This week's list of events includes a brand new comedy show, and two of the smartest people making culture today. There are also two parties for artists, one of which combines Old Master skill with sex (as in the photo above).
A conference on black culture online
This year’s annual CalArts conference on digital culture, This Isn’t About the Future: Black Digital Culture Now, focuses on what it’s like to be black in a connected world where race is at once invisible and omnipresent. Curated by poet and faculty member Douglas Kearney, the two-day program begins Friday night at REDCAT with Alexander Weheliye’s keynote speech on R&B’s technological history. Programming continues through Saturday at the West Hollywood Library with panels on the “black cyber body,” Internet colonialism and the cloud, with speakers including director Thomas Allen Harris. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., dwntwn.; Fri. Nov. 14, 8:30 p.m.; $10. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org. West Hollywood Public Library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Sat. Nov. 15, 9:30 a.m.; free. aestheticsand?politics.calarts.edu. —Sascha Bos
A painter of sex
Odd Nerdrum is one of the most important and controversial painters in the world, obsessing and scandalizing museum patrons and Juxtapoz readers alike. Collectors regularly shell out six figures for his infuriatingly brilliant fusion of hard-core Old Master skill and style with even more hard-core sexual and scatological scenarios. Unfortunately, that success sparked tax problems in his native Norway, and the septuagenarian is facing years in jail. Supporters worry this may be the last time new work is shown in his lifetime. Even more bittersweet and special is Nerdrum’s insistence on exhibiting work by his star students alongside his own. Hence the throwback title “Pupils of Apelles.” Copro Gallery, Bergamot Station Art Center, 2525 Michigan Ave., T5, Santa Monica; Sat., Nov. 15, 8-11:30 p.m.; free. Exhibition continues Wed.-Sat., 1-6 p.m., through Dec. 6. (310) 829-2156, coprogallery.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot
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A Kickstarter art party
Downtown’s Arts District is in a constant state of change, with new murals going up and coming down like an elevator. So when Brooklyn-based urban-arts collective Superchief Gallery opened digs there, it didn’t just commission new art, it wanted to ensure its preservation. Enter Shark Toof, the beloved hometown painter tapped for this inaugural incursion, who launched a Kickstarter to fund the project’s completion and protection. This gathering originally was intended as a last-chance-to-donate party, complete with reward enticements, screen printing by Hit+Run, DJs including Frankie Chan and sponsorship by the always classy Pabst Blue Ribbon. Since Superchief has already met its goal, the focus now is firmly on the party. 739 Kohler St., dwntwn.; Sun., Nov. 16, 2-8 p.m.; free. (718) 576-4193, sharktoof.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot
Get really good advice
Can’t afford therapy? Low on meds? Or do you just have a question and want a funny answer? In Really Good Advice, Jen Kirkman (author, stand-up comic and former Chelsea Lately panelist) and Michael Ian Black (actor, member of The State and fellow author) combine their “80 years of life experience” and hand out advice to lost souls looking for comedic guidance. This live taping of their new online show is produced by JASH, the YouTube channel featuring funny web shorts, which was created last year by Michael Cera, Sarah Silverman and others. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 W. Sunset Blvd., Hlywd.; Mon., Nov. 17, 7 & 9 p.m.; free with RSVP. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan
Erudition meets magician
Sleight of hand meets sleight of mouth as author Geoff Dyer and prestidigitator Ricky Jay converse about their mutual interest in the extremes of the human experience. Dyer’s 2011 essay collection, Otherwise Known as the Human Condition, meshes well with Jay’s 2011 Celebrations of Curious Characters. They’ll probably also gab about Our Magic, a new documentary about magicians, and Dyer might discuss life as a visiting writer aboard the USS George H.W. Bush. He found lots of routine, little of it magical, among people ground down by inertia and boredom — two things that won’t be present tonight. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Wstwd.; Thu., Nov. 20, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —David Cotner