From 2012-2016, I was a producer on Artbound, a multimedia arts journalism platform at KCETLink Public Media. We'd make short-form documentaries based on articles I would assign from arts journalists throughout 11 counties of Southern California. Then we'd assemble the short videos into hour-long television episodes. What started as one experimental season, turned into a 9 season series, which continues today. Check out the full list of episodes on IMDb.
Below are some short Artbound videos that I worked on.
The Date Farmers
The Date Farmers make Chicano pop art; they are desert Basquiats, infusing abstract expressionism with a politically charged, pop culture update. This profile of the Coachella based artists was the very first video we made for Artbound, which kicked off our ambitious arts journalism initiative. When we were producing this piece based around my article on the duo, I remembered that the artists had once built an imaginative tin house inside of a gallery, so they reconstructed it for in the desert for our video and threw a party in it too! This piece won some L.A. Press Club Awards and a Golden Mic award.
Cut Chemist's Crosstown Mix
Six songs. Five locations. One day. For this Artbound segment I produced, we commissioned DJ Cut Chemist to make a mix for our city; a collection of songs that represented a few of the many neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Then during one crazy day, we drove across town, setting up guerrilla performances in each of these locations.
We started in the heart of Los Angeles, downtown, nestled in a snarl of our arterial freeways, and headed west, down Wilshire Blvd., that linear city lined with skyscrapers all the way to the Pacific. From day break to sun down, we explored a fraction of this sprawling city -- just one road among many - but witnessed the way L.A. neighborhoods blend together, the same way the sound of two records becomes blurred and interwoven by a DJ's mixer. As the sun tucked behind the ocean, in an almost post-card-ish, "Endless Summer" kind of sunsets, we had half the city behind us, leaving us with memories of pineapple paletas at MacArthur Park, burning sage in Little Ethiopia, parking tickets downtown, and the never-ending bustle of Venice Beach. They're songs for our city. Read my interview with Cut Chemist about our intense day of production across the city.
Below is a small selection from the 19 episodes of Artbound that I worked on, which were aired on KCETLink. We'd assemble our short form documentaries into episodes that were sometimes based around a theme.
This Emmy-winning episode of Artbound, "Borderlands," explores arts along the U.S.-Mexico border. We visit Mexicali Rose, an artist organization in Mexicali, where locals are encouraged to create art to galvanize community involvement. We explore drones as art, where multiple projects re-appropriating military drones play with the idea of surveillance and mobility. We view the photographs of Paul Turounet, who captures undocumented border-crossers and prints the images on galvanized metal. We dive into Tijuana's vibrant reemergent gallery scene, and showcase Manuel Paul Lopez's animated poem, "1984." The episode wraps up with a musical performance by Brazilian troubadour Rodrigo Amarante.
Invisible cities: An Opera for Headphones
This Emmy-winning episode of Artbound presents a one hour special focused on the avant-garde opera, "Invisible Cities." Produced by the Industry, L.A.'s experimental opera company, in partnership with the L.A. Dance Project, "Invisible Cities" depicts the meeting between emperor Kublai Khan at the end of his life with the explorer Marco Polo, as told in Italo Calvino's fantastical book. An innovative production staged in the iconic Union Station, the opera utilizes wireless technology provided by Sennheiser, offering audience members headphones to hear the opera amid the normal "hustle and bustle" of the train station's everyday life. "Invisible Cities" is composed and adapted by Christopher Cerrone, directed by The Industry's founder and artistic director Yuval Sharon, with choreography by Danielle Agami
Artbound Presents: Studio A
As an offshoot of our series Artbound, we started a music performance television show that featured musicians and bands from the Los Angeles area. Of the 20 episodes I worked on, here are a few highlights, and the full list of other performances we aired on KCETLink.
Beachy rockers Best Coast deliver reverb-drenched guitar, Laurel Canyon strums, and subtle country edge to KCET's Studio A.
East L.A. band Chicano Batman brings their feel-good fusion of funk, R&B, Latin soul, cumbia, bossa nova, psychedelia, and pop to KCET's Studio A for an electric performance. Their set explores a range of sonic flavors including simmering slow jams, allegro samba interludes and cumbia breakdowns.
The premiere episode of KCET's new music show Studio A features Los Angeles-based musician Chelsea Wolfe, whose hypnotically entrancing vocals, layered guitar textures, and pulsing rhythms earned her critical accolades for her album Pain is Beauty. Read more about Chelsea Wolfe: http://bit.ly/1cCBQ8j
Grammy award-winning producer Daniel Lanois brings his studio to the stage, performing grand piano, steel guitar, and a full band setup. For this intimate performance performs songs from his new album The Flesh and The Machine revealing the visionary techniques that helped shaped the sounds of musicians like U2, Bob Dylan, and Peter Gabriel.
Pairing deft guitar with his lithe falsetto, Moses Sumney performs his soulful folk with nothing but a guitar and looping effects.