The Smart Set: Lauren Cerand’s Weekly Events

The Smart Set is a weekly feature, compiled by Lauren Cerand, that appears Mondays and highlights the best of the week to come. Special favor is given to New York’s independent booksellers and venues, and low-cost and free events. Please submit details to

The “Going Coastal” Edition: This week, the itinerary is split between New York and Los Angeles to coincide with my schedule, ya dig?

MONDAY, 3.7: A panel discussion, entitled Dancing on the Battlements: Choreography in the Age of Insecurity, “brings together choreographers who come from distant lands to work in the U.S., such as Eiko (Japan), Patricia Hoffbauer (Brazil), Ibrahim Qurashi (Pakistan), and Americans who chose to work elsewhere. In conversation with Joseph V. Melillo, executive producer at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, they will investigate the effects of the advent of Homeland Security and the Patriot Act, and address the multiplicity of new challenges they now face-legally, politically, and emotionally-as borders tighten, visas get more difficult to obtain, and the cultural and funding climate becomes more hostile to the unknown. Moderated by Elise Bernhardt, consultant and former director of The Kitchen, New York; presented by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, The New School.” 6:30pm, $8. [via]

TUESDAY, 3.8: “John Sayles, acclaimed independent filmmaker (Lonestar, Matewan, Eight Men Out), celebrates the publication of Dillinger in Hollywood, his first story collection in twenty-five years, as well as the re-issue of his impressive and perpetually relevant Los Gusanos,” at 192 Books. 7:00pm, FREE.

WEDNESDAY, 3.9: Graphic novelists Megan Kelso and Ariel Bordeaux read from their work (projected on a screen) at Cupcake, the reading series for New York’s best women writers (that I co-direct). 7:00pm, FREE. Also: Opium Magazine’s All-Star Gala “celebrates [the magazine’s] four-year anniversary with a night filled with witticists, funambulists, rapscallions and shenanigists. Featuring some of the best humor writers from around the country, this evening includes tasty, laugh-inducing readings by (in alphabetical order): Pia Ehrhardt, Sue Henderson, Christopher Hickman, Angela Himsel, Heather Kelley, Pasha Malla, Mike Sacks, and Todd Zuniga”, at Makor. 7:30pm, $12 in advance. UPDATE: Couldn’t resist mentioning this one: Small Talk No. 6, featuring Dan Nadel.

THURSDAY, 3.10: In New York, “Paul Murray reads from his first novel, An Evening of Long Goodbyes, … a deft and erudite comedy taking readers on a whirlwind tour of Ireland’s new economy and changing population, whose protagonist, Charles Hythloday, is something of a 21st century Bertie Wooster.”At NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House. 7:00pm, $10. And, so very necessary: Keren Ann plays Joe’s Pub. 9:30pm, $15. Also: “On Thursday, March 10 at 6 pm at the Small Press Center, David Rees, creator of the popular clip-art comic Get Your War On, will illuminate the dark maze of the independent publishing industry with the aid of his overhead transparency projector, PowerPoint slides, and deadpan wit. After his brief comic lesson, Rees will be joined by Richard Eoin Nash, publisher of Soft Skull Press, and author Jenny Davidson in a conversation on The Ins and Outs of Small Press Publishing. Admission is free.” In Los Angeles, cultural critic M.G. Lord and science writer Dava Sobel discuss the private lives of rocket scientists, as part of the ALOUD series. 7:00pm, FREE.

FRIDAY, 3.11: In New York, The One Story Reading Series/Cocktail Hour relaunches at Pianos with readings by buzzed-about writers Rattawut Lapcharoensap and David Lawrence Morse (whose story “Conceived” was the reason I finally subscribed; it’s so good it qualifies as a minor obsession). Highly recommended. 7:00pm, FREE. See how the other half lives in two modernist masterpieces built by architects for themselves and their families, now open to the public in Los Angeles: the Eames House and the Schindler House. Also: “For over thirty years, Candida Hofer has been photographing rooms in public places that are centers of cultural life, such as libraries, museums, theatres, cafés, universities, and historic houses and palaces. Among the unique aspects of Hofer’s work is the fact that typically the people who would inhabit these spaces are absent, thus enabling her to discover in the spaces what she describes as an ‘almost magical presence of things.'” Her Architecture of Absence exhibition is on view at the University Art Museum of California State University, Long Beach, through April 17 [via LA Forum for Architecture + Urban Design].

SATURDAY, 3.12: The Santa Monica Museum of Art presents “George Herms: Hot Set, a comprehensive survey featuring forty-five works of sculpture, collage, and assemblage from 1959 to the present by Beat generation artist and poet George Herms. From his first ‘secret’ show in deserted area in Hermosa Beach, California, to his current practice, George Herms uses found objects to create lyrical, elegiac works, often in tribute to his heroes and friends. Herms was born in Woodland, California in 1935. In 1955, he met artist Wallace Berman and poet Robert Alexander, who introduced him to the emerging West Coast Beat scene… In the early sixties, Herms established The LOVE Press and began publishing woodcuts and books of poetry, including writings by Michael McClure, Diane di Prima, and Jack Hirschman.” The exhibition is on view through May 14.

SUNDAY, 3.13: Conversations is a meeting of the minds between curators of the collections of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles Country and six contemporary artists. This show sounds brilliant! [originally spotted at]


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