Celebrating Urban Light

Since it was installed one year ago thanks to the generosity of the Gordon Family Foundation, Chris Burden’s Urban Light, a sculpture comprised of more than 200 vintage Southern California streetlamps, has rapidly become one of the museum’s most iconic permanent collection objects as well as a real landmark for L.A. The work also inspires all kinds of people in all kinds of ways. My colleagues and I have seen brides taking photos in front of it, schoolchildren playing tag in it, and even a music video being shot in its midst. For me, the best part of winter’s early nightfall is passing Urban Light aglow on my way home. I feel as if I’m punctuating the day with an especially effervescent glass of champagne.

Whether you have your own Urban Light experience or if you’ve not visited LACMA lately, we’re introducing plenty of new ways to engage you with this beloved sculpture.

For the main event, if you’re one of the thousands who’ve taken photos or shot video in front of Urban Light, submit your images to Flickr (photos) and YouTube (videos). The best of the best will go on view online February 25 as part of a digital exhibition curated by photography head Charlotte Cotton, and will be published in a print-on-demand book; selected creative writing inspired by the work will be included, too. Charlotte will also choose one winning photograph for the publication’s cover, which will be announced right here on Unframed on February 23.

Along with this call for submissions, we’ve got lots of other Urban Light projects going on. Check out Urban Light‘s Facebook and MySpace pages for discussion, back story, and news, and follow our Twitter for little-known details about the object. There’s an Urban Light PDA tour on the way, and much more.

We look forward to seeing how Urban Light has inspired you. Just be sure to get your submission in by the deadline—Valentines Day—and don’t forget to check back here on February 23 for the winning photograph.

Allison Agsten

8 Responses to Celebrating Urban Light

  1. Shelley says:

    Congrats, sounds like a really fun and great project!

  2. Jeff says:

    Having grown up in L.A. in the 60s I was immediately attracted to Burden’s piece when I first spied it out of the corner of my eye, driving down Wilshire Blvd. I couldn’t wait to park my car and get close. Somehow, I wanted to embrace the piece –it giving me such a strong memory of my childhood.

    Now that I live in Washington, DC and having been an L.A. Expat for 24 years (with both a love and hate relationship with the city of my birth) this piece has been officially filed in my “Love” file. ;-)

  3. [...] LACMA is looking for your photos of Chris Burden’s Urban Light installation for a digital exhibit. Here are my submissions. (We got seriously yelled at by the guard for the photo in which we’re standing on the lightposts. But how else were we supposed to do our Singin’ in the Rain imitation?) [...]

  4. Randall Bass says:

    so stoked that this has become a competition of sorts. my photo of these lights was my first favorite photo and i can’t wait to show it to everyone. this is my official submission. i am sending my photos to FLICKR as we speak…..thanks LACMA

  5. Rachel says:

    I’m looking at Urban Light right now from my office window and it looks so fascinating.

  6. [...] For more information on the Urban Light Project, please visit UNFRAMED. [...]

  7. [...] Chris Burden’s “Urban Lights.” I think there is little more beautiful than the dramatic installation of 200 vintage Southern [...]

  8. [...] We had a blast with them during their engagement session, which was centered around LACMA’s Urban Lights sculpture. It was a beautiful evening, fabulous light and a hot couple. We love our [...]

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