Sarah Cooper is a curator, writer, and art historian based in Los Angeles.

She is the Public Programs Specialist for performance at the J. Paul Getty Museum, where she directs the experimental performance series Ever Present, among other programs. 

She has organized programs featuring artists and musicians including Kim Gordon, Simone Forti, Brendan Fernandes, Patti Smith, Lonnie Holley, Martin Creed, Midori Takada, Helado Negro, Moor Mother, David Wojnarowicz, Derek Jarman, and Solange Knowles.

In addition, Sarah has held positions at The Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Royal Academy in London, and the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.

She holds a Master's Degree in Art History from Hunter College, New York. Her thesis, Expanding Experimentalism: Popular Music and Art at the Kitchen in New York City, 1971-1985, explores the creative output of artists' bands and the relationship between popular music and avant-garde performance practices.

sarahannecooper [at]


Sarah Cooper

Marjani Forté-Saunders
Milka Djordjevic, Victoria Fu/Matt Rich Image Frolics at Zebulon
Image Frolics article (The Kitchen)
Standing on the Corner Art Ensemble
Hand Habits
Bartees Strange
Ever Present: Dissonant Days
Poussin and the Dance
Meaningless Work, Get to Work
Phoebe Berglund Dance Troupe
Moor Mother
Refuge: Devendra Banhart & Noah Georgeson
Brendan Fernandes: Free Fall for the Camera
Soup & Tart: Broadcast
Ben Kinmont for Active Cultures Digest
Steve Reich’s Drumming
Bridge-s by Solange Knowles
Martin Creed
Ex Hex
Mother Earth's Plantasia
San Cha
Colin Self
Ben Babbitt
Mandy Kahn
Lala Lala
Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs A.S.T.R.A.L.O.R.A.C.L.E.S + Ana Roxanne
Jennifer Moon & laub
Cate Le Bon
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith with Cool Maritime + Emily Sprague
Lonnie Holley
Eyes of Laura Mars & Fashion Films
Combo Chimbita
Friday Flights 2014-2018
No Sesso + Kelsey Lu
Gun Outfit
Tyler Matthew Oyer
Ian Svenonius’ Escape-Ism
Lola Kirke
Dynasty Handbag
Geneva Jacuzzi
Corey Fogel
Elliot Reed
No) One. Art House
Sarah Davachi
Devon Welsh (Majical Cloudz)
Tom Krell | Tram Music
Artists' Books Fest
Peaking Lights Family Band
Allah Las
Midori Takada
Maria Chavez
Helado Negro
See What You Mean: Harry Gamboa Jr.
Savoy Motel
Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle
Scott Benzel
Psychic Ills
Steve Gunn
Institute for New Feeling
Molly Surno with Brian Chase
Sun Araw
Reggie Watts
La Luz
Brendan Fernandes
White Fence
Sam Rowell
William Tyler + Noveller
Dungen: The Adventures of Prince Achmed
John Berger's Ways of Seeing: A Live Reading
KCHUNG News Residency
Simone Forti, News Animations
Leonard Cohen, A Celebration
Derek Jarman's Blue
Charles Atlas' The Legend of Leigh Bowery & Teach
Free Cinema
Demdike Stare
Veggie Cloud Film Series
David Horvitz Posters
David Horvitz & Xiu Xiu
Jennifer Juniper Stratford
Laurel Jenkins' B A S E
Jim Drain
M. Geddes Gengras
Burger Records
Kevin Morby
Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs + mecca vazie andrews
Chris Cohen
Moses Sumney
Kianí del Valle
Mary Lattimore & Jeff Zeigler score Le Revelateur & Odilon Redon
Getty Salad Garden
Ed Ruscha's Premium
Harry Gesner in the Getty Salad Garden
Lee Ranaldo
Jessica Pratt
5 Every Day
Lucky Dragons
Yoko Ono Morning Peace
Barbara Kruger 'Tag Wall'
Shannon & the Clams
Total Freedom
Julianna Barwick & Matthew Brandt
Body/Head (Getty)
Daisies & Jennifer West
Mikael Jorgensen & Cassandra C. Jones
No Age
Ooga Booga
William Tyler & Harry Smith
Body/Head (MoMA)
Sofia Coppola & Phoenix
Abstract Currents
David Lamelas & Carlos D'Alessio
The Clock—Silent Disco
Exquisite Corpse & Au Revoir Simone
The Raincoats
Forth Estate & Real Estate
Paper Rad & Cory Arcangel



VEGGIE CLOUD is a wide-ranging film and lecture series in Highland Park programmed by Courtney Stephens and Kate Wolf.

At each of the Friday Flights events in 2016, they presented three film programs based around elements of the Getty’s infrastructure: TRAM, QUARRY, and COLLECTIONS.

June 10: TRAM

Directed by Robert Breer
1974, 16mm (digital presentation), 9 min.

A lush and atmospheric account of a train journey taken through Japan, Breer’s short film combines live action, rotoscoping, and his own line drawings. Here, the view out the train’s window is an occasion for a playful examination of perspective, sequence, and form.

Directed by Standish Lawder
1968, 16mm (digital presentation), 12 min.

A 5:00 p.m. crowd descends on the escalators of the PanAm building. The work-a-day procession, filmed in muted black and white, becomes a cinematic epiphany, however, when the credits roll. “Without doubt, the sickest joke I’ve ever seen on film.”—Hollis Frampton

Directed by Marcel Łoziński
1993, 35mm (digital presentation), 12 min.

In the city of Brest, in Belarus, a train from Paris pulls to a stop so that rail workers can switch out its wheels to accommodate the track gauge—which is 89 millimeters wider—across the border in the former Soviet Union. More than an allegory of East meeting West, the documentary captures the simple scene in all its complexity, paying equal attention to the workers and the curious European passengers watching them from onboard.

Directed by Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez
2013, 35mm and DCP (digital presentation), 118 min.

High above a jungle in Nepal, pilgrims make an ancient journey by cable car to a mountaintop temple. Filmed in long, airborne shots through the Himalayas, Manakamana, a 2013 prizewinner at Switzerland’s Locarno Film Festival, is equal parts ethnography, staged documentary, and science fiction. Special thanks to Pacho Velez and Brigid McCaffrey.

July 10: QUARRY

Directed by Richard P. Rogers
1970, 16mm (digital presentation), 12 min

The first movie of acclaimed filmmaker Richard P. Rogers, Quarry captures the carousing and bathing rites of a group of teenagers at a swimming hole in Quincy, Massachusetts. Shot in 1967, and set to the strains of radio rock, news, and casual conversation, Rogers contrasts his majestic portrait of a summer idyll with invocations of the looming threat of Vietnam.

Directed by Jane Crawford
1994, video (digital presentation), 12min

This short video documents three pour projects from 1969 by Robert Smithson, including Asphalt Rundown, the artist’s first monumental land work, which was made in a quarry outside of Rome. In an interview included as voice-over, Smithson touches on the entropic nature of his work, as well wastelands, closed systems, Watergate, and geological time.

Directed by Manfred Kirchheimer
1968, 16mm (digital presentation), 30 min

Manhattan is the quarry in this elusive film poem. Stone gargoyles and goddesses—the adornments on old masoned buildings—watch as a huge mechanical claw dismantles other old structures to make way for the steel and glass skyscrapers of tomorrow’s city. The constant refrain of rock faces reminds us that stone is a material forged in nature rather than by industry, and suggests our shared vulnerability.

Directed by Elizabeth Knafo
2014, digital video, 54 min

Rare Earth explores the re-opening of a historically toxic mine in the California desert, and the intensifying land rush for high-tech minerals across the world. The essay film is a portrait of the changing desert landscape, the legacy of treasure hunting in the American West, and the residents who grapple with the deepening impacts of industrial mining— all the more critical in our era of global climate change.


Directed by Alexandra Gaulupeau
2016, digital video, 23 min

Marla Coppolino is the Snail Wrangler. This brief portrait follows her mission to bring awareness to the importance and beauty of land snails through education, niche commerce, and creative display. A trained malacologist and biological illustrator, Coppolino also works wrangling snails for photography and film shoots and makes her own snail art with a collection of antique and handmade miniatures: snails ride magic carpets in the sky, ooze out of teacups, and slide across tiny bottles of champagne.

Directed by Lee Anne Schmitt and Lee Lynch
2010, 16mm (digital projection), 20 min

In 1884 two boys in Southern California discovered a cave of Chumash Indian artifacts in the San Martin Mountains on land that is now part of the Chiquita Canyon landfill, located in the small town of Castaic. Known as Bowers Cave, the cave was named after the amateur archeologist Stephen Bower, a notorious looter of Indian sites, who bought the artifacts from the boys, and then resold them for a profit. This film loosely traces the history of the cave’s collection, meditating on the eradication of the Chumash culture, as well as a larger conflict between the metaphysical and the material.

Directed by Allie Light and Irving Saraf
1977, 16mm (digital presentation), 28 min

Possum Trot tells the story of Calvin Black, a folk artist who lived in the Mojave Desert and created more than 80 life-size female dolls, each with its own personality, function, and costume. Black also built the “Bird Cage Theater,” where the dolls were orchestrated to perform and sing in voices recorded by the artist. The film documents the artist’s legacy, while also using the medium of cinema to enable the dolls to move, sing, and come to life in the protected space of the theater, just as Black imagined.

Directed by Harrod Blank
1992, 16mm (digital presentation) 64 min

Documentarian Harrod Blank examines the obsession that drives him and others to modify automobiles and motorcycles into fanciful vehicular sculptures and canvases for eccentric collections. One car is morphed into an alligator; a motorcycle becomes a hamburger; and other vehicles are covered entirely with faucets, pennies, and buttons. The artists who have painstakingly created them are builders on the one hand, yet each vehicle travels with specially anointed grace; each is a shrine.