This week, the ghost of a long-defunct society hosts a concert in Culver City, a video artist channels allergy-drug commercials and a sculptor pumps water through a maze of PVC pipes.
5. Renaissance meets RoboCop
Peter Weller starred in the 1987 film RoboCop, about a robotic police officer (“part man, part machine, all cop”) in dystopic Detroit. He's also hosted on the History Channel and guested on Fringe, Psych and Dexter. But this week, he'll be at the Getty Center talking about Italian art and the Renaissance, a subject he's spent years' worth of off-screen time thinking about and studying. The actor will speak with Christine Sciacca, who curated the Getty's current show, “Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance.” 1200 Getty Center Drive; Thurs., Nov. 29, 7 p.m.; free. (310) 440-7300, getty.edu.
4. Antique concert
The U.S. branch of The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Information was founded around 1829, to publish almanacs and popular science writing. Poet Henry David Thoreau once joked that a Society for the Diffusion of Useful Ignorance would be far better, arguing that we've needlessly deprived ourselves of too much of the bliss that comes from ignorance. The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Information doesn't technically exist anymore, but neither do most of the musicians and composers (Athanasius Kircher, who died in 1680, or John Cage, who died in 1992) who will be performing in the concert the Society supposedly is hosting this weekend at the Museum of Jurassic Technology. 9341 Venice Blvd.; Sun., Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m.; $15. (310) 836-6131, mjt.org.
3. My life is not boring
Artist Pae White has a collection of “found notes,” messages on torn paper you might find left at a bus stop or school assignments on large-ruled paper some child dropped in the street. White's collection, or at least a selection from it, is now in a glass case in the lobby of International Art Objects. The best, by far, is the drawing and story by the little girl who has a brother, a sister, a boyfriend, two enemies — all depicted as idiosyncratic stick figures — and reiterates, again and again, “My Life Is Not Boring.” 6086 Comey Ave.; indefinitely. (323) 965-2264, international.la
2. Buckets of bubbly
As soon as you walk into Egan Frantz's exhibition at Roberts & Tilton in Culver City, you hear gurgling. You look down and see water bubbling out of a Champagne bottle standing in a PVC bucket that's covered in cheesecloth. A clear PVC hose stretches across from the gallery's back corner, feeding water into the bucket. Walk to the left and you'll encounter a horizontal metal pan on the wall, another metal pan standing up and then more buckets of water gurgling beneath cheesecloth. Wandering through feels like finding your way through a spare eccentric maze and, while you suspect there's a treasure at the maze's center, you never actually believe you'll find it or recognize it when you see it. 5801 Washington Blvd.; through Dec. 15. (323) 549-0223, robertsandtilton.com.
1. Agony and ecstasy
Shana Moulton's alter ego is a hypochondriac with a Dorothy Hamill haircut, big eyes and a collection of pastel-colored bathrobes. In a 2006 video from her Whispering Pines series, she spends a day filling pots with sand and crystals, perfecting her apartment's energy. At one point a magic ladder grows out of a flower pot, and she climbs up to find a rave going on above the ceiling. She hesitates, then dances ecstatically, until she stops feeling well, starts vomiting and loses that good energy she's been trying so hard to hone. This video and another of Moulton's, Restless Leg Saga, play as part of Wharton + Espinosa's show “Disoriented Orientation / Oriented Disorientation.” They're both new-age soap operas that combine the colors of Easter eggs, the eternally optimistic aesthetic of drug commercials and ethereal music reminiscent of Enya's. 8687 Melrose Ave., W. Hlywd; through Jan. 4. (310) 903-9566, wharton-espinosa.com.
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