Automata Archives 2015

January 10-11, 2015


An Installation/Performance by
with Music by
Bear Club

I WAS A LANDSCAPE IN YOUR DREAM invites you to experience multiple alternative worlds of the present moment. Step into different sizes and scales and see what feels fabulous to you, on you. Listen in a dreamy bear den to folk lullabyes. Embellish and accessorize your body with body parts. Play with everyday objects that are non-functional. Watch the body and the camera have an open discussion. See what the camera catches and perceives, how the body longs to move and what the costume allows."

Daphne Rosenthal is an experimental filmmaker and installation artist, with a background in documentary editing. Rosenthal’s work has been exhibited in galleries, festivals and museums throughout Europe and the US. Her work deals with the messy, restless, diffuse parts of ourselves, and the identification and association with daily life objects. Her installations use these everyday materials to create emotional landscapes that invite the viewer to wander and create their own experiences. In her films, Rosenthal documents the light and texture of these tactile landscapes; in her performances, the camera is active, a live agent of illumination. Rosenthal currently lives in Amsterdam and Los Angeles, where she has received MFA (2014) in Experimental Animation at Calarts.

Molly Allis is a Los Angeles based multi-media artist and composer. Her award-winning animations have screened in festivals nationally and internationally, including the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Madrid Experimental Film Festival, and the Linoleum Festival in Moscow. She creates environments of play for people to inhabit, with realms of magic inside of the everyday. These installations become portals into deeper realms of intimacy and openness. Using lo-fi means of storytelling, she works with recycled materials to highlight the transformative potential of objects. She is also a founding member of Bear Club, a female indie-folk duo, whose new album is coming out in early 2015. Allis received her MFA from CalArts in Integrated Media and Experimental Sound Practices. http://loveparades.tumblr.

BEAR CLUB is Molly Allis and Jenica Anderson, a female indie-folk duo based in Los Angeles. Molly and Jenica met while attending the MFA music program at CalArts. Together they create ambient songs that hold the listener in a series of lullabyes. Their self-titled debut album will be released in early 2015.

February 13, 2015

Southland Ensemble performing Cornelius Cardew's The Great Learning

Automata is pleased to welcome back Southland Ensemble for their third visit as they present selected paragraphs from Cornelius Cardew's The Great Learning The score is a masterpiece of contradiction - order and chaos, spontaneity and deliberation, professional and amateur, individual and collective. Composed from 1968-1970, this work instigated the formation of the Scratch Orchestra, an experimental ensemble that has greatly influenced many of us. We will be joined by Corey Fogel, percussionist, as well as Eron Rauch, who will present a visual installation influenced by Cardew's work.

The Southland Ensemble, formed in 2013, is a recent addition to the experimental music community and has thus far committed itself to presenting a series of portrait concerts. Each concert is carefully programmed to reflect a specific creative period in a given composers' career so that the audience is offered the opportunity to delve deeper into the work. It is in this way that the Southland Ensembles seeks to bring experimental music to a more diverse audience. Since its formation, the ensemble has presented works by Christian Wolff, Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros, Robert Ashley and James Tenney. The ensemble seeks to broaden its focus to include composers outside of the United States in subsequent seasons. The Southland Ensemble consists of eight core members who possess a vast amount of experience within the experimental tradition, particularly in the interpretation of graphic notation and text scores. The collective is flexible in size and often collaborates with guests as the music requires. Each member of the group is proficient on a least one or more traditional Western instruments though they deviate from this as the scores dictate, sometimes playing stones or spoken word. The Southland Ensemble seeks to collectively share their experiences through the mediums of interactive concerts, workshops and lectures.

Southland Ensemble is:
Eric KM Clark & Christine Tavolacci, directors Casey Anderson,Matt Barbier, Orin Hildestad, James Klopfleisch, Jonathan Stehney and Cassia Streb

Saturday, January 17, 8pm
Short films, performances, and discussion featuring work by Angelino artists Susan Simpson and Janie Geiser and Tijuanese artist Adrián Vazquez at Estación Teatro on Pasaje Rodriguez.

Join us for the initial exchange and be part of conversations on the future.

BORDER LABS/LABORATORIOS FRONTERIZOS is working with Antena Los Ángeles (Jen Hofer, Miguel Morales Cruz, and Ana Paula Noguez) to think through how to create bilingual spaces for performance and conversation. For this initial experiment, the conversation and a portion of the performances will be interpreted.

FEBRUARY 20–22, 2015

The 2015 Getty Villa Theater Lab series

in collaboration with Automata and Los Angeles Performance Practice

Tungsten (artery)
(A Work-in-Progress Performance)
Directed by Janie Geiser
Written by Erik Ehn

Tungsten (artery) is a multidisciplinary puppet play that merges bunraku puppetry, shadows, video, sound, and text to create an elliptical rumination on our transience, our earthliness, our dust. Tungsten (artery) is a meditation on mortality in an age where the lines between life and death are blurred.

A young woman is serially born and eaten by the planet. Going back and forth from grave to rebirth, experience grows confused - earth is space and the moon is dirt. The earth’s balance shifts; a new sense of anticipation and disruption in earth’s natural cycles stirs the world - massive meteorological time contracted and newly written; a startling wildness is now familiar.

Tungsten(artery) centers on Cora, a contemporary Persephone, whose existential dilemma forms the center of the play. Half-asleep on a commuter train entering New York City, Cora struggles to remember where she is coming from, and where she is going. TUNGSTEN (artery) imagines Cora’s search for meaning, as she grapples with her responsibilities, her existential exhaustion, and the increasingly unfamiliar world of the upper air.


Performed by:
Molly Allis, Jenny Greer, Youssif Kamal, Moira MacDonald, Alexis Macnab Erin O’Donnell, Whitney Rodriguez, Jessica Rosilyn, Hilario Saavedra

Scene Design: Shannon Scrofano
Lighting Design: Ellie Rabinowitz
Video Design: Carole Kim
Sound Design: Colbert Davis
Costume Design: Sandra Burns and Sarah Brown
Associate Sound Design: John Eagle
Additional Music: Cassia Streb
Puppet Design: Janie Geiser
Films: Janie Geiser
Production Stage Manager: Cameron Squire
Producer: Miranda Wright

Tungsten (artery) is supported, in part, through a Getty Villa Theater Lab Residency and a Jim Henson Foundation Project Grant.


MARCH 14th and 15th, 11-4, 2015
Stop Motion and Cut Paper Animation Intensive
Taught by Maya Erdelyi

MARCH 21-APRIL 18th, 2015
Storytelling Toys – Kaleidoscopes, Mobiles & Camera Obscura
A Series of 3 Workshops by Alexis MacNab


March 15-16, 2014 at 8 PM

An installation/performance by Peiyi Wong

A multi-media installation / performance that attempts to examine the many ways we have of looking, in hopes of uncovering the ideal way forward.

The latest research and findings of an anonymous amateur archeologist-explorer who remains inexplicably drawn to the ruins of Llano del Rio, a failed socialist utopian commune built on the edge of the Mojave Desert.

Written, directed, and performed by Peiyi Wong

Sound / Music composition by Michael Day
Sound / Music performances by Jenica Anderson, Michael Day, and Braden Diotte
Puppetry by Miriam Jones
Lighting by Jesse Baldridge
Video by Jesse Garrison

Cinematography by Matt Broach, Jessica Li, Sanmu Lin, Abraham Osuna, and Masha Tatarintsev

Direction & performance developed w/ Miriam Jones, So-Ok Kim and Alexis Macnab

Saturday, April 11th, at 8PM

BEAR CLUB EP Release Show!

JOIN US for a night of acoustic folk music by Bear Club with special guests Luke Janela & Emily Lacy.

BEAR CLUB Molly Allis and Jenica Anderson formed Bear Club while both attending California Institute of the Arts' MFA Music program. They are an indie-folk duo based in Los Angeles, creating sonic dreamscapes that suspend the listener in a series of tender lullabies.

LUKE JANELA Luke Janela is a cellist/singer/guitarist/songwriter from California. He lays lush foundations of sound, utilizing his cello and guitar in tandem with his uniquely passionate vocals. The music is urgent and innovative, moving through genres and visuals like a big river.

EMILY LACY Emily Lacy is a folk and electronic sound artist generating works in music, film, and other media. She has performed in exhibitions at PS1 MOMA, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and LACMA, in addition to various DIY spaces all throughout America. She is based in Los Angeles.

Tickets: $10 (All seats are general admission)

Friday, May 29 and Saturday May, 30th at 8PM

New films by Laura Heit

An evening of new films by Laura Heit including Two Ways Down (2015), Rover's Eye (2015) and Apollo (2015), The Deep Dark (2011), and White Dialogues (2012)

Recent films presented by the artist, in person, feature drawn animation, depictions of hell, footage shot from space craft, disembodied heads, specters, and music by Emily Lacy and Jordan Dykstra.

Along side these new films a program of experimental animation by filmmakers and comic book artists including Crux by Lilli Carre and Alexander Stewart, Essay 1 and 4 by Julie Doucet and Jiro goes to the Dentist by Gina Kamentsky, Mound by Allison Schulnik, Down to Nothing by Jake Friedstrong

Laura Heit is an experimental filmmaker and a performance artist. Her work has been featured at museums and film festivals around the world including The Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, MN; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; The Anthology Film Archives, New York, NY. She has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, most recently from the Regional Arts & Culture Council, Portland, OR and their 2014 Innovation Award for her installation Two Ways Down which premiered at Adams and Ollman spring 2014 and was an Artforum critics pick. Heit has a BFA in Film from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from the Royal College of Art, London. Laura lives and works in Portland, Oregon, after many years living in Los Angeles.


Visit PEEPHOLE CINEMA, a new permanent screening site at Automata, available for viewing 24 hours a day. Peephole Cinema, conceived and curated by Laurie O'Brien and Allison deFren, is located in the alley behind Automata, to the left of our back door, between North Hill Street and Chung King Road.

AUGUST 22, 7pm-11pm
during KCRW Chinatown Summer Nights

presented by Baxley Andresen and Erin O'Donnell

For the last Chinatown Summer Nights of 2015, Automata changes into an installation designed for viewership interaction and photo taking. Bring friends, pose within the pieces and creatively interact with the space!

AUGUST 27 at 8pm


Hosted by Tricia Traci and Rebecca Leib

Josh Fadem
Ronnie Karam
John Hogan
Betsy Salkind
Lizzy Cooperman
Melissa Villasenior

Rebecca Leib is an artist and comedian with a BFA in Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a MFA in Writing from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. She is an alumni of The Second City Conservatory In Chicago, IO West and UCB-LA. Her comedy and writing has been featured on NBC's Hollywood Game Night, Disney's Win, Lose Or Draw, UCB-LA, Defy Media, Reductress, Huffington Post, Art Ltd, Artillery and Beautiful/Decay.

Tricia Traci
is a filmmaker, artist, and comedian. She has a BFA in filmmaking from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MFA from Montana. She's performed mainstage and is an alumni of UCB-LA and IO West. She's currently a stand up and storyteller. She's received film festival awards for her experimental comedic narratives and also her cinematography work. They can be seen all over Earth and internet. She's crafted videos and animations for VH1, Samsung, Billboards, Fender, ABC, Fox, NBC, Yahoo, pop star types, and of course Smokey Bear.

OCTOBER 17th at 8PM

General Manifest
by Braden Diotte

Composer Braden Diotte brings the second of two Southern California performances of music inspired by two decades of hopping freight trains throughout the American west.

Braden Diotte will be joined by percussionists Michael Yr. Jeannouxa Day and Jenica Anderson, as well as vocalist Dr. Andrea Young. Ulrich Krieger will perform the role of the orator.

About General Manifest
“The inspiration behind General Manifest came two-fold. Aesthetically, I’d wanted to create a piece to pay tribute to the transitory-yet-awe-inspiring music that I’ve witnessed emanating from the underbelly of thousands of tons of rolling stock on occasion over a twenty-year span in which I was taking pleasure in riding freight trains about the American west. At the same time, I also wanted to create a piece based around the broader notion of freedom – a term that I feel has garnered negative connotations since the events of the recent turn of the century. Where these concepts intersect, a philosophy exists that’s as personal as it is political, as anarchistic as it is patriotic, and as natural as it is spiritual.
I chose to refrain from attaching a specific manifesto to the piece, and opted instead to allow it to serve as a vehicle for ruminations on the topic by a larger community, in hopes that the message will remain responsive and tethered to the state of affairs of any given “present” and place.”
– Braden Diotte

Composer and multi-instrumentalist Braden Diotte is a native Californian, born in 1975. As a composer, his works include: General Manifest (2013; for ensemble) Saturnine (2010; for video & amplification installation) Experiments for Radio (2006; for radio & solo performer) As a multi-instrumentalist, he has performed in: Luciano Chessa’s Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners (2013; various intonarumori) Pinback (2008-2011; keyboard, electric bass & guitar) Glenn Branca’s Symphony No.13: Hallucination City (2008; electric bass) Tarantula Hawk (1998-2005; electric bass & keyboard) Braden Diotte earned his MFA in Experimental Sound Practices from the California Institute of the Arts, and holds undergraduate degrees in Cognitive Science, Computer Music and Electronic Technology.

October 31 and November 1


Fright Privilege is a satirical multimedia Haunted (Open) House. Intimate walk-throughs led by “Dakota”, a real estate agent eager to guide you through a horror show of neurotic fears plaguing progressive-minded urbanites, including the looming specter of Decreased Property Values Due To Neighborhood Disrepair, falling victim to Unfair Characterizations On The Internet, losing the White Demographic Majority, consuming Genetically Modified Vegetables, and actually having to confront an angry and articulate Displaced Former Tenant.

Groups of 10 people will enter each hour, for this intimate walk-through performance. Please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled time.

Cast includes: Sommer Branham, Jessica Jean Jardine, Jason Underhill, Peter De Remier and more, along with video art by Trulee Hall, and a special performance by Raquel Bell.

November 7th and 8th

Gina Napolitan's


Hinterlands looks at various notions of domesticity, travel, and childlike play and features a small installation of intimate tableaux and slide projections for visitors to explore at their own pace. Miniatures, found photographs, and assemblages of natural materials evoke incomplete, uneasy narratives of haunted houses, alien landscapes, and misinterpreted historical events.

After viewing the installations, visitors will be seated for a screening of recent videos, 16mm films, and 35mm slideshow works by the artist, accompanied by a live singing saw performance by collaborator Beaux Mingus.

Gallery opens for viewing an hour before the screening.

Gina Marie Napolitan is an experimental filmmaker and multi-disciplinary artist originally from Brockton, Massachusetts. Her animated films have screened at the Boston Underground Film Festival, Anthology Film Archive in New York City, LA FilmForum, Antimatter Film Festival, Black Maria, and numerous other venues in the United States and abroad. Her paintings, drawings, and collages have been exhibited in numerous galleries and were recently featured in the Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly Journal. Gina has also worked as a puppeteer and video designer on several experimental theater productions at REDCAT and Automata. She received her BFA in Film/Video from Massachusetts College of Art and her MFA in Experimental Animation from the California Institute of the Arts.

Originally from Bakersfield, CA, Beaux Gest Mingus is a filmmaker whose work focuses on capturing intimate, personal rituals and the emotional resonance of overlooked places. His films have screened at The Canton Palace Theatre International Film Festival, REDCAT, Echo Park Film Center, The Kristi Engle Gallery, Public Space ONE in Iowa City, Exploded View Gallery in Tucson, and Monkeytown in Brooklyn. He has received production grants from Kodak and Fotokem, and was recently an artist-in-residence at Echo Park Film Center. He completed his MFA in Film/Video from the California Institute of the Arts and works professionally as a video editor.

November 13th and 14th,

The Readers Chorus


The Reader's Chorus consists of composers and musicians, visual artists and filmmakers, writers and poets. Initially brought together to perform Robert Lax and John Beer’s rarely performed Black White Oratorio, we were inspired by this hallucinogenic poem and the possibilities of sound in a group of speaking voices. Sara Roberts and Jordan Biren recruited a dedicated corps to experiment with timbral combinations, rhythms, and the spatialization of voices. Since then members have been creating new works for the Chorus to develop and arrange in laboratory rehearsal.

Casey Anderson, Jenica Anderson, Kate Brown, Lyman Chaffee, Tuni Chatterji, Clay Chaplin, Carolyn Chen, Drew Corey, Morgan Gerstmar, Eric Heep, Samantha Hopkins, Jen Hutton, Heather Lockie, Luke Martin, Laura Steenberge, Davy Sumner, Haruko Tanaka, Christine Tavolacci, Tim Tsang

ORGANIZED BY : Sara Roberts & Jordan Biren

November 20-22nd, 2015

29 Cross Examinations

by Maureen Selwood

In 29 Cross Examinations, filmmaker and installation artist Maureen Selwood moves into new territory with a contemporary meditation on the trial of Joan of Arc. Through live performance, film clips, and transcripts from the actual trial, Selwood cracks open a new perspective on this much mythologized folk hero.

29 Cross Examinations probes the connections between religious fervor and sexual identity, and plays with the bizarre intimacy of the interrogation relationship. Through the actual text of the inquisition, we meet the real Joan – yet, as Joan herself says, “One does not allow the whole truth to be told.”

Written and Directed by Maureen Selwood
Performed by K. Bradford and Nathan Nonhof
Assistant Director: Tempe Hale
Digital Projections by Jeremy Glaholt
Movement Director: Sarah McCarron
Lighting Designer: R. S. Buck
Animation by Maureen Selwood and Sunny Liang
Sculptures courtesy of Megan Cotts

December 10-20th, 2015



The magic of Christmas comes alive with pushing and shoving! Join Monica, Tree and Silver Lake’s Most Well-Adjusted Family as they stress to impress for hometown holidays in Los Angeles. LA is known for it’s cutthroat ways, it’s secret societies, it’s titanic forces of darkness surrounding the heartfelt traditions of seasonal baking, shopping, and fighting over the red color of coffee cups. Will our close knit group of ragtag family and friends succumb to the conspiracy? Will there be warmth, tragedy or drama? Will there be potatoes, hot air balloons, or elves? Yes Virginia, there will be all of those things, and more.

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