R. Luke DuBois Learning Machine #2, 2016 AVM voting machine (instruction model, blue, ca. 1955), voting booth, computer, camera, lights, screen

R. Luke DuBois
Learning Machine #2, 2016
AVM voting machine (instruction model, blue, ca. 1955), voting booth, computer, camera, lights, screen

The Choice Is Yours
Opening Wednesday October 26 at bitforms gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through December 23. 

It seems to be a near-impossible task to find any sort of political media that does not deal heavily with those two folks with names beginning with D and H. If you’re interested in engaging with the current events but not with the media circus, consider checking out R. Luke DuBois’s solo show, part of LES gallery bitforms’s 15th anniversary season. The exhibition is a questioning of “individual agency,” from basic tasks to those with (supposedly) more weight, like voting.

To do so, DuBois has repurposed multiple old mechanical voting machines into “Learning Machines.” Part nod to AI, part interactive installation, the machines allow individuals to cycle through a series of two-choice questions to receive an individualized video response. Alongside these more modern pieces will be an assortment of voting emphemera, including the machines that produced the notorious “hanging chads,” as well as a history of voting techniques and machines written by historian Jonathan Soffer. Reminisce upon all the times things went wrong, and hope for something in the future to go right.

MAVA (image courtesy of Lazy Susan Gallery)

MAVA (image courtesy of Lazy Susan Gallery)

Acid Free
Opening Thursday October 27 at Lazy Susan Gallery, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through November 1. 

Oftentimes a binary exists between “craft” and “art,” the former being looked upon as somehow lesser than the latter. This Lower East Side exhibit seeks to eliminate such a distinction, showing work by three artists who incorporate materials like yarn, pipe cleaners, feathers, and other such objects you’d likely be able to find in the aisles of a craft store. Some of these eschew the canvas altogether, such as artist Christybomb’s work that flows through the entire gallery, or MAVA’s beaded creations, portions of which resemble homemade jewelry but create a glittering whole, reflecting an intricate and multi-step couture-like process. Perhaps the accessibility of the work will inspire you to make some of your own, because you probably can’t afford this stuff– it’s still in a gallery, after all.

a past "Bad Dads" show (photo: Shaun Roberts, via Spoke Art)

a past “Bad Dads” show (photo: Shaun Roberts, via Spoke Art)

Bad Dads VII
Opening Friday October 28 at Spoke Art, 6 pm to 10 pm. On view through November 13.

Pop-culture-loving gallery Spoke Art, fresh off its acclaimed and uber-popular Bob’s Burgers exhibit, is doing a seventh iteration of its notable art tribute to film director Wes Anderson. The work of over 80 artists throughout the world will cover Spoke Art’s modest LES space, all in some way or another referencing Anderson’s work in ways creative, blatant, or just plain odd. Friday’s opening includes a costume party and free beer, wine, and sliders. If the crowds at the Bob’s show are any indication, plan ahead. You’ll have to for this one, as it’s a ticketed event. If losing out on free stuff doesn’t cause you too much strife, it might just be better to check out the work during regular gallery hours.

(image courtesy of Verameat)

(image courtesy of Verameat)

Killer Inside
Opening Saturday October 29 at Verameat Brooklyn, 4 pm to 9 pm.

Jewelry boutique Verameat is known for its unconventional approach to fine jewelry, peddling whimsical and sinister products like fanged rings, or pins depicting a human heart or fluffy animals stacked on top of each other. This time they’re switching it up a little, and using their Williamsburg location to also showcase the work of illustrator and art director Anja Slibar, who also handles the product and creative development for Verameat. Expect to find campy, spooky, comic-esque drawings alongside the rings and brooches. Get into the Halloween vibe, and maybe you’ll also find an accessory perfect for that costume you’ve waited till the last minute to put together.

(image via Coustof Waxman)

(image via Coustof Waxman)

Slow, dimwitted carnage
Opening Saturday October 29 at Coustof Waxman, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through December 4.

This exhibit’s intriguing title, apropos for Halloween, does not exactly make for appetizing imagery. Rather than a descriptor of this group show, it’s a reference to scholar Lewis Hyde’s work “Trickster Makes This World.” But you needn’t be an academic to enjoy this spread of work, as it’s much more visceral. 22 artists have been asked to create an object of any sort, with the only constraint being that the object must be able to hold and serve alcohol. In what is simultaneously a bizarre and totally logical choice, these pieces will be accompanied by filmmaker Philippe Labeau’s private collection of guitars that have been produced by beverage companies as promotional items, because nothing says rock n’ roll like the excessive consumption of substances mixed with capitalism. At the opening, you’ll be able to engage with these containers in action, so be sure to ready your liver. Can you get an open container citation for drinking out of a shoe?