Ocean Body Brings Immersive Audiovisuals to Wasserman Projects
In an audiovisual experience that feels straight out of New York City’s contemporary art scene, Wasserman Projects in Eastern Market is presenting Ocean Body. It’s an immersive four-screen viewing experience, from a trio of artists: Helga Davis, Mark DeChiazza, and Shara Nova. Ocean Body was directed by DeChiazza, who filmed Davis and Nova in a sculptural dress built for two by artist Annica Cuppetelli. Like most contemporary art exhibits, it’s confusing to read about but a lovely in-person experience that brings together songs, original compositions, and found texts, into a beautiful audiovisual presentation. Screenings Dec. 2 and Dec. 16. Admission is “pay what you can.” Advance registration is required at wassermanprojects.com.
Michigan’s Mighty Modernism on View at Cranbrook
This one is for the architecture buffs and the people who tolerate them. This year, the Cranbrook Art Museum has been looking back on its legacy in Michigan. That common thread continues with a duo of photography exhibits by Bloomfield Hills-based photographer James Haefner. In Michigan Modern, he explores the Mitten State’s long and still-standing legacy in architectural modernism with photos of buildings like the GM Tech Center, designed by Eero Saarinen, in Warren and Zaha Hadid’s Michigan State University Broad Art Museum in East Lansing. That tour of Michigan’s modernism is complemented by Building Cranbrook: Saarinen in Michigan, which showcases Haefner’s photos of Cranbrook’s campus, designed by Eliel Saarinen. Through Jan. 9; cranbrookartmuseum.org
On My Playlist: The Wonderfully Psychedelic World of The Go Rounds
The first time I saw the Kalamazoo psych band The Go Rounds was in Detroit at PJ’s Lager House. The band looked like something out of Andy Warhol’s New York fever dream — like an evil version of The Velvet Underground coming to dazzle the audience in equally era-appropriate duds. The group’s 2019 album Whatever You May Be is a must-listen from a Michigan band that always seems on the verge of blowing up big, with breakout bands not far from their sonic palette including Tame Impala and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (yes, this is a real band). The Go Rounds continue to make that case with two singles, “Redbreast” and “Harpees,” a hypnotic love song that will surely get stuck in your head. Stream and purchase their music via Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming services.
A New Way to Look at Detroit
A new coffee table book is visualizing the story of Detroit in a unique format. “Detroit In 50 Maps” (Belt Publishing) deconstructs the Motor City through the research and visualizations of Alex B. Hill, a self-described data-nerd anthropologist who has penned the blog Detroitography since 2013. It’s not just a visual delight. The book tracks everything from the highest densities of pizza and Coney Islands throughout the city to more serious topics, such as housing discrimination and foreclosure. Hill is the first to admit that maps don’t tell the whole story of a city, but rather act as a snapshot of serious and amusing information that’s equally compelling as a handsome addition to your bookshelf or a gift
for the cartography buff in your life. Available at your local bookstore.
Ryan Patrick Hooper is the host of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET Detroit’s NPR station (weekdays from noon to 2 p.m.).