Los Angeles Road Concerts: Sunset Boulevard


Los Angeles Road Concerts is seeking creative people of all metiers to install or perform works along the entire length of Sunset Boulevard for its third annual road concert on September 18, 2011.


Los Angeles Road Concerts has shown work from over eighty Los Angeles creative people in unused public outdoor spaces along the entire lengths of Washington Boulevardís 27 miles, from Whittier to Venice Beach, and San Fernando Road's 23 miles, from Sylmar to Lincoln Heights. Participating artists perform works, display installations, facilitate carpool happenings, host spontaneous poetry readings, and make music in unexpected spaces, such as on the sidewalk, between dumpsters, along railroad tracks, as well as inside the audienceís cars as they traverse one of LAís very long streets. The audience can choose how long they want to spend at each spot, whether or not they want to park or get out of their cars, skip spots or drive at different speeds between them as they traverse the lengthy street on a time/space continuum, culminating in a final performance at the street's end. Audience members are additionally invited to car pool with artists and to switch car pools at their leisure.

Los Angeles Road Concerts seeks to investigate the possibilities of LA's lengthy streets as sites for artistic exploration while using the street itself as a cross-section to observe the city's diversity of landscapes and people, how the Los Angeles metropolis grew, and the massive in-between and negative spaces it left behind as it expanded. How can we generate a new kind of LA experience, utilizing its car culture to find meaning and bring attention to a collection of less obvious destinations? Additionally, through a wide open call process, Los Angeles Road Concerts brings together MFA graduates, working artists, local residents and other creative people to realize a broad array of kinds of interactions with the sites. Participants find unlikely audiences, people who may have never been to a gallery space but who ultimately take great interest in participants' work.

Sunset Boulevard is perhaps the most famous of LA's streets, starting downtown and passing through an ironic/iconic combination of the most densely populated, touristy, famous and wealthy parts of the city. The previous two road concerts were on lesser known streets: Washington Boulevard and San Fernando Road. This year road concert alumni held a vote and Sunset Boulevard was the winning pick. The 24-mile stretch starts in the Disneylandified apartment sprawl of Downtown, goes through the gentrifying Echo Park and hipstery Silver Lake neighborhoods, past the Scientology headquarters, through touristy Hollywood, music and film landmarks, the Sunset Strip, Beverly Hills, then forming UCLA's north boundary before a long meandering through affluent Bel-Air and Pacific Palisades neighborhoods and then running into the PCH and beach. (Click here for an exact map of the drive.)

On September 18th from noon to 6 PM, audience members are invited to drive the length of Sunset Boulevard on a loose schedule, arriving at each spot to experience an interaction with and/or by each artist. Each artist will state an earliest and latest time to arrive at their respective spots, which will be listed in the downloadable event program and map. For instance, artist #1 performs between 2:00 and 2:45 pm, artist #2 between 2:15 and 2:25 pm, artist #3 between 2.30 and 3:00 pm, and so on. Times are loose and overlap so the audience can be on their own schedule: to find parking, to stop at a drive-thru to get a blended ice coffee from Coffee Bean, to choose how long they want to spend at each spot, skip spots, drive at different speeds between them, to daydream or drive off-track for anonymous wandering through the winding roads of the Hollywood Hills. It'll be arranged so that the most easterly spot starts first, and for each spot to be later in the afternoon roughly the farther west each gets. The later or farther west you are, the closer to sunset and darkness it'd be, in case you're going for a particular kind of lighting. Your piece can last for as short as a millisecond or longer than the day of the event itself, and you don't need to be physically present or in just one location.

Alternatively, some participating artists may choose to make a site-specific performance or installation (or text score, CD, multimedia-what-have-you) for the inside of cars as they drive the length of Sunset Boulevard. For instance, at the first road concert David Earle made an insightful historical San Fernando audio tour on CD with half-true stories. Or audience members could be encouraged to car pool with artists, and to switch car pools at their leisure between spots.

Maps and info about the concert will be obtainable at http://laroadconcerts.co.cc a week before the audience embarks on Sunday, September 18th. If you want spectators to download something as part of your piece before they embark, we can put it on the website in addition to handing it out at the first concert stop. In the program there will be room for optional program notes, your bio, a description of your piece, instructions, or else some esoteric wordplay, a quote, whatever you want so as to entice the audience. Some artists provide little information, just a title, and the element of surprise becomes part of the fun. You may not even want to be in the program.

There will also be an event blog, and you are encouraged to post documentation to it, live or afterward, via e-mail or text message. An e-mail address will also be listed in the event program so that your audience can post directly to the event blog during the concert.

It'd be ideal to have some idea of where and what you're doing by August 20th, though submissions will still be accepted until a week before the event.

Previous road concert projects can be viewed through the website: www.laroadconcerts.co.cc

Please contact us with any proposals or questions at [email protected].

Please also let us know what you think! And please forward this along to anyone who you think would be interested in getting involved.

Los Angeles Road Concerts