Media Arts Preview: Pacific Standard Time, Long Beach SoundWalk & More

Ed Ruscha

The big news this week is no surprise: The Getty Center's massive Pacific Standard Time exploration of Los Angeles art kicks off this weekend with innumerable openings, performances, screenings, books, projects and more, spread across the entire city.

Thursday, September 29
Media artist Diane Gromala will speak today at UCLA's California Nanosystems Institute at 4:00 p.m. She is the founding director of the Transforming Pain Research Group, an interdisciplinary team of artists, designers, computer scientists, neuroscientists and medical doctors investigating how new technologies can be used to help manage pain. She will discuss her recent work, and an opening reception to coincide with an exhibition of her work will follow at 5:00 p.m.

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Harry SmithFriday, September 30
Pulse Los Angeles is a contemporary art fair that opens tonight to coincide with the Pacific Standard Time events, and concludes October 3. The event brings 60 exhibitors to the Event Deck at LA Live, and includes Pulse Play, a series of curated video exhibitions that mixing work by film artists Fischli and Weiss, experimental filmmaker Harry Smith, and many other lesser known artist, as well as screenings at The Standard Hotel Downtown and Hollywood.

The American Cinematheque presents the Los Angeles Irish Film Festival this week, with the L.A. premiere of The Swell Season, a documentary about a folk-rock band screening at 7:30 p.m.; it will be followed by Alan Parker's celebrated film The Commitments. The festival continues through October 2, 2011, at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica.

Saturday, October 1
Pacific Standard Time, the massive survey of Los Angeles art, officially opens this weekend, with dozens of shows across the city. See the Getty Center's PST website for details about events at the Center. The Pacific Standard Time site includes events around the entire city.

PlatformArt Platform - Los Angeles, "a contemporary and modern art fair for Los Angeles," also takes place this weekend, October 1- 3, 2011. Full details are on the Art Platform website, but of special interest for media art lovers is the Epson Video Lounge curated by Paul Young and featuring work by a range of "experimental film artists and contemporary artists alike to explore the medium and push it into new territories." Art Platform includes a series of conversations under the heading Open Platform, one of which, "Making Video in the Shadow of Making Movies" set to take place on Saturday at 5:00 p.m., looks particularly interesting. The event, moderated by writer and curator Catherine Taft, explores time-based media in the context of Los Angeles.

The Echo Park Film Center presents the Gothober Spooktacular, a "remarkable cinematic experience showcasing almost a decade of amazing tiny films by amazing artists," which are collected in the Gothtober Countdown Calendar, which is a "curated time-release Flash-based online museum of 31 works of art by 31 different artists." Lots of films and fun, at 8:00 p.m.

SoundWalkSoundWalk, taking place on the streets of Long Beach tonight 5:00 p.m. - 10 p.m., features more than 30 artists who have created sound installations. The projects will "integrate visual, performative and aural elements," and will include sculptures, performances, installations and environments.

Sunday, October 2
Today at 3:00 p.m., new media artist Alex Kritselis will discuss his new installation, Above the Fold, currently on view at the Pasadena Museum of California Art.

Sun Come UpWednesday, October 5
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presents Contemporary Documentaries: A Survey of Outstanding Recent Work in the Documentary Field. Tonight's screening at 7:00 p.m. includes two films: Sun Come Up, by Jennifer Redfeam, about an island in the South Pacific whose residents face hunger and relocation due to global warming, and Lucy Walker's Waste Land, a portrait of the garbage pickers of Brazil's Jardim Gramacho who collaborate on a project created by artist Vik Muniz.

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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