Saturday night lights


Somehow, in my urban ambling, the work of Chris Burden keeps bursting through the landscape, whether in the limestone canyon of Rockefeller Center in New York or as I’m strolling Wilshire near the new BCAM here in LA. I’ve professed my love for this streetlamp installation before, and I finally got a chance to explore them at night.


There’s something rather menacing about them, isn’t there? Like they’re in a streetlamp gang, and they all gathered here together, from all parts of the city, to claim their territory.


As I was lining this up a couple came walking through the plaza en route to some fundraiser or something (he was in a suit, she had on a dress made of some material that clinked together as she walked). She was dazzled, enchanted like a Disney princess at the ball, completely speechless. The guy tugged her hand, and said “Come. On. We’re late.” He just couldn’t see it.


It doesn’t even look real! The ethereal quality is just like this in person. It’s almost like it was taken in black and white. The good news, at least for my little point and shoot, is that you don’t need a flash.

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  • Fluzzknee

    I’ve never read menace into the old street lamps (some of which I seem to remember on actual streets, back in my childhood). I’ve always felt a sense of nostalgia for a time when these lamps’ aesthetic matched a vision for a present and future city. They still make me feel a certain heaviness like that which is evoked in a graveyard. The majesty of a lone bright light, a lot of it at once, is the same force I felt back when they used to (do they still? will they again?) light up the entirety of the the DWP building. (See my previous response).

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