There’s a Mercedes in the middle of the “Transmission: L.A.” exhibition at Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. I didn’t take a photo, but it’s there, and if you have stopped by the event, then you likely saw it too.
Consider the car product placement. “Transmission: L.A.” is part of Mercedes-Benz’s Avant/Garde Diaries project, essentially, a series of cool events and artist spotlights funded by a car company.
In my younger days, I would have scoffed at this with typical indie snob superiority. It took a while for me to understand one of the greatest truths of the world. No good idea will get off the ground without money. If corporations want to put up the money for people doing awesome, creative things, then it’s good for artists and it’s good for us.
“Transmission: L.A.” is a great idea. Mike D., of the Beastie Boys, curated the show, which merges music and art. There are excellent musical guests involved. On the night I went with Carlos, we caught Egyptian Lover and Peanut Butter Wolf. The following evening, Thom Yorke showed up behind the decks. Next week, James Murphy and Diplo are playing. The exhibition is free, but you do have to pre-register for some of the music performances.
The exhibition itself is a lot of fun. It reminded me of “Ecstasy” (probably the coolest museum show I’ve ever seen), in that it’s multi-discinplinary and clearly rooted in the youth culture that took shape in the late 20th century.