Many of us visit museums as a way of exploring and broadening the mind. And why not. For most, museums represent a healing spring of ideas filled with both subjective and objective beauty. An oasis away from the due diligence with which we monitor the rest of our day. An escape into something greater than ourselves to be either contemplated or simply appreciated.
Museums then are made all the more important in a sprawl of a city such as L.A. Where a turn down a street made up of high rises and and tech fueled coffee shops can land you in a quiet, starkly different residential space. The city is oozing with culture yes, however that culture is everywhere and all at once. Unlike other carefully planned diorama like urban centers, L.A. seems to have expanded exponentially, throwing caution to the wind in a manifest destiny crusade towards the coast. What remains is the criss crossed path of old and new, function and stimulation.
However, art in the public sector ,outside of museums and institutions, can be hard to come by, or even lacking in the same impact. Statues, which might otherwise garner high regard in a museum, are simply a piece of the landscape, a landscape patrolled mainly by passerbys in eco-friendly people movers than by those on foot who may have the time to value such works. Among this sprawl is a bastion of hope, a chance of viewing art in our everyday lives and keeping that part of brain conscious.
Through the use of virtual reality I was able to walk along Hollywood Boulevard and see the 3-Dimensional models of those who participated in this project. By using Layar, an app which effectively places a new layer on my map, I was not only able to see street names and landmarks, but locations where our installations were already up. And for a moment I was able to lift myself from the real layer of Starbucks and tourism and re-immerse myself into one of art and creativity. I am excited to see where this project goes from here. After all, they say we’ve already explored the known world. Why not just add another layer.