Sunday, July 23, 2006

July 27 Art Organism Launch

Art Organism launches with a performance by Small Sails, an experimental set by Courtney Taylor-Taylor and members of the Dandy Warhols and a video by Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist. Rist is known for making art at the the intersection of pop culture and identity. She played in the Swiss art-girl-rock-band Les Reines Prochaines, one of whoms performances is described as a: "big, thick cake of bodypoems, scientific lectures, tricks, sounds, lightgames and songs. It's a performance about dangers, miracles and early history". Recently Rist was the artistic director of the 2001 Swiss National Exibition and responsible for curating into that show Scofidio and Diller's building on the lake constructed entirely of fog and documented in their book Blur:The Making of Nothing. Rist is represented by Hauser & Wirth of London, the gallery also of Jason Rhoades, the subject of Organism's next art exhibition.

Organism creates a conversation between creative artists, designers, engineers, filmmakers, architects, ecologists, musicians, entrepreneurs and scientists. Organism engages artists and creative people of international reputation through existing personal networks. In turn, the creative networks that touch Organism expand, becoming more richly interconnected.

Tickets are $15 in advance and available at the Wonder Ballroom box office. Artists in any field may become members for the coming year - it's included just this night in your admission. Early - Doors 7:30, Show at 8.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

14-17, 20-23, 27, 29 July

July 14

Portland Modern #4 Art Show

This edition of Portland Modern, curated by Kristan Kennedy and Matthew Stadler includes artists Roberta Aylward, Amber Bell, Michael Boyle, David Corbett, Alex Felton, Anna Fidler, Caleb Freese & Justin Gorman, Sarah Gottesdiener, Liz Haley, Levi Hanes, Mary Henry, Philip Iosca, Eva Lake, Jonathan Leach, Isaac Lin, Marne Lucas, Rae Mahaffey, Jeannie Manville, Chelsea Mosher, Daniel Peterson, Shawn Records, Spirit Quest (Khaela Maricich & Melissa Dyne), Amy Steel, and Casey Watson. See the work in person, and many artists, no doubt at Disjecta. Enter on SE 3rd under the Burnside Bridge and read the signs in the neighborhood carefully, if parking a car, as there are some tricky restrictions which could result in an unpleasant tow. 7-10 Free

July 14-16

Jazz Festival at Cathedral Park in St. Johns

This all weekend festival is free! Tri Met might be a great way to get there, or by bike, easily transported on the Max. Schedule at http://www/ FREE

July 15

While geeks have been out of fashion, then in, free never goes out of style.

I think my earliest awareness that there was such a thing as an environmental problem was contemplating where there would be enough space to dump garbage. Well of course we've figured that out - in the ocean and in China. Although construction waste is the largest contributer to our landfills, generating 2 pounds of waste per square foot of construction, electronics waste, at 2-5% of the waste stream (see the photos of Seattle artist Chris Jordan 1,2,3), is rising the fastest. Oh yeah, it's toxic. That's why Portland is way in front of the curve with the Rebuilding Center and Free Geek.

Free Geek collects old computers. Volunteers assemble the working parts and load them with free software (Linux et al). In exchange for volunteering, you get a free computer to connect to the Internet, create your writings, mail, IM, maybe even start your own blog! You don't need any special skills to participate, they teach you everything you know. Meanwhile they are saving them from the landfill!

Those geeks like fun too, so from 1-7PM they host the Geek Fair! with entertainment by the Sprockettes, bands, sword swallowers, a dunking booth and a beer garden. Ever wanted to smash a printer with a sledghammer and YouTube it? You can there. Plenty of kid friendly events too. Details:

In a related note, Dell has announced free home pickup and recycling of all Dell equipment. Since the company has a record of the exact materials that went into making each piece of equipment, it can efficiently separate materials for recycling.
1731 SE 10th Free

July 15

Homeland River Themed Public Art Show on the Willamette

Homeland , Paul Middendorf and Paige Saez, present "Scratching the Surface" - Portland and out of town artists' responses to our relationship with the River. Artists include: Nicole Amore, Susie Bartley, Troy Briggs, Christopher Buckingham, Sara Cella Tim DuRoche, David Eckard, Eliza Fernand, Daryl Freier, Kim Hamblin, Liz Haley, Sean Healy, Ryan Jeffrey, Kristen Kennedy, Andrew Klause, Todd Kurtzman, Kendra Larson, Jonathan C Leach, Carly Leinheiser, Erin Letterman, Gabriel Liston, Shira Loa, Mary Mattingly, Lisa Maurine, Betty McEntyre, Paul Middendorf, TJ Norris, Tracy Olsen, Eugenia Pardue, Ben Pink, Public Media Works, Lisa Radon, Jenny Richardson-Greene, Ethan Rose, Adam Ross, Paige Saez, Ben Stagl, Amy Steel, Andy Stout, Jennifer J Strawn, Tucker Teutsch, Annette Thurston, Joe Thurston, Aaron HH Trotter, Max Turner, John Vitale and Vicki Wilson.

Today, Saturday, from 6:00-9:00PM the project will kick off with a reception by the River between Salmon and Main on the EAST side. You can pick up a map there to explore the installations and performances of Scratching the Surface.

More events on July 15, 19, 21, 22, 27 and 29 are listed at I believe everything is free, contact Homeland with questions - contact info is on their website.

July 17

Edward Tufte presents a seminar on information design. Details at a previous post.

July 20

The Film Center presents Portland Expose, a 1957 film noir, set here (!). It's exposure of corruption and vice is "Hotter than Phenix City Story", a potboiler of the time.

It's on the roof of the Mallory/deLux Hotel parking garage and kicks off a series of films at that location. doors 8 music 9, film at dusk. $5

July 21-23

German Director Werner Herzog, who has a pretty good shelf going at Movie Madness will be sampled on the big screen at Cinema 21. To be prepared, consider renting there Burden of Dreams in advance, a film about the making of Fitzcarraldo, which will be shown at the festival in large format where it can be fully appreciated. In the film, taking 5 years to complete, Herzog recreated an historic event in which a steamship was hauled by block and tackle over a mountain in the Amazon. I am not making this up.

July 22

Charlotte LaVictorie of Yes and Genevieve Dellinger, Hazel Cox, and Don Jones of Denwave present a fashion show in the Yes boutique with the runway extending outside the 811 building. 811 E Burnside. Details to follow, or get them direct from our fashion friends at

July 27

Art Organism Ecosystem Launch Party at the Wonder Ballroom - details to follow

July 27

The Film Center presents The Bellboy directed by Jerry Lewis in 1960 on the roof of the Mallory/deLux Hotel parking garage. Doors 8, music 9, film at dusk. $5

July 27

See Loosers Weepers, art by Ryan Bubnis at the Missing Link. 7-10

From 6-8 it's a Dunny Trading PartyTM. First you need a checklist. OK. Now some strategy. There is a new cafe next to the missing link accommodating more art space and more creature space too, with coffee, gelatto and panini sandy's if you need some food power for the evening. 3314 SE Belmont

July 29

Jessie Dayton's Honkytonk and Hot Rod Music Festival at the Jubitz Ponderosa Lounge

A festival at a truck stop. OK.

The Rose City Rollers will perform. I do not want to take any responsibility for this, so from the Rollers' web site:

"Beer. BBQ. Hot Rods. Choppers. Customs. Rat Rods. Clothing. MUSIC on 2 stages... One stage will be outside on 2 flatbed trailers, rawkin' the beer garden and the show... Inside, a fully stocked bar, complete with dance floor, pool tables, and plenty of room on stage for the music event of the summer in Portland!

Gates open at noon, first band @ 2pm, goes on until 1am



$12 ----For more info (503) 345-0300

The Ponderosa lounge at Jubitz 10310 N Vancouver Way, Portland, OR (right off of I-5 near Portland Meadows and the Portland International Raceway)"

Now those truck stops paid a lot of money to remodel a Masonic Temple into the Art Museum contemporary art wing, so I say, live and let live. But you might mention if you visit that biodiesel would be good for their business.

July 29

Portland Art Museum Biennial

From 800 submissions, the Museum's new curator of contemporary art, Jennifer Gately has selected 34 artists. Gately, fresh to Portland, visited studios, asked for opinions and looked at a few thousand slides. The result is a snapshot in time of what is going on here, now, many of the names will be familiar to readers.

The artists are: Brad Adkins (Portland), Marcy Adzich (Eugene), Holly Andres (Portland), Pat Boas (Beaverton), Chandra Bocci (Portland), Michael Brophy (Portland), Benjamin Buswell (Portland), Grace Carter & Holly Andres (Portland), David Eckard (Portland), Andrew Ellmaker & Mark Brandau (Portland), Ty Ennis (Portland), Anna Fidler (Portland), Emily Ginsburg (Portland), Heidi Preuss Grew (Salem), Jesse Hayward (Portland), Mark Hooper (Portland), Houston (Portland), Jo Jackson (Portland), Kristan Kennedy (Portland), Zack Kircher (Portland), K.C. Madsen (Portland), Federico Nessi (Portland), Lucinda Parker (Portland), Matthew Picton (Ashland), Brittany Powell (Portland), Shawn Records (Portland), Vanessa Renwick (Portland), David Rosenak (Portland), Storm Tharp (Portland), Mariana Tres (Portland), Laura Vandenburgh (Springfield), Bill Will (Portland), Amanda Wojick (Eugene)

This evening, view the exhibition and discuss it over a party in the Museum courtyard, with music by White Rainbow and DJ Copy. At 8:15 biennial sculptor David Eckard will perform. Attendance by invitation, RSVP by July 21 at 503-276-4299

July 29

Interkosmos Cosmonaut Romance on Film @ Film Center Whitsell Auditorium

Wow another strange thing happening the same night right underneath the Biennial party! I'll just reprint the Film Center's description, I would not know where to begin rewriting it:

'"Jim Finn’s INTERKOSMOS, a retro gust of Communist utopianism, is set to open the New York Underground Film Festival. A cosmonaut romance set aboard a 1970s East German space mission to colonize the moons of Saturn and Jupiter, INTERKOSMOS weaves together lovingly faked archival footage, charmingly under-motivated musical numbers, propagandistic maxims (“Capitalism is like a kindergarten of boneless children”), stop-motion animation (of a suitably crude GDR-era level), a Teutonic (and vaguely Herzogian) voiceover, and a superb garage-y Kraut-rock score (by Jim Becker and Colleen Burke). Finn’s deadpan is immaculately bone-dry, and his antiquarian fastidiousness is worthy of Guy Maddin.”—Dennis Lim, THE VILLAGE VOICE. How can you miss it? (71 mins.) Jim Finn will introduce his film.'

Tickets $7/6/4 - general/members/under 12 7PM

Friday, July 07, 2006

July 9 Church of Craft @ Doug Fir

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

Rose City Rollers Rollerderby July 8 &15

Rose City Rollers at the Portland Expo Center

The Rose City Rollers Roll at 6. Go by Train.


Seattle vs Portland Rollerderby @ Hanger 27 in Seattle

Rollers. They love to skate, they love to talk shit, they love to drink and they especially love to travel to another city to do it! So road trippin' audience and Seatown homies, see Portland's Heartless Heathers, Guns n Rollers, Breakneck Betties and High Rollers skate at Seattle's Throttle Rockets, Grave Danger, Sockit Wenches and the Derby Liberation Front. The city of roses verses the city of rats... It's at Hanger 27 in Magnuson Park. 7400 Sandpoint Way $15 advance, $20 day of show general, $20/25 reserved bleacher seats, under 12 kids $8 doors 4:30, goes to 10.

July 8 Foster Art Walk

Artists, seeking refuge from Portland's raging rents are infiltrating Foster Road (Saint Johns too, I predict downtown Vancouver in the future...). Now they are activating Foster Road itself, home to a plumbing store, piano store, gun shop, Russian restaurant, Tango studio, and fire strippers, I mean dancers. Art will be shown at the Meticon, 5925 SE Foster Rd.The Cosmos Bar and Grill 6219 SE Foster will have art and DJ's Jimmie Jamma, Jinn, and Joe Dairy. Art on the street too

10AM-6PM and FREE.

If you are interested in participating contact or Another project of this group of artists was successfully infiltrating and showing art in biff and buffyland, the Barracuda nightclub, of which we will speak no further.

July 8 Contact Improv Dance Performance and Jam

Contact is one of those creative drugs. For those with the jones, nothing else will do. It's the most self indulgent of the improvised modern dance forms, but that impulse is tempered by the collaborative elements of movement, balance and support. Its audience is typically people who have studied dance from a young age and then in college. Yes, modern dance is obscure. Tonight the group Lavamonkey, from Chicago, incorporates improvisors Charles Campbell, Stefanie Cohen, Carl Grimm, Erica Hagen, Mark Koenig, and Luv Seamon from Portland, Olympia, Santa Fe, New York, and Ann Arbor. They perform with Portland's Touchmonkey, Patrick Gracewood and Carolyn Stuart. Afterwards, the audience is invited to jam. 8pm (doors open at 7:30- first come, first seated!)
Performance Works NW- 4625 S.E. 67th
$10-$20 sliding scale

Thursday, July 06, 2006

July 6 First Thursday Art Openings

July encapsulates the birthday of the USA. July 4th we're some 240 years old. Compare that to previous empires: the Egyptian Empire, 2720 years; the Persian Empire , 398 years; the Roman Empire, 520 years and the Byzantine Empire, 1058 years. The problem, as they all found, is that as the empire expands to control territory and protect the trade routes required to exploit more natural resources, its military costs become a drain on the economy, weakening the country and ultimately leading to its downfall. For a statistics-filled book expanding on this theme in recent history, see Paul Kennedy's The Rise and Fall of Great Powers.

Me? I'm putting my bets on China.

First Thursday Art Openings July 6

This month there is a lot happening! Rather than arranging items in order of importance, I'm arranging the events in walking order, taking into account closing times. Go by foot-bike. Car parking will be impossible. Of course, most exhibitions can be seen later in the month, Tuesday through Saturday... Must see's are *

See early or catch up on later in the month:

The Laura Russo gallery shows Bouquet, by German artist Anne Siems, now Seattle based. Siems began her work using recycled materials as a canvas - old grocery bags and newspapers - laminated by wax and then painted with her own formula of wax medium. The new work references the formal compositions of 19th century studio photographs with a collage of dream elements. Somehow I'm envisioning a reference too, to the Wandervogel. Let's hope we are not headed in that direction as a country... Interestingly, Justine Kurland is fascinated by our Oregon Wandervogel, and their off-the-grid intentional communities, I wonder if she is going to the Oregon Country Fair ? Until 9 805 NW 21st Ave

City Hall presents some sort of Bike Art Show at City Hall early 5-7PM 1221 SW 4th

Froelick Gallery shows paintings by Nat Meade and photos by Robert Hollingsworth. Meade documents performance like actions, almost photographically. Hollingsworth captured scenes in the 1950's created by others or nature, terming them "plagraphy" - plagiarism/photography. That concept now is so accepted to not even require the acknowledgment of naming. Until 9 817 SW 2nd

Stumptown Coffee shows maze/ bird feet track abstract work, seemingly created from rubber stamps. It's not heartstabbing me, but it is still an interesting exploit of the rubber stamp aesthetic, sort of populist printmaking. It's by Abra Ancliffe. By the way, Cathy Joy Young, shows outsider-style work that has a luminous, almost oil pastel palette - think Jessie Reno, and of equal quality, at the Division Stumptown. Until 9:30 128 SW 3rd

Now time for a break, or a convenient meet point, over stimulating herbal liquors and the current art show at Apotheke.

There is a show at W+K - Exploration of the Role of Failure in the Creative Process. You aren't taking enough risks if you don't fail upon occasion. Until 9 NW 13th between Everett and Davis.

Bullseye continues Anna Skibska's insane lampworked glass latices, suspended in freespace. Opening are photos fused into glass for you photographers seeking an archival process good for a few thousand years. Until 9 300 NW 13th

For a perspective in time, if not culture, consider a show of historical photographs of the Pearl District at 1306 NW Hoyt on the 4th floor with well earned food and drinks for your climb. Until 9 1306 NW Hoyt

Bluesky presents photographs by Julie Blackmon and Mike Smith. Blackmon's images depict childhood's life. Smith travels Southern Appalachia, capturing a world which to us looks so foreign. I wonder if a photographer from there came to Portland, what they would photograph that telegraphs our identity? Bike messengers outside Stumptown? The Zoobomb bike park? Jay's garage, with B99 biodiesel? Kids playing in the Jameson fountain in NW? Last Thursday on Alberta at the clown house? The Rose parade? Something to think about... regional caricature. Til 9:30 1231 NW Hoyt

Photographer Grace Weston shows Private Thoughts, images of her miniature modeled worlds , painstakingly constructed and lit. Each is a metaphor in its content, and, in its process. Until 9 830 NW 14th Ave

The Elizabeth Leach Gallery shows late career artist Robert Calvo who uses maps as his base concept. Until 9 417 NW 9th

Blackfish shows recent art school graduates, so pot luck... 420 NW 9th

At PDX Gallery, Joe Macca shows Oxygen Paintings, minimalist abstractions inspired by the act of breathing: "I have developed a language of abstract curvilinear forms assigned soft gradations of color to describe this breathing. The forms intend to capture moments of pleasure, pain, tension, joy, rage, etc...I use a buildup of thin translucent coats of paint and exaggerated form and color to capture light within the surface, adding to that drama".

The PDX window project presents sculptural work by Molly Torgeson: GENERATE: "a series that renders movement, transformation and growth. This installation signifies multiplicity, which is produced and launched into the atmosphere" in steel. Until 8. 925 NW Flanders Street *

Portland artist James Bolton, now half through his painting MFA at LA's Claremont, shows new paintings with a sort of fern leaf or random hatch motif, brushed and sprayed. Boulton showed large colorful abstract paintings in a previous PAM Biennial. Some of that that work seemed to reference sushi, an apt metaphor for tasty work you crave, but which requires an educated palette. He has simplified his gestural elements, and his colors too, while maintaining great strength in both. The work is titled Traffication: "The title of this exhibition comes from an invented word to describe the concurrent events that disaffect drivers from the immediate task of driving; the ones that end up changing the flow of traffic and consequently the urban architecture of time." Until 8 925 NW Flanders Street *

Vino Paradiso shows post ironic cartoonish scenes characters in life by Lucia Johnson. Sort of rotoscoped snapshots. Until 10 417 NW 10th

Ogle shows installations and constructions by Valentina Graziano. This gallery has established a niche showing large installations, often of organic materials, that are too large or uneconomic for other galleries. The work often taps into our Northwest instance of arte povera. Until 8:30 310 NW Broadway

I love this.! A toy with a life story. So I'll just reprint it! :
"In 1955 SUG was born in a remote part of Iceland. He weighed in at a 40lbs and was an astounding 43" long. Today, the real SUG is all of 7'7" and weighs 655lbs. He continues to base his operations out of a remote location in the moonlike landscape of northern Iceland. (I guess sort of a Icelandic yeti... -R)

SUG's mission is simple: to assist the people of the world who are in desperate need of help. He has no affiliation with any one government and is not concerned with the politics of his actions, but rather views his role in global terms. His privately funded aid expeditions take him into the most dangerous areas of the world usually bringing him into war-torn regions, toxic atmospheres or other inhospitable conditions. Years of exposure to these extreme environments has taken a toll on his massive body. SUG's abnormally small noggin is a result of wearing early handmade protective suits that did not give him proper protection. As a result, his head shrank and prolonged exposure rendered his face featureless. After he realized what was occurring, modifications were made to the next generation of suits to eliminate these issues and the shrinking has stopped. His atrophied right arm is a result of a small tear in the third generation suit resulting in the brief exposure of his naked arm to a highly toxic environment while working in a subterranean location in Oklahoma. The arm was reduced in size almost immediately and is, for the most part, unusable. His current suit is the ninth iteration and appears to be nearly flawless. SUG1s bag contains 4 vials of undefined liquids. They have reportedly been gathered over the years from native medicine men, scientists and his own research. The four liquids can be mixed together in various amounts and combinations to formulate a "silver bullet" serum to cure any ailment currently known to man. SUG continues to develop more advanced serums and equipment and he continues to accept missions that put him in harms way for the good of the World."

This show is of SUG figures, produced by Portland's Derek Welch and Jason Bacon's UNKL Tonight, a large group of great artists present their interpretation of SUG. Artists SUGin' include: Derek Welch, Jason Bacon, Rob Mars, KOZIK, NYC Lase, Maol, Super 7, Jeremyville, Tristan Eaton, Mr. Jago, Miq, Kow Yokoyama, Ren Sakurai, Saiman Chow, Martin Ontiveros, Bwana Spoons, Corey Smith, Brian Elliot, Ryan Bubnis, Akira Wakui, Shin Tanaka, Charlie Kraft, Jesse Rend, APAK, Akira Wakui Ippei Gyoubu, Madoka, Kinoshita, Cicci, Kubota Mari, MAD BARBARIANS, BARON UEDA, PCP, Nekoshowgun and Zanpon. This will be good.

In other news, SF's Upper Playground, somewhat a Just Be Design copycat, is moving to the old Fashion Incubator space across the street.

Until 10 107 NW 5th *

The Portland Art Center opens a new sound art show The Lineage of Harmonic Sensation by Adam Bailey and new work by Sarah Gunderson, the invitation has a pleasingly blurred photo of the Oaks Park roller rink. Other exhibitions continue. until 10 32NW 5th

Next door Backspace presents a great show. James Newell shows sculptural wall boxes themed on maps and landscape. Newell's previous show there included commemorative plates themed on America's own chemical WMD's. Kim Hamblin shows graphic representations made of thin sheets of vinyl strategically tacked. Michelle shows photo-like paintings of dark industrial landscapes. Dan Ness, who also has a show at the Goodfoot shows his paintings drawn from found graphics and photos. Until midnight 115 NW 5th http://www.backspacegallery

Then head back up toward the Everett Lofts, always recommended...

I think Rake is doing a good job. So I'm reprinting this excellent press release. I have not seen the show, so I don't know how it compares to the quality of the writing, but Rake has created a great network, so I say yea!

"Michael Endo is an international artist who has a rich, yet youthful, career. His works in oil posses the meticulous patience of the Italian Renaissance, with an edgy interplay of the abstract mood evoking atmospheric movement. He approaches his subjects as an investigator. Every painting is an attempt to better understand who we are as individuals, who we are as a community, a civilization, and ultimately, as a species. Who are we when we're not trying to be anything? What do our surroundings reveal about our personalities? This investigation has led him to the spaces that we create around and between ourselves and each other. Zeno's dichotomy paradox tells us that in order to travel from one point to another we must first reach the halfway point. Every distance can be halved, meaning that no matter what the measured distance is between himself and any other person, the space separating us is infinite.
How do we bridge the infinite divide?
Through Lines of Communication"

Until 10 325 NW. 6th Ave. Http://

Now to decompress...

Valentines shows Art is People Too: Jack Bouba, Liz Goltz, Lauren Hobsen and Rikki Rothenberg. Valentines is a good place to recap the night's art events over food and a drink, they have music too by Sustentacula. For some thoughts on their location's awesomeness... Until late 232 SW Ankeny

Save your energy, Friday's are events are equally packed...

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Future Tense July

Not withstanding time's mutability proposed by string theory's stalking of Grand Unification Theory, it's possible to focus Google's vast resources, like Blogger, to creating posts in future time. So for readers with longer event horizons, here are some July things upcoming:

Some musings on Joan Jett besides her appearance (which is July 16)

I cannot quite wrap my head around aging metal bands on reunion tours. I think it's more than never having my own metal phase. It seems irrelevant. But I am fascinated by the career arc of performers. So say your friends are rockers now, or maybe you are a rocker. What the fuck does 47 look like?

At 15 Joan Jet joined the all girl Runaways, blasting raw freedom out to the world. The girl that blew out every window and door for women to express themselves in music however they wanted. She produced punkers the Germs. Rejected by the major labels, she founded her own label Blackheart records, singing about it in her song "Bad Reputation". With her own band, Joan Jett was the first American rocker to perform in Eastern Europe before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In the 90's Jett recorded with Kathleen Hanna, Donita Sparks and Kat Bjelland, profoundly inspiring Olympia's riot grrrl breakout and influencing generations of female rockers to follow.

Jett has the cover interview in the current Herbavore magazine in which she muses on eating PBJ sandwiches on the road and the "What would Joan Jett do?" T-shirt phenomena.

Now more political than ever, Jett's black punk star burns on strong today.

Jett appears as part of the Warped Tour with a million other bands. Which of those will burn with intensity 32 years hence?

This picture is from the NY kickoff for the tour.

Warped Tour Columbia Meadows Ticket details to follow

You can have it all - beauty and clarity - Edward Tufte on Information Design July 17

See "Presenting Data and Information" by Yale emeritus professor Edward Tufte in Portland. I have attended the seminar and recommend it. Tufte is highly engaging, you will not be bored for a moment, and will take away many ideas which you can apply to presenting information on your projects.

Tufte's thesis is that in order to make decisions based on complex data, it needs to be presented clearly, not simplified to the point of stupidity. Tufte illustrates his ideas with innumerable examples, including some of the earliest movable type books on science. In the seminar I took, his white gloved assistants circulate by every attendee, so you can see the first editions of Galileo, Euclid and Newton, 4-500 years old, some with little pop up 3d cutouts! He also presents case studies where the failure to communicate information clearly has lead to disastrous consequences, for example, presentations made to support subsequently lost space shuttle launches, the Challenger and the Columbia (1,2). You may be surprised that Tufte is critical of PowerPoint, and how it is typically used. (David Byrne, who went to art school at RISD, produced a somewhat tongue in cheek counter critique of Tufte in a book of Powerpoint art entitled Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information.)

Tufte is author of 3 major books: The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Envisioning Information & Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative. You may find them locally to get an idea of Tufte's range or review excerpts on These are handsome coffee table books, and may be helpful in explaining to your grandparents what you do in an engaging way.

If you take the course, the books are included, along with a chart produced in 1869 clearly illustrating factors leading to the failure of Napoleon's march on Moscow of 1812. That chart is way, way cooler than it sounds. (The width of the line represents the number of soldiers in Napoleon's army mapped geographically on their march. The bottom scale shows the drop in temperature, from freezing to -22F, and the resulting loss of life as the army retreated. Of 442,000 who crossed the border in today's Lithuania, 10,000 returned. War, sad as always...)

The class is $360. Groups of 10 or more registering together save 25%. Full time students may attend for $180. Note the books alone would cost $147. Registration and more detail on the content of the course is available at

Info on the location is available upon registration. The last time it was in a big room in the Convention Center, so get there early for a seat up front.