Machine Project Field Guide to L.A. Architecture: Welcome
In Partnership with Machine ProjectAs 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.
Flat Top, as the neighbors call it, is an undeveloped series of hilltop ridges in Montecito Heights that lead from the top of Montecito Road to the avenues of Lincoln Heights. Avenue 33 dead ends into the base of the steep hill, and informal trails and four-wheeler tracks lead up to the top. Covered in wild melon vines and grasses, the packed dirt roads that line the tops of the hills are a popular place for residents to walk their dogs, take a hike, or drink a beer and watch the sunset.
Flat Top shows the true contours of the East Side. The confluence of the Arroyo Seco and the L.A. River lays just below, having spent the past thousands of years carving the hills of Mount Washington to the North, and Chavez Ravine to the West. The sounds of traffic on the 110 and 5 freeways and the industry along the river echo up through the valleys, mixing with the familiar East Side chorus of barking dogs, playing children, and Norteño music. Within this scene the downtown skyline feels within reach.
Below the hill in Lincoln Heights, the other end of Avenue 33 comes to a halt at the 110 freeway, just past Pieter, a performance space and studio of the dancer, choreographer, and costumer Jmy James Kidd. Here, she developed "Welcome," a piece for her new group the Sunland Dancers, performed on Flat Top at sunset in June 2013.