LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Poverty Department uses the acronym LAPD, which is deliberately named to evoke associations between police, the criminal justice system, and how people living in poverty are treated.
Alicia Eler is a cultural critic and arts reporter. She is the author of the book The Selfie Generation (Skyhorse Publishing), which has been reviewed in the New York Times, WIRED Magazine and the Chicago Tribune. A native of Chicago by way of L.A., Alicia's writing has also been published in Glamour, the Guardian, CNN, Hyperallergic, Art21 Magazine, LA Weekly, and Aperture. She is currently the visual art critic/arts reporter at the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The Decisive Vernacular Photograph
TULSA, Oklahoma — In the exhibition Unexpected at the Philbrook Museum Downtown, we see a series of 40 anonymous vernacular photographs from the collection of writer and photography collector Marc Boone Fitzerman, curated by the museum’s director Rand Suffolk, that offer slices of America’s forgotten narratives from the 1930s through the 1960s.
Lesbian Noir with Hard-Boiled Wooden Puppets
LOS ANGELES — Last week, Automata mounted Concrete Folk Variations, a noir puppet play set in McCarthy-era Los Angeles that was written, directed, and designed by artist Susan Simpson.
Flying High with Selfies
LOS ANGELES — I was on an airplane flying back from Tulsa when I happened upon the phenomenon of mile-high selfies. Wifi is available up high, so why not take a selfie?
Meditations from the Middle
KANSAS CITY, Missouri — There is nothing in the center, because it’s the middle and the middle doesn’t matter. At least, that’s what interest in smaller non-coastal American cities historically tends to be.
Alice’s Technosurreal Wonderland
LOS ANGELES — “You would have to be half-mad to dream me up,” the Mad Hatter said to Alice during her romp through Wonderland, that place where her body and state-of-mind regularly changed shaped.
Keeping Up With the Selfies
LOS ANGELES — The biggest selfie news of the past week comes from drones, which have spawned a new selfie category: the dronie.
Hollywood Counternarratives: A Fictional Female Warner Brothers
LOS ANGELES — Phyllis McGillicuddy strode out of the bathroom, heading toward a podium that overlooked a room packed with fans and friends alike. It had been a while since Phyllis left her home in suburban Glendale, where she lives with multiple cats and manages the Prescott Pictures Society, home to memorabilia from Hollywood’s Prescott Pictures.
LOS ANGELES — For all of James Franco’s talk about being James Franco, it’s pretty lame that he’s now trying to glean a bit of Cindy Sherman’s fame by recreating her photographs in drag.
Mind Your Awareness
LOS ANGELES — As I made my way to the Hammer Museum, I was very aware of the fact that I would arrive late to the event — but something told me to go anyway.
Don’t Turn Your Back on Selfies
LOS ANGELES — A selfie says a thousand words, especially when it’s taken with a longtime friend. We’ve all taken selfies to commemorate something together; it’s as if the moment doesn’t exist if we didn’t take that photo. Some selfie situations are more intense than others, however.
An Androgynous Suffragette Portrait, Rediscovered
LOS ANGELES — Mind-altering conversations happen by chance, randomly, when we are least expecting them to occur.