This week, a video at MOCA makes most back-in-school bad dreams seem mild, and an artist brings a Wyoming geyser, or an approximation of it, to L.A.
5. Punk royalty
The feminine figures in Nicola Tyson's drawings at Susanne Vielmetter Projects sometimes look like contorted creatures, sometimes like drag queens, sometimes like punk updates on the figures in Gustav Klimt's The Kiss. They're always elegant, though, perhaps because of the confidence they exude. 6006 Washington Blvd., Culver City; through April 12. (310) 837-2117, vielmetter.com.]
4. Not quite TV
Funeral services used to be held at EZTV, a gallery in West Hollywood, which opened in 1979 and devoted itself to video work that didn't fit in Hollywood and didn't fit with what other art spaces were doing. It was the 1980s, and AIDS was ripping through the community of artists and experimenters who frequented the space. Since it never had entirely predictable programming, making time for memorials made sense. “The reality is there has always been an alternative to both the high end of the art world and the high end of the Hollywood world,” co-founder Michael Masucci said when he spoke on a panel a few years ago, arguing that EZTV had mostly been that: an alternative that proved “the little guy can make it in art.” The EZTV Eye, a film about the space, screens at the West Hollywood City Council Chamber right before the exhibition “EZTV: Video Transfer” opens around the corner at One Archives Gallery. 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Saturday, March 15, 5 p.m. (213) 821-2771, one.usc.edu.
3. Data mashing
“You thought it was an accident, a video glitch,” sings rapper-artist Yung Jake in his video Datamosh, as his face splits up into brightly colored, blown-out fragments. “But I did it all on purpose, dog. You don't have bad Internet. I'm just data mashing.” Jake's work is super obvious, but it's also visually dense, and the cascade of references and switches from high resolution to low make you pay attention to what you're watching. At MOCA, he'll be live mixing websites and videos he's chosen, streaming them at 1080p, also known as full HD. 250 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Thursday, March 20, 7 p.m.; RSVP encouraged. (213) 626-6222, moca.org/rsvp.
2. Stoned in the park
In Pearl C. Hsiung's Yellowstoner video, shot at Yellowstone National Park with the help of cinematographer Jennifer Juniper Stratford, geysers start erupting in a syncopated way, aligning with the free-form soundtrack. The night Hsuing's show closes at Human Resources, she'll screen a video of just Old Faithful, the park's most famous geyser, erupting as the sun sets. At the height of the eruption, vocalists scattered throughout the audience will sing. 410 Cottage Home St.; Sat., March 15, 9 p.m. (213) 290-4752; humanresourcesla.com.
1. Violating the 5-second rule
Sofia Hulten polishes an apple on her jeans, eats some, drops it in a dustbin, wipes it off and eats more, then drops it in a blue plastic bag. Later, she drops it in the bag again, then takes a bite without taking it out, eating through the blue plastic as well, nonchalantly. It's uncomfortable to watch her do all this in her video, Nonsequences I, but also hard not to keep watching. Other work in Ambach & Rice's “Almost Something, Not Quite Nothing” has a similar push-and-pull effect, like Ariel Herwitz's awkward felt monument, or the two small, hunched figures Ellen Lesperance made of clay and clothed in stained silk. 6148 Wilshire Blvd.; through March 20. (323) 965-5500, ambachandrice.com.
Catherine Wagley on Twitter:
Public Spectacle, L.A. Weekly's arts & culture blog, on Facebook and Twitter: