Los Angeles comes alive this November and December, sponsored by SoCal 350 Climate Action, in calling for global climate agreements at the upcoming UN conference in Paris. This includes the Global Climate March (Nov 29) at L.A. City Hall, the Vision L.A. Climate Action Arts Festival (Nov 30 to Dec 11), the California Nurses Association Climate Convergence (Dec 3) at Pershing Square and Building Blocks Against Climate Change (Dec 12) along Wilshire Blvd.
“Art is never chaste,” said Pablo Picasso. “Art is dangerous.” One of the 20th century’s greatest painters was born in Málaga, Spain, but Jonathan Jones argues he came into his own amid the sleaze and bohemianism of Paris – the only city that could have matched his peerless imagination.
“San Fran has Coit Tower. Paris its Eiffel Tower. DC the Washington Monument. New York City, the Statue of liberty, and us, we got some downtown parking.”
In 1934, Henry Miller, then aged forty-two and living in Paris, published his first book. In 1961, finally distributed in his native land the book promptly became a best-seller and a cause célèbre. By now, the “controversies” dominate his legacy, including issues of censorship, obscenity, misogyny and anti-Semitism, clouding the import of Henry Miller’s words. “Tropic of Cancer” broke literary ground, mixing novelistic forms with autobiography, social criticism, philosophical reflection, and surrealist free association.
The world’s population is expected to rise to 10 billion by 2050. Yet with 80 per cent of the planet’s usable farmland already cultivated, the effects of climate change wreaking havoc across large areas of existing farmland, and more than 10 per cent of humanity going to bed hungry every night, growing enough sustenance for three billion new mouths is not going to be easy.
Chris Marker, writer, photographer, filmmaker and time-traveler created the post-nuclear-war photo-novel-film “La Jetée,” an inventive melange of image and sound, politics and philosophy.
We must view the fragility of the planet, the disaster of our resource addiction, the warming of the earth’s atmosphere as an immune response to our daily environmental mis-stepping, a call for a re-conceptualization of our cities. We must demand a retrofitting of our urban environments to live together more efficiently, giving credence to community, allowing space for the open wild in us and them.