ArtRx LA

Ornette: Made in America, Dir. Shirley Clarke, 1985, 35mm, 85 min. (via
Dir. Shirley Clarke, ‘Ornette: Made in America’ (1985), 35mm, 85 min (via

LOS ANGELES — This week, artist Jeffrey Vallance tries to summon dead art critics, Various Small Fires holds a discussion about art outside the white cube, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art screens a rare film of a John Cage performance, and more.

 John Cage’s Experiments in Art and Technology

When: Tuesday, August 4, 7pm
Where: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) (5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)

Organized by Robert Rauschenberg and Billy Klüver in 1966, 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering was a series of innovative collaborations between artists and engineers from Bell Labs. Comprising dance, music, and theater performances, it was the first project in what would become known as Experiments in Art & Technology (E.A.T.). This film screening documents “Variations VII,” the contribution from avant-garde composer and artist John Cage, whose vast oeuvre drew on chance operations derived from Zen Buddhism as much as the latest in audio technology. 

Variations VII, Directed by Barbro Shultz Lundestam and produced by Billy Klüver and Julie Martin for Experiments in Art and Technology. (image © Experiments in Art and Technology, via
Variations VII, directed by Barbro Shultz Lundestam and produced by Billy Klüver and Julie Martin for Experiments in Art and Technology (image © Experiments in Art and Technology, via

 Ornette Coleman: Made in America

When: Wednesday, August 5, 10:30pm
Where: The Cinefamily (611 North Fairfax Avenue, Fairfax District, Los Angeles)

Few artists have had as large an influence on the musical terrain as saxophonist and free-jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman, who sadly passed away earlier this summer. Fortunately, his now-classic albums like The Shape of Jazz to Come, This is Our Music, and Free Jazz live on. Another important document is Ornette: Made in America (1985), the final film by legendary independent filmmaker Shirley Clarke. A work of art in its own right, the film combines classic footage from the ’60s with interviews from the ’80s, and feature appearances by William S. Burroughs and jazz trumpeter Don Cherry.

 Art Outside the White Cube

When: Thursday, August 6, 7pm
Where: Various Small Fires (812 North Highland Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles)

The “Art World” is often considered to be somehow separate and distinct from the “real world”; however, this notion overlooks the fact that art is produced, exhibited, and consumed by “real” people. Panel discussion Subject to Change will explore “the role of the artists, curators, and critics in addressing work that escapes its intended institutional frame, and the question of the unforseen audience response.” Panelists include performance artist Andrea Fraser, whose work often involves institutional critique; Amelia Jones, who has organized exhibitions and written about contemporary performance art; conceptual poet and criminal defense attorney Vanessa Place; and Hamza Walker, curator and Director of Education for the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago.

Jacob Kassay, "Untitled" (2015), Glass, borrowed library book. (via
Jacob Kassay, “Untitled” (2015), glass, borrowed library book (via

 ‘The Recorder Was Left On’

When: Friday, August 7, 7–9pm
Where: Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (LACA) (2245 E Washington Blvd, Downtown, Los Angeles)

Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (LACA) was founded as a repository for collecting artist books, performance ephemera, audio/video documentation, and other material related to contemporary art. Fittingly then, The Recorder Was Left On is a group show that includes artists whose work focuses on archival and source material. Artworks will be distributed throughout the site, blurring the lines between exhibition space and archive. Participating artists include Doa Aly, Alejandro Cesarco, Yann Novak, and Steve Roden.

Alejandro Cesarco, "If in Time" (2012), HD video and 16 mm film transferred to digital, color, sound, 9:40 min (via
Alejandro Cesarco, “If in Time” (2012), HD video and 16 mm film transferred to digital, color, sound, 9:40 min (via

 ‘What Trickles Down, What Accumulates: Frogtown’

When: Saturday August 8, 2:30–9pm
Where: Women’s Center for Creative Work (2425 Glover Pl., Elysian Valley, Los Angeles)

What’s Working is Broken” is a hybrid audio piece located somewhere between journalism and soundscape, incorporating music by artist Veronique d’Entremont with recorded testimonials of police violence. What Trickles Down, What Accumulates is a pre-release for this project as well as a group show featuring work and performances by artists who engage with social injustice. The event includes an eviction panel facilitated by LA Tenants Union, presentations by S.T.A.Y. (Standing Together Advocating for our Youth) and the Youth Justice Coalition, as well as performances by Karen Atkinson, Derrick Maddox, and Jesse Bliss.

What's Working is Broken (via
‘What’s Working Is Broken’ (via

 A Séance Channels Dead Art Critics

Joseph Ross and Jeffrey Vallance (via
Joseph Ross and Jeffrey Vallance (via

When: Saturday, August 8, 8pm
Where: CB1 Gallery (1923 S. Santa Fe Ave., Downtown, Los Angeles)

As any struggling artist knows, it can be pretty hard getting critics to review your show, but Jeffrey Vallance has a novel solution. In conjunction with his current exhibition at CB1, The Medium is the Message, Vallance will hold “Ghost Writers,” a séance with noted psychic Joseph Ross to channel dead art critics. Odds of reaching Clement Greenberg or Robert Hughes are pretty good considering that Vallance previously summoned the spirits of Leonardo da Vinci, Marcel Duchamp, and Frida Kahlo during a séance at the Frieze Art Fair in 2010.

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