noon
Free Admission

Grassrooting the Global City: From the Wealth of Nations to the Welfare of Communities

About the Salon

Join Professor Castells for a conversation with Lauren Bon.

This special program marks the 75th Farmlab Public Salon.

About Manuel Castells

Manuel Castells is a Professor Emeritus of City Planning, University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of the book, "The City and the Grassroots," from UC Press, that received the C.Wright Mills Award and is directly related to today's Salon topic.

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Under Spring Optimist Breakfast
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
Friday, July 11, 2008 @ 8:15am
Free Admission

Under Spring Optimist Breakfast:
Encouraging Excellence in L.A. Civic Design

About the Salon

Join Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Lauren Bon, Professor Manuel Castells, City Commissioner York Chang, City Councilmember Tom Labonge, City Commissioner & Farmlab's Adolfo V. Nodal, & City Councilmember Ed Reyes for this morningtime presentation about civic design in Los Angeles.

The program will underscore the goal of creating the necessary conditions for consistent and long-term excellence in public architecture, public art, and urban design that best reflects Los Angeles’ international stature as a vibrant and creative cultural center.

The 'Under Spring Optimist Breakfast' is so-named because the first such program was held early in the morning in 2007 underneath the N. Spring Street Bridge on a Friday the 13th. "That's a date and time only an optimist would love," said one of that program's organizers. The upbeat moniker stuck.

This program is free-of-charge and open to the public. Breakfast served at 8:15 a.m.

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Farmlab Public Salon
Miroslav Mandic
Friday July 18, 2008 @ Noon
Free Admission


About the Salon

Join documentary filmmaker Miroslav Mandic for an extended preview of "Searching for Johnny," his forthcoming film about the folkloric tree-planter Johnny Appleseed; and following the preview, a discussion about Appleseed, and his legacy.

About the Film

Searching for Johnny: The need for an idealized folk hero reflects the necessity to evoke pioneer foundations in a country eager to change and make projections for the future.

Many stories and oral traditions about John Chapman, often made up or springing out from a true hint that grew out of proportion and out of any sense of reality, for years were a sweet lullaby to children across the country. Yet, one of the most pervasive myths about Johnny Appleseed is that he never was. The notion of a myth overwhelming reality and claiming to be more truthful to a cause than the truth itself, will be an aspect which this film would embrace in all its’ controversy.

If we tried to imagine a Johnny Appleseed strolling across the contemporary American landscape - would he travel by car or peddle a canoe down the Ohio River, what would be the frontier he would try to anticipate, who would be the settlers in need of his product, who would be the hostile native people full of respect for him?

Would he be a modern farmer, growing his seedlings at a secluded orchard? To whom would he preach a highly intellectual Swedenborghian doctrine, how would it be called nowadays – Buddhism, Scientology, New Born Christianity? How would his merchandise abilities fare against shopping malls? Would his simple, raggedy outfit label him as a hippie or a bum? Would his pantheistic celebration of nature, love and respect for every living creature, turn him into an ecological activist, a Green Party authority, or an anti-globalization protester?

His contact with nature, dependence and reliance on it - particularly its’ current resonances - goes way beyond sheer refusal of a comfortable home, his supposed vegetarianism and saintly Francis of Assissi-like attitude. The notion of a human as a mere particle in the ever circulating changes in nature is sadly foreign to the contemporary rape of things natural, performed by greedy corporate world that misuses their technological clout over nature daily. We hope that this film will emanate a clear alternative to the current ways of interaction between man and nature.

John Chapman certainly was and still would be an example of American individualism, an embodiment of the existentialist philosophy that Europe brooded about, and America put in practice. According to the myth, Johnny Appleseed was a pacifist and a dreamer, someone who would sanction others’ wrongdoing by his own self-denial and claim that love alone could prevent the failure of humanity.

He made a difference back then, but would he now?

About the Salon Presenter

Miroslav Mandic is an award-winning film, television, and theater director and screenwriter.

His filmography includes: ‘Searching for Johnny’ (writer/director, documentary feature), 2008; ‘It’s Hard To Be Nice’ (story) 2007; ‘Tractor, Love & Rock’n’roll’ (screenplay) 2007; ‘borderline lovers’ (writer/director, documentary feature) 2005; ‘La Paloma Blanca’ (screenplay) 2004, 'Johnny Telluride Is Gone' (screenplay) 1997; 'A Tree In The House' (screenplay) 1990; 'Walking On The Water' (director, screenplay) 1988; 'Workers' Marriage' (director, screenplay, short) 1985; 'Rainbird' (director, story, short) 1983. He holds an MFA from Columbia University and is a Fullbright receipient.

Film stills courtesy Miroslav Mandic. Special thanks to Eleanor Infante

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Farmlab Public Salon
Jane Tsong & Donna Conwell
Friday, June 27, 2008 @ Noon
Free Admission

Everything is Alive and Other Street Projects

About The Salon

Join artist Jane Tsong and curator Donna Conwell for a conversation.

Everything Is Still Alive is an artwork in which native California poppies were planted on patches of exposed earth from York Boulevard in Highland Park to Monterey Road in South Pasadena and San Marino. Spanning a historically working class Latino neighborhood to an upper-class enclave; where the poppies survive, orange blossoms reveal the disparate patterns of land management. More info. at the project website.

About the Salon Participants

Donna Conwell is project specialist at the department of Contemporary Programs and Research at the Getty Research Institute and serves as adjunct faculty at the University of Southern California'ss Public Art Studies graduate program. Her recent curatorial projects include From A to B, Fellows of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and The inSite Archive Project, inSite, San Diego-Tijuana. From June 2003 to September 2006 Conwell was associate curator of inSite_05 and co-curated eight public intervention projects. From November 2002 to June 2003 she was commissioning editor for, a web-based magazine concerning art and culture in the Americas and from September 2001 to November 2002 she served as assistant curator at the Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil in Mexico City.

Jane Tsong's works have appeared on the streets and in the art spaces of Southern California, the Midwest, New York City, San Antonio, and Milan. With Robert Powers, she collaborated on the Comfy City project, where the two created chairs out of abandoned streetside tree stumps. Several of these can still be seen in Highland Park. Her proposals for site-specific gardens have been finalists for public art commissions in Astoria, Oregon, the City of Ventura and the City of Los Angeles. Currently, Tsong is working on a permanent public artwork, set to open in 2011, for the Brightwater Wastewater Treatment Plant in Seattle.

Photos courtesy Jane Tsong



Farmlab Public Salon
Leo Limon
Friday June 20, 2008 @ Noon
Free Admission

"L.A. River CATz"

About the Salon

Chicano Artist Leo Limon invites you to see and hear his story of the Los Angeles River Catz.

About The Salon Presenter

Leo Limon's activities date back to the very formative years of the Chicano Art Movement and his work reflects the vision, aspirations and images of his surroundings and roots. For 30 plus years he has being painting the Los Angeles River Cat faces on the storm-drain covers and is involved with groups whose efforts are to revive the river as a historic region, cultural arts enclave and tourist destination.

Photos courtesy Leo Limon

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Farmlab Public Salon
Elise Co, Sean Dockray, Chandler McWilliams & Nikita Pashenkov
Friday, June 13, 2008
Free Admission

Telic: The Public School

About The Salon

Join four members of the founding committee of The Public School for this free-of-charge Farmlab Public Salon.

The Public School is a school with no curriculum, located underneath TELIC Arts Exchange. The Public School is an open structure, or maybe a stage, on which ideas about school perform new realities. To put it another way, The Public School is invested in the idea of public space - not in the sense of state-controlled plots of land, but rather in the sense of spaces for the political.

The Public School works from within the arts institution, drawing upon its resources, engaging with its direction, and activating the diverse passions, skills, and practices of its audience. At the moment, it operates as follows: first, classes are proposed by the public (I want to learn this or I want to teach this); then, people have the opportunity to sign up for the classes (I also want to learn that); finally, when enough people have expressed interest, the school finds a teacher and offers the class to those who signed up.

In practice, this process is complicated by economics, logistics, and ideological mandates. Not all classes can be offered, and not all classes necessarily ought to be. These decisions, made by The Public School committee (a volunteer, rotating group), determine the curriculum of the school and the possibilities it allows. Here, the school is a site where competing proposals articulate new configurations for the school itself. The fundamental project of The Public School is to keep open this interface between thought and action.

There is a monthly class called "The Public School" during which the mechanisms of The Public School are presented and discussed by members of the committee. Some of the topics that have been discussed in previous months include: How are class fees calculated? What if someone can't afford these fees? What is motivating the committee? How can someone become involved in the decision-making process? How does The Public School fit into the larger ecology of "free schools"?

About Telic Arts Exchange

TELIC Arts Exchange, located on Chung King Road in Chinatown, provides a place for multiple publics to engage with contemporary forms of media, art and architecture. The space is a platform for exhibitions, performances, screenings, lectures and discussions. TELIC’s program emphasizes social exchange, interactivity and public participation to produce a critical engagement with new media and culture.

The Public School was initiated by Sean Dockray with Fiona Whitton as a project for TELIC Arts Exchange at the end of 2007. It is currently guided by the founding committee: Elise Co, Sean Dockray, John Houck, Chandler McWilliams, Naoko Miyano, and Nikita Pashenkov.

Photo courtesy Sean Dockray

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Farmlab Public Salon
Friday, June 6, 2008 @ Noon
Free Admission

Live Screenprinting with HIT+RUN

About the Salon

Los Angeles silkscreen collective HIT+RUN brings their mobile screenprinting studio to Farmlab for a limited edition printing session. Choose the combination and placement of exclusive designs to create your own one-of-a-kind custom t-shirt live on the spot.

Note: If you're able and willing, then please bring your own blank (or other, if you prefer) tee-shirt to be screened. We'll have some shirts on hand for those who don't bring.

About the Salon Presenters

HIT+RUN was created in 2005 by Southern California artists Brandy Flower and Mike Crivello. A product of the contagious enthusiasm they had seen from small silkscreening parties in their homes, HIT+RUN's live T-shirt screenprinting events quickly grew, now hosted at music festivals and a variety of happenings around the world. At each HIT+RUN event, Flower and Crivello act as curators, selecting from their network of artists to compile a collection of exclusive single-color silkscreen designs. Guests personally select their own combination and placement of the designs, each graphic solely available during the single night exhibitions. Party goers interact in the screenprinting process on-site with the HIT+RUN CREW to create one-of-a-kind pieces of wearable art.

More than 100 events later, ranging from parties with Levi's, Boost Mobile, dublab, Gravis, Stones Throw, Paper Magazine, Saatchi+Saatchi, The LA Philharmonic, Guitar Center, Nike, The Fader, LACMA, The Standard, Fuel TV, Good Magazine, Hollywood & Highland, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, Filter Magazine, Spaceland Productions, Urban Outfitters, Silverlake Conservatory of Music, Rabin Rogers, Element Skateboards, Stuff Magazine, Fox, Little Radio,RTEA, Geffen Records, Ollie Magazine, Adult Swim, and Red Stripe Beer, the live screenprinting is always the center of interest. Guests stand, sometimes for an hour or more in line, in awe as Flower, Crivello and Crew juggle a collection of rare imagery.

The HIT+RUN CREW has become an expansive, ever-growing network of both underground and street level graphic and fine artists, including notable contributors such as Cody Hudson, Maya Hayuk, Kofie, Jeff Jank, Parra, kozyndan,HVW8, B+, Kime Buzzelli, Shepard Fairey, Kevin Lyons, AMBUSCH and Restitution Press. In addition, Flower and Crivello develop their own screens for each event, which are the foundation for the HIT+RUN clothing line.

Flower and Crivello debuted their exclusive, limited t-shirt collections at The MAGIC Marketplace in 2007. At both Spring & Fall conventions in Las Vegas they collaborated with a group of progressive, urban clothing lines [Crooks & Castles,Dissizit!, Obey, Fresh Jive, Rebel8, In4mation, 10 Deep, Hellz Bellz, ForeignFamily, Lemar & Dauley, Mighty Healthy and more] and screenprinted live on t-shirts for over 1000 show attendees. In October 2007 they returned to Tokyo and printed at the Japanese clothing store store Base Control in Harajuku.Planned for 2008 is the appointment-only studio featuring an expansive collection of exclusive artist designs, as well as new artist and brand collaborations. More

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