Lions, Tigers And …

a multimedia artwork invites residents to question the lions on Pasadena City Hall

Over five months, “Lions, Tigers, And …” deeply engaged Pasadena residents and strengthened their relationship with local government and public spaces over a series of discussions, lunch gatherings, and drum circles, all taking place in the City Hall courtyard.

 

“Lions, Tigers, And…” is the first in a year long series called My Pasadena, produced by City of Pasadena and Side Street Projects and funded by the National Endowment for the Arts grant called Our Town.

  1. A subtle sound installation by Inouk Demers in the outdoor courtyard responded whenever pedestrians triggerered an interaction. Their passage activated the courtyard with music and ambient sound 24 hours a day, seven days a week (except for special events).
  2. Two performances of handmade musical instruments by Robert S. Hilton, also performed live, were incorporated in the sound installation. In March 11, members of the Hands On’Semble performed on various percussion instruments from around the world, as well as on many non-traditional, custom-built and found instruments.
  3. At these two live performances, video projections showed a wide assortment of real lion activities.
  4. Over five months Freewaves gathered over 1000 responses about the lions’ reasons for existence on City Hall. Responses were recorded and made into a new art work presented at the finale.
  5. Drum circles inviting anyone and everyone occurred on several Saturdays to partake with international recording artist Rasheed Ali.

The lion is a symbol that connotes both the regal and the ferocious. Why do they exist on a government building? Why are they a common feature on civic buildings more broadly? What is their meaning today, in Pasadena, nearly 100 years after construction of City Hall? Using the lions as a familiar though ambiguous symbol, Freewaves’ piece generated new relationships to the City Hall.

Credits:

Conceived as a poetic expression of local democracy, the collaborative, accumulative piece is produced by Freewaves and created by Anne Bray, Inouk Demers, Daniel Garcia, Robert Hilton, Vera Makianich, Gayle Nicholls-Ali, John Muir H.S. Drum Line, Hands On’Semble, Rasheed Ali and various drum circles.

The project is the first in a year long series called My Pasadena, produced by City of Pasadena and Side Street Projects and funded by the National Endowment for the Arts grant called Our Town.

Partners:

Pasadena Heritage, the John Muir High School Drum Team, the nearby Senior Center residents, City politicians and workers, PUSD 2nd grade students on public art walking tours, and others.

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Calendar 2016

  • October 9, 2015
    7pm – 10pm

    Preview at ArtNight Pasadena. Launch of sound installation, running 24/7 except during special events.

  • Oct 10, 2015
    7pm – 10pm

    Official opening. Performances of video, audio and music.

  • November 14, 2015
    1pm – 3pm

    Drum circle in City Hall courtyard, hosted by international recording artist Rasheed Ali

  • January 9, 2016
    1pm – 3pm

    Drum circle in City Hall courtyard, hosted by international recording artist Rasheed Ali

  • Every Wednesday until February

    Lunch with the Lions at 12pm in the City Hall courtyard.

  • January 27, 2016
    12pm – 1pm

    Guest speaker Kelema Lee Moses, Ph. D., Architectural Historian, leads discussion on lions’ significance.

  • February 13, 2016
    1pm – 3pm

    Drum circle in City Hall courtyard, hosted by international recording artist Rasheed Ali

  • March 11, 2016
    7pm – 10pm

    ArtNight Pasadena. Video, audio and performance by Hands On’Semble @8pm.

  • March 12, 2016
    7pm – 10pm

    Project Finale. Video, audio and performance by musician Robert Hilton.

Questions

Have you noticed the lions on Pasadena City Hall?
What do the lions mean?
Unsure? Lets consider: Are they:

  • aggressive or protective?

  • free or captive?

  • African or American?

  • exotic or familiar?

  • alert or bored?

  • savage or noble?

  • important or invisible?

Why did they put lions on City Hall?

WATCH

Responses

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