Thursday, June 22, 2006

June Ends

This is little catch up on a few shows running through the end of the month...

At Stumptown downtown, photographer John Valls shows Cuba: a first look. His candid style, large format prints do not immediately telegraph the locale. This was Valls' aim. There are innumerable recognizable images of old Havana, with its buildings decaying in a tropical climate and '50's American cars, the ultimate icon of America's lost manufacturing might. Valls avoids this pitfall, focusing on people, who are really any country's ultimate value. The images effectively use a saturated Kodacolor palate and the exposure's depth of field to produce tender pictures. At Blue Sky, this work would be black and white, it would also have much less impact. For the print size, the prices are reasonable, here's hoping that public art programs, food businesses or a Cuban restaurant buys some. Here's also hoping that the artist gets down an editioning strategy and gallery shows. Stumptown SW 3rd

I initially was not excited about James Riswold's show at Augen. He has created a large format print of DaVinci's The Last Supper as a paint by number canvas. I'm unsure Riswold calculated the pop culture relevance in advance, but there you have it. The work goes beyond the "one hit wonder - one idea artwork" weakness of much art. Paint by number is a conceptually rich metaphor, and the work is just fun to look at in the unpainted print form. Decide for yourself. Augen Gallery 817 SW 2nd

June 30

The art museum is free Friday June 30

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

June 24: Bus Project Party

Portland's poltical subcultures are varied. High tech neo libertarians, cobb building city repairators, salmon saving watershed activists, sustainability wizards, tree hugger-climbers, peak oilers, more, I'm sure. One fun group is the Bus Project. They are not afraid to play to win in the conventional system of electoral politics. They travel around the state in their biodiesel-fueled silver tour bus, registering voters in key districts, and then on election day, they get them to vote. Their guiding principle is the Dean Axiom - that elections are determined by disenchanted non-voters in their 20's. For all this hard work door to door, they celebrate yearly, and raise operating funds, with a bash.

The party Drive begins at 6 with a VIP event, then gets fully in gear at 8 with bands Liv and the Warfield Project, The Retrofits, Justin Carroll and the Time Being as well as Calvin Johnson. Later mad dancing ensues with DJ’s Ben and Ravi. They will also show the results of their competition to make a video about the Bus.

6PM VIP Event $125, 8PM Party $18/9 students at Machineworks warehouse NW 14th and Marshall

June 24: Tibetan Medicine Documentary

Filmmaker Heather Harlow/ Red Door Films presents her documentary in progress, Balancing the Elements: Tibetan Medicine in Exile. Tibet has a long continuous culture which was preserved by its monasteries. Their medical system is said to descend from the Buddha's medical teachings of about 500BC and is formalized in the rGyud-bzhi, books of 156 chapters and 5900 verses. The Tibetan system of medicine proposes an ideal balance of body elements. Imbalances caused by lifestyle, diet, the environment, spirits and negative thoughts lead to ill health. The root of all diseases are said to be the three mental poisons: desire, hatred and confusion. Tibetan practitioners diagnose patients by pulse (as in Chinese medicine), and examination of the tongue, skin, eyes, ears and gait. Though Tibetan physicians did not have access to the scientific method and the useful aspects of Descartes' reductionism, their emphasis on the impact of mental processes on the immune system is spot on. In the West, the most accessible book on Tibetan medicine (though ponderously encyclopedic) is Health Through Balance: An Introduction to Tibetan Medicine by Yeshi Donden, personal physician to the Dali Lama. No word on admission yet, but I'm sure if you have some extra cash they could use it to fininsh the film.

At Rake Art 325 NW 6th 7PM

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

June 22 - Match of the Millenium: Art vs Advertising

EBay Power Seller Andrew Dickson, Portland filmmaker, EBay performance artist and one half of creative power coupleTM with craft star Susan Stars, speaks on "Art vs Advertising". You, the audience, carry on the debate. Come prepared to mark your territory. Did I mention that the debate will be fueled by free PBR, who, along with the Portland Advertising Federation, is sponsoring the event? PBR's lack of advertising has fueled its indy cred, now it's gingerly experimenting with Portland promotions.

In Portland, where everyone is creative, this question is no joke. Sell out? Send work your artist friends way? Support a family? One band, their song becoming an ad soundtrack, explained "it's not whether you sell out, it's when".

A famous example was the fallout from the use of the Verve song "Bittersweet Symphony" (1997). The band was condemned harshly for the use of the song in a shoe commercial. In fact, the band had lost ownership of their song to the evil Rolling Stones, who claimed a licensed sample in the song was too long. Over Verve's objection, the song was sold by the Stones and the band didn't get a cent.

Dickson will review examples of collaboration and antagonism between artists and advertisers. After presenting "EBay Power Seller" performances, Dickson himself was tapped by a local ad agency to create a character for a campaign by a big shoe company. Other artists have rejected corporate collaboration. The ultimate example - Adbusters, where artists and agency creatives working on the sly, produce work that is copied widely in the industry it disses.

An interesting historical perspective is offered in the book Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counter Culture and the Rise of Hip Consumerism by Baffler editor Thomas Frank.

Thursday June 22 at Disjecta 230 E Burnside Doors and taps open 5:45, match at 6:30 $10 Disjecta members, else $15 probably 21+

Thursday, June 01, 2006

June Now June

June may have been named for Juno, Roman goddess, wife of Jupiter and mother of Mars.She was able to throw lightning bolts, which coming from the Midwest, I miss. So I say, bring it on...

June 1

Sculptor Ellen George displays small organic sculptures of some mysterious material. She explains: "my work reflects a private life enriched with curiosity. These sculptures draw inspiration from silence, sound and the natural world, yet seem to spring forth from a world all their own." Her sculptures would like last month's drawings by Linda Hutchins as do we. PDX Gallery 925 NW Flanders until 9

Chris Bruch shows '80s-style muscular sculptures. Thinking of working bigger? Maybe there are clues here. This size seems to be adapted to the public art ecosystem, where mid-career Bruch has had recent success having like works fabricated in materials like stainless steel. Elizabeth Leach Gallery until 9PM 417 NW 9th

The Beppu Wiarda Gallery shows the work of PNCA professor Arvie Smith. Reminiscent of Robert Colescot, Smith's dramatic and colorful paintings of a bigger than African American life would utterly fail in lesser hands. At the preopening, Smith presided, chief-like, over enpearled doyens, in a custom suit of African fabric and necklaces no doubt imbued with powerful magic, not of the motherland, but the mother continent, the sideboard groaning with box wine, KFC and watermellon. Perfect! But Smith, who has been incorporating material from visiting Mali to trace his roots, is the real deal. Smith gives an artist's talk at the gallery June 10 at 11AM 319 NW 9th until 9

Woolley Gallery opens a group show themed "Alien and Sedition" Alien opens tonight alongside new work by damali ayo: Yarn, animated shorts and stills exploring variations on American identity as well as documentation of her Reparations project. Sedition opens Friday at the Wonder Ballroom location. 120 NW 9th until 9:30

"All I want is everything, and I want it now" seems the Portland Art Center's meme for June, as demonstrated by this show of shows which fills the Goldsmith building's warrens, Louvre-like. 10,000 square feet is a quarter acre of space and for the official opening it will be filled. Comutatus is Oregonian editor Barry Johnson's installation. Gallery Guide exhibition I is a group show. OCAC students show upstairs. Jason Frank and Andy Brown curate Hexasion, a video and sound installation. This space in the Art Center will be dedicated to sound and video work, including installations, so if that is your work, submit. Jeff Fontaine presents "Entropy and the Arrow of Time", paintings on steel. The art center also releases its Gallery Guide covering 187 (!) Portland visual arts spaces. It's a party too, with music by Vagabond Opera and DJ Stylish. Catering by Pasha. Admission after 9 is $5. But get this: if you become a member of the Portland Art Center, you get in for free, and also into many more things free throughout the year. How much? Well normally it's $35 a year, but for this one night only - "I can't save you money if you don't see me today" - it's $25 for the most inexpensive membership. Of course you can contribute more..up to the stupendous member level! 32 NW 5th 6-midnight, art earlier, party later.

Apotheke shows the work of Keri Merkle, Through this Lens. Trained as an architect, Merkle is known for her resin cast light bulbs, and the mysterious resin machine, which may be a cross between a music box and a fairy tale laboratory experiment, shown last month at PDX Gallery.

For this newest work, which incorporates steel, her resin constructions capture surface impressions of found objects' textures. The bulbs within illuminate these impressions, samples of the artist's aesthetic travels, in the world. 1314 NW Glisan upstairs 5PM-midnight

Compound shows Black and White, a group show of work as named, with miQ willmOtt (TWEEQIM), THUY3 (TWEEQIM), Kenichi Hoshine |, Martin Ontiveros |, James Jean |, Josh Cochran |, Guyburwell |, Mr. H, Chris Appelhans |, Kozyndan |, Mio Matsumoto |, Zanpon |, Kosuke Ikeda |, Ben Tour |, Jennifer Poon |, Andrea Wicklund |, Tyler Stout | and Natalia Fabia | Many of these artists have shown at Compound before. Compound Gallery 107 NW 5th Avenue until 9:30PM

"Four artists and one design team ... will transform Rake art gallery into an elegant foray of provocative questioning, sensual constructs, romantic de-construction-ism, and awakened spiritualism all inherent in a relationship of skin". Hmm. Photographer Kelli Pennington shows "Breathing Free Air", a show on immigration. Garrett Price shows "Elemental Decay", etchings themed on decay in urban landscapes. Rio Wren shows "Elemental", fabric work patterned by rust and touching all questions of aging. Benjamin Stagl shows "Skin", an installation inspired by plastic shrink wrap. Rake Gallery 325 NW 6th until 10

Froelick gallery presents Beastiary, a group show of paintings, photos, prints, sculpture and drawing by 30 artists. It's pot luck, but with some oh so tasty dishes, which, of course, you must judge for yourself. 817 SW 2nd until 9

The PNCA thesis show is on view 11AM-6PM Monday-Saturday until June 10. Tonight it will be open until 9. Each year brings pleasant surprises, especially in installation and video, art forms in Portland too rarely seen. 1432 NW Johnson

Also at PNCA in the Feldman Gallery is Pablo Helguera's The School of Panamerican Unrest. PORT has an elegant explanation of the project which you can read there. The artist performs at 6:30. NW 13th and Johnson

Motel opens the work of Meg Peterson, Justin Williams and Juliana Bright, all new to the gallery. Peterson's work interests me the most: she crafts landscapes which make visible the invisible wireless waves which permeate them, and sometimes us. NW Couch near 5th until 9:30

Holocene is celebrating its 3 year anniversary with some free shows. Tonight Apeshape, Rollerball, Small Sails plus Slim Moon and What Army plus plus guests perform. Check the samples and sample if it checks with your aesthetic reality.

June 2-4

SE Foster Road seems sometimes the realm of Ford's Lost Patrol. But there is a beautiful organic neighborhood there: artists amidst backyard body shops, strippers and Russian restaurants, piano stores and junk shops, tango and the neighborhood gun shop. A pioneer in the neighborhood is Performance Works Northwest, a movement studio, focused primarily on modern dance. It's the child of dancer Linda Austin - New York: been there, done that and lighting designer Jeff Forbes, Portland's best. Friday through Sunday, Austin is joined by Clarinda Mac Low from NY and Meg Wolfe from LA and Portland dancers Chuck Barnes, JB Harrison, Chris Piuma, Lilly Chamberlin, Anne Furfey, Rebecca Harrison and Paige McKinney. Modern dance, it's obscure, but so are a lot of things. Reservations 503-777-1907 4625 SE 67th $12-15 includes a free drink.

June 2

TJ Norris curates grey | area, a show themed monochrome at the Guestroom Gallery at the Wonder Ballroom. As you can see from the list of artists, there should be work worth seeing there.
Daniel Barron:
Troy Briggs:
Jamie Drouin:
Daniel Duford:
David Eckard:
Ty Ennis:
Laura Fritz:
Ellen George:
Scott Wayne Indiana:
Chris Komater:
TJ Norris:
Abi Spring: 128 NE Russell until 9

While Minnesota has the Mall of the Americas, Portland goes for sweet quality. The 811 building on East Burnside is Portland's design block. Yes, Moshi Moshi, Denwave, Renowned and Redux will be open for art shows 6-9ish It's well worth the visit. 811 E. Burnside

The New American Art Union's gone fishin', I mean is on vacation for the month.

Newspace Photo shows work by Bob Farr & Sam Devine Tischler 1632 SE 10th Ave until 9

Michelle Tea (b 1971), spawn of Kathy Acker, reads from her latest book Rose of No Mans Land. Acker's semantic and philosophical adventures were replaced by Tea's body mod, punk, Mission District, cheap drug, mosh pit, lesbian sexual revolution, poetry movement real life adventures in the 1990's, chronicled.

Working class, self educated, novelist, poet and icon, Tea is the organizer of Sister Spit, the SF girl spoken word events, bakes cookies for the Radar Reading Series at the SF Public Library and is proud of stirring things up wherever she goes. This event also features Portland artist, and cofounder of the Portland Zine Symposium, Nicole Georges, and music by The Golden Bears and Portland's Evolutionary Jass Band.

Perhaps Tea is a cross between Ani Difranco, Alan Ginsberg, Mary Magdaline and Charles Bukowski, but that really doesn't get it. For a better idea, Hip Mama editor Ariel Gore interviews Tea.

The event is a find raiser for the IPRC. 10PM 21+ at ACME 1305 SE 8th xMain $8

June 3

Gallery Homeland is throwing a benefit for its show "Scratching the Surface" themed on the Willamette River which will occur in July. This night's event includes a performance by bellydancers Urban Berbers and a raffle for some stuff you want. 6:30-8:30PM 120 NW 9th, upstairs $5-10

June 5

Anonymous Theater @ NW Cultural Center

Theatre Vertigo and the Anonymous Theater Company present Moliere's The Learned Ladies. The play has been cast in secret, each actor has met the director, but none of the other actors. On the day of the play they go to the theater in their everyday clothes, purchase a ticket, receive a program and take a seat in the audience. The play begins and each actor emerges from the audience, delivering their first line while walking to the stage to continue the play with a cast they are meeting for the first time. This is a one night only event and fundraiser for Theater Vertigo.
1819 NW Everett $20 8PM

June 8

Seaplane designers A Broken Spoke, Adam Arnold, Antidomestic, Birds of Prey, Bonnie<3clyde, Church and State, Claire la Faye, Decora, Diana Joy, DSR, Elizabeth Dye, Elspeth Vance, Emily Ryan, Fancy Poly Land, Holly Stalder, Kathryn Towers, Linea, Liza Rietz, Midge Wear, Pinkham Millenery, Saki Jane and Sara Wieck present their interpretations, from conceptual to wearable, of the little white dress. Just in time for summer. Mmm 8:30-11PM 230 SE 3rd. $5 advance at Seaplane, $8 door.

OFFICE presents a talk by creative product designers JDK, now Portland based and Merrill. They are talking about their design for a laptop computer bag, though the product looks a little boring, their explanation of the design process might be interesting. RSVP required 2204 NW Alberta 6PM

June 10

Rose City Rollers teams Guns and Rollers, the Heartless Heathers, Break Neck Betties and the High Rollers, all appropriately costumed, or inappropriately, face off. This wacky and highly entertaining sport does have rules in which one each of the team members, designated by a different helmet color, try to pass the other team members from behind. But those mean girls try to elbow them aside, hog the court and otherwise keep from being passed. Sort of like junior high. Meanwhile an all ages and varied crowd, some costumed to support their favorites, hoot, yowl and otherwise carry on. The cheering and jeering somehow seem more real than at a pro sports event. Expensive PBR supports county programs - that would be social services and jails. A most entertaining half time show, sometimes with the Sprockettes and the Zoobombers, means that with the pairings of four teams, the event runs from 6 to 9:30 or 10. Doors 5. Portland Expo Center - go by train on the light rail as parking is expensive. $12 advance, $15 day of show and $20 for VIP's, though how that applies to Rollerderby, I'm mystified.

Vampire Ball @ Wonder Ballroom

Portland's long damp dark winters may have something to do with our crafty vector. One of those vector's components are the consummate costumers. Sewing madly in their shingled turrets or dank cellars, some produce the blackest of gothic creations, and these cinderellas, not to be left at home, convene yearly a Vampire Ball. Sort of a gothic prom. Details and pictures of previous incarnations may be had at the event's website. Serpentine, the darkest of bellydancers perform. Dress code strictly enforced, so as not to disturb this subculture, more delicate than fierce, really. At the Wonder Ballroom 9PM-2AM $20

June 11

The church of craft - Crafty Wonderland - continues. Work for sale by Portland's crafty vixens complements a DIY zone for learning new skills. 11AM-4PM. at the Doug Fir Lounge Free

June 12

Forged of carbon in earth's magma, diamonds' value is made entirely by man. The industry which makes it happen is a bit publicity shy, and for good reason. This rock's equation of size and value, and its deposits in Africa, have spawned a generation of unspeakable bloodshed, of which I am acquainted. Al Qaeda converted bank funds to uncut diamonds in Africa in July, 2001. The film Lord of War touches upon it, a feature film next year will fully bring the issue into pop consciousness. The book covers some of diamonds' history, mining and cutting, as well as their carefully crafted mythology. If you are considering purchasing one, you might start your research with this book. Though response to the upcoming film is unpredictable, diamonds could become suddenly out of fashion. Powells Books Burnside 7:30PM Free

June 15

OFFICE presents a seminar on developing your animation portfolio by Laika. Might be useful, as Laika is hiring. RSVP required, and sooner, rather than later is suggested. 2204 NW Alberta 6PM

June 16

Rake throws a fashion show by Akiva with Stitch from Sedition Magazine. 18 and older Rake Gallery 325 NW 6th 9:00 Doors open at 8:00 $10 at the door.

June 18

Kelli Pennington will talk of her current work at Rake Gallery themed on immigration. Rake Gallery 325 NW 6th 3PM free

Church of Psychedelia is in session again. 9PM Holocene Free

June 21

The absurdity of "professional wrestling" is tiresome. The absurdity of Japan's 2000 year old national sport, Sumo is sublime. In Japan, the wrestlers are revered and they really do walk around in public in yakutas - the Japanese bathrobe - with their entourage. Now the sport has spread beyond its home country. This exhibition, by a new US-based league "Sumo Ultimate Masters Organization" features competitors from all over the world. Details and tickets at the Rose Quarter box office.

June 24

Plazm's octopus identity * magazine, font foundry, design house, identity hacker, artist, book publisher, gallery and cultural zeitgeist, has spread tentacles into Portland's creative world and far beyond. They are turning 15 years old - how many design years it that? Tonight marks the publication of Plazm#28. The content

- Legend Milton Glaser designed the cover
- Patrick Long's drawing series Cop Love. Finally published—in spite of police protests.
- Dave Thomas, the legend behind Pere Ubu, on the influence of the amazing Ghoulardi
- Julia Bryan-Wilson interviews Steven Kurtz on bioterrorism, art and the Patriot Act.
- getting lucky with Peaches
- three amazing drawings by Raymond Pettibon
- Iran's leading graphic designer Reza Abedini
- new drawings by Kristan Kennedy
- poster and packaging art by E*Rock
- anti-war graphics in the digital age
- Marlene McCarty interviewed by dramaturge Felix Ensslin and artist Sue de Beer

tells the story.

Check back for the time

June 27

FOUND Magazine publishes your finds. Love letters, hate letters, grocery lists, poems, Polaroids, homework and scribbles are windows into the worlds of their anonymous creators. Found exists as a website, a zine which grew into a book series and now, experience the FOUND Magazine's Cavalcade of Thrills Tour 2006! live. In addition to being able to peruse their books, you can listen to Peter Rothbart perform songs composed from the Found missives, and hear Davy Rothbart read some of the latest FOUND finds. Note now that FOUND is collecting found audio, though how they proceed with IM, texting, video podcasting and YouTube et al is yet to be seen. Keep those strange and sweet cards and letters coming! In association with Reading Frenzy 9PM at Holocene 21+ $8