Public Spectacle | Tech | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
Loading...

Tech

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Candyland

The Tournament of Robots

Comments (0)

By

Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 4:29 AM
Amanda Cardinal, with robot - GENDY ALIMURUNG
  • Gendy Alimurung
  • Amanda Cardinal, with robot

The Botball girls love their robots. They love the robots' code, which they programmed themselves. They love their crazy hardware and diminutive size — like rogue kitchen appliances.

The annual Botball Educational Robotics Program tournament is taking place on a balmy summer day at the cavernous USC Galen Center. And though the members of the La Quinta High School Girls Team are not the only girls here, theirs is the only all-girl team. Members Courtlyn O'Grady, 15; Michelle Mehta, 16; Shannon Slankard and Amanda Cardinal, both 17; and Katie Oliver and Katie Gundlach, both 18; sit at a folding table surrounded by a jumble of laptops, wires, gears and assorted machine guts. They fuss over their robots like anxious parents.

Today, 64 teams will be winnowed down via double elimination to 16, then tomorrow to two, and finally, to one. At one end of the packed auditorium, rows of tables have been set up. These are the game boards, each about the size of a ping-pong table, on which the robots will duel.

More »

Bogart, the YouTube star
  • Bogart, the YouTube star

On a Friday afternoon in late August, Joel Jensen and Joe Matsushima are setting up a hot dog–eating competition in a soundstage on the 41,000-square-foot campus of YouTube Space L.A. The massive Playa Vista compound (seven stages, 10 editing suites, a 47-seat screening room) is offered at no cost to YouTube channels with at least 10,000 subscribers. With more than 75,000, HelloDenizen is a shoo-in.

The channel owes most of its subscribers to an 83-second video whose plot doesn't stray far from the title: "Tiny Hamsters Eating Tiny Burritos." Uploaded to HelloDenizen's channel in April, it has been viewed more than 8 million times.

More »

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

Tech

The Oscars of Virtual Reality

Comments (1)

By

Mon, Sep 22, 2014 at 12:51 PM
Zombies on the Holodeck, a Proto Awards winner
  • Zombies on the Holodeck, a Proto Awards winner
There are at least 300 people squeezed around tables inside the Blossom Room at the Roosevelt Hotel for the first Proto Awards. Laptops and cell phones lay next to plates of tiny desserts. For the overwhelmingly male crowd, jeans and plaid shirts have replaced award show attire you might expect at a venue restored to its old Hollywood glamour.

The fact that the inaugural Academy Awards event was held here isn't lost on anyone. In fact, that's mentioned in the press materials and in the speeches. On Friday night, though, the awards weren't for film. Rather, they were for content and the rising innovation wasn't sound, as was the case at the dawn of the Oscar age, but virtual reality.

More »

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

somebody1.png
It’s 3:30 p.m. on a Thursday, and I’m sitting at LACMA’s café, clutching my phone, waiting to be Somebody—well, the somebody Miranda July tells me I can be. That morning, the Los Angeles-based conceptual artist, best known for her films Me, You and Everyone We Know and The Future, launched her new messaging app “Somebody”— a strikingly intimate interpretation of the ubiquitous sharing economy model. Only with July’s app, instead of sharing money or services, you’re sharing interactions and feelings.

Here's how it works: you write a text message to a friend, and then choose a stranger in the vicinity of that friend to verbally deliver the message, along with optional hugs, crying, fist bumps, or orgasms—as demonstrated in July's companion video, a teaser for her newest film, sponsored by the clothing line Miu Miu, which premiered in the Venice (Italy) Film Festival last week. More public art than communication innovation, the idea is to subvert the speed of technology and step into someone else’s shoes for one fleeting moment.

More »

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Junto participants listening to one another speak. - LHT:LEARN.HELP.TEACH.
  • LHT:Learn.Help.Teach.
  • Junto participants listening to one another speak.

It’s Thursday night at a downtown Arts District loft. Heavy yellow-gold curtains block the remaining sunlight and red and blue lanterns suspended from the ceiling light the space. Kate Tonge, who has just started serving lunches out of her nearby apartment, is cooking in the kitchen. Karen Silva, who just moved back to L.A. from New Orleans, is making rum and vodka drinks behind a counter across the room.

Two guys at a table beneath a white board near the door, one a designer and one an art fabricator, are problem solving in a wide-open sort of way. Shouldn’t a quarter have a parking meter on one side and a washing machine on the other? Maye one person living in the building should be the designated cigarette seller, and another should keep a stock of bottled water.

These men know each other, but most of the 30 other people milling around don’t. Generally, encounters in the room are starting with “Why are you here?” followed by some version of “What do you do?” 

More »

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Theater

This Play Asks the Audience to Tweet During the Performance

Comments (0)

By

Wed, Jul 23, 2014 at 5:22 AM
Gillian Chadsey fainting in #aspellforfainting - JIM R. MOORE/VAUDEVISUALS.COM
  • Jim R. Moore/Vaudevisuals.com
  • Gillian Chadsey fainting in #aspellforfainting

Ladies and gentlemen, the show is about to begin. Please, turn on your cell phones. 

Because when New York’s WaxFactory company brings its experimental one-act #aspellforfainting to L.A. this weekend, theater-goers for once will be allowed — nay, encouraged — to live tweet the whole thing in a piece that views its collusion with a live audience as intrinsic to its aesthetic.

An improvised collaboration cooked up by performer Gillian Chadsey and DJ Ivan Talijancic, with help from VJ Shige Moriya, #aspellforfainting plays out on a catwalk, ringed by audience members lined up one row deep. Illuminated solely by the light from a projector, Chadsey — riffing off of various props, sound cues and video projections that mash up the likes of MacBeth, American Idol, YouTube instructional clips and A Streetcar Named Desire — rotates through five characters, three inspired by famous fictional women and one an historical personage. The fifth is something Chadsey calls “Channel 3,” her personification of the empty broadcast space a television must be pointed at in order to pick up cable signals. 

More »

A view of Jim Lambie's Shaved Ice
  • A view of Jim Lambie's Shaved Ice

There's a maze of ladders off of La Brea and fantastic, surprisingly funny paintings by an old-school L.A. artist in Hollywood. 

5. Post-Its for the Internet
Hans-Ulrich Obrist, the globetrotting Swiss curator, has nearly 42,000 Instagram followers. Mostly he posts photos of sticky notes written or drawn on by people he meets. In one, Mexican artist Adriana Lara wrote an anagram on a red note: “Dyslexia DailySex.” Obrist will be in L.A., at the Million Dollar Theatre for an “Instagram Mini-Marathon,” which means he’ll be talking to artists about using social media and probably projecting images of varied accounts onto the big screen. 307 S. Broadway, dwntwn.; Saturday, July 26, 7:30 p.m.; $10. info@foryourart.com, foryourart.com.

More »

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cesar Pelli and Anthony Lumsden's Federal Aviation Administration Headquarters in Hawthorne, CA - PHOTO BY WAYNE THOM
  • Photo by Wayne Thom
  • Cesar Pelli and Anthony Lumsden's Federal Aviation Administration Headquarters in Hawthorne, CA

This week, it's lots of video and sound: a slasher film paired with experimental music in Historic Filipinotown, and an artists' noise band in Little Tokyo.

5. Thin-skinned
In 1960s L.A., when the aerospace industry was booming, two youngish architects, Cesar Pelli (who would go on to design the Pacific Design Center on Melrose) and Anthony Lumsden, invented the relatively thin architectural glass skin. They used reflective glass and a mullion system, where sheets of glass are suspended from clamps and then sealed together, to make buildings with all-glass exteriors. The glass-skin trend would spread, and architectural historian Daniel Paul discusses its history at LACMA. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Thursday, July 24, 7 p.m. (323) 857-6010, lacma.org.

More »

Friday, July 11, 2014

KIM KARDASHIAN HOLLYWOOD APP
  • Kim Kardashian Hollywood app
Kim Kardashian won't stop calling me. Ever since I let her go shopping after hours at the So Chic boutique in downtown L.A., she's been trying to return the favor by hooking me up with an agent, inviting me to photo shoots and setting me up on awkward dates. Needless to say, I'm well on my way to making money and becoming famous for doing nothing.

At least, that's the premise of Kardashian: Hollywood, the free mobile app released by Glue Games Inc. last month.

The game starts out like a nightmarish version of real L.A. life.: players choose an avatar, work a menial day job, and ride the Metro chasing celebrities all day while dodging sleazy landlords and bosses. You can only float around downtown L.A. (working overtime in retail just to make ends meet) until you've advanced to the next level and unlocked access to Hollywood (where the Hollywood sign has been replaced with a Kardashian logo), Beverly Hills (where there's not much to do except go to fancy restaurants and wander around Kim's mansion), LAX (where you can fly to Miami, Las Vegas and New York) and, finally, the Kardashian mecca itself: Calabasas. 

The game's notion that downtown, Hollywood and Beverly Hills are the only neighborhoods in L.A. — and that you can instantly access them all by bus — isn't the only bad, if at times idealistic, stereotype about our city that Kardashian: Hollywood reinforces. Here are ten more of the game's worst offenders.  

More »

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday, June 20, 2014

Art

Drone Photography Becomes Art in Long Beach Exhibit

Comments (1)

By

Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 6:41 AM
"Lost." - DRONEART31
  • DroneArt31
  • "Lost."
Two military aviators were working with drones when they struck on an idea: what if they used the remote- controlled aerial devices to take photos from angles no regular cameraman could reach? 

"We realized that some of the stuff we were creating was really, really aesthetically pleasing," one pilot explains. After their photo "Lost" won an aerial photography prize, they knew they were on to something: "A lot of what we've achieved and created is very different from anything else you'll see in aerial photos." The ability to remotely control a camera allows the team to capture angles and aspects that would be very difficult for a typical photographer. 

More »

Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets