New Art Installations at LAX Explore Urban and Imaginary Landscapes

06/26/2018 10:15 AM

June 26, 2018

Becca Doten
(424) 646-5260


(Los Angeles, CA) Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), in partnership with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), announces two new art installations at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) featuring works by Los Angeles-based artists that reference physical and fantastical landscapes.

"Los Angeles is a dynamic place, and these two artworks, Xing LA: From Altadena to Long Beach and Lost Los Angeles, embody the dual nature of our region—a land of endless imagination, but also of urban reality,” said Sarah Cifarelli, Art Director, LAWA. "We are proud to feature the work of local artists at LAX, and bring the beauty and thoughtfulness of these creations to engage and delight our guests from around the world."

Bia Gayotto’s three-screen video installation, Xing LA: From Altadena to Long Beach, documents the artist’s three parallel routes of travel— by train, by car, and by foot—from the mountains to the sea. Gayotto’s installation is on view for the public in Terminal 6, Departures Level. 

Paige Smith’s site-specific installation, titled  Lost Los Angeles, features thousands of handmade gold paper “geodes,” creating what looks like an enchanted excavation site glowing with geode growth for passengers to unearth.  Lost Los Angeles is on view for ticketed passengers in the Tom Bradley International Terminal, Customs Hallway, Arrivals Level. 

Both installations are on display through January 2019. Learn more below:

Bia Gayotto's Xing LA: From Altadena to Long Beach

Photo by Panic Studio LA, courtesy of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA). 

Terminal 6, Departures Level (Through January 2019)
Xing LA: From Altadena to Long Beach
By Bia Gayotto

Bia Gayotto’s Xing LA video installation investigates the mobile space of the commute, exploring three parallel routes the artist travelled by foot, by train, and by car, from Altadena to Long Beach. Using a video camera and a monopod, which is a single pole used to help support a camera, Gayotto documented her disparate journeys. The resulting videos, installed on monitors placed side-by-side, recall the style of early travelogues, featuring establishing shots with formal compositions and minimal camera movement. The duration of each video screen is proportional to the time that it took the artist to traverse the landscape. 

While the car route took 20 minutes, and the train took two hours, Gayotto spent five days walking along the Los Angeles River. “I found interesting parallels among these routes. The riverbed provided early train track construction, which later became freeway construction,” states Gayotto. “So when we are traveling the freeway, we are also traveling the river. By traversing a familiar route in different ways, I was able to experience the city in a new way.” Gayotto’s installation also includes a large-scale map annotated with observations, anecdotes, and reflections from the three journeys. From footslogging to modern modes of transportation, Gayotto’s challenging undertaking provides a portrait of the physical and social landscape of Los Angeles, presenting imagery often unnoticed and magnifying transitory moments.

Note: Bia Gayotto’s Xing LA: From Altadena to Long Beach video installation will also be on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) on the screens at Stark Bar.
The video installation will be on view from August 2, 2018 to January 29, 2019.

Photo by Panic Studio LA, courtesy of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA). 

Paige Smith's Lost in Los Angeles

Photo by Panic Studio LA, courtesy of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA). 

Tom Bradley International Terminal, Customs Hallway, Arrivals Level 
(Through January 2019)
Lost in Los Angeles 
By Paige Smith

Paige Smith’s site-specific installation is an extension of her international street art project, Urban Geode, in which she places handmade, geode-like formations inside overlooked nooks and crannies of a city’s landscape, transforming the cracks between bricks or a derelict phone booth into a space for mysterious beauty. “I’m inspired by tucked-away spaces where one can find surprising beauty,” says Smith. The artist’s hand-sculpted crystalline forms imitate the organic character of real geodes, but are created with manmade materials, highlighting the tension between nature and industry. Smith filled a 43-foot long display case with the gold-painted paper geodes, infusing a sense of magical realism into the urban environment of LAX. Composed as a shimmering, imaginary landscape, Smith’s work encourages us to pause, discover, and find magnificence in the mundane.

Photo by Panic Studio LA, courtesy of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA). 

About Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
LAX, the fifth busiest airport in the world and second in the United States, was named in Skytrax’ 2018 top 10 U.S. airports. LAX served more than 84.56 million passengers in 2017 and offers 737 daily nonstop flights to 100 cities in the U.S. and 1,386 weekly nonstop flights to 88 cities in 44 countries on 73 commercial air carriers.  LAX ranks 14th in the world and fifth in the U.S. in air cargo tonnage processed, with more than 2.2 million tons of air cargo valued at over $101.4 billion. LAX handled 700,362 operations (landings and takeoffs) in 2017.

An economic study based on 2014 operations reported LAX generated 620,600 jobs in Southern California with labor income of $37.3 billion and economic output (business revenues) of more than $126.6 billion. This activity added $6.2 billion to local and state revenues and $8.7 billion in federal tax revenues.  The study also reported that LAX’s ongoing capital-improvement program creates an additional 121,640 annual jobs with labor income of $7.6 billion and economic output of $20.3 billion, $966 million in state and local taxes, and $1.6 billion in federal tax revenues.

LAX is also the second most popular airport in the world to appear on Instagram according to LAX is part of a system of two Southern California airports – along with Van Nuys general aviation – that are owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports, a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles that receives no funding from the City’s general fund.

For more information about LAX, please visit or follow on Twitter @flyLAXAirport, on Facebook at, and on YouTube

As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to its programs, services, and activities.  Alternative formats in large print, braille, audio, and other forms (if possible) will be provided upon request.

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