Paul McCarthy skateboard decks, ed. of 250, created in support of the Skateistan charity.

A.i.A. editors suggest a few of the myriad events taking place this week in L.A.: a reading and performance by Elisabeth Houston at Human Resources; a lecture by Ian Ingram at Machine Project; a launch for Paul McCarthy's skateboard decks at Art Catalogues; and a workshop with Simone Forti at Electric Lodge.


Friday, May 8, 8 p.m.

Poetry and Performance: Elisabeth Houston's Who Is Baby

"B/baby" is a character that Los Angeles-based poet Elisabeth Houston has developed, which she will present this Friday at Human Resources. The character's language, according to HRLA's website, is meant to "reflect then refract the white male gaze," allowing B/baby to be free in her thoughts. Houston has prepared video, performance and printed poems, all of which are interactive. But don't feel any pressure to participate: "Be prepared to play baby's games and follow alllllllll of baby's rules, which includes rule number one: you can always, always, always say no."

Human Resources, 410 Cottage Home Street


Saturday, May 9, 8 p.m.; Sunday, May 10, 1-4 p.m.

Lecture and Demonstration: "Explorations in Teledildonics #1: Ian Ingram's Robotic Lizards"

Technically speaking, teledildonics refers to sex toys that can be controlled remotely. Long-distance lovers might use them, or camgirls that offer up control to their viewers. Echo Park-based nonprofit art space Machine Project, never one to follow conventional ideas about technology, has begun a long-term series of lectures about teledildonics by handing over the concept to artists. The first, by Ian Ingram, is about his development of robots that mimic the mating ritual of push-ups by Western Fence Lizards. Ingram also offers a demonstration of the robots in a remote park in Northeast Los Angeles the following day.

Saturday: Machine Project, 1200 D North Alvarado Street; Sunday: Elyria Canyon Park, Bridgeport Drive Entrance


Sunday, May 10, 4 p.m.

Launch: Paul McCarthy Skateboard Decks

Skateistan, an NGO that was started in Kabul in 2007, empowers kids through skateboarding and supplementary educational programs. The initiative, which has since expanded to Cambodia and South Africa, is a resounding success, winning a Golden Dove of Peace award from the United Nations. L.A. artist Paul McCarthy has pitched in to support the organization, creating a series of 10 very sick skateboard decks in editions of 250 each, with sales going to help fund the charity's new school in Johannesburg, South Africa. The super limited "flight case"—priced at $30,000—includes all 10 decks, with a bonus 11th board signed by the artist. The reception is free and open to the public.

Art Catalogues at LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Boulevard


Sunday, May 10, 12:30-3:30 p.m.

Workshop: Body Mind World with Simone Forti

Simone Forti may be 80 years old, but the dance legend is as graceful as ever. Since the late '50s, when she studied at Anna Halprin's legendary San Francisco Dancers' Workshop, Forti has been using improvisational techniques, working with everyone from Merce Cunningham to Martha Graham. This chance to workshop with her at performance space Electric Lodge is about as common as the Hope Diamond, and it precedes a performance at the same venue called Flower and Vessel that she will debut at the end of May, in collaboration with Roxanne Steinberg and Oguri.

Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Avenue, Venice