Monday, September 12, 2011


The street architecture of my route to and from work may stay more or less the same, but the billboards, large and small, are constantly changing - which makes being stuck at lights all the more fun.   I've been thinking about street art in Dickens (an extension of my pavement artists talk that I'll write for NAVSA), and this means thinking about walls as well as about sidewalks.   He wouldn't have seen a great deal by way of illustration in posters for much of his life, though, unless it was by way of advertising a panorama or circus or something already-spectacular - so that raises the question of the status of typeface and words on walls, and what it means to read something that's a spectacle as well as a printed document (or a projected document, in the C20th - which takes one straight back to Jenny Holzer).   And so I've been thinking about size and scale in relation to street art ... I think this is one of the reasons that I so like commuting: it gives one time to think - apart from the times when I deviate from my standard route, and invariably, GPS or no GPS, get lost.   The least said about the horrible junction where Temple vaguely joins Hoover and Beverley and a whole lot of other confusing streets, the better.  All I can say is that I'm very glad they don't have electric rail cars running through there any more: here's one at that very intersection in 1910.

Pacific Electric car One Hundred Ten near the intersection of Temple Street and Hoover Street in Los Angeles, [s.d.]

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