Join us for a discussion of Laurel Consuelo Broughton's project The Fantasy Compact and an activation of the Mascots of Surfurbia, the Foothills, Autotopia, and the Plains of Id currently on display at Cities of Days.
As a speculation for the future of Los Angeles, The Fantasy Compact suggests an urban planning that is not rational. The Fantasy Compact is an agreement publicized through government but undertaken between citizens to believe and participate in sympathetic magic. The compact is voted into effect by the citizens of Los Angeles County, thus making the entire county a public theme park. The actual making of the theme park is as much about collective belief and participation as it is about law or physical changes to the environment. The citizenry undertake to believe in their own implication in and labor in the making and preserving of the fantasy environment of Los Angeles.
Fantasy is the oft-overlooked and under-discussed driver of the form and urban experience of the built environment of Los Angeles. In its development over the last 150 years, Los Angeles has been given shape by many hands (citizens, developers, filmmakers, engineers, and architects) through narrative storytelling that has proliferated a kind of fantasy urbanism. To spend a day in the life of Los Angeles is to slip between the real and fictional, banal and fantastic, moment to moment. These juxtapositions occur through a mixture of real design intervention—the streets of Hollywood glittering before your headlights, hyperfictional historic spaces like Olvera Street in downtown, and the banality of eating a slice of pizza on the ground floor of strip mall that is wearing a giant derby hat.