In 2021, LENS partnered with the Labyrinth Project, a collaborative urban anthropological inquiry into nature in Los Angeles, to produce a series of episodes based on the Labyrinth team’s fieldwork in LA’s more-than-human ecologies. Created by a team of faculty and graduate and undergraduate students, these episodes explore rats and mountain lions, cats and the people who care for them (and don’t), digital cloud coyotes, and other pathways in ‘the maze of nature in LA.’
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Episode 1: The Lion and the Rat
In this episode, produced by Christopher Kelty, we ask, “what can you live with” in Los Angeles? It’s a simple question without any good answers. It’s a deeply cultural question, about why we love some animals and hate others, and how that never works out well.
Episode 2: Unsustainable
Are you doing your part to save the planet today? Surely you’ve thought about it. All around you there are signs urging you to recycle, to save water, to use less energy. In this episode, Emma Horton asks why we feel so bad for not doing our part, and whether it’s healthy to keep trying.
Episode 3: How to See Coyotes
Everybody in Los Angeles has a coyote story, but nobody can quite agree on what seeing a coyote in the city means. What do coyotes mean by the things they do? In this episode Chase Niesner explores how what we see in coyotes might depend on what they see in us.
Episode 4: The Responsibility of Feral Cats
The maze has brought you to a cat’s cradle story of responsibility and moral failure. Listen as Niaz Sassounian takes us on a whirlwind tour of the feral cat controversy in Los Angeles.
Episode 5: Coyotes in the Cloud
You just saw a coyote on the street in front of your apartment. What should you think? In this episode, Coyotes in the Cloud, Spencer Robins asks whether you actually saw that coyote or whether maybe you’ve followed a ghost into another political storm in Los Angeles.
Episode 6: Also, Satan
In this episode, Christopher Kelty explores the rather surprising background to the No Kill Movement in LA.
Images: Amisha Gadani