Opening night of "For the Martian Chronicles" at L & M Arts
Ray Bradbury, the fantasy-fiction mastermind who wrote Fahrenheit 451 and really did believe man would make it to Mars sooner than later, moved to L.A. from Illinois in 1934 as a teenager. His family first lived around Western Avenue. Then, in 1942, they moved into a Craftsman bungalow at 670 South Venice Blvd., right next door to a brick electric power house. Bradbury stayed there until 1947, when he married and moved closer to the water, to 33 South Venice.
That beachside house still stands -- the one at 670 South Venice had deteriorated beyond repair. So when New York gallery L&M Arts decided to open an L.A. space and acquired Bradbury's old lot and the neighboring electrical building, they razed the bungalow. To acknowledge that their new building stood on land with cultural cachet, near the door they put up a small plaque that says Bradbury once lived here.More »
When Michael Golamco began researching Build, his play about two frazzled, lonely guys on the brink of releasing a revolutionary video game, the writer bought a book on how to program MMORPGs -- massively multiplayer online role-playing games, which you play with other people on the internet. He read a few articles on the subject too. More importantly, he delved into the mother of all MMORPGs, World of Warcraft. He joined a guild, got himself a snazzy guild tabard and embarked on raids.
Michael Lamont Build opens at the Geffen Playhouse on October 24
Then Golamco became engulfed in writing the play. He dropped off the virtual world for a few months, then ventured back into the game, only to find out that his guild had dropped him.
"That people I had never met...disowned me felt really bad," the playwright confesses inside an office at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood. "Those human feelings will always exist."
Programming and video game culture are embedded deep within Build, which is in previews at the Geffen right now and officially opens on October 24, but this isn't a 90-minute thread of geek in-jokes. The play, directed by Will Frears, centers around an Odd Couple-like pair who have been building games together since college. Will (Peter Katona) is clean-cut and on-the-ball, trying to keep the sequel to the team's breakthrough hit alive. Kip (The Newsroom's Thomas Sadoski) is a pizza-chomping shut-in who has just developed a game engine that could change the industry. Sharing their workspace in Kip's Palo Alto home is a female A.I. (Laura Heisler) -- i.e., a robot -- whose mere presence indicates how much the two have disconnected from their previous lives, pre-fame and pre-tragedy.More »
It's Saturday afternoon and nearly 1,000 people are at the Torrance Marriott South Bay celebrating a cartoon that was canceled 10 years ago. Fans of Invader ZIM, the short-lived, sci-fi animated series from famed comic book creator Jhonen Vasquez (Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Squee), have traveled from Rhode Island, Texas, Florida and even Alberta, Canada, for InvaderCON II: Doomcon. At 3 p.m., nearly every single person attending the convention is inside a large room on the ground level of the hotel waiting for the "Panel of Ultimate DOOM," which will bring together the creator of the series with the stars and key creatives from the series.
In the center of the crowd, a group of teenagers stand up to lead an impromptu cheer. "When I say 'Invader,' you say 'ZIM,'" they shout. The crowd is up for this.
"Invader," the teens cheer.
"ZIM," the crowd responds.More »
Photo by Robert Wedemeyer; Courtesy the artist, Francois Ghebaly Gallery and Kate Werble Gallery Anna Betbeze's dyed-wool Wormhole (2012)
This week, there's slap-dash sci-fi in Lincoln Heights, a game of consequence playing out online and mammoth, torn, dyed wool tapestries in Culver City.
5. Monster drawing rally
Outpost for Contemporary Art started hosting Monster Drawing Rallies in 2008. Now that Outpost has moved its headquarters to the Armory in Pasadena, the rally will take place there. On Sunday afternoon, groups of 25 invited artists will work for one hour on collaborative drawings. By day's end, at least four such drawings should be finished. Visitors can watch, drink, eat and, if they like what they see, buy the finished work for $75. 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena; Sun., June 17, noon-6 p.m.; $10 suggested donation. (626) 792-5101, armoryarts.org.
"Thank you for having me!" he says at the end. "Any questions?" In a tiny, hole-in-the-wall art gallery in central L.A., a rocket scientist is wrapping up a talk titled "Getting There: Science Fiction ... and Fact." The gallery founder, wanting to add a bit of oomph to a space-related exhibit, had rung up NASA to request a speaker. They sent him Mark Wallace, Jet Propulsion Laboratory mission analyst and self-described "interplanetary travel agent." One engineering nerd, coming right up: glasses, rumpled khakis, ID badge, bemused expression, Wikipedia-like brain.
Photo by Simone Paz Mark Wallace at the Griffith Observatory
If the solar system is the spinning Mad Hatter's tea party ride, and Wallace is sitting in one cup with a ball in his hand, his target located in a cup across the room, his job is to figure out how to throw the ball not where that cup is but where it is going to be. Complicated enough -- but now imagine that his ball is a spaceship, and making the target is a matter of triumph or disaster. "It's a job," he says, "that severely messes with your concept of 'now.' "
See more photos in "The Best Art Inspired by Adult Swim."
Liz Ohanesian Shadows of Dangerous Men by Scott Listfield (The Venture Bros.)
Gallery 1988 has hosted plenty of group shows that explore the influence of pop culture. From video games to cult films, Garbage Pail Kids to Watership Down, artists have come together at the Melrose Ave. space with a mission to transforms well-known works into something new.
On Friday night, Gallery 1988 took a slightly different approach. Where group shows often touch on nostalgia and early influences, in "[gallery 1988 x adult swim]," artists took inspiration from their peers, the creative teams behind the shows that comprise Adult Swim's programming schedule.More »
Read more in "Kevin Eastman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Co-Creator, Takes Over Meltdown Comics for 35 Days." See more photos in "Kevin Eastman @ Meltdown Comics."
Stacy E. Walker has done a lot of modeling for artists. She's appeared on book covers and has worked with video game and animation companies. Her best known gigs, though, are with Heavy Metal. Walker has graced the cover of the renowned science-fiction and fantasy magazine a whopping twelve times, having posed for artists like Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell and Alex Horley. Several statues have been made in her likeness. She's also appeared on a number of Heavy Metal posters and t-shirts.
Wednesday night, Walker appeared at Meltdown Comics for Heavy Metal's 35th anniversary, part of the "Lost Angeles: 35 Days with Kevin Eastman" event. I met up with her during the party to ask about her career.More »
Dr. Kim Solez is on a mission. The renal pathologist and University of Alberta professor is currently working to make the lectures from his course "Technology and the Future of Medicine" available to the general public via online videos. He's "mainstreaming the technological singularity" and transhumanism, or, rather, helping those of us outside of research labs understand artificial intelligence and its current development.
Liz Ohanesian Michael Anissimov and Rachel Haywire of Extreme Futurist Festival
This past weekend, at the Extreme Futurist Festival in Marina del Rey, Solez spoke about his recent work. During his talk, he expanded upon an idea previously put forth by researcher Ben Goertzel. Could a holiday -- a "Future Day" -- help bring the ideas bouncing around the scientific world to the masses?More »
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