The Time-Based Art Festival, now celebrating its fifth anniversary, brings together multi-disciplinary artists whose work is temporary.
Start with Melia Donovan. In the lobby of the Wieden+Kennedy building at 224 N.W. 13th Ave., otherwise known as TBA Central, Donovan’s installation The Clandestine Periphery is a series of six pinhole camera photographs transferred into the three external walls of the elevator shaft with punched dots. From a distance, the images appear as a vague pencil scrawl that de-pixelates up close, resulting in simple, invisible portraits inside their blank white space.
As an introductory clue to the festival, Periphery is a hopeful start, indicating that Portland’s well-publicized burgeoning art scene rewards a closer look. The Time-Based Art Festival, now celebrating its fifth anniversary, brings together multi-disciplinary artists whose work is temporary. It includes dance, theater performance, music, film, installation art and social art projects, along with lectures and workshops with the artists and Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) staff. The temporal aspect works on two levels; first in the mediums: performances end and installations are ultimately disassembled, and second, in the festival atmosphere, which stops Sept. 16. This is the second year guest artist director Mark Russell, former director of New York’s Performance Space 122, is curating the festival, with Kristan Kennedy in charge of visual arts exhibitions. Like Donovan, many of this year’s artists are Northwest locals. Also, several events are taking place at Portland State and plenty are completely free.
Take, for example, Gary Wiseman. He’s hosting a series of color-themed tea parties in Portland neighborhoods, rooted in his ideas of creating temporary sacred space and commodity-free social rituals. Wiseman hosted nine tea events in public spaces in 2006, and has recently held “re-memory” ceremonies around Portland for tea parties past. The TBA series is a self-portrait commemorating stages of Wiseman’s life in a shared public ritual. 02 Silent Tea Party will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 11, between Bybee and Knapp Streets at Reed College (reservations required, [email protected]), and 03 For Possibilit(ea)y will be held at 3 p.m. on Sept. 15 at 707 S.E. 12th Ave. (admission is $3). Check with Wiseman or the PICA program before participating for information on what to bring and what to wear.
Online, Mike Merrill, Steve Schroeder and Jona Bechtolt, the creators of Portland-everything blog site UrbanHonking.com, are hosting Ultimate Blogger 3, a competition for the title of “Ultimate Blogger” and a spot on Urban Honking. Contestants complete weekly challenges posted in video segments by the hosts and vote each other off the Internet. Check the site to watch the challenges, view contestants’ responses and post your own comments.
On the PSU campus, Brooklyn artist Ina Diane Archer’s video installation The Lincoln Film Conspiracy will be on display in the Autzen Gallery weekdays until Oct. 5. Conspiracy involves vintage and created footage interspersed in an archive of sci-fi movies once lost in space. The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t, a collaboration between Seattle choreographer Zoe Scofield and visual artist Juniper Shuey, will be on stage in Lincoln Hall Sept. 14 to 16 at 8:30 p.m. Seattle is well known for innovative dance, and The devil is a beautiful and compelling continuation of Scofield and Shuey’s ongoing work with group dynamics in movement. Their sets combine real and projected color, light and physicality.
The Works, TBA’s late night performance space, is located at the Wonder Ballroom, 128 N.E. Russell St., in Northeast Portland this year. The move makes a gesture toward TBA’s further-reaching involvement with Portland neighborhood culture. Most of the Works’ nightly performances include all ages, start at 10:30 p.m., and are a perfect way to venture into Portland’s expansive music and performance art scene.
On Sept. 10, Anna Oxygen will perform Final Space at the Works with collaborative group Cloud Eye Control. Oxygen, who performed with Mirah’s Landslide the Band, Janet Pants and Khaela of The Blow in A Benefit for Kitty at the Holocene in August, has been taking her low-fi electronic animated instructional exercise theater to a different level, in which audience members participate more with each other, instead of just with the stage. Oxygen is one of several TBA artists, including Wiseman, who will participate in Open Engagement, a performance/exhibition/visual criticism conference at the University of Regina this October, where PSU professor Harrell Fletcher will be the keynote speaker.
TBA, Sept. 6 to 16, is one of the most exciting events in Portland’s arts calendar year. Festival guides with detailed descriptions, locations, times and prices are available at the TBA box office, 229 N.W. 13th Ave., or at www.pica.org. Visual arts exhibits are installed at the Museum of Contemporary Craft Lab, 724 N.W.