Lauren Halsey

Being 27 years old and having always been carless in Los Angeles, I have had the opportunity to fanatically watch the city, shaping my practice of recording and archiving city blocks. I archive South L.A. and Watts’ vernacular culture: businesses, signage, tags, mix CDs, menus, incense, flyers. Recordings become fragments of travel journaling that lose their formal meanings and connotations and are transformed by my aspirations and dreams of and for their respective communities. Although my subjects depict reality, depictions are driven by my desires for the environment–thus, they are not accurate portrayals of a city block. Once in my possession, the archive becomes content for utopic fantasies of Los Angeles. I become pharaoh, the master architect and kingdom planner of new fantasyscapes forming mystical pseudo histories and remixing the neighborhoods with nature, technicolors and outer space as a means to empower neighborhoods and energize for a new tomorrow. In my work, the neighborhoods transcend pessimism and baggage held by outsiders and insiders. This illustrates my interests in appropriating fabricated histories, materials, local businesses, space and reflecting my subjects back to the community in the form of Kingdom Splurge.

Kingdom Splurge is an infinite project of endless becoming that entails liberation through Funk, fantasy architecture and the experimental development of space: gardens, lawns, vacant lots, churches, liquor stores, parking lots. The Kingdom is interested in the collective well-being of the neighborhood in which it lives. The Kingdom constitutes a fantasyscape for people and creatures (ie. fish, butterflies, birds, etc.) to inhabit in complete freedom– spatially and creatively, alongside representations of moments in nature, crystals, l.e.d.s, lasers, holograms and nomadic sculptures. In the Kingdom’s early stages I, pharaoh, high-voltage Funkateer and master architect, Lauren Danielle Halsey, will engage as kingdom planner of the habitat, constructing micro-neighborhoods (Kingdoms) within pre-existing neighborhoods for potential participants to ponder and actualize new images and possibilities in for a freer, Funkier and more optimistic tomorrow. Kingdom Splurge is a space of hypothesis for proposing new beginnings that are articulated through sculptures and environments built with what already exists in neighborhoods. The goal is community building—to revalue ephemera and existing forms (architecture, local businesses, gang tags, signage, etc.) as a method of restyling space. The Kingdom is interested in collaboration with those who have a passion for the future and are interested in stretching their imagination to create grand visions of and for working class neighborhoods.