8 Pages


In the summer of 1965, the artist William Leavitt arrived in Los Angeles from Boulder, Colorado. Los Angeles is not something that can be easily caught, inspected, and then presented, as if one had finally grasped its irreducible core after a scholarly quest for this particular manifestation of the urban grail. Most likely, Street Level: Los Angeles in the Twenty-First Century will fall victim to the same pitfalls. Los Angeles has immediate and important ties to Tehran, Seoul, Mexico City, Hong Kong, and Manila, just to name a few amongst the many which could be inserted in what could be an extremely long list. Los Angeles is then a both/and city, a dystopia and a utopia, and, being both, it cannot satisfy the criteria of either, no matter how powerful the analysis or expansive the theoretical construct. However, it does mean that theorizing about LA should simultaneously be more modest and more immodest: it must claim less while encompassing more.