We present the results of a detailed characterization of electro-optical and nonlinear optical properties of liquid crystals with nanoparticulate internal structures. The experiments revealed three different states of transmission of the material: diffusive, translucent, and semitranslucent. Transformations between them are induced by electric fields and laser beams. A threshold power exists for a laser beam to change the transmission state of the material. An increase in the strength of laser/material interaction with an increase of scan speed of the beam across the material was observed. One- and two-dimensional diffraction gratings were recorded using two techniques: overlap of two 1-D gratings, and modulation of the speed of laser beam scan. We show that information pixels that are recorded in such materials may possess microstructures for certain laser power and exposure times. We also report the observation of "netquake," a phenomenon of long-range propagation of thermal shocks at high laser beam power levels.