Machine Project Field Guide to L.A. Architecture: Everyone Will Be Here Now But Me
As part of the Getty initiative Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A., Machine Project asked artists to take on the whole environment of Los Angeles and create performances shot on video and edited into short experimental films in response to notable architectural sites throughout the city.
Downtown on Olympic Boulevard, the decidedly un-Googleable Los Angeles Food Center is hidden in plain sight, indistinguishable from the many independent produce distribution buildings that sprout like rhizomes just outside the fences of the the gigantic Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market. Semis, box trucks, and beat up minivans idle at the ground floor docks. A weathered copper plaque on the rooftop parking lot with a profile of Mayor Tom Bradley dates the building to the late 70s. Just inside the doors, an unkempt directory board offers few clues to the services offered by tenants like Stone World Inc, QSI, EC Latex, and Blue Morning Inc.
Among them is REACH LA, a non-profit youth center, HIV testing facility, dance studio, and locus of L.A.'s LGBT ballroom scene. REACH LA has worked with youth on HIV issues since 1992, initially through media art and video programs, then pivoting to health and dance as county funding changed course in the early 2000s. Each year they produce Ovahness, the largest ball on the west coast, where crews from LA's houses Blahnik, Garcon, Milan, and other houses vogue and battle for awards.
Carla Gordon is the Director of Development and Community Relations at REACH LA, and her daughter, sound artist Jacqueline Gordon, grew up making zines and videos in the REACH LA computer labs. When an office space opened up in the LA Food Center this summer, Carla helped broker a deal with the landlord for Jacquelyn to install "Everyone Will Be Here Now But Me," an immersive, after-hours sound installation that let the public explore the endless carpeted hallways, windowless offices, and echoing stairwells of the truly mixed-use building.