Hammer Blog

  • Dance Hall Days, Love

    Dance Hall Days, Love

    It isn’t a new idea, in fact it is a phenomena that has already swept through Europe, but still you might laugh when I tell you that we are about to embark upon an all-out dance party in the middle of the day among the corporate office buildings of Westwood. As a part of the KCHUNG residency, DJs proposed offering the hard working office folk in the Hammer’s neighboring buildings a respite in the middle of the day in the form of an upbeat DJ set for listening and especially dancing. Allison Agsten, Curator of Public Engagement at the Hammer, and known dancing fiend, decided this was a fabulous idea and the KCHUNG Lunchtime Disco was born. Throughout October and November from 12:30-1:30pm, in the Hammer Lobby, a diverse array of KCHUNG DJs will blast their jams and raise the roof. I think as a fan of female empowerment

  • Beijing Transports

    Beijing Transports

    The rickshaw, a two-wheeled human drawn passenger cart, appeared in China in the mid to late 1800s.  Their popularity began to decline in the 1920s and by 1950 and the founding of the PRC most manual rickshaws were gone, perhaps in part because they had become a symbol of oppression of the working class. But the two and three-wheeled cycle and other animal and motor drawn vehicles are still in use today. Until recent times, bicycles were the dominant form of transportation and moved through cities like huge schools of fish. Ever since I moved to Beijing in 2008 I have witnessed an ever-growing population of cars and highways. But in the midst of this new society surging into the future one can still find remnants of the past. It is not uncommon to see a horse pulled wagon hauling loads of bricks or mounds of coconuts down

  • ASMR


    ASMR is, by nature, somewhat of a private topic. Only within the last year or so have I dared mention it to anyone socially, as the physical nature of it lands it firmly in the realm of "body talk". To casually mention that your body is autonomously stimulated by certain quotidian sounds is to then be expected to explain yourself in depth, and ASMR is yet unexplained by science. Thankfully, the miracle that is YouTube has provided community to those of us with a penchant for the delicious sound of a whispered voice, slow-turned page, or make-up brushes clattered around in a soft fabric bag. And with YouTube community comes exposure, growth and some extremely strange quirks. Allow me to reverse a bit, and acclimate you. ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It is the sensation of tingling and an allegedly consequential sense of peace that is caused

  • ASK A CURATOR DAY | Hammer Edition

    The third annual Ask A Curator Day took place Wednesday, September 18, 2013.  622 museums in 37 countries participated, resulting in over 26,000+ tweets.  The Hammer joined the conversation with 60+ questions answered between Aram Moshayedi, Emily Gonzalez, Leslie Cozzi, and Allison Agsten.  We were overwhelmed with the thoughtful, smart questions, and the passion that this project generated.  This is visitor engagement at it’s finest, and a true example of the power of Twitter and social media.  Big thanks to Mar Dixon for spearheading the project. Full transcript below. Side note: We kept our curators powered with Founts and 800 Degrees Pizza. . ---- 11AM-12PM | ARAM MOSHAYEDI | Curator ---- Aram recently came to the Hammer from the gallery at REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater). His first exhibition for the Hammer is Pentti Monkkonen: Selected Works from the Baldwin Hills Space Association and he

  • A geographic note

    A geographic note

    KCHUNG Radio's residency at the Hammer Museum officially kicks off tonight with the inaugural Whisper Report. During the residency, members of KCHUNG Radio will blogging here on the Hammer Blog, sharing their insights, interests, and anything else that strikes their fancy. I am following the station's preparations for the residency through Skype and email from a somewhat remote location. I am in Polotsk, Belarus, near Russia. It is fascinating to be privy to the U.S. discourse while simultaneously immersed in the Russian media space; Belarus and Russia have an open border, and Russian TV channels are broadcast alongside the Belarusian ones. This is a fairly serious international situation we are finding ourselves in, and it seems prescient that the first event of the residency will be a Whisper Report by Gabie Strong, wherein Gabie will be broadcasting from the projection booth during the free screening of the Pussy Riot: A Punk

  • Ask a Curator Day!

    The Hammer is excited to be among 350+ museums from 34 countries participating in Ask a Curator Day on Wednesday, September 18 via the microblogging site Twitter. Hammer curatorial staff will be live tweeting from 11AM to 3PM PDT.  Tweet your questions to @hammer_museum and make sure to use the #AskaCurator hashtag.  We can't wait to hear from you! 11AM-12PM Aram Moshayedi | Curator Aram recently came to the Hammer from the gallery at REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater). His first exhibition for the Hammer is Pentti Monkkonen: Selected Works from the Baldwin Hills Space Association and he is currently organizing a selection of works from the Hammer Contemporary Collection. His area of expertise is projects and exhibitions. 12-1PM Emily Gonzalez | Curatorial Assistant Emily has worked on many Hammer exhibitions including Mark Leckey: On Pleasure Bent, LLYN FOULKES, Made in L.A. 2012, and All of this and nothing

  • Alternative Art: Telescope

    Alternative Art: Telescope

    An excerpt from Time Out Bejing: ALTERNATIVE ART: TELESCOPE As a non-profit gallery, Telescope offers an alternative to commercial ones ‘As an artist, Telescope is my project, an art work in itself,’ says James Elaine, the founder and curator of the Caochangdi-based space. Elaine worked as a curator in the United States for more than 25 years, at institutional behemoths The Drawing Center in New York and Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. In 2012, he migrated to the more modest confines of Telescope, converted from an old massage parlour in the dusty labyrinths of Caochangdi. ‘My mother was born in Shandong province,’ explains Elaine. ‘Her parents, my grandparents, were doctors who founded a hospital and worked there many years. I grew up with a knowledge and love of China and the people.’ Drawing upon his experiences from across the Pacific ocean, Elaine hopes that Telescope can

  • Universal Man: Snowman

    Universal Man: Snowman

    In honor of the current LA heat wave, lets think chilly thoughts! I don’t know why I was a little surprised to see snowmen in Beijing when I first arrived in 2008. The snowman tradition is older than the USA’s snow, possibly dating back to cave dwellers in Mongolia and northeast China, and that tradition continues in the art districts of Beijing and surrounding areas to this day. I ride my bicycle through the snow and ice to find the contemporary renditions of an ancient art form: Snowmen. -James Elaine