Thursday, April 26, 2007

April 28 A Concert of Indian Classical Music

India's cultural chaos is really comprised of simple vectors. One is the dynamic between tradition and making new tradition. This concert of classical Indian music is emblematic of how that dynamic has played out.

The santoor is a folk instrument from Kashmir, it is a hammered string instrument, known in the West as a hammer dulcimer. Father Pandit Uma Dutt Sharma, and now son, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, pioneered adapting the instrument to classical music, creating a new tradition.

Zakir Hussain is the son of Alla Rakha, one of the greatest tabla players of all time. Beginning in his early 20's, Zakir blazed a trail of tradition breaking and making collaborations. That would be with the Beatles, George Harrison, John McLaughlin, Bill Laswell, Tito Puente, Jack Bruce, Micky Hart, Pharoah Sanders, Manfred Eicher and, of course, the most emanent Indian classical musicians of today. Plus any instrument, tuned by a hammer while being played in time, rocks.

Now each, having firmly established new tradition, perform together for the last of a 20 year series of Indian classical music in Portland. Pandit Shivkumar Sharma and Ustad Zakir Hussain, santoor and tabla. First Confregational Church 1126 SW Park $25 advance ( or Tickets West) $30 door 7:30PM

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

April 25-29 PDX Experimental and Documentary Film Festival

What began as informal showings by local filmmakers in nightclubs has morphed into an actual festival with a six year run. There are video installations and art at the AudioCinema. The fun "Championship of Experimental Cinema", in which the audience votes for their favorite shorts filmmaker. Fierce Vladamir won 2 years, with her Viewmaster shows. She was unseated last year by PNCA grad Julie Orser, now teaching at UCLA. There is a film made by Lynn Hershman about artist Steve Kurtz who was arrested by the FBI and threatened with indictment for bioterrorism as a result of his artworks on biotechnology. Seattle's Sublime Frequencies present images and field sound experienced on travels in the world. The whole schedule is too fascinating to cover here, but you can take a look at the schedule, press release, workshops (including MAKE-style direct animation). The films are at the Hollywood Theater, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd. Installations and receptions at AudioCinema. Side events at the Moon and Sixpence, Rotture and the Film Center. Tickets are $7 or $40 for a festival pass.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

April 22 Flamenco, Chocolate, Fashion and Recycling

El Cuadro Solo Flamenco performs hot flamenco surrounded by intoxicating chocolate at Pix Patisserie North. Info at 503-972-1178. Advance tickets may be a good idea with the small space. 3901 N Williams $12 advance $15 door 7:30PM

Fashion shows are iconic cultural events. But they are really just a party and a chance for the audience to transmit subtle semaphores with more advanced visual coding than summer's enigmatic fireflies. Like sign language, communication at a distance. Tonight the local weekly the Portland Mercury presents Linea, Becky Johnson, Allium, Leanimal, Open Clothed, Daniel McCall, Hazel Cox, Safe Sax, Elspeth Stanley, Ese Carnal, Kerry-Ann Kimbrell, Frocky Jack Morgan, Gretchen Jones, In Love and Memory, and Genevieve Dellinger. At the Wonder Ballroom 128 NE Russell. Advance tickets $8 Doors 7PM

Recycle your electronics free 9AM-4PM at the Tigard Home Depot, 14800 SW Sequia Parkway, courtesy of e-Tech Recycling. This includes computers, monitors, faxes, telephones, printers, scanners, copiers, servers, you get the idea. Do not throw this stuff in the landfill! TV's and CRT screens, which contain lead and rare earth elements, require special disposal. At this event computer monitor disposal is free, but TV's require a $1 per diagonal inch fee. Year round, computers may also be recycled at Free Geek.

April 21 Earth Rollers Tribal Son

Today is Earth Day. Education precedes action. But the link between the two is getting from what to how. I have a theory that activism is cyclical, activists are more likely to emerge from relatively good economic cycles, survivalists from poor economic cycles. I recently read Silent Spring, written by naturalist Rachel Carson. The post WWII economic jag seeded American culture with great optimism in technology. This included large scale use of chemical pesticides and herbicides which were derived from chemical weapons research in Germany and the US. Carson's seminal book was actually read and lauded by President John Kennedy in its time, within the year though, Carson died of cancer, dogged by a campaign of character assassination by the chemical industry. That book and 1960's activism for peace and equality resulted in the passage of the sweeping National Environmental Policy Act, and the first Earth Day in 1970.

Portland's Earth Day celebration will be at Woodlawn Park. It's an opportunity to link up with like minded individuals to work on the issue you pick as yours. Info at

Algerian Berber tribal fusion DJ Cheb i Sabbah was one of the first producers to mix world samples into dance music. In the late 1970's! His tracks, in turn, have been remixed by major world fusion DJ's and also DJ's in the samples' originating Asian, African and Arab climes. Local heartful diva Jen Folker has collaborated with Sabbah on vocals. He will DJ at Pi-Rem (11-2) and at a more intimate, shoes off, non alcohol event at the NIA Space, 918 SW Yamhill, above Art Media. Not sure if his slot at the NIA event is pre or after hours. Details:

Cana Son throws a Cuban dance music party. Sounds at At the Mambo Lounge in Imago 17 SE 8th 10PM $10

The Rose City Rollers has it's regular four teams, the Heartless Heathers, Guns and Roses, Break Neck Betties and the High Rollers. Tonight though it's their all star unit, the Wheels of Justice, formed of rollers from the four teams verses the Las Vegas' Sin City Neader Dolls. Also competing is the Rose City Rollers b-unit, Axles of Annihilation, junior rollers clawing their way to the top. They face Bend's Lava City Roller Dolls All details at

April 20 B-boy=B-girl 2v2 Battle in Hood River

Hip hop dance is everywhere including Hood River. "Pay Your Dues" is a battle at the Westside Elementary School. Judges include Marco, Guy, Sonic and Manwell Rock, all PDX. Soundz by DJ Wicked. Produced by Destroy Stance and Xpozae. Directions from PDX. 84 East; first Hood River exit #62; East on Cascade Street 2 miles; right at the light South on 13th Street 1 mile; right at Belmont Street 1 mile; Westside Elementary school is on the left. Info 503-290-6195. Map it 3685 Belmont Drive, Hood River, Oregon. Doors 5:30, battles 6:30PM $7

April 19 911 VJ Now Device Spaceboat TV in Seattle

Seattle visualist Scott K James performs rhythmic texture-style material derived from original hand shot and processed footage. His personal unit is The Now Device. He also is a member of the collective which has performed at SFMOMA and the Experience Music Project. He holds down a full schedule of club residencies and festival events in Seattle. James performs with Andy Seaver who makes electronic alterations and layering of field sound. 911 Media Arts Center 402 9th Ave N. 7:30-10:30

Saturday, April 14, 2007

April 15 Crafty Wonderland

The Crafty Wonderland instantiates at the Doug Fir lounge. There you can spend your tax refund on cool stuff. 11-4 Free

April 15 What's Up in Chinese Art

The New Museum of Contemporary Art is not stuffy. Operating since the 1970's, it has maintained it's freshness by a strategy of capture and release, selling collected works after a few years. This is good for the artists too, it keeps their art moving in the world. The Museum also operates Rhizome, a smart digital art program. (Hey Rhizome is putting on a benefit show Monday with YACHT and Cory Arcangel!).

So It makes sense that the Museum would turn its gaze Westward to China. The liberalizations begun under Deng have proceeded in fits and starts. But coupled with social and economic changes, China's dynamics are breeding some amazing contemporary art, including performance. It doesn't hurt that art has generally been permitted sly criticism of Chinese government policy. The fact that performance leaves little evidence helps too. Inside Out: New Chinese Art, curated by Gao Minglu, and shown in 1999 in SF and NY, was an early attempt to survey the landscape. Now even Saatchi is stalking Chinese art.

This afternoon, Dan Cameron, senior curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art will compare his perceptions of new Asian art in a talk "Gone Global". Cameron will attempt to place contemporary Asian art in the context of the currents and rivulets of contemporary art theory and criticism in the West. It sounds boring, but I don't think it will be. Tickets recommended in advance. Portland Art Museum Whitsell Auditorium 2PM $10/5 members

April 14 Urban Golf

This is sustainable, no nasty fertilizers and herbicides!

"Urban Golf this Saturday!!!

On April 14th is the fifth urban golf tournament/barhop over in the North industrial neighborhood. The course consists of 13 holes in the finest industrial landscape Portland has to offer with the drinker in mind. No host libations will be available on 5 of the 13 holes. A map of the course will be available the week prior the tee off date and will be available at hole #1. Hole 1 starts at 938 N Cook Ave (the old location of Lovely Hula Hands)... Please try and use public transportation. Free street parking is available. Look at the signs to make sure its free on Saturdays. 1pm tee time.

What you will need:
1. Golf Club or clubs. Clubs can be purchased at any thrift store for under $2.
2. 3-6 colored tennis balls. Don't get your balls mixed up with someone else's. Paint or use a marker to give them your unique mark.
3. Golf attire. I'll leave it at that.
4. Max fare

1. Keep score
2. If you loose a ball, add one stroke.
3. That's it….

Things to keep in mind….
1. Respect the urban landscape. Don't leave trash behind.
2. Don't be rude. Please try not to ruin this for the rest of us.
3. If you ruin/loose your $1200 set of clubs this is your fault and not the responsibility of nw urban sports.
4. Have fun.

**Please note that your golf clubs will get destroyed playing on pavement**"

Friday, April 13, 2007

April 14 Sprockettes

The Sprockettes will perform at a benefit for North Portland Bike Works Benefit at FreeGeek. Call them for details. 1731 SE 10th

April 13-15 Filmed by Bike

Portland's bike social ecology is variegated and healthy. BTA activists, Zoobombers, mountain bike trail heads, tall bike clowns, bike mechanics, bike-ped planners, messengers, sprockettes, one speed fat tire hipsters, bike pub crawls, naked rides, midnight rides, bike pirates, Bohemian Grove Cycle Oregonists, fixies, road racers, BMXers, the baby trailer set. I think the ecology may be sustainable too. One way it sustains itself is an event like Filmed by Bike. There is a raffle Friday for an electric (!) bike. The whole event is a fundraiser for the Bike Fair. This will be crazy fun and the 8 minute max films guarantee plenty of variety. Clinton St Theater 7,9 Friday, 5,7 Saturday and 7 Sunday Friday $5-10, Saturday and Sunday $6

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

April 12 Fountain Design Celebration at Noon

Landscape architecture is not shrubbery. It encompasses the design and preservation of the land in which we live. It may include designing a park, plaza or campus. But it includes zen-like efforts of non-design, such as preserving the Columbia Gorge from development, designating it as the country's first and only National Scenic Area.

The Olmsted family, the country's most famous landscape architects, designed Central Park. Here they are responsible for the elm-lined Park Blocks, Forest Park, Laurelhurst Park and Ladd's Addition's plantings. How would Portland be without their efforts?

Another special spot in Portland's designed landscape downtown is the unbuilt SW 3rd street from Market South for a few blocks. It's a tree lined walking plaza, an oasis. If you have the time Wednesday April 12, at noon, the City is turning on the block size fountian, a great summer wading spot, at 3rd and Clay. That's outside the Civic Auditorium. Afterwards, take a walk South.

Noon Free

Saturday, April 07, 2007

April 9 Camp Film, Campy Art & A Serious Talk on Elections

NWISC are showing a campy summer camp film "Wet Hot American Summer", starring Janeane Garofalo, for free tonight. It's a benefit though, so they will have opportunities to spend some money if you have it. Their program this summer starts with a campout in virgin forest; progresses to an intense summer camp session of classes on politics and media; the finish are students turned loose on social-political change projects in Portland proper. Mississippi Studios 3939 N Mississippi 7PM

Do you vote? There are many around the world dieing to do so. The lesser of evils dilemma plagues us here sometimes but no one would argue that vote counting should not be transparent and accurate. With computer software counting the vote, how can that be guaranteed? This is one of my issues and an area in which I have made original contributions.

Tonight "Does Not Compute: Protecting Political Rights in the Digital Age" is a talk by Nelson Pavlosky. You might not recognize the name, but perhaps you have heard of the internal memos from Diebold exposing shoddy and insecure software in their touch screen voting machines including those used in Florida in the 2000 presidential election (hello Iraq!!). One of those machines gave Al "Global Warming" Gore a negative 16,022 votes. Bush won the election with a margin of 537 votes. Diebold tried to prevent Internet Service Providers from hosting websites and blogs with the memos under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Pavlosky sued Diebold for misusing the Act to censor publication of the memos and won! He speaks at the Reed Psych Building Room 105 7:30PM free

Portland artist Bruce Conkle speaks at the free PSU Art Department series. Conkle is known for installations (and even puppet shows) which have included Sasquatch, alpenhorns, sweat lodges, snowmen. PSU Hall Street Theater 510 SW Hall 8:15PM Free

April 7 Cuban Bike Dancers

Cana Son plays Cuban music and for some reason people like to dance to it. If that is what warms you, there it is. Sounds at At the Mambo Lounge in Imago 17 SE 8th 10PM $10

IzVilliage is a rebellious group of creatives. Live-work-create spaces, where creative people can collaborate and exchange ideas up close, are an important ingredient of cultural evolution. Who knows which cultural meme-genes may be needed for survival in the future? No way to know. But now here is another fun-meme which you can tap if you like. Performer provocateurs the Sprockettes, Here Comes a Big Black Cloud, Gua Gua and DJ duet Mr. D & P Murder make it happen. The Recyclery (SE 9th & Madison) $3-5 8-late

Friday, April 06, 2007

April 6 Eastside Art Openings

New Amercian Art Union presents a group show "invisible.other" curated by TJ Norris. Artist-curator Norris is known for elegant minimalism and the work reflects that. Especially noteworthy is a video art work by Thomas Koner entitled Peripheriques #2 which graces the showcard. It images an anonymous crowd on the street in which composited layers bring individual faces to the fore, after, they disappear behind subsequent figures. The show includes work by Ted Apel, Daniel Barron, Richard Chartier, Melia Donovan, Leif Elggren, Ty Ennis, Michael Paulus, Susan Robb, Steve Roden, Abi Spring, Laura Vandenburgh. 922 SE Ankeny

Moshi Moshi shows Tokyo artist MAHK!!. 811 E Burnside

The Grass Hut shows "Pretty in Ink", illustration on paper by Meg Hunt, Miniature Mouse - Fumi Nakamura and Naomi Nowak. 811 E Burnside

Redux specializes in objects and art made of reused materials. Musician, painter, crafter, Rachel Blumberg shows her visual work, 2 1/2D dioramas made from found materials, with a Norfolk and Western feel. 811 E Burnside

Note that the Kitchen Sink show is open tonight and through Sunday 520 NW Davis. The sooner you get there the more gingerbread and candy for you as one room is made of that and edible

Thursday, April 05, 2007

April 5 Westside Art Openings

Portland Grid Project Photographs at the Portland Art Center

The Portland Grid Project has been documenting Portland neighborhoods in the medium shot for 12 years. "In October of 1995, local photographer Christopher Rauschenberg took a pair of scissors to a standard AAA map of Portland and cut that map into 98 pieces. A group of 12 of the city’s best photographers all photographed one randomly picked square each month, using a variety of films and formats. It took nine years for this group (which included 15 photographers by the end) to finish taking pictures in all 98 Grid Sections of the city, by which time they had shown each other over 20,000 images, taken in every part of Portland."

Here is a chance to see some of the result. 7 august curators: Kate Mellor & Charlie Meecham (founders of the offshoot Bradford Grid Project in Yorkshire, England), Clint Willour (Galveston Art Center Director), and Stephanie Snyder (Curator and Director of Reed College’s Cooley Gallery), Jennifer Gately (Northwest Art Curator of the Portland Art Museum), Alison Nordström (Curator of Photography at the George Eastman House), and Ethan Seltzer (Director of the School of Urban Studies and Planning at PSU) have selected over 3000 images from the Grid's 20,000 plus images.

Included are the work of photographers Blake Andrews, Mark Barnes, Tom Champion, Dawn-Starr Crowther, Deborah Dombrowski, Lisa Gidley, Barbara Gilson, Bruce Hall, Ann Hughes, Tom Kearcher, Ann Kendellen, David Potter, Doug Prior, Christopher Rauschenberg, Shawn Records, Rich Rollins, Faulkner Short, Patrick Stearns, Paul Sutinen, Bill Washburn and Bryan Wolf.

This show is best seen in sessions. Each photographer has lensed highly individualistic samples of reality. Some of the grid spots are in the industrial fringes or in rural transitional areas which we don't contemplate or visit much. It is an inspiration to look anew at our own back yard.

More information on the project may be found at Show at the Portland Art Center 32 NW 5th

The Office as Kitchen Sink at 520 NW Davis Itinerant Space

21 artist workteams have created installations, some participatory, in a vacant office space. Cubicle heaven or hell. This is the second Kitchen Sink, the first was held at a house in St Johns. Much more info at the project website. Artists include usual and unusual suspects: Your Fan For A Day. - The M.O.S.T.; ID Corp. - Gordon Barnes, Posie Currin, Shelby Davis, Amber Moss-Jensen, Mandee Schroer, Amy Steel; CUBE-ALICIOUS - Sarah Farahat, Al Larsen, Katrina Boemig, Bonnie Paisley; Free Association - JustDave, Lisa Maurine, Sarah Fask, and others; Circuit City - Emile Ward, Hope McManus, Philip Cheaney; A Cubicle Expressed - Renato Pereira-Castillo, Amy White, Archie Washington; Sex, Lies and Office Supplies - Hannah Fischer, Jason Giglio, Ryan Swanson; E.A.N. (Exterior Area Network) - John Larsen, Walter Lee, Scott Mazariegos, Vicki Lynn Wilson; Office Oasis -Todd Wilson; Kendall Holladay, Soft Rock Dee-Jay - Ted Theiman; Transfer - Heather Mackenzie, Elodie Goupil; Primordialoffice60000bcad - John Wagner, Heather Campbell, Drew Marshall; This Network Allows Us To Function Efficiently - Stephanie LeBlanc, Mia Nolting, Carl Alviani; POST-IMATION - Carlos Gonzalez; There Is No "I" In Team - Jess Hirsch, Sarah Goodchild Robb; What Work - May Juliette Barruel, Jennifer Dawson, Janel Golden, Sean Regan; Audible Apparitions - Jeremy Tucker, Matt Conner; Somnambulistic Activators - Petr Sorfa, Bruce Orr, Noah Mickens, Patricia Hall; Untitled - John S. Vitale; Red Collar, Inc. - Alicia Eggert, Maggie Casey, Andy Furgeson, Peter Valois, Anna Weber, Eliza Fernand; MARLCON- Leslie McCollom and Mariah Maines; Corporate Panhandlers - Philip Cheaney, Will Moore.

Especially notable installations include MARLCON, the clothing customization project, Circuit City, the gingerbread candy office and an office filled with ivy and a waterfall. The installations are interactive, bring a crowd of playful art friends.

520 NW Davis upstairs. There is an admission charge of $2-5 for Half and Half refreshments Until 11PM, Afterparty below at Someday.

See it with less crowd:

APR 6: Space open to public viewing, 6:00-9:00pm

APR 7: Space open to public viewing, 12:00-6:00pm

APR 8:
Artist talk and critical discussion at gallery space, 12:00pm

Natural World Specimen Photographs at Pushdot

Post Renaissance Europe spawned a leisure class. Many occasioned to travel, later day Marco Polo's, collecting and documenting the strange nature, flora and fauna, of the world. Amateur scientists, for the love of it. In the mode of their specimen drawings presaging photography, "Life, Forms" documents precious nature, in intimate close up. Photographs by Kirby Jones 830 NW 14th

Aerial Photography at PDX

Terry Toedtemeier is a sage landscape photographer in the Ansel Adams-fine print world. He is an amateur geologist too. Hawaii to the Owyhee: A Bird's Eye View, his new works are aerial photographs, once exotic, but now in Google world, an increasing part of our visual lexicon. See Toedtemeier's birds' eye view of Oregon and Hawaii in this show. 925 NW Flanders closes at 8:30PM

Still Life Group Show at Pulliam Deffenbaugh

Still life's stillness advantages painting and photography's long exposure drying times. No models to pay either. It is the crucible of learning for many an artist. This still life group show in multiple media combines locals with big names: Uta Barth, Thomas K. Conway, Morris Graves, Richard Hoyen, Isaac Layman, Laura Letinsky, McDermott & McGough, James Martin, Jeffry Mitchell, Vik Muniz, Raymond Pettibon, David Rosenak, Jay Steensma, Wolfgang Tillmans, Andy Warhol. It's an opportunity to see a lot of work in one spot, informing your own still life aesthetics. 929 NW Flanders closes at 8:30

Digmeout Strikes Again at Just Be Toys/Compound Gallery

Girls from Strange Forest are illustrations by Osaka-Kyoto artists Siori Kawamoto and Cho-Chan, part of the awesome project.
107 NW 5th

Mear One Painting at Upper Playground

Mear One shows "Manifest Energy and Radiate" surreal crossed visionary graf outsider style paintings. It might be a good idea for this show to be a hallucinogen free zone. Mear One paints live too 7-8 at the opening. Fifty 24PDX at 23 NW 5th

Keys Open Doors at Ogle

"Keys Open Doors" is a collaborative effort between Caleb Freese and Justin Gorman. They are urban landscapes with silk screened layers over them. Recommended at Ogle 310 NW Broadway

Heavy Indian art at Quintana

Quntana Galleries amps it up with "Expananded Perception", Indian art in mixed media. The strongest contemporary work in the show are portraits of Apaches with handguns on skatedecks by Douglas Miles entitled the "Peacemaker Series". 120 NW 9th

Abstracts in Natural Materials at Augen

Augen shows abstract paintings by Ian Boyden themed "Shorelines". The artist uses old school methods to make his own pigments from natural materials such as cinnabar, carbon and cuttlefish ink. Sublime refined abstraction. 817 NW 2nd

The Everett Station Lofts - recommended exploration without expectation.

Surreality and Gypsies at Blue Sky Gallery; Nine Wired

Nine is the conceptual gallery space within Blue Sky. Tonight it is filled with small wire sculptures, some kinetic, by Christine Clark. The work is a fine example of simple materials used to the ultimate advantage. It's playful and serious at the same time.

Wolfgang Zerborn shows surreal photographs of our urban reality. Doubly ironic in light of current events and pop culture, themselves surreal. The photographer notes: "Normally, we would hardly take notice of many of these objects, which appear insignificant and banal to us. Torn away from their purely functional context, in fragmented form, visually compact, they take on such a highly sensual aura, that they develop deep associations for the observer. We don’t look at things. Things look at us." So maybe the same could be said of our realitysphere. Andrew Miksys, from Lithuania, shows portraits of Gypsy's, capitalized. This show, titled "Baxt", is the Gypsy word for luck, fate, destiny, karma. The history of photography in the Soviet Union, now former, is essentially the history of photography in Lithuania. Blue Sky has maintained an historic relationship with Lithuanian photographers, giving us an eye into another world. 1231 NW Hoyt