Public Program

  • A Program of Complete Disordering
    Materials & Applications

E.O.C. Ord, Lt., U.S.A. Wm. R. Hutton, asst., “Plan de la Ciudad de Los Angeles,” 1849. Photonegatives, 8.3 x 10.2 cm. Public domain, University of Southern California Libraries and California Historical Society. Digitally reproduced by the USC Digital Library. From the California Historical Society Collection at the University of Southern California

A Program of Complete Disordering is a multi-year undertaking to begin to unsettle Materials & Applications (M&A). The effort is grounded in surfacing histories of land and land rights in Tovaangar (so-called Los Angeles), with a focus on responding to how architectural and cultural production have been and continue to be instrumentalized to assert colonial power. An open and non-linear program includes events, a living documentary zine, an installation, and experimental formats through which M&A, partner organizations, and collaborators seek to understand how land acknowledgment—the recognition of the Indigenous right to unceded territory—can be a sustained, evolving institutional practice that tests new modes of space and content production. Frantz Fanon, in The Wretched of the Earth (Grove, 1963), writes that decolonization is “obviously, a program of complete disorder,” seeking to undo the ordering of the world. For M&A, this project is the heart of a greater inquiry into disordering institutional predispositions. A Program of Complete Disordering is an effort led by the M&A Land Acknowledgment Working Group comprising curators, architects, architectural historians, editors, organizers, planners, and students. The working group is a product of a recent organizational restructuring that promotes horizontal knowledge and authority while extending greater agency in those involved with M&A. A Program of Complete Disordering is further supported by an advisory group of leaders in practice and scholarship and local stakeholders.

Materials & Applications (M&A) is a Los Angeles-based non-profit cultural organization dedicated to building a public culture of experimental architecture. With a focus on architectural ideas and processes, M&A curates critical exhibitions and commissions new work by under-recognized architects, designers, and artists. The exhibitions give space to exceptional experiments across multiple disciplines while challenging the relationship between art, architecture, and public encounters. Through an annual calendar of programs, including hands-on workshops, performances, and conversations, M&A explores how art and architecture can transform underutilized spaces into unexpected encounters. Since 2002, M&A has produced more than 25 temporary site-specific installations and over 100 programs presenting new ideas in art, architecture, and design. Exhibitions and programs are always free and open to the public.