Friday, October 31, 2008

November 3 Global Stages and Social Practice

Katsura Kan is a longtime Kyoto butoh master. He performed with Byakko-sha, formed by Isamu Osuka, an offshoot of Dairakudakan in a Kyoto factory. While Byakko-sha presented a wild, mad and chaotic flavor, Kan is very analytic and considered.

A friend studied with him in Kyoto. After a year or two of classes, she learned of a performance his group was making in another Japanese city. She implored Kan to allow her to assist, collecting tickets, doing lights, anything needed for the performance. His response was a note of the location, you can make it if you like.

Finding a location in Japan is a challenge for Japanese. For Westerners without the language, it is a supreme challenge. Within a neighborhood, banchi, of pedestrain-oriented curvalinear streets without names, addresses were assigned in chronological order of building in a neighborhood, not linear order on a named street!

My friend set out early in the morning to the performance. She arrived, miraculously, an hour before the performance at the site. There Kan was surprised to see her. "Oh, you made it?". "Get in costume, the performance is in an hour and you are in it." You can imagine her response. She performd and well, continuing with Kan's traveling performing group for a year or two. Later he was planning a new performance. He selected dancers, but not her. She protested. His response: "Do you remember your first time on stage? You were raw, with an intensity. It is time for another to feel that."

Kan has worked to form a pan-Asian butoh, collaborating in Indonesia and Thailand. He is also known for drawing movement, sampling, from his dancers. Tonight he speaks on the origins of butoh in Japan.

Butoh was first performed in 1959. A common theory is that it was inspired by the atomic bomb in 1945. I believe it was inspired by the youth and artistic cultural movement for Japanese cultural soverenity. At the time, writers such as Mishima represented a return to traditional Japanese values along with creative and social liberalization. There were also massive protests in the streets against the terms of the US-Japan Mutual Defense Treaty. The founder of butoh was from Northern Japan and was influenced by Japan's nature-based philosophy, Shinto. This is the explanation in Michael Blackwood's documentary. Byakko-sha's Isamu Osuka does relate that he was in the womb of his mother in 1945 Hiroshima and has a prebirth memory of the bomb's illumination. Kan, a Buddhist, perhaps will have a comment on the impact of Japanese philosophy on butoh and how Americans can find their unique butoh. That would be social practice.

The lecture has been organized by Mizu Desierto and Professor Larry Kominz of Portland State University's Center for Japanese Studies and with the help of the Dance program at PSU's Theater Arts Department. Kan teaches workshops and performs this week at the Headwaters Studio at Disjecta.

The lecture is in Smith Hall room 327/8/ 6:30PM Free!

Darren O'Donnell is a polymath. Writer of novels, maker of theater and a social practice artist. Mammalian Diving Reflex forms a pattern for O'Donnell's performances. They range from his haircuts by children project to on stage work. I think his talk will be entertaining, but I'm not really sure what he does so maybe just see his website and decide if it sounds fun and exciting.

It is part of the PSU Monday Lecture Series. This series has been consistently engaging. It has moved to a new location - Shattuck Hall, Room 212, 1914 SW Park Avenue, at the corner of SW Broadway and Hall on the PSU campus. 7:30PM Free

November 2 Baraka at Jáce Gáce

An amazing film shot all over the world on 70mm. At Jáce Gáce, Art, Waffles and Beer. 2045 SE Belmont 8PM Free

October 31 - November 2 Wilkes+Barber

There is something about duets. Cydney Wilkes and Mike Barber have been doing them together for some time and it shows. Music in the Middle is based on a score from composer Heather Perkins. The duo created movement based on a visual version of the score, without hearing it. They also perform a Deborah Hay work. All this is at small
Conduit 918 SW Yamhill Street, 4th floor. Friday-Sunday 8PM and 2PM Sunday $15, $12 artists & students Reserved tickets at

October 31 Holloween and Elections

I am very serious about elections. In many other countries, people are literally loosing their lives to vote. But politics and voting are fun and exciting too, it is an opportunity for optimism. Changing the world is a challenge, it should be a fun challenge! Trick or Vote is the Bus Project's very fun effort to get voters to turn in their mail ballots. It's a nation wide effort in some other cities reminding people to vote, person to person. In Portland come in costume at 3:30PM or 5:30PM to Audio Cinema, 226 SW Madison. Bring your friends! Groups will head out from there to neighborhoods where they will knock on doors reminding people to VOTE! After there is a free party for volunteers at the same meetup location. ($10 for non volunteers) At 1000 realistically idealistic people, it will be the funnest party in Portland! Details

October 30-November 2 Catlin Sale

Cultural anthropology is so fascinating. There is an opportunity to practice it by examining findings at the Catlin Gabel Rummage Sale. It's a fund raiser for financial aid for the school. Everything from fancy jewelry, toys, furniture, clothes/costumes, kitchen stuff and old super-8 gear. At the Expo Center "Go by Train". Thurs. 5PM-9; Fri. 10PM-6; Sat. 9AM-9PM 25% off everything; Sun. 9AM-3PM 50% off everything and special cheap bag sales/ make a deal.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

October 27 Matt McCormick on Film

The slow food movement proposes local ingredients, minimally processed with loving care and consumed with gentle relish. It is the opposite of fast food. Many question other forms of human endeavour, spawning slow movements in design and other activities. In a way, slow is not exactly the right adjective, it is more about appropriate speed and intent.

Mat McCormick's films are slow films in intent; they are really not slow though. They are perfectly adapted to our place. They allow the viewer to enter quietly without being browbeaten by action or theatrics. They unfold quietly and manifest themselves unexpectedly. McCormick created and ran the PDX Documentary and eXperimental Film Festival for a few years which he curated with like films.

His work spans documentary-like material, public service announcements, friends' music videos, art installation and increasingly projects with actors, including a recent feature which has just finished shooting.

See McCormick show and speak on his work at the PSU Monday Lecture Series. This series has been consistently engaging. It has moved to a new location - Shattuck Hall, Room 212, early arrival recommended. 7:30PM Free

Thursday, October 23, 2008

October to Thanksgiving

A beautiful installation has been up for a few weeks. Artist LeBrie Rich has made a felted Thanksgiving dinner in a display window. You can see it anytime in the 11th Street side window at Knit and Purl, corner SW Alder and 11th.

Monday, October 20, 2008

October 20 Public Artist, Architect, Planner

Every field is crying out for creative thinkers. That has allowed sculptor Buster Simpson to expand his projects from public sculpture to planning and designing civic structures. You may have seen one of his public sculptures by the Convention Center light rail stop - it is a large forest log and watering system creating a plant succession of tree sprouts. Simson speaks at the PSU Monday Lecture Series. This series has been consistently engaging. It has moved to a new location - Shattuck Hall, Room 212, double the old location's capacity. 7:30PM Free

Thursday, October 16, 2008

October 18 Classical Indian Flute Master

Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia is a master of the bansuri. From this bamboo flute of six finger holes, he produces tones spanning five and one half octaves. He is considered one of the finest performers on the instrument in the world. His raga playing is supremely sensitive as you may judge from these three videos. He has collaborated with Western musicians and is chair of the World Music Department at the Rotterdam Music Conservatory. Tonight he is accompanied by Rupak Kulkarni, flute; Rakesh Chaurasia, flute; Subhankar Banerjee, tabla and Bhavani Shankar, pakhawaj. Presented by Kalakendra at the First Congregational Church, 1126 SW Park Avenue. 7:30PM $25 advance, $30 at door, discounts for members.

October 17 Yuko Ota Butoh at Headwaters Studio

Jinen Butoh takes as its inspiration everything, not differenting between nature, objects we make and our constructions in thought. The founder joined Bishop Yamada's Hoppo-Butoh-ha in Hokkaido. Hoppo-Butoh-ha evolved from Dairakudakan, active to this day.

Yuko Ota, a Jinen influenced performer, journeys all the way to Portland to perform tonight. Later she offers a workshop, bringing a different thread of butoh to movers here. The performance is at the Headwaters Studio at Disjecta in Kenton, very close to the Paul Bunyan statue.

Joining Ota will be Death Posture from Seattle, much less scary than it sounds, and purveyor of sublime duet. Mizu Desierto and her Portland group perform too. Mizu directed the very amazing Midsummer Night's Dream at Peninsula Park. At 8371 N Interstate. 8PM sharp, doors close. $15

October 17 Photographer Jim Lommasson at NAAU

Lommasson is known for idea-driven photographic meditations on American life. An outstanding example was his work in New Orleans after Katrina, Heaven and Earth. As part of the visionary NAAU Couture series, he is back with a show of portraits of Afghan and Iraq War veterans, Exit Wounds. Lommasson's interviews accompanying the work trace their experiences of war and returning. Many of his veteran subjects display photos they made at war. At New American Art Union 922 SE Ankeny Opening 6PM-9 Free

October 17 Equilibrium: The Human Mash Up

The Human Mashup is a collaborative project of the Working Artists Studio-Gallery, visualists, DJ's, the Software Association of Oregon and developer Brad Malsin's Olympic Mills/B&O Warehouse Building in its gallery helmed by Chris Haberman. Wherecamp, with other events later, is also involved.

Working Artists principal, Adrienne Fritze, issued a call to artists for work themed on the survival of all species in a changing planet. The show is the result. Artists Adrienne Fritze, Angela Gay, Dante Cohen, David Burke, Jack Gabel, Jesse Lindsay, Judy Devine, Lea Keohane, Mario Robert III, Richard Schemmerer, Rio Wrenn, Sabina Haque and Theresa Weil participate. We hope these mashups will continue to bring creatives from radically different communities together, sharpening the art dialog.

3 hours only. At 107 SE Washington. 4PM-7 Free

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October 15 Hillary Pfeiffer's Love Bugs

From the artist: "Every year the Lovebugs swarm. It's their mating process-traveling in a giant mass of writhing pheromones. In recent decades, as their native habitat in the forests has been depleted, the Lovebugs have migrated toward the roadways to act out their seasonal ritual. They are drawn to the scent of automobile exhaust fumes, which chemically replicates the odor produced by the female insect to attract their male counterparts and alert them of their fertility. Quite often, individuals in a swarm are randomly looping, spiraling, or corkscrewing around in a dizzying search for their mates, rather than following a linear flightplan.

People swarm too. In bars, parks, highways, gyms, malls. We often gather together and watch each other, observing our mating rites which include clothing, gesture, demeanor. We flirt, looking into each other's eyes for the kinesthetic cues that it's okay to do so. sWarm by Hilary PfeiferLanguage is a big part of courtship, and it is from this place that I chose the title for this installation. When George Gershwin wrote 's Wonderful, he was taking note of the way that humans often elide the spoken word, letting some parts drop away and others merge. When we are speaking affectionately to lovers, our language is softer and more melodic than usual. Words loop from thought to thought, much like the lofty flight pattern of a giddy bug. -hilary."

Artist Hillary Pfeifer shows her Love Bugs until November 15 at Relish 1715 NW Lovejoy

October 15-18 Cinema Project Opens New Home

The Cinema Project shows films on film. Properly exposed, processed and projected film has a wider dynamic range between light and dark, more gradations, greater resolution and color more closely matching the real world than does video. No compression artifacts either. Not only will this be the case for some time into the future, but some experimental artists' work from the past is only available on film.

The Cinema Project has done itinerant outdoor showings, programmed Film Center showings and maintained a long, often sold out residency at the New American Art Union (thanks Ruthann Brown!)

Now they have their own home sweet home downtown. They open it with this program. It is an opportunity to see rare film and in person discussions with filmmakers and artists.

Full details on all at the Cinema Project

Wednesday Opening Night

Todd Haynes on Film

Portland director Todd Haynes is famous for outstanding sensitive commercial films such as Safe, Far From Heaven and I'm Not There. He started with beautiful experimental work such as Superstar and Poison. Velvet Goldmine forms somewhat of a transition. Superstar, 1987, tells the tragic story of very successful singer Karen Carpenter who died of anorexia. In the film, BarbieTM dolls play the characters with stop action animation. Watching for only a few moments, you are drawn in, the strange nature of the 'actors' disappears far beneath the compelling story. The others I have seen include a Far From Heaven, a lushly filmed exploration of the inner life of a 50's housewife and Velvet Goldmine, a madcap search for a missing pop star's life. From humble BarbieTM beginnings, Haynes is famed as an actors' director.

This evening, Visiting Professor of Film History at Hamilton and Harvard, Scott MacDonald discusses the films with Haynes, interspersing film segments as context.

At the Portland Art Museum Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park. 8PM $8

Thursday Canyon Cinema

Canyon Cinema began as an itinerant venue for artists to show their films in 1961 San Francisco, backyards to basements. Later it evolved into a distributor and archive of experimental film. Today you can find artist films at Canyon unavailable anywhere and on film, unfortunately the rental prices are oriented to institutions, following the film model. This would be in contrast to subsequent models such as VHS/DVD sales and rental, Netflix, BitTorrent, Hulu, YouTube, MobiTV and so forth. Hey but we started out with this saying film was good!

Tonight there are 3 programs: 6PM - Canyon Men, 8PM a talk on Small Cinemas, and 9PM Canyon Women. All of the programs have been compiled by Scott Macdonald.

Friday Lost and Found Party

This evening the focus are two filmmakers, Ina Archer and Kevin Jerome Everson. I believe both work in the manner of Craig Baldwin, intercutting found footage with a sharp political intent.

The evening program focuses on Ina Archer at 6PM; a discussion on sampling the archive of black representation on film as a tactic, 7:45PM; and the films of Kevin Jerome Everson at 9PM.
At 10:30PM there is a dance party wrap.

Saturday Archives and the Films of Joseph Cornell

This is an action packed day -

12:00PM-2:00 Archiving Portland Arts Now, moderated by Matthew Stadler (free)
2:30PM The Women’s Film Preservation Fund
3:30PM Afternoon Tea & Social (free)
5:00PM The Films of Joseph Cornell - Infinite Affinities: Film and Collage
7:00PM Preserved and Unpreserved Films From Anthology Film Archives
9:30PM More Films of Joseph Cornell

Sunday Projecting The Future

1:30PM Artist Distribution Avenues and Choices: Why, Where, and How
3:30PM New Experimental Cinema by the Cinema Project
5:30PM Filming (In) War: Recent Lebanese Video
8:30PM Expanded Cinema Comes Alive
10:30PM Closing Night Party Live Music by Evolutionary Jass Band, Tara Jane O’Neil, and Sad Horse. 21+. The Cleaners corner Stark and SW 10th $10/ Free with event ticket stubs

Unless elsewise noted, events are at at the Cinema Project's new screening room 11 NW 13th Street 4th floor. Limited capacity, doors 30 minutes in advance. Each event $6 or $3 for Cinema Project members. $30 all event pass available.

The Cinema Project website details the individual films and artists at

Sunday, October 12, 2008

October 13 Andrea Zittel

Andrea Zittel has made making new objects for everyday life, and living with them, her work. One striking example are lightweight living pods in the California desert landscape. Zittel has made clothing and furniture too. Her clothing projects were inspired by office work where she was required to wear something nice. Her response has been a self-designed piece of clothing she wears daily for months. She develops and lives with her experimental, practical and economical furniture. She is an almost practical, almost impractical, industrial designer, only constrained by the fact that she lives her life with the work. The result is beautiful.

After a few years prototyping her living pods in the California desert near Joshua Tree, Zittel cofounded the High Desert Test Sites. Once a year artists converge on the site to make and share art in landscape.

Another Zittel open source social practice project is her Interloper hiking club. Walkers gather in costume for wilderness hikes. Sometimes their hikes inhabit art fairs.

The essence of Zittel's effort is to create a minimal implementation of something we each are familiar with from everyday life. In the viewer, that can create a new sense of creativity.

She speaks at the PSU Monday Lecture Series. This series has been consistently engaging. It has moved to a new location - Shattuck Hall, Room 212, double the old location's capacity. 7:30PM Free

Friday, October 10, 2008

October 10,11,16,18 Seattle Butoh

Haruko Nishimura presents her latest production Silvering Path. She describes it: One dance of eros, earth and the slug; one battle of the Weeble Wobble vs. the Ninjas; and one Monstrous Grandmother. Nishimura has been making lush, humorous and intense butoh in Seattle, often in collaboration with musicians the Degenerate Art Ensemble (formerly the Young Composers Collective). Opines Seattle's Stranger: "Nishimura is a hypnotic, versatile, and harrowing performer. Part Butoh maestro and part woodland creature, she can shift from a spider-monster to Marlene Dietrich to a forlorn ghost with a few simple gestures." I would say that is accurate. With Mandy Greer, crochet art; Ian Lucero, film and Colin Ernst, sculptural costume. Live adventurous music by Jeffrey Huston and Joshua Kohl. Dress art by Anna Lange. Video art installation by Leo Mayberry. Show review here. At the FREE SHEEP FOUNDATION 4408 3rd ave (at Battery) in belltown * $15 *

Thursday, October 09, 2008

October 9 Dishwashers on Bikes

Once upon a time there were copy machines. That spawned photocopy art and self published zines - paper-based - before the world wide web. One Portlander, Pete Jordan, rode that ride, traveling the country as a dishwasher and writing of it in his zine as Dishwasher Pete. That zine morphed to book: Dishwasher: One Man's Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States. Then Pete headed to the Netherlands to study city planning and fell in love with Amsterdam's bikes. The city's winding streets, canals and bridges constrain streets to small cars and slow speeds, ideal for bikes. So in love with the city bike culture, he asked his wife if they could stay. Now six years later, they have a small bike shop and Pete writes two bike columns in the local paper. He will read from his book in progress, In the City of Bikes: An Up Close Look at Amsterdam, tonight, against a projected backdrop of street scenes from the city.

Nickey Robare shows her film Small Movements on the Sprockettes, Portland's pink precision minibike dance team. She performed with them, so this is an intimate view of their amazingness. Art on the wall by Tiago DeJerk, bike themed. Musician Baby Dollars closes the evening with probably dancing.

Organized by original zinesters Reading Frenzy. At the Cleaners, corner SW Stark and 10th 7PM Sliding scale $3 or greater.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

October 4 Visualization Center Opens with Dumb Type (NY)

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a university known for strong visual arts and engineering programs, is opening a performance and research center, EMPAC. The first director is a founding director of Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, Germany. This is a new building and program for a project that has been established for a few years.

They will have residencies and collaboration opportunities ongoing. Facilities include immersive projection, controlled sound environments, supercomputers and a very technical staff.

The program is focused on visualization for art and science.

There are some amazing opening performances, including Dumb Type's Voyage tonight. Every time I have seen this group, I have been floored. They mix idea, emotion, movement, sound, video and lighting in a way that works together, rather than distracting.

So if you are reading this in that part of the country, you might enjoy it!

EMPAC is in Troy, NY, 120 miles North of New York City

October 3 Eastside Openings

Taking inspiration from James Baldwin, "The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions which have been hidden by the answers", Reversed Reality is a show of Chinese, French and Portland artists. Wei Hsueh, at PNCA, brings four Hong Kong artists. Pang Qian Guo, Beatrix Pang draws connections between prople in Hong Kong and Portland using photography and sound. Lau Xue Cheng, Hanison Lau samples traditional Chinese culture such as poetry and landscape painting and repurposes it to contemporary art. Wong Wai Yin, Doris Yin samples everyday objects and remakes. Ma Ho Yin, Florian Ma samples pop culture and high culture. For this show he has a lighting installation. Cheikh Ndiay from Lyon presents paintings and installation, some inspired by streetscapes. Samantha Wall from Portland shows drawings themed on strong women. Don't miss this. At Worksound 820 SE Alder

In the 811 Block

Grass Hut shows work from Islands Fold™ artists' residencies paired with Grass Hut artists. Islands Fold is the home of Angela Conley and Luke Ramsey on Pender Island, B.C. Artists visit for a time and make work. It's a beautiful intimate project. Luke has a poetic explanation for it all. Artist resident matchups include Spencer Hibert + Marco Zamora, Johnathan R. Storm + Dawn Riddle, Luke Ramsey + Jill Bliss, Zeesy Powers + Scrappers, Ben Jacques + Le Merde, Irana Douer + Betsy Walton, Bwana Spoons + Theo Ellsworth, Charlotte Walton + Fawn Gehweiler, Oliver Hibert + Owen Plummer, Maseman + Arbito, Shawn Wolfe + Kinoko and Howie Tsui + Apak. In each pairing, one artist drew an island and sea, then mailed it to the other, who added the island home and inhabitants. Luke himself shows his solo-island drawings too. At Grass Hut

Sword and Fern has the pen and ink drawings of Seattle artist cybele phillips. Sword and Fern

Redux, queen of reuse, has drawings and paintings by Norman Chambers, "space cadet". Another copywriting award is in order:

"In my work I constantly look to the future past that never was, where obsolete electronic devices and other strange gizmos that don't do anything in particular, coexist with stifled cartoon people, science fiction ephemera, idealized and simplified landscapes with exaggerated, oversimplified clouds and horizons. All of these coexist as a combination for a sort of perverse utopian/dystopian still life approximation. Logan's Run meets Zardoz on the set of Sleeper perhaps?

I take quite a bit of inspiration from the 70's illustrations of Jean Girard (Moebius), the amorphic blobs of Hans Bellmer, the future visions of Syd Mead, the vivid pop-art Psychedelia of Guy Peellaert, and of course my own skewed perspective, filtered through a sort of absurd sub-Archigram collage futurism. I try to tell stories that don't necessarily reveal themselves, yet provide a wealth of visual information from which the viewer may draw his/her own conclusions". At Redux

All 811 E. Burnside

Rio Wrenn shows work on fabric patterned by rust. This work was last seen at Rake. It's a great metaphor and definitely sustainable. At Lille Boutique 1007 E Burnside

NAAU is in the last days of a great show previously noted. The camera obscura is best seen in daylight, the brighter the better. Ends October 5. At New American Art Union 922 SE Ankeny

John Brodie, in probably the best named show of the year, presents painting collages in a show titled "My Carbon Footprint Weighs a Ton". Brodie is bright and poppy, capturing well current memes and zeitgeists of the culture at large. To do so, he samples and reuses the layered archaeology of wheatpasted old school paper billboards and movie posters. This work is best seen in person, big, bright and up close. At Jáce Gáce 2045 SE Belmont

galleryHOMELAND is hewing to a regular first Friday opening schedule. This month it is "Instinctive Inquiry", installations and works on paper by Susan Murrell. Murrell fully occupies Homeland's sprawling space with maybe biomorphic abstractions including organic sand paintings! This is a great show to get lost in, in a good way! 2505 SE 11th Avenue

Pushdot has "Letting the Horses Loose", Polaroid shots of toy horses, Pushdot reprocessed, by Elizabeth Soule and "Patterns of Change", lightboxes with patterns suggesting Japanese indigo prints, under water life, and things found only under microscopes by Meagan Geer. At Pushdot Studio 1021 SE Caruthers

Newspace has photos by Myron Filene & Jeff Shay of built landscapes. 1632 SE 10th

October 2 Westside Art Openings

Brenden Clenaghen shows "We Became", schematic paintings. Many Clenaghen paintings remind landscape in a mysterious modern fairy tale way. Some of the paintings have cool titles like "Curing Astral Woe" - I'll vote for that! With Laurie Reid's watercolors in a show titled "Landscapes/Lifescapes". At Pulliam Deffenbaugh 929 NW Flanders early close 8PM

The PDX Window Project shows "Weather" wood burn patterned panels. This is a new direction for the artist known for small polymer sculptures. In the main gallery are book art works from Nazraeli Press. At PDX 925 NW Flanders

Portland is a printmaking town. Sarah Horowitz is the printmaker's printmaker. Her exploration of handmade papers has led to new pen and brush original drawings on Japanese handmade papers using inks from natural materials such as persimmon, oak, iron and soot. Her subjects are plants too, in a botanical illustration style.
At Froelick Gallery 714 NW Davis

Mark R Smith creates sculptures and collage from found fabric. Early work comprised every hue imaginable in clothing left in arenas after sports events or concerts. He sewed them into relief sculptures in the pattern of the seating charts, with the lost clothing sealed in clear plastic corresponding to the area in which it was found. Later clear plastic sculptures stuffed with fabric took on different shapes. Smith has added 2d work of bright fabric to the mix. Christine Bourdette shows drawings complementary to her retrospective at the Marylhurst Art Gym. At Elizabeth Leach 417 NW 9th

Blue Sky shows two artists' meditations on our society's relationship to mental illness. "Library of Dust" are David Maisel's photographs of 3489 canisters of ashes, the remains of people in Oregon's last mental institution, the Oregon State Hospital. The poignant sad story is a deep metaphor. We certainly haven't gotten it right yet.

Claudio Cricca shows "Faceless", photographs of men in Italy's last remaining mental hospitals. Forsaken by family, they live out lives measured by the mind's endless time. The work recalls Ward No 7 (The Psychiatry, 1984) by Alfonsas Budvytis photographed in crumbling Soviet mental institutions. Budvytis reportedly suffered post traumatic stress syndrome himself from wartime photography experiences.

Maisel speaks at the gallery Wednesday October 1 at 6PM and Cricca Saturday October 4 at 3PM. Free

At Blue Sky Gallery in the Desoto Building, 122 NW 8th. Opening 6PM-9

The Independent Publishing Resource Center, IPRC, shows small prints by Shannon Buck and Carye Bye. Known for zines and now electronic publishing, the IPRC also has ancient iron presses. Buck and Bye met at those presses, formed a friendship and then each started their own presses! Buck founded Loaded Hips Press while making folk art style whirlygigs and performing tarot readings. Bye operates Red Bat Press, organizes the Bunny on a Bike ride every Easter and operates the Bathtub Museum collection of bathtub themed art. Bye and Buck tell the story of the ideosyncracies of each of the presses they have worked on by example works in lino-cut, woodblock and letterpress.

At The Independent Publishing Resource Center
917 SW Oak St 6PM-9

As always the varied work at the Everett Station Lofts and the current show a the contemporary Craft Museum are recommended for your viewing pleasure.

October 2,3,4,5,6 Suddenly Ends

The Suddenly show -, themed on landscape, settlement and social forces closes this week. The last events are interactive.

October 2 Nashville as Urban Metaphor

In Robert Altman's 1975 film Nashville (158 minutes), an ensemble cast of seemingly unrelated individuals cross paths and dialog building toward an unexpected ending. Just like cities. Art historian James Glisson believes the film depicts a certain desperate ennui occasioned by suburban landscape: “Robert Altman’s ‘Nashville’ (1975) is a film whose sprawling narrative structure reflects the equally sprawling fabric of the automobile-dominated, postwar boom town in which it takes place. The odd segues with scenes passing like batons from one character to another often depend on the medium of traffic, whether as traffic jams or impromptu roadside meetings. Down to the film’s floating camerawork that captures actors from awkward viewpoints, it is a film in which nothing settles and its narrative momentum, like so much rubbernecked traffic, has a stop-and-go quality.” — James Glisson, “Photographing Sprawl,” Afterimage, January, 2008. (Maybe he should show Timecode)

After showing the film, everyone is invited to a drunken discourse, I mean to discuss and debate the thesis.

In the Chapel (big room, old building) at Milepost 5 900 NE 81st (go by MAX) 7PM Free

October 3 Indigenous and Modern Urban Patterns : Two Talks

At 3PM Thomas Sieverts gives an architecture focused talk. (See more about him next in the Back Room)

At 5PM a panel: Thomas Sieverts, University of British Columbia historian Coll Thrush (author of Native Seattle), PSU archaeologist Kenneth M. Ames (co-author of Peoples of the Northwest Coast), anthropologist Melissa Darby, and University of Puget Sound historian Douglas Sackman, discuss indigenous settlement before cities. Did it influence city patterns later?

Both in the UO White Stag building, Events Room (main floor) 70 NW Couch Free

October 4 Back Room Dinner and Discussion at a Parking Lot in Beaverton

The Back Room series of smart dinners have been noted in this blog before. They have been in special and varied locales drawing a salon of special and varied participants.

Tonight it is in an abandoned parking lot in Beaverton.

Thomas Sieverts meets Aaron Betsky. Sieverts was an architect of the revitalization of Germany's rust belt along the Ruhr River. The resulting web of small cities, connected by transit and webbed with greenspace, replaced the ghosts of mines, blast furnaces and contaminated soil. The plan area surrounding the Emscher River was so polluted that the river itself required its own treatment plant before draining into the Ruhr.

Now the area, of similar size to the Willamette Valley, is home to 5 million.

Aaron Betsky is director of the Cincinnati Art Museum and director of the 2008 Venice Biennale of Architecture. He has served as director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute and curator of architecture and design at SFMOMA.

A tasty Thai dinner and drinks with talks and an engaging audience is yours for $50. Info at the Back Room website.

October 5 Can Art and Writing Shape the City?

If the pen is mightier than the sword, is it mightier than the backhoe? Thomas Sieverts, artist Fritz Haeg, writer Lisa Robertson, curator Stephanie Snyder, and writer Matthew Stadler discuss it with you outside on Reed campus. Check the website for details. 2PM Free

October 6 Discusion - Can policy liberate design, is it the reverse or are they orthogonal?

Thomas Sieverts, urban designer; Brad Cloepfil, architect and Reed Kroloff, director of Cranbrook take on the topic. Thomas Sieverts believes ”shaping of the landscape where we live can no longer be achieved by the traditional resources of town planning, urban design, and architecture. New ways must be explored, which are as yet unclear.” Brad may have some thoughts as a recent project mired for a time in a preservationist swamp, only to be dissed by reviewers on its completion. (needlessly in my opinion) Personally I believe there is a happy medium but policy and design have different time cycles and information flows.

At PNCA Swiggert Commons, Corner NW 13th and Johnson 6:30PM Free

October 1 ShowPDX Furniture Design

ShowPDX is a biennial furniture design event. Expect sustainable material themes, and ultra modern. Some of these one of a kind pieces may be selected by Design Within Reach for worldwide production. The opening evening will be a designers meet and greet with refreshments. At Portland State University Shattuck Hall, 3rd floor. Open Monday, Wednesday and Fridays in October 1-5. Free. Designers talk October 21, 6:30PM at Design Within Reach NW Everett x 12th. Opening Reception, Shattuck Hall, October 1, 6PM-9 $10