5 design things to do this week

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This week, you can learn about the extraordinary costume designing of Ruth E. Carter; see very real art and architecture in the open landscape of Desert X; trade your screens for a real world digital experience; support CicLAvia LA and join the Two Bit Circus; and appreciate how dissident artists in the East and West get their voices heard.

Ruth E. Carter’s designs for “Black Panther” were inspired by Maasai warriors and other African tribes. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

1) Conversation with 2019 Academy Award Nominee in Costume Design, Ruth E. Carter

Ruth E. Carter has been a costume designer in film and television for almost 40 years, where she has forged an exceptional career creating, in her words, “wearable art to tell a story.” Carter is one of four designers nominated this year for Best Costume Design for her work on Black Panther (this is her 3rd nomination, the other two were for Malcolm X and Amistad). This week, LACMA senior curator of costume and textiles Sharon Takeda talks to Carter about her creative process. In reference to Black Panther, Carter has said her “inspirations came directly from the tribal techniques and beauty in [African tribal] adornment.”  For the women soldiers, Carter bucked Hollywood and superhero archetypes by eschewing cleavage and high heels for protective body armor (albeit bejeweled and sparkling) and practical footwear designed for agility. Carter infused the costumes with “all of the elements of Africa” to create a singular culture for the fictional Wakanda. You can hear DnA’s interview with Ruth E. Carter here.

When: Thursday, Feb 7, 7:30 pm

Where: LACMA, Bing Theater, 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Tickets:  $15 general public, $5 members and students with valid ID. Get tickets here.

Cara Romero, “Winka & The Windmills”, 2019. © Cara Romero Photography.Courtesy the artist and Desert X (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

2) Desert X

It’s not a mirage.  In its second run, the art and architecture oriented biennial Desert X has expanded its scope in all directions.  The list of participating artist reads like a who’s who of rising international creatives, including Colombian artist Iván Argote, Mexican artist Pia Camil, Irish artist John Gerrard, American photographer Cara Romero, American artist Jenny Holzer, Egyptian-born artist Iman Issa, and the Danish art collective Superflex, among others. In addition to highlighting evocative works of landscape-based installations and sculpture, the organizers have expanded the scope of the exhibition to include film and performance-based projects as well. Desert X artistic director Neville Wakefield tells DnA that a goal for the 2019 program is to “embrace a range of ecological, environmental, and social issues that have been driving conversations about our role in the anthropocene.” You can learn more about Desert X here.

When: Feb 9 – Apr 21; Note: some installations may not run the entire duration

Where: Coachella Valley, from Palm Springs to the Salton Sea

Tickets: Free.  Optional $75 private bus tours available here.

UCLA AUD is first and foremost a champion of ideas and their expression; technology plays a big role in the realization of these visions. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

3) UCLA School of Architecture and Urban Design 2019 IDEAS: Wild in the Streets

Concerned by the disconnectedness of modern life caused by days spent commuting, staring at digital screens and posting on social media, the organizers of Wild in the Streets want you to take back to the streets.  To lure us from our caves, the organizers will bring technology, art and digital content off the screen and into the world, to be experienced together.  Panelists include: Greg Lynn, IDEAS Mobility Studio with Marta Nowak and Kaiho Yu; Jeremie Papon, R&D Imagineering Principal, Walt Disney Imagineering; Masashi Kawashima, Director of Asia Pacific Operations and Executive Producer, Niantic, Inc. creators of Pokémon GO and Ingress. The moderator is Nurit Katz, Chief Sustainability Officer/Executive Officer, UCLA Facilities Management.

Note: you can tour the UCLA AUD IDEAS campus and watch lab and technology demonstrations prior to the event from 3 – 4:30. RSVP required which you can do here.

When: Saturday, Feb 9, Tour with lab and technology demos 3:00 – 4:30 pm; Presentation and Panel Discussion 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Where: UCLA AUD / IDEAS Campus, 3691 Lenawee Ave, Los Angeles 90016 (note the is on the east side of Culver City, NOT the UCLA campus in Westwood)

Tickets: Free. RSVP for lab and technology demos prior to the main event here.

Alissa Walker, Urbanism Editor at Curbed LA, will be honored at CicLAvia’s Annual Fundraiser. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

4) CicLAvia pLAy day in LA Fundraiser, honoring Alissa Walker

What does it take to get make streets in Los Angeles more friendly to cyclists and pedestrians? It takes attitude-changing events like CicLAvia, which holds its 3rd annual  CicLAvia pLAy day LA Fundraiser this Sunday. And it takes the efforts of steadfast advocates for a car-free life, like Alissa Walker, Urbanism Editor at Curbed. She is being honored at the event, along with AARP Los Angeles. The fundraiser is an all-ages party with food, music, and activities from Two Bit Circus Foundation. CicLAvia turns 10 this year and funds generated Sunday will help support six events in 2019, starting with the first CicLAvia of 2019 taking place in Culver City, Mar Vista and Palms on March 3.

When: Sunday, Feb 10, 1 – 4 pm

Where: The Ruby Street, 6408 Ruby Street, Los Angeles 90042

Tickets: $85; children under 14 year old $15.  You can get tickets here.

More Alissa Walker!

You can also catch Alissa this Wednesday, February 6, when she will moderate a discussion about mobility, equity and safety to mark the recent launch in Los Angeles of Spin electric scooters. This San Francisco-based company, now owned by Ford, is the latest entrant into the e-scooter scene in LA that first took flight in Santa Monica with Bird.

Even the most restrictive authoritarian regimes are unable to completely silence voices of dissent. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

5) Crumbling Empire: The Power of Dissident Voices + Upside-Down Propaganda: The Art of North Korean Defector Sun Mu

Art will always find a way. Even the most restrictive authoritarian regimes are unable to completely silence voices of dissent.  Two new exhibitions at the Wende Museum explore the role of art in grassroots and subversive expression, from the Soviet Union to North Korea to the United States.  Across borders and generations, American street artist Shepard Fairey, Soviet artists of the glasnost and perestroika era, and North Korean propaganda-poster artist-turned-dissident painter Sun Mu appropriate and reinterpret the aesthetics and symbols of authority to create messages of liberation. Opening day events include refreshments, opening remarks by Joes Segal, Chief Curator and Director of Programming, an interview with artist Sun Mu by Hannah Song of Liberty in North Korea (LiNK), a conversation with Blaine Vess and Fiona Chalom on Upside-Down Propaganda: The Art of North Korean Defector Sun Mu moderated by Segal, and a children’s tour.  You can see more about the exhibitions here and here.

When: Opening Sunday, Feb 10, 11 am – 5 pm.  You can find a schedule of opening day events here.

Where: Wende Museum, 10808 Culver Blvd, Culver City 90230

Tickets: Free