Friday, July 31, 2009

August 1 Symphony 1:Travelogue of the Locusts

Portland is home to half the world's rock stars, but lacking a major music school, it maintains an only respectable 21st century and experimental music community. But they are here, and have plenty rainy winter time to get good.

The Creative Music Guild, the PDX Classical Revolution, the Portland Cello Project and the late Music Population Orchestra are notable proponents of new music played on old instruments. Listen once live, and your ears will be forever changed in judging synthetic instrument samples. The technology to create poignant synthetic instrumental sounds, except maybe for a piano, is not yet here. So we are stuck for now with crunchy electro-style samples.

Tonight is your opportunity to break sonic barriers in hearing real instruments in service of new composition. Portland composers Mary Wright and Jody Hughes present their Symphony No. 1: Travelogue of Locusts played by the purpose-built New Portland Chamber Orchestra. It has been a collaboration two years in the making.

In the spirit that chamber music was the experimental pop music of its day, Wright and Hughes are undertaking a beautiful experiment with the players entering and leaving the sound field as they play.

Travelogue of the Locusts comprises twelve movements arranged by the time cycle of our circadian rhythm (that is not the 7 year cicadian rhythm familiar to Midwesterners).

There composers are internationally noted and are worth keeping track of in their development.

At Gallery Homeland 2505 SE 11th x Division 7PM and 9 $5-10, kids free

July 31; August 1,7,8 Modern Dance Conduit

Dance performance is often classed as ballet, jazz or modern. Ballet is ballet and is about 500 years old. It has an accepted role in learned childhood experience, like sports. That creates a pipeline and an economic lifeline. It is very expensive to present and company dancers are often salaried. Jazz is rhythmic and chorus oriented, Broadway and backup dance for pop concerts would be examples. It originated with dance brought from Africa by slaves. It's about 200 years old. Modern is everything else. It's extensible and spans reprise of early modernists such as Martha Graham to anything-goes experimentalism.

With a small audience, it is similar to contemporary art, in that audiences stay away for fear of not getting it. In reality, watching it can just be a dream with freedom from interpretation. It is also an interesting audience exercise in how we read non-verbal communication.

Portland has several spaces where modern dance movers congregate: Body Vox Studio, Performance Works Northwest, The Headwaters Studio at Disjecta; and Conduit. Centrally located, Conduit is a long running space for rehearsal, classes and workshops in modern dance, contact improvisation, microtheater. It is a beautiful spot with downtown views and a nice floor for rent.

Conduit needs to raise some funds and so is putting on performances which are an interesting way to sample who is doing what in Portland.

The first weekend, July 31 and August 1, performers include Gavin Larsen from OBT, Gregg Bielemeier, Josie Moseley, the Key Turn Project, Linda Austin, Ben Asriel and Tere Mathern Dance- Saturday only.

The second weekend, August 7 and 8th, the performers are Anne Muller from OBT, POV Dance, Jim McGinn, James Healey, Oslund+Co Dance, Tere Mathern Dance- Friday only and Candace Bouchard & Adrian Fry from OBT- Saturday only.

It all takes place at Conduit Dance 918 SW Yamhill, 4th Floor It's a fundraiser: $15-$100, in a small space holding about 30 - so advance tickets are at

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

July 23 PNCA MFA Show

The PNCA MFA program is hitting its stride and this is your opportunity to see the results. The show includes: Delaney Allen, Wayne Bund, Cathy Cleaver, Ben Ediger, Matthew Gruber, Allison Halter, Laura Hughes, Sydney Kim, Nathan Langner, Ruth Lantz, Luis Martinez-Rodriguez, Mindy McGovern, Nicole Milchak, Zack Rau, Jane Schiffhauer and Nashoba Temperly. Titled a very pre-bust Egocentric, the show opens at Disjecta 8371 N. Interstate opening 6PM-10 Free

Monday, July 13, 2009

July 18-19 (20) Alembic Space Films

Alembic is a performance series organized by performance superstar Linda Austin at pioneer FOPO outpost, Performance Works Northwest. Tonight's instance in the series is Temporary Roadmaps, films curated by Portland filmmaker Karl Lind. The program includes works of Portland artists Ed Mellnik, Stephanie Simek and Adam Keller. At Performance Works Northwest 4625 SE 67th Friday and Saturday 8:30PM $8-10

Space is the Place is a low budget cult science fiction film staring experimental musician Sun Ra. Sun Ra began playing in 1940's Chicago. He was the first to use electronic keyboards and was a pioneer in large group improvization - free jazz. His group has been alternately named the Solar Arkestra, the Cosmo Discipline Arkestra, the Blue Universe Arkestra, the Jet Set Omniverse Arkestrathe, the Myth-Science Arkestra, and the Omniverse Arkestra. They perform in elaborate costumes with space mythology themes - Sun Ra claims to be born on Saturn and his birth certificate has never been found.

In the film, Sun Ra establishes a colony for Africans on Saturn then duals a pimp, the Overseer, over a game of cards for the future of the human race. This film is a gem - here is a clip. Recommended for all its weirdness and a look at 1972 on the West Coast.

Film at PSU's 5th Avenue Cinema 510 SW Hall Street
7:00PM, 9:30 Friday and Saturday 3PM Sunday Free PSU students, $2 for other students/seniors, $3 general and free popcorn

Sunday, July 12, 2009

July 16 Japan Ignites 14 Sparks of Animated Copyright Perception

Tonight is the night when the superpower of being in many places symultaneously could come in handy.

Portland State University has a program in Japanese theater and tonight workshop students perform Kyogen plays. Kyogen is a form of classical Japanese theater first performed in the 1300's. Often topics are funny parables, think Falstaff. The sound effects are made by voice and part of the play, so for instance there is a vocalization for the sound a saw makes, it sounds nothing like a saw, but it is known to the audiences as the sound of a saw from studying Kyogen in Japanese schools. Often Kyogen was performed between Noh plays to provide a contrast to Noh's formalism. Tonight's performances are The Fortified Beard, Higeyagura and Bosan. The event is at Imago Theater, 17 SE 8th. 7PM Free

Ignite is a series of random short talks, sort of a hipster-geek Toastmaster's elevator pitch originated by O'Reilly, the tech book publisher with the exquisite line drawings of animals on the covers. The 6th Portland instance is tonight. The website details the talks, many surely to be entertaining. At the Bagdad Theater Doors 5:30PM, Program 7. Free

Small and modest is in. That is why the 14 Parcels project is so appealing. An all but completely abandoned and difficult building site in the North part of the South Waterfront will be host to 14 structures, small studios, designed by Portland and international architects. Small and beautiful. Tonight you can hear about it from architect, planner and builder Kevin Cavenaugh, at Design Within Reach. At DWR Portland Studio 1200 NW Everett. 6pm Free

Art Spark is a monthly get together for drinks and networking in the Portland art community. There is a short presentation of 6 minutes by a local art group, but the rest is purely interesting conversation. Tonight for the program filmmaker Andy Blubaugh will set up and film a short scene. The host is the NW Film Center, who are showing a rooftop film, the Marx Brothers 1933 comedy, Duck Soup, later in the same location. On the rooftop of Hotel deLuxe, 729 SW 15th. Art Spark 5pm-7; Film sometime after 8. Free

The PNCA international animation festival, Boundary Crossings, previously noted continues with a discussion of the creative process in animation by an Austin professor of animation and a creative director at LAIKA. At The Lab at Museum of Contemporary Craft, 724 NW Davis 6:30pm Free

Copyright is a sticky wicket. It is becoming increasingly divergent with Disney and others vociferously lobbying for expanded copyright protection, successfully, essentially indefinitely. It is largely ignored by samplers, and viewed askance by China. Meanwhile experts in digital rights management, technical means for controlling copying wonder if it will ever work effectively. In that spirit, "Free Culture: Creating Copyright and Coprighting Creativity" explores copyright and sampling. You, the audience will have the opportunity to remix copyright law in a Twitter mediated cooperative live online editing session. After there will be a discussion led by YACHT and copyright lawyer Peter Shavers. At the University of Oregon White Stag Building, 70 NW Couch Street 6:30pm Free

German printmaker MC Escher has a show at the Portland Art Museum now. In support of the exhibition there is a talk by Richard Taylor, University of Oregon professor of physics, psychology and art. He speaks on fractal patterns in the art of Escher and Jackson Pollock. At the Portland Art Museum 1219 SW Park 6PM $10, free members

July 13-July24 Boundry Crossings Animation Program

PNCA is hosting an international animation institute, Boundary Crossings. There are a variety of public presentations and exhibitions. Details at

July 13 Sustainable Building

Portland seeks to export sustainable building and planning as an economic development policy. It is working. An element of that plan is to construct a net-zero building as the center for sustainabilty studies, city and state offices of sustainability and public interest groups in Portland. It is the Oregon Sustainability Center.

We need to turn building around. Indigenous building from our cave dwelling days used renewable material. In rainy Africa adobe bricks of straw, mud and termite mounds form walls that can last nearly indefinitely when covered by well maintained thatched roofs. Those roofs are quieter in the rain than galvanized steel.

Meanwhile current buildings are expensive and have very short lives. The most expensive home parts, bathrooms and kitchens, have only an approximate 15-20 year design life, while their functional life is potentially much, much longer. Building and demolition generates up to a third of solid waste. Cement production creates 5% of global carbon dioxide emissions and is a major source of airborne mercury in Oregon. Building materials consume large amounts of energy in their manufacture. About 40% of energy is used in buildings.

We have a long way for the lives of buildings to become sustainable.

Tonight's talk is on the design of a sustainable building for the sustainability center. Ralph DiNola of Green Building Services and Dennis Wilde of Gerding Edlen Development will present the current design and discuss the challenges resolved and yet to be resolved. It is part of the Bright Lights series sponsored by the local architecture magazine Portland Spaces and the City Club, a thoughtful public interest group.

At Jimmy Mak's, 221 NW 10th. Doors 5:30PM, discussion 6. Free

Friday, July 10, 2009

July 10 Portrait of Portraits and Korean Art

Korean art has a long history, yet the contemporary art of Korea is not well known. The father of video art is Korean Nam Jun Paik. That was then, this is now. Gallery Homeland updates Portland with an up to the minute show by Eun-young Cho, Sahm-kwon Kim, Jihee Kim, Yang-hee Kim, Duk Hwan Jo, Hyunmin Lee, Keum Aeng Seo, Jooahn Kwon, Ji Eun and Joowon Lee. Korean art shows are reaching US and the UK in 2009, echoing the discovery of Chinese art by the West in the mid-1990's. It will be a fascinating opportunity to sample the thoughts of artists living on the fault line of economic change and a divided country with the highest penetration of high speed Internet in the world, far surpassing the United States. It's at Gallery Homeland 2505 SE 11th x Division

Long time Portland gallerist, Mark Woolley, turns his eye to curation with a show, Portraits. Included are many artists who have been mentioned here including Holly Andres, Tim Gunther, Stewart Harvey, Wei Hsueh, Jacob Pander, Christopher Rauschenberg, Alicia Rose, Gus Van Sant Terry Toedtemeyer and Carol Yarrow. Many are Portland multi-creatives spanning visual art, music, geology and filmmaking, not a new phenomena in Portland. At WorksoundPDX 820 SE Alder

Meanwhile 23 Sandy reprises last Friday's soft opening with the surreal mashup of Chris Haberman's mad tea party - Alice in Wonderland themed painting - and Jessica Spring's horse show. At 623 NE 23 x Sandy

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

July 8 Taco Bell Drawing Club

It is national movement, including here. The next meetup is tonight. The Taco Bell Drawing Club will be held at 725 NE Weidler. Bring pencil and paper. 6PM-7:30 Free

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

July 2 Westside Art Openings

I always recommend the Everett Lofts for ever changing viewing pleasure. I resist individual listings because they are more time consuming to compile than the time you could devote to just seeing everything. Nonetheless SEA Change has a political installation work about Congo, an African interest of mine.

Based on research by Portlander's Casey Bush and Joshua Seeds, Ryan Burns has created a mediation on mining in Eastern Congo, "Profane Relics--- An Ossuary of the Congo Mineral Wars". That is adjacent to Rwanda and intertwined in the 1994 genocide.

Congo has deposits of gold, diamonds and tantalum ore, all a perverse curse on everyday life. Tantalum is an ingredient in chip capacitors used to manage the characteristics of high speed electrical signals in almost all electronic equipment.

The show opens tonight and is open weekend hours throughout the month. SEA Change hosts a Congolese dinner and public brainstorming session July 11 facilitated by Mercy Corps and Run for Congo Women. One direct solution is expanded recycling of electronics, and the gallery hosts mobile phone recycling this month by Eco-Cell. RSVP for the dinner and discussion at seagallery at gmail.

At SEA Change Gallery in the Everett Lofts on the Everett side, corner of NW Broadway opening 6PM-10. Dinner discussion Saturday July 11, 5PM-7, RSVP please. Free

Across the Hall is the space shared by Rod Pulliam and Jane Beebe in the former Pulliam Deffenbaugh gallery space. This month they present a group show Catch All. The show includes Brad Adkins, Monica Angle, Lydia Beebe, Victoria Haven, Philip Iosca, Vanessa Johnson, Jeff Keller, Justin L'Amie, James Lavadour, Raymond Meeks, Vanessa Renwick, Adam Sorensen, Storm Tharp and Marie Watt. At Across the Hall 925 NW Flanders 6PM-8

For some summer excitement Midori Hirose & Joshua Orion Kermiet collaborate in installation at Fontanelle. Fun! At Fontanelle Gallery 205 SW Pine

At Compound there is an all woman show Pink Attitude comprising Anneli Olander, Candy Bird, Pink Sublime, Cikita Z, Isa Duval, Msss Kikao, B9 and Fawn Gehweiler. At Compound Gallery 107 NW 5th

Lorna Nakell who started with illustrated meal paintings has returned to domestic themes in illustration style. See at Beppu Wiarda 319 NW 9th

Dana Dart McClean, Meg Peterson & Brenna Murphy are at Valentines with DJ Cuica spinning Jamaican & Brazilian summer dreams later. At Valentines 232 SW Ankeny Art 6PM, party 9:30

Powells has a sure to be odd photo show documenting commune life in 1970's Los Angeles. Cult leader Father Yod, with 14 wives and 100 followers living in a Beverly Hills mansion, drove a Rolls and led a psychadelic band Ya Ho Wa 13, recording limited vinyl pressings sold for $1 at the commune's organic vegetarian restaurant in Laurel Canyon popular with pop luminaries of the time. In 1975, with no training, Yod died in Hawaii on his first hang gliding experience. I am not making this up. The commune carries on as Wednesday the 8th, the commune's documentarians Isis Aquarian and Electricity Aquarian read from a book and show films of the commune's history at 7:30PM At Powell's Books 3rd floor, 10th and W Burnside

Blue Sky has photographs of urban China as noted above and photographs by Amy Stein documenting our interaction with animals, some wild. At Blue Sky Gallery 122 NW 8th

July 1 China Photos and Motovational Speech

In a participatory prelude to Friday's opening, join in a special "extra credit" event, a book signing, motivational speech and coloring book party by well known artist illustrator Mike Perry. At Grass Hut 811 E Burnside 6PM-9

City of Ambition - Fast Forward is a body of photos of Chongqing by Swiss photographer Ferit Kuyas. Chongqing is a very large city in a small province in central China which was the capital in WWII owing to the Japanese invasion. At a population of 32 million, it may surpass Bejing and Shanghai in size by 2020. Kuyas documents that growth of this industrial town set amid mountains incidentally once home to Buddhist monasteries. Tonight Kuyas speaks on his experiences and photography there. At Blue Sky Gallery 122 NW 8th 6:30PM

The first meeting of the Portland Taco Bell Drawing Club will be held at 725 NE Weidler 5:30PM-7