Events April 12-14: Experimental Films, Airplanes, Nam June Paik and Cherry Blossoms!

This weekend, watch shorts from a South Korean film festival, learn about flight, celebrate the work of an avant-garde great and enjoy the cherry blossoms

Nam June Paik’s “Video Flag”
Nam June Paik’s “Video Flag” (1985-96). Celebrate the avant-garde artist’s life and work on Sunday with a symposium and performance organized by some of his most prominent contemporaries. Photo by Jill, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Note: If you’re going to be around the Mall this weekend, watch out for a handful of road closures between Saturday and Sunday due to the Japanese Street Festival, the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade and Race to Stop the Silence. See these events’ websites for details.

Friday, April 12: Experimental Film from Korea

Instead sitting down to another conventional Friday night popcorn flick, how about tackling some of the past few years’ most inventive short films? Fresh from the Experimental Film and Video Festival in Seoul, North Korea, a selection of unique and groundbreaking works will be introduced in person by Park Donghyun, the festival’s director, this evening at the Freer Gallery. The batch of films explores the experience of time, tensions between North and South Korea and the sibilant character . The showing is part of the 2013 Korean Film Festival. Free. 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Freer Gallery.

Saturday, April 13: Super Science Saturday: How Things Fly

Think you’re an expert on flight? Seen everything the Air and Space Museum has to offer? Then take a trip out to the Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles Airport, where thousands of aviation and space artifacts that take up too much room to be exhibited on the Mall are on display. On the second Saturday of each month (that’s today!), the museum holds demonstrations and hands-on activities that teach visitors about aviation and space exploration. Free. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center.

Sunday, April 14: Nam June Paik: Art & Process

Nam June Paik (1932-2006) was an avant-garde musician, installation master and the world’s first video artist. The American Art Museum opened a retrospective of his career earlier this year (see some of his work at his website), and today five of the most prominent scholars and artists who studied and worked with him are coming together in a symposium to discuss his legacy. After a subsequent gallery talk and break, prominent composers who knew Paik will premiere a performance of his film and music. Free tickets distributed beginning at 12:30 p.m. for the symposium and concert, and again at 6:30 p.m. for the concert. Symposium: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Gallery Talk: 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Concert: 7 p.m. American Art Museum.

And all weekend: Cherry Blossoms!

It’s the prettiest time of the year in DC, and there are many around the Mall this weekend to celebrate the city’s favorite flowers as they hit their peak. After you enjoy the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade and Japanese Street Festival on Saturday, head over to the Sackler Gallery to check out National Cherry Blossom Festival Anime Marathon, a showing of all 26 episodes of Shinichiro Watanabe’s landmark animated television series Samurai Champloo. And if you want a sneak peak at the beautiful scenery down by the water, take a look at our new slideshow of the cherry blossoms in all their glory!

Also, check out our Visitors Guide App. Get the most out of your trip to Washington, D.C. and the National Mall with this selection of custom-built tours, based on your available time and passions. From the editors of Smithsonian magazine, the app is packed with handy navigational tools, maps, museum floor plans and museum information including ‘Greatest Hits’ for each Smithsonian museum.

For a complete listing of Smithsonian events and exhibitions visit the goSmithsonian Visitors Guide. Additional reporting by Michelle Strange.