Bridging the Digital Divide

As we began to adapt ourselves and our spaces to new routines at home, we also had to adjust to or create new limited relationships with places outside of our immediate living quarters. For some of us, this meant relearning how to physically navigate once familiar spaces that were suddenly unfamiliar or unavailable under new restrictions. For others, it was figuring out how to digitize ourselves to interact with this new hybrid landscape that was both physical and digital, near and far, old and new.

As reflected in Bridging the Digital Divide, we have found ways to not only explore our new relationships to public space but establish new methods of connecting to our surroundings as well as our communities. The artists featured looked at how human bodies move through space and navigate rapid cultural and environmental changes. These efforts resulted in collaboration and new understandings of public spaces like supermarkets, open highways, public parks, and virtual meeting rooms.

We encourage visitors to experience the artworks both in the order that they have been laid out on the page — top to bottom — as well as to consider them singly or grouped together in ways that resonate the most with their own journey over the past year.

(above)  Anna Azarov, Untitled, 2020
Image courtesy of Jacque Ryal and Aaron Nevezie

Video courtesy of the artist.

Mandy Palasik

6,414 Miles, 2020

6,414 Miles is a 2-minute looped film of a recent drive across the country to be with a loved one during an impending death amid the pandemic crisis. The footage is a hazy amalgamation of six days spent staring mindlessly out of the car window. The foreboding pressure of time was absorbed in aimless thoughts and time zones, while space was defined by the varied topographical landscapes. The linear sequence is a manifestation of recollected memories in multi-planar perspectives from both the driver and passenger seat.” —MP

Carmen Argote

For Florence: The Cosmic, 2020
Mixed media: cochineal on paper, duck leavings, urine, lake water

For Florence is an action I created that began as an idea/voice memo while walking at Lincoln Park… and a work on paper… The boat ramp and site of the action is located in front of the Florence Nightingale statue. During the pandemic, my bodily boundaries shifted with limited access to public and private restrooms and my frequent walks in public space created a need to ritualize and process both body and site. The action became a ritual for my healing while feeling the collective weight and anxiety of our pandemic.” —CA

Image courtesy of Craig Kirk.

Video courtesy of Angel Patiño.

Chad Geiger

Lo-Fi, 2020

“As a professional performer, there has been a large shortage of work to be done in our industry. In addition to the state of our careers, given the state of the world, it’s hard to find ways that we can contribute to the betterment of our country and our world from the confines of our homes in lockdown. This piece explores the emotional and mental struggle that so many of us went through in the past year, and how we can begin to move past it. There is another side to this. We will get through it together.” —CG

Image courtesy of the artist.

Michael C. Bradford

The Marathon, 2020
Video, performance, dance

The Marathon focuses on “dancers of various ethnic and economic backgrounds. This piece shows the importance of dance and movement inside of the dance community with specificity on male dancers both old and young. The Marathon uses dance to tell a story of linking persons across the globe.”

Stephen Nolly

The Traitor, n.d.
Video, performance, musical theater

The Traitor is a fifteen-minute musical theater piece that take place in a dystopian society where a pandemic has created a cultural division between those that forsake human touch (the Moderne) and those that defy the orders of the State (the Vestigians). Increasingly, the State has had to take more drastic measures, incarcerating Vestigians who defy the order, in an effort to save lives.

Winston, Julia, and Brian are all thrown into a cell together with the knowledge that one of them is a traitor, and if they can find out who, the other two can go free.”—SN

Video courtesy of the artist.

Video courtesy of the artist.

Danielle Marcelle Bond

Love Song to LA, 2020
Video, performance

“One of the things I love to do in LA… is to walk through DTLA and hear all of the languages being spoken. There’s something magical about the distinct voices, cultures, music, scents, that makes me feel at home. This recital is a love song back to LA, celebrating its diversity, my friends and the opportunities LA has given to me. Reid Bruton, my colleague, mentor, teacher and pod-buddy, is my pianist.” —DMB

Image courtesy of the artist.

Hyla, 2020
Audio went LIVE on Thursday, April 16th, 2020 at 10:58 pm pst as a place for the creative community of Los Angeles to collaborate and stay creative during the Covid lockdown. ESR continues today as a growing hub for music, talk, activism, and experimental sound with over twenty original shows streaming LIVE 24/7.” —H

Image courtesy of the artist.

Adam Rindy

here you are at sunset, n.d.
Digital photography

here you are at sunset and here you are in the trees are composites of two different images. “The landscape images in the background were taken in Oaxaca Mexico, and the subject was photographed here in LA at her family’s used car dealership. The underlying background image represents the roots of where her family came from, and the foreground image represents the beginning of her families foundation here in Los Angeles. The pieces use the 2 images to tell a a more complete story of the past and present.” —AR

Sergy Olkowski

Late Night Renders, n.d.
New media

“A public art concept that consists of using transparent panels for local work to be air dropped and displayed by locals in the air using bluetooth and keeping local posts and artwork local.” —SO

Image courtesy of the artist.

Jenny Rodenhouse

Still from The World Federation of Sphere Detection Sports (TWFSDS), 2020
New media

“Public displays of contest, survival, and stamina have been relocated from arenas to grocery stores. Combining these past and present sites of global competition, The World Federation of Sphere Detection Sports shifts our focus from plastic balls to edible spheres using circle recognition technology to generate a virtual sport. Combining all ball-related sports, TWFSDS interface triggers digital players to perform prescribed sphere identification behaviors: kick, catch, and swing, over passing produce. Watch this season and cheer for your favorite sphere-shaped purchase when TWFSDS launches over a live grocery store “Belt Cam”. Who purchased melons? Who is winning? No one knows!” —JR

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

Anna Azarov

Untitled, 2020
Digital photography

“When the stay-at-home order was enacted in LA in mid-March, like many other creatives who lost their livelihoods, I had to shut down my studio for months. At a time when I felt like I had no control over my future, I knew I needed to find an outlet to continue to create and connect with other artists. I began experimenting with virtual portraits conducted through Zoom. and Through a series of sessions I was able to develop a unique approach, photographing individuals by using a projector and enhancing the image by projecting the subjects onto interesting props.” —AA

Kahlil Cummings

Canto Ancestral, 2020
Audio, performance

Cummings’ ensemble Extra Ancestral’s focuses on using music and dance as tools for healing, education, and community connection.

Image courtesy of the artist.

Emil Ravelo

Digital Conference, 2020
Digital collage

“Digital Conference explores a collection of video call screenshots amidst the Covid-19 pandemic… an attempt at staying connected while being physically apart.”—ER

Mak Grgic

Virtual Guitar Orchestra, 2020
Audio, performance

“Virtual Guitar Orchestra is a community driven project aiming to bring together all classical guitarists during the uncertain and tough times of the COVID-19 pandemic – everyone from students to amateur guitarists to world class soloists – in doing what we all love most: playing music together.” —MG

Video courtesy of Uros Baric.

JD Perez

Division, 2020
Video, audio

“When the pandemic started everything shifted to online, including making music. I decided to collaborate with some of my colleagues and address what has been going on in the world regarding the pandemic, social injustices, and the strain of social distancing. With this format we were still able to perform with each other and reinvent ourselves.” —JDP

Video courtesy of Kia Knoester.

Sanyee Yuan

Video, performance, musical theater

“With the year coming to an end, I decided to re-write the lyrics to one of my favorite songs from the musical, RENT, transforming “Seasons of Love” into “Seasons of Masks” and uniting us in the quintessentially 2020 moments that we have all universally experienced.

Reaching out to my friends and fellow artists in the community, I asked if they would be interested in collaborating from home. It was also the perfect excuse for me to reconnect with everyone whose faces I’d been missing.” —SY

Video courtesy of Kathleen I-Ying Lee + Yushan Yen & performers.

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