Thesis advisers: Peter Culley and Micah Rutenberg
The Glamour Machine
A Sublimation of Celebrity Image Valuation
LA’s relentless network of billboards conditions subconscious modes of valuation within the urban environment. How can this strata of detached floating spaces, visually authoritative yet physically inaccessible, be transformed into a high value place of habitable exposure?
The Chateau Marmont, whose cultural significance is measured in high profile indulgency and tragedy, straddles a unique arrangement of billboards. Some meet the ground, others tower, and one hovers above the villas of the Chateau itself. This cluster of billboards has the potential for an architecture of permeation; while the image is surveyed, advertised, and disseminated.
The Glamour Machine uses the site’s artificial elevation to both expose and hide the ‘untouchable’ A-list celebrity, providing programs that reveal the persona but privatize the person. The strategic harnessing of image valuation results in an architectural sublimation. The visual encounter conditions a way of seeing by rechanneling our desire into an enhanced association with prestige.