The palm tree is about as ubiquitous a symbol of Southern California as you're likely to find, although only one species — the California fan palm — is native to the state. We live in a desert, and if it were not for fastidious landscaping, would find ourselves surrounded by patches of grassland and chaparral. In 1991, artist Hillary Mushkin was taken aback when CNN's footage of Baghdad neighborhoods revealed low-lying stucco buildings and palm trees, a landscape not unlike Los Angeles. Mushkin asserts that landscapes produce myths, highlighting or fabricating virtues, and will be joined by a gaggle of experts — Steve Rowell (Center for Land Use Interpretation), Aurora Tang (High Desert Test Sites), art historian Jason Weems and cultural geographers Nick Bauch and Rick Miller — for Landscape is a Weapon, “an illustrated discussion about L.A.'s history and imagination for capturing the exotic landscapes of the sub-torrid zone an image-laden dialogue on L.A.'s “unique engagement with visual representation, military territorialization, and flora appropriation.” The Velaslavasay Panorama, 1122 W. 24th St.; Sun., March 4, 4-7 p.m.; free, resv. strongly recommended.;

Sun., March 4, 4 p.m., 2012

LA Weekly