LOS ANGELES — They're calling it a deconstructed house party, welcoming visitors back to Grand Park with the sights and sounds of local Los Angeles artists.
Tanya Aguiñiga was commissioned to create the visual component of an installation called Celebration Spectrum throughout the Grand Park space. The first section at the park’s splash pad fountain consists of large-scale, floating “lyrics balloons” depicting nonsense words from famous songs that are meant to inspire music in your head.
What You Need To Know
- Celebration Spectrum is a park-wide installation and collaboration between Grand Park, dublab, Tanya Aguiñiga and the LA County Department of Mental Health’s We Rise initiative
- Dublab DJ Mark “Frosty” McNeill curated the installation which includes an urban oasis soundscape with a list of rotating DJ tracks
- The project also includes pop-up performances in the park
- The installation runs until the end of May
"Words that don't spell anything out that are part of music, that are recognizable and have been part of our lexicon... So the front part says 'Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,'" explained Aguiñiga about one the balloons. "It just reminds me a lot of my sister, and growing up, Selena was her favorite."
Being reminded of family and good times is important after a difficult year and as we observe Mental Health Awareness Month. The next area is the “party canopy” where LA’s diverse cultural communities are represented in the colorful party decorations that were sourced from various local businesses — Chinese paper lanterns, Mexican streamers, etc.
"I really wanted to think about creating a space that would allow people to feel a little bit of joy, and to take a little bit of a mental break from thinking about the realities of, you know, our day-to-day life," said Aguiñiga.
The next area is the chill “after-party” area of the installation with its various wind activated instruments placed in the trees, a place to meditate and enjoy a soundscape culled from a host of local DJ’s. Grand Park collaborated with the LA County Department of Mental Health through their We Rise initiative and brought in dublab DJ and curator Mark “Frosty” McNeill, who brought in the contingent of local DJ’s to create an urban oasis soundscape.
“We Rise, being an initiative that is focused on mental health and well-being, it was important to think about what can we do on that level right now that is really rising to the occasion of where people are at,” said McNeill. “So we thought, let's bring people joy on a really funny, humorous level.”
But underlying the fun is an acknowledgment of all the lost celebrations of the past year.
"A lot of celebrations have been put on pause from even the smallest unit family celebrations to the larger scale community ones," McNeil added.
While there is no one way to experience the installation, the space does invite the public to construct their own narratives. Aguiñiga noted that just seeing people out and enjoying the space is a spirit-lifter.
“Everyone's been really happy, I think, just to kind of feel like better times are coming,” she said.
Grand Park is billed as the "park for everyone," and Celebration Spectrum is free and open to anyone to experience until the end of May.