Monday, September 30, 2013

October 3 Endangered

Occasionally congress kicks out a beautiful law. Whether they will ever again do so is a matter of debate.

What is a beautiful law? It is simple. It changes the course of history. It's not a Christmas tree.

The the Civil Rights Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Another is the Endangered Species Act created by president Richard Nixon in 1973. It was upheld by the Supreme Court in TVA v Hill. The majority opinion was written by conservative chief justice Warren Burger.

"As we homogenize the habitats in which these plants and animals evolved, and as we increase the pressure for products that they are in a position to supply (usually unwillingly) we threaten their - and our own - genetic heritage.

The value of this genetic heritage is, quite literally, incalculable...

From the most narrow possible point of view, it is in the best interests of mankind to minimize the losses of genetic variations. The reason is simple: they are potential resources. They are keys to puzzles which we cannot solve, and may provide answers to questions which we have not yet learned to ask."

Justice Berger closes poetically: "The lines ascribed to Sir Thomas More by [playwright] Robert Bolt are not without relevance here:

'The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal, not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal.... I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain-sailing, I can't navigate, I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of the law, oh there I'm a forester.... What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ... And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you - where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? ... This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast - Man's laws, not God's - and if you cut them down ... d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow them? ... Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake.'"

That case was over a fish, the snail darter. Tonight Zygmunt Plater, who has focused his career on the Endangered Species Act and environmental law, speaks. In "The Curious Case of the Endangered Snail Darter", he relates the experience of successfully arguing the case before the Court.

Politics in a post-Luntz-Rove world are different. The Court is also qualitatively different. Thinkers like Lessig are hopeful.

But we are looking at significant extinctions in future years by climate change. Plater offers an optimistic story of the case in the 1970's. We hope he will contextualize that story to today, and to tomorrow, befitting beautiful law.

Endangered species at Reed College Vollum Lecture Hall, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd Map 7PM Free

Sunday, September 29, 2013

October 2 Exercise for Ears

Bad Blood, If Not For Kidnap, Nows Ours, Sister Spit, Tin House, YesYes Books. Each is a very cool publisher or literary presenter.

Tonight they present 52 readers of prose and poetry over 3 hours at 6 venues within walking distance.

Thorne Lounge, Common Grounds Coffee, Angelo's, Bar of the Gods, Sewick's Lounge and East Portland Eagle Lodge are hosts.

You can find out more about LitHop PDX including each venue scheduke at Upper Hawthorne. 7PM-10, DJ after. Free

Saturday, September 28, 2013

September 28 Love Home

Architecture collects itself by virtue of its mass. No one is going to move the pyramids into a museum.

But occasionally a great effort is made, and for that we are thankful. An example is Little living room at the Met. It's a pleasure to be in if it's empty. The horizontal lines are very restful.

And sometimes heroic efforts are undertaken to move historic small buildings from one place to another like Baba Yaga's hut. Marylhurst University has done that with a Lake Oswego residence designed by Pietro Belluschi. It opens today.

Italian-born Portlander Belluschi made a mark on Portland with the Portland Art Museum, the Commonwealth Building and more. He was then selected as dean of the MIT school of architecture where he influenced a generation of architects.

Firmly in the international style of office buildings, Belluschi's residences established a Northwest style extending to today, building here of regional natural materials and with strong horizontal lines.

See an example for yourself today as the Belluschi building opens, and visit ongoing when the small 900sf home will be surely less crowded. At the Marylhurst University Map Today 11PM-4, Sunday Noon-3 Free

Pure love. No one can argue with that. Agape BC. And Pure Love is an art show with reception tonight. Glasgow artist Sue Tompkins, truffled by Chris Johanson, shows. Bio is redic. So recommended, and continues PMOMA's curatorial arc. At the Portland Museum of Modern Art inside Mississippi Records 5202 N Albina Map 7PM Free

Sunday, September 22, 2013

September 24 Oil and Honey

I was fortunate to encounter McKibben through local Ilahee. McKibben is one of those smart persons who sense important societal changes far in advance of others, and writes about them. He did so for the New Yorker. He does so for Middlebury College.

He is on to climate change in a serious way now. He's a Vermonter. Vermonters, Mainers and Oregonians are precise in their language and conservative in their opinions. So you couldn't find a better perspective to speak about climate change global warming.

And yes, funded media will try to take him down.

You can judge for yourself. And tonight you can hear for yourself. It's not free, but McKibben's talks are free to view all over the interwebs. And if you are a bookpers, McKibben has written a new one, Oil and Honey, adding to his excellent lit rep.

The talk tonight is a book tour talk. Admission at the upper price includes a copy. Bill McKibben speaking on his book Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist at Newmark Theater 1111 SW Broadway 7:30PM $20-36+service charges

Saturday, September 21, 2013

September 21 Deep Indian Place

Seasonal monthly Deep is tonight. It's fierce PDXvSEA in a good way. Fun! Starts 4. Part of Beer and wine for those 21+ otherwise all ages. At Trio Club 909 E Burnside. Doors 4PM $8 with res on the FB, $12

Kalakendra opens its season tonight with Indrajit Banerjee, sitar; Snehashish Mozumder, mandolin and Subrata Bhattacharya, tabla. If you are interested in, or curious about, Indian music these are Portland's long time event presenters. Presented by Kalakendra At the First Baptist Church 909 SW 11th. 7:30PM $25

Things That Aren't Safe Are is a new work by Wynde Dyer meditating on the experience of aversion therapy to people, places and things. We all have aversion reactions and they often tendril deep into us. Object and Meaning: An Exploration of Brokenness and Repair by Shelley Chamberlin is an installation performance. You may bring things to break, or that need repair. Material Concerns is a work by Jonathan Gann & Daniel Long. The description of what they are up to is lost in the artspeak press release. Finally Nicolas Reibel has video work in the screening room. At Place, a gallery on the 3rd floor of the Pioneer Place Mall along with the People's art of Portland and the Woolley Gallery. If the mall appears closed, enter the film theater building adjacent, travel through the tunnel to the Place mall, and take the elevator to the 3rd floor, sometimes the bridge on the 3rd floor is open too. 700 SW Fifth. 5PM-9 Free

At the same location, the Mark Woolley Gallery and People's Art of Portland will likely be eventing. Free

Friday, September 20, 2013

September 20 Dark Light Game Synth

We see with our eyes without seeing all. Our eyes see from what we call violet to what we call red. Beyond that is a large range of infrared and a range of ultraviolet. Some other beasts see those "colors". And we can build cameras from exotic materials on the periodic table to see those "colors".

It is sad, but it is common for some of the most fascinating technology is developed for the military. If you want to see the future pipeline, look up Arpa. And while Portland's technology development is less dominated by the war-making machinery industry than elsewhere, we have one of the major infrared camera makers in the world here. These cameras "see" heat, literally in the "dark". They do have more positive applications in medicine and in finding thermal leaks in buildings. Tonight they are dedicated to art.

It is a reunion project by friends noted for their erotic art film, The Operation. Jacob Pander and Marne Lucas present Incident Energy tonight, a multichannel video contrasting the heat signatures of bodies and our industrial world. Jim McGinn, Portland modern dancer, and collaborator in the footage, will perform live for the opening at 8.

Incident Energy opening at Disjecta, in the shadow of Paul Bunyan 8371 N. Interstate Map 6PM-9 Free

Gaming is a fascinating world. Unfortunately I don't have the time or patience to enter. But there is innovation in the space, and some of it is interesting. In particular we need more engaging women and girls. Eventually game technology will become ubiquitous as the gateway, the experience interface, to simulation. Early work was done by a friend at Atari Labs and PARC. Since, we have environments like OpenSim, a build your own world toolkit.

From time to time a game developer will open a new twisty path in game design. That's the case with Jonathan Blow @Jonathan_Blow, who developed Braid as a counterpoint to mainstream gameplay. He is developing a new game The Witness. He is continuously active in game criticism, experimental gaming workshops and has founded a game development venture fund.

This morning he speaks in Portland. The event is fully subscribed. Tickets are no longer available for his talk, but the video will soon be available on the Creative Mornings website. Sponsored by Portland Creative Mornings @Portland_CM at the Hollywood Theater 4122 NE Sandy Boulevard Doors 8:30AM, talk 9. Free

CV Modulator is a class of functions in electronic music synthesis. The basic idea is to use one musical signal to control another. With those elements, you can build a more complex sound. Tonight is CVModulation experiment and performance night in Portland. In this case, people will be doing it with analog hardware modules, often in the Eurorack format. Tonight will be a demo and give-away by 4ms Company and a live performance Marcus Fischer & Jatun accompanied by video synths. If you are interested in electronic music, or just curious, this is a gentle introduction. At Control Voltage 3742 NE Mississippi 7PM Free

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September 19 Spark Meow Pome Quants

Music and pome go together. Tonight it's Janaka Stucky and Endi Bogue Hartigan who operate as If Not For Kidnap primarily in private homes. They guest poets and musicians performing together. Tonight they mix in musician Dashenka. Stellar lineup, just sayin'. At Buy Olympia's Land Gallery 3925 N Mississippi 7:30 Free

I don't know any who would consider the films of Eisenstein or the Lumières as cult. But for each of us, with our visual culture learnings, there are sure to be video-films that read as ironic. Here is one for your consideration: Barbarella, filmed in 1968. At the time, actress Jane Fonda, who maintained a significant acting career for about 10 years previous, was entwined with romper director Rodger Vadim. The film is a science fiction fantasy with pre-digital special effects staring Fonda traveling the universe in her fur lined spacecraft. Seriously! Film at 4122 NE Sandy 7:30PM $8, $5 Barbarella-themed costume

Art Spark is an artist and art producer networking event. This month Ballet Papalotl, Grand Detour Center for Experimental Media and the International Day of Dance give very short talks on what they are up to. The rest of the time is for talk and meeting. Art Spark! at Bar Bar 3939 N Mississippi 5PM-7 Free

Portland OR US Now operates primarily in the qualitative world, not the quantitative. So art, aesthetics, ideas and creativity are our focus. But an interest is the quantified self movement, articulated at MIT, but a worldwide experiment, including in Portland. Some of the people interested meet occasionally. Sometimes they have speakers reporting on their experiences. That would be tonight. You can see the list at Portland Quantified Self at Puppet Labs 926 NW 13th Ave #210. 6PM-9 Free

September 18 Choose Your Own Photo Adventure Destination

Photographer Ansel Adams is the modern photographer that distilled Western Transcendentalist landscape photography of the 1870's and 80's. He was famous for his co-development and perfection of the Zone system. The principles are still relevant though increasingly not understood as photographers trust the brain of the in-camera digital image processor.

Someone who does understand the process, and the man, is Alan Ross. Ross was Adams' assistant. He speaks tonight of that experience and his own discoveries in photography.

At the Portland Art Museum Whitsell Auditorium 1219 SW Park 6:30PM Free PAM and Newspace members, $5 students/seniors, $10

Susan de Witt is a local photographer fascinated by photographing ghosts. Her work includes the vicissitudes of chemical photography. Here is what the photographer copywrites: "My first actual encounter with ghosts was while I was in France, staying in an old convent in Cahors. It was lunchtime and I was heading across the vestibule from the dining area into the laundry, when I stopped dead in my tracks at the sight of 5 monks, similarly dressed in brown cowled robes, heads down, faces hidden, sweeping the floor in unison. I have absolutely no doubt that they were there - I was not afraid - and during my stay there over the next two weeks, I had other visitations from an old woman, who I later learned had died there. She simply terrified me.
Heavy sleep often brings me these surreal encounters, fading in and out of clarity - a mirage of sorts. So real are these visions that I can mistake their questionable authenticity for that of certainty. My mind allows me to see the possibilities and partake in the moment. I recall fragments of my dreams here, fleeting moments that have stayed with me.

Serendipity plays a part when I print with with chemicals. Often unrepeatable results appear before me on the paper, results that excite me in their unpredictability. I appreciate the pen-and-ink-drawing quality that lith provides me; reality disappears from the page, bringing forth an illusion for the viewer, a misrepresentation of accuracy. All of my composites are done in the darkroom, where absurdity takes precedence over actuality."

A free brown bag lunch talk organized by the Portland Art Museum Photography Council. At Portland Art Museum, Masonic Temple Building, Miller Gallery. 1219 SW Park Noon Free

We love DIY, as you have noticed. DIY as a destination is back as a participatory craft event tonight. There will be a live interview of Rebecca Lerner, author of Dandelion Hunter. Music by DJ Daddy Issues. A trivia contest. But best, it's an opportunity to bring your crafts and craft together with cool friendly people. Organized by, hosted by and generally made awesome by Julie Sabatier, creator of at 417 SE 11th x Stark Map 7PM-9 $3-5 comestibles included

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16 Space Martini

This is primarily a visual arts and sometime performing arts blog. But we have many many interests. So sometimes we will throw something interesting in here. This is that.

There are many final frontiers and space is one. Although the fundamental relationship between gravity and the energy to overcome it is unchanged, fundage is flowing from previously dedicated government sources and now venture capital into space.

That's the theme of tonight's panel: Space: Are We There Yet? presented in Seattle by the MIT Enterprise Forum. Douglas King from the Museum of Flight moderates a panel comprising Will Pomerantz, Vice President for Special Projects at Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic; Chris Lewicki, President & Chief Engineer, Planetary Resources; and Joe Landon, Managing Director, Space Angels Network. These individuals want to fly you into space, mine asteroids and finance it all. All very frothy.

One forecast proposes eleven thousand individuals will pay for spaceflights in the next ten years. Planetary Resources has put together a very interesting team to go where no miner has gone before.

Commercial space talk by at the Museum of Flight 9404 East Marginal Way S, Seattle 5:30PM-8:15 $60

Music, so many styles. Portland musicians Pink Martini specialize in pop music standards from some time back, when it was economically feasible to hire a large group of musicians to play or even record live. The started playing in retirement homes, and for progressive benefits. Over the years they have been very generous and compassionate in finding very talented vocalists time has forgotten and reviving their careers. Tonight they perform an absolutely free concert with a string section and some outstanding guest vocalists, including a Japanese businessman's karaoke choir, Meow Meow, and the great grandchildren Von Trapp Family. Recommended. The Pink Martini at Portland Pioneer Square 6PM Free

Saturday, September 14, 2013

September 12-22 Time Based Art

The annual festival of performance also has visual arts. I always recommend their evening programs at the works, it is a great opportunity to chat with creative people. You can find all the details on the PICA website and stop by their evening art and performance venue 2170 NW Raleigh.

Friday, September 06, 2013

September 6 Eastside Art Openings

Photographer Delaney Allen presents A personal Nature. Allen is a 2010 minted PNCA MFA with a strong body of landscape, alternative portraits and still lifes. The work hews to minimal surrealism. An artist that is capable of showing beyond Portland and who is represented by Nationale. At Nationale 811 E Burnside Map Free

Camera Work:Contemporary Portraiture opens at tonight. At Black Box Gallery 811 E Burnside, Suite 212 upstairs 5PM-8:30 Free

Chris Johanson, Acharya Vyakul and Chris Corales show together in intimate space tonight. At Adams and Ollman Gallery 811 E Burnside #213 6PM-9

Jessie Sugarman has video work California City opening tonight. California City is a huge area planned by land speculators anticipating it to be on the route of the California aqueduct. The aqueduct took another route, leaving much of California City a ghost suburb. Recommended, as always. At Portland's only member of the New Art Dealers Alliance, Fourteen30 Gallery 1501 SW Market Street Map 11AM-6PM Weekends, 6PM-9 tonight

Theodore Blackshear Bowen will be doing live painting tonight. At Manchus Clothing 542 E Burnside 7PM-10 Free

Steel + Ink is a show of Portland axes which have been customized by five Portland tattoo artists. Trust repurposed used axes and asked five Portland tattoo artists to adorn their heads with weldbead, etching, grinding and to modify the handles. Mark Mirocha and Ian Orion show photographs, Julie Everhart has prints. Eatcho has made a mural. At Union/Pine 525 SE Pine 7Pm-late Free

Pacific Midwest is a show by Milwaukee photographers who go by Milwaukee, - "Milwaukee Comma". At Newspace Photo 1632 SE 10th Map 6PM-9 Free

Remake: the world in paper are miniature sculptures of everyday objects by Tae Won Yu. Poses, Tae's band also performs. At Buy Olympia's Land Gallery 3925 N Mississippi 6PM-8

ADX has photographer Tim Roth with Vertex. At 417 SE 11th x Stark Map

Thursday, September 05, 2013

September 5 Westside Art Openings

RECESS continues its Emerging Tactics series at the Littman and White Galleries at Portland State University. At the end of the day, at least we have each other opens tonight. The artists, Cassie Thornton, Ariana Jacob and the Lower Mainland Painting Co., will evolve the work over the month, social practice styley. At Littman and White Galleries, PSU Smith Hall, 2nd Floor, 1828 SW Broadway. 5PM-9 Free

D E May presents Memory of Line: Grids, Templates and Miniatures. May is strongly representational of the early outsider sculpture presented by the Jamison Thomas gallery from which PDX branched. It's quiet and minimal. At PDX Contemporary Art 925 NW Flanders Map early close 8PM Free

The other child of the Jamison gallery is the Froelick Gallery which has Briar Roses by master illustrator and printmaker, Sarah Horowitz from Portland and Alfred Harris from Seattle with Hope and Glory. The former are finely executed botanical illustrations, the latter abstract, maybe map-like painting-collages. The artists speak in the gallery September 14 at 11. At Froelick Gallery 714 NW Davis early close 6PM-8 Feee

Alejandra Laviada from Mexico City has two bodies of work, Broken and Photo Sculptures. None of the Above are a series of portraits by Gregg Segal. At Blue Sky Gallery map 122 NW 8th 6PM-9 Free

PNCA is in session and tonight shockingly lists its shows not just the show at the finely curated Feldman. The Feldman has Feelings and How to Destroy Them by A.L. Steiner. There is a sure to be sprawling faculty biennial. Faculty member Teresa Christiansen, recent NYC transplant, presents photographs Portland Porches. Crowdsourcing Revenge (justified by comments) is fiber sculpture by mid-year MFA student Lauren Seiffert. The Closest Exit May Be The One Behind You is another mid-year MFA activity by Mario Gallucci in the Manuel Izquierdo. Finally in the secret lodge-gallery is a show Ginger Group by secret artists. Yes there is a link on the announcement leading to the secret PNCA website homeroom. No indication if there is a secret opening for the secret show. PNCA, you are improving your announcements, but there is room for improvement. The Lodge Gallery, the MFA show space is at 1532 SW Morrison and open normal business hours. At PNCA 1241 NW Johnson Map 6PM-10 Free

Mhak, Masahiro Akutagawa from Tokyo, presents Interdeco, paintings and functional objects using the same patterns. At Hellion Gallery through the lobby of the arched brick entry, up the stairs and to the back. Very upper floor Japan-style. 19 NW 5th Suite 208. Map 7PM-10 Free

Hair Show by Amyisla Mccombie, Grim Wilkins, Emma Leonard, David Bray, Amanda Mocci, Jenny Liz Rome, Autumn Rose Northcraft, Jessica McCourt, Laith McGregor, Andi Soto and Eveline Trauadjaja opens tonight. We all have it, and some are obsessed with it, so seemingly prosaic, it's a perfect vehicle for art. At Compound Gallery 107 NW 5th 6PM-10 Free

Everett Lofts are recommended as always. It's easier for you to see them all than for me to write suggestions. Some close as early as 9PM. At the Everett Lofts 625 NW Everett. Bounded by NW Everett, Broadway, Flanders and 6th Map Free

Way up on NW 21st is one of Portland's classic galleries, the Laura Russo Gallery, heir to the original Portland contemporary gallery, Arlene Schnitzer's Fountain. This month they have Portland painter Eric Stotik, known for mythic paintings, sometimes surreal, riddles enigma wrapped. Anne Siems from Seattle has ceremony, paintings often in wax medium of parents and children. At Laura Russo Gallery 805 NW 21st early close 5PM-8 Free