Wednesday, August 27, 2008

August 30 Butoh on Vashon

A friend is living at a beautiful Indonesian temple on Vashon. (That is not my picture, thanks whoever took it though!) A successful Seattle importer disassembled it in Indonesia then brought Balinese craftsmen to reassemble it here. A dream linking islands.

Tonight another dream unfolds linking islands.

Butoh originated in Japan. Initially all the performers were men. Women performers soon added their own inner body history. That is the story tonight.

Three performers, Jyl Shinjo Brewer, Maureen Freehill and Bridget Scott have all studied butoh and Zen in Japan for several years. Two started their training with Joan Laage, who studied with Hakutobo, an all woman group created by the founder of Butoh, Hijikata, in the last phase of his artistic development. So the lineage of the three is special and this night too.

This evening they present 3 Ways To Change.

The spot is small and private, so if you know me, contact me and I can provide more details.

On Vashon Island, Washington. 7:30PM $10

August 30 Pump up the Volume

Volume is a group show with artists Sean Healy, Nathan Shapiro, Joe Thurston, Salvatore Reda, Laura Fritz, Stephen Funk, Ellen George, Arcy Douglass, Jesse Hayward, Josh Smith, Adam Sorensen, Karl Burkheimer, Stephen Slappe, Damien Gilley, Stephanie Robison and Philippe Blanc. Should be good. Curated by Jeff Jahn. At Worksound 820 SE Alder 7:00PM-9:30 Free

August 30- September 1 Anime Festival

Portland is far from Japan but has a special relationship. Some say Hood resembles Fuji.

Anime is one of Japan's most successful exports. Some lands here with Kumoricon, Portland's anime festival. This mostly all ages event features cosplay chess, anime jeopardy, an AMV iron chef competition, karaoki cosplay, gaming, anime showings and outtakes, dance events, workshops, pirates vs ninjas and the Ramen Fire Bowl Attack! All too dificult to explain, but you can get the flavor at At he Lloyd Center Doubletree Hotel. Saturday, 8:00AM-2:00AM; Sunday, 8:00AM-2:00AM; Monday, 8:00AM-5:00PM $20-35

August 29 Art on the River

Gallery Homeland continues their yearly art installations and performances on the Willamette River. There will be installations and/or performances by Dan Anderson, Josh Arseneau, Paul Dahlquist, Marc Dombrosky, Tim DuRoche, Shannon Eakins, Chris Haberman, Chris Held, Chris Hudson, Ashley Neese, Lisa Radon, Cyrus Smith, Amy Steel and Gary Wiseman. Better Homes and Gardens plays at 7. More details on the larger context at The event is on the East Bank Esplanade, easily accessed at the foot of SE Main. 6PM-dark Free

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

August 28 Making Politics Fun

The Bus Project registers new voters. They have neither a Democratic or Republican orientation - their motto is "not left, not right, but forward". They are focused on young voters with a hope and passion for the future, a better future. By 2015 it's estimated a third of voters will be young. There is a lot to do for democracies adapting to a changing world. Opportunity. Challenge. Voting creates optimism essential for getting into that psychic state termed by some "the zone". Voting for psychic survival!

The Bus Project is fun too, it's events include a mix of irreverence and play, balancing out the heavy lifting.

Tonight they convene at Roots brewery to watch the Democratic Convention finale. At 7 is Obama's acceptance speech. There will be games such as their phraseology bingo. Here's a bet that easy gridpoints will be the words "hope" and "change". Prizes!

One of the other Bus Project activities is training young people to run for office, or work as political/ government staffers. Their placement rate is excellent. They are always looking for volunteers! They have buses, which allows them to move the organizer party, now one of their buses in in Denver filled with costumed political activists learning how the convention works from inside. They are also selling their famous Vote F*cker! shirts, boxers and panties at the convention. Friends don't let friends not vote. Did I say they are having fun already?

At Roots Organic Brewery 1520 SE 7th x Hawthorne 6PM Free

Saturday, August 23, 2008

August 23 The Writing's on the Wall at Disjecta

Diane Jacobs project The Writing's on the Wall is a great example of Disjecta's new art vectors. Jacobs piece is a meditation on incarceration in the United States. It's especially relevant as Oregon's prison budget is the 3rd fastest growing in the country, and due to some ballot measures, will grow even faster. Today 1 in 100 Americans have are jailed, 1 in 31 are jailed, on probation or paroled. The United States is number one in the world on all incarceration measures. All this has happened since 1980 and it is expensive. As has been said it's cheaper to send someone to Yale than it is to send them to jail for a year. So sad. This is Jacob's topic. Something to think about. At Disjecta 8371 N Interstate Right near the Paul Bunyan 6PM-9 Free

August 22-24 Project X at Milepost 5

Hand2Mouth Theater is easily Portland's most innovative. They run inexpensively too. Project X:You Are Here involves you telling stories which are recorded and listening to stories left by others. They are doing it around Milepost 5 this weekend. The project will also be in Seattle for Bumpershoot - it's designed for travel. Everything needed, except the theater group's facilitating actors, fits in a shipping container! It has some similarity to Swiss group EToy's Mission Eternity, though less techy. It could be something like The Electronic Cafe by Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz. I never saw that project, however I do not think it has been equaled. The project would definitely fall into the open-source aesthetic realm, it's participatory and touches social practice art. So be (in) it. All this takes place at Milepost 5 Friday 7PM-10; Saturday 2PM-5, 7PM-10; Sunday 2PM-5. $6/2 for $10

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

August 21 ArtSpark! on Landscape Design, Music and Modern Dance

Lawrence Halprin is a famous 20th century landscape architect. He is responsible for the Keller fountain at SW Market and 2nd by the Civic Auditorium, a favorite urban swimming hole. He also designed a series of fountains and spaces on the ped continuation of 2nd going South from Market. If you have not walked there, it is a secret retreat. Anna Halprin, his wife and collaborator, has been exploring the intersection of modern dance, dance therapy and landscape. She offers workshops on the deck at the Mountain Home Studio, a home they designed in Marin. She is still active at 86, commenting that “Aging is like enlightenment at gunpoint”.

As part of the PICA TBA festival, Portland dancers and musicians have collaborated to create a series of site specific works on Halpern's landscape. The Third Angle New Music Ensemble plays minimalist work from composers who collaborated with the Halprins' while local choreographers provide their interpretations of Halprin's movement, considered by some to be early experiments in postmodern choreography. Local writer, architecture and urban design critic Randy Gragg is also involved in the project. The performance itself takes place September 18 and is free.

For tonight's ArtSpark!, members of the Third Angle discuss the project and entertain questions from the audience. Details at At the Living Room Theater Bar, SW Stark and 10th 5PM-7 Free

August 20 Camera Obscura @ NAAU

The New American Art Union opens Ethan Jackson's Orbis Viridis Obscurus. A camera obscura is a room as simple camera with you inside. A lens gathers an image from outside and projects it upside down on a wall of the space. Jackson has divided the light with mirrors to rearrange the image to his liking. There aren't too many trees nearby, maybe the artist intends a fresh interpretation of camera obscura. The images are best seen in daylight. At New American Art Union 922 SE Ankeny 6PM-9 Free

Friday, August 08, 2008

August 8 Water Borne Art on Dry Land

Gallery Homeland has put on multi artist projects on and around the river in cooperation with the City. That project was Scratching the Surface. The show has had some exceptional work and also funny stories resulting from the intersection of public and art and water. The project returns in September at the river. To kick it off the gallery is showing participating artists Josh Arseneau, Marc Dombrosky, Shannon Eakins, David Eckard, Jesse Hayward, Sean Healy, Jo Ann Kemmis, Mary Mattingly, Mack McFarland, Adam Ross, Amy Steel, Gary Wiseman, Dana Vinger and John Vitale. At Gallery Homeland 2505 SE 11th X Division 6PM-9 Free

Thursday, August 07, 2008

August 7 Westside Art Openings

Recommended as always the Everett Station Lofts, corner NW Everett and Broadway.

Portland photographer Sarah Meadows has several established bodies of work in her quiver of arrows and now a PNCA degree. One body comprises seemingly casual snapshots, off framed, but affecting. That can be seen on her photoblog. She has a show at PNCA made in collaboration with Miranda Lehman. Artist's work to watch. At PNCA corner NW 13th and Johnson 6PM-8

Local painter Jessica Bronk makes warm landscapes in ochre, burnt umbers and blue. For best viewing, her show at Vino Paridoso is best seen in the early light before 8:30PM. At Vino Paridiso, 417 NW 10th

Ex Portlander Anna Fidler, now in LA, has curated a show, some of which captures her sense of bright color and refined detail. Entitled Free Love Gods, there are a few notable pieces to see. At Pulliam Deffenbaugh 929 NW Flanders Early close 8PM

Blue Sky has unintentionally political work spanning geographies, fear and hope.

Donald Weber photographed the decaying Ukraine, wounded by the world's worst nuclear power accident in 1986, Chernobyl. Radiation was spread by wind worldwide, including to Oregon. Helicopter pilots made hundreds of flights to drop material to entomb the doomed reactor knowing they were exposing themselves to fatal radiation doses. The disaster and the dissolution of the former Soviet Union spawned criminal oligarchs and that social chaos is the subject of Weber's photographs in Ukraine, one of the "freed" republics (and also the home of the awesome Orange Revolution).

Ugandan expat Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine photographed the unbelievable loads bikes in his home country carry. Portland bike culture is learning with pedicabs multiplying like rabbits and exceptional work by Portland's cargo bike movers, even meals and food delivered by bike.

At Blue Sky Gallery. 122 NW 8th

New York Underground is a window into the scene (which never stops) in NYC in the 1960's to the 1980's. If that interests you you can see it at Augen. 817 SW 2nd 8:30PM close

The times I've stopped I've liked City Hall exhibitions. It's a minor thing in the commissioner-mayor's city art offensive. It's especially good when you know the artists or consider them part of your art sphere. This month is photography.

Photographers David A. Barss, J Swofford, Rosanna Tam, Marne Lucas, Sadie Kenzier, Clara Seasholtz, Joshua Seaman, Christopher Rauschenberg, Alica J. Rose, Angela Cash, Thomas Le Ngo, Ann Ploeger, Brian Lee, Meredith DeLoca, Michele Motta, Alma Sanchez, Richard Schemmerer, Tom Patterson, Brienne Steckly, Thomas Lauderdal, Kali Coles, Brian Foulkes, Matt Flagg, Gigi Grinstad and Nate Padavick show.

Early. Portland City Hall 1221 SW 4th. 5PM-7

Muybridge. His multiimages of animals in motion are iconic. A curiosity. His life harks to the 19th century when photography was more an evolving science than an art, the West was wild and entrepreneurs like George Eastman and Leland Stanford made their mark. I will not reprise the biography here. His work may have been the first scientific photography, now an important tool from streak cameras and ultrafast photography to the images in cloud chambers. Muybridge's patron was Leland Stanford who made millions (billions today) building railroads, including illgotten gains by collecting higher fees from the federal government for track built on the flat he claimed mountains. His son died unexpectedly at an early age. As a result, Stanford endowed the university and its beautiful lands bearing his name.

Photography began its struggle to be recognized as art with Stieglitz. That debate persists with photography's omnipresence and social ubiquity, including on the web. Central to that question is the hand of the maker and limited supply. One problematic area are the unknown quantities of essentially offset prints Muybridge made of his tens of thousands of negatives in the day, come of which may have derived from bound editions of 1000 cut to pieces. Caveat emptor.

Nonetheless the show is interesting as a touchpoint for a curious person's life in a curious time, making groundbreaking work. Who are those artists here and now? At Charles Hartman Gallery 134 NW 8th

Saturday, August 02, 2008

August 2 Ten Tiny

Ten Tiny Dances makes short dances on a small stage in unusual locales. That means more dance can be made and more seen by more people. In some ways it would be like mass customization. Tonight Ten Tiny Dances instantiates in the South Waterfront as part of their public art program. Dancers Mike Barber, Cydney Wilkes, Linda Austin, Tere Mathern, POV Dance, Hand2Mouth Theatre, Sojourn Theatre, Hot Little Hands, Ko & Co. and Rhiza A+D, perform at various locations on four foot square stages designed by architects. Stop by the project office and pick up a map before 4PM. Dances start at 4:15 sharp. South Waterfront art projects office 3623 SW River Parkway x Gaines in the John Ross Building. See the website for details. 4PM-7 Free