Common Field Convening - at JACCC

Thursday, November 2, 2017 - 2:00pm to Sunday, November 5, 2017 - 5:00pm

Common Field Convening 2017

Common Field 2017 Convening Los Angeles
Japanese American Cultural Community Center
Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles

Common Field, a national network of visual arts organizations and organizers, will host the annual Common Field Convening from November 2-5 in Los Angeles, CA, at the Japanese American Cultural Community Center and a constellation of sites across the city.

A preliminary schedule is available here. The program includes discussions, workshops, tours, presenters, after-hours events and local arts events.

Tickets for the 2017 Common Field Convening are available here.

Common Field’s Convening is an itinerant annual gathering that brings together 350+ local and national organizers to explore the state of the field of arts organizing and to share resources, knowledge and methods for artist-led, artist-run, and artist-centered projects, spaces and practices.

The Velaslavasay Panorama participates in the Common Field 2017 Convening as an Affiliate Partner and will present an evening gathering for conference participants.

Convening of the Spirits


This evening gathering for the Common Field Convening will be at the Velaslavasay Panorama and feature performances & presentations by Dear Object (Jorden Biren & Ursula Brookbank), Musician Kelly Marie Martin and Magician Christopher Wonder. The gardens and exhibits of the Velaslavasay Panorama will be open, including the 360-degree “Effulgence of the North” arctic panorama which will be retired in mid-November 2017.  Featuring SOTO Sake!

=====DEAR OBJECT (Jordan Biren and Ursula Brookbank)=====

Dear Object: A Spirited Manifestation of Louise Glaum

In 1935 silent film actress Louise Glaum announced in the Los Angeles Times the opening of her Louise Glaum Little Theatre of Union Square, the home of the Velaslavasay Panorama since 2004.

On the occasion of this year's Common Field Convening in Los Angeles, the Velaslavasay Panorama and Dear Object present an invocation of Louise Glaum's spirit in a performance of multiple overhead projections layered with Glaum's films in an ambient sound score, accompanied by live readings of textual ephemera.

Dear Object is a project of Jordan Biren & Ursula Brookbank in which they animate the things used in people's lives in a performance of objects, shadows, music, and recitation. Kate Brown will be joining Dear Object for tonight’s presentation.

Jordan Biren []  and Ursula Brookbank [] are Los Angeles based artists whose crossing empathies and interests often lead to collaborative multi-media projects. They have presented work previously at the Velaslavasay Panorama as a collaborative team [Filmic, 2011] and individually [All that Passes Before You, Already in Ruin, 2008, Jordan Biren].


Kelly Marie Marin will perform music from her new album The Last Kind Word  and some Los Angeles old-time classics in the gardens of the Velaslavasay Panorama.

Kelly Marie Martin [] is an artist, musician, and activist. She uses photography, soundworks, writing, music, performance, graphic design, and education.  All of her creative activities inform and collide forming a platform from which to generate work that is lyrical, critical, and transformative. Living in LA for 20 years, Kelly was a crucial part of two community-building groups. First, as a founding board member and co-founder of Bicycle Bitchen of the bicycle education workshop Bicycle Kitchen and two as a fomenter of a squarevolution through old time music and old time trio Triple Chicken Foot. For ten years they hosted monthly jams and a square dance which both continue. The band founded the annual festival the Los Angeles Old Time Social, a three day all-volunteer event in May of family-friendly concerts, workshops, cakewalk and square dance dedicated to old time music. (In fact, the Velaslavasay has hosted 10 out of 12 Friday Night Concerts!) Triple Chicken Foot produced 3 albums, were featured on NPR and in the Los Angeles Times. In 2012, they were voted the LA Weekly’s Best Folk Band in LA.

Her work has been seen at REDCAT, Pasadena Armory for the Arts, The Ford Theatre, The Velaslavasay Panorama, LACMA, LACE and GCC. Her zine thorn and archive is part of the Fales Library Riot Grrrl Collection. Most recently Kelly has been playing with the 5-piece old time stringband Echo Mountain and in early summer released her first solo album of original songs and sound interludes The Last Kind Word.


Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, step right up! Introducing the glorious magical trainwreck that is Christopher Wonder: the bastard son of P.T. Barnum, Andy Kaufman, Evel Knievel, and Tom Waits.

Magician Laureate of the Velaslavasay Panorama Christopher Wonder has been a sporadic mainstay of the Panorama since the institution’s original manifestation on Hollywood Boulevard. As Cristo Bulan, together with Spirit Medium Magda Rockmore, he collaborated with Sara Velas to create a series of evening seances at the Tswuun-Tswuun Rotunda to contact the Marchesa Luisa Casati (2002) and Silent Film Star Theda Bara (2003) at the Velaslavasay Panorama in Hollywood.

Today, he presents to you The Wonder Show, the world’s only children’s show for adults; a candy store full of circus, magic, punk, and vaudeville. Recreating the past while giving you a glimpse of the future, Christopher Wonder pushes the boundaries of what’s acceptable, never taking himself too seriously and walking a fine line between the beautiful and the absurd.

Christopher Wonder performs at shows, festivals and special events all over the world including the Helsinki Burlesque Festival in Finland and Los Angeles’ Magic Castle.


Images from the event!

Photography by Forest Casey