Media Arts Preview: Politics, Past and Present

This week's media art theme is politics, featured in the suppression of a key film chronicling the Nuremberg trial from 1945, as well as in a unique, hybrid conference event mixing art, philosophy and performance.

Justice JacksonFriday, June 3
"The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored because it cannot survive their being repeated." So says Justice Robert H. Jackson in the opening of the Nuremburg trial of Nazi officials in 1945. Filmmaker Sandra Schulberg will present a reconstruction of a film made by her father titled Nuremberg, which details the trial, and the ways in which prosecutors used film as evidence. Nuremberg was shown in Germany in 1948 and 1949, but was not shown in the US due to "political concerns." Schulberg, working with Josh Waletzky, recreated the film using an existing print and a reconstructed soundtrack, giving American viewers a chance to see this remarkable moment in history for the first time. The film will screen at the Nuart through Thursday, June 9, and Schulberg will be present at the screenings today after 4:00 p.m, and tomorrow and Sunday. (The image shows Justice Robert H. Jackson, who served as Chief U.S. Prosecutor at the trial.)

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Corpse BrideTo accompany its terrific retrospective of Tim Burton's creative work, LACMA will host a film series titled The Fantastical Worlds of Tim Burton through June 28. Burton has made more than a dozen quirky and surreal films, and tonight's screenings - Beetlejuice, at 7:30, and Corpse Bride at 9:15 - are among his best. The series will also include Mars Attacks! and Pee-Wee's Big Adventure this weekend, along with eight other features in the coming days. Check the LACMA site for the full list of screenings.

Wynne GreenwoodSaturday, June 4
The sixth edition of the Culver City Art Walk happens today, 2:00 - 6:00 p.m., with a free, self-guided tour of dozens of art galleries. Head over to Susanne Vielmetter gallery to see Wynne Greenwood's How We Pray, which is about prayer, archetypes, myths and women, and includes a video titled Pregnant Medusa that brings together Medusa and Pebbles Flintstone. Over at Blythe Projects, you'll find a video installation by LA-based artist Meeson Pae Yang. Titled Permeate, the installation creates a world "where micro and macrocosms converge, organic collides with mechanical and subliminal 'landscapes' unfold before the viewer's eyes."

Art PoliticsWhat is the relationship between art and politics? This question forms the center of a two-day conference titled Can Art and Politics Be Thought? featuring presentations by artists, critics and philosophers, including Alain Badiou, a French philosopher who has written extensively on being, truth and subjectivity and is an utterly intriguing speaker. LA-based artist Allan Sekula will also present, as will Matthew Barney, Lauren Berlant, Joshua Clover, Joan Copjec, Drew Daniel and Steve Goodman. Ultra-Red, Matmos and Kode9 will perform. Curated by Kenneth Reinhard and Drew Daniel, this hybrid event promises to be intriguing. It takes place today and Sunday, June 5.

Out of the DesertDanish artist Laerke Lauta will present a multi-channel video installation at Luis De Jesus gallery titled Out of the Desert. Set in Los Angeles, the project features a series of interactions between a man and a woman displayed on multiple screens in a manner that continues Lauta's interest in mapping "internal and external states of consciousness" and in capturing unresolved suspense. The curatorial notes explain, "Austere light, a lush palette, and evocative sound combine in Lauta's work to create liminal spaces that linger in memory, bringing together feelings of exhilaration, suspense, and danger." The piece will be up through July 16, and there's an opening today 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.

SharitsSunday, June 5
Avant-garde filmmaker Paul Sharits created some of the most innovative experimental films during the 1960s, '70s and '80s, joining colleagues in an investigation of the film medium itself. Filmforum's tribute show offers an eclectic overview of his work in 16mm. The show, Sharing Some Sharits: Classic Films by Paul Sharits, starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Echo Park Film Center.

Tuesday, June 7
Boing Boing is hosting its first International Meetup Day tonight at Machine Project. Guidelines: "Bring your favorite significant object, coveted curiosity, conversation piece, or mysterious item to the Meetup... then once you're there, go around the room and show off what Wonderful Things you've brought along!" Maybe you'll be able to swap your Wonderful Thing for another Wonderful Thing... It starts at 8:00 p.m.

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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