Process: Photo Flight Frame Installation for Sunstock Solar Festival 2016

I’ve been having a great time getting ready for my Photo Flight Frame Installation [we have a TITLE at last!] at the Sunstock Solar Festival, Saturday, June 18th, at the Autry Museum in Los Angeles.

The festival is 100% solar powered by 5 solar trailers.  Team PFF (Photo Flight Frames) has set out to create an art installation to showcase and engage festival goers with one of the trailers!  Rachel Oto, Ben Koffman, and I have the ball rolling.

As far as blogging my process, I’ll start from the beginning-ish with my pitch to Sunstock, and then move toward the present:

From conception, the installation was to focus on inviting people to engage with 6′ x 3′ frames organized to create 360 degrees of art.  I planned for some of the frames to have illuminated portraits of people who I find empowering and enlightened.  I imagined actual eco-light bulbs glowing above their heads.   Other frames would have space for people to write and draw pictures.

Sunstock Installation Lorna Alkana 2016_Page_1

The frames have a lot of negative space, so the solar trailer functions as a part of the art in a few ways (power source and sculpture), and different frames are visible through one another.  A field of photo frames.  [Photo means light!]

The artist Rachel Oto joined the team to contribute her Renewable Bloom inclinations and overall wisdom and ingenuity.  She was on tour  with Stage Coach and Star Dust for this first part, but she was still in like gin.  She adds the flight to our photo frames!  See below…
Ben Koffman joined the team to help with carpentry, visual projections, and overall wisdom and ingenuity, as well!
I sent Sunstock the above ideas and also my makeshift model of the concept:
Sunstock Installation Lorna Alkana 2016_Page_2
At this point, I hadn’t pinned down how many of the frames we’d make, or what portraits would go where.
After a meeting with Ben, I realized I had to make some real decisions about the number of frames and their size.  Sasha, the Sunstock person in charge of keeping us powered during the installation, also needed specifics on how much energy we’d need.
I made some updated 3D models to understand.  Oh these are weak, but they sufficed for helping me picture the installation and organize my thoughts about the scene I wanted to present.


I met with Ben again, just briefly, and we set up a time to actually buy the wood and drill the holes.  It’s so wonderful to work with a team.

In the following days I brainstormed and nailed down ideas both big and small.  From concept articulation to budget delineation, to drawings…lots of drawings.  The plan progressed:




As scheduled, I showed up at Ben’s warehouse at 11AM on Friday and we did some math, took a field trip to buy some beams and a wood sheet, and some coffee, then got to work.

I sometimes referred to my notes, but mostly they were in my head and between my head and Ben’s as we moved forward.  Lots of math.  Measuring.  Pencil lines and saw dust.


Ben masterminded the construction.  I did some drilling.  This woodshoping reminds me of my dad.  All of his tools.  He’d have the right drill bit or screw driver head somewhere whenever needed.  It only came up sometimes, but he’d be ready.  It’s like this other life he had without me, but that he kept in drawers around the house and in meticulous shelving in the part of the garage I never explored [until now].  I know he built these cabinets that were under my parents’ loft bed when I was a kid.  I remember him mostly fixing, not building.  Anyhow, this was really great.


Once we built the frames, Ben and I split off into different worlds of creation.  He constructed found-walls onto the frames.


I painted:


With a whole lot left to do, and at the end of the day, we set up a prototype with hinges and lights:

I took an Instagram video of a final walk through before saying good bye.  The frames will live at Ben’s studio.  I’ll get to visit them and work on them soon.  I’m going to paint on material I can attach to the frames later.

Here’s a video of some more evidence from this process.  Some pics are from my phone, some from my computer (when my phone was snubbing me) etc.  I cut out windows in the Photo Flight Frames, and in other places that looked like they needed some air.

Here’s the update I sent Sunstock:

actual day one summary_Page_1

actual day one summary_Page_2

Rachel is back from tour and so full of ideas!  She’s making these incredible butterflies for the installation.  Here’s a mock up she did with some of my art in the wings!  She even thought of coloring-book butterflies!  Brilliant!

Lorna-flies mock-up copy

Event Details:

Sunstock Solar Festival – LA’s very own, very first 100% solar-powered, non-profit music / arts festival!!

Lineup (performing in reverse order):
Cults // WAVVES // Allah-Las // Kaki King // The Big Pink // Trapdoor Social// Gateway Drugs // yOya

Food trucks & vendors // Lights, Art, & Games
ALL AGES EVENT // bar for 21+ w/ ID
Parking: Free // FREE BIKE VALET

Supporting the work of our great partners:
Sierra Club // GRID Alternatives // Food & Water Watch // SoCal 350 Climate Action // Courage Campaign // Climate Hawks Vote // EastSide Sol// Climate Resolve

All this for $20.00 at

Thank many thanks to Eleanore, Sasha, and Alexandra for this opportunity to create and collaborate and share!

You Can Find Me…

Facebook: @LornaAlkanaArt and @LAWordSalon and @AffectComic
Twitter: @LornaPhone and @LAWordSalon
Instagram: @Lornaphone and @LAWordSalon

I update my Exhibition Page with events and galleries Lorna Alkana Art is featured in.

I post on (or around) Mondays with new art/discussion of the process of works in progress, and (or around) Fridays with Comic Lorna in the form of an audiobio comic series called, Affect.


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