April 14, 2015

Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost

18th Street Arts Center
Slanguage Studio, This Is A Take Over!, 2012. Mixed media, dimensions variable. Installation at LAXART in conjunction with Made in LA 2012 Biennial.

International art collective Slanguage Studio, led by Los Angeles artists Mario Ybarra, Jr. and Karla Diaz, transforms 18th Street Arts Center’s Artist Lab with a techno-futuristic science-fiction extravaganza rooted in their ongoing investigations of race, identity, and culture. Working with a rotating cohort of collective members, they will explore themes of progress, transformation, and Otherness through a humorous sensibility and the applications of new technologies not often explored in contemporary narratives of the future. Slanguage will use the Artist Lab as a laboratory to create a multi-media installation including drawings, sculpture, film and video, interviews, public discussions, and performances anchored in the iconographies and paradigms of science fiction and horror genre films. Their investigations of this classic source material will include tours of Los Angeles’s hidden sci-fi historical sites and a series of screenings of mid-century films that inspire their work.

Slanguage bases their practice on a three-pronged approach to art-making that includes education, community-building, and interactive exhibitions. Focusing on art education, the collective has organized numerous artist residencies in museums across the United States and abroad. Fostering dialogue about the meaning and value of contemporary art, Slanguage has used their studio space and resources to cultivate relationships between diverse artists, students, communities, and organizations. By creating artworks ranging from multimedia installations to performances, public events, and workshops, the collective has enriched, inspired, and provoked the imaginations of viewers and participants both locally and internationally.

Slanguage Studio is an artist-driven studio practice and education collective that has evolved organically from an active studio to a public-engagement-oriented sculptural space, interfacing regularly with community members, national and international artists, and youth. Founded in Wilmington, the heart of the port of Los Angeles, Slanguage opened its doors to the public in 2002, leading teen workshops, hosting art exhibitions, and organizing music and performance events. Its ongoing artist residency Slang A.I.R. has been a catalyst for young emerging artists to interface with youth, become teaching artists, and connect established working-class and Latino communities with contemporary art.

Slanguage Studio co-founders Mario Ybarra Jr. and Karla Diaz have been at the forefront of many pilot events, exhibitions, and programs in diverse cities, presenting at museums and galleries all over the world. Diaz’s background in youth education, performance, art, and writing informs her multidisciplinary, pedagogical approach to creating dialogue among diverse communities. Ybarra’s conceptual art practice and interest in alternative histories and narratives interface with contemporary art and cultural practices. Both artists’ work has been presented in prominent art institutions, such as the Instituto Cervantes in Madrid, the Whitney Museum of American Art, LACMA, MOCA, MOLAA, Tate Modern, and the Hyde Park Center in Chicago, among others.


18th Street Arts Center is the largest continuous artist residency program in Southern California.  Its core gallery program, Artist Lab, stimulates public dialogue around the role of artists in society through process-based, commissioned projects intending to foster exploration and experimentation and provide in-depth opportunities for artists to critically develop their practice. Structured as both a residency and an exhibition, individual artists or collectives develop new work and generate provocative programming.


This program has been made possible with funding by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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