Pacific Northwest College of Art

Launching Fall 2012

PORTLAND, OR – January 6, 2012 – In recognition of the fact that moving images and sound have become central modes of communication and self-expression in the 21st century, Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) announces its tenth BFA program, Video and Sound, launching Fall 2012.

The BFA in Video and Sound at PNCA investigates video and sound as disciplines both distinct and allied. Students in this program acquire practice-based media literacy, a multi-modal approach toward video and sound arts, and the critical, aesthetic, and technical skills vital to contemporary cultural production. The principles of video and sound are taught in hands-on learning environments, where students focus on gaining technical skills as a means to express ideas through structure, pace, rhythm, and the interplay between image and sound. Emphasis is placed on the making and presenting of single and multi-channel works in a variety of screening and listening environments. To this end, students will engage in in-depth research and draw on the rich histories and interconnections between video art, sound art, experimental film and music, installation, performance, and network culture.

PNCA’s Video and Sound program was designed with the acute awareness of this unique moment in media art history,” says Video and Sound Chair Stephen Slappe. “Robust, easy-to-use software and relatively affordable equipment have made the means of production readily available to young creators. The Video and Sound program at PNCA offers students a solid conceptual background to deepen the quality of their engagement with these media while facilitating inventive forms of expression and communication. In addition to teaching the technical skills needed to work with video and sound, we encourage students to explore the potential of mobile spectatorship, gaming interfaces, performance strategies, network culture, and a long list of other contemporary ideas.”

“That PNCA is launching a program in video and sound makes great sense,” says Provost, Greg Ware. “Because the College is located in Portland, Oregon, a city with a wealth of artists and practitioners, businesses, and cultural enterprises engaged in these media, opportunities abound for students in this program. Additionally, with PNCA’s emphasis on cross-departmental exchange and learning, I can readily imagine extraordinary collaborations occurring between students enrolled in this new program and students in for example, Illustration, Animated Arts, Intermedia, and Communication Design.”

Slappe recently returned from a European tour that included research, the screening of a program he curated, Out of the Great Northwest, at The Horse Hospital (London), and participation in a closed seminar at Chelsea College on the subject of Moving Image Art and the Global Media Spectacle. In years past, Slappe has exhibited and screened internationally in venues such as Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s TBA Festival, The Sarai Media Lab (New Delhi), Consolidated Works (Seattle), Centre for Contemporary Art (Glasgow), and Artists’ Television Access (San Francisco). His projects have been funded by multiple grants from the Regional Arts and Culture Council of Portland and an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission. Slappe is currently Assistant Professor in Intermedia at Pacific Northwest College of Art where he teaches Video, Sound, and Theory and Practice courses. He is an active curator and organizer of video and film exhibitions including most recently, New Mutants at Worksound Gallery (Portland). Slappe is an amateur film archivist and has presented three programs of archival 16mm films entitled Rolling Deep: Skateboarding Films 1965-1980, Static Age: The Culture of Early Television, and Drugs, Disease, and Disaster. Slappe holds an MFA from the University of South Carolina.

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 GilmoreSudden 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 Mackenziethe 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.


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 MatreyekMyth & Infrastructure

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

James BenningRuhr

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 HallettWhispering Pines 10

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

Laura PoitrasO’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.

DisorientalismReady 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 PurverThe 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 TudorRite 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 LucasEuropleasure 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 DougherFin de Siécle

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

Rachid OuramdaneWorld 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.