Featuring Recent Video Work by Sarah Rara


The Nightingale Cinema, 1084 N. Milwaukee
September 18th, 2012

lucky dragons is an ongoing collaboration between Los Angeles-based artists Sarah Rara and Luke Fischbeck. Active as a band since 2000, they are known for their participatory approach to making music, radically inclusive live shows, and their playfully humanistic use of digital tools. Fischbeck and Rara have presented collaborative work in a wide variety of contexts, including the Whitney Museum of American Art (as part of the 2008 Whitney Biennial), the Centre Georges Pompidou, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, London’s Institute for Contemporary Art, The Kitchen and PS1 in New York, REDCAT and LACMA in Los Angeles, MOCA Los Angeles, the 54th Venice Biennale, and the Smithsonian’s Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, among others. The name “lucky dragons” is borrowed from a fishing vessel that was caught in the fallout from h-bomb tests in the mid-1950’s, an incident which sparked international outcry and gave birth to the worldwide anti-nuclear movement.

Program Details

Single channel video, 2012
Duration: 14 minutes 16 seconds
Sound by Luke Fischbeck

Sarah Rara presents Air Quality a new video work that examines transparency, filtering, and the double image. Air Quality playfully returns to age-old questions: is it possible to think two thoughts at once? Is time symmetrical? Is fire alive?

The video is an array of interwoven images– transparent stripes spiral in California sun, a burning candle displaces time, a toxic red hand spins a circular stone, colored smoke explodes against a hot pink backdrop… Air Quality studies how filters both organize and scatter light, connecting this physical process to the clear / unclear transfer of information.


two transparencies with simple black and white patterns are moved by hand to create visual interference patterns-a moire effect-that is translated into sound as wave-shaping distortion: as the interference pattern becomes more complex, harmonics are added to the sound, and as the visual pattern becomes simpler (separates into lines) harmonics are subtracted, leaving a pure tone.


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