Staff Pick: Darin Klein on Actual Reality by Lucky Dragons

June 25, 2014
– By Darin Klein, Public Programs Associate

I first met Sarah Rara and Luke Fischbeck in 2006 when I was working at Skylight Books in Los Feliz. I was in charge of the small press consignments – encompassing everything from cut-n-paste zines to lovely poetry chapbooks and even commercially printed publications without backing from distribution companies. I became enamored with Sarah and Luke’s book works, which we sold at Skylight Books and which tend to fall somewhere between zine and artist book, art object and independent publication, documentary and fantasy. So I went to see Lucky Dragons perform and was not surprised to discover that their stage presence and actions also transcended or at least combined descriptors such as performance, music, interactive, and audiovisual. 

I’ve been following their gigs, exhibitions, Sumi Ink Club offerings, and various publications ever since. Their individual practices and collaborative creative output continue to intrigue and delight me. Over the years, I’ve grown so fond of their gentle, thoughtful and generous spirits.  With Sarah and Luke and oftentimes other Lucky Dragons fans, I’ve experienced true magic through analog and technological arts, communal ideals, alternative economies, and so many beautiful give-and-take moments. It particularly pleases me that both Sarah and Luke are in Made in L.A. 2014. Sarah has a beautiful film in the exhibition; Luke worked on Sarah’s film and is also part of the plucky KCHUNG collective which has overtaken Hammer’s lobby with live tapings in their TV studio installation. 

To speak of their Made in L.A. related program, Actual Reality, which incorporates projections, a musical score written for three flutes, custom software, and a modular synthesizer, I can say that our audience will be in for a fresh perspective on sound and images from these two endlessly energetic artists. Here’s an excerpt from what they wrote in their initial program proposal:

This iteration of Actual Reality borrows its shape from a series of workshops conducted by San Francisco-based artist, scientist, and educator Bob Miller. Beginning in 1975, Miller's Light Walks led small groups of participants in the active noticing of sunlight resolving into images through naturally-occurring pinholes, shadows, and reflections. 

You can imagine how excited I am to have just heard from Sarah and Luke that The Exploratorium in San Francisco loaned them some of Bob Miller’s equipment, and that they will be incorporating his Heliostat into this production! 

Actual Reality