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Founder Mark Allen in Machine Project's storefront space in Echo Park. Photo: Francine Orr for the Los Angeles Times.

After Fifteen Years, Los Angeles’s Machine Project Shutters

Machine Project, a nonprofit artist-run performance and installation space located in Los Angeles, has announced that it will close. Founded by artist, educator, and curator Mark Allen in 2003, the alternative arts space investigated art, technology, natural history, science, music, literature, and food through shows in its storefront in Echo Park and events staged at major art institutions, such as the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art and the Hammer Museum.

Allen, an associate professor at Pomona College, told Carolina A. Miranda of the Los Angeles Times that he thought of the space “as an exploratory and research project” that “kind of emerges and shares knowledge and information and then dissolves so that the next thing can emerge.”

A champion of emerging artists, Machine Project is known for its eclectic programming that has ranged from architectural tours of Los Angeles—led by artist Cliff Hengst, who channeled the ghost of Whitney Houston—to its creation of immersive environments (it once transformed its venue into a dense forest) to its score of experimental works, including the performance Purple Electric Plat (PEP!), 2014, featuring a dancing salad and a giant tongue. Machine Project will hold its last event, a wrap party where attendees will be able to purchase silk-screen fliers of its past exhibitions, on January 13.

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