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A. Moret - Writer and Art Critic

Shangri LA: Architecture as a State of Flux- Art Scene (March 2009)

The group show Shangri L.A.: Architecture as a State of Flux explores Shangri L.A. or Shangri Los Angeles, not to be confused with Shangri-la an earthly paradise sequestered from the outside world.  The main attraction of the show is James Rojas’ “Interactive 3D Model” a semi-circular table top on wheels made of entirely moveable parts.  Household items like screws, Jenga blocks, Chinese dominos, and imitation glass- ware serve as the infrastructure of LA in model size.  The piece is perfect for those who couldn’t bear to part with the Erector Sets and Legos, or just those who have always wanted a hand at city planning.  Rojas has mapped out the perimeters of Los Angeles beginning with Santa Monica Bay characterized by blue shiny tape and extending Eastbound to the Crescent.  Rojas is a project manager for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transport Authority and has plans to create a metro line that will run from downtown to the beach.  Although the Interactive Model looks different from when it was first constructed by Rojas, the metro lines remain a fixed element and reminds the viewer that no matter how much LA may change, a metro line will one day exist in the city space.