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Eichler homes serve as video screens in Granada Hills art project

Eichler homes serve as video screens in Granada Hills art project
Lisette Street in the Balboa Highlands of Granada Hills will be among the streets illuminated by artist Nate Page. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

The Modernist tract homes designed by California developer Joseph Eichler feature light-filled interiors courtesy of atriums and expansive walls of glass, but the street-facing facades are often closed off like a fortress.

"I think a lot about how our ideas are influenced by our environments," said artist Nate Page, who will screen nine short videos on the front of Eichler homes in the Balboa Highlands tract of Granada Hills on Thursday. "The psychological phenomenon of how we idealize modern living. These homes are perfect surfaces to screen something."

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For a project titled "California Living," Page filmed 15-minute clips of homeowners who live in the neighborhood. The videos will show the interiors, sometimes with inhabitants moving about, as if passersby were looking into the homes through a window.

"I just asked the homeowners to be as creative as they want in representing their lifestyle inside the homes," Page said. "Or they could just do nothing. It's up to them. "

The videos will be staggered throughout the neighborhood, and which houses are serving as video screens will not to be obvious, said Page, who intended to create an experience in which viewers imagine the lives of the people behind the facades.

"I want people to project their own ideas about what the modern California lifestyle is like," Page said. "I was thinking a lot about isolation and modern living in California. People still need to create boundaries when they have that much openness."

Page said he researched a variety of architectural styles in which to explore the issues of isolation and openness, ultimately settling on Eichler because of the clear paradox between front and back.

"California Living" will screen from 8 to 11 p.m. Thursday on select houses on Darla Avenue, Lisette Street, Nanette Street and Jimeno Avenue, off Balboa Boulevard.

Twitter: @lisaboone19

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