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Arts & Culture

San Diego weekend arts events: Rule 42, Hip-Hop Nutcracker, Sepideh Shamloufard, red fish blue fish, and Omar Lopex

A still from Omar Lopex's film "Ana, Who They Pulled Out of the River," which screens Monday, Nov. 8, 2021 at the Mingei.
Standard Fantastic Pictures
A still from Omar Lopex's film "Ana, Who They Pulled Out of the River," which screens Monday, Nov. 8, 2021 at the Mingei.

This weekend in the arts: experimental percussion, Tchaikovsky goes hip-hop, a new installation at Art Produce, a new film that's a love letter to Tijuana, and mathematical poetry at the Bonita Museum.

'Rule 42, Stretched Language: Explorations into Visual and Mathematical Poetry'

Visual art, poetry

The Bonita Museum and Cultural center is host to a fascinating new exhibition, curated by Vallo Riberto, retired director of Southwestern College's art gallery. It's a look at the world through symbols, language and mathematics, and the title is a nod to a lesser known Lewis Carroll work, "The Hunting of the Snark," as well as the famous answer from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams.

'All Wars' art installation by artist Douglas McCulloh
Courtesy of Bonita Museum and Cultural Center
"All Wars" art installation by artist Douglas McCulloh is part of Rule 42 at the Bonita Museum and Cultural Center, opening Nov. 6, 2021.

One work that caught my attention is Kazmier Maslanka's "Psychronometrics," which is an interactive piece composed in BASIC code in 1983 on a TSR80 machine. There's lightboxes, equations and the distortion of time. Maslanka will lead a workshop next weekend, Saturday, Nov. 13 on creating mathematical poetry. Another, Douglas McCulloh's "All Wars" evocatively leans on the use of text.


The show also features artists Alex Caldiero, Lisa Mansfield, Taly Oehler, Toru Nakatani, Allison Weise, Toru Nakatani and many more. On Saturday evening at the opening reception, Gerda Govine and Rosa Sandoval will perform spoken word, and Alex Caldiero will perform poetry.

Details: On view Saturday through Dec. 3, 2021. Opening reception is Saturday from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bonita Museum and Cultural Center, 4355 Bonita Rd, Bonita. Free.

Red Fish Blue Fish


Formed more than 25 years ago by UC San Diego professor of music and percussionist Steven Schick, red fish blue fish is world-renowned for their inventive and experimental styles, curation and performances. Schtick will perform with ensemble-members Mitchell Carlstrom, Michael Jones, Kosuke Matsuda, Roberto Maqueda and Yongyun Zhang.

Steven Schick of the red fish blue fish ensemble conducts in an undated photo.
Courtesy of UC San Diego Music
Steven Schick of the red fish blue fish ensemble conducts in an undated photo.

The program, livestreamed from the UC San Diego Conrad Prebys Music Center Experimental Theater, features two contemporary works: 2019's "To give you form and breath" by inti figgis-vizueta, which is composed for woodblock, flower pots, metals and glass bottles, and 2009's "Timber," by Michael Gordon, which is an utterly mesmerizing piece for six wooden 2x4s, cut to specific, different sizes to create distinct pitches.

Details: Saturday, Nov. 6 at 5 p.m. Livestreamed. Free.

The Hip-Hop Nutcracker comes to San Diego Civic Theatre Saturday, Nov. 7, 2021.
Timothy Norris
The Hip-Hop Nutcracker comes to San Diego Civic Theatre Saturday, Nov. 7, 2021.

The Hip-Hop Nutcracker

Dance, Theater

The national tour of "The Hip-Hop Nutcracker" kicks off this weekend, right here at the Civic Theatre. Expect some shake-ups to your Nutcracker traditions: there's an on-stage DJ (Kurtis Blow), a star-studded cast, a live violinist, digital graffiti and a transported setting to modern-day NYC, though Tchaikovsky's original story will still shine through.

Details: Saturday at 7 p.m. San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., downtown. $34-150. COVID restrictions here.

More theater: Don't miss Max Daily's "Henri Steals an Elephant" puppet show, running just two weekends, Nov. 5-7 and Nov. 12-14, with shows at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. You can read my feature on Daily (and Henri) here.

More dance: The final weekend of the San Diego Ballet's "Ritmos Latinos" takes place Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at the Liberty Station outdoor stage. Read my feature here.

Sepideh Shamloufard at Art Produce

Visual art

Now in residence street-side at Art Produce is SDSU MFA candidate Sepideh Shamloufard. Shamloufard's work was included in the video collection "Intervals of Process" that was recently on view in the gallery windows, and her works featured Persian script and poetry written with a calligraphy pen and ink pot, from the point of view of the writer. Shamloufard's hair — or its shadows — also shows in the frame.

For this three-week installation, Shamloufard will use interactive video to explore her childhood in Tehran, ideas of migration, time, memory and moments, as well as hair — how fundamental hair is to our human condition. There's also a large sculptural paper work installed in the gallery.

Details: On view through Nov. 21, 2021. Viewable from the sidewalk or by appointment. Art Produce, 3139 University Ave., North Park. Free.

'Ana, Who They Pulled Out of the River' film screening

Film, Music

Omar Lopex of Standard Fantastic Films is finally releasing his debut feature film, six years in the making. It will screen in three separate, free showings at the Mingei, as part of their Community Mondays program, and will also feature a block of shorts from Hugo Crosthwaite, Ash Eliza Smith, Ryan Betschart, Paolo Zuñiga and Danielle Higgins.

A still from "Ana, Who they Pulled out of the River, a film by Omar Lopex.
Standard Fantastic Pictures
A still from "Ana, Who they Pulled out of the River, a film by Omar Lopex, which screens Monday, Nov. 8, 2021.

In the story, Ana was abandoned as an infant along the banks of the Tijuana River, and was raised by the entire city. 20 years later, the mother returns. Lopex plays with structures like dream sequences and myths, and shot the entire film on 16mm black and white analog film. In a technique inspired by Robert Altman's "The Long Goodbye," the Clinton Ross Davis/Mara Kaye-score consists entirely of one song, "The World is Waiting for the Sunrise," in different arrangements.

Check out the trailer (and one such arrangement) here:

Details: Screens Monday, Nov. 8 at 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Mingei International Museum, 1439 El Prado, Balboa Park. Free. RSVP here.

For more arts events, visit the KPBS/Arts calendar. You can also sign up for my weekly KPBS/Arts newsletter.

Corrected: November 5, 2021 at 2:25 PM PDT
This story has been updated to correct Art Produce gallery hours.