X, Y, Z, and U, Outpost for Contemporary Art/Apex Art Franchise project by the League of Imaginary Scientists, Los Angeles, USA, 2009


For X, Y, Z and U, the League has organized an exhibition with a series of related workshops and interactions by artists and scientists who use creative mapping in their work. X, Y, Z and U includes artists and scientists who are not members of the League, but whose practice also marries their creative practice to experimentation. X, Y, Z and U is an exhibition and series of discussions and workshops featuring the mapping projects of artists whose creative practices resemble field research as well as scientists who use DIY tactics and creative visualization to map scientific information. Interactive mapping is tied to the fluxus, situationist and psychogeography movements. The mapping projects in X, Y, Z and U arise from this history of engagement through collective creation and individual experience. The exhibition, hosted at Outpost for Contemporary Art in Northeast Los Angeles, celebrates individual citizens' experiences of their neighborhood. As participants demarcate their personal paths, listen to the sounds of the trees on their own streets, and scour the area for bacteria, they write a subtext of local knowledge and public interaction, the resulting mappings and their narratives are created by Los Angeles.

X, Y, Z and U includes artists and scientists who construct community-built narratives in collaboration with city trekkers, citizens and their surroundings. Their experiments and interventions break the divide between the sketchbook and scientific inquiry, bending social narrative and creative expression towards research. X, Y, Z and U places laypeople and children alongside experts and academics. The framework for interaction is a bike ride, a guided hike, a craft activity, or a street-based science experiment. By means of an audio interface, needlepoint, or a pipette, viewer interaction shapes the artworks.


Urban Habitat Lab ventures into neighborhoods to give street-goers the opportunity to listen to trees. Her construction and use of this solar and human-powered lab is part of the exhibition. Traveling around Highland Park with the mobile lab, she will connect individuals to the often unheard subtext of the city — the ever-shrinking natural environment.


The Franchise

Outpost for Contemporary Art

The League of Imaginary Scientists

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