Undeniably the coverage of protests in Washington and hundreds of cities and towns around the country, and in just about every part of Los Angeles, deserves and gets the lion’s share of our attention right now. At the same time, between curfews and COVID a lot of folks are even more in their homes than they already were just a week ago. So if you need a respite from the news cycle or a wind down at the end of a long day, here are a few intriguing prospects from the worlds of installation, avant-garde video, and remote collaborative sound, plus an ambitious film festival devoted to the fine arts. And while you’re online, please visit the Black Lives Matter website for some meaningful ways to contribute.
Thursday, June 4
SOLA Contemporary hosts #jailbeddrop, a three-day performance art series inside a sculptural installation. An extension of the Justice L.A. #jailbeddrop series started by Patrisse Cullors and Cecila Sweet-Coll in 2017, the intricate and poetic visual setting is crafted as a space held for honest conversation on urgent topics of race and justice. Though the physical space remains closed to the public, a virtual tour (Note: viewable from computers not phones) of the installation will be streaming, and SOLA will be facilitating three days of IGTV programming via @jailbeddrop, Thursday, June 4 – Saturday, June 6.
Friday, June 5
The Wexner Center is currently screening L.A.-based video artist Lewis Klahr’s Circumstantial Pleasures at their website, and today they host a conversation with the artist and curatorial staff from the Wex. Before everything closed down, Circumstantial Pleasures had its premiere at Brooklyn’s Light Industry on February 29. Featuring a cavalcade of collage animations and experimental music, the film is a 65-minute collection of six short films that reflect the fragmented, fluid, and juxtapositional quality of modern life. Set to music by David Rosenboom, Tom Recchion, Scott Walker. The film is viewable through June 18 at wexarts.org; the live-streaming conversation is Friday, June 5 at 5pm PT.
Saturday, June 6
Idyllwild Arts Academy’s 24-hour virtual fundraising event, One World. One Idyllwild., is a showcase of Idyllwild arts students, alumni, faculty, and friends. The talent hails from around the world, representing 35 countries and 198 cities. All of the school’s creative disciplines are represented, from fashion design to musical and dance, film, visual art, spoken word and musical theatre. Notable alumni participating include Shepard Fairey, singer Casey Abrams, inventor Clay Alexander, and journalist Celeste Headlee. For One World. One Idyllwild. they each speak to the importance and role of artists today as well as the impact of their own time at Idyllwild Arts. Saturday, June 6, noon – Sunday, June 7, noon PT.
This year’s edition of San Pedro’s signature sound-art festival goes virtual, but still promises exceptional conceptual cacophony. soundpedro 2020 schizophonia kicks off with a kind of opening ceremony on the evening of Saturday, June 6 featuring a live performance from Earmaginations. Sound works will then be continuously released throughout the month of June, concluding with an online dance party featuring the mod-rock, looping, circuit-bending electronica of SynthLab on June 30. Part of the annual event’s appeal is the reverberation of the sonic experiments in architectural and outdoor spaces, so in an attempt to recreate that experience, Saturday night’s audiences are encouraged to listen with the volume up on their porches, window sills and balconies to generate a “simultaneous community sound event.” soundpedro.org.
Sunday, June 7
Gagosian Gallery has started dropping curated batches of classic and contemporary video art every two weeks, and their second edition of Broadcast: Alternate Meanings in Film and Video went live on June 2. The series “employs the innate immediacy of time-based art to spark reflection on the here and now.” The second chapter presents six films and videos by artists who “elaborate on themes of social topography and myth, at times intertwining the two,” and include Rachel Feinstein, Piero Golia, Romuald Hazoumè, Carsten Höller, Nam June Paik, and Ed Ruscha. Streaming at gagosian.com through June 22.
Monday, June 8
Venice Institute of Contemporary Art’s annual Fine Arts Film Festival, like everything else, is moving online this year. Dedicated to showing a global array of features and shorts about art, the art world, and artists and performers of all mediums, this year there are over 90 films from 27 countries. Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Estonia, France, Ghana, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United States, and the United Kingdom are all represented. The organizers have thoughtfully curated this cornucopia into eight different 5-6 hour series, and the headliner is the recent documentary on Marcel Duchamp, The Art of the Possible. FAFF streams June 8 -14; tickets are $10/series, $20/all-festival pass; veniceica.org/fineartsfilmfestival.