Los Angeles Contemporary Archive is an artist-run archive and non-circulating library in which contemporary creative processes are recorded and preserved. Our goal is the study and dissemination of materials documenting contemporary art production. Our aim is to shift narratives that have been misrepresented or left out of "memory institutions". LACA works closely with artists who write their descriptive meta-data into the database, determining, and contextualizing their materials and knowledge in their own terms.
Our mission is to offer a comprehensive view into artistic activity today. Unlike most traditional archives that document a selective past, our collection emphasizes the contemporary moment. In keeping with this, LACA only acquires materials produced around or after its founding in 2013. Our collection emphasizes art from Los Angeles, though is not limited to it as we acknowledge Los Angeles’ increasing engagement with artist networks internationally.
Challenging established concepts of the archive and art space, LACA sustains a unique experimental environment for critical inquiry, artistic research, and public dialogue. We welcome curators, researchers, writers, students, artists and anyone interested in contemporary art.
The Archive houses and catalogues art-related objects, with a special focus on underexposed artistic modes of expression and ephemeral materials. The Archive includes studio and performance ephemera, artists’ writings, audio-visual recordings, digital media files and institutional archives of artist-run spaces.
Our Library includes local and international limited edition artist books that are important to the Los Angeles and global contemporary art landscapes.
A comprehensive online database of the Archive and Library is fully searchable through the LACA website.
LACA’s public programming includes exhibitions, artist talks exhibitions, performances, lectures, and readings that emphasize the archiving of materials from marginalized communities as well as support open dialogue about race, class, sex and gender. We also host seasonal residencies, in which participants are encouraged to incorporate materials from the archive into their work. Our residencies are open to publishers, artists and collectives, both local and international.
LACA is located in Chinatown’s Asian Center, and shares its space next to Hip Woo Hong, Chinatown Pharmacy, and Bel Ami Gallery. From 2013-2016, the archive was located in a complex shared with François Ghebaly Gallery and Fahrenheit by the FLAX Foundation. LACA grew out of frequent collaborates with Human Resources, a nonprofit performing arts organization located in Chinatown.
Management and Organization
Founders: Hailey Loman and Eric Kim
LACA is a registered nonprofit organization.