DTLAB: the Project is the Project

The project is the project.

That’s been our mantra throughout the first month of DTLAB #90for90 this summer. The first month. Geezus. That means two more months to go. Geeeeezus.

The project is the project. The project is the project. The project is the project.

There are many things we are learning, one beautiful humbling aspect I addressed last week. Lessons about performance, about community, about literature, about business. So many lessons.

Central to it all: be present.


This morning it was hot. The sun shot through the crack between shade and window and hit me straight in the face. It was too early for it. The mornings have been rough, the physical and mental fatigue settled in heavy and starting to cause emotional fatigue too.

This past weekend I kept thinking to myself, “This is it. We’re done. Can’t do it anymore. DTLAB ends today.”

But this is not war or starvation or an illness. It’s just art.

And we just have to be present. So we show up, each night, and make room for the artists to present their work. And in that moment, magic happens. Over and over again.

This is not hard. It’s just art.


On Tuesday night, two poets, Melora Walters and David Shook, sat in the middle of Traxx Bar. There were a few people that showed up for our 25th event, Super Fan Night: José Saramago. There were also the random mix of commuters and travelers who were drinking and waiting for their trains. The two poets, in an even emptier than normal Union Station, sat for about an hour and read the words of José Saramago. Melora read from Death with Interruptions. David read his own translation of the first chapter of Saramago’s epic sci-fi poem, “The Year 1993.”

On Sunday, two artists, Yumi Sakugawa and JT Steiny, projected their work on the wall above and behind the bar as people sat at the bar and drank.

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There weren’t huge crowds. Once upon a time, this would have mattered to us. But we are learning and know that there is something bigger than counting heads in the crowd.

On these two nights, and on all the other nights so far, there was art present in this small piece of the world.

That’s what mattered. And each time we sit down and breathe and absorb this space we are present in, we think: we are somehow changing the world, even if we don’t know exactly how.


Los Angeles. Summer of 2014. The project is the project. #90for90


For full schedule of events: DTLAB @ Traxx Events Calendar

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