Awardee: Austin Young

Emerging Fields, 2013

Austin Young is a portrait photographer and video artist based in Los Angeles since 1985. He has created an encyclopedic documentation of sub- and trans-culture in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. His work has expanded to include performative collaborations with the public. He is co-founder of the art collectives Fallen Fruit and Tranimal. In Tranimal Workshop, gallery attendees go through a conveyor belt of artists to be transformed into genderless expressions of the subconscious. In his recent solo show, Your Face Here, the public became the subjects, via portraiture, of his show. Young’s work has been featured in VogueRolling StoneFlaunt and Interview Magazine, and shown at LACMA, Matadero Madrid, Ars Electronica, WOW Storefront Gallery, Berkeley Art Museum, the Hammer and Stephen Cohen. He recently broke attendance records at LACMA with his Fallen Fruit collaborators and received praise for Tranimal 2010 at the Hammer Museum as “One of 2010’s Top Ten fashion trends in LA” (Lina Lecaro, LA Weekly).

Project: Endless Orchard

Fallen Fruit's Endless Orchard is a non-contiguous map of fruit trees in public space. The orchard exists both in real world and real time. It exists simultaneously at the margins of public and private space, and the boundaries of social media and public participation. A monument to sharing will be anchored by an orchard of orange trees installed at the California State Historic Park and planting of public fruit trees will expand from this location organized by local community groups, schools and the general public. All the public fruit trees in the Endless Orchard will be marked online in a mapping systems similar to Google Maps. This open-source data will integrate with already existing databases into the largest single source map of public fruit trees in the world. The Endless Orchard map will also integrate social media using the fruit trees as markers for public participation.

Collab: Fallen Fruit

Fallen Fruit’s David Burns, Matias Viegener, and Austin Young coined the term ‘Public Fruit’ and began mapping fruit in public space in 2004. Fallen Fruit is a long-term art collaboration that began by mapping fruit trees growing on or over public property in Los Angeles. The collaboration has expanded to include serialized public projects and site-specific installations and happenings in various cities around the world. By always working with fruit as a material or media, the catalogue of projects and works reimagine public interactions with the margins of urban space, systems of community and narrative real-time experience. Public Fruit Jams invites a broad public to transform homegrown or public fruit and join in communal jam-making as experimentation in personal narrative and sublime collaboration; Nocturnal Fruit Forages, nighttime neighborhood fruit tours explores the boundaries of public and private space at the edge of darkness; Public Fruit Meditations renegotiates our relationship of ourselves through guided visualizations and dynamic group participation. Fallen Fruit’s visual work includes an ongoing series of narrative photographs, wallpapers, everyday objects and video works that explore the social and political implications of our relationship to fruit and world around us. Recent curatorial projects reindex the social and historical complexities of museums and archives by re-installing permanent collections through syntactical relationships of fruit as subject. Matias Viegener left the group in 2013.