The Manifest Destiny Billboard Project is a series of 100 artist-produced billboards and activations, presented by LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division) which has been unfolding along Interstate 10 Freeway since October 2013. This ambitious and ongoing project began in Jacksonville, FL and will conclude in Los Angeles, CA in June 2015. This nationwide exhibition is an unprecedented endeavor, engaging millions of Americans in site-specific contemporary art in their day-to-day lives.
To mark the culmination of this endeavor in June 2015, we invite you to participate in a celebratory weekend of artist curated events, panel discussions, and screenings that will bring together the 10 projects that were unveiled across the country over the course of 20 months and 2,415 miles.
The participatory nature of this project calls for an equally collaborative conclusion. Your active support and participation are critical to the success of the project, and will dictate the way in which the project ends!
The Manifest Destiny Billboard Project is truly an unprecedented kind of art exhibition—significant contemporary art presented for the public, spanning the entire country, and reaching millions of viewers who can experience innovative artwork merely by driving their normal commute or trip to the grocery store. It has been participatory throughout its life, and will end in the same way—with your active participation and support!
Conceived by artist Zoe Crosher and co-curated by the artist and LAND’s Director and Curator, Shamim M. Momin, The Manifest Destiny Billboard Project includes 10 artists and 10 cities – John Baldessari (San Antonio, TX), Sanford Biggers (New Orleans, LA), Matthew Brannon (Los Angeles, CA), Zoe Crosher (Palm Springs, CA), Eve Fowler (Houston, TX), Shana Lutker (Jacksonville, FL), Jeremy Shaw (El Paso, TX), Daniel R. Small (Las Cruces, NM), Bobbi Woods (Tucson, AZ), and Mario Ybarra, Jr. (Mobile, AL) – who have each created 10 original billboard artworks along I-10, moving east to west and punctuating the landscape by following the history of geographical expansion. We will bring this cross-country journey together to share each of the 10 artists’ projects, along with new activations and events, with our audience in Los Angeles.We will, with your help, also live-stream these events, and maintain an active digital presence throughout and after, so that those of you who cannot physically join us, can be with us regardless!
How do we plan to do this?
A jam-packed weekend “road trip” across Los Angeles, produced over a long weekend (Friday through Sunday) of screenings, artist programs, dialogues, and other happenings to activate The Manifest Destiny Billboard Project throughout Los Angeles. The weekend events will explore the themes of the project in relation to this city, with all programs free and open to the public.
Here is the plan for the weekend:
- A scavenger hunt led by co-curator Zoe Crosher, introducing the project overall, with each site related thematically to the 10 Manifest Destiny Billboard Project chapters
- Public launch party with the artists with food and drinks from each of the 10 locales of the exhibition
- City Guide from the artists will offer an itinerary for the weekend and includes artist selections for things to do in Los Angeles, landmarks along I-10, plus a full itinerary of the weekend events to have in your pocket
- Artist projects, tours, public activities, and contributions across the city, such as:
- Ribbon cutting ceremony with artist Shana Lutker in Santa Monica mirroring her ribbon cutting ceremony in Jacksonville, FL at the launch of the exhibition
- A visit to the Wilmington murals featured in artist Mario Ybarra Jr.’s billboards in Mobile, AL with an artist conversation
- Performance project by artist Sanford Biggers stemming from imagery in his billboards presented in New Orleans, LA
- Gertrude Stein reading and wild posting with artist Eve Fowler whose billboards in Houston, TX depicted quotes from Stein
- Lunch at artist John Baldessari’s favorite restaurant in Venice Beach
- Conversation between artist Daniel R. Small and an archaeologist and epigrapher to discuss the history of the pseudo-archeological sites and languages referenced in Small’s billboards around Las Cruces, NM
- Drive-in movie screening with films selected by artists Jeremy Shaw and a video travelogue by Bobbi Woods, whose billboards draw from film and cinema advertising
- A downloadable Los Angeles punk rock playlist by artist Matthew Brannon to soundtrack your weekend travels, plus live music by local and legendary punk bands
- Panel discussion with local experts in the fields of American history, critical studies, Los Angeles history, and urban development, along with The Manifest Destiny Billboard Project artists and co-curators
-Concluding party at a historic location to be disclosed
Help LAND Make This Happen:
LAND is committed to producing this aspirational weekend of events, and wants to engage local communities in this critical celebration of the diverse American landscape and culture. In order to properly execute this, LAND will require staff time for planning and outreach, travel and accommodations for the 5 artists not currently based in Los Angeles, funds for venue rentals, screening fees, speaker fees, artist fees, production costs for performances/installations, insurance, printing/signage costs, and rental fees for transportation for the public.
To date, The Manifest Destiny Billboard Project has received funding support primarily by grants from the Rauschenberg Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Now, you have the opportunity to ensure that the project will conclude as strongly as it began.
About the Artists:
Zoe Crosher (b. Santa Rosa, CA) is a Los Angeles-based artist whose multifaceted practice uses the Los Angeles cityscape and Hollywood celebrity culture as the basis for fictional documentaries that explore the fantasy of expectations and the false promise of travel, identity, and transience.Her billboards will be presented in Palm Springs, CA in April 2015.
Shana Lutker (b. Northport, NY) is a Los Angeles-based artist whose work investigates various interpretations of history through drawings, sculptural installations, performances, and photographs.Her billboards were presented in Jacksonville, FL in October 2013.
Mario Ybarra Jr. (b. Los Angeles, CA) is a visual and performance artist, educator, founding member of Slanguage collective, and activist who combines street culture with fine art to produce site-specific urban interventions. He presented billboards in the Mobile, AL in January 2014 which were later re-presented in an exhibition at the Center for the Living Arts in Mobile.
Sanford Biggers (b. Los Angeles, CA) is a New York-based artist who presented billboards in New Orleans, LA in March 2014. Biggers’ work integrates film, video, installation, sculpture, drawing, original music, and performance.
Eve Fowler (b. Philadelphia, PA) is an artist and photographer whose practice involves documenting and reproducing examinations of ambiguity and meaning in gender, medium, or interpretation of text.Her billboards were presented in Houston, TX in June 2014.
John Baldessari (b. National City, CA) created billboards for San Antonio, TX in September 2014.Baldessari is a pioneering conceptual artist whose experimentation across a range of media developed into a defining aesthetic that appropriates mass culture.
Jeremy Shaw (b. Vancouver, British Columbia) is a Berlin-based artist known for multimedia works that focus on altered states.He will be creating billboards for the El Paso, TX chapter in January 2015; above is his study for one of the billboards.
Daniel R. Small (b. Centrailia, IL) will be presenting billboards in rural New Mexico in January 2015.Small creates work that investigates the relationship between scientific phenomena and procedures and their representation in objects, images, and charts.
Bobbi Woods (b. St. Louis, MO) is known for her ripped and altered posters that investigate commercial strategies and imagery. She will be creating billboards for the Tucson, AZ chapter in March 2015.
Matthew Brannon (b. St. Maries, ID) is known for his silkscreen and letterpress prints, installations, and paintings that investigate the concept of replication and the relationship between image and text. He will create the final chapter of billboards for Los Angeles, CA; above is a reference image created by the seminal 1981-1983 all-female punk band, Castration Squad, the subject of Brannon's series of billboards.
Want to get involved? We've got some great rewards as our way of saying thanks!
For $10, we'll make sure that you are the first to know all project-related news and updates, receive invitations to all events, and receive special thanks on The Manifest Destiny Billboard Project website - you'll truly be a part of getting the project across Los Angeles!
For $15, you'll get a special bumper sticker designed by artist Eve Fowler featuring the artwork from her billboards + all benefits of the $10 reward!
For $20, you'll receive Mungo Thomson's limited edition publication, People, and a snazzy LAND key pendant + all benefits of the $10 reward!
For $25, you'll get a poster by artist Bobbi Woods OR a pennant of the Jacksonville, FL skies designed by artist Shana Lutker + all benefits of the $10 reward!
For $35, take your pick of a limited edition t-shirt by artist Eve Fowler (comes in three colors and designs) + all benefits of the $10 reward!
For $50, attend a special session at the Institute of Art and Olfaction in Los Angeles where you'll experiment with making your own perfume + all benefits of the $10 reward!
NEW REWARD for $50! You'll receive a limited edition poster of artist Jeremy Shaw's billboard of Marty Robbins Biggest Hits + all benefits of the $10 reward!
For $75, take your pick of perfume from Zoe Crosher's limited edition The Manifest Destiny Billboard Project Perfume (10 custom scents for each stop of the project) + all benefits of the $10 reward!
For $100, you'll become a LAND Annual Member (includes artist Brendan Fowler-designed membership card, Eve Fowler-designed bumper sticker, LAND key pendant, invitations to members-only events (such as studio visits), LAND tote, and discounts on LAND limited edition artist multiples). Plus you'll also be invited to a special Artists' Reception + all benefits of the $10 reward!
For $150, it's YOUR CHOICE! Choose between joining an upcoming Fainting Club (a dinner and women's social club led by artist Zoe Crosher) in the city of your choice (cities and dates vary) OR a signed limited edition by artist Bobbi Woods, Some things I like (in black and white). You'll also be invited to an Artists' Reception + all benefits of the $10 reward!
For $250, you'll get a poster by artist Eve Fowler from her series featuring texts from Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons. You'll also receive an invitation to the Artists' Reception + all benefits of the $10 reward!
NEW REWARD 2/18! For $250 you'll get a very special handmade t-shirt by Matthew Brannon, created especially for the Kickstarter campaign! Only 10 available!
For $350, you'll get a LAND limited edition artist print from The Secret Still Knows, an invitation to the Artists' Reception + all benefits of the $10 reward! You'll also be credited as a LAND Collective Member on all exhibition materials.
For $500, it's YOUR CHOICE! Choose between a signed limited edition by artist Mario Ybarra Jr. from his series Barrio Aesthetics OR a set of all 10 MDBP perfumes by artist Zoe Crosher, an invitation to the Artists' Reception + all benefits of the $10 reward! You'll also be credited as a LAND Collective Member on all exhibition materials.
NEW REWARD for $500! Just three remain after the $250 level sold out! You'll get a poster by artist Eve Fowler from her series featuring texts from Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons. You'll also receive an invitation to the Artists' Reception + all benefits of the $10 reward!
For $1,000, it's YOUR CHOICE! Choose any 1 of the above rewards OR join for a day of studio visits in Los Angeles (including lunch) accompanied by the curators of MDBP (LAND’s Director/Curator, Shamim M. Momin, and artist Zoe Crosher), an invitation to the Artists' Reception + all benefits of the $10 reward! You'll also be credited as a Charter Nomad on all exhibition materials.
For $2,500, own a piece of the project with your very own billboard vinyl (you can choose the vinyl from those available)! You'll also receive an invitation to the Artists' Reception + all benefits of the $10 reward! You'll also be credited as a Charter Nomad on all exhibition materials.
For $5,500, you'll get a limited edition lightbox by artist Zoe Crosher, an invitation to the Artists' Reception + all benefits of the $10 reward! You'll also be credited as an Artist Sponsor on all exhibition materials.
Want to make history? Support the exhibition as a Project Sponsor for $10,000! Your name (or logo, if that's your thing!) will be credited across all exhibition materials. As our thanks, one of the artists in the exhibition will create a very special commissioned work just for you, and LAND will curate a special experience package for the weekend!
Video produced by Terry Chatkupt / Pine Flat Studios
Video and Slideshow Image Credits: Mario Ybarra Jr. footage excerpted from "Barrio Aesthetics" video by Third World Creative Studio; John Baldessari "Love and Work" documentation photographs by Jennifer Siu-Rivera; Eve Fowler “it is so, is it so" photographs courtesy of Max Fields; and Castration Squad reference images "Castration Squad Manifesto” and"Shannon Wilhelm and Dinah Cancer" courtesy of Creative Commons License 2.0 and Alice Bag (flickr user alice_bag). Unless otherwise noted, all images courtesy of LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division) and the artists.
Special thanks to Art Basel, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, LAND’s Nomadic Council, the Offield Family Foundation, Lamar Advertising Company, and Clear Channel Outdoor.
Risks and challenges
To date, LAND has been able to create and implement many extraordinarily ambitious curatorial projects across the country – from an island in Miami, the deserts of West Texas, the Sunset Strip, and everything in between. The Manifest Destiny Billboard Project requires the same tenacity, passion, and organization, which is the hallmark of what LAND does.
Two main risks and challenges for the culminating weekend are:
• Collaborating Partners: We will need to secure partner venues for events as well as the necessary permits. As each of our proposed programs will take place in unique sites and venues, we rely on collaborating partners to support the presentation of these projects. Unforeseen scheduling conflicts can occur, and LAND always has a “plan b” for these types of situations.
• Scheduling and Advertising: LAND will coordinate all artist schedules, travel, and itineraries for the weekend, something we juggle on a regular basis with our many ongoing and disparate projects. We will plan to engage a PR firm to assist in outreach to ensure that local communities are aware of the programs. Fulfillment of the Kickstarter campaign will additionally allow ample time for thorough and deep outreach to our audience.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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