Monday, November 23, 2009

The Big Payback

Juxtapoz and Upper Playground, know how to put the Art in party. Their recent auction consisted of artwork from over 140 artists, free tasty bites provided by Gram and Papa’s, and sweet cupcake treats from Frosted. The Big Payback’s proceeds are to support the Powerhouse project of Detroit, brainchild of Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert. Their project is geared toward turning formerly-foreclosed homes on their block into homes that are "capable of producing enough energy and excess power for neighboring homes outfitted with wind turbine, solar power, heating technologies and super efficient appliances . . .The structure will function as a neighborhood hub by producing not only electricity but also a new point of identity, gathering, demonstration and inspiration, thus a new type of neighborhood where undesirable homes become experimental factories for community action."

On paper and in execution the event was flawless. A wide array of experimental artists gathered under the roof of Factory Place Arts. The concept was flawless and sadly, the event missed the mark when it comes to inciting community action and power. People looked guarded, disconnected, and generally blazé. It felt as thought people just showed up, snapped a few photos of the event to post on their twitter, myspace, or facebook so they could glamorize their lives on the internet and then left.

Everyone walked through the warehouse glancing at the art work alone, piece by piece; enjoying the free food in single file lines as they ate alone at tiny tables for one. No one danced and no one really stepped outside his or her comfort zone to chat up someone new. Don’t get me wrong, the people of Los Angeles are unique, remarkable, and Juxtapose and Upper Playground provided a brilliant array of art that stimulated all my senses, but the people of this fair city have a problem admitting they’ve been stimulated. Lets hope they raised enough money so Detroit could show us what a community really looks like.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

LA rhymes with BLASE