Wednesday, August 19, 2009

PICA's Time Based Art festival on Sept. 9

We will be taking a mandatory class field trip on Sept. 9, to the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art's Time Based Art Festival.

We will be experiencing two programs, back to back, that raise interesting discussion points related to our class topic: Language, Texts and Technology.

The first one is Daniel Barrow's "Everytime I See Your Picture I Cry," which starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Portland Art Museum's Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 S.W. Park Ave. Synopsis: "Daniel Barrow's animation combines overhead projection with video, music, and live narration to tell the story of a garbage man with a vision to create an independent phone book. In the late hours of the night, he sifts through garbage, collecting personal information, tracing a portrait of each citizen through the windows of their homes as they sleep." How our identities can be created and communicated is a major theme of our course.

We will meet at 6:15 p.m. at the Roy Lichtenstein sculpture, "Brushstrokes," the 30-foot-tall metal sculpture in front of the museum, that looks like a giant paintbrush. We are time shifting the class just a bit to accommodate the schedule on this night. Attendance will be taken at that time.

The second show, Pan Pan Theatre's "The Crumb Trail," follows at 8:30 p.m. in the Dolores Winningstad Theatre, in the nearby Portland Center for the Performing Arts. That piece, which is 75 minutes, is described as "A deconstructed Hansel and Gretel, this wickedly funny multimedia theater piece blends the imaginary, subconscious, and real. The Crumb Trail takes on everything from parent-child relationships to Internet predators to the self-aware construction of our own identities." That last clause, again, is of particular interest to me and our class.

Please read the excepts about the shows beforehand here (pages 30 and 34) and do additional research on the artists, Daniel Barrow and Pan Pan Theatre, and their work.

This is cutting-edge contemporary art, so prepare yourself for that in whatever ways you need.

This is a requirement of the course, but each student in the class does get one absence this term without penalty to the attendance points. So that is always an option.

To participate, you will need to call PICA's box office at 503-224-7422 right away (these could sell out) and identify yourself as a member of the DTC 375 class at Washington State University Vancouver, then purchase your tickets. As part of this class, you will get the member rate, meaning a total cost to you of $32 ($30 for the tickets, $2 for handling). This is in place of buying a second textbook for the course.

If you have any trouble with any of that, please let me know right away.

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