Mastodon Mesa

One-sentence summary:

An interaction-focused art gallery that I co-curated with Mya Stark.

Mastodon Mesa - Logo, 600w

From 2013 to 2014, I co-curated an art gallery that focused on interaction. Though technically most would call it a gallery, it was more of a open space artist to share what they did. It had no walls, and only sometimes a tent-top.

Mastodon Mesa hosted seances, celebrated non-existent holidays, hosted popup national embassies, covered the Craft & Folk Art Museum in croche, made counterfeit currencies, sold new year’s resolutions, and made the whole world’s dreams come true. Our final show, we took over the square in Chinatown for the art-side of LA Weekly’s Artopia.

I’m proud to have worked with these people and groups:

Aaron Jupin
Albert Reyes
Bijan Berahimi
J.T. Steiny’s ABAW (A Book A Week)
Judithe Prays
Marjan Khoshbakhti Vayghan
Miles Gracey
Mister Whitmore
Santi Vernetti
Sumiko Harnquist (Kelly Akashi)
UCLA’s GameLab
Yarn Bombing Los Angeles

Examples of shows we had:

Bijan Berahimi’s Los Angeles Aquaduct Day


Berahimi’s sign that crowds walked by:

Bijan Berahimi - LA Aquaduct Day 3

Over a month, Berahimi’s installation changed weekly. This week it was an education museum on the history of water in LA:

Bijan Berahimi - LA Aquaduct Day 4

Every image produced was two-sided. One side contained Los Angeles’ natural semi-arid desert:

Bijan Berahimi - LA Aquaduct Day

The other side showed the lush metropolis Los Angeles aimed to be:

Bijan Berahimi - LA Aquaduct Day 2

From the press release:

Los Angeles Aqueduct Day is the least noted, most important nonexistent holiday in Los Angeles. In conjunction with the 99th anniversary of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, Mastodon Mesa is pleased to present Bijan Berahimi’s solo show titled ‘LA Aqueduct Day’. Every Sunday in November, Berahimi will share the story of how water came to Los Angeles, through the hand’s of controversial figure William Mulholland. From 10 am until close, Berahimi will highlight our cities most important infrastructure with a flag-waving celebration dedicated to our dear friend, the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Beyond serving as a tell-all makeshift museum for the Owens Valley and Los Angeles Aqueduct, the space will dually function as a shop of items to be used to celebrate the pre-centennial Los Angeles Water Day.

This is his documentation of the show on his website.

Natalie Jones’ Fountain


Natalie Jones made a map of her favorite fountains in Los Angeles, and counterfeit pennies in clay for people to throw into the fountains.


Pennies on top of the map Jones made:

Natalie Jones - Fountain

Pennies were given away in this bag:

Natalie Jones - Fountain 2

Miles Gracey’s Resolution


Miles Gracey’s performance occurred the first week of January, immediately after New Year’s resolutions are made. In reaction, Gracey took resolutions from Twitter and offered them to passer-by, as if he was a used car salesman.


Gracey, mid-‘New Year’s Resolution’-exchange:

Miles Gracey - New Years Resolution 2

Mya Stark’s exchanged New Year’s Resolution:

Miles Gracey - New Years Resolution

My exchanged Resolution:

Miles Gracey - New Years Resolution 3

Mister Whitmore’s L.A. Doesn’t Suck


Mister Whitmore ask people to call and leave a message about their love and hate of Los Angeles.


The set-up:

Tomas Whitmore - LA Doesn't Suck

The prompt:

Tomas Whitmore - LA Doesn't Suck, 3


For a short while, Mastodon Mesa had an Instagram account.

Mastodon Mesa’s final show was to curate the art-half of LA Weekly’s Artopia.

From the press release, these are many of the things that were part of the event:

• An adult-sized, hand-painted bouncy castle by Alia Penner

• Poppybombing by Christy Roberts

• Dancers covered in “paper architecture” by Amy Fortunato

• Your very own Los Angeles to play with courtesy of urban planner James Rojas

• A simulation of Spring Break by Drew Denny

• “Flavor trips” conceptualized by underground chef Isaiah Frizzell

• A punk dance party with DJ Keith Morris (Yes, the Keith Morris from Black Flag and Circle Jerks)

• A live set of future punk-classics by FIDLAR

• A Mosh-pit of scented Gulaal pigments by The Institute for Art and Olfaction

• Human Beings by Goldnbones