Pacific Drift

Pacific Drift for June 11, 2006

More then concrete and asphalt, more then dirt and bedrock and fault lines, Los Angeles is built on dreams. This week, the SoCal dreamscape. Miranda July, Ed Ruscha and Aimee Bender talk about dreams and more.

Miranda July
First thing every morning, filmmaker Miranda July writes down all her dreams. July directed "Me and You and Everyone We Know" and she says that since moving to Los Angeles a few years ago, she's had anxiety dream after anxiety dream. For Miranda July, dreams - even scary dreams - are an anchor.

Ed Ruscha
Ed Ruscha is one of a generation of Los Angeles artists who came up in the 1960s and put Southern California on the map in the art world. Many of Ruscha's paintings, photographs and collages incorporate big words prominently printed front and center. Ruscha is 68 years old and he represented the United States in the Venice Biennale last Spring. He recently spoke with Queena Kim.

Aimee Bender
Aimee Bender reads "Fruit and Words," a short story from her book, Willful Creatures. In "Fruit and Words," a woman drives back alone from Las Vegas after being ditched by her boyfriend of seven years. On her way home to Los Angeles, the woman gets a craving for mangoes and stops by a fruit stand that turns out to be a chimerical way station between consciousness and dreams.

Catherine Mulholland
Catherine Mulholland is the granddaughter of a man who, some say, dreamed an impossible dream. William Mulholland came to Los Angeles and undertook the task of creating the largest waterworks system known to man. Its crown jewel? The 238-mile Owens River Aqueduct. Ben Adair spoke to Catherine Mulholland, author of William Mulholland and the Rise of Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has an exhibit commemorating the 150th anniversary of Mulholland's birth.

Kevin Starr: the Myth of Southern California
We have the American Dream, the California Dream, the dream of Los Angeles and Southern California. But where, exactly, did those dreams come from? Historian Kevin Starr traces the myth all the way back to Spain. Starr is the author of Americans and the California Dream,1850-1915 and California: A History.

Song: California Dreamin'
...by The Mamas and the Papas from the album The Mamas and the Papas Greatest Hits

Immigrants and the California Dream
Immigrants are reviving the California dream. Queena Kim visits Elizabeth Lee, owner of Advance Food Market in South Central L.A.

Hollywood Cattle Call
Since the early days of Hollywood, people from all over the world have come to Los Angeles to start their acting careers as extras. It's minimum-wage work that's often difficult to get. But just because they're faces in the crowd doesn't mean these actors aren't in character - and dreaming of bigger things. Ayala Ben-Yehuda met some extras at Hollywood OS, a Beverly Hills casting company.

Dreams at Roosevelt High
826LA is a literacy project run out of Venice that teams with local high schools to encourage creative writing and publish teens' work. For the last couple of months, an army of volunteer tutors has been working with kids and teachers at Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights to publish Entering New Territory: Dreams for a New Los Angeles, an anthology of poems and essays. The students read excerpts of their work and talk about their dreams with Ben Adair.

Rudolph Schindler: Death of an Architectural Dream
In 1921, a young architect named Rudolph Schindler came to Los Angeles on a work assignment. He worked for Frank Lloyd Wright at the time and he went on to define architectural modernism. Schindler dreamed that architecture and design could free you from social burdens.

The first house Schindler built in Los Angeles was his own home, in West Hollywood. It's now the headquarters of the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles. Queena Kim met MAK director Kimberli Meyer for a tour of one man's architectural dream.

Kitty Felde
KPCC's Special Correspondent talks to Ben Adair about the unexpected outcomes of dreams realized - and unfulfilled.


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