Time-Based Art Festival – September 8–18, Portland, OR

It’s that time of year in the Pacific Northwest. Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) is unveiling the TBA Festival and energizing the city with performances, videos, music, and installation projects from around the globe. I always look forward to the TBA Festival, not because all of the work is terribly groundbreaking but because there is so much of it to absorb in such a short time.

TBA:11 is once again based in Washington High School, a beautiful decommissioned public building, as well as a variety of satellite venues across Portland. As in years past, video and film are abundant. The following list highlights projects at TBA:11 that prominently feature moving images. My list may be incomplete because I am working solely from descriptions contained in the TBA:11 catalog. I will make an effort to see as much work as possible over the course of the festival and report some of my favorites on The Moving Index. Click on the links for specific show times and venues.

Kate Gilmore – Sudden as a Massacre

In a private performance for the camera, a quintet of women will tear apart an enormous cube comprised of more than 5,050 pounds of wet clay. The above image is a still from Gilmore’s video.

Alex Mackenzie – the wooden lightbox: a secret art of seeing

Presented by Cinema Project. A home-built, hand-cranked projector presents turn-of-the-century cinematic prototypes and long-forgotten ideas surrounding the moving image and its early promise.

YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES – WARNING: FOR LAUGHS — NO REDEEMING SOCIAL VALUE

We’d apologize, but that’s sort of our goal every time we do what we do—you know, create an empty vessel you can fill with your own nonsense. Go ahead, knock yourself out. Is that a joke? Uh, no, not that I’m aware of.

Miwa Matreyek – Myth & Infrastructure

Miwa Matreyek steps behind the video screen to enter as a shadow into a world of her own animation.

James Benning – Ruhr

Benning explores duration and the cinematic industrial sublime in a series of masterfully composed long-take shots of Germany’s Ruhr Valley.

Experimental ½ Hour

Experimental 1/2 Hour, a biweekly cable access program produced by Eva Aguila & Brock Fansler, presents a night of video and live multimedia music performances produced for stage and television.

Shana Moulton & Nick Hallett – Whispering Pines 10

Comic, contemplative, and surreal, Whispering Pines 10 is a one-act, live-performance, video opera featuring Moulton’s alter ego, Cynthia.

Laura Poitras – O’Say Can You See

Drawing upon images and sounds recorded in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, O’Say Can You See evokes the experience of disorientation and loss that continues to haunt the nation.

Disorientalism – Ready Mix

Presented by Pacific Northwest College of Art. Disorientalism’s preoccupation with junk culture translates into junk food, as Ready Mix stirs up the story of Aunt Jemima’s century-long makeover from “slave mammy” to “modern working mother.”

It’s All a Blur

Presented by Pacific Northwest College of Art. Three West Coast masters—Guillermo Gómez Peña, Dale Hoyt, and Tony Labat—who have pioneered an intellectual, multifaceted approach to identity and art as means for social justice in the post-Bush era.

Tim DuRoche & Ed Purver – The Hidden Life of Bridges

For this live event, video projections on the river piers of the Morrison Bridge and audio compositions from the Hawthorne Bridge will bring the two structures to life.

Dean & Britta – 13 Most Beautiful…Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests

A live, cinematic concert of songs scored by Dean & Britta for 13 of Andy Warhol’s famous black and white Screen Tests.

Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor – Rite of Spring

Each spring, Romanian children set mounds of white poplar fluff aflame in the street gutters. The sparks and small fires in the film suggest the numerous catalysts for social change around the world.

Cristina Lucas – Europleasure International LTD., TOUCH AND GO

Lucas’ video makes a sly commentary on the diaspora of Western factories to the Third World, through an encounter with one such British company, Europleasure International LTD.

Sarah Dougher – Fin de Siécle

Three experimental poem-plays by the late Leslie Scalapino, staged with a small ensemble of instruments and singers.

Rachid Ouramdane – World Fair

World Fair blends movement and video to present the body as a bank able to record, erase, or register different ingredients of modern reality and national identity.

zoe | juniper – A Crack in Everything Installed

A meditation on the moments that divide people’s lives into linear experiences of time, played out through 3-D animation, atmospheric lighting, and compelling choreography.

 

-SSlappe