A dinner and performance that channel Jacques Derrida and a bestiary, a series of sound pieces at Rudolph Schindler's historic home in West Hollywood, and art made from Arabic and Farsi calligraphy. Plus, YouTubing in a parking lot and a book party for a new tome that captures the people of the auto industry. I love the weirdness of late August shows. And it's all going down in L.A. and the Valley:
"TRAINS," a group show curated by Sterling Ruby, at Night Gallery. Sculptor and installation artist Sterling Ruby gathers a mix of works for a late summer group show. The press release describes it as "spatially separated images and objects [that] occur at the same time becoming linked by the observer." Also known as: pictures and sculptures set up around a warehouse. Opens Saturday, 2276 E. 16th St., downtown Los Angeles, nightgallery.ca.
"Sound, at the Schindler House: Space as Raw Material," at the MAK Center for Art & Architecture. Over four hours, artist Woody Sullender and vocalists Carmina Escobar and Odeya Nini will play with the acoustics of the famed Schindler House at the MAK Center, creating a variety of sound pieces that employ everything from straight-up singing to cardboard "speaker objects" in and around the home's indoor and outdoor spaces. 4-8 p.m. Saturday, 835 N. Kings Road, West Hollywood, sassas.org and makcenter.org.
"Local/Not Local," at Inside/Outside Gallery at the Levantine Cultural Center. Graphic designers, graffitists and calligraphy geeks of all stripes will be interested in this exhibition that brings together a group of Iranian and Arab artists who in some way employ calligraphy in their work. This includes everything from ceramics to posters to multimedia wall-hangings that employ fabric. Print magazine has a good story. The show has been extended until Sept. 17, 5998 W. Pico Blvd, Mid-City, levantinecenter.org. Curators Maece Seirafi and Pouya Jahanshahi will give a talk about the show on Aug. 28 at 7:30 p.m.
"Beast, an exhibition, performance and feast," at Mack Sennett Studios. Inspired by the animalistic visual themes that appear in Jacques Derrida's lectures gathered in "The Beast and the Sovereign," artists and choreographers have come together for a really unusual event inside the cluttered basement of an old film studio in Silver Lake. "Beasts" is described by its curator as "a radical post-structuralist feminist animist event with visual artists, choreographers and a DJ." It is also a dinner. The meal portion of the performance will include sangria and margaritas, ceviche and nopales, octopus (playing the role of Derrida's Leviathan), a bunch of quails and some special pastries. The setting should make it especially surreal: The basement of the century-old Mack Sennett Studios is cluttered with old light lenses, bulbs and pulleys. (You've probably seen it at some point; it flashes in and out of the opening credits of "American Horror Story.") Performance with food and booze? Sounds like it's worth the $40 entry fee to me. 7 p.m. Saturday, 1215 Bates Ave., Silver Lake. RSVP and advance payment required, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lesley Moon, "Menu," at Light & Wire. Because we seem to be on a food and art theme: The latest exhibition at this online-only gallery features some funny visual and textual ruminations on sex, food and relationships. The video of the mini-wieners rolling down the white satin made it all worthwhile to me. Through Sept. 20, online at lightandwiregallery.com.
An Evening of YouTubing With Carole Ann Klonarides and Tom Recchion, at Blum & Poe. The parking lot at this tony Culver City space will be converted into an impromptu outdoor theater for a night of YouTube videos that include everything from sound art to New Wave to pre-
"Valley Vista: Art in the San Fernando Valley CA, 1970-1990," at the Cal State University Northridge Galleries. It is known for its blistering heat, its Valley Girl talk, its mini-malls and suburban sprawl. But say what you want about the San Fernando Valley, this 224-square-mile area has contributed plenty of art and artists to the greater Los Angeles universe. This exhibition looks at work about and from the area, aiming to provide a fresh view of a place that is often reduced to stereotypes. Opens Monday, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge, csun.edu. A public reception is 4 p.m. Sept. 6.
A book launch for "PRIMER," by Karolina Karlic, at Stephen Cohen Gallery. For her latest series, the Polish photographer has chronicled the personal stories of people behind Detroit's auto industry, tracking individuals connected to the trade in Michigan, California and even Eastern Europe (where the artist's father helped set up new industrial plants). The images are gathered in her new book, "PRIMER," set to launch at the Cohen Gallery this weekend. 4 p.m. Saturday, 7354 Beverly Blvd., in the Fairfax District, stephencohengallery.com.
And just because it's August: Wednesday and Lurch dancing to Megadeth.