8 Free Things to Do in Phoenix This Week

Explore the intersection of sculpture and technology at ASU’s Harry Wood Gallery.
Explore the intersection of sculpture and technology at ASU’s Harry Wood Gallery. Zach Valent
Attention, cheapos. This week you can watch I Am Not Your Negro, get down at the Good Times Disco Party, or make a wish for 2018. Best part? It's all free. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.

“The Speculative Object: Site in an Asynchronic Age”
Sculpture meets technology in a free exhibition titled “The Speculative Object: Site in an Asynchronic Age,” which features works by six digital sculptors and select students using diverse approaches and techniques.
Sculptors Mary Neubauer and Michael Rees organized the show following discussions about speculative fiction and imagined landscapes. Look for pieces by recent MFA graduates Cydnei Mallory and Zach Valent when you visit the show at Harry Wood Gallery, located inside the ASU School of Art building at 900 South Forest Mall in Tempe.

The opening reception runs from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, January 9, when the gallery is also open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The show continues through Friday, January 19. Visit the ASU Art website. Lynn Trimble

Trivia and Taps Tuesday
You’re smarter than all your friends, right? Prove it at DeSoto Central Market’s Trivia and Taps Tuesday.

Every Tuesday at 7 p.m., you can put your drinking and your thinking to the test with a quiz by Front Row Trivia Live. Arrive a little early for happy hour, which runs from 3 to 7, when DeSoto offers $5 pitchers of Blue Moon.

The questioning goes down at 915 North Central Avenue. For more information (or to challenge your friends to an intellectual beat-down), visit the Facebook event page. Lindsay Roberts

I Am Not Your Negro
Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures
I Am Not Your Negro
In his unfinished manuscript Remember This House, writer James Baldwin reflected on the work, lives, and assassinations of activists Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Medgar Evers. Raoul Peck’s 2016 documentary I Am Not Your Negro uses footage from the past and present and Baldwin’s words to explore the history of race in the United States.

As part of a partnership with PBS, Project Humanities at ASU will screen the documentary from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Tempe History Museum, 809 East Southern Avenue, on Wednesday, January 10. A discussion will follow the screening. Poet and storyteller Leah Marche and Project Humanities founding director Neal Lester will facilitate the talk.

This spring, Project Humanities will show documentaries on conversation-provoking topics as part of its Indie Lens Pop Up series. For more information and to register to see I Am Not Your Negro, visit the Eventbrite website. Laura Latzko

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Works by John Randall Nelson previously exhibited at The Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts.
Lynn Trimble
“Signs and Cyphers”
John Randall Nelson’s sculptures and mixed-media art often includes lines, dots, and geometric forms. He traces the roots of his work back more than 20,000 years. “Long before the appearance of writing, figurative and nonfigurative images were used in pictorial systems of communication,” he writes of a new exhibition featuring his work.

The show is called “Signs and Cyphers,” and you can be one of the first people to see it when Gebert Contemporary Art Gallery, 7160 Main Street in Scottsdale, presents the free opening reception from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, January 11, during the Scottsdale ArtWalk. It’s a chance to chat with the artist about ways his work creates subconscious associations through symbols gleaned from diverse sources. Visit the Gebert Contemporary Art website. Lynn Trimble

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Dj Mercurius FM is going to make it a good time.
Andromeda Collins
Good Times: A Disco Party for Boys and Girls
Disco music was a part of an American subculture that brought together people of different backgrounds to express themselves freely. During Good Times: A Disco Party for Boys and Girls on Friday, January 12, DJs Mercurius FM and Fact135 will try to create an atmosphere similar to Studio 54 — albeit a much tamer version, where you can let go of your troubles and boogie to the music.

Mercurius FM is an electronic DJ with 12 years of experience, and Fact135’s a scene veteran with over 20 years behind the turntables. The duo will play a mixture of hit songs and lesser-known music. A special guest DJ will also join the pair on the decks.

The event starts at 9 p.m. at Rips Bar, 3045 North 16th Street. There is no cover, and the club will have free pizza and drink specials. For more information, call 602-266-0015 or visit the Facebook event page. Laura Latzko

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Get the poetry before it gets in the books at Changing Hands’ Open Poetry Reading.
Courtesy of Changing Hands Bookstore
Friday Poetry Series
Before poetry slams and jams and giant clams, there was straightforward recitation before an audience. Poetic language is moving and catchy, partly so that poems could be memorized and transmitted in our pre-literacy days.

Though bongos and smoke clouds have fallen by the wayside, Changing Hands Bookstore’s Friday Poetry series delivers the thrill of uncurated verse penned by everyday people, some of us — we mean some of them — authentically scruffy hippies, some of them not. You’re bound to hear a piece you can relate to and, if you’re very lucky, a piece you can’t relate to. Or read your own.

The next open reading starts at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 12, at 6428 South McClintock Drive in Tempe. Call 480-730-0205 or visit the Changing Hands website. Julie Peterson

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Explore the new temporary Phoenix Public Library branch at Park Central Mall.
Lynn Trimble
Free Open House
Maybe you’ve noticed the new book drop at Park Central Mall, 3110 North Central Avenue, where a temporary branch for Phoenix Public Library recently opened. It’s a new resource created to help patrons access library materials and programs while Burton Barr Central Library is temporarily closed for repairs due to last year’s storm damage.

You can explore the branch during a free open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 13. The lineup includes light refreshments, a 10 a.m. family story time, and several afternoon activities including old-school games for teens and a photo booth. Visit the Phoenix Public Library website. Lynn Trimble

Origami Folding Night
You have to admit it, 2017 was pretty much a disaster. So what else can we do besides wish for a better 2018?
Bring your hopes for the coming year (and fun colored paper) to Origami Folding Night at Wasted Ink Zine Distro, 2222 North 16th Street. All are welcome to join and write wishes onto the folded papers that will hang from the ceiling as part of an installation in the shop.

Get your folding fingers ready for the event, which runs from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, January 14. The event is free, but be sure to bring some cash for supplies. For more information, visit the Facebook event page. Lindsay Roberts
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Laura Latzko
Julie has written for the Night & Day events calendar section since 2005. As a student at Arizona State, she received the Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Creative Writing Award and the Theatre Medallion of Merit.
Contact: Julie Peterson
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble