My agenda includes a couple risks -- eight hours of United Nations-style debating and a visit to a temporary hotel room. Then there are the sure bets -- a lecture by an inimitably clever oddball and a couple great shows on Wilshire.
5. You Can Check Out Any Time You Like
There are plenty of places to watch artists work -- open studios, artist colonies. But you can't watch them sleep. You can't exactly do that at Public Fiction, but the Highland Park alt art space now doubles as a minimal one-room "California Hotel," and artists staying there sleep in a front-and-center bed. The hotel letterhead riffs off the one populist artist Al Ruppersberg used in '74, when he opened his own delightfully renegade hotel/hangout on Sunset, and though it doesn't take reservations like Al's did -- guests were pre-booked -- hanging out is encouraged. During open hours, use the Wi-Fi, graze the mini bar and meet artists in from out-of-town. 749 Avenue 50, Highland Park; Saturdays thru Nov. 26, 12-6 p.m.; publicfiction.org.
4. Blinky, the Friendly Hen
Jeffrey Vallance interred a Foster Farms fryer chicken at a pet cemetery in 1978, "just to see if I could." In 1988, he exhumed it to see what he'd find. Sounds like cynical activism by a too-cool-for-school prankster, but hear Vallance talk about his chicken and I bet you'll be charmed by his even-keeled curiosity. Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, 152 N. Central Ave., dwntwn.; Sun., Oct. 30, 3 p.m. (213) 626-6222, moca.org.
3. Debating With Costumes
"The privileged class has entirely hijacked the language of the social struggle." So argued one debater in artists Jerri Allyn and Inez Bush's UN-modeled caucuses months before Occupy Wall Street became a phenomenon. A culminating "debate through art," where costumes and theatrics are fair game, takes place Saturday at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Sat., Oct. 29, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; free. (323) 957-1777, welcometolace.org.
2. Cellophane Cities
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Get close to William Daniels' small oil paintings at Marc Foxx Gallery and you'll see how layers of color have been scraped away, leaving buoyant, mishmashed patterns as backdrops for infrastructure that looks like it's built of foil and cellophane. The effect is so engrossing, you don't really notice you're in front of a painting. 6150 Wilshire Blvd.; thru Nov. 12. (323) 857-5571, marcfoxx.com.
1. Picasso Meets Spielberg
You should get up close to the sculptures next door, too, at newly opened Ambach & Rice gallery. Then take them in from a distance. Grant Barnhart's unfired clay figures could be love children of Spielberg's E.T. and one of those lush, anatomically confusing ladies in Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. 6148 Wilshire Blvd., thru Nov. 12. (323) 965-5500, ambachandrice.com.