DNA (image name DebRis DNA.jpg)
Size: 66″ x10″ x 10″
Materials: Washed up balloons, street found lamp. Mixed media.
Ballgown (image DebRis Ballgown.jpg)
(There were 2 images sent – one had my picture in it)
Size: 55″ x 16″ x 15″
Materials: Washed up balls & brackets, street found mannequin & construction mesh. Mixed Media.
Water Balloons (DebRis Water Balloons.jpg)
also accompanying video
Size: 24″ x 24″ x 12″
Materials: All objects inside of tank were found washed up on the beach.
Patriot (DebRis Patriot.jpg)
Size: 6′ x 35″ x 3″
Materials: All firecrackers, cigarettes, streamers and fishing line were found left on the beaches and streets on July 5th. All fireworks were made in China.
When I think about marijuana, I think about district attorney Steve Cooley. Bongs, inner clarity, and cancer patients simply don’t exert the same visceral pull as the man who wants to be the next state attorney general. Steve Cooley is my personal figurehead of dope.
The fastest growing criminal enterprise in the 21st century is human trafficking. Surprised? So was I. Even more of a surprise is the role played by the United States. Each year, 50 thousand people are trafficked into this country, making America a main destinations for modern-day slaves. The top city through which these victims enter the US is the glitz-and-glamorous city of dreams, our very own Los Angeles.
But in the words of Tzighe, a victim of trafficking here in LA, “there is hope.” Hope, which sometimes comes from rather curious places.
Billy has no idea what he’s done wrong. Just another confused statistic behind bars, sentenced to life for a crime he never even committed. Now, without any means to plead his case, the 23 year-old is slowly losing his mind. Celebrities, politicians and activists have been fighting over him for several years, and a major trial – with a $42 million price tag – is set to go to court this spring. Advocates for Billy’s life-sentence declare he is getting exactly what he deserves, while critics denounce his wrongful imprisonment as a cruel means to an end that could result in his premature death.
A collaborative preview of the stories and characters in this issue of FORTH.
In his dusty office turned makeshift crime lab in downtown LA, amateur crime detective Morton Forthston squints to read the fine print through his grandfather’s magnifying glass in a room too dimly lit. Anonymously delivered by carrier pigeons through his apartment window on 7th and Grand, the three white, origami-folded notes that lie in his hands are sealed with the acronym, ACNAIB. He opens each to find a clue: the first written in magic marker, “Billy.” The second had come a few days later: “Bianca;” the last, “Noah.” Believing in circumstance over coincidence, he knows he is on to something, although he’s not quite sure what.
“Once, without realizing it, they spent ten minutes conversing about two entirely separate topics. Alex was talking about S/M lifestyles, and Patrick was talking about living in New York, and they didn’t realize their error until Alex said, with an air of finality, ‘Well, it’s a lot to go through just for an orgasm.’”
When I saw my first pictures of the Pink Bus, a Pepto-pink double-decker that had previously only existed in my dreams alongside unicorns and cotton-candy clouds, I wanted to get on board immediately. From its overturned bathtub bar covered with melted vinyl records, to a ceiling with an array of lampshades hanging down like stalactites, it is a treasure trove of scraps that have been transformed into an entirely unique and surprisingly homey environment. Unfortunately for me, the bus is parked in Edinburgh, so I sought out its two creators – Reading, England’s Victoria Brook and Caroline Fletcher.
Last December the art world breathed a collective sigh of relief as Art Basel Miami beach got under way. The mood at the fair was noticeably cheerier than 2008, when all the air kisses, hand shakes and fake smiles could not disguise most participants’ fear of the coming apocalypse. Since the recession continued to batter the art market for most of 2009, this year’s fair was still more subdued than the all out bacchanals of years past, but as they say, “the show must go on,” and it did.
Bianca Kolonusz-Partee makes pictures of the things we ignore using pieces of the things we discard. Cezanne painted his Mont Sainte-Victoire over 60 times, Monet recreated his water lilies dozens more. The subject of industrial shipping ports may not seem so romantic, but to Bianca they are every bit as potent. Industrial ports are universal gateways, through which we receive nearly everything we use everyday. Not that we notice them. In fact, you might say we make a point of ignoring them. This is particularly easy in a city like Los Angeles, where the unpleasantness can be easily lost in the endless sprawl of our mega-city. Even in denser cities like New York and San Francisco, where the cranes and docks are unavoidable, most of us are so inured to the sight that it becomes part of the white noise of urban life. We tend to remember the Empire State Building and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Bianca believes this is typical: “The average person in LA, unless they live in those areas doesn’t really think about [shipping ports] or see them.” And yet, according to the Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma, the amount of air pollution blowing inland every day from the Long Beach/Los Angeles ports is equal to that generated daily by three million cars. Children in Long Beach face some of the highest levels of asthma and permanent damage to lung development in Southern California. Diesel pollution from the ports’ trains, ships, cargo conveyors and trucks poses such significant risks to local residents as cancer and premature death. “There’s all this processing going on that you can visually see and smell. It’s causing the same amount of pollution and damage as it is in New Jersey, but the San Pedro and Long Beach ports seem more remote.”