PARIS, LA 15: MUSIC
112 pages in color
9 x 11 in.
Whatever the source of information one consumes—from the established and independent press to extended social-media platforms—no one can deny that the deception inherent in the bulk of the news delivered today is disturbing, if not a threat to our democracy. This effect is particularly visible in America, but can be seen in Europe, too, and was confirmed recently when the Oxford Dictionary declared post-truth the word of 2016: “Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” So it’s official: we are now in a time and place in history where the factual and the fake, powered by global technologies, combine to create huge waves of disruption. Lies have always been told, but the internet facilitates their spread on a scale previously unimagined. By creating spaces of self-expression for anyone with online access, this instrument has shifted forever our perceptions of ourselves relative to the rest of the world. In consequence, those unexpected and sometimes brutal shifts of appearance necessarily cause us to rethink and revalue what we’ve held to be the truth until now.
It is interesting to remember that since the Copernican Revolution, we’ve known that at the center of our solar system is a star, the sun, around which the earth revolves. Our sun is the source of energy for life on our planet, and our movement around the sun produces cyclothymic variations echoed on the surface of the earth in a seasonal choreography with the moon, our only natural satellite. In other words, the future of the earth has always been imprinted with that of the sun. Around the dawn of the new millennium, an exciting yet frightening new concept called the Anthropocene made a public appearance. This scholarly term is now broadly used to designate the current “period of Earth’s history during which humans have a decisive influence on the state, dynamics and future of the Earth system.”
PARIS, LA is not a scientific or philosophical review. It’s a journal of the arts that carries the legacy of the flâneur, wherein its contributors take in the present surround. Since moving to Los Angeles, we have adapted this way of life to the natural landscape, observing the desert skyline demark the line between the surface of the earth and the infinity of the universe, where everything and nothing meet and unmeet. That thin line of the horizon, which appears as true as the blue sky overhead, could define the accident of life.
Music is the theme of this issue. Despite all of the uncertainties and reversals we are currently witnessing, musicians have always been good guides in moments of loss and despair. All music can be heard—listen to the truth it contains. Unlike the image, a static mode of representation, music engenders movement, creating a geometry of sound that makes sense to those who pay attention. Music embodies the very essence of democracy by bridging people from different cultures, different religions, and different ethnicities. Music—shared by an instrument (the ear) that has three times the connections with the brain than the eye does—liberates a source of infinite feelings to overcome. This geometry does not move in straight lines—it’s not a simple to-and-fro. It travels in overlapping orbits, where the path from one point to another is always accompanied by the fortuitous beat of the heart.
À bon entendeur, salut!
Cover: ASH B., 2016, Photograph by WOLFGANG TILLMANS
[I’M A] SUPERNATURAL BEING
RUNNING IN THE RAIN
MY GIRL — YELLI YELLI IN HER OWN WORDS
SABBATH AT THE GARDEN
NO RETIREMENT PLAN
THE FIVE ELEMENTS OF HIP HOP (ACCORDING TO A QUEEN,NOT A BITCH OR A HO)
SOUND AND VISION
LIFE ON MARS
THE LILT AND THE FRICTION
A TIME TO BE BORN
INK BLACK / #383B3E
STANDING ROCK SOUNDTRACK