Los Angeles Studies

This isn’t the place you thought it was going to be.

Trying to get into the spirit of your expectations, you try hollering “wooo!” with the top down on Hollywood Boulevard. And a few seconds later, someone two cars ahead raises their arms and yells “wooo!” But not in response. Seemingly not hearing you at all. Just reading from the same script.

But where is the script? Somewhere in Vegas, maybe. Where a hollered “wooo!” is repeated, taken up as a tribal chant, raised to the sky along with a plastic margarita glass filled with slush and grain alcohol. “Woooooo!” The sound of trains warning each other of proximity, of distance receding.

Not so here. Your “woo!” fades quickly, lost in the shadows. It doesn’t echo. The guy dressed as Batman doing a robot dance doesn’t look up. The confused resignation on the tourists faces does not crack.

You sit back down. Hollywood Blvd ends. You get turned around.

Are we heading south? What street is this? Where are we?

Somewhere around Santa Monica and Western, a very tall young lady with a tiny skirt and a large adam’s apple raises her arms to the sky and shouts “woooo!”

She means it, you realize. That was not reading from the script. That wooo is for real. That wooo is coming from a real place.

Driving on, you see Spanish graffiti beneath an Armenian sign on a faux Moroccan minaret of an auto repair. Orange in the streetlights, a real place.

Los Angeles Research Topics:

  • Tron
  • The Lizard Tunnels
  • The Battle of Los Angeles (1942)
  • Science/Magic/Sex/Religion
  • Wilshires
  • Cultural Infrastructure
  • Erasure and the Construction of History
  • The Network Form as a World-Spanning Metaphor and Construct
  • The Intersection of the Global South and the Culture Industry

Published Research:

New Machines, published in Machine Project: A Field Guide to LACMA, 2009

Download PDF (575k): Field_Guide_to_LACMA-New_Machines-Jason_Brown.pdf