Headshots of five artists

Ruben Ochoa, photo by Allison V. Smith; Glenn Kaino, photo by Mathew Scott; Ada Pinkston, photo courtesy of Ada Pinkston; Mercedes Dorame, photo by Josef Jacques; I.R. Bach, photo courtesy of I.R. Bach

Five New AR Monuments for L.A.

April 13, 2021

Last year, Mercedes Dorame, I.R. Bach, Glenn Kaino, Ruben Ochoa, and Ada Pinkston were asked to rethink monuments and to highlight local stories, but for the virtual space. As part of a new initiative—LACMA × Snapchat: Monumental Perspectives—these five artists were paired with technologists (or Snap Lens Creators) to create new monuments that offer more inclusive perspectives. After four months of close collaboration, we’re excited to announce that the first collection of AR monuments can be experienced beginning today!

Here’s a preview of the five monuments:

Red swirling lines reach into the sky from a round blue mat laid on decomposed granite with palm trees in the background
Mercedes Dorame, Portal for Tovaangar, 2021, in collaboration with LACMA × Snapchat: Monumental Perspectives, © Mercedes Dorame, image courtesy of Snap Inc.

Mercedes Dorame’s immersive portal links past, present, and future worlds by exploring what it means to exist as a Native inhabitant of contemporary Tovaangar (Los Angeles). 

A giant lightbulb with writing on it floats on a concrete plaza with a building and a lake in the background
I. R. Bach, Think Big, 2021, in collaboration with LACMA × Snapchat: Monumental Perspectives, © I.R. Bach, image courtesy of Snap Inc.

Through larger-than-life animations, a whimsical soundtrack, and a guiding basketball, I.R. Bach’s Think Big crafts an experience designed to inspire self-reflection as you proceed through Magic Johnson Park.

Metallic wheels and gears float above a photo of the L.A. Memorial Coliseum
Glenn Kaino, No Finish Line, 2021, in collaboration with LACMA × Snapchat: Monumental Perspectives, © Glenn Kaino, image courtesy of Snap Inc.

Glenn Kaino’s No Finish Line centers on generational stories from the communities, businesses, and organizations along the 1932 L.A. Olympic marathon route, which started and ended at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. 

Images of street vendor carts with rainbow parasols float above a photo of a lake with highrise buildings in the background
Ruben Ochoa, ¡Vendedores Presente!, 2021, in collaboration with LACMA × Snapchat: Monumental Perspectives, © Ruben Ochoa, image courtesy of Snap Inc.

Referencing familiar forms of street vending, Ruben Ochoa’s ¡Vendedores, Presente! serves as a multilingual resource for on-the-ground entrepreneurs and a call for advocacy.

A sphere-like shape with black and white photographs overlaid on it floats in the air by a lake
Ada Pinkston, The Open Hand is Blessed, 2021, in collaboration with LACMA × Snapchat: Monumental Perspectives, © Ada Pinkston, image courtesy of Snap Inc.

Ada Pinkston’s The Open Hand is Blessed is a memorial series that pays tribute to the voice and spiritual philosophy of Biddy Mason.

These monuments were designed to be experienced both in person at locations across Los Angeles through the Snapchat Camera or viewed anywhere around the world. If you’re local to L.A., stop by LACMA, MacArthur Park, Earvin “Magic” Johnson Park, and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Don’t forget your masks and to continue following physical distancing measures! At each location look for a sign with a Snapcode to activate the lens and experience the monument on site. Each artist picked their locations for their historical and social significance. Additionally, those in the area can discover the virtual monuments easily by looking for their markers on the map in Snapchat, which will pinpoint their locations and more details about each work.

A sign stands on the lawn near a building in a park
A sign with a Snapcode at Earvin "Magic" Johnson Park, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

On April 18, the International Day for Monuments and Sites, join us on Zoom at 3 pm PT for a conversation with these five artists as they discuss their practice and creative process of making monuments using augmented reality. On April 20 at noon PT, thought leaders will discuss the future of monuments with an eye toward the ways in which artists can create bold and interactive virtual memorials. A robust schedule of programs related to each project will be presented in the weeks ahead, including podcasts, a docuseries, and art kits. Visit lacma.org or check out The Guide for a list of upcoming programs. 

Thank you to Snap Inc. and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their support of Monumental Perspectives, a multiyear project committed to exploring history and representation across Los Angeles. To learn more about each monument and hear from each artist, visit lacma.org/monumental, and share your Monumental Perspectives experience on social media by tagging @lacma.

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