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There is no there there

  • Author(s): Estep, Andrew Rawling
  • et al.
Abstract

When I first moved to San Diego, I was a weekend guard at an art museum. I noticed that the museum visitors usually followed a set path from art work to art work usually pausing to read either the artist's name and pieces title or a longer pause to read a longer description / interpretation of the work. I noticed very few real variations to this pattern. I also felt, as a transplant to Southern California, that since the built environment is entirely oriented towards automobiles, the experience of being a Californian is often one of being stuck repeating the same path, and seeing the landscape in the same limited way from day to day. Older roads and the visually apparent history that goes with them seem to be entirely replaced by the freeway system, which replaces and obfuscates the older roads and in many cases is the original road in the area. This installation created a narrative about southern California, combining these experiences of the built environment and the paths followed by the viewer in a gallery space. I decided to program the art show in a form emblematic of southern California, as a ride. The ride is a kind of indigenous entertainment. They existed before but were popularized as a form of mass entertainment through the Disneyland amusement park and the exposure of movies and television. Although this form was taken up in other locations, it is very closely associated with the southern California region

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