Image courtesy of Barron Bixler
Michael Parker's work-in-progress "The Unfinished" is a temporary installation on "The Bowtie" parcel at Taylor Yard, a narrow site that runs parallel to Elysian Valley and the Glendale Narrows stretch of the Los Angeles River. "The Unfinished" has taken shape through a collaboration between Parker, California State Parks and the nonprofit organization Clockshop, whose Frogtown Futuro series is showcasing diverse perspectives on river revitalization efforts and their implications for fast-changing neighborhoods like Elysian Valley. Inspired by an ancient and incomplete Egyptian obelisk on the banks of the Nile as well as Parker's firsthand experience of gentrification in L.A.'s downtown Arts District, "The Unfinished" aims to produce "a place to think about hierarchy and individual agency and the possible capabilities of a collective force." Part sculpture and part engineering (involving state park officials, soil scientists, surveyors, archeologists, and others), "The Unfinished" is the latest in a vibrant line of public art projects that have played a major role in reimagining and redesigning the L.A. River.