502 Landa Conservatory Interview, 2021

Landa Conservatory Interview with Phil T. Anand & Jessica Lehrman
Interview: Seth Footring

First up, what’s the story behind why you started Landa?

PTA: Like anything there are infinite factors but mostly we were overtaken with deep stillness and quite a bit of frustration after exactly one month of quarantine in March of 2020. We both find it really difficult to be doing nothing. 

JESS- Phil really summed it up quite nicely, I’ll just add that we were also really excited to harvest and utilize the edible plants naturally growing in our yard, and Landa helped energize that mission as well. 

The visuals in your videos seem to take a lot from scientific diagrams and early computer/video game graphics but the footage is very nature-y. What’s the thought process behind uniting such contrasting imagery?

PTA: Hmm, I think those decisions are less intentional than they might appear and more a natural response to an increasingly layered, digital plastic-organic simulated reality we seem to be surrounded by. 

JL- I think it’s a combination of the two of our aesthetic styles. I’ve spent my career documenting stories in very straightforward and journalistic ways, and Phil has done a lot of world building where he can create intentional narratives through the visuals that he creates. The combination of our work even outside Landa has always had that contrast of real and surreal, futuristic and old school. 

PTA: That makes much more sense and is a much better answer Jess.

What are some of your favourite hiking spots?

JL - I’m not as big of a hiker as a I am a mosey-er (is that a word? Is it Yiddish?) I love the Eaton Canyon Falls hike because its not very long and every few steps there is another magical little waterfall in the stream next to the path… I like to take my time and look at leaves.

PTA: I really like the small foothills of Altadena. Charmless Park above Malibu is quite a layout. I think in general we're more likely to go walking through Little Tokyo or Chinatown than hike near LA. 

Which kind of camouflage is the best?

JL - I’m from Colorado and feel nostalgically connected to realtree camo.. It will just always have a soft spot in my heart and my closet.

PTA: Jess has a pair of Type I blue digi-camo pants from the US NAVY, I was staring at those the other day thinking about what must have changed in the overall planetary sensibilities for that camo pattern to have ever been approved. What a dramatic shift. I can't pick one pattern. 

How important is quiet space to you?

PTA: Depends on the quiet space. I work in a small corner, with music and podcasts playing at the same time, with nobody close enough to distract, but not that distant either. I find silence in nature to be sort of deafening. Laying out in the middle of nowhere, listening to supposed quiet is always incredibly loud. 

JL - My brain is too jumbled to survive without quiet space. In my life in NY I would create space by wearing turned off headphones while riding the metro. Something about being around all those people in silence together always put me into a meditative state. In LA I drive a lot in silence, it’s the time where I’m alone and I enjoy the warmth of the sun through the windshield and the occasional sounds of radios passing by. 

What does thistle juice taste like? 

PTA: It tastes like what water commercials look like. 

JL - Health and concentrated chlorophyll.

Where do you find the music? 

PTA: Friends and family! Lots of the music was composed by my younger brother Luke. He goes by Guelo. We're lucky to have worked in and around music for a long time and have a ton of talented friends who enjoy the challenge of making "Most Quiet" soundscapes.

How come you like esoteric illustration books so much (we love it too), which are your favourite? 

PTA: When we moved from NY to LA we had more books than anything else. I try to find inspiration and reference from print rather than online whenever possible. I really in general am unable to pick favorites in any category, but there's an illustrated book from my childhood called "How Your Body Works" that still feels fairly mindblowing today. https://www.amazon.com/Your-Body-Works-Judy-Hindley/dp/0727007505

Do you prefer old style ACG or Errolson ACG or new-old ACG?

PTA: All three feel valid and special for different reasons. ACG is an ever shifting talisman. These days and maybe always it seems like it was more about a feeling than a set of designs. I like the idea that it remains the wild backyard playground for a billion dollar brand, strange energies emanate and weird objects emerge from that corner of Nike as they should. 

JL- I don’t speak fashion but I have ACG boots that Phil got me for my birthday and I love them so much so that I don’t wear them incase I mess them up.

What do you think about colonising Mars? 

JL - I’m too stressed out about trying to figure out what plants to plant in our garden this season I can’t begin to imagine trying to inhabit another planet right now in life.

PTA: In general I think the human race has a bad track record with colonies, maybe we should just get up there and go camping for a bit. Leave no trace before we let Elon and the technocratic elite have their way. 

Which sci-fi world do you think is most likely to become a reality? 

PTA: I think we're already living most of those sci-fi worlds in real time. Flying cars are not actually efficient, we pretty much have everything else going. Actually! I thought Three Body Problem's depiction of human contact with an alien race was so well painted that I'm still not sure that book is science fiction. There's a part of me that feels that could have happened in some way, and Three Body Problem is just helping us wrap our small human brains around cosmic scale. Shout out to Tom Delonge. 

JL- I think aliens are already here. When I was 12 I met two aliens at Pah Tempe Hot Springs outside Zion national park. They told me all about the different alien races present on Earth and how they meet at those particular hot springs because it’s a neutral zone, and then they vanished into the night off a cliff. I think we’re already living in a sci-fi world but it takes being open to magic to see it. 

Do you have a plan for Landa/what is coming in the future?

JL- Yes it’s going to be epic but I’m superstitious so we can't talk about it yet. 

PTA: I am a prolific planner and a horrific executor so I also can't speak to that. The only plan is to abide by the natural rhythm of Landa, as opposed by trying to adhere to a digital content calendar or growth plan. Landa will grow and take shape exactly as it's meant to. It will come and go like the seasons.