Media Arts Preview: Wicked Critters, Cave Paintings and More

Wall of DeathThis week's highlights in LA media art include the 11-day Outfest and the opening of Super 8, featuring an extraordinary range of video art screening daily at the Christopher Grimes Gallery in Santa Monica.

Thursday, July 7
Outfest kicks off tonight to present 11 days of gay and lesbian film and video screening in seven different venues around Los Angeles. The festival's annual Achievement Award will go to Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, while the opening night gala will feature Gun Hill Road, starring Esai Morales.

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Cave Of Forgotten DreamsIf you haven't yet had the pleasure of seeing Werner Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams, a 3D chronicle of a trip to the Chauvet Cave in France featuring some of the earliest drawings ever created, the Downtown Independent has featured the film all week, with the final show today at 5:30. The film is celebrated both for its inimitable direction by Herzog, as well as for its interesting use of 3D, with Roger Ebert, known for his rabid dislike of Hollywood's recent misuse of 3D, noting that Herzog "uses 3-D as a way for us to enter the film's space, instead of a way for it to enter ours."

Super8 exhibitionFriday, July 8
The Christopher Grimes Gallery continues its excellent support of video art with an extraordinary show of contemporary work from around the world titled Super 8. To ensure multiple perspectives from divergent regions, the gallery invited eight artists to curate a week's worth of programming from eight different cities, including Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Berlin and Los Angeles. The first week features Lisbon and was curated by Juliao Sarmento, with video art by different artists screening each day, Tuesday-Saturday. Week 2, July 18-23, features San Francisco-based artists and was curated by Richard T. Walker. The week dedicated to Los Angeles was curated by Marco Brambilla and features an eclectic collection of work by Euan Macdonald, Julie Orser, Morgan Fisher and John Baldessari, and will screen August 15-20. Check the site for the schedule. The show opens tonight with a reception 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Flora KauSaturday, July 9
TOPO/GRAPHY is the title of a new exhibition at Edward Cella Art + Architecture, featuring work by a group of artists that maps "the relief, stratigraphy and history of land," and includes exquisite and provocative pieces by Flora Kao, who explores Los Angeles street grids borrowing from the iconography of maps and blueprints. A graduate of Otis College, Kao creates work that "investigates architecture and technology in response to the endless replication of data in contemporary life." The show opens today, and continues through August 28, 2011.

The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA will screen Dead Space, a portrait of the Parisian graffiti writer known as Psyckoze and his experience in the Catacombs over the last 22 years. The screening complements MOCA's Art in the Streets show, and starts at 6:30 p.m.

IndieCon, an open forum and community for independent filmmakers, presents a workshop dedicated to the art and craft of visual storytelling with cinematographers Sal Totino, Shelly Johnson, Dean Cundey and Conrad W. Hall, today, 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. at the Aero Theatre.

Wicked CritterKristi Engle Gallery's new show is titled Wicked Little Critter and features work by artists who examine the human-animal relationship, including LA-based video artist Erin Cosgrove. Curated by Anne Hars, the show opens tonight with a reception 7:00 - 10:00 p.m.

Errol Morris will bring his new feature film Tabloid to Cinefamily tonight at 7:30. The film captures the antics of Joyce McKinney as she tries to connect with the man of her dreams and ends up as fodder for British tabloid newspapers. The film is described as a "much-stranger-than-fiction journey" as Morris "weaves a web of gunpoint abduction, manacled Mormons, oddball accomplices, bondage modeling, magic underwear and dreams of celestial unions!" The screening is free, but requires registration. See the website for further details.

Marie LosierSunday, July 10
Filmmaker Marie Losier is visiting Los Angeles to screen a new documentary titled The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye at Outfest, but tonight will present a series of her short films at the Velaslavasay Panorama at 7:30 p.m. Presented by Filmforum, the show is titled Flying Fish and Dream Portraits: Short Films and includes shorts described as "whimsical fantasies and fragmented portraits, the former in a tradition of Kuchar and Jack Smith, the latter capturing essential qualities of some of the great artists of our time."

La JeteeWednesday, July 13
Cinefamily presents a screening titled The Lost Art of Photo Films, dedicated to films composed largely of still images, including Chafed Elbows and the wonderful 1962 sci-fi rumination on the future and time travel, La Jetee, by Chris Marker. The screening takes place at the Silent Movie Theatre at 8:00 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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