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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Status Update: Attracting attention in an Echo Park roundabout

Status Update in progress/James Schneeweiss

What is she doing there? That’s what many Echo Park residents have been asking as they pass by the tiny traffic circle at Lake Shore Avenue and Effie Street, where artist and writer Stacy Dacheux has been pecking away on a portable typewriter while seated near a clump of rosemary. Dacheux, on her blog, explains that she will spend her November mornings writing up status updates about her life and then mail them off the notes on postcards instead of posting them on social media. It’s part of her exploration of rituals:

Previously, before November– before even getting out of bed, I would immediately check my social media– specifically, Facebook. I would want to see what the world was up to. Inevitably, I would instantly get sucked into these other voices, routines, and thoughts– a scrolling newsreel from my past: a friend in Alabama taking her kids to school, a colleague in Florida grading papers, an LA acquaintance sharing her new comedy video.

My past was overwhelming my present state of mind.

The past was in my head before the present had time to happen.

The electronic ritual of keeping up with my past was disrupting my current life: new thoughts and experiences.

I wanted to replace my electronic social ritual with a more tactile one. I wanted to slow it down and engage with my actual neighbors. I wanted to be more present in my own neighborhood/community, and I wanted to document this new tactile social ritual in a way that would allow me to reflect and analyze my findings.

So, now, here I am.

Dacheux’s project on rituals has also introduced her to neighbors, such as James Schneeweiss, who snapped the photo above and described his encounter on Sunday  morning:

I asked her why she was there. She said she was updating her status for the day and then she would go home and input it. She says that it has been a nice way to meet her neighbors. As I was talking to her, some guy in a car drove past and yelled out – “Hooray for art!” Just a moment in Echo Park.

Photo by Jonathan Williams

19 comments

  1. “portable typewriter”

  2. Facebook is dumb, writing a letter is awesome!

  3. Love how conscious she is about how social media is affecting her and how she has found a way to express this artistically.
    http://www.sheilaritterbush.com
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Big-Healthy-Life/317967401372

  4. Christopher Lockett

    She’s not the only one. I take my typewriter over to Griffith Park and work at a picnic table at least once a week. Unplugging is great. A rare treat in these times.

    I documented a few Poets on Demand and a wide variety of other typewriter users in my film: http://typewritermovie.com/ Free to watch on Hulu. Is also on Amazon Prime. Coming soon to iTunes.

    We also have two very fine typewriter repair techs (at least) in Los Angeles. Ruben Flores in Highland Park and Ermanno Mazrorati in West LA. Ribbons, parts, serious repairs and restorations.

    Type on….

  5. I just hope she stays safe throughout her project. That roundabout is dangerous, because people overwhelmingly treat it as a normal intersection, thinking that the car on the left is supposed to give the right of way to the car on the right. Going through the roundabout, I rarely encounter a car that actually respects the yield signs that are posted — meaning that one is supposed to yield to traffic already in the circle (which will mean the car on your left, and that in this situation the car on the right does NOT have the right of way).

  6. Hipster douchebaggery never ceases to amaze ……type on hipsters…type on…..

  7. I have a Selectric by IBM for sale. It’s a high tech electric typewriter, the best of that mechanical and analog era. Now any true Echo Park hipster can do is to pedal a bicycle hooked up to an alternator and power the damn typewriter., It would be performance art, akin to “dude’s” hostile attitude when he or she uses the word “douchebaggery”..”Dude”, there must be something very special in your life and I’m impressed, did you get an extra “Bed, Bath, and Beyond” coupon in the mail or did your social worker remember your first name this month?

  8. This is the most #whitepeople thing I’ve had the displeasure of seeing in my neighborhood.

    Lady: You’re not writing “status updates.” You’re writing LETTERS. You can put lipstick on a pig, but in the end it’s still a pig, you know?

    • Re: #whitepeople thing..
      Certainly beats walking around with yer a$$ hanging out of your pants and knuckles dragging the ground.

      • Let me rephrase that, so that people don’t get the wrong meaning:

        “I’d rather see someone peacefully sitting and typing, than see thugs (of any breed) with sagging pants walking around like neanderthals”

      • Sorry True Freedom, but I am actually white. No gangster thuggery about me, just a 20 female who lives in this neighborhood. #whitepeople refers to the pseudo hippy crap that some white folks in Echo Park think is unique and special, when its nothing more than privileged prevention masked as some engaging “art project.” I mean, think about it. This woman clearly has enough money to sit around and type letters all day and act like she’s the first idiot to think of mailing a postcard. It’s so out of touch with the dynamics of this particular neighborhood, it’s almost offensive in its myopic point of view.

      • yer a racist f**k. I said before, you’re worse than the gangs…… this is a perfect example of what i mean.

  9. This site should add a page with a tally sheet of all the articles the L.A. Times has appropriated from TheEastsiderLA .

    http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-beat-morning-typewriter-ritual-20131129,0,5616711.story

  10. “‘OMG. That’s so hipster. ‘”

    there you go Stacy.

    Take a picture and send it back to your friends back home.
    Enjoy :D

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