Culture Blogger Carolina Miranda Joins LA Times
Readers of Hyperallergic will probably recognize the name Carolina Miranda, aka C-Monster, who has been a longtime art and culture blogger powerhouse, and now she’s gone and joined the Los Angeles Times as the face behind the paper’s new Culture: High & Low blog.
We had a few questions for Carolina, who moved back to Southern California (where she grew up) after a decade in NYC, about what this means for her, the LA Times, for LA, and everyone!
We also asked her if she plans to review marijuana dispensaries (we were asking for a friend).
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Hrag Vartanian: Why do you hate New York?
Carolina Miranda: I don’t hate New York. I just love sunshine and traffic more.
HV: And what do you love about LA?
CM: The burritos and the donuts and the fact that it’s an inherently Latin American city
HV: So, what’s your new blog at LA Times going to be about?
CM: The blog will cover culture high and low in LA and beyond — which means that I will continue to do what I loooove. This means writing about weird murals, forgotten art books, smash museum shows, urban design weirdness, and profile artsy fartsies of all stripes.
In between, my plan is to write the occasional think piece about issues that get me riled up. Hopefully, this will include the occasional story about donuts and burritos, from a purely aesthetic perspective, of course.
HV: And will you write the long awaited takedown of the LA freeway system? I’ve been waiting for that forever.
CM: No way! I celebrate the freeway system in all its selfish and inefficient monumentality. Think of all the art that wouldn’t have been made if it didn’t exist (Catherine Opie’s pictures and Ruben Ochoa’s interventions). Plus, where would I listen to all my books on tape?
I will, however, also celebrate LA’s growing public transport system, and I’d love it if the #70 and #71 buses ran with more regularity, since these are the ones I take to work. I will also be lobbying for a churro cart inside Union Station. This used to be Mexico, what’s with the pretzels?
HV: Ok, I guess I’ll continue to wait for that one. Will you at least write reviews of the art in marijuana dispensaries?
CM: Reviews are the purview of the paper’s critics, so I’d have to defer to them on this one. But I will certainly raise it with [art critic] Christopher Knight at the morning meeting. But this sounds like a terrific idea for a coffee table book shot by Louise Lawler.
HV: How do you think the LA Times has been responding to the diversity of LA? Do you feel the paper is telling the stories of the entire city?
CM: That’s probably a better question for the paper’s brass since I’ve barely just landed. But I think there is a profound realization in most areas that LA isn’t any one thing: it’s Latino, it’s African-American, it’s Asian, and it’s white. But it’s also mountains and coast and industry and entertainment. It’s Beverly Hills elite and the working people of the San Gabriel Valley. And you need to have a staff that reflects that mix — whether it’s a newspaper or city government or the local public radio station.
My hire in some ways reflects this. I’m the daughter of South American immigrants. I grew up far from the traditional centers of power in LA. Yet, here I am, armed with a keyboard and a bunch of cockamamie ideas. In many ways, the news business is a far better reflection of American demographics than the art world, which reflects I-don’t-know-what.
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Photo caption: Carolina Miranda selfie with a churro from Whittier Blvd. (image courtesy Carolina Miranda)