The L.A. County Window Walk
Submitted by Marc Tuters, Los Angeles
We believe that the Grand Avenue project should harbor no illusions of downtown LA regaining its former status as the core of LA County. Contemporary Los Angeles is the prototypical decentred urban form. From Altadena to Whittier the city and its environs form an archileago of power centers, each with their specific and unique identities and issues.
Proposed by members of the Interactive Media Division of USC’s Cinema Television Department and the Annenberg Center’s Networked Publics research cohort, the project envisions augmenting the current master-plan for the Grand Avenue redevelopment with a screen-based media installation designed for pedestrian circulation on Grand Avenue
The installation is envisioned as a walking experience in which pedestrians literally peer into screens from the eight cities which make up LA County, through a high bandwidth real-time web cameras set-up by local arts organizations.
Like Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz’s 1980 project "Hole in Space", which linked New York and Los Angeles through video cameras transmitting images onto full sized onto walls, the Window Walk would be a "public communications sculpture". Hole in Space, however, became so popular that traffic ground to a halt and the experiment was forced to end by the authorities. Taking this lesson into consideration, Window Walk is designed instead to encourage for foot traffic along Grand Street as well as bring a tribute to the diversity of contemporary urban, visual culture in Los Angeles as a whole.
We envision mounting the installation outdoors, along the length of the park between the LA County Courthouse and LA County Hall of Administration. Here, a series of large high resolution monitors would be secured for public display, feeding live video from each participating city in LA to its own screen.
Rather than critiquing the plan for developing Grand Avenue by suggesting an alternative plan, the project addresses core issues of de-centered urbanism through creating a screen based interactive installation, which in fact, only adds value to the current master plan.