Free movies at LAX

If you’re waiting for friends or family to arrive at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), or have a long layover and have already popped over to the Theme Building and taken the elevator up to the Encounter Restaurant, then make your way to the arrivals area at the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) and catch a film.

Seventeen artists have created “custom moving image work” (video art) for the two giant installations in the TBIT arrivals area. One screen is a 25-foot monitor grid; the other screen links 58 monitors together in a 90-foot long serpentine filmstrip.

Filmstrip video screen at LAX

What will you see?  The topics and themes are pretty far-ranging, but here are just two of the descriptions that seem especially appropriate for the airport:

Current by Patty Chang and Noah Klersfeld:

“Filmed in the baggage handling area of LAX. two kaleidoscopic videos play back to back.  First, 25 screens show the repeated image of a houseplant traveling on conveyor belts from the check-in counter to the baggage sorter. Then, the 25 screens simultaneously show 25 different versions of that journey.  Order sits beside chaos.”

To and From LAX, by Chip Lord, includes:

“footage from airports around the world to represent the global network and reflect the travel patterns to and from LAX. From amongst the universal spaces of travel emerge the emotions of greeting, boredom, and excitement as 25 destinations are represented.”

Altogether the new video installations at LAX offers three hours of artist-made material. Enough to entertain you and your kids through a long delay. Enough to make you want to volunteer to pick up a friend at the airport. And maybe enough to make you schedule a long layover, so you can say you went to LA for dinner and a movie – at the airport.

(Photos courtesy:Jay Berkowitz/LAWA)