Friday, February 27, 2009

February 28 Disjectas

How appropriate that the Nowhere collective would do a residency at the Center for Land Use Interpretation. But that is not all. 24 artists form their interpretation of the kitchy West in (((Dreamcatcher))). Want more? Musicians Rob Walmart, Cars and Trains, Hair Envelope, White Fang, Big Spider's Back and Universal Studios Fl perform. All Disjecta. 8371 N Interstate near Paul Bunyon. All the time 6PM-10. All free

February 27 Design

Design can provide as much pleasure as art and often more. Portland is long over the craft v art contest. Tonight a few designers of furniture - functional art - show their work. The Egg Collective, Sara Huston, Jason Krzmarzick, Jennifer Freudenberger, Studio Gorm, Merkled and the Design Department show work at the ADX Furniture Dig. 315 SE 9th 6PM Free

Saturday, February 21, 2009

February 24-25 Mini Golf Madness

Not all art must be serious fun, it can be fun fun too. That is the case for the artist-designed mini golf links at Holocene. The twelve all star teams creating holes this year are: Jack Bouba & Stacey Mairs; Jesse Pardun, Carl Jansen & Nate Lee; Drew Marshall & Heather Campbell; Scott Mazariegos & John Larsen; John Bacone; Jason Kentta & David Bertman; Tom O'Toole & Ada Mayer; FLAVOURspot; SCRAP Creative Re-Use; Together Gallery featuring Timothy Karpinski, Seth Neefus, & David Wien; Pony Club Gallery and The Pancake Clubhouse Historic Township and Activity Destination for the Living Arts (welcomes you!).

This is always a fun and lively event. You get to vote for the best design team which will receive a hard earned prize of $1000 for their madness. It's at Holocene 6PM-close $8

Thursday, February 19, 2009

February 22 Sun King vs Wolves and Urchins!

The Art Gym is a gym at a college repurposed to gallery. It can be a little hard to find - check the university map. This month two shows share the space. Hayley Barker, Wendy Given and Anne Mathern present Wolves and Urchins, inspired by the duality of our attractions to and fears of wild nature. Bruce Conkle and Marne Lucas perfect a theme they have been developing - Warlord Sun King. Sampling nature with an ironic Northwest eye, they make wry comment on our relationship with the wilds. At the Marylhurst Art Gym, in the admin building "A" South end, upper floor. Opening 3PM-5 Free.

February 21 Art at Milepost 5

Milepost 5 continues its visual program with several group shows. Each show gets a floor and the mix of artist curators provides aesthetic variety. Live music. All at Milepost 5 900 E 81st. 7PM-9. Free

February 20 Art & Performance

At Reed College, artist Liza Ryan speaks on her installation now showing in the gallery. Talk 6:30PM Eliot Hall 314 Free

Those who have seen Portland's Water in the Desert performance festivals, such as the ambitious and spectacular Midsummer Night's Dream at Peninsula Park last summer, know the pleasure of a beautiful performance involving dozens. The festival is free. Tonight is a benefit in support of this summer's festival. Performers include Kyai Guntur Sari, Gamelan; Maureen Freehill “momo”, butoh; Adam Hurst, Cello; Miriam Burke, Javanese Dance; Kyogen Theatre by PSU's theater lab; Mizu Desierto Butoh Theatre, the core of the summer festival and Soriah with Ashkelon Sain, Tuvan Throat-singing. There is a dance party after until late. At Someday Lounge 125 NW 5th. Performances commence 8:30PM. Benefit tickets $15-30

February 19-21 Undine

Faith Helma, one half of Hand2Mouth's dynamic duo, presents her one person show Undine. Inspired by the intense lives of self destructive rock stars, Helma tells a modern fairy tale with the musical assistance of Peter Musselman, DJ Brokenwindow and John Berendzen. At Conduit, 918 SW Yamhill, 4th floor. Reservations mail (at) or 503-235-5284 Thursday & Friday, 7:30PM; Saturday 7:30, 9:30. $10

February 19 Ignite 5

Ignite is a series of short talks that sells out its free tickets in 5 Twitteriffic minutes. The talks this month look good. At the Bagdad Theater General admission doors 6:30PM, Program 7. Free

Sunday, February 08, 2009

February 12 Innovation / Symbolism / Art Stuff

Office PDX is the lone outpost for modern design on Alberta. The psychological support provided by subcultural reassurance in an Oregon Country Fair vibe supports for some Maslow's heirarchy, as it should.

The Office partner duo has a different focus: mid 20th century design to now, which draws psychological sustenance from a Bauhaus philosophy that continually evolving aesthetics support the aspirational needs of all. It is the progressive pole of the brain chemical dynamic of novelty and familiarity.

Tonight Office presents Innovation in a Recession, by Skylab, Laika, Nike. Each has a different timescale: films many years, architecture a few fewer, shoes months.

At Office 2204 NE Alberta Street 6PM RSVP required - Free

Meanwhile at the Art Institute, University of New Mexico professor of design Maggie Macnab speaks on symbolism in design in support of her new book Decoding Design: Understanding and Using Symbols in Visual Communication. It is a purpose focused view of visual semiotics, something we do without being conscious of it but as a designer is useful to know. At the Art Institute of Portland 1122 NW Davis 7PM rsvp required to Allena Baker at abbaker (at) Free

M K Guth is a Portland OG craft artist who transitioned to art with schooling in NYC. A forte is video art; work at the Portland Art Museum in installation has shown also at the Whitney Biennial. Guth speaks on some other projects at the museum. At the Portland Art Museum 6PM Free or museum admission

February 12-16 Minibikes!

This is a closely curated blog. One vector are cultural explorations beyond sustainable visual art. Those experiences keep creatives fresh. An example are the confabs of the Zoobomber/ messenger/ bike fun-loving community. Mini Bike Winter is that. Brave can find pointers at Superbrave can enter the chariot jousts.

February 10 Noh Cave Art

Paintings on the wall of a cave in Lascaux, France are one of the earliest records of art making in the service of society - 16,000 years old. Made in the Würm Ice Age, they recorded knowledge of hunting, critical for survival. This predates the hypothesized breakdown of the bicameral mind, leading to rapid modern development, about the time of the Greek civilization. Professor emeritus George Johanson taught at PNCA (the Museum Art School) from 1955 to 1980. He recently visited the caves and speaks of his experience. At PNCA 13th and NW Johnson 6:30PM Free

Noh is an ancient minimal theater of Japan. Tonight Shizuka Mikata performs Noh in its sublime authenticity. Accompanied by actor Michiharu Wakebayashi, flute player Manabu Takeichi, Kotsuzumi drummer Ichiro Kichisaka and Otsuzumi drummer Masaru Kawamura, Mikata performs and speaks of his art. "Shizuka Mikata was born in Kyoto in 1966 as the eldest son of Noh performer Ken Mikata. He made his first appearance on the professional stage at the early age of 5, followed by his first leading role at 12. Mikata went on to apprentice with legendary Noh master and Japanese living national treasure Kurouemon Katayama." So this is the real deal.

Noh is very, very, very slow and formal, so be prepared. Just YouTube Noh. Maybe we can learn to slow down sometimes to the Japanese vibe. Wabi sabi is a great frame in these times too.

Sponsored by the Japan Foundation. At the Performing Arts Center Winningstad Theatre. 1111 SW Broadway x Main downtown, 7PM sharp. Free

Saturday, February 07, 2009

February 9 Talks

Rick Lowe is an activist artist architect planner. His inspirational projects show social practice work spans each. Most importantly, it is the kind of good news so sadly lacking. At the urging of neighborhood kids who knew the community's real needs, Lowe redirected his studio art practice in an entirely new direction. Lowe organized a group of artists to buy a few contiguous blocks of row houses scheduled to be leveled in a very depressed community. The artists transformed the houses into a creative utopia of homes, galleries, child care spaces, spots for visiting artist residencies, a school and homes for people who needed them. Lowe's work predates and presages many ideas of Richard Florida as well as some early ideas of Mark Lakeman's City Repair project which urged more flexible live, work, shop opportunities in a few block radius. The idea that creative designers can contribute business and economic insights was also adopted in the early millennium by management guru Tom Peters, while many of Lowe's principles support the New Urbanism credo which began to establish currency in the 1980's. To an extent, Portland developers incorporate the art community into identity and branding in some development. Pioneered by developers with personal interests in art such as Jim Winkler and Al Solheim, it was made into a repeatable process by the branding element of Ziba Design. It was an part of the Queen Street West developments in Toronto as well. Local developers Randy Rappaport, Brad Malsin and the developer of the Ford building have curated creative businesses into their developments. Yet a truly revolutionary project that respects our established planning principles, revolutionizes a community in need and takes advantage of the very large dedicated cash flows in PDC's 30% setaside for affordable housing eludes Portland. Perhaps Lowe's talk can be the beginning of that inspiration. He speaks as part of the Portland Spaces magazine Bright Lights lecture series at Jimmy Mak's (jazz bar by night), 221 NW 10th Ave. Doors 5:30PM talk 6 Free

The PSU Monday Night Lecture Series presents Julie Alt. Alt spans creation, curation and editing and is a cofounder of the art collective Group Material. Combining these roles is commonplace today, yet is still criticized in some quarters, unnecessarily in my view. Hear Alt's version. Talk in Shattuck Hall, Room 212, 1914 SW Park Avenue, at the corner of SW Broadway and Hall on the PSU campus. 7:30PM Free

February 7 Breaking it Down Capitalizing on Disaster Handcrafted In C

Watch Me Break It Down is a show of four video pieces by artist filmmaker Julie Perini. Perini has been working in social practice and some films document that. Others are idea driven meditations. There is even lighter pop culture sampling work. See it all along with musical accompaniment by the Blue Cranes at PSU's MK Gallery. Upstairs at 2000 SW 5th. 6PM-8 Free

Disaster Capitalism is a show about capitalizing on unanticipated disasters in art making. It happens. Materials have their limits and artists are driven to experiment with the new. That is the perfect recipe for disaster. The trick is to transform the disaster. Artists Gordon Barnes and Mandee Schroer present their disaster-driven collaboration which will likely be lovely. At Gallery Homeland 2505 SE 11th x Division 6PM-9 Free

The Fine Grind Art Cafe opens Handcrafted, work by Portland artists Lesley Reppeteaux, Blaine Fontana, Tim Karpinski, Byron Schroeder, Jason Brown, Chris Habberman, Jessie Reno, Chris Wellock, Tom Keating, Ryan Bubnis, Christofer Ross, Mike Fields and J. Shea. At 2035 SE 39th 6PM-10 Free

In C may have been the first minimalist composition. Built upon 20th century composition and some branches of musique concrète, it also leaves to the musicians many choices in its playing and can be played by a variable number of musicians as in this performance by 124 musicians. Composer Terry Riley has gone on to a deep study of Indian classical music and occasionally performs in Portland. Dress in white, bring a sitting implement and refreshments. At the Lightbar. 7:30ish

Portland's Japanese Garden is widely considered the most authentic public garden outside Japan. Carved from forest in the mid 1960's, for the first 30 years it has had a series of gardeners from Japan, each placing their imprint, building and rebuilding. For the last about 10 years, the garden curator has been an international scale Portland designer born in Japan. It is possible for a small fee which pays for itself with only a few visits to be a member of the garden. Today the members gather to hear the new garden curator Sadafumi Uchiyama share his thoughts on the garden. Uchiyami learned Japanese landscape design from his grandfather, father and uncles, achieving certification in Japan at age 21, the youngest in his region. Studying Western design at University of Illinois, he now consults on design projects worldwide. At the Portland Japanese Garden 1PM

If you are in San Francisco tonight is the Chinese New Year Parade. There is also the seriously puzzling fun of the Chinese New Year Treasure Hunt!

Friday, February 06, 2009

February 6 Are you Bored?

What is your best entertainment value of free events? Start at Pancake Clubhouse, Good Gallery, Worksound, Nemo, then 811 E Burnside. Head up to Nationale, Destroystore and Life and Limb. Migrate over to Newspace Photo and take in Pushdot. Then over to Lightbar.

February 6-March 7 African Films

The Cascade Festival of African films is a wonderous thing. Spanning a variety of countries yearly, it is the only way to see some of the films. Best of all - free. Full datails at

Thursday, February 05, 2009

February 5 TED Talks Open

TED Talks are a guiltless pleasure. Fifty 18 minute talks comprise an invitation only conference over four days yearly; a companion international conference is held biennially, last in Arusha, Tanzania. The talks span loosely technology, entertainment and design. In practice, there is a world changing vibe, but the entertainment can be weak. The world changing aspect is real, owing the mix of world thought leaders and an entrepreneurial audience who network at the event.

Many of the talks are professionally archived at the website where you can watch them free. The conference has made explicitly concrete one of its missions by selecting a few individuals each year for the TED Prize. It comes with a substantial honorarium but also the opportunity to propose a dream world changing project to an audience which can make it happen. That includes you. The TED Foundation is providing an additional one million dollars for the projects this year. In past years' projects, one prizewinner proposed the Once Upon a School project, an open source contribution website to share personal stories of public school successes. Another project is focused on advanced science education in Africa. Other big projects have been taken up by

In the spirit of expanding the network of involvement in realizing these dreams, the TED Prize talks will be webcast live this evening, free. Connect to no earlier than 30 minutes to 5PM PST

There is much more to be said of TED and our Portland conference of an evening inspired by it but not as weighty. In the meantime, tune to the TED archive, it is a great source of good news of which there is plenty about in the world, notwithstanding the short sighted focus of local to international news editors on the negative and sensational.

TED Prize webcast. Webcast at Link. 5PM Pacific Free

February 5 Chicago Political Film History

Filmmaker and DIY force of culture Marc Moscato presents films spanning 1969 and 2008 in a program A Not Too Distant Past. At the Waypost 3120 N Williams 8pm $5

February 5 Westside Art Openings

The Found phenomena goes beyond the magazine. Tonight artists APAK, Rikki Barney, Ashley Armbruster, Sean Christensen, Jon Clark, Dale Davis, Phillip Earles, Vincent Fritz, Sarah Gottesdiener, Maureen Gubia, Aidan Koch, Amy Kuttab, Matt Lingenfelter, Ben Lloyd, Drew Marshall, Leslie Miller, Kristen Mueller, Sarah Oleksyk, Chris Reed, Jesse Reklaw, Josh Simmons, Ilvs Strauss, Laura Wickham, Adam Zeek and Julian Chadwick share their collections of found photographs. At Floating World Comics 20 NW 5th

Artist and musician Sarah Gottesdiener is a creative polymath. She takes over Stumptown with paintings incorporating imagery of Yoko Ono, Proposition 8, the tarot, the moon, tigers and snakes! At Stumptown 128 SW 3rd

Pok Chi Lau has been documenting the impact on ordinary people of migration and change in China and beyond for 40 years. Included is the diaspora of which he himself is part. Also showing are quotidian photographs made by Byron Wolfe. He made one photograph a day for a year, maybe something like a highly composed visual Twitter. At Blue Sky Gallery 122 NW 8th

Primarily known for social practice art, Harrell Fletcher gets to practice it by curating a show. Songs from the Treetops artists including Carson Ellis, Chris Johanson/Jo Jackson, James Miles, Kenneth Mroczek, Eduardo Navarro, Santiago de Paoli, Wendy Red Star have produced work loosely themed on constructed landscape. At PDX Contemporary Gallery 925 NW Flanders

French artist Koralie presents HAÏKU. Her work crosses the street art and gallery world. One subject are infinitely detailed schematic Geisha's. This is a good complement to the French show at Compound next door. At Fifty 24 23 NW 5th

La Jolie Poupee is a show by French illustrators Lostfish, Candybird, Ciou and Adolie Day. Very much in the Compound style, and interestingly several of the artists make children's books and clothing. At Compound Gallery 107 NW 5th

Big Beautiful Color is a show by Mark Warren Jacques at a relatively new energetic gallery, Fontanelle. In addition to paintings, Jacques has constructed a tepee you are invited to enter to experience his chosen soundtrack. At Fontanelle Gallery 205 SW Pine

Augen has a group show themed Home at it's Davis location. Included are prints by well known artist Jennifer Bartlett who came into her career in the late 1960s and 1970's, Portlander Jim Riswold and others. Meanwhile at the 2nd Street the gallery is featuring under $500 works. 817 SW 2nd and 716 NW Davis

Moshi Moshi has something about Ninja Valentines in its small Burnside space. 916 W Burnside

The Everett Lofts are recommended as your best interest value. Bounded by NW Broadway, Everett, 6th and Flanders.

Monday, February 02, 2009

February 3 How to Start a Clean Energy Business

Both our president and Thomas Friedman believe innovation in clean energy is our only path to our growth and prosperity. Despite a pullback in VC funded tech ventures, the money is still flowing into energy ventures. The federal government and states are directing expenditures now into promising projects. Exactly how would someone with a brilliant idea make it happen? Find that out tonight.

Panelists include Ravi Sinha of Choices Solar Corp, Sandra Walden of Commercial Solar Ventures and Ravi Naiknaware, cofounder and CTO of Azuray. Bring your ideas and questions, this is an interactive session.

Program by the TiE Oregon clean energy special interest group. Register at the website. At Perkins Cole Offices 1120 N.W. Couch Street, 10th floor. 6PM-10. Members $5/10, Students $10, else $15.