On Nov. 3, Los Angeles Contemporary Archive celebrates the release of the book Mindless Pleasures by CalArts faculty Scott Benzel, and the digital release of Parafictions Research Journal 1 by Holly Harrell (Art MFA 20) and Misael Oquendo (Critical Studies MFA 20).
Mindless Pleasures features essays by Jan Tumlir (Art MFA 88), Lee Foley, Hande Sever (Art MFA 18), Alan S. Tofighi (Art MFA 20) and Benzel. It focuses on a project Benzel began during a Spring 2019 course at CalArts that “examined a wide range of phenomena surrounding the evolution and social impact of cybernetics, chaos or complexity theory, chance, and gambling,” according to the program. That course led to a Fall 2020 exhibition that explored the casino culture of Las Vegas and featured a multimedia installation with an operational data-gathering roulette wheel.
Mindless Pleasures was edited by Hailey Loman and designed by Sita Valrun.
The digital research journal, Parafictions 1: News Media, Television & Docu-Fiction, by Harell and Oquendo focuses on how the presentations of fiction as fact in traditional media plays a role in the production of our social realities. Harell and Oquendo produced the first journal through a survey of archival materials from video distribution sites such as the Electronic Arts Intermix (New York City) and the Video Data Bank (Chicago).
Accompanying the book release event is a panel discussion featuring Benzel, Sever, Oquendo, and Harrell, which will be moderated by Tumlir.