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Aili Schmeltz


This process of research began with an interest in the history of the midwestern suburban landscape and culture from my youth, where the middle class idea of “the good life” fueled a massive overhaul of the American landscape that would drastically alter how we live for generations to come. This background, combined with my fascination and love/hate relationship with the city of Los Angeles, where I currently live, has lead me to examine mid-century philosophies of utopia and idealism. 


Los Angeles has a sordid environmental history as a strange apocalyptic theme park. Its plush, manicured landscape is a reminder of both a forced growth in an otherwise desert geography, and as a monument to human ingenuity made possible by diverting an unfathomable amount of water from distant sources. I am captivated by the hybridized structures and blatant artifice of the city in both its natural and man-made environments where hill top homes float precariously overhead on earth that has a topographical complexity
of embedded catastrophe.

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