Monday, July 30, 2007

August 4 Qawwali Music

Qawwali is ecstatic singing in the Sufi tradition. I am not an expert, but my understanding is that Sufi evolved from Islam. Instead of a god above, the Sufis believed god is within every individual. They cultivated ecstatic dancing, singing and poetry in devotion to that idea. Qawwali is over 600 years old. Old enough that non Asian-born musicians are making it. Tonight French Qawwali Fanna-Fi-Allah perform. How beautiful they call their ensemble a Qawwali party.

"Qawwali is an ancient practice wherein the fire of divine love (ishq) is ecstatically expressed through the mystical verses of Sufi poets. The poems of Rumi and Hafiz sung in Urdu and Farsi."

Fanna-Fi-Allah perform at Yoga Shala True North 3808 N Williams 9PM $18

August 3 Gary Hill

Gary Hill is a gen3 video artist. Gen1 included Nam Jun Paik, Yoko Ono, Vito Acconci, Dara Birnbaum and others. Gen2 would be Bill Viola who added a layer of elegant meditation. Hill experimented with display topology, multiplying the channels, presaging today's multitasking world. We are probably now in the upper single gen digits.

Tonight Seattle's Hill shows Glass Onion, Clover and other works at the 911 Media Arts Center. 911 is similar to SF's BAVC, it is what the Film Center could be if it busted out.

""“Glass Onion”, is a complex installation work incorporating a close-circuit video camera, five video displays, and eight speakers. Precisely scored animated text and layered speech both describe and mirror the process of feedback.

The viewer becomes topologically mapped into a field of concentric rectangles reflecting further the inherent structures of video feedback and cybernetics.""

Hill premiered an early version of "Glass Onion" in 1981 at and/or, 911's predecessor.

911 Media Arts Center 402 9th Ave N 6PM

August 3 Eastside Art Openings - Art Space Butoh River

Scratching the Surface is an annual show of an evening that makes art on the river. Sometimes floating in the river too. It is centered on the East Bank Esplanade - the foot of SE Madison is a good place to start. Bruce Conkle's Mountain Romance kicks off at the Ash St. Pier at 6pm, architect artists Grace Luebke and Ben Stagl are floating their installation Tumbleweed at 7pm, and Brooklyn artist Tim Folland launches Ship Wrecked at 9pm. Last year, the maintenance guy hauled away some of the installations the morning of the event thinking they were refuse, but it is all sorted this year. More details at Gallery Homeland the river wranglers. 6-10ish Free

Note Stagl also has an installation in the Portland building lobby "Below Marquam" between August 6 and September 4.

Gabriel Liston shows Tearfully Remembering Familiar Things, nostalgic illustration style paintings as well as drawings and objects. At the New American Art Union 922 SE Ankeny

In the 811 block...

Ayumi Piland, one half of APAK, shows all her own My Secret Pocket Journey. "The one thing I try not to forget before doing the laundry is checking my husband's pockets. All his pockets are always filled with many little things... all types of twigs, rocks, plants, old screws, nuts, balls of fuzz, receipts, post-it notes, coins, dirt, broken piece of plastic, small metal parts, candy wrappers, toys, stickers, business cards, flyers...etc. In contrast, my pockets are usually empty and I feel sort of envious of his collection. But I do have a secret pocket that I keep non-objects, my imagination. I hide the secret pocket around my belly to keep it quite safe. This is where my soul curls up and takes a nap to dream. In this show you get a chance to peak at the world of my secret pocket. I hope you enjoy it!" This is a perfect example of the power of art in a world that seems to be falling apart. At Grass Hut Gallery

By cosmic coincidence the other half APAK, Aaron Piland shows Imagination Machine at Moshi Moshi. His illustration-style work is max kawaii too.

Redux presents P. Williams' Flotsam and Jetsam - paintings on salvaged materials.

"P. Williams current series of work is an exploration of the relationship between humans and nature. The work looks at the plastic divide between humans and the world at large, as well as the tragedy and disasters that come from ignoring the seemingly benign.

P. Williams’ began his professional career after graduating from Art Center College of Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration Design. His work is a combination of comics and realism, using two stylistic approaches, fundamentally opposed, allowing for a deeper conversation between the viewer and the artist. There is a cast of characters that perform in these paintings. Being iconic yet completely general. Through subtle manipulations, the characters become distorted to mirror internal conflict, landscapes change from one painting to the next yet they all manage to stay firmly rooted within the same world, the same characters, just a different chapter in the mythology of suburbia. His audience is appreciative of the fact that the modern suburban landscape is that of a warped nature, and the resulting social structures are equally warped. These paintings don’t need to reflect a specific explanation or a title but have items that relate to many storylines and possibilities within a wide range of people."

In his own words;
“ My paintings are fun, and they are supposed to be fun, but they are also intended to be challenging. In many ways, my work functions like a comic, drawing heavily on the lexicon of comic mechanisms, but also invents, distorts, and leaves few puzzles for the viewer to discover. The paintings can be viewed as single panels, or as a collection of snapshots of some novel, standing perfectly alone yet some how complete.

I am also heavily invested in myths, and the way that they relay information, ideas and of course, misconceptions. I explore the way myths and stories tell us how to exist within a society, and what is important. The weight that myths give to creation and destruction have come to function heavily in this current series. Burning foot hills, bleak skies and giant beasts, the work has evolved in to a myth system of it’s own. It is a collection of repeating symbols and metaphors perfect for reinterpretation of modern life.”

Definitely the copywriter of the month award. At Redux

All 811 E. Burnside

Collaborators Justin Gorman and Caleb Freese, who had a recent show at Ogle, show their work at Jáce Gáce. It's their place and their design sense, including culinary, makes for a sweet spot to savor art, beer and waffles. Jáce Gáce 2045 SE Belmont

One of my obscure interests is Butoh, a very modern dance form from Japan. You can search my older posts for plenty of reference. Tonight butoh fusion artist Akira Kasei performs. Kasei fuses eurythmy with butoh. So I guess that would be Waldorf Butoh. He has been teaching a workshop this week at Portland State and he and the students will perform together and separately tonight. I took the same workshop last year and there is no way you should not see this. He is quite the rock star at 63! At Imago Theater 17 SE 8th 7:30PM Free(!!!)

For something completely different, the Film Center is reprising the works of filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. Tonight it's 2001: A Space Odyssey. The vastness of space and cinematography demands seeing this as film on the big screen. This is the famous meditation on the meaning of life and our spiritual evolution. Let's get it right! It also stars HAL9000, the sensitive AI. A space traveler is led by the monolith through a wormhole to the beginning of time, to become the creator of the universe. (I think you have to read the book to get that, sorry for the spoiler, but the last fourth of the film is a little abstract) See also Dr Strangelove and A Clockwork Orange later in the series. At the NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium in the Art Museum $7/6 members 7PM

August 2 Westside Art Openings

First Thursday is becoming simpler. DeSoto Block, Everett Block, NW 5th x Couch art megaplex. Here are some notes:

In the DeSoto Block check all the spaces, though the exhibit in the Contemporary Crafts Museum, free anytime, deserves more than a quick scan.

At Blue Sky, there are some great pieces in a group show in the Nine Gallery conceptual space. There is also a reprieve of the Rephotographic Survey Project. The government trained photographers to document the Civil War. After, it sent them West. At the time, there was a strong transcendental movement and a belief that dramatic natural vistas, then unspoiled, were proof positive of the hand of a creator. The landscape photographs captured by these expeditionary photographers were also used by the government to market the West to settlers. These first photographers transported glass plates up to 24 inches square, coated them on site, exposed the glass negative, developed them in a tent darkroom, then carried them back, all by pack animal. The first Rephotographic Survey Project was conceived in 1977 by East Coast photography students in Rochester, NY, Mark Klett, trained as a geologist, Ellen Manchester, JoAnn Verburg and others. They journeyed West to photograph the classic landscape images of the mid-late 1800's from exactly the same vantage point. The resulting photographs were displayed side by side with the originals. The results of mining, erosion, logging and diminished water are plainly visible. Klett returns with a third view show of recent photos at Blue Sky now. Something to think about.

Klett himself will speak at the gallery Saturday September 1 at 3PM, free.

Blue Sky Gallery in the DeSoto building, NW Broadway and Davis

The Everett Station Lofts are always recommended for your viewing pleasure. Bounded by NW Broadway, Everett, 6th and Flanders.

You may have noticed there is some construction along 5th and 6th downtown. Hopefully you have not fallen down the rabbit hole because it is max treach. To celebrate the almost finishedness of the Old Town section, the City is throwing a free block party at 5th and Couch.

See the photo show at upper playground by Ricky Powell, "illy funksters", documenting the 80's hip hop scene in NY where it began. Powell also presents a slide show 4PM Saturday at the Gallery Upper Playground 23 NW 5th

At Compound, it's Bliss E*press: Illustrating Happiness. Artists Ogushi, Aya Kondo, Marcos Chin, Rain and Fuco Ueda show. Just Be Megaplex 107 NW 5th

Stop into the Portland Art Center which never disappoints. 32 NW 5th

Somewhere along the Portland Tranist Mall - 5th and 6th the Music Population Orchestra:PDX will play new chamber music. This is part of a series of performances held simultaneously in Oslo.

Just look for a small chamber orchestra with music stands and classical instruments. The plan, subject to improvisation is to begin at 7:00 at NW 4th and Flanders and continue South towards Burnside for a performance near the Chinatown Gateway Arch.

At 7:30, from the arch the orchestra will head West on Burnside and NW Couch until they reach the Park Blocks West of Broadway.

At 8:00 they will continue West a bit for as long as their weary legs will hold them, offering more of our "urban guerrilla chamber music" along the way.

Pushdot are some of the few local masters of putting digital photography to print. To do so is actually harder than with wet processing film and paper. That is pretty complicated in itself! The once mighty Kodak spent over 120 years getting film just right. There is a pile of color science including studies of what colors are found in nature, the inexact color temperature concept, CIE and Munsen mapping, multi primaries, the complexity of RGB-CMYK mapping and handling our uber-sensitivity to skin tone.

Pushdot helps photographers through the process. For select art photographers they mount exhibitions. Past work is available for sale on their website, a virtual gallery. This month they mount a 5 year retrospective group show. Soon they will move to the East side, reopening in a few months.
Pushdot Studio 830 NW 14th

Design Within Reach shows blown glass including lighting by local Esque Studio – Andi Kovel and Justin Parker. This small art studio has blazed a trail with projects for Donna Karan, Martha Stewart, Doug Fir, Skylab and W Hotels. They are also somewhat locally infamous for turning their studio into a kitchen with food baked for seconds at over 1000 degrees in their glass fires of Mordor. DWR 1200 NW 12th

The Art Institute of Portland is adapting to a cozy niche training industrial clothing designers and animators, as it should, because there are Portland jobs for them. There are also plenty of one person fashion units here turning out clothing you should wear. A world, national and local vector in clothing is sustainability. One look at the mountains of fabric never used, clothing never sold, rarely worn then sadly discarded and you get the idea. In the gallery, the AI shows clothing by local designers using sustainable materials including Emily Katz, Entermodal, Anna Cohen, Sameunderneath, Blairwear, Knot Ugly Designs, Faith Jennings and Flood Clothing.
AI Portland 1122 NW Davis until 8

The Portland City Hall has been doing early art openings every First Thursday. They run on narrow rails between populist and multicultural and that is fine. Tonight the theme is skate related. It's a perfect opportunity to collar your commissioner and tell them what you think. You can bring your board too, or better, go by board. Board of Art: A Historical Perspective of Stumptown Skate City Hall 1221 SW 4th 5-8PM

Self taught artist Joe Thurston shows new abstract work at Elizabeth Leach. Thurston previously produced glowering portraits that were strangely affecting. For this show he continues with wood as a canvas which has been meticulously incised with a hand chisel. See it at Elizabeth Leach Gallery 417 NW 9th

PDX presents a varied group show "True Bearing" with work by Sam Beebe, Christophe Berhault, Nick Blosser, Harrell Fletcher, Lucas Foglia, Justine Kurland, Raymond Meeks, Megan Murphy, Barbara Stafford, and Nell Warren. PDX Contemporary Art 925 NW Flanders until 8

July 31 Bikes and Cars - Friends or Foes?

I like the Bus Project. They put fun into politics. If it is fun, people will vote. That's one way to change the world. I've put a lot of energy into elections, sometimes at great personal risk. If you doubt the importance of voting, check the recent supreme court decisions. A few more thoughtful votes in Florida and we wouldn't be in Iraq. The list goes on.

One way the Bus Project makes it fun are some light hearted debates. Tonight's is on the relationship between gas powered and people powered transport. Cars v bikes. An upbeat atmosphere. Plenty of drinks and conversation all around. Moderated by Sam Adams, who is responsible for Portland's City Transport Department.

The bike team is Johnathan Maus founder of the excellent blog and Johnathan Bricker, Policy Director and Executive Director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

The car team is Mel Zucker of the Oregon Transportation Institute and Sreya Sarkar of the Cascade Policy Institute. The Cascade Policy Institute is a conservative think tank responsible for policy innovations such as counting hatchery fish to determine if wild salmon are threatened with extinction under the Endangered Species Act. (hatchery fish = no extinction) They are very effective at what they do.

Arrive early, for the last debate, the billion bikes engulfed every bike rack around.

At Rontoms 600 E Burnside 7PM Free

Saturday, July 21, 2007

July 29 Water in the Desert (and July 24,27,28)

Butoh is a very modern dance form of sorts, originated in Japan, and unlike any other movement form you have seen. Usually improvised, it ranges from beautiful ritual performances by large international touring companies with a budget such as Dairakudakan and Sankai Juku to intimate living room performances. Of course you can do your own butoh anytime in the park or wherever you are so inspired. Especially true as many performers draw their improvisational inspiration from nature.

Butoh has experienced a diaspora from its origins in Japan. Seattle is one center as the result of butoh artist Joan Laage's work there. The late Doranne Crable worked in Olympia, influencing generations of Evergreen College artists. San Francisco is a center, anchored by the craziest sushi bar owner of the late Country Station Sushi, Koichi Tamano, an early collaborator in Japan with butoh's founder. Portland is also a center as a result of interchanges with San Francisco, Olympia and Seattle as well as an active workshop program at Portland State University.

Butoh artist Mizu Desierto, (water in Japanese+desert in Spanish), was once bitten by a rattlesnake in the Arizona desert. She survived, but it left an imprint. She has collaborated, studied and performed with Mexican butoh artist Diego Piñón, Kazuo and Yohsito Ohno and the Tamano's.

She presents for your pleasure, consideration and meditation Water in the Desert, a festival of art, ritual performance ecology and consciousness. In the day, musicians perform and there will be a variety of talks and workshops. In the evening, the river itself will become part of a performance, the performers lit by the full moon.

There is also a series of butoh workshops as part of the festival by visiting artists Syzygy Butoh (July 24 6-9) & Harupin-Ha Butoh Theatre (July 27 6-9), and an intensive with Harupin-Ha (July 28 3-7)at very reasonable prices. See the website for details.

At Cathedral Park, under the St Johns Bridge. Art, music, workshops 2-9PM. Performance 9-11PM Free

July 28 - August 3

Portland flamenco artist Laurena Marone is a force of nature. She is responsible for flamenco in Portland. Flamenco here has reached sufficient critical mass to host a festival which brings artists from flamenco's traditional home in Spain's Jerez de la Frontera.

The Flamenco Festival hosts flamenco artists from Spain for performances and workshops; for adults and children. Details at Portland Flamenco Festival

Monday, July 16, 2007

July 22 Kristof on Darfur

"He did not think of himself as a tourist; he was a traveler.

The difference is partly one of time, he would explain. Whereas the tourist generally hurries back home at the end of a few weeks or months, the traveler, belonging no more to one place than to the next, moves slowly, over periods of years, from one part of the earth to another. Indeed, he would have found it difficult to tell, among the many places he had lived, precisely where it was he had felt most at home. ... another important difference between tourist and traveler is that the former accepts his own civilization without question; not so the traveler, who compares it with the others, and rejects those elements he finds not to his liking.
- The Sheltering Sky Paul Bowles (c) Harper Collins

Beyond the traveler is the world changer. NY Times journalist Nicholas Kristof is one.

He won his first Pulitzer for reporting on the ground the Chinese Democracy Movement. Those 1989 events are the reason that search engines in China are censored today.

Reporting on human rights issues worldwide, Kristof has been an early and consistent voice on the tragedy in Darfur, Sudan, for which he won his second Pulitzer.

Sponsored by Amnesty International, Kristof speaks at the Temple Beth Israel 1972 NW Flanders 7PM Free

July 22 Carton Service Movement Project

The Carton Service is where you get cardboard boxes for moving. Ken Unkeles, the owner, also owns many artist friendly warehouses where your friends create. Tonight movement artists, musicians, space shapers and lighting makers take over the Carton Service Warehouse.

Sculptor Dana Lynn Louis; lighting designer Malina Rodriguez; choreographers, Daniel Addy, Linda K. Johnson, Carla Mann; musicians, Tim DuRoche, Heather Perkins, Luke Wyland; dancers, Daniel Addy, Katie Arrants, Margretta Hansen, Linda K. Johnson, Carla Mann, Neena Marks, Jim McGinn, Sy Parrish, technical director Demetri Pavlatosmake and event planner Elise Bartow make a performance in the buildings odd spaces. Your guide, as the audience, through the warehouse's warrens, Ken Unkeles.

Reservations required for performances 4:30, 6, 7:30 & 9 PM, with plenty of time for socializing betwixt. Reservations by phone or e-mail through July 21: 503-774-0043 or

When making a reservation, please let them know:
Your name
Which performance 4:30, 6, 7:30 or 9pm
How many tickets
Your phone number or e-mail address
They will contact you only if there is a question about your reservation. Otherwise, please assume your reservation is confirmed. Pay at the door by cash or check when you arrive. $20 general; $15 student, senior, artist

2211 NW Front Ave. (Naito Parkway) 1/4 mile North of the Fremont bridge - a large brick building with "Carton Service"

Jul 22 DeSoto Art Block Party

Once upon a time, there were many car companies. That would be in contrast to today's FordLincolnMercuryMazdaVolvoJaguarLandRover and GMBuickCadillacHoldenHummerOpelPontiacSaabSaturnVauxhall- DaewooGoodwrenchDelcoOnStarGMAC. One of those companies was DeSoto, whose faded sign graces the old brick building bounded by NW Broadway, Couch, Davis and Park. That building is now the super art block. The Contemporary Crafts Museum, the Blue Sky Gallery, Augen, Froelick and Hartman Fine Art.

To celebrate its opening there are tours and a block party. A variety of talks, crafts demonstrations, kids things and musical events span the afternoon. The full schedule is at

DeSoto Art Block Party Contemporary Crafts Museum Opening. Noon-7 Free

July 21-22 Expdoc Films of Mark LaPore

The late Mark LaPore (1952-2005) combined field footage shot in Sudan, Sri Lanka, India, Burma, Thailand and Europe into experimental documentaries. Sometimes American footage was intermixed. Curator and friend of the filmmaker Mark McElhatten will present the work.

A Depression in the Bay of Bengal [1996, 16mm, color, sound, 28 min]
The Five Bad Elements [1998, 16mm, b&w, sound, 32 min]
The Glass System [2000, 16mm, color, sound, 20 min]
Untitled (Camera Rolls) [2005, 16mm, b&w, silent, 5 min]

Lunatic Princess [2005, video, b&w, sound, 4 min ]
Kolkata [2005, 16mm, b&w, sound, 35 min]
The Sleepers [1989, 16mm, color, sound, 16 min]
The Glass System [2000 16mm, color, sound, 20 min]
Untitled (for David Gatten) (with Phil Solomon) [2005, video, color, sound, 5 min]

Details at At New American Art Union 922 SE Ankeny 7:30PM $6

July 21 Rose City Rollers v Denver Rocky Mt Roller Girls 5280 Fight Club

The Rose City Rollers play with Denver's Rocky Mountain Roller Girls 5280 Fight Club rather than just playing with themselves. That means the Portland Team, made up of the all star members of the 4 component teams, are playing. Also on the bill, Portland's farm team faces off with Olympia's team. At the Expo Center. Go By Train. Doors 5PM, roll 6. Tickets $15-25 often sell out.

July 21 Anoushka Shankar + Karsh Kale

India's centuries old classical music has been passed from guru to disciple through apprenticeships which begin in childhood. An essential part of the music, and the teaching, is spiritual. It is not uncommon for the teaching relationship to span generations in families. Difficult to imagine from the experience of our independent upbringing, schooling and institutionalized rebellion.

Thus imagine the relationship between musician father, teacher, guru Ravi Shankar and musician daughter Anoushka Shankar. A friend went to high school with her and relates the challenges she faced traversing that complex relationship in the context of a California upbringing. Now 26, Anoushka Shankar is a musical force of nature. She performs classical music regularly, sometimes sharing the stage with her father. Tonight though, she performs with Karsh Kale. Kale is a renowned Asian fusion DJ, producer and collaborator in Tabla Beat Science.

They perform Saturday on Whidbey at the Island Festival, in its first year, and also in San Francisco at the Stern Grove event Sunday. Details

July 21 Free Geek Recyclery

Is Portland geekier than other cities? We do have a large open source community. Linus Torvalds, Mr Linux himself, lives here. Groups like Personal Telco install WiFi in cafes here for free. People spend career years without vacations designing a single chip here. Circuit benders are creating quiet mayhem. You could argue that the Sprockettes and Zoobombers are pretty geeky. How about those tall bikers? The Rebuilding Center, SCRAP, crafters....

One of Portland's geekiest brilliant useful things is Free Geek. They accept donations of old computers. They teach you how to Frankenstein the pieces into a new computer body, load an open source software brain into it, teach you how to use the interwebs and control the monster, and send you home with it. Free. They also set up non profit computer environments and recycle old computer bodies properly.

Every year they celebrate with a street fair. It's for kids, grown up kids and adults. Music, games, puppets, magic, talks, a dunk tank, even more! Details are here:

At Free Geek. 1731 SE 10th 1-7PM Free

That same day, the Recyclery, a few blocks away are having a bike swap. The Recyclery isn't a non profit, but it has some of the Free Geek feel for a bike shop.

The Recyclery 1417 SE 9th & Madison

July 19 - 21 Ashes 2 Ashes Battle

Ashes 2 Ashes is a locally based b-boy-girl battle drawin' national talents. They are ampin' it up this year with some venues to respect. Fits.

Thursday the preparty is at Someday Lounge. DJ's Forrest Getumgump (NYC), Waajeed, Rev Shines (Lifesavas-PDX), Ohmega Watts (Lightheaded-PDX), Kez (360 Vinyl-PDX) and Dundiggy (RockBox-PDX) spin for open cipers. Sorry kids, 21+

Friday battle it. This is a full crew event. You got 5, 10 in your crew? Bring em. 32 crews will battle down to 8 finalists. Friday'z at the Wonder Ballroom.

Saturday it'z King of the Hill. Who's goin to be it? The 8 crews will battle it out with 10 supastars - Kid David (Renegades - San Francisco, CA); Ryoma (Mortal Kombat - Osaka, Japan); Tells-1 the Rebirth(Street Masters - Miami, FL); So (Gamblers - Seoul, Korea); Kareem (Rock Force - Sacramento, CA); Luigi (Rock Steady Crew - Worldwide); Albert (Knuckle Headz - Los Angeles, CA); Dyzee (Supernaturalz - Toronto, CAN); Casper (Boogie Brats - Vancouver, CAN); Marlon (Havikoro - Houston, TX).

The wordz of the judges - Free (Circle of Fire), Nabil (Killafornia) and Waak (Breaks Kru) - iz final.

Skeme Richards (Philadelphia) and Forrest Getumgump (NYC) be layin' down fresh beats.

Ther'z an afta' party at the Doug Fir. Skeme Richards, Ohmega Watts, Reverend Shines. 21+ again.

Check the fine prints at Amplified Techniques or the Myspace.

Thursday Someday 21+ 9PM-2:30AM $5
Friday Wonder Ballroom all ages 7PM $15
Saturday Newmark Theater (!!) all ages 7PM prompt $22.50/$27.50
Saturday Doug Fir 21+ 9?PM-2:30AM $10

July 19 911 VJ Night with Epiphanous

911's VJ night continues with guest Epiphanous, VJ to performers AmonTobin and BassNectar. VJ's sometimes, called visualists, mix video samples live. Their work is much more difficult, combining hundreds of samples per minute and often 3 or more layers. Collecting samples is a challenge too, even more so, to produce original material. These nights are a chance to explore the process and the results. At 911 Media Arts 402 9th Ave N. Seattle 7:30 PM $5

July 19 Strayer Iosca at Chambers Gallery

Jenny Strayer's photo collages recall Lynnn Hershman and early surrealists. Philip Iosca makes elegant minimalist sculptures, often with a conceptual edge. At 207 SW Pine 5:30-8:30PM

July 17 The Birds

PSU professor of art, Sue Taylor, deconstructs Hitchcock's seminal film, The Birds. Taylor is known as one of the few nationally published arts writers in Portland. She often pursues a psychoanalytic approach to the work of artists including Jackson Pollock, Eve Hesse, Hans Belmer, and, for an upcoming book, Grant Wood. This is a nice pairing with the Grass Hut birds show, profiled July 6 below.

PSU Art Building 5th and SW Jackson Room 200, Noon, Free

July 16 Back Room Party

Portland has almost too many literary subcultures, many overlapping, to count. Perhaps it is the rainy winters making readers of us. And writers. Or the cafe culture of Portland's left and right bank. Powell's, fair brother to the Strand, with its intimate connection to our senior senator. The Tin House, the IPRC, literary lecture series for which which 2000 people will pay to sit and listen. Even Dark Horse.

One of those is the Back Room. The Back Room prepared a magical admixture of writers and artists speaking of their work, music by some of Portland's sweetest musicians, participants in a long standing word of mouth invite only underground cultural salon and tasty meals prepared family style by some of Portland's internationally noted noted culinary artists.

The writings of many of the guest artists have been collected in a book - the back room: an anthology. Tonight marks the release of the book. All 500 pages of it. There will be live music, a lively crowd, creative talk. No food tonight and BYOB if you like.

At Podkrepa Hall, 2116 North Killingsworth. 6:30PM $8 admission, $16 includes the excellent anthology itself, of the same value.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

July 11,21,29 August 2 New Music in New Places: Can You Hear It

The Music Population Orchestra plays new music on old instruments in new places. That would be in contrast to old music on old instruments in old places - classic classical; new music on new instruments in new places - pop, or no music on no instruments in new places - noise; and so forth.

Translation: The Music Population Project, founded in Portland by Brede Rørstad, now operating out of Portland and Oslo, Norway, plays new compositions, sometimes including electronic parts, on classical music instruments, in non traditional venues, for cheap or free. Breaking and remaking today's classical music into something perhaps like its OG origins, when chamber music was pop.

Each of the Music Porpulation Orchestras - mpo:portland and mpo:oslo unfold parallel concerts:

Wednesday, July 11th, 7pm - Ibsenkvartalet
Saturday, July 21st, 2pm – Vaterlandsparken
Sunday, July 29th, 4pm – Tullinløkka
Thursday, August 2nd, 7pm – Fridtjof Nansens Plass

Wednesday, July 11th, 7pm - Gerding Theater at the Armory
Saturday, July 21st, 7pm - South Waterfront
Sunday, July 29th, 2pm - Bridgeport Village
Thursday, August 2nd, 7pm - The Portland Bus Mall

The project is an exploration of the interplay between the instantaneous vibrational passing of live music and the long lived built architecture surrounding its echoes. The project will ultimately result in a documentary.

More information is available at the Oslo::PDX sister city blog.

Note: from the performance last evening... I met several filmographers working on documenting the performances, so stay tuned for the final cut. It was fun seeing street passersby ignore, scan or become involved in the outdoor performance. A rent-a -cop threatened to arrest the musicians but for the organizers' cultural cred, passed by. The musicianship was excellent, judged by my experience making hundreds of recordings at one of America's top music conservatories.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

July 12 Graphic Design and Branding in the Early Television Era POSTPONED

Mr Dorfsman, 87 on the advice of his physician, is postponing his trip. Hopefully it can be rescheduled in the fall. Best wishes for good health!

Many artists look askance at branding. Yet they are doing it every minute. Likewise, beginning in the 1940's, television made decisions on graphics and design which became their brand. In the 1990's branding gained explicit momentum. Seemingly simple, branding is external identity, but to do it well is a challenge.

Lou Dorfsman was a graphic designer who became the creative director for the CBS television network from the late 1940's through the 1980's. Back when television was a cultural force. CBS was William S Paley, Edward R Murrow, Walter Cronkite, the eye logo.

Dorfsman had influence beyond the CBS graphic identity, laying the groundwork for the network's advertising, marketing, ratings and the design of the headquarters building (Saarinen!). Branding. For a flavor of Dorsfman's work, see "Dorfsman and CBS".

Lou Dorfsman speaks at W+K. 224 NW 13th 4:30 Free CANCELED

July 7 Gallery Homeland Shebang

Gallery Homeland throws a launch party presentation. Homeland has a global reach, with curator-artist Paul Middendorf hitting the Euro art season hot spots and generally agitating on the behalf of Portland artists at international art fairs in the Hamptons and Miami. If you saw the art projects by the Willamette River on the esplanade last year (and in the river upon occasion) - that was Homeland's "Scratching the Surface". Tonight artists Sean Healy and Jesse Hayward discuss their experience of Portland art in the international context. Homeland will also review plans for this year's "Scratching the Surface" which will hopefully not involve the maintenance guy carting away the art just before the show thinking it refuse (which actually happened last year). After the talks, there will be plenty of time for socializing, a BBQ, drinks and a dance party. At Mark Woolley Gallery 128 NE Russell 7PM $10 (includes food! and there is something about prizes in the announcement??)

July 6 Eastside Art Openings

811 Block

Birds are everywhere, but for how long? The industrial revolution fueled by rapacious resource extraction generated massive new wealth. For some benefiting, the incorporation of bird feathers and even complete bird carcases into hats became the fashion rage.

In addition, mass production placed firearms within the reach of many Americans, in turn, placing birds within the reach of gunowners. Many species were literally driven into extinction by hunting. The massive depopulation of birds in the late 1800's alarmed many, fueling the founding of the National Audubon Society and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in England and their rapid growth. The movement to save birds was one of the earliest environmental movements.

There is a revival of plumassier today, so if you see their displays in public you might inquire how sustainable their source.

"The New Birds" is an art show to benefit the local Audubon Society. Artists Apak, Evan Harris, Martin Ontiveros, Bwana Spoons, Scrappers, Keith Shore, Amy Ruppel, Katy Horan, Matthew Feyld, Stefanie Choi, Tripper, Steve Mathews, Meredith Mathews, Brett Superstar, J.Otto, Cyrus Smith, Ryan Berkley, Adain Koch, David Neevel, Mr. Pinks, Shawn Creeden, Amy Morrison, Nick Robins, Jon Izen, Reverend Benny Bob, David Wein, Betsy Walton, Keith Greiman, Klutch, Matthew di Leo, Phoneticontrol, Mama Morgan and Maxwell Loren Holyoke-hirsch, Shayla Hason, more even, contribute their artistic meditations on bird.

At the Grass Hut

Kendra Binney creates kawaii-styled work [1,2], but it is the eyes that get you. Her figures have preternaturally large eyes. They are dreamers and her paintings, their maybe dreams, hued in a subtle blue palate. Excellent. At Moshi Moshi

Joseph Valentino shows multiple exposure Polaroid (how did he do that?!) that have been modded up by collage at Redux

All 811 E Burnside

Artist David Eckard makes strange sculptures which could be imagined the fabrications, in steel, canvas, fur and leather, of farm animal prosthetics by a mad Finnish farmer. Perhaps they the prototypes of primitive agricultural machines. He also performs in his contraptions, combining physical risk with maybe masochism. Example include "Tournament" and "Widow's Walk", floating the River in a candle lit skeletal podium for Gallery Homeland's "Scratching the Surface" art project. His work is disturbing but much more subtle, though less endorphin-fueled, than the hook suspensionists. He shows drawings and sculptures at Mark Woolley Gallery 128 NW Russell

The Rocket building is at 11th and Burnside. It is covered in sliding ply shutters, painted by artists curated by Ruthann Brown. The building is also green certified by the LEED program. Sustainability is yet at an early stage. That means what it means is not completely clear yet. So people are experimenting with a myriad of sustainability vectors. Here is a chance to see a fancy building where people thought about that in design and selection of materials. Rocket Building 1101 E Burnside

Artist Auditions creates fun in the usually painful dance between artists seeking representation and galleries seeking cold hard sales. Banishing that junior prom-like angst, the artist audition process is more a game. The first phase of selection involved a quest for golden tickets which contained the location of a secret event and the password. At the event the art-gamers were challenged to create an artist trading card. Following instructions to find the "woman in hot pink fishnets" at the next event, the artists exchanged their trading card for an envelope containing a white square stamped with a star. Their challenge was to create something with the star square using a Sharpie. Each phase also included a challenging Internet competitions for artists worldwide. Those artists who made it through these challenges show tonight. They are Aaliyah Gupta (WA, Aaron Morgan Brown (KS), Brynn Dizack (MA), Chris Miller (NY), Christian Rex van Minnen (CO), Jaime Lakatos (CA), Lisa Nersesova (TX), Matthew Broussard (Italy) and Naomi Falk (MI). This show is quite excellent, validating the Artist Auditions process. See it.

If you want in on the fun in the future, check 2236 NE Broadway

Brian Elliott makes ray guns and robots. Not transformer style, more 1950's sci-fi. What a great job! He shows some at 12x16 8235 SE 13th Ave., Suite 5, 432-3513

AMONG US AND CURIOUS is a national juried photo show. With 2000 images submitted, 32 Photographers and were selected including 3 Oregonians. To me the unfigured landscapes are not very interesting. The portraits and peopled landscapes are a pleasant and unique surprise. At Newspace 1632 SE 10th

Portland's Telegraph Arts presents the One Minute Film Festival tonight. Only slightly longer than a blipvert, these films tell a story in the manner of a television commercial. Short enough to guarantee you won't have time to get bored, but still leaving a residual impression of quality or not. At Holocene $3-10 sliding scale

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

July 5 Westside Art Openings

The Portland Art Center opens several shows including something from John Mace, known for large installations such as one with water raining at filling the Nine Gallery and one with blood-like liquid pumped through a network of tubes at the old Art Center space, now Jace Gace. One of the other shows is Portland Modern #5: Environmentalists. In the connected building up the funky elevator are individual artist studios some open for a look at work in progress. 32 NW 5th

Installationist, painter, photographer Paige Saez takes over the downtown Stumptown with bright painting-collages. 128 SW 3rd

Photographer Krista K. Wheeler is known for candid portraits of creative Portland at play and photographing her own family. Her photos of Portland 1990's nightlife are at Ogle 310 NW Broadway until 8:30

Sculptor and installationist Brenda Mallory is known for unitized sculptures, each element just a little different, one to another. Handmade, her work reminds of nature's infinite variation, organized by pattern, be they plant or microorganism. At Nine Gallery in Blue Sky 1231 NW Hoyt (it's also good news that the Nine Gallery space will continue in Blue Sky's fancy new digs when they move later in the month)

P:ear pairs Portland artists and street kids working on art. Hundreds of local artists have participated. It costs money to run such a program and now P:ear has attracted the attention of a local pop radio station with the ability to reach a broad audience beyond the art making community. This is a good thing. Tonight they partner for a sale of encaustic painting at a local salon. If people buy it, it's good all around. Urbaca Salon 120 NW 9th

Painter Gabriel Macca shows impressionistic landscapes at Froelick Gallery 817 SW 2nd

The Laura Russo gallery mounts a summer group show. Galleries are channels, connecting a group of artists to a group of art buyers through an aesthetic theme. Akin to the old television model. The channel which is Motel Gallery has the same concept, just a different aesthetic. Pick any other gallery, it is the same. It can be instructive however to see what the established galleries are programming, in other words what they are selling, which, in turn, pays the artists' rent.
Laura Russo Gallery 805 NW 21st until 8

Deborah Oropallo shows "Guise" unusual digital photographs of women composited onto pre-20th century style formal painted portraits of royals and military men. The artist has an impressive resume, this work is more captivating than the paintings on her website. It's also an example of cultural vectors of acting-costuming employed by many current photographers and sampling, which is everywhere. Pulliam Deffenbaugh 929 NW Flanders until 8

Compound shows Fracture: illustrators Jason Shawn Alexander and Andrew Hem. This is a little rougher non-kawaii, non transformer illustration show than Compound's usual. At Compound/Just Be Toys 107 NW 5th

The Everett lofts are recommended as always, including Soft at Tilt curated by Kristan Kennedy.

July 4-August 12 ROCK'SBOX says "Portland? Fuck Portland"

The ROCK'SBOX is a storefront exhibition space on N Interstate that has come under the control of evil genius artist Patrick Rock. Transforming a burglar alarm company building, redundant due to internet technology and falling North Portland crime rates, Rock exists between the Arco gas station and the gas pump repair service, near a electrical substation and backing a charming chain link alley. In other words, a dream. Rock is a unit of the posse of artists who have relocated from SF to Portland. His Portland splash was the giant inflatable hot dog that, after removing your shoes, you could get inside and bounce around or do whatever, shown at the Fresh Trouble warehouse show, curated by Jeff Jahn, now of Organism.

For this show, subtitled "The Influence of Oregon on Oregonians... (or native born crackers contemplate the contemporary)", Rock has tapped past and present Portlander's: Katherine Bovee/PDX, Brenden Clenaghen/PDX, Tim Colley/PDX, Alex Hubbard/NYC, Jeanine Jablonski/PDX, Malia Jensen/NYC, Joey Macca/PDX, Donald Morgan/LAX, Chelsea Mosher/PDX, P J Risse/NYC, Natascha Snellman/LAX, Storm Tharp/PDX and Molly Vidor/PDX.

This is an adventurous opening show, presaging future viewer rabble rousing at the space, Rock's style. At ROCK'SBOX 6540 N Interstate x Rosa Parks Portland Boulevard Way and you can go by MAX! Opens 7-11PM; otherwise Friday and Saturdays 12-6PM Free