Even with the genre-bending eclecticism of today’s avant-garde, Lars Jan stands out. “Abacus,” the piece he brings to town next week, draws from opera, film and performance art, and concerns, among other things, the arbitrary state of national boundaries, the craze for TED presentations and the communication style of mega-churches.
“I’ve become really interested in our heavily screen-based society,” the multimedia artist says. “This is the screen age. I feel like screens have kicked the pants off performance since cinema was invented,” increasing the advertising beamed at us and limiting our ability to have long-term thoughts. “I wonder what will happen when the pendulum begins to swing back.”
Jan is a polymath in other ways too: The son of émigrés from Afghanistan and Poland, he’s worked in Japan, Afghanistan and Ukraine and studied at Swarthmore and CalArts. (“Abacus” came out of his Los Angeles-based art lab, Early Morning Opera.)
Jan, 33, discussed his influences from Sundance, where he premiered “Abacus” before bringing it to REDCAT Feb. 2-4.