This week, artists and academics get together to grapple with immigration and a fish refuses to be filleted.
Running from climate change
Artist Regina José Galindo once moved her small family into a holding cell, the same kind privately owned Texas prisons use to detain families of immigrants. She also carried a basin of human blood, stepping in it periodically and leaving bloody footprints in her path in protest of the presidential candidacy of ex Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt. She is among the artists scheduled to perform at REDCAT at the start of a two-day seminar on art and immigration. On day two, Nonny de la Peña — who's known for virtual-reality journalism that places viewers in news stories — will speak, along with a number of other critics and artists. Scholar and writer Claire Colebrook will give the keynote lecture about climate refugees, who seek refuge from environmental changes. 631 W. Second St., downtown; Thu., March 17, 4-10 p.m., and Fri., March 18, 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. (213) 237-2800, immigration-art-critique-process.com.
Tyranny of efficiency
Artist Kajsa Dahlberg’s 40-minute film Reach, Grasp, Move, Position, Apply Force explores Methods-Time Measurement, a system used to gauge how much time it should take an industrial worker to finish a set task. Dahlberg incorporates testimonies from workers at the Chinese factory that made her filmmaking equipment, and uses archival footage of workers reaching and grasping (the original researchers who developed this efficiency model used 16 mm footage to understand workers’ motions). Dahlberg’s film screens at LACE, as part of “A new job to unwork at,” the current exhibition about artists and labor. 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Wed., March 16, 6:30 p.m. (323) 957-1777, welcometolace.org.
When you call into 323 Projects, a gallery in the form of a voicemail service, you’ll be greeted by High Priestess No. 34, who would like “to acknowledge how terrific you are.” She would also like to invite you to “embark on a journey of love, healing and a really good bowel movement.” Then you’re off, listening to wry monologues about sex parties in California (“they do that out there”) and about the ridiculousness of soul mates. Why does your soul need a mate? Does it need someone to pick it up at the airport? The show, put together by artist Michelle Chong, includes only teachings by women artists. The line is open 24/7. (323) 843-4652 or (323) TIE-IN-LA, 323projects.com.
Fish on the loose
vvater cut, a video by Kelly Kleinschrodt, plays on a loop in “Siren,” the group show currently up at 5 Car Garage. In it, a fish escapes during the filleting process, flopping away with only a third of a body, leaving blood in its wake. It’s like a bad dream — squirm inducing and transfixing. Near Kleinschrodt’s video installation, Adrienne Adar has installed her sonic succulents, cacti hooked up to speakers. When you stroke a needle, sound emanates. Near a back wall, Stephanie Taylor’s sculpture drones “mommy” when activated by remote control, and this is only a sampling of the art in the show. If all the works are in use at once, the experience could easily veer toward sensory overload. But there's something great about a show that offers too much. Santa Monica, address available upon request; through March 18. (310) 497-6895, emmagrayhq.com.
Silky, heavy sketchbooks
For “High Bottom,” her exhibition at miniature storefront Actual Size, Providence-based Heather Leigh McPherson made drawings in wire-bound notebooks, encased the notebooks in resin, then attached the now-plasticized reams of paper to colored chiffon. The effect is quirky and childish, but the my-kid-could-do-that looseness is deceptive (as it usually is). Physically and psychologically loaded objects — the drawings include mantras and depict tangled infrastructure — dangle from something delicate, the chiffon holding more weight than it should. 741 New High St., Chinatown; through March 16. (213) 290-5458, actualsizela.com.