a evening of many events

Sunday, July 11, 2004, at 11:43AM

By Eric Richardson

I did walk over to The Standard last night to check out Sent. I think it was my first art exhibition opening, and it was pretty clear to me on walking in the room that I am in no way part of the art scene. I didn't feel cool enough to be there, and more importantly I was wearing entirely too much color with a muted orange shirt.

As for the exhibition itself... It was small, but it was good. It's hard to have a large show when your images are 2 inch prints, so the size is easy to account for. I found it interesting looking at the invited artists' (and I'm using artist here to include all the people they invited) pictures and observing how they seemed in line with what I knew of their personas. Every image included by Mark Cuban (owner of the Dallas Mavericks), for instance, featured people, mostly in an office environment. That makes sense. Mark Cuban is an amazing businessman, and I get the impression that a large part of that is the way he interacts with others.

I would have enjoyed some sort of an inclusion of more context in the exhibition. The large majority of phonecam images I don't think are worthy of standing on their own as "art". What makes them fascinating, though, is their ubiquity. When the camera is with you everywhere the picture becomes less a stand-alone image and more a snapshot into a bit of someone's life. How did the artists think about the camera? Did they try to frame their images as traditional photography, or as simple snapshots? As it was the exhibition simply listed each author, without going into any more specifics. I would have been nice to see a little more of the story.

Given my lack of connection with the art crowd, I didn't stay long. Wandering back down 6th street toward my apartment I heard sound coming from Pershing Square, so I wandered over to check it out. Actually, my first thought was "oh yeah, the watercourt has comedy tonight." Then I realized I wasn't actually near the watercourt, and the sound was coming from Pershing Square. Anyway, they were doing a sort of Shakespeare, though I didn't stick around long enough to see exactly what. It was a small crowd, probably 25 people or so.

After that I really did walk up the hill to the watercourt to check out what was going on there. The night was part of the Grand Performances series, going on now through September. I hung out for the last 10 or 15 minutes of Bill Santiago's set. It was a night of politically themed comedy, which really isn't my cup of tea, but it was still good. I was just a little restless, so I kept moving.

My final activity of the evening came unexpected as I was standing outside my building talking to Kathy on the phone. All of a sudden a group of USC friends appeared, and invited me to come hang out with them up on the roof. Two girls I know from USC are moving into the building, and they were having people over to hang out up there at the end of a long day of moving. A very pleasant and unexpected surprise.