Nothing here but strip malls
It's understandable if all you high-brow, metropolitan types are less than excited by the landscape exhibit opening today at the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art (601 Lake Ave., Lake Worth). Misguided, to be sure, but understandable. Come on, it's PBICA! You really think they'd donate space to some random collection of painted sunsets? Far from such banalities, the video-based exhibit "American Landscape: Discordant Views" broadens the definition of landscape to include more than just topography; it's a far-reaching look at the various social elements that define this wildly diverse land of ours. Chip Lord's Easy Living likens our car-obsessed culture to an oversized toy store. By filming model cars driven by dolls, Lord hints at the plastic nature of our cherished hobbies. Of course, American architecture can be just as bad. In One Mile Per Minute, Bobby Abate takes on the perennial breeding ground of conformity known as suburbia. The film slowly moves through the cookie-cutter landscape of Anytown, USA, showing big-box architecture and corporate logos scattered throughout like concrete trees in a consumer jungle. The exhibit's remaining pieces are equally full of symbolism, from conflicting images of the American flag to the red rose. Definitely not your father's landscape exhibit. "American Landscape" runs through October 31. Call 561-582-0006. -- Jason Budjinski
How to tell if that's a banana in his pocket
Anne Louis isn't a slut. But she does have enough "expertise" to have co-written a book called Predicting the Penis, which contains a copyrighted formula for figuring out how much meat a man is packing downtown based on the size of his other body parts -- his hands, his feet, his neck. While this isn't the newest idea in the world, Louis has boldly gone where you would be way too embarrassed to tread: on the lecture circuit with this topic. Listen to Louis discuss her research techniques ("When he dropped his pants, I dropped my mouth," she writes. "There was NO way that thing was going to fit... Yet, the trooper that I am, I tried and, oh, it was not pleasant!") during a talk and book signing today at Art on the Edge (3076 NE 12th Ter., Oakland Park) from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Call 954-563-0160. -- Deirdra Funcheon
The New New York
Photos show that times, they are a-changin'
In 1929, Berenice Abbott came to New York from Paris for a visit that was supposed to last three weeks. But then the photographer saw some crazy shit: Skyscrapers going up! Women drinking liquor! Jazz musicians in Harlem! She spent the next ten years photographing her adopted city, calling the project Changing New York. Sixty years later, Manhattan-based photographer Douglas Levere retraced Abbott's steps. Where Abbott saw a brownstone, Levere sees a housing project; where Abbott captured a store, Levere finds a skyscraper. The old and new photos are displayed side by side at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre (55 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach) today (opening reception at 6 p.m.) through November 13. Call 561-276-9797, or visit www.workshop.org. -- Deirdra Funcheon
Local collectibles shows have one big advantage over eBay: If someone rips you off, you can collar him. So stop by today for the Collectibles Show at the Pompano Beach Civic Center (1801 NE Sixth St., Pompano Beach), where you can browse table upon table of comic books, baseball cards, action figures, and other geeky rarities. The show starts at 5 p.m. Call 954-579-7398. -- Jason Budjinski