Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Some Los Angeles photobooks: Ed Ruscha and the city

Throughout the 1960s and 70s, Los Angeles-based artist Ed Ruscha began publishing mass-produced books of photographs that were a departure from the traditional form of the livre d'artist. Ruscha's photobooks serve as one of the progenitors of the conceptual art movement of the mid-to-late 1960s. While the subjects of the books vary, several of them relate to the city of Los Angeles. This thesis argues that Ruscha's interaction with the city of Los Angeles is a crucial element in both the process of the books' production and the objects themselves by drawing upon theories of place from the fields of philosophy and human geography. The photobooks serve as artistic evidence that the term place signifies something much greater than the merely physical. Ruscha's Los Angeles photobooks indicate that human participation, engagement, and connection with the city are all crucial to what it means to be in a place.