What would happen if you created a community in a controlled environment-say, an art museum?
What would happen if you created a community in a controlled environment—say, an art museum? LA's Skirball Cultural Center did just that with a recent interactive performance piece by British Theater Company Subject to Change, called "Home Sweet Home" in which any museum visitor could purchase a piece of the new American Dream or weigh in on what does or doesn't get built. As with any town planning process, things got quite interesting. Visitors were of course drawn to the beach and to Hollywood. Watts Towers was decorated but no one moved into the neighborhood. Participants created numerous business and civic ventures: movie theaters and coffee houses; organic farms and food stores; an art gallery complete with miniature paintings; a hospital, and an In-n-Out burger fashioned from a banana. Unsurprisingly, high-schoolers contributed a marijuana dispensary. And as further evidence of Angelenos' political passions, protests were organized against everything from the BP oil spill to a fish shop that was selling whale meat.