Media Arts Preview: Wormholes, Railroads and More

From wormholes to railroads, mid-century graphic design to Medieval manuscripts, this week's LA media art scene is all over the map...

Thursday, January 6
Imaginary ScientistsThe League of Imaginary Scientists, described as "a non-exclusive society for creative scientists, mechanically-inclined artists, absurdist inventors and self-proclaimed quacks," will present Wormholes, an "exploration of space and time activated by audience participation" at MOCA's Grand Avenue space tonight as part of the museum's ongoing "Engagement Party" events. The show starts at 7:00 p.m and continues until 10:00 p.m.

Friday, January 7
With True Grit: The Golden Age of Road Movies, LACMA presents a terrific line-up of road movies curated by Bernardo Rondeau. The series starts tonight with Five Easy Pieces and Play It As It Lays from the early 1970s. The series continues through January 21 with nine more movies, each one in different ways asking us to think about rules, restrictions and rebellion.

Saturday, January 8

The extraordinarily talented Swiss graphic designer Herbert Matter is the subject of LA-based director Reto Caduff's feature length portrait, The Visual Language of Herbert Matter, screening this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. at LACMA. The film traces the designer's life, and includes hundreds of examples of his work in design, photography and film, and commentary by leading contemporary designers and critics. Matter created some of the most iconic posters ever, shot covers for fashion magazines, and made films with and for Charles and Ray Eames in a career that started in the 1920s and spanned 60 years.

Matter Teaser from Herbert Matter on Vimeo.

Turan Morrison LectureSunday, January 9
LA Times film critic Kenneth Turan will talk with the Getty's curator of Manuscripts, Elizabeth Morrison, about similarities between the ways in which movies and the visually provocative manuscripts of the Middle Ages contribute to shaping our understandings of the past in an event titled Manuscripts and Movies: From the Medieval to the Modern at 3:00 p.m. in the Harold M. Williams Auditorium at the Getty Center.


A special compilation of films and videos will screen in conjunction with the Suprasensorial: Experiments in Light, Color and Space show currently on view at MOCA . The Suprasensorial Screening starts at 3:00 p.m. in the Ahmanson Auditorium on Grand Avenue.

RROne of LA's most treasured filmmakers James Benning brings a new film to Filmforum tonight. RR, like many of Benning's films, was shot on 16mm and features a fixed camera, with each shot showing a single train passing by. Dubbed one of the best films of the year by Film Comment, RR has earned accolades internationally. "The locomotives' varying colors, speeds, vectors, and reverberations are charged with visual thrills, romance and a nostalgia heightened by Benning's declaration that this will be his last work in 16mm film," notes the Harvard Film Archive. The film screens at 7:30 p.m. at the Spielberg Theater at the Egyptian, and Benning will be in attendance.

EAPRTuesday, January 11
LA-based artist Mike Kelley has continued to create videos that derive from what he calls "folk performances," meaning the odd rituals and activities that make up everyday life. First shown as Day Is Done, an installation and feature length video, the projects are now grouped as the EAPR video series, and two of the videos make up EAPR #34, and will be on view at the Gagosian Gallery, along with large-scale sculptures in a show opening today, with a reception from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, January 12
The Roski School of Fine Arts' MFA Lecture Series starts today at noon with a talk by avant-garde filmmaker, artist and musician Tony Conrad. The talk is free and open to the public, and takes place in the studios at 30th and Flower near the USC campus.

About the Author

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