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5 Artsy Things to Do in L.A. This Week, Including Bank Robberies

An underground tunnel used for bank robbery (2013)
An underground tunnel used for bank robbery (2013)

This week, two sound artists perform in Eagle Rock, and a writer talks about how L.A. buildings have helped cops and robbers.

5. Drone effects

The footage in Robert Greenwald's October film Unmanned: America's Drone Wars often has that renegade, low-res, ripped-from-the-Internet look to it. Greenwald, who also recently made a film on whistleblowing and picked a fight with right-wing radio personality Glenn Beck, made Unmanned to examine the effects of drone strikes, specifically in Pakistan, and it includes the confessions of a former drone operator. The Armory Center for the Arts screens it this week as part of the Conscientious Projector series it hosts every second Thursday of the month. A public discussion will follow. 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena; Thurs., Jan. 9, 7 p.m. (626) 792-5101, armoryarts.org.

4. Tour bus

Artist Corrie Siegel's new project, Star Tours, is based out of a bus that will be traveling around Greater Los Angeles during January. The project launches this weekend at Side Street Projects, the lot in Pasadena that hosts mostly mobile exhibitions and workshops, and its goal is to make connections among different neighborhoods and local histories. The bus will host classes, dinners and other events at various locations, like cultural centers or the Taco Zone truck in Echo Park. At this first event, visitors can learn micrography -- the art, developed by Hebrew scribes centuries ago, of using small words to form designs and images. 730 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena; Sat., Jan. 11, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (323) 225-0911, sidestreet.org.

3. Deja vu

Peter Roehr was only 24 in 1968, when he died by his own hand, about two years after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. But he'd already produced an impressive number of art films, including the montages he made by extracting and then looping clips from commercials or other readily available media imagery. You'd see, for instance, the same glimpse of a woman drying her hair repeated over and over. So even though Roehr's films usually lasted for less than a minute, you'd become intimately familiar with the footage -- or disoriented by it. William E. Jones made his Film Montage (For Peter Roehr) in 2006, looping extremely brief clips from vintage porn films. He'll screen it at MOCA and talk about the work he's made and the writing he's done in response to Roehr. 250 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Thurs., Jan. 9, 7 p.m.; $12. (213) 626-6222, moca.org.

2. Surround sound

Konrad Sprenger and Thomas Ankersmit are sound artists based in Berlin who mix acoustic and electronic sounds live. Sprenger's work has an eeriness, as if it's made by beings lurking in shadows. Ankersmit's is eerie, too, though his feels more like it's enveloping you. The two perform at Eagle Rock Center for the Arts this weekend, as part of the Ad Hoc series organized by SASSAS (the Society for the Activation of Social Space Through Art and Sound). 2225 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock; Sun., Jan. 12, 8 p.m. (323) 226-1617, sassas.org.

1. Architectural accomplices

Geoff Manaugh, who runs BLDGBLOG, blogs about oddities of the built environment, or about odder aspects of seemingly standard infrastructure. He will talk about burglaries in Los Angeles at Machine Project this week, about how L.A.'s urban planning helped it become a capital for bank robberies in the 1990s and how a few particularly innovative criminals have made use of the city's architecture. 1200-D N. Alvarado; Fri., Jan. 10, 8 p.m. (213) 483-8761, machineproject.com.


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