Los Angeles. A city that is synonymous with celebrity and mass-market culture, is also, according to David James, synonymous with social alienation and dispersal. In the communities of Los Angeles, artists, cultural institutions and activities exist in ways that are often concealed from sight, obscured by the powerful presence of Hollywood and its machinations. In this significant collection of original essays, The Sons and Daughters of Los reconstructs the city of Los Angeles with new cultural connections. Explored here are the communities that offer alternatives to the picture of L..A. as a conglomeration of studios and mass media. Each essay examines a particular piece of, or place in, Los Angeles cultural life: from the Beyond Baroque Poetry Foundation, the Woman's Building, to Highways, and LACE, as well as the achievements of these grassroots initiatives. Also included is critical commentary on important artists, including Harry Gamboa, Jr., and others whose work have done much to shape popular culture in L.A. The cumulative effect of reading this book is to see a very different city take shape, one whose cultural landscape is far more innovative and reflective of the diversity of the city's people than mainstream notions of it suggest. The Sons and Daughters of Los offers a substantive and complicated picture of the way culture plays itself it out on the smallest scale-in one of the largest metropolises on earth-contributing to a richer, more textured understanding of the vibrancy of urban life and art.
David E. James is Professor in the School of Cinema-Television at the University of Southern California. He is the author or editor of five books, including, most recently, Power Misses: Essays Across (Un)Popular Culture. Contributors: Jiwon Ahn, University of Southern California; Meiling Cheng, University of Southern California; Sande Cohen, California Institute of the Arts; Harry Gamboa, Jr.; Eric Gordon, University of Southern California; Claudine Ise, University of California, Los Angeles, Laura Meyer, University of California, Los Angeles; Bill Mohr; James Moran; Nithila Peter, University of Southern California, and the editor.
ContentsAcknowledgments1. Introduction: The Sons and Daughters of Los - David E. James2. Peripheral Outlaws: Beyond Baroque and the Los Angeles Poetry Renaissance - Bill Mohr3. The Los Angeles Woman's Building and the Feminist Art Community, 1973-1991 - Laura Meyer4. Fortifying Community: African American History and Culture in Leimert Park - Eric Gordon5. Considering the Art World Alternatives: Lace And Community Formation in Los Angeles - Claudine Ise6. Not History: Remarks on the Foundation for Art Resources, 1977-1998 - Sande Cohen7. Highways Performance Space: Communities-in-Transit - Meiling Cheng8. Signifying Nations: Cultural Institutions and the Korean Community in Los Angeles - Jiwon Ahn9. All Over The Map: A History of L.A. Freeways - James M. Moran10. Self-Help Graphics: Tomas Benitez Talks to Harry Gamboa Jr.11. Unorthodox Mystics: Swans that Flock to the Vedanta Society of Southern California - Nithila Peter12. Popular Cinemas in Los Angeles: The Case of Visual Communications - David E. JamesAbout The Contributors