Saturday, March 28, 2009

March 30 MK Guth speaks

MK Guth is a Portland artist operating on an international scale. We need more. She started in the craft world. Moving into art, her work became increasingly idea-based. Needing more challenge, she received her MFA from NYU. Her work spans video, installation, creating participatory situations and sculpture. She is a key faculty member at PNCA moving the school into interdisciplinary art. Hear MK trace her artistic inspiration at a talk tonight. It is part of the PSU Monday Night Lecture Series. Look for the sandwich board sign to find the room. Talk in Shattuck Hall, Room 212 or the Annex out front, 1914 SW Park Avenue, at the corner of SW Broadway and Hall on the PSU campus. 7:30PM Free

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

March 28 Vampires Awake! Lindsies and Roller Girl Bus Projects

I never went through a goth phase and am really not attracted to the dark side. I have seen plenty in real life on international projects. Nonetheless I respect Portland's myriad and curious cultural communities, each unique. Vampires come and go in the cycles of the cultural zeitgeist at large while little Portland's grey skies seem to provide an environment for them to thrive year round. Yearly they have a big costumed dance party, the Vampire Ball. 100% costumed attire is required. See their web site for details.

Bethany Ides is a semiotician at heart and she has engaged those engines to produce an engaging meditation on Lindsies. It is a one night performance, a blog of research and a chapbook.

APPROX L stars The Lost Linden Choristers, Chase "Lynzay" Evans, Patsy "Lindenna" Gelb, Brianna "Lynn Zi" Farina, Morgan "Llinsy" Alexandra Ritter and David "Lindsay" Weinberg.

At Gallery Homeland 2505 SE 11th x Division 6PM $5-10

Its a 2 on 2 bout of Portland and Seattle rollerderby teams. The Rose City Rollers are back at the Expo Center. Go By Train. Check their website for details, including a roller-themed comic release the evening before. Their big shows often sell out without help from Andrew Dickson. Doors 5PM, roll 5:45. $14-20

Meanwhile the Bus Project is having an economic recovery BBQ party food drive bash. Music includes Cap Ducal, The Bad Assets, and Les Estrangers. The Chain Reaction mini bike powered performance troupe will be there for your pleasure. At the World Famous Kenton Club at 2025 N Kilpatrick 7PM-midnight 21+ $10 donation, or $5 donation + cans of food for the Food Bank

March 26 Office Relish and Art

Office presents the paintings of Portlander Trish Grantham. She is well known and loved for her quirky figures trying to figure out life. At Office 2204 NE Alberta Street 6PM-8 Free

Then over at Relish see the work of and hear Wesley Younie. Younie is an illustrator and creator of extraordinary terrariums. At Relish 1715 NW Lovejoy 6PM-8, talk 6:30 Free

March 25-26 Brighton, UK Cinema Project

Brighton is a seaside town known for the arts. Ben Rivers is a Brighton filmmaker who also presents a film series, the Brighton Cinematheque. Tonight he presents his own films. They are meditations on landscape and its inhabitation in the tradition of James Benning and Andrei Tarkovsky on film's rich color palette. The artist will be in attendance.

More details at the Cinema Project website

At the new Cinema Project space 11 NW 13th Ave, top floor. Elevator access is provided, please come to the door to request. 7:30PM $6

Thursday, March 19, 2009

March 21+ Pancake Raga Music 24/7

Saturday is your full rainy day of potential fun. The Box Game is a traveling participatory art project. The creators are traveling everywhere in March to gain your participation in a gigantic sort of Monte Carlo simulation. At each location, the sealed black box will be set up. Participants, you, fill out a secret ballot proposing a description of what is in the box. At the end of the month long multi-city process, the organizers will read all the ballots and construct their interpretation of the amalgam. Then you can find out the impact of your guess at their web site The Portland instance is at the Pancake Clubhouse Historic Township and Activity Destination for the Living arts (welcomes you). Later there is a music performance with Mikah Sykes and the Pearly Everlasting, Love Menu, Sleep Togetherand Ben Kamen in the small space. At 906A NE 24th Pancakes and game 9:30AM-noon, music 7PM-11 Free

Now take a nap to recharge.

Kalakendra presents a non-traditional mashup of North and South Indian musicians, also interesting as it is a jugalbhandi, a performance by two soloists of equal stature, and neither acting solely as lead or accompanist. Shashank Subramanyam, 30 is a leading carnatic flutist; Shahid Parvez Kahn is a renowned sitar performer. Produced by At the Intel Jones Farm conference center auditorium (JFCC). 2111 NE 25th Ave, Hillsboro 7:30PM $20 advance, $25 at the door

The destructiveness of war on all levels is incomprehensible. The United States has been at war in Iraq and Afghanistan for 7 years. To end it we need psychic recharge and music is one path. With this in mind, join in a 24 hour performance by hundreds of Portland musicians meditating on the last 7 years beginning and ending at 7: 24/7.

Hourly musicians perform classical and 20th century music on acoustic instruments mapped by this schedule. Some will be broadcast live here or there. I love the sound of acoustic instruments live and have spent enough time in the recording studio of a music school to be able to hear the difference between live and recorded. As a result, many synths designed to resemble instruments drive me crazy. This is a chance to hear real instruments live in a native habitat.

All of this takes place in the soaring ad agency atrium from 7PM Saturday until 7PM Sunday. End it at 7. At 224 NW 13 Free

March 20 Monkish Belly Dancing

Why is bellydancing on this blog? Because it is an interesting international creative community's Portland instance. Znama is a fusion bellydancing ensemble, meaning they sample other movement styles, such as flamenco and tango, and incorporate them. They join other belly dancers in a cabaret of style-transgressing bellydancing at The Blue Monk, 3341 SE Belmont 7PM-9 Free

March 19 Talking About PNCA

The Northwest Design Within Reach store holds periodic engaging panel discussions and interviews. Tonight with the president of PNCA, Dr. Thomas Manley. Manley has overseen the beginning of a transformation of a small school with strictly defined traditional departments: painting, sculpture, graphic design, photography, printmaking; a dedicated, but static faculty; once part of the Art Museum. Now there are multiple buildings, more majors, an MFA program and the merger with the Museum of Contemporary Craft, which could potentially accommodate very artistic product and object designers - design within reach. Hear from the source what is up. At Design Within Reach 1200 N.W. Everett 6PM doors, talk 6:30 Free

Friday, March 13, 2009

March 13 Congo Skate Home

This evening Amnesty International hosts a discussion on the loss of millions, about 10% of the population, in the Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire. This is not a tribal war by Congolese. Congo has about 500 tribes who get along swimmingly. When the country became independent from Belgium, nationalist leaders tilted to the Soviet Union for aid, prompting the US government to install Mobuto Sese Seko in 1960. Cinematic references include Lumumba and When We Were Kings. Ruling colorfully, cruelly and kleptomaniacally until 1997, he was replaced by elements tied to Rwanda and Burundi who controlled Eastern Congo after the Rwandan genocide of 1994. The last 15 years of chaos has resulted in the death disruption of the society, primarily through starvation, disease and the violation of human rights. What can be done? The presenters, from the Eastern Congo themselves, argue that the US government allows or disallows, by focus or inaction, each problem worldwide. The problem in East Congo is a result of failure to intervene in Rwanda in 1994 under the Clinton's and secretary of state for Africa Susan Rice. Now is the time to write to now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UN ambassador Susan Rice to urge a focus on the problem created on their watch by the Rwandan genocide. Note the decision to not intervene in 1994 was largely influenced by the failure of UN and US efforts in Somalia. This is told cinematically in Black Hawk Down. The situation in Somalia was qualitatively different with fierce battle hardened militias in stark contrast to ordinary populace and irregulars in Rwanda who would have easily been disarmed by a small organized peace force. 7:30 PM at the First Unitarian Church, 1011 SW 12th Free

Gallery Homeland opens TransFixed work by Sara Nyquist , Laura Hughes, Danridge Geiger, Calvin Ross Carl & Rainbow Ross. At Gallery Homeland 2505 SE 11th x Division 6PM-9 Free

Meanwhile skate themed photos by Bryce Kanights, Grant Brittain, Jon Humphries, Joe Brook, and Ryan Flynn are gathered in a show Seen of Change at the Artery 4114 N. Vancouver 6PM-9

Sunday, March 08, 2009

March 12 Has It Really All Been Done Before

The Art Museum has a surprisingly active engagement with Portland artists alive and local. An example are a regular series of informal talks by Portland artists in the museum starting with pieces in the collection which inspire them. Artist TJ Norris has selected work by Sol Lewitt and Marcel Duchamp as his starting point. If interested, meet promptly at 6PM at the side entrance by the courtyard. Drinks and discussion finish the evening. The museum is rarely free and this is no exception, so you will have to pay admission, which would argue for making an afternoon of it. Note you can join for a year of unlimited admission for $55 for one person or $85 for two. At the Portland Art Museum 1219 SW Park 6PM $10, 9 students

Saturday, March 07, 2009

March 10 Bike Community Turning Tragedy to Triumph

I am on a personal crusade against bad news and this is part of it. Imagine your best friend is involved in an accident in India and is in a coma there. What would you do? My friend Eliza is facing that now with her best friend forever Hollis in that very situation. This story has a happy ending in which you can particpate.

Eliza, also known as Agent Chaos was a member of the Sprockettes bicycle performance collective. She is infamous for fighting evil crime - reclaiming a stolen bike! Synchronized bike dancing was created in Portland by the Sprockettes and has spread to Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle, Eugene and rainy Manchester. When Agent Chaos relocated to San Francisco she started the Derailleurs with Hollis Hawthorne, Agent Verve. While the Sprockettes color theme pink, the Derailleurs theme turquiose and bling. Awesomely happy news so far.

Hollis was traveling in India with her boyfriend and was very severely injured in a motorcycle accident. She is in a hospital in India in a coma. All the details, which are not a happy story, are related by Hollis' boyfriend who saved her life at

Agent Chaos, Hollis BFF for sure, sprung into action and has activated an international network to help Hollis. She has helped Hollis' parents set up all the medical help needed in California and convinced the Stanford Medical Center to donate care. A non profit group has been established, Paypal donation, websites, blogs, Google groups. It is a huge collective effort. Through the magic of the Internet Hollis' friends and friends of friends are organizing everywhere to help. The mothership for these efforts is So we are definitely into the pretty awesomely good news zone.

The big focus is to get Hollis home and to Stanford which requires an air ambulance service, with accompanying doctor to keep her alive. Donations have been coming in in small amounts, Obama-style. There are benefits in New York City, San Francisco, Austin, Atlanta, Ottawa, Salt Lake and one in Portland.

Portland's benefit is a FUNdraiser and celebration. That means FUN with Japanther, members of The Yard Dogs Road Show, Riot Cop, Drunken Boat, Early Times, a performance by The Sprockettes and a kissing booth. If you are in a bling mood, gold attire is encouraged!

It is Tuesday March 10th, 316 NW 4th 7PM Donation 100% to Hollis $5-$2000.

Spread the word and make some good news!

March 9 Building Art From Historical Reference and Building Things That Don't Fall Down

I am finding it difficult to describe the neo-baroque rearrangement of samples in the context of cultural history by artist J. Morgan Puett. Her work ranges event, installation, food, architecture and clothing as well as creating environments for artist residency and social practice in the form of workshop. I would just say that the work has great potential at reaching the contemporary art nay sayers in the culture wars.

The best art engages the viewer emotionally and intellectually. The intellectual engagement is sometimes over dependent on a prior knowledge of insider language learned in art school or time consuming engagement with the contemporary art world. Using that language wisely is essential, but the artist will be more effective if the casual viewer or child can also connect with an idea in the art.

Emotional engagement can enter by association with previously tagged experience for the viewer. It can also enter in the interplay between the familiar and the novel, responses I'm convinced have a biological basis in brain receptors we all share. The familiar is reassuring comfort food, gem├╝tlichkeit, family, home, tradition. The novel is the shock, joy, curiosity, thrill or unexpected humor of the new.

All idea and no emotion is a sad combination, doubly tragic in the absence of beauty.

To see if you agree that this artist successfully combines it all, see her website and come to her talk. It is part of the PSU Monday Night Lecture Series. Look for the sandwich board sign to find the room. Talk in Shattuck Hall, Room 212 or the Annex out front, 1914 SW Park Avenue, at the corner of SW Broadway and Hall on the PSU campus. 7:30PM Free

Structural engineers use calculation and models to help make sure things built up don't fall down. No guarantees though. It is very important that your project not become a case study in a book like Why Buildings Fall Down. This is especially relevant here where we face a very powerful earthquake every 300-600 years at the Cascadia subduction fault. The last earthquake was in about 1700. (If you are interested in earthquakes, and use the Firefox browser, take a look at eQuake Alert)

Tonight senior structural engineer Anne Monnier discusses her work at KPFF Consulting Engineers, the firm that does most of the structural engineering work for large buildings in Portland.

Monnier grew up in a Danish engineering family and took and engineering degree in Denmark. Her discussion reviews recent projects in the context of seismic, green and sustainable and her view of what we need to be focused on next.

So if you want to know how the 12 lane bridge over the Columbia River built on 150 feet of silt is going to perform in an earthquake while you are traveling over it on your bike or the light rail, this talk may engage your curiosity.

The event is part of the Bright Lights discussion series. It is at Jimmy Mak's, 221 NW 10th Ave. 5:30PM, Talk 6. Free

March 8 Women and Hip Hop

The IFCC hosts a hip hop cabaret, The "B" Word - A Celebration Of Women's Influence on Hip-Hop Culture. This is taking hip hop dance and word into the world of the stage and audience. Spoken word, poetry and dance. Performers include: Othello of Lightheaded, Syndel of Old Dominion, Libretto of Misfit Massive, popping performance from Ra Boogie and Poppin' Joon as JoonRA, breakdance performance from Biscuits & Gravy, Toni Hill of Sirens Echo, DJ ComputerFAM & Sugarman of The BBM, a hip hop choreography performance from Unseen Dance Company and MC Mic Crenshaw of Hungry Mob.

At the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center 5340 N Interstate Doors 6PM $12, 10 students.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

March 7 Design Jam Competition & House of Sound

The House of Sound was a legendary vinyl store and community gathering place at N Williams and Beech. The building housed a barber shop, grocery and beauty shop with roots to a vibrant African American community that thrived in the area, and was severely impacted by the condemnation of neighborhoods to build I-5, the Memorial Coliseum and Emmanuel Hospital. In January 2008 the House of Sound building was torn down, inspiring artist filmmaker Vanessa Renwick. The neighborhood once had a vibrant culture and black music united the family. Renwick has interviewed people in the neighborhood weaving a touching story of the time and change. Her films and recordings form an installation at New American Art Union. For opening night, the Winter Solstice Puppet Collective, accompanied by the Evolutionary Jass Band, presents a performance inspired by a poem of one of China's most revered poets, Tu Fu. Tu Fu, lived between 712 and 770 during the Tang dynasty, a period of incredible creativity and government support for arts. In the poem, written after a period of 5 years unemployment, Tu Fu describes sleeping at the office, too weary to return home through a community disrupted by unrest. At the New American Art Union 922 SE Ankeny Opening 6PM-9, performance 7:30. Free

Cut & Paste is an international design competition. There must be some reality TV equivalent, but I am ignorant of that. Teams are given an assignment. Before judges and audience they create their design in real time. The categories for the design challenge are 2D, 3D and motion graphics so there will be plenty of entertainment. You can see examples, including video, at the Cut & Paste website. I'm not sure of the project's characterization of Portland as "the new Bohemia" but I understand the reference. I would prefer "the new Black Mountain College". The Portland Cut & Paste takes place at the Portland Art Museum Ballroom in the Masonic Temple Building corner of SW Main and Park. 18 and over only. Doors 7PM, competition 7:30. Tickets $15 advance $20 door

March 6 Eastside Art Openings

In the 811 block, Redux has mixed media work by Barbe St John. Meanwhile over at Grass Hut see curio-logicals. curio-logicals are Colin Johnson, Kristin Cammermeyer, Dan May, and Elizabeth Haidle. 6-9ish

The Pancake Clubhouse presents the artists of Full Life! Full Life! is a place for artmaking by disabled people. They are making music, art, theater and film, much as those at Oakland's Creative Growth, poingantly profiled in ANP Quarterly #6. Music tonight too. At Pancake Clubhouse Historic Township and Activity Destination for the Living arts (welcomes you) 906A NE 24th 6PM-10 Free

May Juliette Barruel and Tamar Monhait present photos American Blur at Nemo Design. Themed on the blur which is what we think of as American: american pie. american eagle. american literature. american football. american cars. american dream. american english. american flag. american express. american dollar. american airlines. american idol. american frontier. american pitbull. american presidents. american blur: That is a lot to think about. At Nemo Design 1875 SE Belmont 6PM-10 Free

Fourteen30 has Under a Vanishing Night: LA artists Kim Fischer, Sayre Gomez, Richard Jackson, Brian Kennon and Natascha Snellman nee of Portland. Several of the artists are related by studying with one another. Well worth the visit. Details at 1430 SE 3rd 6PM-9 Free

Life + Limb has San Francisco artist Kristine Reano. Her work is also on this sweet store's website 1716 E. Burnside 6PM-10

Daniel Shea shows Removing Mountains and Coal River documenting strip mining by mountain removal in the Appalachian Mountains. At Newspace Photo 1632 SE 10th

Pushdot has bright digital prints by Ed Muscle. Details of the show. 1021 SE Caruthers

March 5 Westside Art Openings

If you have time this afternoon, there is a curious artist, architect, industrial and clothing designer, Eugene Tsui. It is very 70's style and his work spans the US and China. He does have some wild ideas about zoomorphic and solar clothing. He is giving a clothing design workshop this afternoon. Details at 5:30PM-7. Free

For your guided tour of art this evening consider...

Start at Stumptown Coffee downtown for a crochet show. It is not exactly knitting graffitti, but more figurative work. Jo Hamilton started on this path with a bet by Le Pigeon coworkers to crochet their portraits. The show includes a knitted cityscape too! At Stumptown 128 SW 3rd

Then around the corner to Fontanelle. Ryan Jacob Smith curates a show of music cover illustrations by friends, Long Live the Ephemeral. At Fonatanelle 205 SW Pine

At the DeSoto building there are plenty of things to see such as the Nines Gallery in Blue Sky, this month Christine Clark fills the space with wire sculpture. A special treat is the installation by Mandy Greer at the PNCA Museum of Contemporary Craft. The Desoto building is bounded by Park, Davis and NW Broadway.

The Everett Lofts are always a great entertainment value. They are bounded by NW Broadway, Everett, 6th and Flanders.

Then back to Valentines for Soft Currency by Tamar Monhait and Nate Preston. DJ's accompanying your viewing pleasure until late. At Valentines 232 SW Ankeny

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

March 5 Bus Project Politics is Fun!

The Bus Project is a model for democracy. Politics are not boring. Politics are fun! One of their projects are get togethers over beer to hear discussions on public policy and participate in them. We live in a econosphere of federal, state, metro, county, city and personal policy. To calibrate, the federal budget is about 4 trillion (we send more tax to Washington than we receive back); the Oregon State budget, 8 billion (Portland sends more to poor counties than we receive); Multnomah County, 300 Million; the City of Portland, 2.5 billion.

This evening join host Steve Novick, budget polymath and US Senate candidate, for a discussion of what is happening with the Oregon budget. Steve is the hook guy. You can have an impact - those people in Salem are hungry for real world passion.

Bus Project get together at Backspace 115 NW 5th. All ages. 7PM Free