SAN DIEGO — Champion of the off-beat, Richard Peterson may have outdone himself this time. An artist-photographer whose tiny Pink and Pearl Gallery at 711 8th Ave. has presented everything from "found" photography to neo-surrealism, Peterson will be screening a videotape of a new German underground film Saturday night. And since he hasn't seen the work himself, he won't be charging admission.
The 90-minute production is called "Decoder." It was directed by West German avant-gardist Klaus Maeck and it stars such cult-worshiped figures as author William Burroughs ("Naked Lunch") and Genesis P--Orridge-- a regular on England's underground "Psychic TV." Also prominent in "Decoder" is F.M. Einheit, whose band Eisturzende Neubauten is a pioneering force in the European "noise-music" genre, which wrings sounds mainly from industrial tools.
According to Peterson, "Decoder" takes aim at the antithesis of noise: the mood-massaging elevator music known as Muzak.
"Basically, the film is about Muzak being a subliminal influence on people," said Peterson. "It's about subliminal things going haywire and causing chaos in an urban environment. It all sounds kind of serious, and I wish I knew more about it. But I've agreed to screen it because I don't know what to expect." Filmmaker Maeck plans to be on hand at the Saturday screenings--set for 7:07, 9:09 and 11:11 p.m. Why those particular times? "I don't know," said Peterson. "They seem right."
AILEY: The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performs here at the Spreckels Theater tonight through Saturday at 8 p.m., with shows at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Sunday, after which the troupe begins its Los Angeles run. But San Diego will be a unique stop for the innovative company, as it's the only city on the tour in which a special lecture/demonstration and two master dance classes for local students will be held.
All of those special events are being offered free of charge, thanks to a Dance Touring Initiative Grant awarded the San Diego Arts Foundation, which is presenting the Ailey shows here. The 50-minute lecture/demonstration is slated for 11 a.m. Friday in the Spreckels, and according to Arts Foundation spokeswoman Lani Donohoe, it'll be a "mini-performance."
The master classes are set for Thursday at the Educational Cultural Complex, 4343 Ocean View Blvd., with an intermediate class from 10:30 a.m. to noon and an advanced class from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Each class is limited to 30 students, and space must be reserved in advance. Donohoe advises that the classes are nearly full.
DESPERATELY SEEKING: The La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art needs more space--somewhere--to better store and display its exceptional permanent collection, but that hasn't been an easy row to hoe. Several months ago, word leaked that the museum was contemplating a relocation to a larger new bayside site at downtown's G Street mole, and since then the issue has dogged the museum. Recently, a La Jolla citizen's group called REZONE has begun to pressure the museum board to rewrite its bylaws to state that the museum's site and assets would remain permanently in La Jolla.
Christopher Calkins, an attorney and the museum board's spokesman, claims it's a matter of debate as to whether the museum is restricted to staying within the La Jolla boundaries. But he confirms that the museum is giving some consideration to remaining in La Jolla and opening a downtown satellite museum--to be designed, possibly, by noted architect Robert Venturi--"as one way of dealing with our needs for space." Calkins said that these and other "long-range issues" will be discussed at next week's board meeting.
ARTBEATS: It's called The Theatre in Old Town, and no longer the Old Town Opera House, now that the state has awarded United States International University's School of Performing and Visual Arts a three-year lease on the theater at 4040 Twiggs St. USIU's International Company will officially open the theater May 15 with a March of Dimes benefit engagement of "Annie Get Your Gun" . . .
The original closing date of May 5 has been extended to May 12 for the Old Globe Theatre's production of Stephen Metcalf's drama "Vikings" at the Cassius Carter Centre Stage. Capacity audiences and ticket demand led to the holdover--the Globe's first such winter-show extension since its 1971 production of "The Trial of the Catonsville Nine" . . .
Balboa Park's Timken Art Gallery is inviting San Diego's deaf community to tour its European and American masters collection at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. April 29 and May 13. Docents and interpreters will lead groups of 15 to 20 through the museum's six galleries . . .
Legendary Indian sarodist Ali Akbar Khan--a far more familiar name on these shores during the late-'60s hippie heyday of Ravi Shankar and Indian music--performs at 8 o'clock tonight at UC San Diego's Mandeville Auditorium.