In 1920, Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp constructed one of the first known instances of kinetic art. Their piece was a motorized sculpture; it used painted planes of glass that created an optical illusion as they turned, incorporating movement into what had previously been a stationary art form. The influence of Ray, Duchamp, and other boundary-pushers is clear in Suzy Poling's solo exhibit, particularly in her futuristic experiments with light and vision. It's the setting for tonight's closing performance for Zone Modules. Projected video bounces off sculptures hanging from the ceiling or leaning against the wall, with screens and reflective material fracturing her images into unpredictable patterns. In another gallery, bare fluorescent lights arranged around the floor starkly illuminate a series of black-and-white painted collages, while a kaleidoscope-like sculpture mounted in the center of the room uses geometry to shift your perspective of the work into mind-bending repetitions. Poling is as skilled at manipulating sound as she is optics, and when she performs music as her alter ego, Pod Blotz, she immerses the audience in a river of tape loops, synthesized drones, and vocal improvisation with a distinctly dystopian edge. Appropriate, then, that for her closing she has asked two other bastions of the Bay Area DIY music scene to play, woodwind punks Death Sentence: Panda! and dark-and-glitchy noiseniks Chen Santa Maria.
Fri., Jan. 7, 8 p.m., 2011