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Conversations plate Rachel Mayeri: Primate Cinema

Conversations That Never Happened

June 28, 2008 6:00 pm to July 19, 2008

Conversations plate

Tamala Poljak and Anna Oxygen have organized an exhibition that incorporates photography, performance, installation, food, and video within various forms of collective consumption - two nights of dinner theater, a temporary cafe, simultaneous TV dinners.

The point of departure for “Conversations That Never Happened” is a series of 200 photographic portraits that Poljak made in her kitchen while dining individually with her friends and neighbors. As a group, the photographs might remind us of “friend lists” on MySpace and Facebook, where sociality is expressed in serial form (as a grid of pictures or a list of comments and testimonials). Do these grids and lists refer to communities? And if so, how do communities relate to their own representations? Over the next few weeks, many of the people depicted in the portraits will be animated through the exhibition: they will eat dinner at TELIC; they will perform as dancers, writers, actors, magicians, comedians…; they will prepare and serve food.

At the opening reception on Saturday, the artists will be serving custom-made pancakes (with shapes made to order!) and fancy drinks; David Scott Stone will do a 3 hour ambient set.

Over the next three weeks:

July 9 - TV Dinner Night
July 12 - Dinner Theater Night #1
July 13 - Dinner Theater Night #2
July 19 - Mystery Picnic Cafe & Closing Performances

Participating artists and performers include: The All Girl Comb Choir, Mecca Vazie Andrews, Jackson Baugh, Lindsay Beamish, Big Swell (Sam Cooper), Christina Billotte, Katie Byron, Cathy de la Cruz, David P Earle, Steve Gregoropoulos, John Hogan, Horse Thieves (Alex Maslansky & Brie Turner O’Banion), Laura Lazarus, Eric Lindley, Claire Mckeown, Sarah Paul Ocampo, Anna Oxygen, Paloma Parfrey, Tamala Poljak, Katie Shook, Becky Stark, David Scott Stone, Tara Tavi, Christopher Wonder.
[ about the artists ]

For the most up to date details, see

To purchase photographs by Tamala Poljak, [ click here ].

Rachel Mayeri: Primate Cinema

May 3, 2008 12:00 pm to June 22, 2008

Field Station Hollywood: May 3 - May 29
Primate Cinema Exhibition: June 11 - June 22
Talk and Screening: May 24 at 6pm
Opening Reception: June 14 at 6pm.

Jane G

Primates and their on-screen dramas are the subject of an exhibition presented at TELIC Arts Exchange by Los Angeles artist Rachel Mayeri.

The exhibition is an installation of several video experiments on the human animal, including “Jane Goodall and the Wild Chimpanzees,” “How to Act like an Animal,” and “Baboons as Friends.”

In the video series “Primate Cinema,” Mayeri transforms TELIC Arts Exchange into an observation platform for viewing the social, sexual and political behavior of human and nonhuman primates.

Mayeri’s work enables viewers to observe human nature at a safe distance through the lenses of primatology and media studies.

Jane Goodall and The Wild Chimpanzees (10 minutes, 2008)
A live performance of a nature documentary, “Jane Goodall and The Wild Chimpanzees” was developed and videotaped during a three week workshop at TELIC in May. The edited video explores what it means to be animal, and how documentary dramatizes nature. The performers are: Suzan Averitt, Claire Cronin, Penny Folger, Estela Garcia, Dave Johnson, Diane Lefer, Adam Overton, and Joe Seeley.

How to Act like an Animal (5 minutes, 2008)
This video is one of several exercises from the “How to Act like an Animal” workshop, which was co-led with primatologist Deborah Forster and physical theatre director Alyssa Ravenwood. Through observation and imitation of a nature documentary, human performers play chimpanzees–hunting, killing, and sharing the meat of a colobus monkey.

Baboons as Friends (6 minutes, 2007)
The first of the “Primate Cinema” series, “Baboons as Friends,” translates a primate social drama for human audiences. A two-channel installation, “Baboons as Friends” juxtaposes field footage of baboons with a reenactment by human actors, shot in film noir style. A tale of lust, jealousy, sex, and violence transpires simultaneously in human and nonhuman worlds. Beastly males, instinctively attracted to a femme fatale, fight to win her, but most are doomed to fail. The story of sexual selection is presented across species, the dark genre of film noir re-mapping the savannah to the urban jungle.

Rachel Mayeri: Primate Cinema

Field Station Hollywood
Primate Research Laboratory and Performance Workshop
Ongoing in May at TELIC Arts Exchange

In May, TELIC Arts Exchange will be a laboratory for primate research and video production, and will be open to visitors. As part of TELIC’s Public School, Mayeri will lead a workshop on “How to Act like an Animal.” The workshop will explore primate social structure, communication, and movement in a series of performative experiments, with contributions by primatologist Deborah Forster. The workshop will form the basis for a video to be shot at TELIC Arts Exchange in May and screened in June as part of Primate Cinema. Participation in the free workshop, offered as part of TELIC’s Public School, is limited to 15 people. To inquire, please follow the link below:

Primate Cinema:
Baboons as Friends

The first of the “Primate Cinema” series, “Baboons as Friends,” translates a primate social drama for human audiences. A two-channel installation, “Baboons as Friends” juxtaposes field footage of baboons with a reenactment by human actors, shot in film noir style. A tale of lust, jealousy, sex, and violence transpires simultaneously in human and nonhuman worlds. Beastly males, instinctively attracted to a femme fatale, fight to win her, but most are doomed to fail. The story of sexual selection is presented across species, the dark genre of film noir re-mapping the savannah to the urban jungle.

“Baboons as Friends” was screened at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denmark and received a Semifinalist honor for an International Visualization Competition sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Journal Science. It was made in collaboration with primatologist, Deborah Forster, whose research and footage of wild baboons in Kenya is featured in the video. “Baboons as Friends” is played by actors Camillia Sanes, Patrick Mulderrig, Shaun Madden, Randy Tobin, and Andrew Maxwell. Liz Rubin, director of photography, captured their primate behavior in high definition video in a Chinatown bar.

Primatologists on Acting in the Animal Kingdom
Talk and Screening of “Primate Cinema: Baboons as Friends”
May 24, 6 PM, TELIC Arts Exchange

On May 24, primatologists Deborah Forster and Rebecca Frank will give talks, followed by a screening of “Primate Cinema: Baboons as Friends.” Deborah Forster has worked with primates at the San Diego Zoo, and researched wild baboons in Kenya. Forster’s talk will be on the how and why of acting and motor mimicry in the animal kingdom, examining videos of “walking” octopuses, painting elephants, and aping orangutans. Dr. Frank, who researches female social behavior and cooperation, will analyze the group dynamics of a Reality TV show.

Rachel Mayeri

Rachel Mayeri is a Los Angeles-based artist working at the intersection of science and art. Her videos, installations, and writing projects explore topics ranging from the history of special effects to the human animal. Videos include “Stories from the Genome: An Animated History of Reproduction,” animations for “Biospheria: An Environmental Opera,” and “The Anatomical Theater of Peter the Great.” Mayeri programmed the anthology “Soft Science,” distributed by Video Data Bank, and her essay “Soft Science: Artists’ Experiments with Science Documentary” is published in Tactical Biopolitics: Art, Activism, and Technoscience (MIT Press, 2008). Her videos have shown at Pacific Film Archive, The Center for Art and Media in Germany, and P.S.1 in New York. The recipient of grants from Creative Capital Foundation, The Mellon Foundation, and California Council for the Humanities, Rachel Mayeri is a guest curator of the Museum of Jurassic Technology and Associate Professor of Media Studies at Harvey Mudd College.

The exhibition at TELIC is supported in part by a grant from the Durfee Foundation.

“Watch Me Get Watched” and Gary Dauphin

September 29, 2007 at 7:00 pm

“Watch Me Get Watched” video art screening program, curated by Glenn Phillips and Catherine Taft, with performance by Nao Bustamante.
Screening of Hotghettomess and videos selected by Gary Dauphin
Presentation by Gary Dauphin on the “pose” as a marker of identity and social standing

“Watch Me Get Watched”, organized by Glenn Phillips and Catherine Taft, brings together multiple generations of video artists whose work straddles the exhibitionism and voyeurism inherent in videomaking. These works are driven less by their own internal logic, than by the systems of looking, behaving and watching that they construct (often leaving the audience ready to see more). With works by Ben Chase, Bianca D’Amico, Arthur Ginsberg and Video Free America, Micol Hebron, Sterling Ruby and Kirsten Stoltman, Jennifer Sullivan, John Williams, and more.

Gary Dauphin will present a visual archaeology of the web phenomenon “hotghettomess,” through the notions of slideshow, photosharing, and family portrait. He will deal with issues around the database-driven “pose” — role-play and presentation through blogs, profiles, and photosharing sites — and how it serves as a marker of culture and identity, as it circulates through various interfaces and translations. Concerned with the tensions around the public display that could threaten one’s standing in the world (increasingly an issue with instantaneous web 2.0 culture, where one’s reputation or rank is ever more precarious), he will, at the same time, probe into the “counter-visibilities” that emerge, which allow one to play WITH the presumed inappropriateness, rather than working against it. The latter can challenge our assumptions, and perhaps change the rules of the game.

Gary Dauphin is a writer, editor and interactive community builder. His current project is the Goonj Collective, an online community and publishing initiative funded by the Open Society Institute. Goonj (which means “echo” in Urdu) was founded by Dauphin, editor Michael Vazquez, copyright lawyer Achal Prabhala and Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainana to provide literary magazines based in the developing world with content-management, archiving and interactive community tools.

Previous to his work with Goonj, Dauphin held a number of positions at leading ethnic websites, including founding Director and Editor-in-Chief of AOL Black Voices, Editor-in-Chief of and Editor-in-Chief and Site Manager of Over the last decade, he has also penned several hundred articles on media, race, and interactivity for venues such as The Village Voice, Bidoun, Vibe and Lacanian Ink. He also blogs under his own steam at

Dauphin was born and raised in New York City to Haitian parents and studied film theory at Yale University. He currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, and his internet name is ebogjonson.

Quiz Night

July 13, 2007 at 8:00 pm

Dear Friends,

I’m hosting a TRIVIA NIGHT this Friday as a part of the fundraising series at Telic in Chinatown. Come by to test your knowledge of random facts, figures, sights, and smells!

Over the course of 3 rounds, each of your 5 sense will be put to the test, including a special E.S.P. round dedicated to the “6th sense.”

Costumes and team themes fully encouraged. EXTRA bonus points will be awarded!

Compete head-to-head with other teams for secret delicious prizes! And, all proceeds will benefit Telic Arts Exchange. What better way to spend freaky Friday!?

DETAILS: Games start at 8 PM. Each team can have up to 4 people. Registration is a donation of $15. Email me to sign up, or pay in advance by going to Telic’s website.



Eye test

Exits on the 101 (sort of)

It was a nautical pulley

Chung King Road Supper

July 8, 2007 at 6:00 pm

Special Menu prepared by Duc Pham - Via Cafe & Blossom (

With Chinatown Stories dinnerware by Steven Y. Wong

Enjoy the delicious meal and share your Chinatown Stories

Chinatown Stories Dinnerware was featured in the Los Angeles Times West Magazine in December 2006. Originally part of an installation in Philadelphia’s Chinatown, the dishes capture stories of Chinatown and were featured in several Chinatown restaurants.

$20 for dinner
$40 for dinner plus a plate

Plates will also be sold individually the night of the event for $25.

Please RSVP to by Friday, July 6. If you cannot make it, but would like to donate to TELIC click here:

Postcard by Steve Wong


Plate by Steve Wong, Food by Duc Pham

The Fundraising Show

June 21, 2007 8:00 pm to July 21, 2007

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In the 30 days between June 21 and July 21, a different artist (almost) each day will use TELIC’s gallery to make money. This is both an exhibition and a fundraiser - the artists are conceiving installations, performances, lectures, and other schemes; and the money they earn is split 25/75 with TELIC (an inverse of the typical non-profit commission).

Although arts organizations and artists spend a lot of time thinking about money, it is an issue that’s largely absent from our programming, and artistic practice in general. This exhibition, however, will bring private financial concerns to the front, into the aesthetic experience of the gallery space.

$0  $2,500   $3,000  

Even if you are unable to make it to the show, we hope you’ll consider making a tax-deductible donation at

THU, JUNE 21 - ANNA OXYGEN hosts a Grandma-themed dessert auction
FRI, JUNE 22 - HELEN CAHNG + COURTNEY STRICKLIN install a dollar donation wall
SAT, JUNE 23 - BENJAMIN BRATTON opens a Wii golf range
SUN, JUNE 24 - DAVIS & DAVIS answer questions about Sexology, Ufology, and Parapsychology
THU, JUNE 28 - XARENE ESKANDAR shows and sells her VJ book
FRI, JUNE 29 - PASCUAL SISTO makes video portraits of donors
SAT, JUNE 30 - FERNANDO SANCHEZ + SEAN DOCKRAY sell downloaded art bootlegs
THU, JULY 5 - NOT A SPEAKEASY + OSMAN KHAN sell, raffle and baffle you with artist mixCDs and host an afterparty!
FRI, JULY 6 - ERIC LINDLEY + STEPHEN  VAN DYCK hold an instrument building workshop
SAT, JULY 7 - S.E BARNET + HILLARY MUSHKIN sell lemonade (and lemonade stand signs)
TUE, JULY 10 - PETER CHO interprets your name as an interactive animation
WED, JULY 11 - ED COOLIDGE designs a new donation box
THU, JULY 12 - HUGO HOPPING makes a special presentation of a limited edition
FRI, JULY 13 - CHI-WANG YANG organizes a quiz night
SAT, JULY 14 - SHANA LUTKER  sells old newspapers
SUN, JULY 15 - MICHAEL SMOLER operates an arts healing center
MON, JULY 16 - THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF NUTS + BOLTS presents “Human Jukebox”
WED, JULY 18 - AMAR RAVVA  gives on-the-spot Vastu consultations
THU, JULY 19 - CASEY REAS + CHANDLER MCWILLIAMS give a lecture and workshop
FRI, JULY 20 - ERIC LINDLEY + STEPHEN VAN DYCK host a concert from the instrument building workshop
SAT, JULY 21 - ANGIE WALLER is to be determined

Later in the summer, TELIC will host a public presentation with the artists to ask how The Fundraising Show worked as a fundraiser and how it worked as an exhibition. AAAARG.ORG will also present a conversation at TELIC about Art & Work, which will take shape at

Our Distance from Things

March 17, 2007 6:00 pm to April 7, 2007

Opening: March 17 from 6-9pm

“Our Distance From Things” is an exhibition of 25 video works from artists who have had lectured, performed, or produced installations at TELIC over the last three years. These videos will be shown sequentially on one projection and the program will run nearly two hours in length. The participating artists are a|Um Studio, SE Barnet, Heather Bursch, Peter Cho, Ed Coolidge, Christopher Curtin, Davis & Davis, Sean Dockray, Nate Harrison, Barbara Holub, Anna Huff, Timothy Jaeger, Dawn Kasper, Osman Khan, Sachiko Kodama, George Legrady, Tom Leeser, Guthrie Lonergan, Hillary Mushkin, C.E.B. Reas, Sara Roberts, Fernando Sanchez, Pascual Sisto, Scott Snibbe, and Jiacong Yan.

This exhibition is made possible in part by the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Games for 5 Joysticks

December 1, 2006 at 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

World premiere of seven video games written explicitly for a console with 5 joysticks. The format will be something like a video screening, with each game being played for 20 minutes by anyone who wants to sit down at one of the joysticks.

Pentuby - David Bollinger
Tron - Aaron Koblin
tadpoles - Travis Kirton and Damir Kulic
pongish - Travis Kirton
reach_for_the_stars - Mattias Ljungström and Andreas Zecher
FSTR - E.R. Rattus
Story Mixer - Jeffrey Ridenour, Silvia Lindtner, Luv Sharma, and Marisa Cohn

Some of the games are original, others are modified versions of arcade classics. They deal with experimental narrative, the fine line between competition and collaboration, artificial and human intelligence, and the possibilities for fun and frustration in art.

None of the creators of these games was actually able to test it with 5 joysticks (so it will really be their world premiere!) Each of them submitted the game through an open call over the Internet.
Continue reading…

HEATHER BURSCH : The Singer Not the Song

February 4, 2007 6:00 pm to February 25, 2007

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Heather Bursch’s three screen projection, The Singer Not the Song, uses custom software to convert video into virtual, automated stadium card displays. Video of her hands moving a 15” X 20” red card to catch a range of light values is presented in a 32 X 32 grid format. The cards animate video from pre-rendered sources, referring to the card animations that celebrate unified vision in the stadiums of totalitarian states and at sporting events in the US. The mediating structure of the individual cards, as well as the moving images they collectively animate, highlight the relationship between group identity and an individual self.
Continue reading…

Sean Dockray - Cabinet

September 10, 2005 6:00 pm to October 16, 2005

IMG_9383IMG_9375Sean Dockray - Cabinet drawing
Cabinet memorializes the passing era of crowds. Those moments in which people spend time in the same place are slowly being replaced by networked forms of collectivity that privilege connectedness over presence. Cabinet is an installation for storing my collection of applause recordings. It refers to the origins of crowd theory at the end of the 19th century, a time when criminologists and the state were developing the antecedants to our contemporary electronic databases. As visitors access the cabinet, the applauses mix to produce new forms of collectivity. By consulting an accompanying schema, they are encouraged to question the authority of the given system of categorization and investigate the ambiguities and contradictions therein. See video.
Cabinet is in the Project Room.

Sean Dockray - Ameising 1

November 22, 2003 at 6:00 pm

 Video still

Ameising 1 is a video that documents a drawing made by Argentine ants. The drawing (or more accurately, the writing) is the outcome of a biochemical semiotic process, which is normally apparent, but invisible to the human eye. Over the course of this video, traces of meaning emanate and dissipate in a single dynamic portrait.  See excerpt