Metabolic Studio Public Salon
Simon Balm
Friday, February 5, 2010, Noon
Free Admission

A Year at the South Pole

Simon Balm will describe his experiences during a year spent at the South Pole conducting astronomical research in one of the coldest and extreme environments on Earth.

A native of London, England, Simon Balm received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Durham in 1988 and his Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from the University of Sussex in 1992, working with Nobel Prize winning chemist Sir Harold Kroto. After graduate school he spent two years as a NATO Postdoctoral Fellow in the UCLA Astronomy Department followed by four years as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, MA where he helped to design, build and install a radio telescope at the geographical South Pole. After several Summer visits to the Antarctic he wintered-over with the telescope at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole station during the 1995-1996 season as a scientist with United States Antarctic Program.

Following his work in the Antarctic he spent several years teaching Astronomy as an Adjunct Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles and then joined Santa Monica College as a full time faculty member in the Fall of 2000 where he is currently a Professor of Astronomy and Chemistry in the Department of Earth Sciences. In December of 2006 he traveled to the Antarctic again with renowned Santa Monica artist Lita Albuquerque as the science advisor on the first large-scale art installation to be placed on the continent.

Image: An aurora over the Amundsen-Scott South Pole station in winter

Courtesy: National Science Foundation



Metabolic Studio Public Salon
Anne Bray
Friday, January 29, 2010, Noon
Free Admission

Ads or Art or ?

Ad companies want to add 800+ electronic billboards to Los Angeles. Thousands are up illegally in LA. What do we want to do with our public space? To whom will you sell your eyeballs? Is public space best used to pump the economy during global warming? As ads switch from intrusive to inclusive experiences, what is their difference from art? LA City has tried for 2 years to legally distinguish art and ads and has failed to find words. Can you help? Does free speech cover ads? What is zoning? How have other cities presented large scale art and contained ad space? How can the arts in Los Angeles respond to her streets as evocatively as ad companies? Must our city be covered with ads? Why?

MAK Center for Art & Architecture is commissioning over 20 artist billboards in Spring 2010 through its outdoor exhibition How Many Billboards. In advance of the three panel discussions she will be composing moderating for the MAK Center in conjunction with this exhibition, Anne Bray will ponder these questions and more. Sample works will amply illustrate ideas.

Anne Bray is an artist, teacher and Director of Freewaves, a media arts organization in Los Angeles. She developed the concept of the multicultural network of media artists and venues in 1989 and has continued to see the organization through the technological, social and aesthetic changes of the 1990s to now. As an artist she exhibits her work as temporary installations in public sites and art venues combining personal and social positions via video, audio, slides and 3-d screens at gas stations, malls, movie theaters, on TV, in department stores, on billboards, and now wants art to be everywhere. She teaches public art and multimedia at Claremont Graduate University and USC.

Image courtesy of Anne Bray

Chosen as a “Best of Los Angeles Art Month” by ForYourArt



Farmlab Public Salon
J. Eric Lynxwiler
Friday, January 22, 2010 @ Noon
Free Admission

Wilshire Boulevard: Grand Concourse of Los Angeles

The acclaimed Los Angeles history book by J. Eric Lynxwiler and Kevin Roderick, Wilshire Bouelvard: Grand Concourse of Los Angeles, tells numerous stories from what has been called the backbone of the city. The Brown Derby, The Ambassador Hotel and Bullock's Wilshire create a holy trinity of our city's culture, but there are other aspects to Wilshire's development that make it a cross section of Los Angeles life. Please join J. Eric Lynxwiler as he shares stories of the Boulevard and historic photos from numerous public and private archives.

J. Eric Lynxwiler is an L.A. native and active member of the Los Angeles Conservancy's Modern Committee who specializes in signage issues. A former board member of the Museum of Neon Art, he still celebrates the city's neon as a guide aboard the museum's famed "Neon Cruise". He co-authored and researched the book "Wilshire Boulevard: Grand Concourse of Los Angeles" and leads Miracle Mile walking tours for the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles.