- T:BA:07 Day Two -
I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of the PICA staff and volunteers that make the Time-Based Arts Festival possible. I am having a wonderful time, and it is due to all of your dedication, enthusiasm and diligent work.
Thank you, sincerely.
Today was yet another fun filled T:BA day. What I attended was:
T:BA Noon:30 Chat – On the Road;
Larry Bamburg Installation;
Sara Greenberger Rafferty Installation;
“Space is a Place” Installation;
Jeffry Mitchell Salon;
“Reading Out Loud [Catch 22]”
Taylor Mac, “The BE[A]ST of Taylor Mac”
Marc Bamuthi Joseph, “The Living Word Project: the break/s [work in progress]”;
Lifesavas; and
Guido van der Werve, “The Clouds are More Beautiful from Above”.
Well, the day started like many others…
Wake up, wiggle the toes, play hide and seek with the puppy, let her outside for a bit, and take a shower to start the day.
But, today I had a thought amongst all of that steam. I’m not saying that it was an epiphany, nor could I necessarily say that it has anything to do with T:BA; but I’ll give PICA some credit just for kicks…
Here’s the idea.
Many of us have roof racks on our cars.
Perhaps you like to play with a kayak, bicycle, or need to haul around plywood?
Well, if you roof rack is often empty; why not do something about that!?!?
Why not have Roof Rack Art?
Personally, I love it when I have something strange precariously strapped onto the roof. There have been many times after a performance art piece, or a sculptural installation that I will leave it up there for a few days. Sure, you could say that I am just too lazy to untie it, but I kinda like the quizzical looks that I receive at stop lights, in a pinch you can park in a loading zone without getting a ticket, and it is just fun marketing for what you love to do!
So, go for it, create something wacky, strap it onto your car or truck today!
[Or, if you are of the Portland Horse Ring project, perhaps you could start thinking about tweaking out some tricycles on crack, and randomly gifting them to unsuspecting roof racks all around town… just an idea.]
Ok, back to the task at hand… PICA’s T:BA Festival… Day Two!
The day was to begin with a Cristián Silva workshop, but that was cancelled.
:(
So, instead, the Noon:30 “On the Road” chat was today’s starting point. During the discussion, Scott Porter, Nat Andreini (Sincerely, John Head), Liz Haley, Gary Wiseman, and Darren O’Donnell (Mammalian Diving Reflex) discussed how they see their works as social acupuncture, what inspired their work, their hopes / expectations and where they see it heading.
Nat and Scott talked about how their notorious Tailgate parties from the previous years led them to want to engage the public with a more musical interaction, one that is quintessential to the 1970’s classic rock era.
Sincerely, John Head [aka FogHat recordings], 429 SW 10th Avenue, 888.774.7456 for reservations.
Liz discussed a bit of the technical aspects of her work. I have some gorilla ideas, if anyone [or better yet a group of artists want to collaborate on it secretly… oops, I guess posting it on a bLog might not be too very clandestine…] Well, I might just wait to see the video high lights from Liz’s compilation. Or, for next year, have T:BA lie detector buttons, so when you are talking with folks, you will know what they really thought about a performance!
Liz is on the second floor of the Portland Center State, Gerding Armory each day.
Gary Wiseman is amazingly cute. His quirky shyness is quite endearing, and he even at one point reminded a heckler that he is an artist not a speaker. If you want to get to know his work, you are going to have to share a cup of tea with him during one of the three opportunities. [see p.093 of the T:BA Guide] or read his Artist Statement: http://www.teaproject33.org/tba.html
01 Recess Tea Party: 1980 – 1985 (Yellow), Dress: Grey, Bring: Recess snacks to share
02 Silent Tea Party: 1986 – 1997 (Blue), Dress: Blue, Bring: Lilies and bubbles
03 For Possibilit(ea)y: 1993 – 2007 (Red), Dress: Red, White and Black, Bring: Bees
You could also see more of his vision following T:BA, around Portland, through his other Kitchen Sink project: http://www.kitchensinkpdx.com
Last, but certainly not least, was Darren O’Donnell (Mammalian Diving Reflex). He was certainly the most eloquent of the group, or atleast the most polished in his ability to clearly speak about his vision of interacting with the public, forming community, and educating the disenfranchised. He is the one that has created the “Haircuts by Kids” project, which is fully booked and with a waiting list for Saturday and Sunday at Rudy’s Hair Salon on NW 13th. He also spoke about other projects where he went out to the homes of affluent theatre patrons with a diversity of people, knocked on their doors unannounced, and asked for a tour of their homes. Needless to say, the project had varied responses, acceptance, and tours. It actually caused some patrons to cancel their season tickets with the theatre from which the project originated in Toronto.
Next over to the Daily Café for a spot of lunch, which was quite tasty, and delightful to pause in the sun for a bit.
Strolling over to the Corberry Press building, 17th @ NW Northrup, I had the pleasure of taking in the swirling constellation by Larry Bamburg. It is beautiful! Kristan Kennedy has mentioned a bit about the vinyl tile yesterday, which has a slightly Andy Goldsworthy sinuous crack to it; but the twenty foot in diameter twirling constellation of feathers and paper scraps is worth taking a moment to fully enjoy. I would recommend to either climb down into the pit and view it from length, or to lay on your back and slowly inch in and under it. The work passes quite close to the floor, but if you keep yourself low, it will just barely skip over you.
There are two other installations in the entry that you may also view.
Around the corner is a piece, which I just went to find in the guide so I could tell you the artist’s name, but I could not find it. So, we will just call him “Light Guy”. Light Guy has two environmental piece in the building, which had been “the Works” for TBA2 and TBA3. Entering the space on a sunny day light today, I was momentarily night blinded. Once my vision came back, I was infused with the glow of a shock of light, piercing a series of hanging scrims. The piece is wonderfully referential to Gordon Matta-Clark’s “Intersection” pieces. In the second room is a twinkling ring of light, that makes you feel like you are being called up to the after-life. I appreciate the use of digital projectors, as they give more creative options then gobo’s; but having seen quite a number of them over the years, both here and in Kemp’s piece, they just seem cheapened.
Moving right along, I got to learn all about Jeffry Mitchell’s love of fisting and sphincters. Sure, I’m starting off with that remark to be a bit inflammatory, but it is because I really just either do not like his work, or I just don’t get it. I think it is the first, I just do not like it. At one point he stated that anything done a second time, in mirror, is instantaneously beautiful. I disagree! I’m a huge love of asymmetry. Not so much in the trying to break from the stasis of our bilateral anatomy, even though that can be fun, but because with asymmetry one has to find a perceptual balance that shares more of the complexity that makes life so very beautiful. The world it not perfect, pink and fuzzy. Jeffry, I would encourage you to start showing those penises blazenly, don’t be shy, don’t cover them up with cute little flowers, don’t shrink away from your intentions and be insecure in your vision and talent. If you want to put something out there, then do it. Don’t apologize and then ask us to hear you talk about you not being willing to do what you secretly want to do. Oh, and btw Jeffry, fisting does not make you homosexual… it is an equal opportunity sport. Perhaps you could explore violating materials [and I choose violate, as you talked about wanting to explore the violence of male craft, as opposed to womanly making] by torch cutting out your doilies in the future. [ref: Raygun Digital]
OK, so “Reading Out Loud [Catch 22]” I experienced for only a passing moment. I was on the way to hear Mayor Potter present his visionPDX work to the public, and wanted to grab some food first. But, there was something wonderful about having a fellow dressed-up as if he was ready for a Memorial Day parade, orating to a public that didn’t know if it was on purpose, or if he was just crazy.
Next was Taylor Mac. Sensational! [Jeffry, you have a lot you can learn from her!]
Taylor did a short gig last year, but giving her the opportunity to do a full-length piece was a wonderful idea. Thank you Mark.
Taylor is completely unforgiving in her presentation. Here I am, deal with it!
Forget about suspension of disbelief, you are gonna believe in this narrative, or you are going to get dragged up on stage and sparkled!
This was the first of two ‘bridge’ pieces.
Taylor laid out a narrative, created a presence, and then welcomed us in fully.
It was then our choice to stay or go.
[Just don’t be a Chatty Katty! or else… I double dog dare you…]
If you need to decompress afterwards, you could always rent John Cameron Mitchell’s “Shortbus” [2006].
I am also thinking of Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s piece as a ‘bridge’ project, as we were given access to him as a person, welcomed in, and made comfortable. By the end of the show, I think that most of the audience felt like that had actually become friends with Marc, and were going to meet up with him again for a cup of coffee in San Francisco next week. But, Marc’s spoken word is of course only the beginning, he also brings word to dance, or is it movement to word, the fluidity between the two is wonderful, and I am greatly looking forward to taking his workshop in the morning [assuming I can get a touch of sleep after writing this]. The words that came to my mind were “graceful as silk”. Marc has such a strong sense of his own body, muscle control, breath and sound that I was truly delighted! Doing a bit of yoga these days, and always loving gymnastics, I was greatly impressed with his ability to transfer his center of gravity back and forth in his dance without ever loosing his sense of fluid, strong movement. Bakasana and Tittibhasana are nothing compared to the arm balances that he flows through.
OK, so are you still with me, YEP, this really was my day… And it is just day two!
Now, back home for a bit to walk the puppy, and bring her along for the show at the Works. [Well, she waited in the truck, but I did think about bringing her in to watch the films.]
The Works featured Lifesavas tonight. They are a great group, but I think that the house would have been more packed if they had played to the Ashes to Ashes b-boys instead of the lily artsy-fartsies that were there. [Hey, as Taylor would say, I’m not making fun of them, I’m just pointing out the facts; plus I’m one of ‘them’ and I’m not mocking myself afterall.]
A great way to wind down from the day, and to cancel out the buzzing in your ears it to watch a few of Guido van der Werve’s films. He is cute, irreverent, surprisingly funny, and the classical music is wonderful! I will have to see more of the films in the coming nights at the Works, and also at the Living Room Theater.
Time to get some sleep so the fun can start all over again tomorrow!
Ciao,
Fredrick H. Zal
Architect | Sculptor | Advocate
Atelier Z
an.architecture and industrial design studio
advocating dialogue in the fine + applied arts
http://www.fhzal.com