Person wearing a yellow dress with shrimp print, carrying a child, posed in front of a white cloth backdrop.

Alta / a Human Atlas of a City of Angels


Alta / a Human Atlas of a City of Angels is a social-impact art project by Marcus Lyon, in collaboration with the Getty Conservation Institute, that showcases 100 extraordinary individuals creating positive change across Los Angeles County. Each participant will be represented in the work through photographic portraits, DNA maps, and interviews that reveal how their lives intersect with LA - past, present and future - creating a legacy work that documents and conserves a deeper narrative for generations to come about the city, its people and communities. The project will be shared in several formats, including an exhibition at LA Central Public Library, public activations across regional libraries and outdoor spaces downtown, a podcast, and an interactive book. Accompanying these is a mobile app that allows users to scan each participant’s portrait to listen to their oral histories. Participants were nominated by a diverse group of individuals and institutions from across the county. The project builds on previous Human Atlas projects by Lyon across the globe: Somos Brasil (2016), WE: deutschland (2018), i.Detroit (2020), and De.Coded (2023).

Alta is presented by Getty in First Floor Galleries at the Los Angeles Public Library, Central Library.

“Scarlett & Ocean - Alta," 2023, Marcus Lyon. Photograph. Marcus Lyon / A Human Atlas. ©2023 Marcus Lyon.

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