Don't Panic at the Disco

SCI-Arc is one of the most interesting architecture schools in the world, and not just because of its supremely unique digs in a narrow, blocks-long former train depot on the industrial edge of downtown L.A. Its students produce risky and socially engaged ideas; and its on-site gallery routinely hosts shows expressing the many ways in which art and architecture inform one another in today's post-genre environment. Current exhibition Barbara Bestor: Silent Disco is a dazzling room-within-a-room of lumber, reflective glass and downloadable iPod mixes. Wide planks, upsweeping angular walls, plus moving and reflected colored light combine to create an environment like a dream-time space capsule. Behind the built walls are passageways and semi-private nooks flooded with neon pink light. The idea is that a nightclub is a place of refuge from workaday Squaresville, but that once inside, you might need a quiet place to hide from the party itself -- thus examining the multifaceted role of architecture in the service and direction of human behavior. Most of the time, the space is empty, except for certain related public programs -- notably Friday's all-day presentation and evening reception for a new crop of MFA Thesis work, which promises anything but silence at the disco. SCI-Arc, 960 E. Third St., dwntwn.;. Fri., April 22, 7-9 p.m.; gallery open daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; exhibits on view until May 15; free. (213) 613-2200.
Mondays-Sundays. Starts: April 1. Continues through May 15, 2011

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