5. Trying to recall
In German artist Julia Weissenberg's film Snowstorm, a memory athlete — someone who competes in mental sports — concentrates on memorizing binary code. In Spanish artist Ana Rodríguez León's Memorais, a woman loses her grip on reality while recalling a past relationship. Both screen as part of a memory-themed program that host M.I.A. (Moving Image Art) has titled Peak-End. 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena; Saturday, Sept. 13, 8 p.m. (626) 792-5101, armoryarts.org.
4. The eye of the beholder
Artist Miljohn Ruperto has become preoccupied with the idea that “deformity” doesn't really exist in nature — humans are the ones who want to see naturally occurring things as deformed. For his current show at 18th Street Arts Center, Ruperto worked with animator Aimée de Jongh and neuroscientist Rajan Bhattacharyya to generate renderings of “mineral monsters,” rocklike forms meant to trigger negative responses. The collaborators discuss their strange foray into human psychology on Tuesday. 1639 18th St., Santa Monica; Tuesday, Sept. 16, 6:30 p.m. (310) 453-3711, 18thstreet.org.
3. Setting off the alarm
Most of the art in “The Meme Machine,” the first show Agency is hosting in its new East Hollywood location, has a cobbled-together look, as if it was made from stuff found in the basement or out on the street. Even Luis Gispert’s video, Block Watching, fits that bill. In it, a woman in a cheerleading outfit and costume jewelry — bangles, jangling necklaces, big hoop earrings — is in front of a green screen. Sounds of car alarms play loudly and she moves her body to match their pitches and crescendos. She’s quite good at it. 4911 Clinton St., E. Hlywd.; through Sept. 27. (818) 415-7619, agencycontemporaryart.com.
2. Total Freedom plus accounting
Artist Jacob Satterwhite, who makes fantastic 3-D animations where his avatar often dances and floats around in a carnivallike cosmos, is performing with Ashland Mines, aka DJ Total Freedom, on the first night of MOCA’s multipart event, Step and Repeat. Poet Rae Armantrout, a few decades older than the artist and DJ, also will perform, and maybe read a poem, such as her endearing Accounts, a brief history of the world that ends with, “This is taking forever!” 152 N. Central Ave., dwntwn.; Saturday, Sept. 13, 6-11 p.m.; $10-$20. (213) 621-1741, moca.org.
1. Under control
The abstractions in “Variations,” a pleasant show currently on the third floor of LACMA’s Broad Contemporary building, are mostly from the past few years. Their savvy is what stands out when you see them all together. This is work by artists who have seen a lot of other art and images, and used it to make thoughful, under-control “variations” — there’s not much aggressiveness or all-out expressiveness in this show. One of the most regal, Mark Bradford’s huge Shoot the Coin, is a sanded-down, smoothed-out, layered and painted collage. It looks like some sort of graph or network that’s been tastefully, methodically obscured. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; through March 22. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org.
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