Monday, January 31, 2011

January 31 What is a Sustainable Building?

Portland is a leader in LEED building. We export those skills worldwide. But LEED itself is just one of a set of measures of good that will unfold over time. One of those unfolding measures will be lifecycle resource and energy accounting. For instance, a solar cell requires a large amount of energy to refine the silicon from the silicon aluminum oxides found in rock. One estimate is that a solar cell takes 5 years of operation to recover its energy cost of materials. It's the same to go from ore to metal. Then the voided energy from recycling the solar cells in 20 years into new ones should be taken into account. I'm in the cleantech field and had an opportunity to ask a Department of Energy research director about the best thinking on this very question. The answer, no serious work is done yet.

This idea first came on my radar from articles on a planned Seattle light rail system. It was designed Seattle-style to be the most costly, complex and risky solution to the problem at hand. The out of balance element was a plan to drill a route for the rail under Capitol Hill. Calculations showed that the energy of tunneling, concrete and steel would never pay itself back in energy saving. Travel anywhere in the extent of the Greco-Roman empire and you will see hand carved stone blocks reused from ancient building to less ancient building, demonstrating conservation of material and labor by reuse.

In buildings, a qualitative thought process has started, backed by some back of the envelope calculations. That's the thesis of the film tonight: The Greenest Building. The film explores the idea that reusing old buildings is more energy efficient than creating them entirely from new materials. This meshes well with the ideas in an early book How Buildings Learn.

The Greenest Building traces 5 green reuse building projects. Its focus is the triple bottom line: economic, social and ecological. It's perfect that the film has its world premiere in the Gerding Theater in a LEED certified rejuvenation of an historic armory. The film travels to other cities and is scheduled for PBS broadcast in the future.

You can find out more about the film at their website. It shows in the Gerding Theater 128 NW 11th 6:30PM Advance tickets at $9.15

Friday, January 28, 2011

January 29 The Cove

The Cove is a documentary with unwilling and unknowing subjects. That is what makes it as important as controversial. Japan is an island with a long and necessary engagement with the sea. The culture of Japan, like any, is complex. Some themes sometimes seen are an intense focus on specialization and refinement. The Japanese and American way each have strengths and blind sides, especially when judged by the other.

The small town in Japan, Taiji, has developed a specialized industry of capturing migrating dolphins for zoos and meat. To them it's normal. Their activities are not widely known in Japan. They are also the only known spot in the world with this focus. The film, which won the Academy Award for best documentary in 2009, has encountered huge resistance in Japan against any public showings.

Another layer is the sensitivity in Japan to mercury poisoning. Minamata disease is the name given to systemic mercury poisoning caused by bioaccumulation in seafood from industrial waste. From a cultural standpoint, it would probably have the equivalent but stronger psychological resonance of the recent Gulf Oil Spill. Thus an ironic discovery of the film is that the town residents face the same pattern of milder mercury poisoning from eating dolphins.

The filmmakers engage in entertaining games of cat and mouse and the use of spy cameras. Though many dolphins were killed in the making of the film, the town's extreme secrecy prevented the most disturbing events from appearing graphically on camera.

Still the film raises critical questions about our attraction to zoos and our responsibility in the great chain of being.

The film is recommended as an entree to us each in examining our relationship with the sea, and its creatures.

Sponsored by the Sea Sheperd Society, it shows at the PSU Fifth Avenue Cinema. 510 SW Hall 7PM By donation

Thursday, January 27, 2011

January 27 The Revenge of the Electric Car

Is sweet. That's the mission of electric car activist Chris Paine. Paine made the 2006 film Who Killed the Electric Car?. He's finishing a new film Revenge of the Electric Car. He speaks tonight about electric cars and his David vs Goliath quest, which is looking increasingly like a win! At PSU Lincoln Hall, room 175 (basement) at the corner of SW Broadway and SW Market 6PM-8 Free

January 27-29 Seattle Portland

With a name like the Degenerate Art Ensemble you can't go wrong. And having seen them many times I can verify they are awesome. This is not an official DAE project, but it does include many DAE performers and is flavored similarly.

The plot: "Red Ridinghood faces off with her grandmother, a broken doll comes to life, a forest is born within a warehouse."

There will be a live string quartet and collaborators include Haruko Nishimura (dance), Jason Puccinelli (scenic design), Ela Lamblin (sculptural instrument), Leo Mayberry (video), Dohee Lee (dance/percussion/voice), Joshua Kohl (music), Jherek Bischoff (music), Christine Tschirgi (costume).

It's free!

At West Seattle, 2414 SW Andover Street Building F-105, Seattle WA. 7PM-8 Free

Meanwhile Portland's awesome BodyVox now has BodyVox-2, the second unit. They perform pieces originally from the BodyVox founders as part of the Fertile Ground Festival. At BodyVox Studios, 1201 NW 17th Map 7:30PM (&2 Saturday) $15, check the website for tickets or use your Fertile Ground pass.

Monday, January 24, 2011

January 25 Curiosity Sherry Turkle

While Core 77 primarily focuses on industrial design, the Curiosity Club talks incorporate broader interests including clothing design. Tonight is that. Local designer Coco Urhausen Martinez talks about her work, including Mexican circus influences. The description of her work on the Curiosity Club web link is fascinating - read it to decide for yourself. You can tune into the free live webcast off the Core77 site or visit in person at Hand Eye Supply 23 NW 4th 6PM Free

We have the most amazing machines at our fingertips or following us in our pockets. They are backed by a web of radio systems and fiber, and acres of data centers, many in Eastern Oregon and Washington. Normally we just use them. But some people think about how we use them. One is Sherry Turkle at MIT, a center for research and publishing in mobile and computing ethnography. Turkle is one of the leading thinkers in the world on the topic. You can see her tonight speak for free at Powells. Many videos are here, including the Colbert version last week. Turkle speaks at Powell's Books 1005 W Burnside 7:30PM Free

January 24 Location City Machine Walk

Portland location activists Aaron Parecki and Amber Case speak about mobile location tonight at Mobile Portland. They are responsible for the Geoloqi app and embeddable technology. Their talk is a survey of the geolocation world, how the capability can be used and demonstrations of real applications. At Urban Airship/ Cloud Four (Thanks!) 334 NW 11th 6PM Free

Portland civic discourse activists the Portland City Club sponsor a talk by Space Syntax, pedestrian planners with a very cool name. While automobile traffic planning is subject to extensive standard models, pedestrian planning has been intuitive and seat of the pants. No more, space syntax has become one of the world's experts on predicting where pedestrians will go. This should be a fascinating talk by Tim Stonor founder and managing director of London-based Space Syntax. At Jimmy Mak's, 221 NW 10th Map Doors 5:30PM, discussion 6. Free

Machine Project maker activists round out the evening as part of the PSU Monday night lecture series. Machine Project takes social practice into the art, craft and fabrication world, in the LA home and on the road to arts organizations. Talk in the Shattuck Hall Annex out front, 1914 SW Park Avenue, at the corner of SW Broadway and Hall on the PSU campus. 7:30PM Free

Project Grow hosts a show by Portland social practice artist Avalon Kalin documenting his Walkshops, many with the artists at Project Grow. His website gives a better idea of what's involved, or just show up this evening or until January 28 at the Project Grow gallery to find out about it! At Project Grow at the Port City Development Center. 2156 N Williams Ave at Tillamook. 7PM-10

Saturday, January 22, 2011

January 23 Huun Huur Tu Stock Research

The Research Club, you, present brunch. Today's instance will be held at the mall! Research Club is collaborator with a group of artists who have taken over a closed Pottery Barn store in the Pioneer Square mall, an epic example of poetic justice. Presenters include Lisa Hoashi, public information officer for Mercy Corps projects in Haiti; Ben Popp, on matte printer compositing on 16mm film, how it was done before electronic compositing became possible in the 1980's; UO White Box Gallery curator Elizabeth Lamb on the collaborative gallery opening in the Mall in February; and artist writer Elizabeth Danger Gardner. Food is involved, but the Research Club is serious about sustainability: you must bring your own cup, plate-bowl and utensils, and take them with you when you leave. Or you may eat off lettuce leaves or recycled cardboard sheets they provide! Bring vegan or vegetarian-friendly brunch food, arrive early, stay to talk. A project of At the Pioneer Place Mall, bounded by SW Morrison, Yamhill, 5th and 6th. Third floor. Noon-3PM Free

Portland Stock is a nanogranting project. Awards are running around $5-600. This puts them at less than government efforts such as RAAC at about $1-2K and Kickstarter in the low thousands. Kickstarter is based on large online social networks. Stock is based on about 100 interested, in person, peer artists and friends. Reservations for this simple $10 meal are required. BYOB. The proceeds of those $10's pooled are awarded to one of the usually about half dozen proposals in a two stage voting process.

RSVP by email, portlandstock at gmail dot com, the meal reservations, limited by logistics, fill quickly. Details: At PNCA 1241 NW Johnson 6PM-8 $10 cash only

With a name like Huun Huur Tu, you can't go wrong. Portland is a small town operating on a world stage. An example of gems hidden in plain sight is local artist shaman and throat singer Soriah. Soriah has studied Tuvan throat singing in Tuva for several years. As a result he placed third in the world in a competition for throat singing in Tuva, the only Westerner to have done so, ever. Cultural ambassador Soriah arranges Portland performances by traveling Tuvan perfomers in little Portland.

Huun Huur Tu is a world famous performing ensemble in the khöömei style. They have collaborated with Western musicians Ry Cooder, The Kronos Quartet, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Frank Zappa and their samples are being remixed into electronic tracks. In Tuvan, Huun Huur Tu is translated as “Sun Propeller” - beams of sunlight cast through clouds in the golden hour or through tree leaves by overhead sun. Soriah performs himself as well. Highly recommended for the musically adventurous.

At the Alberta Rose Theater 3000 NE Alberta. Doors 6:30PM, show 7:30. $18 advance, $20 door

Thursday, January 20, 2011

January 20 Art Spark

Art Spark offers its monthly free networking event this evening. Guest presenter is the Creative Advocacy Network. It's also a free booking conference for some smaller Portland arts groups we hope can benefit from future CAN-created funding. The groups are Create Plenty, Film Action Oregon, i heart art pdx, Junk to Funk, My Story Workshops, Oregon Women's Caucus, ORLO, Portland Stock, Print Arts NW, Research Club, tEEth and Well Arts Institute. I'm familiar with some of these and they rock! The event is at Art Bar at PCPA, the downtown theater complex with the Winningstad and the Intermediate Theater, across the street from the Schnitz. 1111 SW Broadway 5PM-7 Free

Sunday, January 16, 2011

January 19 Photographer Holly Andres

Portland Photographer Holly Andres does the Yale school well. That would be photographs of models in constructed situations, like film stills frozen in mid-narrative. We can each guess a different story, pre- and post- the instant, that's enigmatic fun. The chief proponent is Yale professor Gregory Crewdson. Crewdson was influenced by eavesdropping on his father's psychiatry practice, filmmakers and Cindy Sherman's electric observations of her social circle. He turned that into a practice of convincing strangers, and later paid models to engage in staged scenes. It's a cinematic practice with the assistance of cinematographers, direction, lighting and set construction. Andres works similarly and as successfully, with Portland resources and friends. Her work is psychologically charged, incorporating nostalgia and touching memories of childhood's mysteries. Andres gives a talk to the Art Museum Photography Council as part of their monthly noontime series. It's free and open to the public, often well attended, it's best to arrive early for a seat. The talk is in the Masonic Temple building, ask at the desk for directions to the room. At the Portland Art Museum 1219 SW Park. Noon Free

Friday, January 14, 2011

January 15 Verses Space

Place space, in the Pioneer Square Mall opens the show Verses, by Zachary and Nico Sea. In the Pioneer Place Mall, bounded by SW Morrison, Yamhill, 5th and 6th. Third floor. 5:30PM-8ish Free

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January 11 DIY Rocket Science

While the earliest rockets probably go back to the Chinese, it was the Germans in WWII who created modern era of rockets. Today rockets are for everyone! That's the mission of Nathan Bergey. He builds open source rockets in Portland, and flies them. His talk tonight is about the design and development process and unexpected creative insights that have come from the project. The rockets Bergey and his open source team have built and flown have the most advanced known DIY guidance systems in the world. You can tune into the free live webcast off the Core77 site or visit in person at Hand Eye Supply 23 NW 4th 6PM Free

Sunday, January 09, 2011

January 9 Publication Gym

Perimeter: We Live Here Now is a show echoing Larry Rinder's The American Effect. Off the soundly hated by New York blue chip galleries 2002 Whitney Biennial. Rinder decided to risk certain firing, already likely as a result of the Biennial. in 2003 he brought dozens of artworks by world artists themed on their view of America to a post 9/11 New York. The show was judged a success, as is the 2002 biennial, today. (Rinder later skewered the New York art fame machine in his hilarious novel Revenge of the Decorated Pigs, only available at Publication Studio, see below)

Perimeter is the work of Oregon artists born outside the United States. It is presented in collaboration with local community college galleries. Opening reception today Marylhurst Art Gym.

Artists and venues - The Art Gym, Sang-ah Choi (Korea), Horatio Law (Hong Kong), Akihiko Miyoshi (Japan), Motoya Nakamura (Japan), and Ying Tan (China); Archer Gallery, Clark College - Yoshihiro Kitai (Japan) and Kartz Ucci (Canada){January 11 - February 5}; The Cascade Gallery, Portland Community College, Cascade Campus - Yuji Hiratsuka (Japan) {February 24 - March 31}; Helzer Art Gallery, Portland Community College, Rock Creek Campus - Una Kim (Korea) {January 6 – February 4}, Petra Sairanen (Lapland){February 7 – March 4}; Northview Gallery, Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus - Baba Wagué Diakité (Mali){January 6 – February 4}.

Recommended. At the Marylhurst Art Gym at the Marylhurst University Check the campus map to find it. 3PM-5 Free

A Classroom Reader is a book by Anna Gray and Ryan Wilson Paulsen published by Publication Studio. Tonight is the launch, accompanied by a slide show by the artists, also at Across the Hall this month. Great people, great book, great slides and refreshments! At Publication Studio, 717 SW Ankeny Street 6:30PM-9:30

Thursday, January 06, 2011

January 7 Eastside Art Openings

Art never sleeps, but galleries do. Some galleries are adopting opening schedules off the usual, and that's good. These though are open this evening.

Golden Rule has Willful Obedience by Tedd Nash Pomaski. They are obsessive drawings in what was once the pointillist style - large patterns of small marks. At Golden Rule Gallery 811 E Burnside, Suite 122 in the back

Delaney Allen, PNCA grad, shows In Visibility, modified photographic images. At Nationale 811 E Burnside Map

Lille Boutique has occasional shows, and many are good. Tonight they show personal drawings by Amber Smith, Crying at La Bayadere. At Lille Boutique 1007 E Burnside

With Portland beard central, it's fitting that Land would show photographs of truely epic beards. See them at At Buy Olympia's Land Gallery 3925 N Mississippi 6PM-8

Newspace photo has Douglas Beasley and Gloria Baker Feinstein. At Newspace Photo 1632 SE 10th

January 6 Westside Art Openings

Natan Dvir shows portraits made in Israel of 18 year old Arabs. That age is fertile material for Arbus-style exploration. It is made more compelling by intense identity, of the photographer and subjects, forged by conflict. Shai Kremer shows traces of military activity on landscape in Israel. Given the long history of habitation there, those wounds on land are probably not the first. One would hope tough, with the unending advances in the destructiveness of weaponry, that our social evolution toward peace outcompetes our social devolution towards war. At Blue Sky Gallery map 122 NW 8th

The Laura Russo gallery is well known for its warm relationship and career supportive connections to artists shown. This show of new artists is a nice complement to many of the artists shown for years in the gallery and collected by the Museum. Artists Gala Bent, Marcus Gannuscio, Grant Hottle, Rachel Peddersen, Megan Scheminske, Liz Tran show work. Much of it is painting, a Russo gallery specialty. Previews in the New Views section of the gallery artists page. Recommended. At Laura Russo Gallery 805 NW 21st

Light art is a rare medium. Rarer in the Pacific Northwest, despite long grey times. Artist Hap Tivey is an early light artist, well worth your investigation, though it hasn't engaged me strongly. At Elizabeth Leach Gallery 417 NW 9th Map

PDX Contemporary has a group show at its Across the Hall space including gallery artists Jacques Flechemuller, Kristen Millerm James Lavadourm Anna Gray & Ryan Wilson Paulsenm Joe Maccam Ellen Georgem, Cynthia Lahti, James Lavadour, Nick Blosser, Storm Tharp, Nancy Lorenz and Terry Toedtemeier. At PDX Contemporary Art 925 NW Flanders Map early close 8PM

Valentines, always a great decompression and talk spot after First Thursday has Family of Origin by Lizzie Swift. Valentines 232 SW Ankeny Art 9PM, Free

Recommended as always the many fine shows likely at the Everett Lofts and PNCA.