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Events
  • Otis Radio: Hot News

    May 02| Special Event
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    Creative Action and the Otis Radio class present weekly broadcasts each Monday.

     

    This week from 5:00 - 6:00 pm is Hot News with DJs Cindy Ho, Ana Molina, and April Oh who cover all the trending NEWS!

     
    Listen online at KLMU.

    All shows will be simulcast on 96.1FM in the Otis Cafe and archived on otisradio.tumblr.com

  • Otis Radio: flashback

    May 02| Special Event
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    Creative Action and the Otis Radio class present weekly broadcasts each Monday.

    This week from 5:00pm - 6:00pm is flashback: nostalgic static with DJ's Alix, April and Dane. Come listen and chat about nostalgic representations that make us who we are, from music, accessories, to fashion mistakes.


    Listen online at KLMU.

  • Graduate Fine Arts presents

    Now What?

    Class of 2016 Final MFA Exhibition  

     

    Family and Friends Night Celebration: Saturday, May 14, 6-9pm

    Ashton Allen

    Amanda Benefiel

    Ok-Young Choi

    Janet E. Dandridge

    Melany Dierks

    Elif Erkan

    Kathryn Kert Green

    Elizabeth Medina

    Kristin Moore 

    Jeisung Oh

    Zachary Roach

    Regine Rode

     

  • Learn about the Teacher Credentialing process with:

  • Otis Radio Olympics

    May 03| Special Event
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    Otis Radio students Bree Miller, Natasha Carovska and Rania Ann Zahir present Otis Radio Olympics.

    Play Games and Win Prizes!

    Come join them outside to relieve your stress from finals by playing Musical Chairs, Red Light Green Light, Simon Says, and other beloved childhood games.  Or listen to the live broadcast on 96.1FM.

  • Graduate Public Practice 
    2016 MFA Degree Presentations

    Henderson Blumer
    Jeanette Degollado
    Margarethe Drexel
    Tonya Ingram
    Jenny Kane
    Shefali Mistry
    Beth Ann Morrison
    Catherine SCOTI Scott
     

    EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS:

     
    Tuesday May 3, 7 – 9:00 p.m. 

    Shefali Mistry leads Michelada Think Tank event on artists of color

  • For decades, the Los Angeles–based artist Lita Albuquerque has blurred distinctions between Land art and Light and Space on increasingly grander scales, whether it be building installations surrounding the pyramids in Egypt or placing sculptures across Antarctica to mirror the formation of the stars. Her cosmic explorations continue with two new bodies of work that are currently being shown at Kohn Gallery in Hollywood, from January 9 through February 27, 2016, and at USC’s Fisher Museum of Art, from January 26 through April 10, 2016.

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Literary L.A.

May 12, 2014
Spotlight Category: Faculty

Memory and Daily Life in the Invisible City

By Paul Vangelisti, Founding Chair, Graduate Writing

 

Time and place operate curiously in the daily and often dull ineptitude of a grammar that might describe such as fictive utility as L.A.

 

I must begin by mentioning the debt of gratitude I owe the Parisian poet Mohammed Dib, who consistently made me aware that L.A. was indeed the Invisible City, borrowing from me, as it were, the title for my literary magazine, Invisible City, which I edited with John McBride from 1971–82. During his stay in L.A., Dib would often smile capriciously and ask, as the afternoon began to cool, if it weren’t time to set off in my Datsun sedan and visit our invisible city, so that we might add to our “petites histoires.”

Poetry, for me, then, issues from the invisible city, the big nowhere that is L.A. Ours is a city of “theatrical impermanence,” as Christopher Isherwood called it, the home of tautological architecture where hot dog and hamburger and donut stands take on the shape of hot dogs and hamburgers and donuts, where at any given time only a little more than onethird of the population has lived there for more than five years. L.A. is blessed, in Tennessee Williams’ words, with “wonderful rocking horse weather, and a curious light so mesmerizing that, as Orson Welles once noted, ‘You sit down, you’re twenty-five, and when you get up, you’re sixty-two.‘” It functions, according to the poet Thomas McGrath, as the “Asia Minor of the intellect,” a place where, in the immortal words of the legendary producer Irving Thalberg (namesake for the Academy’s Oscar for “life-time achievement”), the writer is no less than “a necessary evil.” L.A. is also a place that has afforded writers and artists, to borrow a phrase from long-time resident Igor Stravinsky, “splendid isolation.” Memory in so willfully forgetful a place is critical, defining an almost palpable dimension of daily life, which is all the more vivid in contrast to the perpetual elsewhere that best describes one’s writing practice there.

Time and place operate curiously in the daily and often dull ineptitude of a grammar that might describe such as fictive utility as L.A. Time, for instance, may function as a property of light, a perpetual present or “timelessness” in close relationship to the peculiarly isolate and meditative light that is the single most distinguishing characteristic of our city. “Lots and lots of light–and no shadows,” notes artist Robert Irwin, “Really peculiar, almost dreamlike.”

I am suggesting that a preoccupation with our daily bread is a poet’s attempt to ground his or her work if not exactly in some form of realism, at least in a realistic attitude or position within this wacky environment. Lacking the public occasion and certainly the public form for serious literature—museums and other educational and public institutions in our city are hardly more than specimen boxes in today’s cultural marketplace—some poets instinctively employ the daily to create a context for their work, social, dramatic or otherwise. In a city where the image is considered truthful, and entrepreneurs the likes of (fill in the name of whatever current pop culture boss) are discussed in university and college classrooms as creative geniuses, a poet may look to his or her own isolated daily life to fashion a background against which language may be given room for serious play.

 

Editor’s Note:
This piece is excerpted from a longer essay that first appeared in Seeing Los Angeles: A Different Look at a Different City, edited by Guy Bennett and Beatrice Mousli; Otis Books/Seismicity Editions, 2007 Graduate Writing faculty member Martha Ronk’s poems also appeared in this publication.

 

Image: Sumi-e drawing by Les Biller

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