Friday, May 29, 2015

May 30 New Obscure Recess Ashes Composition for You

Portland Postcards from America is the Portland instance of a national project, and a group show of photography, tonight, one night. Nine photographic explorations in the series preceed. It is a project of the respected Magnum photo agency, and the work is by Magnum photographers Susan Meiselas, Jim Goldberg, Alec Soth, Bieke Depoorter, Peter van Agtmael, Donovan Wylie and Zoe Strauss. This show is lensed through the social practice modus. Thus it is part of the Assembly conference. At Newspace Photo 1632 SE 10th Map 7:30PM-10 Free

Today is Atlas Obscura Day. Atlas Obscura is an online entity that catalogs and maps unusual places on earth. Some are natural, but most are human-made. They can be drawn to irony, more so than say, The Center for Land Use Interpretation. They run parallel to Roadside America and others. Once a year, on Atlas Obscura Day, they arrange local events at their sites, and that day is today. Details at Free

Recess, as part of the Assembly conference, rocks Foucault. They present an author, exploring through science fiction, the exploitation of individuals by the financial system.

Student loans got you down? Be there.

Author Cassie Thornton has authored Rock. Not copywriting award of the month level, but getting the idea level:

ROCK is the story of a mass that is unable to be valued, because it is simultaneously a physical piece of debt and a meteorite. In this story, which began to unravel in 2011, Cassie Thornton experiences the impact of indebtedness on her unconscious while she yearns to feel the infinity offered by outer space. If debt were a meteorite—a condensed and heavy, physical thing—could it be thrown at the debt ceiling (which has replaced the ozone layer around the earth)? Imagine debt leaving earth, breaking through into a different, epic value system. Imagine a life in which the debt doesn't just loom over our heads or cloud our thoughts. If we could follow the debt into space, would we escape this hard landscape that does not support life over profit?

Recess Gallery Moving On talk by author at Mother Foucault bookstore, a small space, arrive early and browse. 523 SE Morrison 7PM Free

Portland's hip hop dance community is smaller than Seattle and elsewhere. Nasty history TL:DR. Tonight is a big battle Ashes to Ashes. Fifth year. Big thing. Guests from other cities. Details Doors 1PM, prelim 2, main 4. At Refuge, 116 SE Yamhill. $20

Composition molds a participatory ceramics event, the clay will tell me what to do next, facilitated by Amanda Leigh Evans. "Drawing from imagery in Kabbalah and Peter Sloterdijk’s spherology, the project uses the metaphor of functional ware to consider self-orientation and service" is one way to look at it. Another way is that you can come, get your hands dirty in some mud, which will then be fired so you can take it home in about a week. Plus you get to converse with other artists. It is part of the Assembly conference. At Composition Gallery, part of the Everett Station Lofts. Mid block on NW 6th between Everett and Flanders. 5:30PM - 7 Free

All the way from Belgium, Willem Oorebeek opens a show, Monolith Regardless of the Millers. The work uses graphic art media and sampling. Where have we seen that before? Mr Oorebeek presnets an in-person talk June 5 at the space you can look up. At Yu Contemporary Art 900 SE 10th 4PM-6 Free

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May 28 Orange X

All the way from London, artist Emily Jones presents Orange House Action Clinic at S1. Some of her past work has themed water. It is an essential life ingredient and we have not heard the last of its shortages and destructive excesses. So it is a good subject for art exploration. Jones also titles her works and projects in that cryptic and poetic YBA-way. Actually I enjoy that. But the announcement for the show is pure artbabble which could be summarized as "because semiotics". Nonetheless you should go. Friday there is a panel discussion with the artist Friday at 7. Orange House Action Clinic opening at S1 4148 NE Hancock Map 6PM-9 Free

The TED Talks, sometimes they are interesting. A little too cheerful? Often. But the TED conferences musical curation is never thought provoking.

Portland's TED conference 2015 is themed on tomorrows. They have an art show to go along. Artists include Jonathan Case, Wendy Given, Skye Walker, Kyle Beck, Chelsea Parker Guidry, Nic Eldridge, Nick LaVecchia, Meg Kaczyk, Heather Noddings, Betsy Walton, Blaine Fontana, Nathan Rhoads, Lanakila MacNaughton, Kara Burke, Amanda Leigh Smith , Andrio Abero, Asher Moss x Melodi Meadows, Brian Madden, John Brown, Cameron Stewart, Dan Schechter, Jake Hollomon, Jordan Sowers, Josh O’Renick, Jud Nichelson, Justin Morris x Nicolle Clemetson, Justin Flood, Laura Austin, Jeff Luker, Nishat Akhtar, Jason Sturgill, Matt Sundstrom, Santiago Uceda, Anton Pearson of The Pressure , Tina Snow Le, Toby Grubb and Chris Hornnecker. In a nice touch, the conference attendees receive a book of the artists' work and a print. We sincerely hope it has more gravitas than the music in its curation.

The Visions of Tomorrows art show for TEDxPortland 2015; tonight is a ticketed reception-party, Friday it is open to the public 11AM-2PM. At Union/Pine 525 SE Pine 7PM-10 Free with ticket

Monday, May 25, 2015

May 27-31 Assemble Your Own Practice

Social practice art is practiced. So if you have a school of social practice art you can put the students to work making a conference.

The previous Portland international social practice art conference was kidnapped, and this, Assembly, is the new edition. It covers five days of DIY, workshops, talks, play events and performances; day to late; all free!

Artists include Julie Ault, Bijan Berahimi, Erin Charpentier, Roz Crews, Phoebe Davies, Amanda Leigh Evans, Helene Fischman, Emily Fitzgerald, David Fletcher, Harrell Fletcher, Zach Gough, Derek Hamm, Ariana Jacob, Avalon Kalin, Tamara Lynne, Christopher Michlig, Mark Menjivar, Adam Moser, Travis Neel, Carmen Papalia, Julie Perini, Gemma-Rose Turnbull, Michael Rohd, Renee Sills, Alysha Shaw, Strike Debt PDX, Cassie Thornton, Patricia Vazquez Gomez, Lexa Walsh, Arianna Warner, Lee Walton, Christine Wong Yap, Emily Carr Students and faculty, and Magnum Photographers Alec Soth, Jim Goldberg, Zoe Strauss, Peter van Agtmael, Bieke Depoorter, Donovan Wylie and Susan Meiselas.

The Assembly Social Practice Art confab, with catalog at

Various locations. 9AM-late Free

Saturday, May 23, 2015

May 23-24 Shake the Dust

Hip hop culture comprises music, body language, lyrics, MC, b-boy/b-girl motion and words. Culture. It is constantly evolving and ever fascinating. Shake the Dust is a documentary on hip hop as a worldwide social change movement with a focus on b-boy/b-girl motion. Movers' moves lensed in Colombia, Cambodia, Uganda and Yemen. And introducing the doc are OG Mic Crenshaw with DJ GrimRock and New Birth Crew. You can see it, then work on those moves and social movements yourself. Presented by KBOO. Shake the Dust documentary at Clinton Street Theater 2522 SE Clinton 7PM $7-10

May 23 Chill Robot Zodiac

Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads opens today at the Portland Art Museum. It is a work of 12 sculptures; each is an animal in the Chinese zodiac.

It is inspired by a similar set created as a fountain, with the water flow representing a clock, at the Summer Palace. The originals were looted by French and English troops at the end of the Second Opium War. The palace was burned.

Ai Weiwei is the leading political artist in China. He was imprisoned in 2011 for almost three months for his work and is prohibited from traveling outside the country today. The story of the original works, their cultural sensitivity, and Weiwei's interpretation is told in a video on the project website:

Portland, the site at one time of the second largest Chinatown on the West Coast, is fortunate to be visited by the sculptures. It is a great opportunity to learn about the artist and his other works.

The show continues until September 23. At the Portland Art Museum 1219 SW Park. Regular Museum hours and admission

Daniel H. Wilson is a robotics engineer turned novelist on robot themes. He gives a talk this afternoon in Portland's tiniest public library on robot futures. Admission available 30 minutes in advance of the talk. NW branch of the Multnomah County Library 2300 NW Thurman Talk 3 Free

Xhurch has a leisurely chill musical panorama today curated by Caitlin King with Betony Palm, Black Jaw, Brian Levin, Jai Milx, Joshua Convey, Numbskull, Procedural Sky, Thunderfoot, Very Rare Artifacts and Scott Mayoral. There is a BBQ potluck starting a little earlier and maybe running coincidently. Be gracious, the venue is in a residential neighborhood. At Xhurch 4550 NE 20th. Music 5PM-10ish Free

Friday, May 22, 2015

May 22 Titled

Brian Kennon and Bobbi Woods present paintings & collage entitled Blowjob. At the first of two members in Portland of the New Art Dealers Alliance, Fourteen30 Gallery 1501 SW Market Street Map 6PM-8

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May 19 Colour

Gamblin Artists Colors makes paints and mediums for artists. Their main products are oil paints, mineral pigments mixed with oil, ideally less toxic oil. Scott Gellatly from the company talks about the process and then how artists select a palette - a specific set of colors creating a theme or look for their paintings. A presentation of the Curiosity Club, you can tune into the free live webcast, see the video archive on the Hand Eye Supply website, or visit the talk and demonstration in person at Hand Eye Supply 427 NW Broadway 6PM Free

Sunday, May 17, 2015

May 17 Eyeing Dance

Modern dance, movement, performance, experimental, art goes in cycles in Portland. Just when you think it is dead, some cells in the petri dish start multiplying. One such creative life form is the Pure Surface monthly. It ia a collaboration between a dancer, a writer, and a videomaker. Pure Surface #16 today is Ajna Lichau, film; Endi Bogue Hartigan, text; Dawn Stoppiello, dance. Pure Surface at Valentines 232 SW Ankeny. Doors 6:00PM, performance 7 sharp Free

Occasionally we dip into the modern dance worlds here. Dance can be arranged in lineages: studied with who studied with. I have always heard the name Yvonne Rainer spoken with reverence by modern dance friends. If you want to know what that is all about, you can see the film Feelings are Facts: The Life of Yvonne Rainer. She is active today at age 80. Part of the Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival, with the director and producer presenting. Advance tickets at Film at the Hollywood Theater 4122 NE Sandy Boulevard. 4:30PM $11

Thursday, May 14, 2015

May 14 Game Kinfolk

Surplus Space does not shy experimental curation. We are not a fan of mass pop culture applied to art. Or gamification of everything. But that is the conceit tonight. Competitive spectator curation. At Surplus Space 3726 NE 7th 7:30 Free

Not art, but there is a talk on the Kinfolk phenomena by its founder Georgia Frances King. In the Shattuck Hall Annex, 1914 SW Park Avenue, at the corner of SW Broadway and Hall on the PSU campus. 7:30 Free

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

May 13 Abstraction

Mary Henry (1913 - 2009), is known for bright geometric abstract paintings. Tonight a show of her work opens. At Jeffrey Thomas Fine Art 2219 NW Raleigh 6PM-8 Free

May 12 A Show About Nowhere

Recess presents A Pilot For A Show About Nowhere by Martine Syms. It is an experimental situational comedy two channel video work comenting on the representation of African Americans and their lives in television culture. Syms speaks tonight. At PNCA 511 NW Broadway Map 7PM Free

Saturday, May 09, 2015

May 11 Pandering

Portland has several art families. One is the Panders. Henk Pander is a grand painter. His sons are illustrators, graphic novelists and film makers. Some of their film work shows tonight. Not showing, but worth looking up is their early experimental film The Operation, they reprised it in a project shown at Disjecta. Tonight Selfless is a feature cyber-noir film on identity theft. Subtext is a short on relationships as mediated by text messages. Recommended. At the Hollywood Theater 4122 NE Sandy Boulevard. 6:30PM $8

Thursday, May 07, 2015

May 9 Song in a Bottle

The World Is Not the Earth is a group show by James Castle, John O'Reilly, Blair Saxon-Hill, Austin Eddy and Timmy Straw. Tonight Timmy Straw performs, creating a great opportunity to see the show. At Adams and Ollman Gallery, the second of two members of the New Art Dealers Alliance, 209 SW 9th. 7PM Free

Kyle Simon has The Catacombs, prints, paintings, ceramic sculptures, text and media. It is inspired by his fantasies of archaeoacoustics, sound stored in ancient pottery vessels. At the Portland Museum of Modern Art inside Mississippi Records 5202 N Albina. Map 8PM-10

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

May 8 Paint Grad

Tiffany Calvert, Reed professor and painter, references historical works. You can see at Carl & Sloan Contemporary in the Disjecta building. 8371 N Interstate Ave #1 Map 6PM-10 Free

Meanwhile next door Disjecta has a show of UO MFA graduates Farhad Bahram, Fei Chen, Matt Christy, Alex Krajkowski, Anne Magratten, Andrew Oslovar, Brandon Siscoe, Megan St. Clair, John Tolles and Jessie Rose Vala. At Disjecta, in the shadow of Paul Bunyan 8371 N. Interstate Map 6PM-9 Free

May 7 Westside Art Openings

The President is visiting disrupting traffic downtown, to and from, including the streetcar and the Max.

The Elizabeth Leach Gallery has a group show of select visual artists exhibited by PICA from 1995 to 2005. Artists include Francis Alÿs, Erika Blumenfeld, Marta Maria Perez Bravo, Roland Brener, Tseng Kwong Chi, Nan Curtis, Harrell Fletcher, MK Guth, Carol Hepper, Jim Hodges, Ryoji Ikeda, Malia Jensen, Anish Kapoor, Dinh Q. Lê, Shirin Neshat, Jean-Michel Othoniel, Swallow Press (x2), Kate Shepherd, Valeska Soares, Robert Wilson, and Jin-me Yoon. PICA caught some early, some mid- and a few late; it launched a few successful careers too. At Elizabeth Leach Gallery 417 NW 9th Map. 6PM-9 Free

Sarah Horowitz is a printmaker. She has also been making one of a kind sumi ink works, including this series In the Pines. She has become one of Portland's experts on handmade Japanese papers, making the work on them. Recommended. At Froelick Gallery 714 NW Davis early close 8

Nadia Sablin, presents From the Mountains and to the Sea. She was born in Leningrad, pre-the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and came to Ohio age 12 as the city was renamed St Petersburg. She returns to the extents of the former Soviet Union to photograph regularly. This work was made in Ukraine.

Scott Dalton has an impressionist photo essay Where the River Bends. It is set in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas; dual border towns.

At Blue Sky Gallery map 122 NW 8th 6PM-9 Free

Midori Hirose has The Joker is Wild. She is well known for kawaii-flavored installations. She also has a talk about the work and performance May 14, 7PM. Tonight it opens in the PSU Littman Gallery in Smith Union. Littman Gallery, PSU Smith Hall, Room 250, 1825 SW Broadway. 5PM-8 Free

Dana Lynn Louis is a sculptural installationist. Her work is organic, tending toward minimalism. She has a large gallery show here, opening tonight. At Laura Russo Gallery 805 NW 21st 5PM-8

Duplex has Those Days Are Over by Jeremy Okai Davis inspired by found 1970s photographs. At Duplex Collective 219 NW Couch 6PM-9

Ben Buswell closes No One Above or Below. At UpFor Gallery 929 NW Flanders 6PM-9 Free

The Living With Glass show closes mid-month, so this is the last opportunity to see it for free. At the Museum of Contemporary Craft 724 NW Davis 6PM-8

Mitsuya Watanabe opens illustrations Immaculate Eve. 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 second floor. Map 7PM-9 Free

Around the city are graduating and in-progress MFA shows. That includes at the UO White Box - interdisciplinary program students Anya Dikareva, Summer Gray, Krista Heinitz, Steven Joshlin, Daniel P. Lopez, Sarah Mikenis, Stephen Nachtigall, Rachel Widomski. PSU Galleries have shows, some on a two week cycle. The joint PNCA-OCAC program has a show that went up last week. Mid-month, PDX and Upfor have shows. Disjecta opens one Friday.

At the University of Oregon White Stag Building, 70 NW Couch 6PM-9 Free

Pam Minty video in the AB Lobby Gallery, PSU Art Building, 1st floor, 2000 SW 5th. 4PM - 7 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 closing ranges from 9PM-10:30ish

May 6 Direct Route By Past

Once upon a time, the Portland Art Museum awoke from a traditionalist art and meandering regionalism dream and created a contemporary art program. After a few successful years of the program, the Museum hired a new director who focused on impressionism, blockbuster pop shows and alienating progressive board members. So the contemporary art staff quit, going to SFMOMA and starting PICA.

PICA took a radical approach for the time, not taking government money. It was an insight, as the culture wars by conservative politicians soon dismantled peer-reviewed curation of adventurous contemporary art at the National Endowment of the Arts. In a common tactic, funding was reduced and shifted to block grants to the states.

PICA was supported by creative technologists, creative agencies and creative individuals. It was a gathering place. Unfortunatley it is not today what it was. But they do throw a good party later in the month.

Tonight the original founder of PICA, Christy Edmunds, now performance curator at UCLA speaks. She is joined by some early PICA players, Kristan Kennedy and Topher Sinkinson. Kennedy is PICA's current visual arts curator.

The event accompanies a show at the gallery by artists PICA showed in the day.

At Elizabeth Leach Gallery 417 NW 9th Map 5PM Free

Pam Minty speaks about her video work Direct Route tonight. Minty is known for her landscape documentary about the little-populated lower right hand quarter of Oregon. With Direct Route, she adds more characters and narrative: "Direct Route observes a blind woman navigating her domestic surroundings, alongside landscapes and recollections prior to losing her vision. Through conversations and word puzzles with her daughter, a story emerges about the relationship between memory, sense of direction, and the texture of experience".

The 45 minute work runs in the AB Lobby Gallery for the next 2 weeks. There will be a reception for the work there, Thursday from 4PM-7

Talk in the Shattuck Hall Annex, 1914 SW Park Avenue, at the corner of SW Broadway and Hall on the PSU campus. 7PM Free

Monday, May 04, 2015

May 5 Calm Out

Calm technology. We need more and we will have more.

Each day we focus on our screens to command and demand the Internet to do our bidding. Sometimes we lean back to consume entertainment. Other times we are alerted, called to a decision, to engage the machine, a message, or an individual interaction.

For a long time our brain and senses have engaged in subliminal monitoring of our surroundings. The sounds, vibration, peripheral vision, more.

Calm technology is an experimental design field to build mobile device, home and workplace interfaces that engage those subliminal capabilities. It is an extension of the work by Mark Weiser at Xerox PARC in the 1990's. Michael Rose at MIT is a proponent.

Amber Case is writing a book about Calm Technology. She provides a peek into the topic for you tonight. She has a website as an introduction. Recommended.

A presentation of the Curiosity Club, you can tune into the free live webcast, see the video archive on the Hand Eye Supply website, or visit the talk and demonstration in person at Hand Eye Supply 427 NW Broadway 6PM Free

Friday, May 01, 2015

May 1 Eastside Art Openings

Tonight the epicenter is the 811 Building. There is a fashion dimension, and an art dimension; you can't go wrong with neither. In the realm of fashion: Liza Rietz, Fortress of Inca Shoes, BOET, 6/7 and Holly Stalder + Kate Towers at HAUNT. Holly and Kate were the Portland indy fashion originators with their shop Seaplane. For art, Black Box upstairs and Redux represent. Recommended!

All at 811 East Burnside Map 7PM-9ish

Old Portland Hardware has vast digs in the old Portland bakery building. They have been reving up their art program with first Friday events. I'm especially interested in this one, Old Portland Hardware is taking names in their curation with this show.

History is written by the winners, and its record, beyond a generation, is preserved by moneyed institutions.

James Wasson's negatives were uncovered in a family trunk. He is an African American who served as a Buffalo Soldier in WWI, and a photographer of the African American experience in Portland before Vanport, I5 and the Colosseum deconstructed the community. The Buffalo Soldiers were a segregated African American Army unit.

See it, seriously. #BlackLives Matter

James Wasson at Old Portland Hardware 700 NE 22nd 6PM-9 Free

The Sumi Ink Club has visited Portland and they are back! Founded by Sarah Rara and Luke Fischbeck in LA about 10 years ago, it is an open source participatory drawing experience. Arrive, leave any time and brush around some ink however you want with everyone. Their motto is "all ages, all humans, all styles." At the Independent Publishing Resource Center 1101 SE Division, Suite 2 6PM-8 Free

Australia - New York City artist Craig Redman presents Third Parties. Your ISP would love to sell a record of every URL you visit; your smartphone carrier, the same. Every browser, every search provider, every app, every software instance implemented in the cloud. They do, want to, will sell you.

If the service is free, you are not the customer, you are the product.

That is the focus of this show. Privacy in our interwebs age. Hopefully more artists will bring the topic to the fore. By the way, the Electronic Privacy Information Center - search for them - does great work on this.

At One Grand Gallery 1000 E Burnside 6PM-10 Free

Ethnographic photography is a sticky wicket. It is subject to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle maxim that you cannot measure something without disturbing it. A corollary is that we each, individually and in our tools, bring observational bias.

Photographer Scott Dalton has more practice than most with the issue. He spent many years in Central America photographing the proxy struggles between communism and capitalism, between profit and destruction, between human values and exploitation, between fear and hope.

After he moved to Houston, Texas. It's sprawling enough to be diverse, and the energy industry there generates 1%-level wealth. His neighborhood is modest and he has imaged it with a 4x5. Some of his work is at Blue Sky this month too. Recommended. At Newspace Photo 1632 SE 10th Map 6PM-9 Free

Eutectic continues with some new artists in the back gallery. At Eutectic Gallery 1930 NE Oregon 6PM-9 Free

Near 811/One Grand, the PNCA+OCAC MFA Applied Craft + Design students, at the end of year one of two, show their stuff. These shows are worth seeing and individual artist visions range widely. But I always find something challenging in a good way to experience. At the PNCA The Bison Building, the MFA in Applied Craft and Design Studios 421 NE 10th 6PM-9 Free