Time-Based Art 2011

At the end of a hot September day, there is nothing finer than to strap on a pair of dressy sandals and step out into the cool of the evening to attend PICA‘s Time-Based Art Festival (TBA). This unique annual event “draws artists from across the country and around the globe for a convergence of contemporary performance and visual art in Portland, Oregon.” In its ninth year, TBA will run from September 8-18, with visual art exhibits running through October.

What I love about the festival is that it energizes the entire community with new ideas and surprising visuals. It’s funny, interesting, and stunningly beautiful at times, reminding us all that, like summer, art helps us to thoroughly enjoy the fleeting moment!

My TBA Picks

New to TBA? Just follow me. I attended the premier, featuring Claire Fontaine a Paris-based “neo-conceptual collective artist.”(You just have to see this stuff to understand) I highly recommend attending the finale in which the artists will map the United States of America in over 100,000 matches embedded in a classroom wall and then burn it and some point, followed by a trip to Hal’s Tavern for “beers and a wide-ranging conversation about art, capitalism, modern identities, and the future of societal revolution.” I’ll see you there!

Here are my other personal picks:

* Mike Daisey, All the Hours in the Day He was hilarious last year in The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs. I may miss parts of this year’s 24-hour monologue marathon while I’m away in the Midwest attending the Battle of the Rodents (The Beavers vs The Badgers). Oh well, it’s time-based.
* tEEth, Home Made  Music and movement that mounts a daring exploration of the awkwardness of human beauty and the struggles of intimate negotiation. Sounds like my life as a mortgage loan officer. Must see.
* Occupation/Preoccupation “The United States has over 700 military bases on foreign soil in sovereign countries where we have no declaration of war. This project unites musicians, researchers, and music lovers to gather covers by American musicians of songs that originate from each of these places.” That’s provocative. You can hear a sample here.
* Kyle Abraham, The Radio Show This piece mixes identity and personal history, “creating an abstract narrative around the loss of communication. He investigates the effects of the abrupt discontinuation of a radio station on a community and the lingering impact of Alzheimer’s and aphasia on a family. The score mixes classic soul and hip-hop recordings with contemporary classical compositions by Ryoji Ikeda and Alva Noto.” Wow!
* Disorientalism, Ready Mix  This project is the second chapter of The Food Groups, a five-part series focusing on race and labor in American food production and promotion. Not to be missed if you eat and live in the United States.
* Closing Night Dinner And speaking of eating…

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Walk On Water

I recently moved to Portland’s westside, after spending 35 blissful years east of the river. Starting with a houseboat in the extreme edge of “you can’t go any further north,” on the Columbia River, each subsequent move was closer and closer to the opposite corner of Northeast, with my last home located squarely between the vibrant Alberta Arts neighborhood and newly emerging Mississippi area. My walkscore was HIGH  and my restaurant options never failed to deliver ever more diversity.  Could life get any better than my perfect, desirable 20-Minute Neighborhood?

Ideas for walking in Portland

The move to a westside neighborhood, with its low walkscore and apparent dearth of food options, came with surprises. Walking must be done with more deliberate intent. I’ve never lived where streets are not straight, and grid-like and I had never ventured deep into the trails of Forest Park, so I admit I was intimidated at first. I looked for guidance and found my muse in Marcy Houle, who has written extensively about Forest Park.

Marcy regularly leads hikes, so you don’t have to brave it on your own. And there are so many sources to find a walk, it’s hard to know where to start. Try The Audubon Society, Metro, The Backyard Birdshop, Explore Portland, and The Forest Park Conservancy, just to name a few!

Walk blogs?

After meeting up with Marcy, I quickly found my second walking muse, Laura Foster, who writes the excellent blog, Portland Walks and Urban Hikes. Who knew!?!!! There she was in person, walking the trails one day with a group. Next thing I knew, I was following Laura on a hike from Chapman up to the Pittock Mansion.

I’ll see you on the trails!