Media Arts Preview: Celebrating the Odd and the Unusual

Thursday, April 28
LacySuzanne Lacy will discuss The University of Local Knowledge, a project she undertook in a small community in southwestern England in which she recorded 1,000 video "texts" that convey situated knowledge as understood and expressed by residents of the community. The project reimagines knowing and learning, and makes use of video as a tool for education. Lacy's lecture takes place at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, and starts at 7:00 p.m.

Big City Forum presents designer Tanya Aguiniga in conversation with curator and product developer Zoe Melo tonight starting at 7:00 p.m. They will "share their work using design as a transformative tool for social, community and personal interconnectedness." The event is presented in conjunction with the Marine gallery and art salon in Santa Monica.

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Battle of ChileFriday, April 29
UCLA is in the midst of a series dedicated to the work of Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzmán, whose career spans 40 years, much of it dedicated to documenting social and economic reforms in Chile. The filmmaker's The Battle of Chile, Parts 1-3 (1975-1979) screens this weekend, with part one beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum. Dubbed a "tour de force," the film chronicles the last year of Salvadore Allende's government, capturing a country experiencing violent and dramatic transformation. Part 2 screens afterward, and Part 3 screens on Saturday.

Trisan Duke will present a lecture and screening dedicated to pinhole optics and photochemistry today at 5:00 p.m. at the Echo Park Film Center. Film-Research: Pinhole Optics and the Chemistry of Film describes the sub-atomic life of film, while the film Ziggurat illustrates the potential of moviemaking using a homemade pinhole camera. The lecture and screening are free.

Isola Bella
Saturday, April 30

Danica Dakic, a Bosnian artist who "creates videos and photographs that explore displacement, role-playing and alienation," is featured at the Hammer Museum with a screening of her video Isola Bella, which was made in collaboration with mentally and physically disabled participants in a project that is part documentary, fantasy, performance and personal history. The show opens today, and runs through April 7, 2011.

HayashidaThe Japanese American National Museum presents a series of five short films by award-winning documentary filmmaker Lucy Ostrander. The Red Pines explores the struggles of Japanese American immigrants who live on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, while Fumiko Hayashida; The Woman Behind the Symbol considers an iconic representation of the Japanese internment experience. The series of films screens at 2:00 p.m.

Hartmut Bitomsky will present his 2007 film Dust tonight at REDCAT. Like many of his previous films, Dust is an essay film, and it explores the seemingly trivial and yet entirely pervasive entity known as dust. "Wherever we go, it has already beaten us," notes Bitomsky. "Wherever we turn it follows us. It is our past, our present and our future... It gets inside us, we shed it... It nestles right into the despair of its own existence." The screening starts at 8:30.

Rear WindowWednesday, May 4
The American Cinematheque presents a tribute to Alfred Hitchcock with a long list of screenings, including an opening double feature with Strangers on a Train and Rope tonight beginning at 7:30 p.m. The series explores Hitchcock's various "periods," and spans several decades to offer a terrific introduction and overview to one of cinema's greatest artists.

Block
Thursday, May 5
Experimental filmmaker Beth Block will present four recent short projects at Cinematheque 108 at USC's School of Cinematic Arts, beginning at 7:00 p.m. The LA-based artist has worked in photography, installation and optical effects, and recently began working with a digital camera, "lending a new technologically-informed experimentation to her work." The screening is free.

About the Author

Holly Willis teaches in USC's School of Cinematic Arts and writes about new media art.
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