This week, a disco-era porn soundtrack plays for a night in WeHo, and an artist exhibits aluminum moon craters in Venice.
5. Setting parameters
Parametricism refers to the process of setting the parameters for a geometric thing. It's used in computational design and could feasibly allow the design of increasingly complicated, truly futuristic buildings or environments. A two-day conference at REDCAT, The Politics of Parametricism, explores how parametric models could be used and how their use could change the way the world looks and works. Speakers include Patrik Schumacher, a partner at Zaha Hadid's firm in London, and Phil Bernstein, who has done cloud systems research for Microsoft. 631 W. Second St., dwntwn.; Nov. 15, 7 p.m., and Nov. 16, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; $10. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org.
4. Moon travel
Artist Michelle Stuart did small renderings of lunar surfaces in the 1960s and '70s, their intimate scale in contrast to the bigness of the space-travel efforts then under way. A few of Stuart's drawings are included in a small, smart show at Various Small Fires called "Life: On the Moon," in which past and present artists think about the fantasy and reality of outer space. It also includes smooth, shiny aluminum casts of moon craters made this year by Christopher Badger. 1212 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; through Dec. 7. (310) 426-8040, vsf.la.
3. Soundtracks for the other industry
Early in the 1980s, just before his too-early death, techno producer Patrick Cowley, who had worked with Sylvester and remixed Donna Summer, finished School Daze. It's an 80-minute collection of compositions made to accompany gay porn films by director John Coletti and, until last month, it hadn't been released as an album. This weekend, it will play while images from Coletti's films are projected outside MOCA's Pacific Design Center location. The show there, featuring images by postwar erotic photographer Bob Mizer and artist Tom of Finland, will stay open late. 8687 Melrose Ave., W. Hlywd.; Saturday, Nov. 16, 7 p.m.; RSVP recommended. (310) 289-5223, moca.org.
2. Don't make fun
A U.S. flag and a pink feather boa drape over the television monitor that's playing scenes from Agnès Varda's Lions Love in LACMA's current exhibition about the artist-filmmaker's time in California. The film, shot in Los Angeles, is about a threesome, two men and a women, who live in a rented Hollywood Hills home. They're in bed together when Robert Kennedy dies, watching the coverage in TV, and one of them jokes, another says not to make fun, and they all eat breakfast off a tray with butter, jam and too many glasses. It's transfixing -- eccentric, perverse, funny and endearing. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; through June 22. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org.
1. It's all cosmetic
Rachel Lachowicz's current show at Shoshana Wayne gallery smells like a makeup counter, one that doesn't sell perfume -- all waxy, lotionlike and chalky. Her wall works and sculptures are made of makeup or, in the case of the powder-filled geometric plexiglass forms, at least have makeup in them. The best are the colorful text pieces, precisely assembled out of small tins of eyeshadow. "True Colors," says an especially bright one -- the message recalls a Benetton ad but it includes so many squares of color that it looks like a pixelated photo. "Context Is Queen," says another that's all shades of gray. 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica; through April 6. (310) 453-7535, shoshanawayne.com.
Correction: The exhibit at Various Small Fires is titled "Life: On the Moon." A previous version of this post had the incorrect title.
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