Thomas Gombotz / Group XV, Oct 02 - Mar 03
3/21/03 to 3/23/03
MAK Center at the Mackey Apartments, 1137 - 1141 South Cochran Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
Architects Thomas Gombotz and Antonietta Putzu developed very different projects from a shared methodology. Together they created an “L.A. Kit” to assist local residents in documenting favorite spots in Los Angeles through text and photography. Supplied with disposable cameras and questionaires, the responses by the participants enabled the visiting architects to create an archive of private sites throughout the city which contrasted with the usual tourist highlights. While both architects distributed kits to 50 Angelenos, their subsequent work yielded divergent results. Putzu emphasized her interest in seeing the city beyond the usual Hollywood façade and a desire to decodify the generally abstract language of maps. She displayed the more subjective L.A. revealed through the kits in an installation which focused on a large map on the floor with models at several of the sites. Visitors were able to physically traverse this map of the city, interacting with landmarks whose significance is personal rather than civic or historic. Gombotz’s project displayed his avid interest in documenting information. The randomly-selected participants he solicited were intended to comprise a mix of social classes, ages, and professions. To assure that he cut through preconceived categories of urban conditions, Gombotz travelled through the city in a variety of ways, observing different patterns of use and experiencing unknown territories. He referred to the public and private sites selected as “city fragments,” which he reassembled and systematically represented as data.