Category Archives: Mid-Century Modern

Robert Stark talks to David Cole about LA Malls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Stark and Matthew Pegas talk with David Cole about the history, culture, and aesthetics of LA ‘s Malls. David Cole writes for Takimag and is the author of Republican Party Animal.

Topics:

David and Robert’s background growing up on the Westside of LA
The Open Air Century City Shopping Center, the original 60’s retro futuristic aesthetics, and the film Conquest of the Planet of the Apes
The recent $1-billion makeover of the Mall and plans to make Century City more urban and pedestrian friendly
The “Westfield Aesthetic”
The old underground 70’s retro futuristic ABC Entertainment Center
The first major indoor mall Fox Hills in Culver City
The Westside PavilionJon Jerde’s 80’s Post Modernist aesthetics(original featured in Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’), and plans to turn it into office space
The 80’s Rodeo Collection, an archeo-futuristic urban oasis model for self contained cities, and the film Body Double
The Beverly Center, the amusement park “Kiddyland” before the mall , the original 80’s aesthetics with futuristic external escalators, and latter renovations
The lack of interest in preserving 80’s architecture
Young people’s interest in 80’s aesthetics and the magical dream like memories from early childhood(Hypnagogia)
The 70’s retro high-rise Mr. C Hotel(formerly the Renaissance) near Beverly Hills
The Third Street Promenade, the first major outdoor mall
The rise of outdoor malls such as Rick Caruso’s The Grove and Americana at Brand and how those are now becoming dated
Future trends, the under construction high-rise shopping complex, the Oceanwide Plaza in Downtown LA
The Jon Jerde designed neon lit Universal CityWalk
David’s joke about the City Walk’s old Rain Forest Cafe and the Museum of Tolerance’s Tunnel of Hate
Westwood Village as the center of Westside nightlife and it’s decline in the late 80’s

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This show is brought to you by Robert Stark’s PaintingsStark Truth TV, and his novel Journey to Vapor Island




Alt-Center Solutions to LA’s Urban and Social Dynamics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Stark and  Matthew Pegas discuss their recent trip to Downtown LA, Matthew’s experience as a newcomer to the city, observations on the regions cultural dynamics, and solutions to social and urban problems.

Topics:

Skid Row, “ruin porn” and the Creepy History of the Cecil Hotel
Gentrification of the Historic Core
Broadway, neon signs and historic theatre marquees, and plans to revitalize and light up Broadway’s signs
Historic landmarks including the European style Spring Arcade and Art Deco Eastern Columbia Building
The Arts District, art bros, and the chadification of the hipster scene
The South Park highrise boom and new tallest skyscraper the Wilshire Grand
80’s Art Deco revival and new highrises influenced by Mid-Century aesthetics
John C. Portman’s Retro Futuristic Westin Bonaventure HotelInterior Urbanism, and Fredric Jameson’s Postmodernist review
The pros and cons of diversity and issues of social cohesion
The appeal of enjoying diversity from exclusive enclaves
The LA County Jail, Donny the Punk, and Jail as a metaphor for the problems of American society
The extreme social, economic, and aesthetic inequality in LA
Social problems caused by mass immigration, Neoliberal economics, and sprawl oriented development
Robert’s article Building a Based Urban Middle Class SWPL Utopia
Sane urbanist solutions to right wing grievances such as White flight
The political ironies of gentrification as re-colonization of urban areas
Family formation and reasons for declining demographics such as housing and education
How these social problems are now impacting the upper middle class demographically
An Alt-Center must offer solutions that cater to urban needs
Building a political movement based on aesthetics with visions for new urban communities
The hypocrisy of pro-immigration liberal elite NIMBY’s
How combining YIMBY policies with immigration restriction will gradually rebuild the urban middle class

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This show is brought to you by Robert Stark’s PaintingsStark Truth TV, and his novel Journey to Vapor Island




Robert Stark interviews Alina Gorina about Soviet Futurism, Technocracy & Transhumanism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics:

Alina’s background as a Russian from Kazakhstan living in Crimea
The referendum in Crimea and how the Russian controlled region is much more prosperous
Soviet science fiction novel The Ugly Swans
Soviet science fiction novel Andromeda: A Space-Age Tale published in 1957 which predicts future trends
Science fiction novel Childhood’s End
Mid-Century Space Futurism vs. 80’s and 90’s Cyberpunk
How both the United States and Soviet Union had a fascination with Space Futurism during the Cold War
Soviet architecture, Stalinist Neoclassical skyscrapers, and Soviet Retro-futuristic illustrations
Decopunk
The Soviet film Aelita: Queen of Mars
Techno Corporatism, Techno-Syndicalism, and Technocracy
The automation of government
How a Technocracy can provide free healthcare and education
How Technocracy can solve problems with democracy, corruption, monopolies, and income inequality
Trump, his space proposals, and how he was relatively popular in Russia until the Syrian attacks
Transhumanism, Biotech, CRISPR gene editing, and radical life extension

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This show is brought to you by Robert Stark’s PaintingsStark Truth TV, and his novel Journey to Vapor Island




Aristocratic Aesthetic Socialism

By Robert Stark: Originally Published on Alt of Center

The concept of beauty throughout history has been a force for creation, inspiring mankind to reach the pinnacle of civilization. From men accomplishing great things to win over a lover, the beautiful female as a muse for the artist, religions building great temples and cathedrals to attract worshipers, kings and emperors building monuments to demonstrate their greatness, and businesses using aesthetics in architecture and advertisements to attract more consumers.

In today’s society aesthetics serves primarily as a force to manipulate people to keep them striving and conforming to the liberal capitalist system. Advertisements use aesthetics to create a vision of a product to consume; not just the product itself but an overall aesthetically pleasing scene involving beautiful women, luxurious furnishings, great architecture, natural scenery, and music to create the mood.

Continue reading Aristocratic Aesthetic Socialism

The Starkian Lynch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Stark and Matthew Pegas discuss the work of David Lynch and the parallels between the “Lynchian” and “Starkian.” Matthew Pegas blogs at Alt of Center | Life. Liberty. And the Pursuit of Beauty.

Topics:

Intro: The Northern Lights – Falling (feat. Lucy Black)
Lynch’s Politics: Admired Ronald Reagan and supported The Natural Law Party
Lynch Endorsed Bernie Sanders and later proclaimed that ‘Trump Could Go Down as One of the Greatest Presidents’
Lynch as an Alt Centrist
Lynch’s interest in Transcendental Meditation which taps into one’s sub-conscience
Lynch as a lone Aristocratic Radical in Hollywood
How capitalism creates faux cultural elites
Lynch’s entry to Hollywood via connections through Mel Brooks which solidified his role in Elephant Man
Lynch’s cinematographic basis as a visual artist and the theme of Neonationalism
The Lynchian aesthetic vs. the Starkian aesthetic and defining what is “Lynchian” and “Starkian”
Lynch and Stark’s self indulgences in their work
Lynch’s interest in Retro aesthetics: Film Noir, animated neon, Mid-Century Modern, and 80’s Vaporwave
Lynch’s affinity for small town Americana and the theme of a dark underbelly to small town life
How the first Twin Peaks portrays a romanticized image of the town, while the new one portrays a more realistic image
The Great Northern as a model for creating aesthetically pleasing suburbs that implement the romanticized image of the small town
Lynch should design a theme park or Las Vegas casino
The soundtrack of Twin Peaks includes a wide variety of genres ranging from 80’s Synth, Old Western, Film Noir Jazz, and 50’s Rock
How the fusion of genres makes it somewhat vague as to when it takes place
Ben Horne as an Old School capitalist who does things that are ethically wrong  yet is rooted in his community
The Black Lodge: it’s symbolism and aesthetics
The philosophy that fear is the opposite of love rather than hate
Mulholland Drive: the themes of Hollywood power and paranoia due to insecurities
Dune: the aesthetics of Dune are more important than the plot
Retro Futurism in Dune: Middle Eastern Archeofuturism, Steampunk, and 80’s aesthetics
Blue Velvet: Sadistic male figures, eroticized rage, and establishing hierarchy through sexual dominance
“Lynchian” themes and references to Twin Peaks in Robert Stark’s novel Journey to Vapor Island

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This show is brought to you by Robert Stark’s Paintings and his novel Journey to Vapor Island




Robert Stark interviews Matthew Pegas about The Alt Center & Neon Nationalism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matthew Pegas blogs at Alt of Center | Life. Liberty. And the Pursuit of Beauty

Topics:

How Matthew discovered the Stark Truth via the interview with Jamie Stewart from Xiu Xiu
Matthew’s political transformation from a Leftist to a “Starkian” Alt-Centrist
The connection between politics, sexuality, and aesthetics
Beyond Liberalism: A Political New Wave
Neonationalism; nationalism and politics based on aesthetics
Creating an Archeo-Futuristic sub-culture that is so aesthetically pleasing that it can out-compete Liberal-Universalism and Global Capitalism
Architecture as a form of erotica
The Alt-Of-Center Guide To Aesthetic Warfare
The phenomenon of progressive cultural interests gaining an identitarian consciousness
The scene as the inevitable result of urban, middle to upper class “SWPL’s” becoming “Red Pilled”
The Idea of Homonationalism
San Fernando Valley Photo Essay and Neon Signage on Ventura Blvd
Income inequality and the demographic transformation of The Valley and LA

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This show is brought to you by Robert Stark’s Paintings and his novel Journey to Vapor Island




Robert Stark talks to Brandon Adamson about Skytrain to Nowhere

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Stark talks to Brandon Adamson about his new photo essay and collection of poetry Skytrain to Nowhere. Purchase Skytrain to Nowhere in Paperback on Lulu, in eBook PDF, and on Amazon.

Brandon Adamson is a writer who currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona. He has been writing since 1995, and his work has appeared in many magazines, blogs and literary journals over the years. Brandon blogs at AltLeft.com.

Topics:

The book is made up of poems resulting from the author’s experiences riding the skytrain at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport
How the book was loosely inspired by Keith Gunderson’s A Continual Interest in the Sun and Sea
Brandon’s style and method of writing poetry
How there is very little offensive material in the book compared to previous works
The photographs in the book
How the skytrain doesn’t really go anywhere but an imaginative person will envision potential destinations and explore the possible ways in which this kind of technology could be used
The skytrain as a vehicle for escapism
The airport as the blueprint for self contained cities
Disneyland as also a model for self contained cities
How the author’s fascination with skytrains and monorails originated with trips to Disneyland and Disney World in the 1980’s
The importance of always staying on the move in life and never getting too comfortable
The Retro-Futuristic themes in the book
The Retro-Futurist’s dilemma of wanting to embrace the future while being inspired by nostalgia and having to determine what’s worth holding on to
The poem Treadmill to Neonopolis named after the place in Las Vegas
Mythological references in the book (Atlantis, Icarus, etc)

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This show is brought to you by Robert Stark’s Paintings and his novel Journey to Vapor Island




Robert Stark interviews Al Barna and Randall Ann Homan about San Francisco Neon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Stark talks to Al Barna and Randall Ann Homan. They co-authored and provided the photographs for the book San Francisco Neon: Survivors and Lost Icons. Their website is San Francisco Neon Book.

Al Barna is a San Francisco photographer and artist whose work has been shown in exhibitions at the de Young Museum, the Legion of Honor Museum, the Rayko Gallery, the San Francisco Public Library, and the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery. His photography has been published in CA Modern magazine, Society of Commercial Archeology Journal, The Sun magazine, and Shots magazine.  www.albarna.com

Randall Ann Homan began her interest in the art of signage as an apprentice sign painter in Flagstaff, Arizona. She lives in San Francisco and is an art director, photographer, and an award-winning graphic designer.  Someday she would like to design a neon sign.  www.giantorange.net

Topics:

The history of Neon in San Francisco
Neon Walking TOURS
Historic Preservation and how San Francisco has lost the least of it’s signage of any major city
Market Street, it’s history as a Neon hub, and the failed Mid-Market Sign District Proposal
The Starlight Room at The Sir Francis Drake Hotel in Union Square
Other signs near Union Square including Tad’s Steak House, Marquard’s Cigar Store, The Stratford Hotel, and the Herbert Hotel
Parking Garage Neon near Union Square
The Tenderloin
Chinatown which has the highest concentration of signs in the city though many are unlit
The Lady from Shanghai directed by Orson Welles
Broadway in North Beach
Columbus Street in North Beach
Fisherman’s Wharf; Alioto’s, Fisherman’s Grotto, The View Alcatraz Sign, The Cannery and Ghiradelli Square
Bar signs including the 500 Club Martini sign in the Mission District
The Coca-Cola Company Replaced the Landmark Outdoor Neon Sign with LED
Animated Signs
The Embarcadero Center’s LED bulb signs
The Port of San Francisco Sign at The Ferry Building
Oakland’s signs including the Paramount Theatre
The Orinda Theatre
Rheem Theatre closes it’s doors in Moraga
Santa Cruz, The Boardwalk, and The Del Mar Theatre
Jim Rizzo of Neon Works in Oakland who rescues and restores signs
Stookey’s Club Moderne which has a brand new Art Deco style sign
NEON SPEAKS: Symposium & Spotlight Forum
The Museum of Neon Art in Glendale, California
Will Durham’s Neon Museum in Reno 

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This show is brought to you by Robert Stark’s Paintings and his novel Journey to Vapor Island




Robert Stark interviews Peter Moruzzi about Mid-Century Modern

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Stark and co-host Cartrell Payne(The Adventure Kid) talk to Peter Moruzzi. Peter was born in Concord, Massachusetts and raised in Hawaii, he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and later attended the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. In 1999, he founded the Palm Springs Modern Committee (PS ModCom) an architectural preservation group. He is the author of “Havana Before Castro: When Cuba Was a Tropical Playground,” “Palm Springs Holiday: A Vintage Tour From Palm Springs to the Salton Sea,” “Classic Dining:Discovering America’s Finest Mid-Century Restaurants,” “Palm Springs Paradise: Vintage Photographs from America’s Desert Playground,” and “Greetings from Los Angeles.”

Topics:

Classic Dining: Discovering America’s Finest Mid-Century Restaurants
Grand Central Oyster Bar
Historic Preservation
Notable Mid-Century architects including Richard Neutra and Joseph Eichler 
A Eulogy for the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York
Neon Signs
Dal Rae Replaces Historic Neon for Ugly Backlit Plastic
The Mob, the El Cortez, and the Flamingo
Tiki culture
The Tonga Room in San Francisco
Palm Springs Paradise
Melvyn’s Restaurant in Palm Springs
Greetings from Los Angeles
L.A.’s Backyard Oil Well Fever!
Norms Restaurants in LA
Googie, Space Age, and the International Style
Mid-Century Modern highrises including Eichler’s highrises in San Francisco and the Sierra Towers in LA
The Madonna Inn
70’s Mayan themed Architecture
Havana Before Castro: When Cuba Was a Tropical Playground
Mid-Century Modern Furniture including Danish Modern, Italian Murano Lamps, and Swiss Swiza Clock
Nationwide Map of Classic Restaurants Now on Google Maps

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This show is brought to you by Robert Stark’s Paintings and his novel Journey to Vapor Island




Robert Stark interviews Architect Adam Mayer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adam Mayer is an architect based out of San Francisco. Check out his TwitterInstagram, and Architectural Portfolio.

Topics:

Growing up in Los Gatos which is a small town on the edge of the Silicon Valley
Studying architecture at USC and observations on LA
Art Deco and Mid Century Modern Architecture in LA
New Urbanism and Retrofitting suburbia
The Bay Area Housing Crisis and the importance of developing smartly while protecting greenbelts
How ugly architecture leads to NIMBY sentiment and why the YIMBY movement needs to address aesthetics
California Senate bill would force more dense housing near transit hubs
Working on a redevelopment project at the Walnut Creek BART Station
San Francisco’s SOMA district’s new skyline
San Francisco’s new Transbay Terminal
Architect John C. Portman; The Embarcadero Center and Hyatt in San Francisco and the extension of the urban realm to the inside
Architect Jon Jerde; his projects including Westside Pavilion and the Universal City Walk in LA, Horton Plaza in San Diego, and the Wynn and Bellagio in Las Vegas
Architect William Pereira who designed the Trans-America Pyramid in San Francisco
Brutalism
1980’s architecture and whether it will make a comeback
Frank Gehry
Modernism vs. Postmodernism and where to draw the boundary
How current architecture lacks one cohesive aesthetic
Adam’s work as an architect in China, master planned projects, and observations on architecture in China
Winner Take All? Richard Florida’s ‘New Urban Crisis’
How to accommodate families in cities

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This show is brought to you by Robert Stark’s Paintings and his novel Journey to Vapor Island