Media Arts Preview: Abigail Child, Buster Keaton, and Ben Fry

Ben Fry

The future still looks to the past for inspiration -- this week Abigail Child recalls early cinematic techniques for contemporary visual exploration and the Academy recalls the early days of projection...

Thursday, March 29
Filmmaker Margie Schnibbe is an artist-in-residence for the month of March at the Echo Park Film Center and has been creating an experimental video about her Silver Lake neighborhood. Her residency will culminate with a screening of the new work, as well as videos by a long list of other artists, including Kate Harding, Machine Project, and Rick Bahto. The event starts at 8:00 p.m., and there will also be a "festive finale" for Ursula Brookbank's video installation in the EPFC storefront window.

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Buster Keaton

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presents a three-part event titled Inside the Booth: A Journey Through Projection, dedicated to exploring the evolution of motion picture projection. Tonight's event covers the early days of cinema, with a live demonstration of hand-cranked films and a screening of "Sherlock, Jr.," the celebrated classic silent film by Buster Keaton. The event is hosted by the Academy's chief projectionist Marshall Gitlitz and silent film historian and projectionist Joe Rinaudo. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Linwood Dunn Theater.

UPAFriday, March 30
In the 1950s, Hollywood's United Productions of America (UPA) studio was home to a generation of animators interested in countering the fantasies of Walt Disney with another aesthetic and design direction altogether. LACMA presents two programs of UPA's short animations titled "Madcap Modernism" in conjunction with its California Design exhibition. Curated by animation historian Jerry Beck, the event includes a collection of rarely seen and visually inventive cartoons; it starts at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday March 31
Tashi Wada and Madison Brookshire collaborate to create "Passage," which consists of overlapping 16mm film projections to produce colors, sounds and structures not present in each film individually. Two violins accompany the screening to create a "dense and utterly transparent" experience that invites "viewers to engage multiple modes of time and attention." The event takes place at the wulf, a downtown space for experimental art, tonight, 6:00 - 11:00 p.m.

The California African American Museum presents a screening of three documentaries made by L.A.-based media artist Ulysses Jenkins on the Los Angeles Black art scene. They include "Momentous Occasions: Charles White, King David" and "Remnants of the Watts Festival: Parts I and II." The screening takes place at 2:00 p.m.

Abigail ChildMonday, April 2
Poet, essayist and extraordinary filmmaker Abigail Child returns to REDCAT tonight with a show titled Narrative Bodies: The Films and Videos of Abigail Child. The show includes half a dozen short pieces by the filmmaker spanning her career as a leading figure in the American avant-garde film tradition. "Bodies, fetishes, symbols, icons and relics are reinvented and refitted to new realities and new desires," write the curators, trying to capture the magic and inventiveness of the artist's work. The show starts at 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 3
Designer Ben Fry, known for his groundbreaking work in information visualization and with the development of the software application known as Processing undertaken with Casey Reas, will speak at UCLA's Design | Media Arts program today at 6:00 p.m. in the Broad Art Center. Fry's work has been shown widely, including in the Whitney Biennial, the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, and at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Hammer Open ProjectorThursday, April 5
Comedian twins Jason and Randy Sklar host Open Projector Night at the Hammer Museum tonight, and invite anyone with works shorter than 10 minutes to bring them to the Billy Wilder Theater. Acceptable formats include VHS, DVD, miniDV, miniHDV, Super 8mm, 8mm and 16mm film. The screening starts at 7:30, but submissions will be accepted beginning at 7:00 p.m.

About the Author

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