Media Arts Preview: Mods & Hackers, The Machine Project and More

One of the highlights this week in LA media art is the screening of Beginners, a touching and inventive new feature film by LA-based artist, filmmaker and designer Mike Mills.

Mods & HackersThursday, May 26
YoungProjects Gallery in the Pacific Design Center presents Mods & Hackers, a survey of interactive videos by artists who appropriate video game materials for their artworks. Participants include Eddo Stern, Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, Joseph DeLappe and many others. The opening is today, 5:30 - 8:30 in Space B230, and the show will be up through August 30, 2011.

Come learn about HDSLR video cameras for shooting movies from filmmaker Jacob Rosenberg. Part of the Levi's Film Workshop series accompanying MOCA's Art in the Streets exhibition, the free workshop starts at 6:00 p.m. at the Geffen Contemporary.

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TIMElessSUPERFRONT LA considers the impact of film on architecture with a show titled TIMEless, curated by Spencer Steenblik and Martin Roy. "TIMEless looks at designers (filmmakers, architects, media artists) dealing with the mode and processes of 'blurring the threshold of both spatial and temporal constructions.'" The show opens with a reception today, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Blank CityFriday, May 27
Céline Danhier's Blank City chronicles east coast punk, indie, DIY film culture of the late 1970s and '80s when filmmakers like Jim Jarmusch, Beth B and Lizzie Borden were making independent feature films. The documentary will have a six-day run starting today and continuing through Thursday, June 2 at the Nuart. The director, along with the producer and editor, will answer questions after tonight's 7:30 show, while filmmaker Lizzie Borden will join the director to answer questions Saturday night, after the 7:30 show.

Saturday, May 28
The Torrance Art Museum presents Video Row: With Hands and Feet, a show of video art about non-verbal communication curated by Adolfe Rosenmeyer. "Works are gathered here from artists who have isolated, examined and engaged with non-linguistic communication. Their messages are all subject to the eye of a camera, an unequal partner in a conversation..." The show, as well as two other exhibitions, opens tonight with a reception 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 29
Unsharpened wooden pencils, bicycle, rubber bands, balloons, latex gloves, tubes and tubing, nylon fishing line, guitar strings, electric drink mixer, electric eraser, 50 cent coin, quarters, guitar picks, scissors, expired credit cards, clothespins, baling wire, metal plumber's tape, xmas tree tinsel, pipes and piping, animal calls: this is a partial list of objects you could bring to the Sounds Around the Home workshop at Machine Project between noon and 2:30 p.m. today. Led by Rick Potts, the event includes a lecture, workshop, hands-on session and group improvisation.

Monday, May 30
The Echo Park Film Center and Machine Project present their annual Rummage Sale featuring computers, cameras, DVDs and more, all of it reportedly "super cheap." The sale starts at 9:00 a.m. and continues until 4:00 p.m.

BeginnersWednesday, June 1
LA-based artist, filmmaker and designer Mike Mills presents his new film Beginners, starring Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer and Mélanie Laurent tonight at the Hammer Museum at 7:00 p.m. The film is set in Los Angeles, and critics have pointed specifically to its affectionate portrayal of Los Feliz, Silverlake and Echo Park, while also celebrating a terrific performance by McGregor, who plays a graphic designer whose father comes out of the closet late in life, much to the surprise of his family. Mills describes the film as "a collection of memories turned into a story" rather than an autobiography, and explains that its a story about beginners and about love.

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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I'm a big fan of Joseph DeLappe's. I wrote about his "Dead in Iraq" project a few years ago for Bidoun - http://www.bidoun.org/magazine/10-technology/one-life-to-live-by-gary-dauphin/