Media Arts Preview: The Experimental Edition

Experimentation is this week's buzz word in the LA media arts scene, from experimental animation to technological experimentation to post-experimental autobiography...

Thursday, May 5
The CalArts Film/Video annual Showcase presents a program of experimental animation tonight at REDCAT, starting at 8:00 p.m. The showcase continues with film and video screenings Friday and Saturday evenings.

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The Orange County Center for Contemporary Art presents Deep, a group show curated by Grace Kook-Anderson featuring work by artists "who persist in trying to express the intangible." The show includes self-reflexive videos, internet-based new media explorations and more. The show opens today, but the opening reception is Saturday, May 7, 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Experimental filmmaker Beth Block will present four recent short projects at Cinematheque 108 at USC's School of Cinematic Arts, beginning at 7:00 p.m. The LA-based artist has worked in photography, installation and optical effects, and recently began working with a digital camera, "lending a new technologically-informed experimentation to her work." The screening is free.

Friday, May 6
The extraordinary French filmmaker Bruno Dumont is known as "an austere stylist" with an almost obsessive attention to detail. LACMA presents his new film, Hadewijch, which is a story about "martyrdom, fanaticism, faith and delusion." It screens tonight and tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m.

Human Resources, an art and performance space in Chinatown, features Pauline presenting Owen Land's film Dialogues, or a Waist Is a Terrible Thing to Mind at 8:00 p.m. Described as "postexperimental, oneiric, mythopoetic autobiography," the film is the latest project by the experimental filmmaker who contributed to the avant-garde cinematic experiments of the 1960s and 1970s. The venue will also feature a screening of Chris Kraus's 1997 feature film Gravity and Grace tomorrow night. Kraus is a critic, artist and educator, and her film "explores the complicated responses of intelligent people to the need for faith."

Machine Project presents Carmina Escobar and Theresa Wong in Tensions, a performance for voices, cello and electronics. Escobar's voice is magical, and gets all the more intriguing as she uses voice processing during her performances. Machine Project promises a surprise, too, as part of the night's activities. The show starts at 9:00 p.m.


Saturday, May 7

Marco Brambilla's video projection Flashback (POV) opens tonight at the Christopher Grimes Gallery in Santa Monica at 6:00 p.m. The show precedes the larger retrospective of the artist's work coming up later in May at the Santa Monica Museum. On his website, Brambilla notes, "This piece weaves together Film Noir imagery to create a kinetic video canvas visualizing the spectrum of human emotion and recall using the principles of cognitive psychology." The piece is among a series of remix videos in which Brambilla understands cinema as part of a collective consciousness. The piece will be on view through July 2.
The Architecture and Design Museum presents an exhibition called Noirscape(s), which examines nocturnal illumination as part of LA's visual make-up. The project features illuminated aerial images of LA alongside lithographs of GPS "night trips." The noirscape is "a faint-space of sulfur halide traces, scaleless sweeps of red brake lights, and luminous artificial electro-atmospheric horizons." The show is open until June 3.

Wednesday, May 11

The Academy's tribute to outstanding work in recent documentary filmmaking continues tonight with Soundtrack for a Revolution, which explores the music that helped inspire the civil rights movement, and Every Little Step, about dancers auditioning for a role in A Chorus Line. The screening starts at 7:00 p.m., and the directors will be in attendance to answer questions following the screenings.

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