New Art Installations at LAX Explore Handmade and Digital Environments

08/07/2019 09:00 AM

For Immediate Release
Aug. 7, 2019

Olga Gallardo
(424) 646-5260

"Forest, For the Trees" exhibit, curated by Julie Kornblum. Photo by Panic Studio LA, courtesy of Los Angeles World Airports and City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

(Los Angeles, CA) Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), in partnership with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), is pleased to announce two new site-specific art installations at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The exhibitions, featuring fiber art, video and an interactive digital installation, can be found in the Tom Bradley International Terminal and Terminal 6.

“The LAX Art Program is proud to present thoughtful exhibitions that explore important topics and engage viewers in distinctive and memorable art experiences,” said Sarah Cifarelli, LAX Art Program Director, LAWA. “These exhibitions draw upon artists’ keen observations and encourage the public’s capacity for curiosity and discovery.”

“Forest, For the Trees” curated by Julie Kornblum

“Forest, For the Trees” is an installation featuring knitted, crocheted, woven and other fiber-based artworks that reference and reinterpret the ecological features of old-growth forests with handmade contributions by more than 40 artists. Old-growth forests are often home to rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals, making them ecologically significant. Curated by Los Angeles-based artist and curator Julie Kornblum, the installation is on view for ticketed passengers in the Tom Bradley International Terminal, Customs Hallway, on the Arrivals Level through January 2020.

“This installation hopes to address the wonders and perils of the forest by creating an environment that is at once unique and fantastic,” Kornblum said.

The installation is an ongoing project for Kornblum, who teamed up with the Arroyo Arts Collective and Yarn Bombing Los Angeles in 2011 to invite artists from all over the world to contribute to an ever-expanding traveling installation of flora- and fauna-inspired fiber artworks. For this iteration of the installation at LAX, Kornblum invited artists to fabricate new fantastical elements to create a welcoming display for arriving passengers. Artists independently created works in their own individual styles and techniques, from realistic woodland creatures made of felt, to stylized tree trunks and branches sprouting from used sweaters.

Contributors range from novice knitters to professional artists who used standard, recycled and unusual materials to create trees, groundcover, animals, water, rain and many other forest features. The resulting display is bursting and blooming with distinctive and engaging vegetation and wildlife that is meant to remind the viewer of the importance and fragility of the natural environment.

"Forest, For the Trees" exhibit, curated by Julie Kornblum. Photo by Panic Studio LA, courtesy of Los Angeles World Airports and City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

The interactive video and digital installation titled "The Unemployed" by Jody Zellen. Photo by Panic Studio LA, courtesy of Los Angeles World Airports and City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

“The Unemployed” by Jody Zellen

Artist Jody Zellen's data visualization, titled "The Unemployed," is a three-part work repurposing the numerical statistics of worldwide unemployment into a dynamic interactive installation where animated figures represent the percentage of unemployed in various countries around the world. The installation is open to the public in Terminal 6 on the Departures Level through September 2019.

“The Unemployed” is a site-specific installation that features a large-scale, interactive digital projection, four video monitors and a free iOS app. Using data culled from online sources that list unemployment rates for over 200 countries, Zellen depicts this numerical information as animated figures, creating an alternative way to visualize these statistics.

Zellen’s research showed that the number and rate of unemployed varies dramatically from country to country. For this interactive installation, Zellen created a software program that randomly cycles through the unemployment data of the different countries and, for each country, depicts an array of figures made of simple lines moving within a grid on the wall. As passersby move through the space, their silhouettes are projected onto the wall and transformed into a presence consisting of the ambling figures.

By placing the viewer’s form amongst the jobless figures, Zellen offers viewers a different way to contemplate the presence of the unemployed. On the monitors, the jobless are represented as animated figures moving within the outline of their country. The clusters of figures in both these presentations metaphorically become an available labor force, as well as the visible presence of the jobless.

“I am excited to present this work at LAX as it is a unique opportunity to engage travelers coming from different countries on this global issue,” Zellen said.

This is the LAX Art Program’s first interactive installation, and Zellen has created a work that engages the public in myriad ways.

While "The Unemployed" can be viewed in Terminal 6 on the Departures Level, it can also be downloaded for free and enjoyed on iPhones and iPads, as a way to continue the viewing of the project past the experience in the terminal. Click here to access the app.

(High resolution photos available upon request.)

The interactive video and digital installation titled "The Unemployed" by Jody Zellen. Photo by Panic Studio LA, courtesy of Los Angeles World Airports and City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

About Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

LAX, the fourth-busiest airport in the world and second busiest in the United States, was named a top-10 U.S. airport by SKYTRAX. LAX served more than 87.5 million passengers in 2018 and offers an average of 700 daily nonstop flights to 109 cities in the U.S. and 1,281 weekly nonstop flights to 93 markets in 47 countries on 69 commercial airlines. LAX ranks 10th in the world in air cargo tonnage processed, with more than 2.4 million tons of air cargo. LAX handled 707,883 operations (landings and takeoffs) in 2018.

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, according to an economic study based on 2014 operations. 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 was honored as having the “Best Overall Customer Service Program” by Airports Council International-North America; named the “Best Airport for Breastfeeding Moms” by Mamava; selected for the Top 10 “Best of the U.S.’s Big Airports” (Wall Street Journal) and “Most Pet-Friendly Airports in the U.S. (Mental Floss); named the second-most improved airport in the U.S. by JD Power; received an “Innovation Award” from the L.A. Better Business Challenge for its Central Utility Plant; and named a “Business Leader in Air Quality” by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

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.

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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