Public Art Documentary Film Series

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Palm Desert Public Art Film Series Q&A, Deborah Schwartz Glickman, Dr. Steven Nash

Discover inspiring and thought-provoking cinema at the 2018 Palm Desert Public Art Documentary Film Series. Beginning in January, the public is invited to a tenth season of free screenings of art-themed documentaries presented by the City’s Public Art Department and the University of California, Riverside Palm Desert Graduate Center. Each screening will include either a featured speaker who will discuss that night’s film or a special presentation, along with plenty of special tenth anniversary treats and surprises.  

2018 Series Schedule

All the film screenings are scheduled on Thursdays at 6pm, from January through April in the auditorium at UCR Palm Desert, 75080 Frank Sinatra Drive. Please join us for the following films: 

Levitated MassLevitated Mass
January 25, 2018
Levitated Mass follows the story of a rock star; the artist behind the sensation; a $10 million, 22-city tour; and the international media storm that ensued—but not in the way you might expect.  Prominently displayed outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, renowned and reclusive land artist Michael Heizer’s Levitated Mass gained worldwide recognition during its installation in 2012.  Over the course of ten nights, a 340-ton solid granite boulder crawled through Southern California neighborhoods on a 294-foot-long, 206-wheeled trailer, drawing tens of thousands of people, hundreds of camera crews, and cell phone shooters alike to document its journey.  The film will be followed by a Q&A with Steven Biller, art writer and consultant for California Desert Arts Council.

Visual AcousticsVisual Acoustics
February 15
Narrated by Dustin Hoffman, Visual Acoustics celebrates the life and career of Julius Shulman, the world’s greatest architectural photographer, whose images brought modern architecture to the American mainstream. Shulman, who passed away in 2009, captured the work of nearly every modern and progressive architect since the 1930s including Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, John Lautner and Frank Gehry.  His images epitomized the singular beauty of Southern California’s modernist movement and brought its iconic structures to the attention of the general public. This unique film is both a testament to the evolution of modern architecture and a joyful portrait of the magnetic, whip-smart gentleman who chronicled it with his unforgettable images.  The film will be followed by a Q&A with John Vuksic, Principal, Prest Vuksic Architects, Palm Desert.

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Doug Aitken: Electric Earth (Formerly Underwater Pavilions)
March 15
This episode OF KCET's ARTBOUND profiles prominent artist Doug Aitken who for more than 20 years has shifted the perception and location of images and narratives. His multi-channel video installations, sculptures, photographs, publications, happenings and architectural works demonstrate the nature and structure of our ever-mobile, ever-changing, image-based contemporary condition. In Underwater Pavilions, he creates a conversation with the viewer to become fully present and immersed in the sea. The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA recently housed the exhibit Doug Aitken: Electric Earth. Aitken has shown that the aforementioned works were impressive jumping off points to his newer work in different and dramatic locations on the West Coast that include Mirage in Palm Springs as a part of the inaugural Desert X.
Airs Tues., Mar. 20 at 9 p.m. on KCET.  Q&A following the film with Matthew Crotty, Director of Production, KCETLink.

Doug Aitken, Underwater Pavilions, 2016, installation view, Avalon, California.
Courtesy of the Artist, Parley for the Oceans and MOCA, Los Angeles Photo by: Shawn Heinrichs

Brillo Box (3 Cents Off)
April 19
In 1969, Lisanne Skyler’s parents bought an Andy Warhol Brillo Box (3¢ Off) sculpture for $1,000. An exact replica of a shipping carton for Brillo soap pads, Warhol’s Brillo Boxes were at first dismissed bSmall Brillo Box (3¢ off) © Charles Lutz_Armaly Brands_ Inc. _Brillo Box Documentary LLC 2 large.tiffy the art world. But 40 years later, with Warhol’s reputation as a contemporary-art visionary long secured, the same piece sold for more than $3 million at a record-breaking Christie’s auction.  Blending a humorous family narrative with Pop Art history, Brillo Box (3 Cents Off) explores the ephemeral nature of art and value, and the decisions that shape a family’s history. The film will be followed by a Q&A with Mara Gladstone, Associate Curator at the Palm Springs Art Museum and followed by a hands on art activity hosted by the Palm Springs Art Museum.

Attending the Event

Film screenings are free, but reservations are recommended.  To make a reservation, visit the UCR Palm Desert events website. For questions or more information, please call 760-837-1663.