F.A.Q. and other information

Getting in the door:

  • When are you open?
  • What time is the event?
  • Can I make a reservation? Can you save me a seat?
  • How much does the event cost? Is this free?
  • Where are you located?
  • How can I get there by public transportation?
  • Where can I park?
  • Can I bring beer?
  • Do you have a printed calendar of upcoming events?

At the event:

  • Can I eat my sandwich/tacos/ice cream/crab cakes in here?
  • Can I take photos/videos/sound recordings?
  • Where is the bathroom?
  • Are there any more seats?
  • Where is the trash?
  • Where is the recycling bin?
  • How do I use this water cooler?
  • What is that thing?
  • I have money to spend! What can I buy?
  • Where’s the bookstore?

Classes and workshops:

  • When is your next sewing/Max/Arduino/brain surgery workshop?
  • I’m interested in a class I don’t see listed – would you consider teaching x, y, or z?

Big picture questions:

  • What is Machine Project?
  • Why do you do it?
  • How long has this been here?
  • Who’s in charge?
  • Who pays for this?
  • Why is it unique?
  • How can I learn more about Machine Project?
  • Did Machine Project inspire its neighborhood or did its neighborhood inspire Machine Project?
  • Mission Statement?
  • Is the communal creativity intrinsic to Machine Project something that is unique to LA or is it a model that could scale nationally?
  • Machine Project is very esoteric in its interests, how did you choose these areas of focus?
  • Do we need places like Machine Project? Why?
  • What is the most unique thing that Machine Project offers that your members have derived the most value out of?
  • Did somebody order a pizza?

Joining the family:

  • How can I get a show at Machine Project?
  • Can I be your artist in residence? How do I apply for a residency?
  • Are you hiring?
  • Do you have interns?
  • Do you have volunteers?

Membership:

  • Am I a current Machine Project member?
  • How long does a membership last?
  • What do I get if I become a member?
  • I am a horse. Can I still become a member?

Mistaken identity:

  • Can Mark Allen appraise these plates/drawings/paintings?
  • Is this where the film screening is?
  • Is this the Echo Park Film Center?
  • So, you guys are a robot/kinetic/electronic art gallery, right?
  • Well, then why is this gallery called Machine Project?
  • You live here right?
  • What will this place be when it’s finished?

We regret to inform you:

  • Can I rent/have/use this storefront of yours, which looks to me like an empty storefront you’re not using?
  • Can I shoot my student/amateur/professional film here?
  • Do you want my broken computer/printer/scanner/cell phone/airplane, etc?

For artists who are already scheduled to show here:

  • Install/de-install policy.
  • Sound equipment information.
  • Floor plan?

Guidelines for beloved members of the press:

  • Interview requests.
  • Press Kit.
  • Photography.
  • Sound Recordings.
  • Video and Television.

GETTING IN THE DOOR

When are you open?

We are unofficially open most days between 11am and 6pm, but sometimes we’re closed or out eating lunch. When we have installations or exhibits in the gallery we are officially open from 12-5pm Saturdays and Sundays. If there is an event, we are open at least 1 hour before the event starts. Feel free to call us at 213-483-8761 and verify someone is here if you want to come visit.

What time is the event?

Most events take place at 8:00pm. On Sundays we sometimes have early events at 5pm, and some weekends we do morning shows at 11am. But as a general rule, 8pm. Seating is limited, so we recommend coming 5-10 minutes early if you want to sit in the front row, and by 8pm if you want to get into the gallery for a popular event.

Can I make reservation? Can you save me a seat?

All seating is on a first come, first served basis.

How much does the event cost? Is this free?

Events, exhibitions, readings, and lectures are always free at machine project. Yay! Workshops cost approximately $20 a contact hour materials included. We hope you will consider supporting our programming by making a tax deductible donation either via our pneumatic cash machine or on-line. Machine Project is a 50c3 charitable non-profit.

Where are you located?

We are in Echo Park, just North West of downtown Los Angeles, at the intersection of Sunset Blvd and Alvarado Street, in a big blue building on the North East Corner on Alvarado. MAP LINK. Our phone number is 213 483 8761.

How can I get there by public transportation?

Jason Brown (board member and bus rider) has written a guide to visiting Machine by public transport.

Where can I park?

Street parking is available on Alvarado and nearby streets. Avoid parking on Alvarado from 4pm-7pm on weekdays though, because they will tow you. You can also Valet park around the corner on Sunset at TAIX for $$. We don’t recommend eating there, especially the cheese plate. We believe this to be the worst cheese plate we’ve ever eaten. If you want food you should go to the taco truck. People seem to enjoy going to TAIX for drinks however.

Can I bring beer?

Please!

Do you have a printed calender of upcoming events?

No. We attempt to keep our future page updated, but honestly our attempts often fall short of our ambitions. We highly recommend subscribing to our email list (look to your left) which sends out weekly programming updates. We have a nice brochure if you want something printed to remember us by, which you can download here as a pdf.

AT THE EVENT

Can I eat my sandwich/tacos/ice cream/crab cakes in here?

Ok!

Can I take photos, video, sound recordings?

Amateur documentation is always welcome, as long as it remains unobtrusive (no extra lights, flashes, tripods, giant cameras, film crews). We’d be grateful if you can tag photos machineproject on flickr and elsewhere so we can see them as well.

Where is the bathroom?

Past the gallery, through the office, and to the left. Do not go down the stairs – there is no bathroom in the basement and our carnivorous plant collection may try and eat you.

Are there any more seats?

short answer – Maybe.

long answer – If the gallery is full of sitting people, no. If the gallery is not full of sitting people, yes.

longer answer – Even though our events are most often full beyond our capacity, we have a secret insecurity that no-one will come to tonight’s event, even though we believe completely that tonight’s event will be magical and all the people who don’t come would really regret it if they knew how great it was going to be. Therefore, we’ve only put out half our chairs, so that it will look full even if not that many people turn up. Then when people do turn up, we realize there aren’t enough chairs so we rush downstairs and upstairs and try and find more chairs. So that can take a while.

Where is the trash?

It’s right there, that big blackish plastic trash bin! During events it’s usually parked right outside the front door. Please put your recycling in the recycling bin next to the water cooler.

Where is the recycling bin?

It should be next to the water cooler. If it’s not just leave your empty recyclables next to the wall on the floor and we’ll pick them up later when we find the recycling bin.

How do I use this water cooler?

The button for hot water is on the right, press it in while simultaneously pressing downward on the smaller red button right above it. Cold water is on the left, press it in. You may want to print this out and bring it as a reference.

I have money to spend! What can I buy?

We have a fine selection of Machine Project books and editions. A Machine Project membership or gift certificate is the perfect gift for yourself, a loved one or a complete stranger.

What is that thing?

Either:
a. a milkshake maker
b. a parking ticket
c. a handmade recycled musical instrument
d. an epiphyte

Where’s the bookstore?

We’re working on it!

CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS

When is your next sewing/Max/Arduino/brain surgery workshop?

Classes are repeated on a semi-regular basis according to demand. Currently our most popular classes are Arduino, Max/MSP, electronics and sewing. If you are interested in a class email us at machine@machineproject.com and we can place you on a waitlist. This ensures that you’ll be notified first and lets us know when we have enough people to offer a class.

I’m interested in a class I don’t see listed – would you consider teaching x, y, or z?

We are most interested in teaching emerging technologies or engineering staples such as programming, robotics, electronics and sewing. In general we try to teach niche topics that are not supported by other educational institutions in the Los Angeles area. For Film/Video classes please visit our beloved neighbors the Echo Park Film Center. For a wonderful selection of art+architecture theory, celebrity stalking and impressive esoterica check out the Public School. Finally, remember that we are blessed in Southern California with great community colleges. If you still aren’t finding what you’re looking for, email us at machine@machineproject.com with your suggestions for classes, and we will try and create a class for you.

BIG PICTURE QUESTIONS

What is Machine Project?

Machine Project is a non-profit presentation and eductional space investigating art, technology, natural history, science, music, literature, food, and whatever else humans like to do. When not occupying our storefront space in Echo Park, Machine Project operates as a loose confederacy of artists producing shows at locations ranging from the Santa Monica beach to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

What inspired Machine Project?

Machine Project began with the desire to create an informal community space in which people could gather around different kinds of ideas, from poetry and experimental music to technology and food. We soon found that an engineer and a poet talking about noise music was even more interesting than a group of poets talking about poetry or group of scientists discussing science.

Why do you do it?

a) Because we love you.

b) This is how we’re trying to understand the world, and we think if we keep doing this long enough it’s all going to make sense one day.

How long has this been here?

The Machine Project ribbon cutting ceremony was held on November 15th, 2003. The ribbon was cut by the former mayor of Los Angeles, the late Don Drysdale. Machine Project incorporated as a non-profit in the state of California on May 17, 2005 and received our Federal EIN # (75-3193159) on June 13, 2005.

Who’s in charge?

Mark Allen is Machine’s Executive Director and Founder. Elizabeth Cline is Assistant Director & Jessica Cowley is Operations Manager: they actually make everything happen. Our board of directors is Mark Allen, Mary Fagot, Tatiana Hernandez, Thomas Rhoads, Peter Vermeren (aka Mister Jalopy) and Patricia Wyatt. Various other folks do other various things.

Who pays for this?

Machine Project is an educational arts non-profit organization. Machine keeps the door open with the generous support of community members (like you, hint hint) and local and national granting organizations (like these rad foundations). Tuition from Machine’s extensive list of workshops also goes directly to supporting programs.

Why is it unique?

Because we’re most interested in the intersections between different fields of knowledge, our programming covers a wider range of subjects than many other institutions. We also exist in more than one format — Machine Project functions as a storefront and venue for art and cultural projects in Echo Park, and also as a collective of artists working with other cultural institutions.

How can I learn more about Machine Project?

Drop by anytime for a tour of the secret inner workings, or read what other people have written about us on our press page.

Did Machine Project inspire its neighborhood or did its neighborhood inspire Machine Project?

We’re hugely appreciative of the diversity of Echo Park and its residents. From the Time Travel Mart to the Saturday pupusa ladies to our favorite local taco truck and the Echo Park Film Center, we are inspired by how many different cultural institutions exist together to make up this neighborhood. We consider this neighborhood our home base, and for an organization like ours that is interested in looking at the full range of human activities, obsessions and interactions, it’s hard to imagine a better fit.

Mission statement?

Machine Project exists to encourage heroic experiments of the gracefully over-ambitious. We provide educational resources to people working with technology, we collaborate with artists to produce site-specific works, and we promote conversations between scientists, poets, technicians, performers, and the community of Los Angeles as a whole.

Is the communal creativity intrinsic to Machine Project something that is unique to LA or is it a model that could scale nationally?

LA is special because its diversity and scale gives us a lot to feed off of, but this also seems like a cultural moment when people are willing more than before to work together and create new and hybrid forms of culture. This is something we see happening in other parts of the world, not just in Los Angeles.

What is Machine Project’s philosophy about learning?

If you look around wherever you’re sitting there’s a large percentage of things whose workings are totally mysterious: the cellphone, the tape dispenser, the refrigerator, the computer. We are surrounded by a material culture where most people remain unaware of how everything that surrounds them is made. Machine Project exists to provide an opportunity for people to understand their built environment, to create a space in which accessibility to knowledge and hands-on, DIY learning experiences can happen right in our own neighborhood.

Machine Project is very esoteric in its interests, how did you choose these areas of focus?

When we started we decided to let Machine be about absolutely anything we were personally interested in, and we’re interested in a lot of stuff. Most everything that is presented by Machine is something that someone on our staff or among our core group of collaborators is working on, researching, inspired by, obsessed with, or otherwise freaked out about.

Do we need places like Machine Project? Why?

Yes. We feel a need to rebuild, from the ground up and in a grassroots way, an infrastructure for spaces and communities that allow people to come together around a life of ideas. Machine Project has always been about encouraging people like you or me, or even drastically unlike you or me, to make culture for themselves and encourage them to want to experience it together.

What is the most unique thing that Machine Project offers that your members have derived the most value out of?

A couple of years ago we cut a round hole in a corner of the floor in our gallery. Most days this is an entirely unremarkable, often overlooked feature of our gallery, possibly even a hazard if you’re walking in that corner with heels on. But for certain events, we’ll bring out a doorbell ringer and mount it above the hole. This is the sign that something awesome is about to happen. When you ring the buzzer, a “mechanical” hand emerges through the hole and holds its palm open for you to place two dollars in. The hand then retracts, and in a matter of seconds, reappears presenting an ice cold can of beer from the mysterious ether beneath our floorboards. This is our secret bar aka beerhole.
I wouldn’t say it’s what our members have derived the most value out of, but they really seem to enjoy it.

Did somebody order a pizza?

yes

JOINING THE FAMILY

How can I get a show at Machine Project?

We don’t accept proposals, especially thick envelopes full of slides, or lengthy artist statements. That said, if you believe that what you do fits into our program feel free to send us a casual email at machine@machineproject.com describing what you do with links to some kind of documentation – images, audio files, video clips etc. We may or may not reply to your email but we promise we will look at what you send.

Please note that as a rule we don’t show painting, drawing, photography or anything else we feel is adequately supported by the many fine other art galleries in Los Angeles.

We are primarily interested at this time in:

a) experimental or ultra-traditional acoustic musicians who play anything but guitar.
b) installation artists with a strong research component on topics outside of purely art historical and aesthetic concerns (anthropology, sociology, natural sciences, etc)
c) lecturers/researchers/performers combining subjective material with pedagogical elements.

Can I be your artist in residence? How do I apply for the artist is residence?

Our artist in residences are selected from people who we’ve already worked with in the past that are invited to stay with us and develop larger scale projects, typically combining teaching, curating, and performing or exhibiting. We do not accept applications for the artist in residence program.

Are you hiring?

short answer – No.
longer answer – If we had the money, maybe.

Do you have interns?

We do! We offer 1 to 2 unpaid part time internships during the fall and spring academic semester for academic credit and/or the satisfaction of a confusing yet convivial job well done. Candidates must be willing to work 15-20 hours a week. Interested parties please email machine@machineproject.com. Last summer we were able to offer a full time paid internship through the Getty Multicultural Internship program. We’re hoping to offer that again next summer.

Do you have volunteers?

Yes! Gathering people together for absurd non-fiscally remunerative project activities is a significant part of what we do. Please email machine@machineproject.com if you’d like to volunteer for future adventures.

MEMBERSHIP

Am I a current Machine Project member?

1) Have you noticed a monthly withdrawal from your PayPal or credit card account with our name on it?
2) Have you made one donation in a dollar amount that relates to kilobits (64bit, 128bit, 256bit) sometime in the last 12 months?
3) Do you have a Machine Project membership card?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are probably a current Machine member. Thanks for that! If you’re not sure, we can check for you — just send an email to elizabeth@machineproject.com with the subject line [am i a member or what?]

How long does a membership last?

12 months plus however long it takes for us to update our database to realize that your membership expired three years ago.

What do I get if I become a member?

Our members receive discounts on all classes and workshops, advance access to tickets of popular events that are likely to sell out, and invitations to exclusive VIP membership events. Also, our eternal gratitude and the knowledge that you help us keep our doors open. Do we have you hooked yet? If so, click here to become a member!

I am a horse. Can I still become a member?

Yes! Machine Project does not discriminate against horses, Westsiders, or people who don’t live anywhere near Machine Project. If you fall under one of those categories and are interested in becoming a member, check out our niche membership page.

MISTAKEN IDENTITY

Can Mark Allen appraise these plates/drawings/paintings?

No. When we first got a phone number, Mark somehow got listed as an art appraiser and now we can’t figure out how to change it. We don’t appraise art and art doesn’t appraise us.

Is this where the film screening is?

Possibly, but it’s more likely you want to be at the Echo Park Film Center (our beloved next door neighbors). You’ll find them next door.

Is this the Echo Park Film Center?

No, they are next door.

So, you guys are a robot/kinetic/electronic art gallery right?

Not so much. we are interested in technology, but no more than we are interested in art, poetry, music, social experiments, food, natural history and tropical plants.

Well, then why is the gallery called Machine Project?

When we opened Machine Project, we liked the idea that a space could be a machine for producing culture. We feed in ideas, people, resources, and through the social and philosophical mechanism that is machine project we produce art, experiences, and ways to understand the world. We view what we do as an alternative to the traditional art space, which serves primarily as a container for art produced externally. But you know, we also teach electronics and computers and such so it’s not surprising that people get confused. Even we’re confused.

You live here right?

No, no, no. This is a business.

What will this place be when it’s finished?

Yes!

WE REGRET TO INFORM YOU

Can I rent/have/use this storefront of yours, which looks to me like an empty storefront you’re not using?

No.

Can I shoot my student/amateur/professional film here?

Because of the busy schedule of our programming and classes we cannot accommodate the use of the space for filming or other non-Machine Project purposes. Also, we like leaving the gallery comfortably cluttered and we’d have to clean up for you and we don’t want to do that.

Do you want my broken computer/printer/scanner/cell phone, airplane, etc?

No, no, a thousand times no. Information on the environmentally sound method for disposing of electronic waste can be read about here.

INFO FOR ARTISTS

Floor plan?

Can be seen here.

We also have a 3D sketchup model of the gallery available here (thanks to Anne Hars).

Install/de-install policy.

We are happy to help you install and consider that a big part of our job, but please let us know in advance what’s involved so we can adjust our schedules.

Sound equipment information.

We have a semi-permanently installed sound system consisting of a Mackie 1642-VLZ3 mixer and two JBL Eon (10 inch woofer) PAs, mounted on the ceiling, facing into the gallery.

We may also have the following microphones available for use:

AKG / C-1000S
AKG / D60S
MCA / SP1
HEIL / PR40
(2) SHURE / BETA 58A
SHURE / SM57

We also have three boom microphone stands.

INFO FOR PRESS

Interview requests.

We are overjoyed to talk about what we do at excessive length. Please email machine@machineproject.com to set up interviews.

Press kit.

Our press kit with a bunch of photos suitable for publication, articles, and additional helpful information can be downloaded here.

Photography.

Photography is welcome, as long as it remains unobtrusive (no extra lights, flashes, tripods, giant cameras, film crews). Please contact machine@machineproject.com if you need to do something more elaborate.

Sound Recording.

Sound recording is almost always ok. Let us know ahead of time if you have extensive equipment, but feel free to use handheld recording devices as you please.

Video and Television.

All video and television requests must be cleared ahead of time, contact machine@machineproject.com to discuss.