Aug. 7 2012 07:01 PM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

short list
Rubix Girl by Margaret Noble
1 Sounds of the city

Margaret Noble describes her exhibition, 44th and Landis, as "Victorian era meets pop culture." The title refers to the location of her childhood home in City Heights. As for Victorian, it's as much a concept as a historical reference.

"The Victorian element is the fantasy or the perceived better place," Noble explains, "living with my mom and having her keep paper dolls around and roses and flowers and this really Americana version of Victorian, which is very fairytale to me."

The City Heights she grew up in during the '80s wasn't much different than today—a low-rent area struggling to define itself—prompting such escapism. But there was also an undeniable vibrancy. Noble is chiefly a sound artist, and 44th and Landis—which opens Thursday, Aug. 9, as part of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego's TNT: Live Local event—attempts to capture the sounds of City Heights, both then and now. Layers of sound—field recordings and minimalistic music coming from speakers that Noble crafted from paper with the help of Fab Lab's Katie Rast—are just one part of the exhibition. The other part is an installation of paper and acrylic sculptures that Noble created with the help of her High Tech High students. The sculptures both evoke Victorian paper dolls but also include references to '80s pop culture—the closer you get to the piece, your experience of it evolves, Noble says. But sound remains a key element.

"Sometimes just a few speakers will be alive and coordinated with the section they're next to… and then other times, maybe all the speakers are playing sound. They're really scoring the installation and kind of reinforce what you're looking at," Noble says.

Just like Noble's exhibition (up through Jan. 20), TNT's a multi-layered event. The evening also includes music by DJ Mark E. Quark and Mrs. Magician, art-making activities, break dancers and '80s arcade games all at MCASD's Downtown location (1100 Kettner Blvd.). Admission is $10.

2 Freedom and choice

Lately, there have been way too many rich men in suits making decisions about women's reproductive choices. Organizations like Planned Parenthood have felt the sting of big government wanting to mandate what a woman does with her body. On Thursday, Aug. 9, you can stand by the organization at Cocktails for Choice, which will include a photography exhibition, a silent auction and a discussion of women's rights and the efforts of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. The $30 ticket ($25 if you pre-order online) includes complimentary cocktails and appetizers. Mix and mingle with like-minded individuals and see how you can help Planned Parenthood. It kicks off at 7 p.m. at Luce Loft (1037 J St., Downtown).

3 Skin to canvas

Exploding Tattoo sounds painful, but Anna Stump and Ted Meyer won't be inflicting any pain; instead, they'll use an inked-up model as inspiration for a live painting in which art flows from skin onto canvas. It's the main event at the Oceanside Museum of Art's Artists @ Work happy-hour series at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9. Stump's a tattoo artist who also teaches at Mesa and Grossmont colleges and the NewSchool of Architecture. Meyer's a Los Angeles-based photographer and author. Together, they'll create the large, live work surrounding their human subject while taking a closer look at society's fascination with tattoos  through photography, pop imagery and religious iconography. Admission is $20 for non-members, which includes an open beer-and-wine bar and food by Bull Taco.


See all events on Friday, Dec 2