George Brich, “Mrs. Robert McConnell and son Robert Jr. peer into strange 14 foot cave-in in backyard of their home at 216 N. Lincoln St., Burbank. Authorities say they can’t figure out cause.” (June 20, 1960) (Valley Times Collection, Los Angeles Public Library)

Los Angeles is generally thought of as a horizontal city, sprawling for miles in two dimensions but rarely rising above the horizon as New York or Chicago does. Instead of considering skyward expansion, Under LA, a program organized by the Huntington-USC Institute on California & the West, looks underground to explore the life of the metropolis located underfoot.

Throughout the day-long program this Saturday, four separate talks featuring a wide range of speakers will focus on the city’s literal and figurative underground. These begin with a panel on the Natural Underground with seismologist Robert de Groot and curator Emily Lindsey of the La Brea Tar Pits, followed by discussions of the Public and Militarized Undergrounds, and ending with LA Times columnist Carolina Miranda in conversation with transgressive performance artist Ron Athey on the Cultural Underground. There will also be a screening of an episode of KCET’s Lost L.A. series on the lost pedestrian tunnels of downtown Los Angeles with host Nathan Masters. The event is free, but an RSVP is requested with the code “UNDERLA.”

When: Saturday, November 11, 9am–4:30pm
Where: USC Doheny Memorial Library, Room 240 (3550 Trousdale Pkwy, University Park, Los Angeles)

More info here.

Matt Stromberg

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, CARLA, Apollo, ARTNews, and other publications.