The Back 9 is a consideration of how land use decisions get made and includes a performance, an installation, workshops and contextualizing programming (talks, films, workshops) before and during the run of the exhibition.
‘The Back 9’ is a zoning-themed playable miniature golf course, designed by Rosten Woo. It covers zoning basics and questions the “Downtown Community Plan” that proposes to make Skid Row into a “walkable” community, by building market rate housing on 4th, 5th, 6th & 7th Streets. The plan is currently open to public review.
The exhibition is playable by visitors to the Skid Row History Museum & Archive, which is located on the front lines of gentrification in the historic core in downtown Los Angeles. Golf courses, with all their attendant connotations of behind-the-scenes-power-plays, not to mention Trump habitat, is an ideal playing field to consider the transparency and or opacity of land use policy.
‘The Back 9’ interrogates the power structures that have literally built Los Angeles. City zoning codes are now in the process of being re-written as part of the Re:Code LA initiative. The new codes will first be applied in downtown with a new community plan now heading for environmental impact review. Among the environmental consequences that are being reviewed is whether the new plan would displace long term low-income residents of Skid Row’s 50 square blocks which currently provide affordable housing to the extreme poor or undermine the sense of community among the thousands of formerly homeless hotel residents now living permanently in Skid Row.