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Los Angeles
Los Angeles at dusk as seen from on top of City Hall. The city has grown to a population nearing 4 million. (Francine Orr, Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles, more than most cities, has defined itself by continual bursts of expansion and an unflagging optimism about its place in the world.

But as the city has grown to a population nearing 4 million, we’ve neglected some major holes in the civic fabric. Los Angeles has become as well known for its high-profile architectural and urban-planning failures — for the buildings, institutions and public spaces we can’t seem to get right — as for its innovations or breakthroughs.

This is particularly true for our civic architecture, which has never matched the ambition and allure of the region’s private houses and high-end commercial enclaves.


Christopher Hawthorne
Los Angeles Times


The High Line is adding ten blocks to its public park, stretching from West 20th to West 30th Streets (Photo: Tim Schenck, Silman Associates)

When the High Line opens its second segment, known simply as Section 2, in the Spring next year, it will double the length of the public art park. This will “greatly increase the possibilities for artists to work site-specifically,” says Lauren Ross, the curator and director of art programmes for Friends of the High Line.

To coincide with the opening of Section 2 in the Spring (a more definite date could not be confirmed), the High Line Art is installing a warmly welcoming sound piece by artist Julianne Swartz titled Digital Empathy (Feel Safe in the Knowledge that Life Loves You). At 11 different stations located throughout the park, visitors will hear computer-generated voices, “delivering messages of empathy, support, and love” according to the press materials.

But before this, the organisation kicks off its spring season with a new three-piece sculptural installation by Kim Beck called Space Available which mimics the skeletal framework that supports billboard advertisements, but are actually flat cut-outs of perspective drawings.


Helen Stollas
The Art Newspaper