Monday, June 29, 2015

June 30 Let's Get Theremined

Leon Theremin invented the first electronic musical instrument in 1919. It's named after him. It used the principle of heterodyne down conversion, invented only a year before. Heterodyne conversion is used in every radio in the solar system today, and in the fastest parts of the Internet. Yes, there are several heterodyne converters working right now in your mobile phone.

You have heard the theremin, it's a continuously variable tone common in scifi soundtracks, and occasionally even pop. It's pretty easy to play,

Rob Schwimmer, co-director of The NY Theremin Society, visits Portland for a free short performance and demonstration tonight. And after you can try your hand at the instrument. If you can't make it tonight, Control Voltage has theremins you can stop by anytime to audition.

Theremin demonstration at Control Voltage 3742 NE Mississippi. All ages. 7PM-8 Free

Saturday, June 27, 2015

June 29 Environmental Impact

Environmental impact statements are a tool of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1972. The law was conceived by conservative Washington State Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson. It passed the Senate on unanimous vote, the House by 372-15 and was signed by Republican president Richard Nixon. The law has been emulated in other countries. But many of our current elected leaders have unfortunately gone astray in their environmental thinking, under the influence of pecunious and rapacious corporate interests.

Environmental Impact Statement is also Lisa Schonberg, Amy Harwood and Leif J Lee. They work to bring artists into local forests, threatened to be logged, as an inspiration for their work. They are the curators of a show opening tonight of artists who have participated. It runs for 3 weeks.

Artists include Jodie Cavalier, Jodi Darby, Lisa Schonberg, Heather Treadway, Amy Wheeler Harwood, Leif J. Lee, Alison Jane Clarys, Danielle Ross, Sidony O'neal and Gary Wiseman.

At Surplus Space 3726 NE 7th 6PM-10 Free

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June 26-27 q u i e t

The Quiet Music Festival is a special favorite. It is an intimate event with musicians who are not too loud. The audience lounges on an occasional carpet-, blanket- and pillow-covered floor, lit by scattered table lamps.


It's organized for the fifth year by Portland-LA artist-musician-skater Chris Johanson.

Friday has the Secret Drum Band, Sonny Smith, Timmy Straw, Irma Vep and Linda Hagood Conditioner; Saturday, Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks, Amenta Abioto, Peacers, Rebecca Gates, IIyas Ahmed and Johanson's Sun Foot.

There is a very small amount of seating for those who need that. And if you are in Seattle, there is a little Quiet version Thursday.

Tickets at Advanced tickets are recommended.

At Disjecta, in the shadow of Paul Bunyan 8371 N. Interstate Map Doors 7PM, show 8. Advance one night $10/$16 both. Door $12 one night/$18 both.

June 26 Gravity Be Gone

Gravity is a beauty and a curse. To float weightlessly, who wouldn't wish? To fly? I'm in. Aerial dance is a realization of that human desire.

A-WOL dance is one of several aerial dance companies and teachers. Tonight they have a free performance of dancers suspended by trapeze and fabric.

A-WOL aerial dance At Director Park corner SW Taylor and SW Park. 7PM show and 8PM show Free

June 25 Reading Words

Lit Hop is a night of many short readings an evening in walking distance. This year it is in Chinatown and SW Portland across Burnside. Details 7PM-9 Free

Sunday, June 21, 2015

June 21 Books at the Movies

Local artist filmmakers are partnering with Publication Studio tonight. It is not exactly clear what they are doing, so just read the description on the Hollywood Theater website. At the Hollywood Theater 4122 NE Sandy Boulevard. 7PM $5

Saturday, June 20, 2015

June 20 Bright Aboriginal Seed

The aboriginal people of Australia have been there since 50,000BC ±10,000 years. They developed a rich land-based philosophy. The earliest surviving aboriginal art is 30,000 years ago. From that time there is an unbroken tradition. In the 1970s, the work started to become known by the Western art world. The Australian aboriginal culture came into my view with Herzog's Where the Green Ants Dream and Bruce Chatwin's The Songlines. There have been rare exhibitions of Australian aboriginal art in Portland.

No Boundaries is a show of Australian artists Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri (1958-), Paddy Bedford (1922–2007), Jananggoo Butcher Cherel (1918–2009), Tommy Mitchell (1943–2013), Ngarra (1920–2008), Prince of Wales, Midpul (1938–2002), Billy Joongoora Thomas (1920–2012), Boxer Milner Tjampitjin (1935–2009),and Tjumpo Tjapanangka (1929–2007). The works were gathered by a sole collector couple from Miami and trace years of each artist's painting.

This is the art price machine at work; we are waiting for the US to adopt a droit de suite law to allow artists to benefit.

If you would like to know more about the artists, there is a hardbound catalog available at book outlets and a monograph on

No Boundaries, six Australian aboriginal artists. Opening tonight. Until August 20 Thursdays & Fridays noon-6:30, Saturday & Sunday noon-4. At 467 NW Davis 7PM-9 Free

Portland painter Arvie Smith who attended PNCA and taught there is known for bright bold portraits influenced by his experiences in New Orleans and Africa. He has a show at the Woolley gallery. There is an artist talk at 1 then a reception at 5.

At the Mark Woolley Gallery a gallery on the 3rd floor of the Pioneer Place Mall. 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 1PM, 5-9 Free

Albina is one of Portland's oldest neighborhoods and was an independent city at one time. It's been thoroughly destroyed by highways, railroads and access to the river blocked by large industrial facilities and ruins. There are a few old buildings in the neighborhood for a sense of what was: the old Widmer building, Beam and Anchor, some buildings on Russell, the old Ripe Family Dinner building, and some are artist work spaces. The North Coast Seed Building is one, a complex of artist studios in Albina. Tonight is their annual open studios, most of the artists open their studios tonight. They also have a large solar array on the roof! Strongly recommended. May not be wheel chair accessible. 2127 N. Albina 4PM-10 Free

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

June 16 Curious About Burma?

Burma is a relatively closed country. It is Buddhist, but its military government doesn't act that way. Photographer Geoffrey Hiller has been photographing there for 28 years. He speaks on his perceptions on the recent slight opening. The country also sits within China's sphere and is home to various insurgencies.

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

Saturday, June 13, 2015

June 13 False Cold Cuts

Todd Johnson is a smart San Francisco Institute of the Arts-minted conceptual artist with a sense of humor. Tonight he opens a show that has something unspecified to do with malt liquor and cold cuts. Exactly what will happen will only be known by those there. At False Front Studio 4518 NE 32nd Map 7PM-9 Free

Friday, June 05, 2015

June 5 Eastside Art Openings

Cloud Sourcing is a show of ceramics by Kyungmin Park, Dylan Beck, Samuel Chung, Julia Galloway and Joe Page themed on the use of cloud form and cloud imagery in ceramics. At Eutectic Gallery 1930 NE Oregon 6PM-9 Free

The Sumi Ink Club has visited Portland and they are back again. 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

The 811 building is tapping the Spring-Summer transition energies tonight.

Emily Brown has Bird Mafia. She starts with one of a kind paper cut work/stencils. Branching come screen prints, like on pillows and household items. You can see. At Redux 811 E Burnside

Haunt has a group show by Jeannie Helzer, Michelle Erickson and Jennifer Finn, paintings and textile art. At Haunt 811 E Burnside Suite #113 7PM-9

Color Show is at Black Box Gallery 811 E Burnside, Suite 212 upstairs 5PM-8 Free

Not art, but fashion, which is an art with much more complex creative codes, are Six/Seven and xobruno. Easy to stop by on your art wanderings.

Likely some other studios in the building will be open.

All at 811 East Burnside Map

A new spot is Cameo. They have a group show as they stood together. At Cameo 2809 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. 6PM-9 Free

HAHA...No! The Joke Was On Me The Whole TIme? is a group show by Jodie Cavalier, Mario Gallucci, Mary Ma, Jordan Mang, Dylan Redford and Jessie Spiess. At HQHQ Project Space 232 SE Oak St #108 6PM-9 Free

Gary Beeber, Debi Cornwall, Katie Harwood, Sarah-Marie Land, Hye-Ryoung Min, Christopher Rauschenberg, Isaac Sachs, Joel Stevenett comprise a group show by new Newspace exhibition curator Yaelle Amir. At Newspace Photo 1632 SE 10th Map 6PM-9 Free

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

June 4 Westside Art Openings

Gordon Parks (1912-2006) presents Segregation Story, from his 1950's exposures in Alabama. Much of that series was published at the time. But new film, previously thought lost, was discovered in 2011, and makes this show. Gordon Parks went on to influence history through his photojournalism work for the seminal Life Magazine. Entirely self taught, Parks was a composer, author and feature film director.

Samer Mohdad has Accomplished Visions: The Arabs. It gathers images from Iran, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Kuwait, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, Qatar, Bahrain and Tunisia depicting everyday life.

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

PNCA opened their thesis shows Sunday. They are available for viewing normal school hours. Tonight is the more public exposition. At PNCA 511 NW Broadway Map 6-10ish Free

Sound artist Ethan Rose is back with Entwined. It includes a sound installation, vibrating strings and ink marks on paper made by strings excited by instrumental sounds processed by Rose. At PDX Contemporary Art 925 NW Flanders Map early close 8PM Free

Mark Klett has Camino El Diablo, photographs made by the Arizona-Mexico border. Klett is noted for his Rephotographic Survey Project in which a team of photographers rephotographed famous Western landscape exposures of the 1800's, then displayed 100 years of change and stasis together. In this case, he followed the route of a mining engineer traveling the then dangerous route on the Arizona-Texas border in 1860. At Charles Hartman Fine Art 134 NW 8th early close 8PM Free

Hellion has Sayuka Bloodstone with Daydream. The series are paintings in a neo Japanese gothic style, referencing historic fearsome Buddhist paintings, myths, monsters, ghosts and Shinto spirits. Sayuka has exhibited at Hellion previous, and is one of the artists in the Tall Trees of Tokyo compilation. 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-10 Free

The UofO in Portland opens Everything is Ours, their BFA thesis show in the White Box Gallery. In addition, the entire building is open for viewing and all departments are showing their works. At the University of Oregon White Stag Building, 70 NW Couch 6PM-9 Free

Collective Caution is a show of safety posters by local designers. At Hand Eye Supply 427 NW Broadway 6PM Free

Upfor has Urban Growth Boundary by Gregory Euclide, Alex Lukas and Laura Vandenburgh. It themes the tensions inherent in our mental models of urban-suburban, farm-forest as well as multiply and subdue the earth attitudes. At UpFor Gallery 929 NW Flanders early close 6PM-8 Free

Evan Isoline, PNCA graduating MFA, has Uncarnate, sampling male and female body images used in advertising. At Duplex Collective 219 NW Couch 6PM-9 Free

Joan Nelson and Joseph Yoakum have a show of landscape paintings. Joan Nelson references luminous landscape painting influenced by the Transcendentalists. Joseph Yoakum's is more schematic. At Adams and Ollman Gallery, the second of two members of the New Art Dealers Alliance, 209 SW 9th early close 6PM-8 Free

Mel Katz is a longtime artist and professor at PNCA, making sculptures and paintings. He brought many ideas to Portland from New York where he hung with influential artists of the 50-60's. He was a cofounder of the Portland Center for Visual Art (PCVA, 1972-1987) which mounted shows on a shoestring budget by art giants. Tonight he opens a show of his own work, instantly recognizable from his many public sculptures you have seen. At Laura Russo Gallery 805 NW 21st 5PM-8 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 Free

June 3 Wants

Katie Batten, Jonathan Casella and Sarah Mikenis present Everything We Ever Wanted, bright paintings. The announcement wins the copy writing award for the month.

Appropriation’s rapid takeover of the 80s art market, as exemplified in Richard Prince’s unapologetic rephotographing of advertisements, marked a cultural shift from the previous decade’s conscientious ethos into an economics of greed. While such overt decadence eventually waned in the face of grim financial realities, consumerism’s hold on the arts remains afloat, buoyed by the often contrarian demands of a new digital generation. For Katie Batten, Jonathan Casella, and Sarah Mikenis—the three young artists on view in Nationale’s group painting exhibition Everything We Ever Wanted—this friction between artifice and authenticity transpires into explosions of color and pattern appropriated not from magazine pages, but the Internet’s undulating stream of imagery.

The motivating tension within these works likewise parallels a uniquely millennial belief in the fallacy of potential. Nicknamed the “Me Generation,” today’s young adults harbor impossible personal expectations continuously stoked by daily reminders of their contemporaries “success” via social networks like Facebook and Instagram. Life viewed within this construct of carefully edited online personas confuses happiness with affluence, relaxation with indulgence. Batten, Casella, and Mikenis, while also rebelling against the high formalism of their chosen medium, utilize painting and its art historical context as a means of expressing this generational struggle. Abstraction, kitsch, and the still life find rejuvenation through extravagant textures, aggressive palettes, and conspicuous accumulations that question our narcissistic digital impulses. Batten’s canvases, for instance, playfully layer homages to the flat aesthetic of Manet and Matisse with materialistic objects like trendy mason jars, iPhones, and Artforum magazines. Casella, meanwhile, utilizes a similar neon color palette for his dizzying, collaged compositions, creating almost virtual spaces wherein the two- and three-dimensional battle for visual dominance. This interest in hyperrealism also carries into Mikenis’ heterogeneous constructions. Sourcing patterns from the image-collecting website, Pinterest, she fashions simultaneously figurative and abstract visions that, while seductive in their immediate materialism, remain unattainable in their irrationality. Dizzying in their excess, Batten, Casella, and Mikenis represent a contemporary aesthetic impulse that is guided by the moment, as opposed to the monumental.

As for Prince, I think he is weak. But the reverse appropriation by the Suicide Girls of his appropriation of their alt-model Instagram feed is golden.

At Nationale 3360 SE Division Map 6PM-8 Free

June 2 The Utility of Anarchy

The definition of anarchy may surprise you. Crowdfunding is a way to organize it. That is exactly what Portland startup Crowd Supply does. Well.

Founder Joshua Lifton tals about products people have developed on Crowd Supply. Many are small experimenter-prototyper modules. They may not be manufactured in the numbers that a Sony, Sharp or Samsung would undertake, and that may also mean that you would have difficulty buying them from even a Mouser, Sparkfun or Adafruit.

As an open platform, Crowd Supply funds clothing, printed objects, household goods, musical instruments, food, more.

So if you are curious about how small runs of items can be made, you can hear live and direct from Crowd Supply.

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