A cross-platform project inspired by the Bermuda Triangle, a Snapchat-filter virtual reality art series around the city and in your phone, Afrofuturism at the movies, new media work about Mars research in Hawaii, art about robots, art on a farm, art from your car, and more intrepid L.A. culture for your weekend.
Friday, April 16
Artist Talk: Research for the Bermuda Triangle, at the Wende Museum. Research for the Bermuda Triangle is the collaborative duo of Los Angeles-based artists Regina Mamou and Lara Salmon. Today they will discuss their current project Common Fantasy, a two-part endeavor that exists as an installation inside the Wende’s guardhouse and as a scent-by-mail experience. The conversation will be moderated by Joes Segal, the Wende Museum’s Chief Curator and Director of Programming. Friday, April 16, noon; free; wendemuseum.org.
Lost & Found at the Movies: New Suns, at the Library. From Sun Ra to Cyndi Mayweather to Black Panther, this program explores Afrofuturism on film with Ashley Clark, curatorial director at Criterion Collection. Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki, Pumzi) will look into the “Afrobubblegum” movement, futurism in African art, and Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed. And there will be a special look at Octavia Butler’s connection to local libraries in a piece with the Los Angeles Public Library’s Vi Ha, librarian and manager of the namesake Octavia Lab, a community space for innovation. Friday, April 16, 6pm; free; lfla.org.
Off World: Arctic Origins at CultureHub. Supercollider curates this virtual exhibition that uses the site of the Arctic Wilderness to consider human and non-human roles in reaching and exploring the planet Mars. The works present a multifaceted investigation of the Arctic as a physical and psychological site—one ripe for questioning our role in space travel and Martian exploration. The exhibition originally premiered during an analogue mission on Mars at the Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS). This re-iteration into a virtual world mimics the space mission: an intimate grouping exists in isolation then returns to the public changed and expanded. Opening reception: Friday, April 16, 6pm; free; culturehub.org.
Ferrari Sheppard at UTA Artist Space. Blurring the lines between abstraction and figuration, in Positions of Power Sheppard creates mid to large-scale paintings depicting cultural figures and friends in the Black community. He incorporates gold leaf, adding a religious iconographical effect throughout his pieces, catching light and accentuating the presence of certain figures in his work. The large acrylic color, charcoal, and velvet on canvas paintings entail a sense of movement through the colors and brushstroke used, allowing the viewer to feel immersed in the painting. 403 Foothill Rd., Beverly Hills; by appointment April 16 – May 15; free; utaartistspace.com.
Saturday, April 17
Cristian Castro: RobotiX at Building Bridges. An exhibition highlighting the synergies between art, technology and robots by Argentinean artist Cristian Castro. The works on display span over a decade of artistic production. Castro’s work is a feat of engineering and creativity. He intentionally repurposes discarded vintage household appliances and old mechanical tools and incorporates them into his robotic works of art. Embedded in the ergonomic curvature of the robot’s metal parts, Castro points to the neglected virtues of technology: simplistic beauty, object provenance, and the process of invention. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave.; Santa Monica; opening reception: Saturday, April 17, noon-5pm; on view through June 5; free; buildingbridgesartexchange.org.
Domestic Ritual at Baik+Khneysser. This one-week exhibition at the Little City Farm explores how performing a ritual helps us reconnect with ourselves, our surroundings, and with one another. More importantly, rituals are a way of instilling meaning amidst the chaos of contemporary life. Against the backdrop of the countless challenges the pandemic has brought on, Domestic Ritual invites the viewer to reflect on their personal relationship with rituals. Featuring Mella Jaarsma, Elana Mann, Tofer Chin, Kadar Brock, Nancy Kwon, Jinju Lee, and Ryo Naruse. Little City Farm, 1148 South Victoria Ave., Arlington Heights; by appointment April 17-25; free; baikkhneysser.com.
Timothy Washington: Welcome to Los Angeles, at Wilding Cran. Over the decades legendary artist Timothy Washington has elevated humble found materials by crafting carving elements from dental tools, concocting his own proprietary mix of encaustic from white glue and pigmented cotton—all while transforming his Leimert Park home into a labyrinthine gesamtkunstwerk whose walls, floors, and yards have become ever-growing bricolage. A selection of these intertwined facets from his nearly six-decade career will be on display in this multimedia exhibition. 1700 S. Santa Fe., downtown; by appointment April 17 – June 5; free; wildingcran.com.
High Beams 3: Laser Snake, at Bendix Building. The artists, collectives and some of the galleries of the Bendix Building offer their third drive-through art exhibition in the parking lot and adjacent alleyway. The COVID-safe exhibition aspires to be exuberant and mystical, with live performances from art clowns, wheat threshing, painters erasing musicians from view, and at least three pyramids. The title was inspired by the first High Beams show from early in the pandemic, when a queue of 150 cars formed a “laser snake” as it meandered through a rooftop parking lot. 414 E. 12th St., downtown; Saturday, April 17, 8-10pm; free; highbeams.art.
Sunday, April 18
Conversation: Making Monumental Perspectives, at LACMA. LACMA and Snap Inc., have teamed up to launch the first LACMA × Snapchat: Monumental Perspectives project series. This multi-year initiative brings together local artists and technologists to create virtual monuments that explore just some of the histories of Los Angeles communities in an effort to highlight perspectives from across the region. These augmented reality monuments were built using Snapchat’s technology — the first five are available to experience right now.
The virtual monuments and murals include Mercedes Dorame’s immersive portal between past, present, and future worlds for Indigenous presence in contemporary Tovaangar (Los Angeles); I.R. Bach’s animations designed to inspire self-reflection; Glenn Kaino’s path of generational stories of connectedness along the 1932 L.A. Olympic marathon route; Ruben Ochoa’s homage to the shared history of street vendors in L.A.; and Ada Pinkston’s memorial series paying tribute to Biddy Mason.
They were designed to be experienced at locations across Los Angeles through the Snapchat Camera, including at LACMA, MacArthur Park, Earvin “Magic”Johnson Park, and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Those in the areas can discover the virtual monuments easily by looking for their markers on the Map in Snapchat, which will pinpoint their locations and more details about each work. The monuments can also be viewed by anyone around the world, wherever they are by visiting lacma.org/monumental on mobile devices.
This afternoon, in celebration of National Monuments Day, join artists I. R. Bach, Mercedes Dorame, Glenn Kaino, Ruben Ochoa, and Ada Pinkston as they discuss their practice and creative process of making monuments using augmented reality for LACMA x Snapchat: Monumental Perspectives. The conversation will be moderated by Liz Andrews, Executive Administrator and Project Curator at LACMA, and introduced by Sophia Dominguez, Head of AR Platform Partnerships at Snap Inc. Sunday, April 18, 3-4:40pm; free; lacma.org.