ConsumingNature_featureConsuming Nature
January 25 – February 4, 2012
Santa Monica Place

Students in my Otis Production Studio course worked with artist Bonnie Sherk on her installation Portable Park IV at Santa Monica Place for the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival. To create a dialogue with this large-scale project, they each worked on their own sculptural installations, interventions, performances, and public programs to critically address specific sites, environmental issues, and different aspects of consumer culture at the Santa Monica Place shopping center.

Silvia Juliana Mantilla Ortiz, A Field Guide for the Re-imagination of Your Mall and workshop
This printed field guide contained information about the Otis projects and provided suggestions for how visitors could interact with and rethink Santa Monica Place. The field guide included a series of Mall Dérive Scores with instructions for visitors to experience the mall in new ways both on their own and in workshops led by Ortiz.

Xiaotong Zhuang, Be Careful of Glass, sculpture on ground floor near Central Court
Glass doors on storefronts in China were uncommon until twenty years ago. While metal doors with glass windows are now more common, some people are not used to them and still collide into the glass, so stores often have warning signage in windows. This humorous sculpture referenced not only this situation in China, but also the multitude of glass storefronts throughout the mall, as it brought an indoor room outside.

Tamarind Rosetti, Setting Sun, projection in 2nd floor store window
For 15 minutes each evening, at the time of the actual sunset Pacific Standard Time, a video of the sunset was projected on a storefront window on the mall’s second floor. In place of advertising and merchandise, the storefront projection documented the passing of time, focusing on the last minutes of sunlight each day.

Rory Sloan, Nest(ing), sculpture on 3rd floor perch
Nest(ing) investigated the nature avian architecture by examining indigenous species of Santa Monica birds. The project explored transitory nest building at a human scale and was constructed from available, natural materials. Nest(ing) blends the natural world within the confines of man-made outdoor mall.

Alexandra Cantle, Reflect, vinyl text installation in Santa Monica Place Restrooms
Reflect drew parallels between the amount of water that Santa Monica Place saves and the amount of water needed to produce consumer goods like t-shirts and jeans. Presenting facts about Santa Monica Place’s efforts alongside statistics on consumerism provided opportunities for visitors to consider sustainability.

Susan Sanchez, Green Tours various locations throughout the mall
Sanchez led tours around the mall discussing the actual environmental efforts of the builders and humorously pointing evidence of other “green” aspects of the shopping center including mall décor, fashion, etc. blending truth and fiction.

Raul Paulino Baltazar, Bread and Circuses (Panem et Circenses), Central Court
This performance consists of two chess games: a traditional game between two players on the 5th floor and another with a red team and a blue team who enacted the moves of the first game on an oversize chess board on the ground floor of the Central Court.

Amanda Katz, Signage Project
Katz took the usual signs at Santa Monica Place, reproduced them and included information pertaining to the corporate mission for sustainability and consumption at the mall. She also included QR codes so that visitors could obtain more detailed information from the mall’s website and other on-line resources.

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