The sign outside the Watts Towers Art Center | Still from "The Watts Towers Arts Center" ab s11 episode image

What Defines the 21st Century Museum?

How do you define a museum in the 21st century?

We approached Helen Molesworth, chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, with this complex question. Founded in 1979, technology and social movements have greatly influenced the institution's relationship to art. And in a recent interview for an upcoming Artbound episode, Molesworth details one recent collaboration and two exhibitions that break the traditional mold: A partnership with the Underground Museum, established in 2015, has brought MOCA's dormant archives to life in the community of Arlington Heights; chef and artist Craig Thornton transforms the dining experience into performance art with exhibition "Wolvesmouth: Taxa;" and creative Lauren Mackler, a kind of “human museum,” reconfigures creative space by setting up Public Fiction wherever she may be.

For Molesworth, museums today aren't just repositories of art, they are generators of culture as well.

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The Watts Towers Arts Center

The Watts Towers Arts Center was founded by artists and educators in the 1960s and has been a beacon of art and culture in the community for decades. This episode features the work of artists including Noah Purifoy, John Outterbridge, Betye Saar, Charles White and Mark Steven Greenfield.