October 24th, 2016
Robert Hudson | New Sculpture

Blue Dog, 2013/2014/ 2016
steel, shards of enameled cast iron, acrylic paint, epoxy clear coat, found object
27″ x 26″ x 24″ inches

Opening Reception: Sunday, October 23, 3-5 PM.

South Willard Shop Exhibit

October 21st, 2016
The debate in one actually answer

NY Times: OCTOBER 19, 2016
By Gail Collins

O.K., Donald Trump won’t promise to accept the results of the election. That’s truly … good grief.

“I will tell you at the time. … I’ll keep you in suspense,” he told Wednesday’s debate moderator, Chris Wallace. The word “rigged” came up. Yow.

Hillary Clinton noted that Trump tends to presume that whenever he loses anything, the system was rigged: “There was even a time when he didn’t get an Emmy for his TV program three years in a row and he started tweeting that the Emmys were rigged.”

“I should have gotten it,” Trump retorted.

This is obviously what we should have known was coming when the host of “The Celebrity Apprentice” wound up as a presidential nominee. But jeepers, people, this is serious. Trump was refusing to acknowledge it was even possible for him to lose a fair fight. At one point, he announced the election was rigged because Hillary Clinton was in it. (“She should never have been allowed to run for the presidency based on what she did with emails.”)

The rigged-election moment overshadowed everything else in the debate, during which Trump made very strange faces while Clinton was talking, but did manage to avoid going completely off the rails. Does that make him a success? We are once again faced with the problem of the very, very low bar. Still, no.

He did manage, particularly in the early part of the debate, to ignore Clinton’s effort to get his goat. When she claimed he “choked” at his meeting with the president of Mexico, he kept pretty calm. Although Trump did observe, weirdly, that when it came to immigration, under President Obama “millions of people have been moved out of this country. … She doesn’t want to say that, but that’s what’s happened … big league.” Is moving people out not the whole Trump plan?

They also had a whopping argument about — guess who? Vladimir Putin! “Putin from everything I see has no respect for this person,” Trump said, referring to Clinton. The fight went on for a while, until she cannily managed to divert the discussion to the possibility of placing Trump’s “finger on the nuclear button.”

O.K., two critical takeaways. Trump won’t promise to concede if he loses, and if he wins, he gets control of the nukes. These are the only things you need to think about for the next two and a half weeks.

We have been down this debate road before, and we knew before the evening started that when Trump was asked about groping women, he’d deny everything, blame it on Hillary Clinton and then bring up the emails. And that when the emails came up, Clinton would mention the way Trump insulted John McCain’s war record, the Mexican-American judge and the parents of the dead war hero.

“Such a nasty woman,” Trump said at one point. As the debate went on, he got more sullen, his expressions stranger. One of the things we have now learned for sure, three debates running, is that he has a serious stamina problem. Hillary Clinton has many faults. She tends to give long, rather boring answers. She has never learned how to deal with the email question. But the woman is an absolute rock in these long-running, high-stress critical encounters.

Also, she made it very clear that she would accept the results of the election, even if she lost. God help us all.

Clinton was not particularly good in defending the Clinton Foundation. However, it did seem fair for her to point out that Trump used some of his own foundation’s money to purchase a six-foot portrait of himself. (“Who does that?”)

But what difference did it all make? The man wouldn’t promise to concede if he loses. Later on CNN, his campaign manager said Trump would indeed accept the results “because he’s going to win the election.” This was not particularly reassuring.

If you were totally ignoring the entire event, you might want to know that nobody shook hands, that it took Clinton an hour to mention that Trump had never released his tax returns, and that whenever she pointed out that he had purchased the very same Chinese steel and aluminum he complained was ruining the economy, he said that it was her fault for not changing the laws.

She did bring up the Miss-Universe-is-fat moment, and Trump said “give me a break.”

He promised to run the country “the way I run my company,” and a great part of the listening public contemplated the fact that this is a guy who’s declared bankruptcy six times. But we’ve already forgotten all about it.

Only one thing matters. The man says he won’t promise to accept the results of the election. All those establishment Republicans who’ve been hoping to get through this ordeal by just being quiet and looking sad have got some work to do. Fast.

Nicholas Kristof is off today.

October 20th, 2016
Said the little girl

NY Times: OCTOBER 13, 2016

MAPLEWOOD, N.J. — Few things are more awesome than listening to kids playing on the playground. There’s magic in that mix of laughter and exhausted breaths — giggle, pant, giggle.

Just the other Saturday at Maplewood’s Memorial Park, I was watching my 5-year-old playing with his friends from day care. The kids have just started kindergarten and are now split up among four schools. Some industrious mom had the idea to get them together again.

It was a great idea. It was also the moment when I saw the messy birth of my son’s otherness.

They were playing on one of those spinning things — you know, the one where kids learn about centrifugal force and as a bonus get crazy dizzy. They were having a blast.

“Only white people,” said a little girl.

I heard it, but I wasn’t quite sure that’s what I heard.

“Not you, you’re black,” said the girl, reaching out to touch my son. “You’re not white. Only white people can play.”

What to do? How to do it? What to say? How to say it?

I couldn’t escape the searing historical parallels of a little white girl telling a little black boy — my son — what he can and cannot do because of his skin color.

My instinct was to go over and drop science on her and all of the other little children.

But then my systems kicked in. My automatic scary-black-man recalibration systems. The infinitesimal adjustments that black men employ not only to succeed in school and at work, but also to help us keep it 100, stay woke, all while trying to make white folks feel comfortable enough to keep us around.

Whether it’s turning down your Kendrick Lamar when the white woman gets on the elevator or flashing those disarming smiles at white women you pass at night on the sidewalk, black men learn to present safeness.

Why do I always have to make white people feel comfortable at the expense of who I am and my mood and my music and my thoughts?

Walter Scott — and every other unarmed black man killed by police officers — is why.

To support a family is why.

If I scared the white people at the playground with my reaction, what would be the impact on our little family in Maplewood? Would we be on the next email thread for a play date? Would the other families talk about my son’s angry dad?

I made all these calculations in the five seconds after he was told he couldn’t play because he was black.

Then I noticed my son. When the little racist girl reached out to touch him, he moved out of the way and laughed. He kept right on playing.

The garbage that came out of that child’s mouth meant nothing to him. Yet. It marks the beginning of what is likely to be a gradual process. One day he’ll wonder why, when he plays with a certain group of friends, he is always the villain. Similar inquiries will follow, until he has his own system of recalibrations and adjustments.

I knew a moment like this would happen eventually. I just didn’t think it would happen at age 5 on the playground.

And what of the little girl? She, too, is a casualty in this — infected by racism before she can even spell the word.

It would be easy to dismiss the whole exchange as kids being kids. She’s young enough that she hasn’t developed the filters to catch what she’s being taught at home. There’s a direct line from what she’s learning to her mouth. I thought about all the time my son spent with this child in his day care class. What else had she expressed to him, or to the other students about him?

Besides the idea that, just by virtue of her complexion, she is more entitled to something as simple as spinning on the playground.

Who will she become when she grows up? Will she be a prosecutor, a manager at a tech firm, a politician? Systemic racism apparently begins at the playground.

I was still processing the incident while my son and his friends ran over to the slides.

I turned to the parent closest to me, who hadn’t heard the exchange.

“Who is that child?” I asked.

The dad told me the girl’s name and pointed out her mother. The mom was standing about a dozen feet away in a group of other moms talking about how the kids were adjusting to kindergarten.

I tried to imagine a productive confrontation, but couldn’t get beyond my opening line: “Excuse me, can we talk about the racist trash that just came out of your daughter’s mouth?”

I told the dad next to me what had happened. He didn’t know what to say, because honestly, who really does? He unfortunately did what a lot of white people do in these moments: He tried to explain it.

“Really?” he said. “That’s not her personality.”

In the end I did nothing.

I agonized over it, of course. My wife and I have since had several discussions about what we could have done, what should have been said, and to whom. At one point I decided that the thing to do would have been to bring the matter directly to the parent. But leaving the children out of it didn’t seem right.

I recalled a moment from my childhood in Hawaii. One of my best friends, Dominic, was white. He was from a big family and being at his house was like stepping into an ’80s sitcom. I was over there all the time. Dominic’s dad was my mom’s boss on the Air Force base.

But one day, when I asked my mother if I could go to Dominic’s, she said no. She said the same thing the next time I asked, and the next. After a few weeks, I gave up.

It wasn’t until I was an adult that I heard the story. Dominic’s family was having a party. We kids were probably in front of the Nintendo or running around the yard. The parents were inside, talking about the New York Knicks’ full name, the Knickerbockers. “Their real name should be the New York Nigger-bockers,” Dominic’s mom said, with a laugh.

My mother, the only black person at the party, gathered her things, found me and told me it was time to go.

I don’t blame my mother for not explaining. But I would have benefited from knowing what had happened.

Two years later, my mother and I moved to Montgomery, Ala. I walked into the halls of Alabama’s public schools completely unprepared for the racial dynamics that would meet me there. It was an intense couple of years as I received a middle-schooler’s crash course in racial truths.

Sitting here today, with the string of black men dying on camera at the hands of government agents who are often not held accountable, and with a major presidential candidate who passively, if not wholeheartedly, accepts the admiration of the K.K.K. and other white supremacist groups, I must make a different decision from my mother.

My son has watched too many boys and men that look like him die before his eyes on television. We don’t shield him from those images.

“What happened, Daddy?”

I explain.

“What did he do wrong?”

His mother and I exchange looks. I try to answer. Best I can. He pauses, then he’s back to his Hot Wheels races.

So as I mulled how I could have handled the incident at the playground and how I will handle it the next time — because, sadly, there will be a next time — I rejected the idea of simply talking to the parents.

Instead I will interrupt the children as they play, or study, or swim in the pool. I will do this for three reasons.

First, the children being groomed to be racist need to learn that acting on their racism has consequences, the least of which is that they will be met with resistance. The children have to see that people will stand up to them and call out their ignorance.

Second, all the white children in earshot also need to see that resistance and be taught that standing by silently is an endorsement.

And most important, I have to model for my children ways for them to confront racism without going all scorched earth. They need to see from their parents how to speak to ignorance, wield their dignity and push back against individual and systematic efforts to define, limit and exclude them.

During the walk home from the playground, my wife, my son and I talked about race while our 2-year-old daughter listened from her stroller.

My son nodded and said, “Yes, sir,” the way a 5-year-old does. It wasn’t our first conversation on the subject. My wife and I have been very deliberate in our attempt to introduce him to concepts of race and history. The goal is for him to be confident, keen, yet still open-minded about those around him — a goal many adults are still striving for.

It’s clear that someone in that little girl’s life is pursuing a different goal.

We don’t have a choice but to talk to our son about Ferguson, Eric Garner, workplace frictions, Baltimore, Charlotte, Alton Sterling and on and on. And yet I mourn each of those conversations. With each degree of awareness comes a corresponding loss — of silliness, of whimsy, of childhood.

October 17th, 2016
Tastemakers & Earthshakers: Notes from Los Angeles Youth Culture, 1943-2016

Alba Barrios, Francis Silva and Lorena Encinas, during the zoot-suit era.
Alba Barrios, Frances Silva and Lorena Eucinas in 1942, are pictured in their prison-issue cardigan sweater and dress. Photograph: Courtesy of the Herald-Examiner Collection/Los Angeles Public Library

By Matt Stromberg
The Guardian
October 16, 2016

“The story of Los Angeles that’s put out there comes through Hollywood. It’s the story of the Dogtown Boys or Beverly Hills 90210 or reality TV shows in the OC. That becomes the story of young people in LA,” says Pilar Tompkins Rivas, director of the Vincent Price Art Museum. “For more than half of the people who grow up here, that’s not their story.”

Los Angeles through seven decades of vibrant youth culture – in pictures

To offer an alternative to this exclusionary narrative, Tompkins Rivas organized the exhibition Tastemakers & Earthshakers: Notes from Los Angeles Youth Culture, 1943-2016, which will open on Saturday at the museum. Through a multimedia presentation that includes contemporary art, documentary photography, historical ephemera, fashion and music, the show focuses heavily – but not exclusively – on the Latino experience as lived on the city’s Eastside.

“I didn’t want to get too caught up with geographic boundaries because that’s reductive,” said Tompkins Rivas. “I didn’t want it to be an exhibition that’s too restrictive in terms of being Latino. I wanted to bring in some points of intersection.” That diversity is certainly on display and the show documents the influence of British youth culture on Latinos, juxtaposing photographs of British Teddy Boys with zoot-suited Mexican American youth, known as pachucos. An image of a snarling Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols hangs next to one of east LA punk pioneer Alice Bag looking just as fierce. The Japanese community of Boyle Heights is also represented, including one image capturing them in zoot suits, that was actually taken in a wartime internment camp.

The starting point for the exhibition is the zoot suit riots of 1943, a series of violent clashes between American servicemen and the pachucos, on the streets of LA. To the pachucos, the baggy, finely tailored zoot suit was a symbol of pride, a way to assert their identity. To the soldiers, however, the luxurious outfits were an unpatriotic flouting of wartime wool rationing. More than a few pachucos had their suits forcibly removed and destroyed by the GIs.

Alongside period copies of Time magazine and the LA Times that decried Mexican American youth conspiring with Axis powers, the exhibition features a dramatic painting by Vincent Valdez that depicts a bloody bar-room brawl between sailors and zoot-suiters. Raised in San Antonio, Texas, Valdez had never been to LA when he painted the work and knew little about the riots beforehand. “It really struck a chord with me,” he said. “I wondered why I had never been informed about this, why it was never in my textbooks.”

It was nothing more than the racial profiling we have. But instead of baggy jeans and hoodies, it was baggy slacks
Vincent Valdez
Although the fashions may be different, Valdez sees clear parallels between this conflict more than 70 years ago, and current racial tensions. “It was nothing more than racial profiling, very similar to what we have today,” he said. “Instead of baggy jeans and hoodies, it was baggy slacks.”

As Tompkins Rivas explained, beginning with this event not only serves to explore a significant moment in Latino history, but also illustrates the fluidity and exchange between cultures. “When you look at it, the same kind of social and economic constructs that gave rise to Teddy Boy culture in the UK, gave rise to zoot suit culture in LA,” she noted. The influence of British music and fashion is a common thread throughout the show, from rockabilly to punk to the rave scene and even Morrissey, who has a large and notoriously passionate Latino fanbase in east Los Angeles
For artist Juan Capistrán, being part of an underground musical scene was an important part of his identity. “Speaking from the perspective of being an immigrant, I gravitated to subcultures as a way of forging a new identity that was different than what I was experiencing at home,” he said.

His Woody Guthrie-quoting piece, This machine kills fascists (love is the message, labor sets you free) (2010), is a scale model of the hacienda-style house he grew up in, and where his parents still live, in South Central LA. A large speaker fills the model home’s backyard, recalling the backyard parties he would attend growing up.

“There are a lot of references to points in musical history, specifically house music,” he recalled. “How it originated from the disco scene and how that was predominantly for people of color, marginalized people. How it gets exported to Europe and comes back, and how I experienced house music in LA in my early teens.” Fittingly, the “hacienda” is also a play on the legendary Haçienda club in Manchester that showcased underground dance music in the 80s, from New Order to Happy Mondays.

Sandra de la Loza also explores the way youth establish communities and spaces for themselves outside of the mainstream. Her Stoner Spaces photographic series captures bucolic landscapes in east and north-east LA that have been adopted and transformed into informal gathering spaces. “These forgotten, abandoned interstitial spaces have historically been super important for Chicano/Latino youth to enact their agency,” she said, “to find a piece of freedom without the vigilance of authoritarian regimes like educational systems, systems of policing”.

These were places where a broad range of subcultures could congregate, from ravers to metalheads and punks. That is, until the crack epidemic and associated gang violence brought the increased scrutiny of the police. “For the most part it was semi-tolerated,” said De la Loza. “In the late 80s, the youth and these spaces began to be policed more, so it kind of ended that type of culture and these more visible occupations of space.”

This points to another important theme of the exhibition: the criminalization of youth that runs from the pachucos straight through to the gangsters of the 90s and up to the present. “You can point to all these instances that have really affected young people of color in LA: 1943; 1965 the Watts riots; the Rodney King riots in 92; the Rampart scandal in late 90s, and Black Lives Matter today,” says Tompkins Rivas. “It’s a cycle that gets repeated over and over again.”

Fashion again plays a large role, as certain kinds of clothing or hairstyles were outlawed, some of which are on display here. Alongside a selection of zoot suits selected by Barrio Dandy, AKA John Carlos de Luna, there’s an assortment of T-shirts, sneakers, and ephemera associated with the SoCal 90s party crew scene, which Guadalupe Rosales obsessively documents as part of her Map Pointz archive.

With his photographic series Chico, Dino Dinco problematizes the issue of sexuality and gender, presenting portraits of men that reflect a sense of ambiguity regarding sexual orientation. “I had long been interested in the kind of fraught masculinity around the idea of the homeboy and the relationship to queerness,” he said.

“Queer Latino men often adopted gangster style, whether or not they were in gangs. [In gay clubs in the 90s,] you would walk in and see this sea of mostly bald heads, like gangster drag. They were as perfectly starched and as creased down, as any gangster on the street. It was an interesting and curious crossover, taking on the style of a group that would never tolerate you openly.”

Whereas most of the exhibition is focused on a historical perspective, Mario Ybarra Jr’s section looks to a speculative future. He recruited eight younger artists to contribute work that offers a glimpse of the next generation. These range from Alonso Garzon’s handmade post-apocalyptic outfits, to Michael Tafoya’s ballpoint prison-style drawings, and Yvette Mayorga’s painting Chola, which depicts a ghostly Virgin Mary figure surrounded by pop art-inspired images of products you might find at a typical Mexican corner store, merging the sacred and the profane. Ybarra Jr has designed a futuristic Plexiglas exhibition structure to guide visitors’ experience. “I feel like I’ve gone from painter to pointer,” he joked.

Although Tastemakers aims to shed light on LA stories – in large part Latino – that have been overlooked, it has a resonance well beyond just a limited audience. “The show is in east LA, it comes from that perspective, but it’s also very rooted in the human condition,” says Ybarra Jr. “At the root of it all, it is about a rebelliousness, and a hope to resist.”

Tastemakers & Earthshakers: Notes from Los Angeles Youth Culture, 1943 – 2016 opens on Saturday at the Vincent Price Art Museum

October 15th, 2016

October 15th, 2016

By Bill Berkson


It’s odd to have a separate month. It
escapes the year, it is not only cold, it is warm
and loving like a death grip on a willing knee. The
Indians have a name for it, they call it:
“Summer!” The tepees shake in the blast like roosters
at dawn. Everything is special to them,
the colorful ones.


Somehow the housewife does not seem gentle.
Is she angry because her husband likes October?
Is it snow bleeds softly from her shoes?
The nest eggs have captured her,
but April rises from her bed.


“The beggars are upon us!” cried Chester.

Three strangers appeared at the door, demanding ribbons.

The October wind . . . nests


Why do I think October is beautiful?
It is not, is not beautiful.
But then
what is there to hold one’s interest
between the various drifts of a day’s
work, but to search out the differences
the window and grate—
but it is not, is not


I think your face is beautiful, the way it is
close to my face, and I think you are the real
October with your transparence and the stone
of your words as they pass, as I do not hear them.

Bill Berkson, “October” from Portrait and Dream: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 2009 by Bill Berkson. Reprinted by permission of Coffee House Press.

October 15th, 2016
Thomas Hirschhorn


Through Dec. 17, 2016

The Mistake Room

October 8th, 2016
Under Hawaii’s Starriest Skies, a Fight Over Sacred Ground

A panorama of the Milky Way from Mauna Kea, Hawaii. From left, University of Hawaii 2.2 Meter Telescope, Mauna Kea Summit, Kilauea Volcano under cloud cover and Mauna Loa. Credit Joe Marquez

NY Times Published: OCT. 3, 2016

MAUNA KEA, Hawaii — Little lives up here except whispering hopes and a little bug called Wekiu.

Three miles above the Pacific, you are above almost half the oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere and every step hurts. A few minutes in the sun will fry your skin. Brains and fingers go numb. At night, the stars are so close they seem tangled in your hair.

Two years ago, this mountaintop was the scene of a cosmic traffic jam: honking horns, vans and trucks full of astronomers, V.I.P.s, journalists, businesspeople, politicians, protesters and police — all snarled at a roadblock just short of the summit.

Abandoning their cars, some of the visitors started to hike up the hill toward what would have been a groundbreaking for the biggest and most expensive stargazing machinery ever built in the Northern Hemisphere: the Thirty Meter Telescope, 14 years and $1.4 billion in the making.

They were assembling on a plateau just below the summit, when Joshua Mangauil, better known by his Hawaiian name of Lanakila, then 27, barged onto the scene. Resplendent in a tapa cloth, beads, a red loin cloth, his jet black hair in a long Mohawk, he had hiked over the volcano’s cinder cones barefoot.

“Like snakes you are. Vile snakes,” he yelled. “We gave all of our aloha to you guys, and you slithered past us like snakes.”

“For what? For your greed to look into the sky? You guys can’t take care of this place.”

No ground was broken that day or since.

To astronomers, the Thirty Meter Telescope would be a next-generation tool to spy on planets around other stars or to peer into the cores of ancient galaxies, with an eye sharper and more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope, another landmark in humanity’s quest to understand its origins.

But to its opponents, the telescope would be yet another eyesore despoiling an ancient sacred landscape, a gigantic 18-story colossus joining the 13 telescopes already on Mauna Kea.

Later this month, proponents and opponents of the giant telescope will face off in a hotel room in the nearby city of Hilo for the start of hearings that will lead to a decision on whether the telescope can be legally erected on the mountain.

Over the years, some have portrayed this fight as a struggle between superstition and science. Others view the telescope as another symbol of how Hawaiians have been unfairly treated since Congress annexed the islands — illegally in the eyes of many — in 1898. And still others believe it will bring technology and economic development to an impoverished island.

“This is a very simple case about land use,” Kealoha Pisciotta, a former telescope operator on Mauna Kea who has been one of the leaders of a group fighting telescope development on the mountain for the last decade. “It’s not science versus religion. We’re not the church. You’re not Galileo.”

Hanging in the balance is perhaps the best stargazing site on Earth. “Mauna Kea is the flagship of American and international astronomy,” said Doug Simons, the director of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on Mauna Kea. “We are on the precipice of losing this cornerstone of U.S. prestige.”

Big Glass Dreams

The road to the stars once ended in California at Palomar Mountain, whose 200-inch-diameter telescope was long considered the size limit. The bigger a telescope mirror is, the more light it can capture and the fainter and farther it can see — out in space, back in time.

In the 1990s, however, astronomers learned how to build telescopes with thin mirrors that relied on computer-adjusted supports to keep them from sagging or warping.

There was an explosion of telescope building that has culminated, for now, in plans for three giant billion-dollar telescopes: the European Extremely Large Telescope and the Giant Magellan, both in Chile, and the Thirty Meter Telescope.

Not only would they have a Brobdingnagian appetite for light, but they are designed to incorporate a new technology called adaptive optics, which can take the twinkle out of starlight by adjusting telescope mirrors to compensate for atmospheric turbulence.

Richard Ellis, a British astronomer now at the European Southern Observatory in Garching, Germany, recalled being optimistic in 1999 when he arrived at the California Institute of Technology to begin developing what became known as the Thirty Meter Telescope. “The stock market was booming,” he said. “Everything seemed possible.”

Canada, India and Japan eventually joined the project, now officially known as the TMT International Observatory. It has been helped along by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, formed by the founder of Intel, which has contributed advice and $180 million.

The telescope, originally scheduled to be completed by 2024, is modeled on the revolutionary 10-meter-diameter Keck telescopes that Caltech and the University of California operate on Mauna Kea. Like them, it will have with a segmented mirror composed of small, hexagonal pieces of glass fitted together into an expanse wider than a tennis court.

There are only a few places on Earth that are dark, dry and calm enough to be fit for a billion-dollar telescope.

Rising 33,000 feet from the seafloor, Mauna Kea is one of the biggest mountains in the solar system. The dormant ancient volcano has been the center of Polynesian culture — the umbilical cord connecting Earth and sky — seemingly forever.

The mountain is part of so-called “ceded lands” that originally belonged to the Hawaiian Kingdom and are now administered by the state for the benefit of Hawaiians.

On its spare, merciless summit, craters and cinder cones of indefinable age keep company with a variety pack of architectural shapes housing telescopes.

In 1968 the University of Hawaii took out a 65-year lease on 11,000 acres for a dollar a year. Some 500 acres of that are designated as a science preserve. It includes the ice age quarry from which stone tools were being cut a thousand years ago, and hundreds of shrines and burial grounds.

The first telescope went up in 1970. Many rapidly followed.

Places like Mauna Kea are “cradles of knowledge,” said Natalie Batalha, one of the leaders of NASA’s Kepler planet-hunting mission. “I am filled with reverence and humility every time I get to be physically present at a mountaintop observatory.”

But some Hawaiians worried that knowledge was coming at too great a cost.

“All those telescopes got put up with no thought beyond reviving the Hilo economy,” said Michael Bolte, an astronomer from the University of California, Santa Cruz, who serves on the TMT board.

“Not a lot of thought was given to culture issues.”

Some native Hawaiians complained that their beloved mountain had grown “pimples,” and that the telescope development had interfered with cultural and religious practices that are protected by state law.

Construction trash sometimes rolled down the mountain, said Nelson Ho, a photographer and Sierra Club leader who complained to the university. “They wouldn’t listen,” he said. “They just kept playing king of the mountain.”

An audit by the State of Hawaii in 1998 scolded the university for failing to protect the mountain and its natural and cultural resources. An environmental impact study performed by NASA in 2007 similarly concluded that 30 years of astronomy had caused “significant, substantial and adverse” harm to Mauna Kea.

A Step Back for NASA

The tide began to shift in 2001 when NASA announced a plan to add six small telescopes called outriggers to the Keck complex. The outriggers would be used in concert with the big telescopes as interferometers to test ideas a for a future space mission dedicated to looking for planets around other stars.

Ms. Pisciotta led a band of environmentalists and cultural practitioners who went to court to stop NASA. The group included the Hawaiian chapter of the Sierra Club and the Royal Order of Kamehameha, devoted to restoring the Kingdom of Hawaii.

Ms. Pisciotta said she had once dreamed of being a cosmologist but lacked the requisite math skills and instead took a night job operating a radio telescope on Mauna Kea. She became disenchanted when a family shrine disappeared from the summit and the plans for the outriggers impinged on a cinder cone.

“Cinder cones are burial sites. It’s time to not let this go on,” she said. The group prepared for court by reading popular books about trials.

In 2007, Hawaii’s third district court found the management plan for the outriggers was flawed and revoked the building permit.

“NASA packed up and left,” Ms. Pisciotta said.

Encountering Aloha

The prospective builders of the TMT knew they had their work cut out for them.

In 2007, the Moore Foundation hired Peter Adler, a consultant and sociologist, to look into the consequences of putting the telescope in Hawaii.

“Should TMT decide to pursue a Mauna Kea site,” his report warned, “it will inherit the anger, fear and great mistrust generated through previous telescope planning and siting failures and an accumulated disbelief that any additional projects, especially a physically imposing one like the TMT, can be done properly.”

The astronomers picked a telescope site that was less anthropologically sensitive, on a plateau below the summit with no monuments or other obvious structures on it. They agreed to pay $1 million a year, a fifth of which would go to the state’s Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the rest to stewardship of the mountain.

Quietly, they also pledged another $2 million a year toward science and technology education and work force development on the island of Hawaii. The Moore Foundation also put some $2 million into the Imiloa Astronomy Center, a museum and planetarium run by the University of Hawaii.

Dr. Bolte, a mild-mannered U.C.S.C. professor with a soothing lilt to his voice, became one of the most visible promoters of the project in community meetings.

He recalled going to a meeting in Hilo once where tensions were very high. Afterward, he said, he was afraid to go out to his car.

Sure enough, a crowd rushed him when he got there. “What kind of astronomy do you do?” they asked eagerly.

“The aloha spirit really exists,” Dr. Bolte said.

“Exploring the universe is a wonderful thing humans do,” he added. Nevertheless, “there was a core we never won over.”

“In retrospect, we might have underestimated the strength of the sovereignty movement.”

The Hawaiian Renaissance

In the years since the first telescopes went up on Mauna Kea, Hawaiian people and culture had experienced a resurgence of pride known as the Hawaiian Renaissance.

In 1976, a band of Hawaiians sailed the outrigger canoe Hokulea from Hawaii to Tahiti. The feat showed how ancient Polynesians could have purposefully explored and colonized the Pacific, navigating the seas using only the sun, stars, ocean swells and wind.

“And that was the first spark of shutting up everybody who said that we were inferior, that we were not intelligent,” Mr. Mangauil, the protester, said.

In 1978, the state recognized Hawaiian, which once had been banned from schools, as an official language.

With rising pride came — at least among some more vocal native Hawaiians — questions about whether the occupation and annexation of Hawaii by the United States in the 1890s was legal.

Telescopes on a sacred mountain constitute a form of “colonial violence,” in the words of J. Kehaulani Kauanui, an anthropologist at Wesleyan University.

Or as Robert Kirshner, a Harvard professor who is now also chief science officer at the Moore Foundation, put it, “The question in that case become not so much whether you did the environmental impact statement right, but whose island is it?”

Having cut their teeth fighting the outrigger project, Ms. Pisciotta’s group, known informally as the Mauna Kea Hui, was prepared when the TMT Corporation formally selected the mountain for its site in 2009.

Many Hawaiians welcomed the telescope project. At a permit hearing, Wallace Ishibashi Jr., whose family had an ancestral connection to Mauna Kea, compared the Thirty Meter’s mission to the search for aumakua, the ancestral origins of the universe.

“Hawaiians,” he said, “have always been a creative and adaptive people.”

Ms. Pisciotta and her friends argued among other things that an 18-story observatory, which would be the biggest structure on the whole island of Hawaii, did not fit in a conservation district.

In a series of hearings in 2010 and 2011, the state land board approved a permit for the telescope but then stipulated that no construction could begin until a so-called contested case hearing, in which interested parties could present their arguments, was held.

The Walk of Fame

The state won that hearing, and a groundbreaking ceremony was scheduled for Oct. 7, 2014.

The groundbreaking was never intended to be a public event, said Bob McClaren, associate director of the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy, which is responsible for scientific activities on the mountain.

“I thought it was reasonable to restrict access to those who were invited,” he said.

Mr. Mangauil, who makes his living teaching hula dancing and Hawaiian culture, said later that he had wanted only to make the astronomers feel uncomfortable to be on the mountain and to get protesters’ signs in view of the television cameras.

In an interview, he said he had nothing against science or astronomy, but did not want it on his mountain.

“Our connection to the mountain is like, that’s our elder, the mother of our resources,” he said. “We’re talking about the wau akua, the realm of where the gods live.”

There are no shrines on the very summit, he pointed out, which should be a lesson: Not even the most holy people are supposed to go there.

Unable to get to the groundbreaking, the Hawaiians formed their own blockade. Tempers flared.

“We were seeing the native Hawaiian movement flexing its muscles,” Dr. Bolte said.

Seeing people hiking up the mountain past the port-o-potties, Mr. Mangauil stormed after them and wound up on the hood of a ranger truck, even more angry.

Guarding the Mountain

Lanakila’s barefoot run set the tone for two years of unrest and demonstrations.

Protesters calling themselves Guardians of the Mountain set up a permanent vigil across the road from the Mauna Kea visitor center, stopping telescope construction crews and equipment from going up. Dozens were arrested.

Gov. David Ige has tried to appease both sides. While saying that “we have in many ways failed the mountain,” he said the Thirty Meter Telescope should go forward, but at least three other telescopes would have to come down.

Astronomers and business leaders grew frustrated that the state was not doing enough to keep the road open for construction trucks and workers.

“The result of the faulty law enforcement surrounding Mauna Kea is fostering tension, aggression, racism and business uncertainty,” business organizations and the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce wrote to the governor. “Ambiguity surrounding the rule of law has prompted a poor economic climate.”

Stopping trucks on the steep slope was dangerous, said Dr. Bolte, adding that “people were basically trapped at the summit.”

Dr. Simons, the Canada-France-Hawaii director, grew increasingly worried about the effect of the protests on the astronomers, who became reluctant to be identified as observatory staffers.

“It really tugged at us to see the staff going from being proud to scared in a matter of weeks,” he said.

Meanwhile Ms. Pisciotta‘s coalition was plugging through the courts.

On Dec. 2, the Hawaiian Supreme Court revoked the telescope building permit, ruling that the state had violated due process by handing out the permit before the contested case hearing.

“Quite simply, the Board put the cart before the horse when it issued the permit,” the court wrote.

Game of Domes

By mid-December, Clarence Ching, another member of the opposition, stood in a crowd with other Hawaiians and watched trucks carrying equipment retreat from the mountain.

“David had beaten Goliath,” he said. “We were even happy and sad at the same time — sad, for instance, that somebody had to lose — as we had fought hard and long.”

The court’s decision set the stage for a new round of hearings, now scheduled to start in mid-October. The case, presided over by Riki May Amano, a retired judge appointed by the Land Board, is likely to last longer than the first round, which consumed seven days of hearings over a few weeks, partly because there are more parties this time around.

Among them is the pro-telescope Hawaiian group called Perpetuating Unique Educational Opportunities or PUEO, who contend the benefits of the TMT to the community have been undersold.

Whoever wins this fall’s contested case hearing, the decision is sure to be quickly appealed to the Hawaiian Supreme Court.

In an interview, Edward Stone, a Caltech professor and vice president of the Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory, the group that will build the telescope, set April 2018 as the deadline for beginning construction. Depending on how it goes in Hawaii or elsewhere, the telescope could be ready sometime in the last half of the next decade.

“We need to start building this thing somewhere,” he said.

“We still hope Hawaii will work,” he added. “What we need is a timely permit, and we need access to the mountain once we have a permit.”

But there is no guarantee that even if the astronomers succeed in court they will prevail on the mountain. In an email exchange, J. Douglas Ing, lawyer for the TMT Observatory, said they were “cautiously optimistic” that local agencies would uphold the law, but the astronomers have also been investigating alternative sites in Mexico, Chile, India, China and the Canary Islands.

“It’s wise of the TMT to be exploring other sites,” said Richard Wurdeman, the lawyer for the Mauna Kea Hui.

I asked Ms. Pisciotta what would happen if the giant telescope finally wins.

“It would be really hard for Hawaiian people to swallow that,” she said. “It’s always been our way to lift our prayers up to heaven and hope they hear us.”

Dr. Bolte said he had learned to not make predictions about Hawaii.

In a recent email, he recalled photographing a bunch of short-eared Hawaiian owls. “These are called pueo, and they are said to be the physical form of ancestor spirits,” Dr. Bolte recounted.

Referring to the Hawaiian term for a wise elder, he said, “I had one kupuna tell me it was a great sign for TMT that so many pueo sought me out that trip, and another tell me it was a sign that we should leave the island immediately before a calamity falls on TMT.”

October 8th, 2016
How Lanakila Mangauil came to Mauna Kea

Lanakila Mangauil (center) walks alongside fellow activist Hāwane Rios at the Aloha ʻĀina Unity March on August 9, 2015 | Lynette Cruz

By Ka’iulani Milham
August 18, 2015

I first sat down with Joshua Lanakila Mangauil on a chilly mid-April morning at the encampment where protectors of Mauna Kea have been holding down a construction blockade of the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT). The charismatic 28-year-old has become a leader of the now global movement to protect the sacred summit.

In the brisk morning air, 9,200 feet above sea level, we sat among a bright assortment of lawn chairs, tents and hand-painted signs lining the Mauna Kea Access Road, just in front of the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station, the “mid-level facilities” place known as Hale Pohaku, or “Stone House.”

Nearly two weeks had passed since 31 protectors had been arrested on the mountain, the first of them in the crosswalk just up the road. The week-long construction time out, called by Governor David Ige, had just expired and the mood in the camp was uneasy.

Earlier in the day, Office of Mauna Kea Management (OMKM) officials, in a punitive fit of harassment, had measured the setback of the encampment from the Mauna Kea Access Road.

And then, as if to show the upstart protectors who the real protectors of Mauna Kea are, they inspected the protectors’ newly erected hale pili (thatched hut), speculating that ants in the palm fronds used for the thatched roof were an invasive species introduced into the fragile summit ecosystem.

None of this seemed to particularly ruffle Mangauil’s feathers, however. As we began our interview, an ancient chant rising from the tents on the other side of the road, he was calm as can be.

Ranging over the landscape of experiences that molded this peaceful warrior, our first interview explored the contours of his youth, education and gender, and the forces that drew him to protect Mauna Kea. The interview ended with the pivotal moment on Oct. 7, 2014, when Mangauil famously crashed the TMT groundbreaking ceremony—minutes after being struck by an OMKM ranger’s SUV.

The Wild Boy of Honokaʻa

Mangauil’s boyhood was spent in Ahuloa on Hawaiʻi Island’s Hāmākua Coast.

His mother, Maureen McGraw, ran a daycare out of the family home. Sometimes, Mangauil says, he would help out with the babies. More often he was with his “wolf pack.”

“A lot of time it was just me and my dogs, running around in the forest,” says Mangauil, the youngest of six children.“My mom used to call me Mowgli.”

The rainforest surrounding his home was his playground and he knew it like the back of his hand. It was there that Mangauil’s innate connection to ʻāina blossomed. In the solitude of the rainforest, he says, the ʻōhia trees and manu (birds) were his companions; the kupuna (ancestors) he spoke with.

“I no more neighbors. I was smack-dab in the middle of the forest… everyone was scared my house because it was the boonies. But I’ve always been tight with the forest.”

Growing up among the ferns and flowers proved an excellent medium for Mangauil’s early exposure to Hawaiian cultural education.

Ironically, it was his Scottish/Irish mother who fostered this; beginning with putting him in Kukulu Kaumana, the summer program he attended with his sister in Waipiʻo Valley. This was where Mangauil had his first taste of ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi and met the first of many influential kumus he would have.

“It really started in the Valley [Waipiʻo] for me,” says Mangauil. “My mom, she was really instrumental in getting me to learn my culture because I didn’t have it at home. She understood sense of place and that it would be best for us to understand that. So she got us to these places to learn.”

When Kanu o Ka ʻĀina Hawaiian Charter School opened in Honokaʻa in 2000, Mangauil, a 9th grader, was among its first students. Under the tutelage of kumus “Aunty Ku” and “Uncle Nalei” Kahakalau, Mangauil deepened his connection with ʻāina and Hawaiian culture.

It was also at Kanu o Ka ʻĀina, that he first met Aunty Pua Case, the long-time Mauna Kea advocate and kumu hula of Hālau Hula Kealaonamaupua, who occasionally taught hula at his school. Mangauil soon became a haumāna of Case’s hālau and danced with her for several years.

Indigenous Experience

Mangauil came to a turning point in his young life when, at age 18, he was chosen as one of four Hawaiʻi boys to participate in a Native Youth Cultural Exchange program, a boys’ leadership program that took them to live among the Hopi of Northeastern Arizona and the Pit River Tribes of Northern California. The month-long cross-cultural program provided Mangauil and the other Hawaiʻi boys a rare and intimate introduction to the ways of other indigenous peoples. Over the countless hours of traveling together in a 15-passenger van, the boys, he says, became a “band of brothers.”

“Every nation I’ve ever met with and learned from, you can still see similarities, because we’re all Earth-based people, we all from this honua, we are children of this land. We have humble respect for this land. We understand our role,” says Mangauil.

The cross cultural experience also gave Mangauil a sense of support, through “examples of other indigenous people, how they view kanaka māhū,” as well as an “understanding what’s my role as a man for my community.”

But it was back in Hawaiʻi that his burgeoning understanding of his role as a kanaka māhū was galvanized by the findings of cultural practitioners like Hina Leimoana Wong-Kalu, showing that māhū were an integral part of traditional Hawaiian culture.

“That really gave me more confidence … [to] see, here at home and throughout Polynesia, we did have a role. It wasn’t that we’re some out-of-the-norm thing. We were actually part of the norm.”

Mangauil also found support in nature and the creation chant, Kumulipo. Hawaiʻi’s native hāpuʻu ferns, which grow abundantly on the east side of Hawaiʻi Island, provided a biological analogy for his own gender identity.

In observing the three sub-species of fern—the female energy of the soft-golden haired hāpuʻu pulupulu, the male energy of the hāpuʻu iʻi, the thick, towering variety known as “walking ferns,” and the hāpuʻu meu, a hybrid with attributes of both—Mangauil perceived a natural parallel to his own “in the middle” sexuality.

ʻWhen you see the meu, it really looks like a blend of the two…That’s balance. Three points. You have the kāne, the wahine and the center…It’s a triangle. No matter which way you turn it, it’s balanced.”

Mangauil’s awareness and appreciation of these opposing ways of knowing, have also come to inform his own process.

“I noticed that when I have to make decisions, I consciously go, ‘Okay, I going to try look at perspectives from both sides.’ I’ll think more in my Kū. I’ll think more in my Hina. And then I think in this balance. And that’s where I find my level of compassion and tolerance … little more that’s where my Hina coming in, but [also] my understanding of being firm.”

A “Kupuna” Before His Time

With such foundational influences coming from his Hawaiian cultural education, it’s not surprising Mangauil would himself become part of the Charter School movement.

After a brief stint as director of the YMCA youth center in Waimea, he was hired as a Hawaiian Studies teacher in the Department of Education’s “Kupuna Program” at his old school in Honokaʻa.

To be a “kupuna” at 19, was unusual, but with a shortage of actual kupuna (elders) willing and able to teach, Mangauil saw a need.

“One thing I was really taught was, as we looked to where we want to go with our lives, it’s not always a matter of pursue what you want. It really is also a question of, ʻWhat do your people need?’ Then you’re actually moving into something that you know you’re going to have a purpose in.”

Although his students came to call him “mākua (parent) kupuna,” the relationship, he says, was more like that of hiapo (elder sibling).

“I really took on that kuleana being an example for them,” says Mangauil.

Included in that kuleana was being forthright about his sexual orientation.

“What I found was, truth was the best way. Just be solid in who I am. Yeah, you know, I am kāne, I have my Hina [goddess] side. But hey, ‘And what?’

“I remember some of my high school students one day, they were like, ‘E Kumu, you māhū?’ I was like, ‘yeah.’ They were like ‘Okay.’ So I was just like, ‘Yeah. And?’ Because, you know, it’s about kuleana, too. It’s like, I still gotta fulfill my kuleana. So I don’t have to separate myself from anything. If anything, I can step in two roles. And in between if I got to,” Mangauil says.

“However we turn out in our life, we have kuleana and we are given that way of being as a tool to pursue our kuleana. So I think I’ve been able to find that, the balance of my Kū and Hina. I’m not going to be hiding it. If they have plenty questions, or anything, maikaʻi (good). But it’s also the perspective of looking at the concept through indigenous eyes. It’s much different than the Western World that demonizes it.”

Coming to the Mauna

For Mangauil, that essential cultural clash of Western and Polynesian perspectives came to a head on Mauna Kea.

“I’m, first of all, of Hāmākua. That’s my mauna,” explains Mangauil.

But it was also the influence of Case, and the rest of the Mauna Kea Hui—Case’s husband Kalani Flores, Kealoha Pisciotta, Clarence Kūkauakahi Ching, Paul Neves, Deborah Ward and Jon Osorio—and the legal challenges they’ve consistently presented to telescope development on the summit—that spurred his involvement.

“I was always really tight with Aunty Pua [Case]. And then, just knowing about the case, hearing about the mauna—I’ve been following with them as much as I can and showing my support of what they’re doing.”

For Mangauil, the blatant disregard of the law, the failure of the TMT to meet the eight criteria required for an exemption under the Conservation District Use Permit, was unconscionable.

“I look at the eight criteria and I’m like, ‘We don’t have to worry about it. There’s no way these guys are going to be able to meet these criteria. It’s completely illegal.’ Then all of a sudden, Boom! We hear it got past them. We’re like ‘What?! How in the world?’ It’s like, any 3rd grader can look at the criteria and tell you these constructions do not meet the criteria to build in the conservation zone.”

This hypocrisy, the idea of building an 18-and-a-half story telescope in a conservation district, came to a head at the TMT groundbreaking ceremony on Oct, 7 2014.

That is where Mangauil’s path veered from teacher to activist.

“Aunty Pua and them had organized pule (prayer) to have ceremony. But there was a few of us who just were like, ‘you know, I don’t know if I can just sit there and pule. I’ve gotta move.’ Just seeing it, your nāʻau (gut) is pushed. It was just like, ‘I cannot sit here and not do something, and let them just go through it like everything’s all hunky dory”

What Mangauil described next, was anything but.

At the blockade set up by police, Mangauil and several others walked along the caravan of vehicles carrying dignitaries and TMT representatives until he reached the vehicle of Hawaiʻi County Mayor Billy Kenoi. After speaking with him at length, it was clear the conversation was at an impasse.

“The mayor said, ‘Okay, you know what? We don’t want anything happening today and we don’t want no one get arrested. We’re gonna go. We’re gonna go.’ And so we’re like, ‘Okay! Right on. They’re gonna leave.’”

But before the caravan departed, Mangauil noticed several people had left the vehicles. Initially headed to some portable toilets, they had continued past the toilets and were now walking toward another caravan of vehicles, beyond the roadblock, that was coming down the mountain.

Suspecting deception, Mangauil and the others headed up the mountain on foot.

“Quite a ways up the hill, there was a girl walking kind of a little bit behind me on the other lane, and she had a little daughter with her.

“I hear, ‘Vroooooom!’ and I turn around. I see a ranger’s 4Runner come flying up the hill. I got two things on my mind. One: they’re going to try cut us off. Two: there’s a girl with her kid walking.”

As the vehicle sped towards them, Mangauil positioned himself in its path. Instead of stopping, the 4Runner roared forward before jerking to a halt a couple of feet before impact.

“Before I could even step to the side, he gassed it and he hit my legs,” says Mangauil. “I jumped up and I ended up, froom!, on the hood. I went, ‘Hewa!’ And right there he started gassing it. I was stuck on the hood and he starts going.”

With Mangauil on the hood, and other protectors rushing in from the sides, he figures the ranger drove another 30 feet, stopping only after another protector lay down in the roadway in the direct path of the SUV.

“That’s the only reason he stopped. I was fuming at that point! I just got hit by a car. And I just told him, ‘Close the road!’ And that’s when I just started hauling butt.”

According to Mangauil, there were several witnesses: the woman and her daughter, the “braddahs” including Kahoʻokahi Kanuha, as well as another ranger who was in the 4Runner’s passenger seat.

It was this attack that fueled the passionate rebuke Mangauil leveled as he burst onto the scene minutes after being struck.

Video of the intervention shows the bare-chested, malo-clad Mangauil, his head shaved Mohawk-style, striding barefoot into the midst of the ceremony wrapped in kapa, scowling as he denounced the deception: “Hewa loa … like slithering snakes!” he says in the video.

“I donʻt even remember getting down there,” says Mangauil. “For me, it’s all a blur.”

Although Mangauil, who was not seriously injured, also mentions the incident in the video that was aired on local media, no reporters followed up on the incident.

“I told every media outlet. No one talked about it.”

In the ensuing weeks, not one of the news articles published worldwide about the TMT groundbreaking interruption mentioned the assault.

Unwilling to let the incident hamper his availability during the crucial weeks ahead, Mangauil declined to report the incident to police. Since then, he’s seen the ranger around the Mauna Kea Visitors Center.

“I don’t know if he doesn’t remember, or he’s just like, ‘Oh shit! That’s the guy I hit with my car.’”

As we would see in the months following the groundbreaking ceremony, even in the face of the repeated charges by TMT supporters of threats and harassment of construction workers on the part of the protectors, Mangauil and his fellow kiaʻi have continued to maintain kapu aloha on Mauna Kea.

October 8th, 2016


Through October 29, 2016


October 7th, 2016
Notes from Los Angeles Youth Culture, 1943 – 2016


OCTOBER 15, 2016 – FEBRUARY 25, 2017

Tastemakers & Earthshakers: Notes from Los Angeles Youth Culture, 1943 – 2016 is a multimedia exhibition that traverses eight decades of style, art, and music, and presents vignettes that consider youth culture as a social class, distinct issues associated with young people, principles of social organization, and the emergence of subcultural groups. Citing the 1943 Zoot Suit Riots as a seminal moment in the history of Los Angeles youth culture, the exhibition emphasizes a recirculation of shared experiences across time, reflecting recurrent and ongoing struggles and triumphs.

From the G.I. generation to the Millennials, young people from Los Angeles have shaped their identities through aesthetics, ideologies, and diverse forms of expression. The exhibition is not a historical overview, but is instead a presentation of kaleidoscopic group experiences and subcultural genres, emphasizing the creativity, inventiveness and diversity characterizing the World War II/post-war period to the present. Often considered to be outside of mainstream narratives and visual identities, youth culture in Los Angeles intersects with important social movements and countercultural discourse in the post-war era.

Thematic sections include: a look at connections between Los Angeles and British youth cultures and the dialog between the two; pachuco and pachuca culture; criminalization of youth from World War II to the present; generations of youth resistance; the collapse of musical genres with social identities and street fashion; the emergence of social spaces; and a speculative future of tomorrow’s youth. The exhibition includes drawing, installation, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture, as well as elements from mass media such as television footage, print media, documentary photography, social media, and ephemera. Additionally, it features an installation of pachuco-era men and women’s fashion, and a digital music platform.

Tastemakers & Earthshakers: Notes from Los Angeles Youth Culture, 1943 – 2016 is organized by Pilar Tompkins Rivas, with collaboration from John Carlos de Luna (Barrio Dandy), Lysa Flores, Carribean Fragoza, Ruben Guevara, Colin Gunckel, Romeo Guzman, Jorge Leal, Vincent Ramos, Adrian Rivas, Laleña Vellanoweth, and Mario Ybarra, Jr. The exhibition includes more than thirty-five artists: Richard E. Aaron, Asco, Adriana and Ben Avila, Judy Baca, Janette Beckman, Chaz Bojorquez, Gregory Bojorquez, Juan Capistran, Rafael Cardenas, Carolyn Castaño, Oscar Castillo, Gusmano Cesaretti, Sandra de la Loza, John Carlos de Luna (Barrio Dandy), Dino Dinco, Alex Donis, Richard Duardo, Harry Gamboa Jr., Ignacio Gomez, Willie Herrón III, Salomón Huerta, Nery G. Lemus, Patrick Martinez, Jose Montoya, Timothy Norris, Felix Quintana, Vincent Ramos, Guadalupe Rosales, Shizu Saldamando, Humberto Sandoval, John Valadez, Patssi Valdez, Vincent Valdez, Ricardo Valverde, Mario Ybarra Jr. and others. Additional contributors include Carmelo Alvarez, Mike Avelar, Yolanda Comparán Ferrer, Art Laboe, and Sabby Rayas.

Vincent Price Museum

October 7th, 2016
What About the Planet?

By Paul Krugman
NY Times Published: OCT. 7, 2016

Our two major political parties are at odds on many issues, but nowhere is the gap bigger or more consequential than on climate.

If Hillary Clinton wins, she will move forward with the Obama administration’s combination of domestic clean-energy policies and international negotiation — a one-two punch that offers some hope of reining in greenhouse gas emissions before climate change turns into climate catastrophe.

If Donald Trump wins, the paranoid style in climate politics — the belief that global warming is a hoax perpetrated by a vast international conspiracy of scientists — will become official doctrine, and catastrophe will become all but inevitable.

So why does the media seem so determined to ignore this issue? Why, in particular, does it almost seem as if there’s a rule against bringing it up in debates?

Before I get there, a brief summary of the policy divide.

It’s strange how little credit the Obama administration gets for its environmental policies.

Everyone has heard about how loan guarantees to one solar-energy company, Solyndra, went sour — at a cost, by the way, that amounted to only a bit more than half the amount Mr. Trump personally lost in just one year thanks to bad business decisions. Few people, by contrast, have heard about the green energy revolution that the administration’s loans and other policy support helped promote, with plunging prices and soaring consumption of solar and wind power.

Nor have many heard about the administration’s tightening of fuel efficiency standards, especially for trucks and buses, which in itself is one of the most significant environmental moves in decades.

And if Mrs. Clinton wins, it’s more or less certain that the biggest moves yet — the Clean Power Plan, which would regulate emissions from power plants, and the Paris climate agreement, which commits all of the world’s major economies to make significant emission cuts — will become reality.

Meanwhile, there’s Mr. Trump, who has repeatedly called climate change a hoax and has suggested that it was invented by China to hurt U.S. competitiveness. I wish I could say that this puts him outside the mainstream of his party, but it doesn’t.

So there is a huge, incredibly consequential divide on climate policy. Not only is there a vast gap between the parties and their candidates, but this gap arguably matters more for the future than any of their other disagreements. So why don’t we hear more about it?

I’m not saying that there has been no reporting on the partisan climate divide, but there has been nothing like, say, the drumbeat of stories about Mrs. Clinton’s email server. And it’s really stunning that in the three nationally televised forums we’ve had so far — the “commander in chief” forum involving Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump, the first presidential debate and the vice-presidential debate — the moderators have asked not a single question about climate.

This was especially striking in Tuesday’s debate.

Somehow Elaine Quijano, the moderator, found time for not one but two questions inspired by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget — an organization concerned that despite relatively low budget deficits now and extremely low borrowing costs, the federal government may face fiscal problems a couple of decades down the line. There may be something to this, although not as much as deficit scolds claim (and Ms. Quijano managed to suggest that Mrs. Clinton’s proposals, which are fully paid for, are no better than Mr. Trump’s multitrillion-dollar debt blowout).

But if we’re worried about the longer-term implications of current policies, the buildup of greenhouse gases is a much bigger deal than the accumulation of low-interest debt. It’s bizarre to talk about the latter but not the former.

And this blind spot matters a lot. Polling suggests that millennial voters, in particular, care a lot about environmental protection and renewable energy. But it also suggests that more than 40 percent of young voters believe that there is no difference between the candidates on these issues.

Yes, I know, people should be paying more attention — but this nonetheless tells us how easy it is for voters who rely on TV news or don’t read stories deep inside the paper to miss what should be a central issue in this campaign.

The good news is that there are still two debates to go, offering the opportunity to make some amends.

October 7th, 2016
Stanya Kahn

Everything is Nothing, Oil and flashe on canvas, 45 x 75″

Through October 30, 2016


October 1st, 2016
When will people learn to treat cats like dogs?

By Peter Marra and Chris Santella
LA Times Published: September 30, 2016

When the first colonists arrived in the New World, cats disembarked with them. Felines already had followed humans along the Silk Road out of the Middle East to Asia and Europe. Thanks to us, their two-legged transporters (and their natural fecundity), outdoor domestic cats are now one of the most widespread invasive species on the planet.

Which is why it’s people’s responsibility to minimize cats’ impact on the landscape — by keeping them indoors or on a leash, by putting cats that can’t be adopted in sanctuaries and as a last resort by euthanizing them.

Today Americans own about 90 million pet cats. Some never leave the safe confines of their home. But many cat owners hardly think twice about opening a door to let their cat outside, despite the dangers: cars, coyotes and diseases carried by some of the 60 million to 100 million unowned and unvaccinated cats.

Cats roaming outside are devastating to wildlife, particularly birds. A study one of us (Marra) published in 2013 in the journal Nature Communications reported that cats annually kill a minimum of 1.3 billion birds just in the United States, with 69% of those by unowned cats. Equally alarming: More than 6.3 billion mammals, 95 million amphibians and 258 million reptiles are killed every year by outdoor cats. Worldwide, cats have contributed to 33 extinctions and have caused the decline of 142 other species of reptiles, birds and mammals.

Through much of the 20th century, people in North America and Europe routinely let their dogs roam freely about their neighborhoods and adjoining woods.
This is nothing short of a crisis. What’s maddening, however, is that unlike other environmental threats that seem insurmountable — including climate change and habitat loss — free-ranging cats are a problem we can reverse.

And there’s a precedent for taking action: dogs.

Through much of the 20th century, people in North America and Europe routinely let their dogs roam freely about their neighborhoods and adjoining woods. Unowned stray dogs were equally common. But in cities along the Eastern Seaboard, packs of dogs became a problem. Roaming dogs bit people, some carried rabies. Dogs themselves were being hit by cars. So lawmakers began to mandate dog licenses and vaccinations and made it illegal for dogs to roam free.

More crucially, this led to a change in attitude about how people cared for and took responsibility for their dogs. Dogs were walked on a leash or kept within fenced yards. Animal control officers began removing unowned animals from the streets. Dogs that were unhealthy or that could not be placed in a caring home were euthanized — an unfortunate outcome but one that many animal ethicists would insist is more humane than allowing a dog to starve, die of disease or be hit by a car.

We need to similarly shift our thinking about cats. To fail to do so is unfair to a species that is dependent on humans, unfair to wildlife and even unfair to fellow citizens. Cats are the primary carrier of the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, which can be transmitted to livestock and humans. Up to 20% of Americans are believed to be infected.

To begin, we need to end pet abandonment. Taking a cat to an animal shelter should not carry more shame than leaving it on the streets. It would certainly help to better fund animal control facilities, which too often are viewed as grim, unhappy places.

Cat owners should be required to spay/neuter and microchip their pets and keep them indoors, leashed, or in an enclosure (a so-called “catio.”) Owners should be fined if their cats are picked up roaming more than once. If unowned cats are unadoptable, they need to be kept in an enclosed facility. Euthanasia must also be carefully considered. Removing cats from the landscape is especially crucial in areas where threatened or endangered species reside: in Hawaii, coastal areas where migratory birds nest or rest, and national wildlife refuges and other public lands.

We also need to discontinue the practice of trap, neuter and release for unowned cats. (Let the Internet comment barrage begin.) Credible scientific studies demonstrate that it is ineffective at reducing unowned outdoor cat populations. Further, it’s inhumane. When a cat is put back into the wild, it is abandoned by people once again, vulnerable to the hazards of its environment. Estimates suggest that 50% to 75% of kittens born outdoors do not survive to adulthood. Those that do have a significantly shorter life expectancy than indoor cats.

Removing free-roaming cats from the landscape won’t happen overnight — there are just too many. Where colonies of unowned cats remain, they need to be managed and monitored to make sure there’s no impact on wildlife or disease spreading and that the colony is indeed shrinking.

People seem to perceive cats as part wild, and thus able to get along on their own, but cats need human care. At the same time, the native animals they ineluctably prey upon also need our help. We need to take responsibility for cats the same way we have dogs.

October 1st, 2016
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