The Back 9: Golf and Zoning Policy in Los Angeles


Los Angeles Poverty Department’s The Back 9: Golf and Zoning Policy in Los Angeles is a consideration of how land use decisions get made. ‘The Back 9’ project includes a performance, an installation, workshops and contextualizing programming (talks, films, workshops) before and during the run of the exhibition.

At The Skid Row History Museum & Archive, 250 S. Broadway, Los Angeles CA 90012
June – October 2017
Designed by Rosten Woo in collaboration with LAPD
Performances June 8, 9, 10 @ 8pm & June 11, 2017 @ 3pm matinee
Directed by John Malpede in collaboration with LAPD

‘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.

The exhibition will take the form of a miniature golf course, designed by Rosten Woo in collaboration with LAPD and will be 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 new performance, also titled ‘The Back 9’ is currently being devised in LAPD rehearsals and will be presented on the golf course exhibition during the month of June.

Tom Grode summarizes our first workshop on Affordable Housing – January 7, 2017 – by Rosten Woo.

The Back 9: Golf and Zoning Policy in Los Angeles kicks off with a series of free conversations and workshops, organized by Los Angeles Poverty Department, Rosten Woo and Materials and Applications.

Rosten Woo is an artist, designer, writer, and educator living in Los Angeles. He makes things that help people understand complex systems, re-orient themselves to places, and participate in-group decision-making.

Materials & Applications (M&A) is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a public culture of experimental architecture in Los Angeles. Our mission is to advance innovative and critical ideas about architectural design through public projects and programs. We produce outdoor installations, workshops, and dialogues in collaboration with architects, artists, and communities.

The Back 9 has been made possible by a grant from the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts with additional support from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Surdna Foundation.

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