Media Arts Preview: Predictions, Politics & the Poetics of Cinema

This week's media art scene in LA is all about analysis and discussion, with talk of the future and the past, of local cultural icons and global connections, and of filmmaking itself.

PodworkaThursday, March 10
LA-based artists and filmmakers Sharon Lockhart and Charlie White are provocatively paired in a screening at USC tonight that includes Lockhart's Podworka and White's American Minor. Both films are contemplative studies that use framing and duration as modes for reflection. Podworka shows us children playing in a series of courtyards in the Polish city of Lodz, while White's film studies a 14-year-old girl as she lounges lazily around in her pristine suburban home. The screening is titled Suburban/Structure: Films by Sharon Lockhart and Charlie White and starts at 7:00 p.m. in the School of Cinematic Arts, room 108.

cointelproThe CalArts Aesthetics and Politics Program and the CalArts School of Art present COINTELPRO 101, "a film that exposes illegal surveillance, disruption, and outright murder committed by the U.S. government in the 1950s to the 1970s." The screening starts at 8:30 at REDCAT and will be followed by a discussion with filmmaker Claude Marks of the Freedom Archives, SF8 defendant and organizer Hank Jones, and legendary author and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz.

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ShadowsCinefamily presents a showcase of films by independent filmmaking icon John Cassavetes, with a screening tonight at 8:00 p.m. of his 1959 directorial debut Shadows, which "tells a risky, elliptical story about love, money, sex and blackness in beat-era New York, using the rough-hewn, handheld verite style that helped redefine American filmmaking in the '60s and '70s." Leila Goldoni, the film's co-star, will be present for a Q&A after the film. Other films by Cassavetes will screen throughout March.

Get RealFriday, March 11
Art Center's Media Design Program presents Get Real, a panel discussion on "the factors of futuring," focusing on its promises and predictions, the made up made real, gleam versus the glum and future fatigue. Moderated by Tim Durfee, the panel includes Geoff Manaugh of BLDGBLOG, Ian Sands, founder and manager of Intentional Futures, and Jason Tester of the Institute for the Future. Lectures and discussion 7:00 - 9:00 p.m., and a closing reception for the Made Up exhibition starts at 9:00 p.m.

DesertJesse Fleming, who is currently the cinematographer on a documentary of Light and Space artists for the Getty Museum, presents a show at The Company called Desert, which includes photographs and a 14-minute video capturing a month-long stint in Joshua Tree, during which he lived in a cabin without communication. "The idea was immersion and reaction," he writes of the project, "a documentation of myself in the desert and the record of that time." The show is up through April 23, 2011.

Saturday, March 12
The Echo Park Film Center is launching a new screening series and cine club dedicated to world cinema and its emerging trends. Titled Film Journeys, the club will screen Millennium Mambo by director Hou Hsiao-Hsien at 8:00 p.m., with a discussion to follow.

Hollywood SignLA-based film scholar Leo Braudy has written a new book titled The Hollywood Sign: Fantasy and Reality of an American Icon, which looks at our city's most prominent landmark, studying its role as metaphor and emblem of differing historical moments. Join A+D in celebrating the book from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. at A+D; rsvp@aplus.org.

Light MagicSunday, March 13
Filmforum presents Images of Nature, or The Nature of the Image: Canadian Artists at Work, featuring a collection of shorts that deal with the natural world. The program, which includes Light Magic, made with photograms in which light passes through objects leaving traces on the film emulsion, was curated by Irina Leimbacher and starts at 7:30 at the Spielberg Theater at the Egyptian.

Join Machine Project for an edition of its increasingly notorious soldering workshop, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m., and learn the basic functionality of circuits. The Musical Soldering Workshop will show participants how to make a primitive synthesizer while musician Scott Cazan plays music to solder by, and the group collectively figures out how to make electrons move elegantly while gradually building to a climactic free form musical performance.

About the Author

Holly Willis teaches in USC's School of Cinematic Arts and writes about new media art. She is the author of "New Digital Cinema: Reinventing the Moving Image" and editor of "The New Ecology of Things" on pervasive computing.
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