Compassion and Self Deception new guide to LA’s Moral Crisis

11 05 2021

Free Guide #7, Available Now

Compassion and Self Deception is a twelve-page broadsheet exploring the socio-emotional impact of Los Angeles’ housing catastrophe. The guide set out to address the question, “how can the city feel about Skid Row, and so many residents living on the streets?”. Compassion & Self Deception contains sections like A Celestial Guide To The Moral Universe Of Skid Row, and Beyond Good And Evil as well as relevant illustrations, interviews and diagrams. The publication hopes to frame the affective dimension of LA’s housing inequality.

The publication is available free to Angelinos who may contact the Llano Del Rio Collective ( with their postal address. (NOTE: while we’ll take your address, the guide will not ship until late this month yet is available to pick up at LA MOCA 5/14 and 5/15 at premier of LA Poverty Department play The New Compassionate Downtown. )

Guide is available free at the following (expanding) list of Los Angeles locations:
East Side Cafe (El Sereno)
Insert Blanc Press/General Projects (Lincoln Heights)
Fresco Market (Hermon)
Owl Bureau (Highland Park)
Otherwild (Los Feliz
Sky Light Books (Los Feliz)
Stories Books (Echo Park)
Tribal Cafe (Echo Park)
Cafe Tropical (Silver Lake)
Secret Headquarters (Silver Lake)
Corner Shop (Hoover/Silver Lake)
Commonwealth & Council gallery (Koreatown)
The Refresh Spot (Downtown)
San Julian Park (Downtown)
ICA LA (Downtown)
The Last Bookstore (Downtown)
Arcana (Culver City)
LACE (Hollywood)

This publication, created by the visual artist Robby Herbst, is an element of “Compassion and Self-Deception,” a multidisciplinary art project of the Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD), that includes this publication, the performance “The New Compassionate Downtown” by LAPD, and a series of public conversations. The publication and the performance were generated through a parallel research process and ongoing dialogue between Herbst and LAPD Performance directors Henriëtte Brouwers and John Malpede. The publication is funded by the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.

Compassion and Self Deception is the seventh Llano Del Rio Guide. The Llano Del Rio Collective aims to expand cultural, social, and political imagination of Los Angeles through the production of these thematic guides. Past guides include: An Antagonist’s Guide To the Assholes Of LA, Utopias of So.Cal, and Rebel City Los Angeles. The project is organized by Robby Herbst. Though not strictly a collective Llano Del Rio negotiates collectivist ideals with an advisory group currently constituted by Lisa Anne Auerbach, Lara Bank, John Burtle, Ken Ehrlich, Vlad Gallegos, Ashley Hunt, Sandra de la Loza, Kelly Marie Martin, Tom McKenzie, Hillary Mushkin, Adam Overton, Janet Sarbanes, Erin Schneider, and Kimberly Varella.

Rebel City Los Angeles Available as Free Downloadable PDF Now

21 03 2018

Free Guide #6- Available Now!


Rebel City Los Angeles guide available free now!

Click here to download the free PDF version of Rebel Cities Los Angeles guide

The Rebel City Los Angeles guide answers the question, what would Los Angeles look like if vertical power as we know it disappeared?. The illustrated two sided guide helps users visualize the city from below, providing details of a developing infrastructure of people-centered institutions supporting human activities outside corporate dominion; from electricity, housing, education, medicine, and banking. Los Angeles born saint Vaginal Davis said “riding on the subway system and buses,,, are the Southland’s true barometer and soul of the city” and the guide hopes to help you take the temperature. Publication lists over 60 sites, and includes essays by Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal and Robby Herbst. Rebel City Los Angeles is a part of the Llano Del Rio Rebel City Project.

L.A. County residents can find free copies at locations listed below. They can also get a single guide for free by contacting the Llano Del Rio Collective (at with their postal address. Non-Angelinos, multiple-copies, or those wishing to make a donation to the collective may purchase copies by clicking the Buy Now button at the bottom of the page.


Free copies available here (tell us about other suitable locations, or if one is out!)
UCLA Downtown Labor Center
Southern California Library For Social Studies
Libros Schmibros
Womens Center For Creative Work
The Public School
Skid Row History Museum
Echo Park Film Center
1642 Bar
Cafe Tropical

Free copy via USPS (LA County residents only)
LA County Residents email with your postal address

Available for Purchase at these stores
Arcana Books
Skylight Books

Buy guide w paypal & USPS (non-L.A. County residents or support the project)

Buy Now Button $10.00

The Rebel City Los Angeles guide is the 6th free guide to Los Angeles produced by the Llano Del Rio Collective. Previous guides include: Power Points, Utopias of SoCal. An Antagonists Guide to the Assholes of L.A., Scores For the City, and A Map For Another L.A..

Questions, comments, desire to fund a Spanish version of this guide, contact: llanodelrio(at)gmail(dot)com

Fellow Communards & Communal Fellows

6 03 2019



Fellow Communards & Communal Fellows box, edition of 40. Presented by Llano Del Rio Collective, 2019. Inquire regarding price and availability


The Llano Del Rio Collective is pleased to announce the release of its collection Fellow Communards & Communal Fellows in a boxed and numbered edition of 40. The Huntington Museum, CalArts Library, Tufts University, Art Center Library, University of Redlands, The University of Houston, and that institution off the 405 on Getty Center Drive in Los Angeles, along with a folks at MIT, and U of O have all purchased the box. We have less then a handful left to sell. Contact  Llano Del Rio if you, or your institution, would be interested in purchasing.

Fellow Communards & Communal Fellows is a variety of printed objects reflecting almost entirely on the the social and political landscape of Los Angeles. Items in the collection were created by the artist and activist members and friends of the LA based Llano Del Rio Collective. Items include maps, photographs, spoke cards, postcards, zines, and other printed ephemera. They span a 19-year history of Los Angeles based artists and activists tactically engaging with issues of spacial justice. These projects continue to be relevant to local and international political movements. They address issues such as immigration, refugees, the commons, gentrification, militarization, and autonomous power.

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Rebel City Los Angeles Midwest Tour

29 06 2018

Join us to discuss rebel cities in your city

Minneapolis- 6/21 (Assembly)
Stubenville Wisconsin- 7/4 (ACRE)
Chicago Ill – 7/7 (Marz Brewery)
Detroit/Hamtramck MI – 7/10 (Hamtramck Free School)


Radical Imagination Rebel City Release

1 05 2018

“… woke up feeling like strangers in a foreign land…. clearly inconsistent with the values of the people ….”

Rad Event copy1.jpg

The Llano Del Rio Collective invites you to a release event for our new guide Rebel City Los Angeles.

Join dancers John Birtle and Elana Mann as twins Water and Power. With stasima by Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal, Irina Contreras, and The Solidarity Research Center with Yvonne Yen Liu. They’ll break bread and swear.

Cash donations will be collected for striking tenants. Illegitimi non carborundum.

On Saturday May 19th
2:00 PM.
DWP building
111 N Hope Street
Los Angeles


Speaking For L.A. – Notes on a Latinx Rebel City – by Irina Contreras

14 03 2018

Irina Contreras is an artist and educator living in Los Angeles. She helped in research for the forthcoming Rebel City Los Angeles guide.

There are several Los Angeles’, there’s a Los Angeles where one is served, and the other providing for those who serve. I can’t speak directly for an immigrant Los Angeles but I can speak for a Latinx Los Angeles. One that’s both documented and undocumented, generationally poor, and has a semblance of roots via time spent, or indigeneity. The hustles, struggles and gigs of people in my generation and younger often overlap in a mysterious grid, like transvisible highways of labor all throughout Los Angeles. These world(s) exists in and often the same way we’ve listened to the words “Another world exists, another world is possible”. I’m left to wonder now does it matter? Unfortunately, at times, these worlds exist without acknowledging that as we’re building one, another world is collapsing. How has the world shifted now with less physical space available? How has the virtual become more important?

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A Municipalism Bibliography With Los Angeles In Mind – by Alan Moore

14 03 2018

Writer Alan Moore gifted Llano Del Rio with this fabulous annotated reading list contextualizing the broad movement, and theoretical basis of, municipalism with a thought-line specific to Los Angeles. Moore is an independent scholar of the global autonomous movements, the author of (among other things) “Art Gangs: Protest and Counterculture in New York City,” and “Occupation Culture: Art Squatting in the City from Below.” As a young man in Manhattan in the 1970s his editor at Artforum, John Coplans, said “your beat is the underground.” 

Municipalism as I know it, and blogged its later meetings on Occupations & Properties, is an electoral movement in Spain that grew out of the popular assemblies of the 15M movement (named for the camp in Madrid’s Sol square on May 15, 2011). These sprang up nationwide during an election season. They not only took the streets, they camped, months before Occupy Wall Street. (Details at:, including recent issues of the newspaper madrid15M). The elections brought the right wing to power, and years of street demonstrations against austerity measures. The mareas – waves of protestors with specific issues, identified by color (e.g., marea blanca for health workers) – coalesced into electoral platforms around Spain.

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Assembly Reading And Activity Group

9 03 2018

Assembly Group 1

Meeting #1 
Tuesday March 27th
7:30 – 9:30 PM
The Public School Los Angeles 
951 Chung King Road LA, CA 90012

Assembly Reading and Activity Group

Hardt, Micheal & Antonio Negri, Assembly; Oxford University Press, 2017

“Hardt and Negri’s Assembly is a critical, broad, all-encompassing analysis of contemporary society. It is a major work that turns the trilogy of Empire (2000), Multitude (2004) and Commonwealth (2009) into a tetralogy. These four works are organized around a core of concepts (empire, the multitude, the commons, immaterial labour) that has developed over a time of seventeen years in response to capitalism’s struggles, contradictions, and crises. It asks: “Why have the movements, which address the needs and desires of so many, not been able to achieve lasting change and create a new, more democratic and just society?”. For providing an answer, Hardt and Negri analyse recent changes of politics and the economy.[i]“

After its first meeting at the Public School, the Assembly Reading And Activity Group will schedule subsequent monthly meetings at public amphitheaters and spaces throughout the city of Los Angeles. Beyond engaged readings of the text together, we’ll encourage the development of propositions to enact (metaphorically, or in actuality) elements of the book in public space. Knowing comes, by doing together.

The Assembly Reading and Activity Group is developed by the Llano Del Rio Collective, whose Rebel City Los Angeles Guide is partly inspired by the Hardt and Negri text.

The Llano Del Rio Collective’s new guide Rebel City Los Angeles is a guide to the grassroots of Los Angeles. Inspired by Spain’s Municipalist Movement, David Harvey’s Rebel Cities, and the movie Tangerine, the guide helps its user visualize a city from below. It provides details of a developing infrastructure of people centered institutions buttressing human activities, outside the corporate dominion, ranging from electricity, housing, education, medicine, and banking. The Los Angeles born saint Vaginal Davis said “riding on the subway system and buses,,, are the Southland’s true barometer and soul of the city” and this guide hopes to provide the temperature. By knowing the city as it is in reverse, pictured by the people not the businesses, developers, corporations and bureaucracies that claim to control it, the guide offers a view to a city generated by its users, not its profiteers.


Notes Towards A Municipalist Cultural Policy – by Marc Herbst

7 03 2018

Editor’s note: Marc Herbst has been researching the Spanish Municipalist Movement since 2013. Property ownership is a central value of capitalist society, and was the basis for the economic crisis that gripped Spain in 2008 when many Spaniards found themselves foreclosed upon by ruling banks. The success of political organizations like The Platform For People Affected By Mortgages (The PAH) and en Comú built upon the cultural move to raise up the renter as a viable and legitimate subjectivity. In this essay Herbst describes what it would be to institutionalize a cultural policy for this diverse and contradictory society. We present this original essay in relationship to Llano Del Rio’s forthcoming Rebel City Los Angeles Guide, which  is partly inspired by Spain’s Municipalist Movement.

A sustained focus allows one to build an argument that your line of thought, more-or-less, overlaps with reality. Though reality always exceeds description, we nevertheless describe and structure things in order to  manage them.

Any people’s common sense ultimately is what policies culture; within the totality of possible behavior their common sense of things defines the ultimate range of “normal” activity. What a formal ‘cultural policy’ allows for is a particular, interested, and systemic effort at intervening in this range of behavior through the force of things named ‘cultural’. Carried out through networked organizations, education, and with mediational, logistical, object-based and discursive encounters– cultural policies work to maintain and develop particular human ways and modes of relationality. Any formal cultural policy draws a  series of cultural, that is, relational, lines within a population that may or may not take up the formal thought as common sense.

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A People’s Art History Of Los Angeles

21 02 2018

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Google maps our Peoples Art History of Los Angeles, inspired by Nicolas Lampert, compiled by Llano Del Rio Collective, Angelinos, and writer Nolan Boomer

A Peoples Art History Of Los Angeles is a Google map developed by the Llano Del Rio Collective with the help of Nolan Boomer. It sights over 70 locations that can begin to constitute a peoples’ art history of the city. It roughly sketches the story of those sights and provides some resources for further study.

In March, 2014 artists Nicolas Lampert visited Los Angeles during a national book tour for his publication, A People’s Art History Of the United States. The Llano Del Rio Collective hosted an event for Lampert at the Los Angeles Public School. With the aid of Lampert, during the event the Collective asked the gathered public to “share historic sites and art projects that can constitute a shared people’s art history of L.A.”. That list formed the basis of a research project followed out by the Collective and writer Nolan Boomer.

Our  partial Peoples Art History Of Los Angeles attempts to locate art, and culturally relevant sites, intrinsic to people’s history of Los Angeles. Compiled in 2015, the map can use some updating, and doubtlessly many additions. However with such art historical locations as Speak, O’ Speak, the Aqualine, and The Great Wall oF Los Angeles, and such social centers as Radiotron, Peace & Justice Center, and the home of Harry Hay, this Google Map begins to illuminate a history of the relationship between creativity and social struggle of Los Angeles. This history is not written by objects in galleries, but created by individuals and communities engaged in struggles for economic, racial, and environmental justice.