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  • Presidents' Day Holiday

    Feb 15| Academic Dates
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    Otis offices are closed for the Holiday.

  • Oliver Kellhammer is an independent artist, writer and researcher, who seeks, through his botanical interventions and social art practice, to demonstrate nature’s surprising ability to recover from damage. His recent work has focused on the psychosocial effects of climate change, cleaning up contaminated soils, reintroducing prehistoric trees to landscape damaged by industrial logging and cataloging the ecology of brownfield ecologies. He currently works as a lecturer in sustainable systems at Parsons in New York City.
     
  • Emily Kendal Frey is the author of the poetry collections The Grief Performance, selected for the Cleveland State Poetry Center's 2010 First Book Prize by Rae Armantrout, and Sorrow Arrow, as well as the the chapbooks Frances, The New Planet, and Airport. The winner of the Poetry Society of America's Norma Farber First Book Award, Frey's poetry has appeared in the journals Octopus and the Oregonian. She lives in Portland.

    Seating is limited.

    Maps & Parking Information

  • Performance : Proust in one hour

    by Véronique Aubouy

    Duration : 60 minutes chrono

    In this performance I try to summarize in 60 minutes In search of past time with my own words, as a story of another time which reveals itself contemporary. I deliver my own intimate and personal perception of this book which radiates in my life. Each performance is another opportunity to explore different zones of the book, proceeding at random, inspired by an aleatory and fickle memory.

  • Rear Window

    Kristin Moore
    Thesis Exhibition
    Feb 16th-19th, 2016

    Reception:

    Thursday, Feb 18th, 6-9PM

    Bolsky Gallery
    Otis College of Art and Design
    9045 Lincoln Blvd. 
    Los Angeles, CA 90045 
    310.846.2614


    Gallery Hours: Tues-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-4pm

     

  • The Architecture/Landscape/Interiors Department at Otis College of Art and Design is pleased to announce the George H. Scanlon Foundation Lecture REDUX.4 by IÑAKI ÁBALOS

  • Mr. Yang Chen worked in real estate development companies for eight years and in architecture design companies for fourteen years, serving as architect, General Manager, and Executive President. From 2002 to 2007 he was General Manager of China Construction Design International (CCDI) Shanghai and COO of its headquarters in Shenzhen. He played a significant role in CCDI’s transition from a regional company of around 100 employees to a national corporation of over 3000 employees.

O-Tube

LEWIS MACADAMS

May 13, 2014
Spotlight Category: Faculty

From Confrontation to Cooperation

Lewis Macadams, Senior Lecturer, Graduate Writing

 

In the late 1930s, in response to a pair of deadly floods, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors called in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to control the unruly L.A. River. The mission was to get the water to the ocean as fast as possible. The idea that it might make sense, in a city that gets less than 15 inches of rain a year on average, to conserve some of those hundreds of millions of gallons of freshwater seems to have never occurred to the Army Corps.

It took many years, thousands of workers, and some 3 million barrels of concrete to bring the river to heel. By some measures, the project was a triumph: floodwaters have not topped the river levees since. But it was also an ecological holocaust.

Within a very few years, important native species were largely gone. Yellow-billed cuckoos and least bell's vireo no longer sang in the watershed. Red-legged frogs, which hibernated by burrowing into the river bottom’s mud, couldn‘t penetrate the concrete.

For half a century after the work was finished, the river was little more than a concrete scar, separated from the city by chain-link fences topped with razor wire and signs warning visitors to keep out or face fines and/or jail.

In 1986, Roger Wong, Pat Patterson and I borrowed some wire cutters, snipped the fence that separated the river from the city, and declared the river open. We asked the river if we could speak for it in the human realm. We didn't hear it say no, and Friends of the L.A. River was born. FoLAR began life as a performance piece in a basement theater on Skid Row as a "40-year artwork to bring the river back to life." I donned a white suit and painted myself green as if i were the ghost of William Mulholland.

In the mid-1980s, a lawsuit by Heal the Bay forced L.A. to build a water reclamation plant that would ultimately send millions of gallons a year of reclaimed water through the Glendale Narrows. For the first time since the last Ice Age, the river was year-round. Willows and sycamore trees began to reappear.
In preparation for a predicted El Niño, the County and the Army Corps decided to bulldoze everything growing in the river's natural bottom. Standing in front of the machines, I nearly got myself killed. But the action got FoLAR its first meeting with the head of the L.A. County Department of Public Works. Every time he said the words "flood control channel," I interrupted him and said "river." I had planted the linguistic seeds. Today nearly everybody calls it a river.

In recent years, more and more Angelenos have discovered the river. FoLAR's annual Gran Limpieza, the Great Los Angeles River Cleanup, has grown from 10 people to several thousand. Two former railroad yards are now state parks, half a dozen riverfront pocket parks were created, and a bike path continues to grow.

Every one of these victories was the result of patience, willpower, and perseverance. Yet none of them opened up the channel itself. In 2010 it was still a crime to stick your toe in the river. Then, this fall, after seven years of work and almost $10 million, the Army Corps released a study with a range of alternatives for the river's future.

It was a stunning development. FoLAR could now work hand in hand with the Army Corps to restore miles of habitat, eliminate miles of concrete, restore wetlands, and reconnect the main stem of the river to the mountains.

As I look back on a lifetime of poetry and politics, on 27 years of working on the river, I see a journey from confrontation to cooperation. It has created a wider and deeper community not just of humans but of flying, swimming, and four-legged creatures as well.

 

 

Editor’s Note:
A longer version of this Op Ed piece appeared in the Los Angeles Times, October 27, 2013.

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