there is something happening above us.

werkartz0

On view through Saturday at DTLA’s 10,000 sq ft. arts complex Wərkärtz is a two-man exhibition provoking questions of time, space, semantics, and the authorship of the viewing experience.  Curated by head artist liaison and Wərkärtz studio resident, Shelley Holcomb, there is nothing happening above us features new site-specific works by LA based artists Jason Burgess and Páll Haukur.  At a cross-section of semiotics, the works of these artists attain an intuitive child-like playfulness through unexpected variations in scale, material, and color, while the substance of their representations exists far beyond.

werkartz15On a horizontal plane suspended just below eye level, lies Jason Burgess’ installation The Grove, a weightless sea of multicolored foam orbs stretching across the interior space.   In slow rotation, The Grove quietly animates the adjacent backdrop of Burgess’ paintings, like extraterrestrial clouds in a hanging garden.  The usual staticity of the typical gallery setting—with work level among four white walls, framing the boxed-in viewer to encounter each work like a mirror— is cleverly eradicated throughout the exhibition.  Like Burgess’ work, Haukur’s freestanding ‘clusters’ incorporating drawing, video, sculpture, and found objects, invite discovery— drawing us up-close and to the floor.  Weaving through the subconscious maze of Haukur’s compositions, lie traces of Aristotle, Baudrillard, and a hand contemplating ‘meening.’

werkartz001Haukur’s constructs are less inert objects than material situations produced from the accumulation of codes activated through an interplay of the personal and the political; the subjective and the objective; the signifier and the signified.  Shifting through perspectives and narrative, I sift through vestiges of references to texts, images, and abjection as I move about the algorithms of Haukur’s mad scientist schematics and Burgess’ floating landscapes.  Here, in the sewage of my own private simulacrum— littered with art school academia, Clement Greenberg, and Hegel— I hear Lacan…”what is repeated, in fact, is always something that occurs…as if by chance.”  Press Release.

there is nothing happening above us
works from Jason Burgess and Páll Haukur | curated by Shelley Holcomb
on view through Saturday, June 21st

werkartz16werkartz11werkartz13

Wərkärtz / Studio / Los Angeles
767 S Alameda, Building 2 #100 | Los Angeles, CA 90021
Map | located in DTLA’s Arts District next to the American Apparel factory

art + sound IRL

It is truly the catastrophe of meaning that lies in wait for us – JEAN BAUDRILLARD

In a world where our virtual life has consumed our physical state of being, the lines between IRL and URL dissolve through mechanical routine and limitless manipulation.  Modulators and controllers of an overwhelming panoply of sights, sounds, information, and events, we function in communication networks as both alienated subject and mediated object.  Virtually extended, we are trapped in a circular loop of presented and re-presented information and images–– a simulated reality where representations of history, society, adolescence, youth, and ourselves are commonly perceived as lived experience.

Instruments and vessels of absorption, the evolution of becoming an adult has changed with the expansion of open-source information and the elaboration of pop culture.  We inhabit an age where information and value, notions of private and public, as well as distinctions between the natural and the neutralized, collapse into meaningless noise.  Like the World Wide Web itself, the Post-Internet visual and sound artists showcased here deconstruct the past by reassembling fragments into new strange hybrid forms and futures.

Screen Flicker | Faith Holland

The beauty of this new habitat is juxtaposed in a political climate with recurring themes of corruption, immorality, violence and invasion of even the most basic of personal privacies.  Deeply entrenched in a lifestyle of habitual routine and manufactured need–– where we are constantly having new necessities forced upon us through rendering the technological items our culture has forced us into addiction to–– looking back less than twenty years ago seems like an eternity of waste.  Overloaded and overwhelmed, the only hope is to try to forget.

Try To Forget: A Group Show

AUDIO |DIGITAL | VIDEO | INSTALLATIONS + PERFORMANCES

CURATED BY JAY GAMBIT (Crowhurst)

CO-PRESENTED WITH WOAH

OPENING RECEPTION: 8PM–11PM SATURDAY, MARCH 8TH

AT THE RAT FACTORY

1443 N. Highland Ave, Hollywood CA 90028 (Map)

– Facebook event –

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>DIGITAL: Natalie Hands | Anthony Antonellis | Dave Hudson | Ian Aleksander Adams | Hush B Quiet | Terrell Davis | Bebe Bones | Jim Anderson | Spencer Keller >VIDEO: Molly Ryan | H. Martis | Estrid Lutz | Logan Owlbeemoth | Faith Holland >WALL: Trevor Brolin | Lydia Jones | Nora Quinn/Sammy Wong | Eron Rauch | Trevor Treglia | Jen Miller | Gabe MartinezJimmy Swill | XE Davis >PERFORMANCE: Crowhurst | Bastard Noise + Witches of Malibu | Hive Mind | Circuit Rider | Endometrium >INSTALLATION: James MarshallJay Gambit

v i s i o n ³

Double Vision FlyerDouble Vision is a sensory experience co-created through the collaboration of three unique concept-oriented brands,  VCR (Vintage Contemporary Reconstructed), Futra, and WOAH designed to showcase emerging talent in fashion, art and music. The event will be held from 1PM – 12AM on Saturday, July 27th at Angel City Brewery in the heart of downtown LA’s arts district. Celebrating the continuous change in artistic expression, we are putting a new spin on the typical pop-up marketplace with innovative designers, an anti-fashion show, DJs, video and art installations, food trucks, and one-of-a-kind brand merchandising.

Kicking-off the day-to-night event at 1PM, VCR has curated a fashion marketplace that will feature over 20 local Los Angeles designers and vendors including: KittinhawkJfraiche, Detroit TrashPOP MURDERShred ThreadsDolly BardotDope Shit KlothingCult ClassicStone Rush JewelryJuliette GThe General StoreSPACE mallPurp7eSummer AdelineNaha ArmádyDaniel MoonNatologyCrybaby Presents, Vie Gemeos Vintage, For Eclectic Souls, Christi JaySkippedLSTN … & with more TBA!

All of the above complete with a listening booth from Mount Analog & Sweating Tapes, our favorite LA record resource & tape label respectively.

In addition to the marketplace, there will be an anti-fashion show presented as part of Galerie De L’Absurde surveying the unique collections of KittinhawkDaniel Brent NietoMARCELLA DVSI, Omega Collektiv, and Factorylook.

During the evening, the lower level of the 27,000 sq ft. venue will transform into a pop-up boutique nightclub as Futra focuses attention to the dance floor through a sophisticated line-up of diverse and seasoned DJ’s including Zernell (Grimy), Dazz Moov (Futra), Ricky Def (Futra), Reg Xelle (No Sleep, Sunday Pub Sessions), Knyphy (Futra), Phyllis Navidad (A Club Called Rhonda), Genevieve D (VSSL), EEZIR (Futra), and a DJ set by LEECH (100% Silk, Ecstasy).

Video and art installations curated by WOAH, Futra, and VCR will be showcased throughout the entirety of Double Vision, and feature emerging and established artists including Danny Perez, Future Eyes, Jil Stein, Suzy Poling, Drumcell & The Automatic Message, Scott Pagano, Nu Speed, Immanent, and Friendly Integration.

To countdown to the upcoming event, WOAH will be profiling select artists and designers in the week ahead.  But you’ll have to check back to see who’s who…

Double Vision Flyer - Featuring

∞ + time – travel = the future

Recently, I was teleported to a place outside of measurable time and space . . .  a vision of what I can hope the future to be –  where prisms bleed into sharpened infinity and space unfolds into a spectroscopic sea of kaleidoscopic forms – a place comparable only to the illusive visions encountered in dreams, delusions, and maybe LSD.

Nana Ghana defies space and time in her performance as seen through a pair of Future Eyes. Photo: Future Eyes

Nana Ghana defies space and time in her performance as seen through a pair of Future Eyes.
Photo: Future Eyes

But this was a perfect image not conceived through REM, mind-control, or psychedelics.  Instead, what I experienced was optical teleportation everyone can have with a pair of Future Eyes.  The fruition of LA based artist, writer, and inventor Brent Pearson – “Future Eyes” himself – Future Eyes are a line of handcrafted laser-cut crystal glasses that are “eyewear for the soul.”  Upon closer inspection, and confirmation from their maker, the tree of life is delicately visible and replicated on each faceted crystal lens.  These kaleidoscopic frames have acquired a following of believers, users, and future purveyors throughout LA and perhaps even worldwide (since they are made to order online).  In preparation for an upcoming book surveying the various visual manifestations and employments beheld through their vision, Future Eyes hosted a group Fotoshow at one of downtown LA’s newest artist-run, Do-It-Together complexes, The LA Fort.

nstallation by Alec Singer + Alec Rose of Indigo Orangutan. Photo: Sharsten

View of installation by Ariel Rose of Indigo Orangutan. Photo: Sharsten

For the first incarnation of the Fotoshow series, an open call for photos was conducted with each invitation complete with a complimentary pair of Future Eyes.  The result accumulated in the group Fotoshow #1  exhibition, tracing optical excursions and experimentation with Future Eyes vision.   I myself am an avid crystal and diffracted lens junkie, but this crystal is like magic . . . and the obsessive quantity of photos that ensued is evidence of how entranced I was in the ephemeral, prismatic, patterned landscapes they led me through.  Documenting the space and time travel of each participant, a selection of photos taken through Future Eyes hung the walls throughout the event’s ballad of live performances, meditations, and audiovisual stimulations.  The evening’s highlights included a guided solstice meditation led by Maria Calderon, a hypnotic performance by Nana Ghana, visuals by MYSTERR + Torie Zalben, Alec Singer, and a live act from Miss M.E (Meghan Edwards).  In addition to all of that, luminescent textiles lined the pyramidal installation pictured by Ariel Rose of Indigo Orangutan.  Part of an ongoing “creation station” project, Indigo Orangutan‘s Gospel of Genesis is “a communal offering of paints and instruments in order to stimulate imagination and creation,” inviting guests to cozy-up and paint among a sea of saturated fabric and cosmic-clad, stationed artists.

Space-rave clad artist as part of Alec Singer + Alec Rose of Indigo Orangutan's installation. Photo: Kelsey Hart for DUMDUM zine

Artist as part of Ariel Rose of Indigo Orangutan’s installation.
Photo: Kelsey Hart for DUM DUM zine

Each element of the evening seemed to be an invocation inspiring heightened sensory awareness, with the collective congregation around the multi-faceted crystalline Future Eyes itself spatial evidence of how easy it can be to step-into a realm of acute, limitless, and unified perception.  One of the many significant mythological and religious connotations referenced through the tree of life is how the divine manifests creation.  Through Future Eyes and immersive investigations demanding us to isolate and experience one of our senses in a new way, we can cross-over to a higher state of being and traverse an altered plane of perception – one where the dream-world and the real-world are rendered visible in one indistinguishable, perfect frame.

"11-11" inkjet print on mylar by Sharsten.   Photo: Sharsten

“11-11” inkjet print on mylar by Sharsten.
Photo: Sharsten

As the Future Eyes Foto Book Project is compiled, and as I anticipate the next installment of Fotoshows, I will continue to favor my own kaleidoscopic lenses.  To submit photos for the forthcoming Future Eyes Foto Book Project and tune into what’s on the future’s horizon visit futureeyes.org.  Our lovely friends at DUM DUM zine, an LA-based collective publishing experimental literature and art, were also in attendance and documented the evening’s extrasolar journey through this photo narrative. 

Future Eyes Fotoshow #1Future Eyes Fotoshow #1Future Eyes Fotoshow #1Future Eyes Fotoshow #1Future Eyes Fotoshow #1Future Eyes Fotoshow #1
Future Eyes Fotoshow #1Future Eyes Fotoshow #1Future Eyes Fotoshow #1Future Eyes Fotoshow #1Future Eyes Fotoshow #1Future Eyes Fotoshow #1

pssst . . . the zines . . .

The countdown begins!!!

And all of you zine-sters better be ready . . .

Less than a week away and just two short weeks after Printed Matter presented the first annual L.A. Art Book Fair at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA . . .

The second annual L.A. Zine Fest takes place this Sunday February 17th, 2013 from 11AM-5PM!

For a complete listing of exhibitors, events, and location details for the three venues hosting this year’s festivities and zine-tivities, visit the 2013 L.A. Zine Fest website.

Poster Design by Amy Fortunato // available online at http://lazinefest.com/fliers/#jp-carousel-2045

Poster Design by Amy Fortunato // poster url available here

Day for Night at the New Night Gallery

A few weeks ago, after navigating clones of cubicles and browsing gallery brands at the Art Los Angeles Contemporary fair at the Barker Hangar, Arely and I ventured down the dark southern exposure of downtown to the opening of a highly anticipated after-hours….behold the new home of Night Gallery: a 6,200 square foot warehouse remastered by art space visionaire, and of Matthew Marks notoriety, architect Peter Zellner.  Acrylic window treatments by artist Yunhee Min colorize the subtle grays of the building’s unmarked, square façade.  An eclectic crowd and a few swarms of loafer-clad Bergamot gallery-goers indicate we have arrived to toast the face that is the new Night Gallery.

A giant shadow of it’s former self, previously a three-room black-walled former party-store in a Lincoln Heights strip mall, the new Night Gallery opens into a giant fortress of accented beige.  High beamed ceilings flocked with skylights allude this is a space designed for daytime viewing.  In fact, Night Gallery will no longer model their opening hours to draw the creatures of the night.  Formerly only opened Tuesdays through Saturdays 10PM-2AM, the gallery has adopted a more generic 12-7PM schedule with their relocation.  This news and a stellar article by Carol Cheh leave me fearing the same: has Night Gallery grown up?

Opening reception of the inaugural exhibition "The Mocking Hand" at the new Night Gallery.Photo: Sharsten.

Opening reception of the inaugural exhibition “The Mocking Hand” at the new Night Gallery.
Photo: Sharsten.

Night Gallery’s opt to abandon their namesake nocturnal schedule in favor or a more pedestrian friendly day operation is disappointing.  But I am hopeful.  Maybe this will inspire other venues to experiment in the social scheduling sphere–extending occasions for creative types to cultivate in the dark wee hours of the night, convening for art and not just booze or underground electro beats (though I am a fan of both alternatives).

What is most promising about the new Night Gallery is the women behind the space, Davida Nemeroff and Mieke Marple.  Nemeroff founded the original space shortly after arriving to Los Angeles in 2010, Marple joining her in 2011, with the duo announcing their decision to turn the gallery into a commercial venture thereafter.  Together, they share an ambitious vision for Night Gallery’s future programming and spatial expansion:  a four-phase plan literally moves the gallery outside-of-the-box template into a series of buildings-within-a-building structures.  Phase two, to follow, will erect a spatial replica of the former Lincoln Heights space within the new gallery; while phase three and four foretell construction of a chapel out of felt and perhaps even amass to creating social theatrical amenities like bleachers for hosting lectures, screenings, and symposiums.

Building spaces and creating new experiences within an architectural and institutional space.  That is what captivates me in hearing the future plans for Night Gallery and inspire questioning how the art gallery setting can hope to model itself in the future.  How do art spaces construct the visibilities of our individual and collective experience with art?  How do they address us physically?  How do we encounter the temporal as a condition of the spatial?

On view now in phase one is a minimal selection of work by LA artist Sean Townley.  The inaugural exhibition “The Mocking Hand” is [un]fortunately dwarfed and secondary to the architectural sublimity of the new gallery itself.  The behemoth of space in the main exhibition area alone presents the flexibility to experiment with scale, media, and relationships.  “The Mocking Hand” does little to activate the scene.  Instead, I dream of audio-visual landscapes and immersive pieces, works inviting me to the clean concrete floor, demanding me to stay and wait.  After a day at the art fair and catching an enlightening performance by Scott Benzel, I crave something a little less 2-dimensional–a total sensory experience or experiment rather than a heightened awareness of my place as viewer among these assorted, familiar, and similar forms.

Scott Benzel's performative environment "W.W.A.R./ Die Dritte Generation" (left), Photo: Sharsten; Sean Townley "Untitled" at "The Mocking Hand" (right), Photo: Night Gallery.

Scott Benzel’s performative environment “W.W.A.R./ Die Dritte Generation” (left), Photo: Sharsten; Sean Townley “Untitled” at “The Mocking Hand” (right), Photo: Night Gallery.

Perhaps the most interesting sculpture on display is in the smaller gallery adjacent to the main exhibition area.  A heavy stone mass with a brain-like protrusion is cut-out to reveal a hollow abyss beneath–I feel like I am peeking into an expensive drain or gutter as I examine what’s beneath.  Majestically lit from above, the rectangular block appears monumental and central to the subtle asymmetry of this smaller gallery.

Wandering out back into the airy space, closed doors and bare desks indicate storage and office spaces along the perimeter–the latter forming walls to enclose another space-within-a-space deemed the “private lounge area.”  Drenched in saturated blue and red lighting,  the Dario Argento-esque aesthetic coupled with the [full] bottles of booze, plush sofa, and aroma of Palo Santo draw me to wallow in this refreshingly dark, windowless cave.  It’s actually the only room reminiscent of the former Night Gallery–almost a homage to the original, compact and dimly lit lounge.  Nostalgia for the past subsides quickly, however, as I am aware there is something brewing here in this pristine new space that is much, much, bigger.  With some carefully curated finesse, and some risk-taking programs honoring it’s past as “an artist run space, for artists, by artists,” Night Gallery has the capacity to serve as a catalyst for a new generation of unorthodox art spaces and sites for institutional critique.

The private lounge at the former Night Gallery in Lincoln Heights (left), Photo: KCRW; and the current private lounge at Night Gallery's new digs (right), Photo: Sharsten.

The private lounge at the former Night Gallery in Lincoln Heights (left), Photo: KCRW; and the current private lounge at Night Gallery’s new digs (right), Photo: Sharsten.