This week, two elevator doors never quite close in Culver City, and an over-the-top pool party begins playing out on MOCAtv.
5. The artist and the biophysicist
Canadian dogwood, bushlike plants with little white flowers, can bloom in less than half a millisecond, so fast that only high-speed video imaging can capture it. Physics professor Dwight Whitaker researches such plants, and he'll talk about them and their movements at the Pomona Museum of Art this week in artist Krysten Cunningham's installation there. Then Cunningham, who makes wood, wool and steel sculptures that ever so vaguely resemble familiar domestic objects, will perform with collaborators. They will demonstrate how to model “Minkowski” space, an approach to making 4-D space — which includes the regular three dimensions plus time — more tangible. 330 N. College Way, Claremont; Thurs., Nov. 21, 7-10 p.m. (909) 621-8283, pomona.edu.
4. The mobile man's grandson
“The idea of suspension, balance, all these sort of mathematical equations, are not what this sculpture is about,” said Alexander S.C. Rower in 2011, talking about a mobile sculpture by his grandfather, sculptor Alexander Calder. “This sculpture is about the audience, us, having a real-life experience with the objects … that's going to be surprising because it has tremendous variation.” Rower, who runs the Calder Foundation and also just started a sustainable farm next to the iconic sculptor's property in Connecticut, is an inexhaustible Calder evangelist. He'll speak this weekend about his grandfather's just-opened show at LACMA. 5905 Wilshire Blvd.; Sat., Nov. 23, 1 p.m. (323) 857-6010, lacma.org.
3. Einstein on the shelf
Matt Lipps' photographs always have remarkably vivid backgrounds, and his new series is no exception. Teals and crimsons with abstract patterns or fabriclike folds in them grab your eye, but in his current show at Marc Selwyn, the images that appear in front of those backgrounds are more subdued. You see black-and-white Alfred Einstein from the neck up, unsmiling Marlene Dietrich, the crying accordion photographed the day of Martin Luther King Jr.'s funeral, all on glass shelves alongside images similar to them in theme and all propped up like paper dolls. The effect of seeing these iconic figures and moments arranged like decorative objects, put in their place, is unsettling: Is it really this easy to make history look safe and tidy? 6222 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; through Dec. 22. (323) 933-9911, marcselwynfineart.com.
2. Internet TV inspired by vampires, dating shows
“Get this, his dad provides super fresh young organs for, like, aging rock stars or something,” says the narrator of Ed Fornieles' “Facebook sitcom” dorm daze. In it, an absurd narrative plays out through Facebook comments, embedded videos, images of contemporary art and photos of friends of friends. Everyone's into some “weird shit,” but what keeps you paying attention is less the storyline and more the intricacy of all the clues and feeds that pop up onscreen. Fornieles has shot a new video series, an eight-part reality show called Pool Party, set in a Hollywood bungalow and inspired by teen vampire dramas and dating shows, among other sources. It has 25 cast members and purportedly becomes increasingly manic as it unfolds. Pool Party debuts at MOCA before airing on the museum's YouTube channel, MOCAtv. 250 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Thurs., Nov. 19, 8 p.m.; RSVP required. (213) 626-6222, moca.org.
1. Sliding door malfunction
Sean Shim-Boyle lowered the rafters in LAXART's side gallery, so if you're over 6 feet tall, you might have to duck a bit to avoid hitting your head on raw wood beams. At the back of the gallery, two staggered sliding doors with similar raw wood frames keep almost closing, then sliding open again. Shim-Boyle placed the sensors that dictate the doors' movement too close together, so they are locked in a battle with each other. You feel the tension as you walk in, around and between them. And because of the room's wood-heavy feel, it's like technology and nature are on a collision course but keep missing each other and backing up to try to hit again. 2640 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; through Dec. 21. (323) 868-5893, laxart.org.
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