Los Angeles Road Concerts: Mulholland Dérive


Los Angeles Road Concerts is seeking artists of all kinds to install or perform site-specific works along the entire length of Mulholland Drive for its 4th annual road concert on December 9, 2012. Submissions may be sent directly to laroadconcerts@gmail.com.

Los Angeles Road Concerts has shown work from over 200 Los Angeles artists in unused public outdoor spaces along the entire lengths of Sunset Boulevard's 22 miles, from Chinatown to Pacific Palisades, Washington Boulevard’s 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 readings, and make music in unexpected spaces, such as on the sidewalk, between dumpsters, along railroad tracks, as well as inside the audience’s cars as they traverse one of LA’s 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. 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 art school graduates, working artists, local residents and other artists, writers, musicians, etc, 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.

A dérive is a spontaneous exploration of urban landscapes guided by aesthetic instinct. The Mulholland Dérive invites an audience during a certain period to drop their relations, their work and leisure activities, and all their other usual motives for movement and action, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain of Mulholland Drive and the encounters they find there. The iconic Mulholland Drive begins at Cahuenga Pass and winds through LA's quiet, affluent Hollywood Hills neighborhoods, past the homes of famous stars, massive mansions, rich baby boomers in convertibles, people sitting alone in their cars at lookouts, seven scenic overlooks of both LA and the Valley, cliffs, Los Angeles as a distant backdrop along the drive, crossing over the 405 on the Carmageddon-causing bridge, then turning into "Dirt Mulholland" an undriveable six miles through the Santa Monica Mountains, mountain bikes and people walking dogs, then becoming a residential street in Woodland Hills ending at the 101.

On December 9th from noon to 6 PM, audience members are invited to drive the length of Mulholland Drive 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. 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, 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 spots to be later in the afternoon as they move farther west, suggesting a direction (to avoid too much backtracking) but not so strict that a caravan forms. 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) forthe inside of cars as they drive the length of Mulholland Drive. 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. On Sunset Boulevard, Niko Solorio's Video Art Taxi gave spectators rides to any performance site of their choice, during which they could choose from at least ten videos to watch on a monitor in place of the front passenger seat.

Maps and info about the concert will be obtainable at laroadconcerts.org a week before the audience embarks on Sunday, December 9th, as well as at the beginning of the street (corner of Mulholland and Cahuenga). 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 November 15th, though submissions will still be accepted until a week before the event.

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

Please contact us with any proposals or questions at laroadconcerts@gmail.com. Or feel free to call me (Stephen van Dyck) at 505-331-9588 to discuss your potential submission. Please also let us know if you have any suggestions! And please forward this along to anyone who you think would be interested in getting involved.

LA Road Concerts / Stephen van Dyck

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