Monday, November 12, 2007

okay, it's been a while, but i've been busy...

lots of stuff has been going on. at kboo we had an excellent fundraiser on halloween called boo bash. kboo's night of the living tongue, a radio program that explores the bizarre and noise music and text world, hosted the evening which began with some very interesting experimental performances. the evening the evolved into more accessible danceable tunes. the bands i especially enjoyed Rainbow and the Kittens and Strength. and yes we raised a bunch of money for kboo. yay!

in my volunteer hat at kboo with apa compass radio collective we had a great show this month featuring apa women artists including dj anjali, spoken word artists yellow rage, and visual artists una kim and shu-ju wang. check out this link to hear an excerpt from the show which includes the live discussion with una and shu-ju.

saw the most excellent indie film, true to what i believe indie film can best be. as the name alludes, colma: the musical takes place in colma, a town close to san francisco and known for it's large population of dead folks, and is indeed a musical. to sum up what i love about the film: 1) the writing (dialogue and music) is wonderful, not too clever, not too trite, not too serious; 2) the performances are nice by a likeable cast of beautiful real, interesting people, instead of the typical beautiful, beautiful people; 3) a testament to the true indie spirit, the cast and crew not only make do with the limited resources they excel with some gorgeous scenes including a lovely scene in a cemetery. here's the trailer .

Monday, September 17, 2007

hand2mouth at tba07

sadly i only got to see a couple of shows for this year's tba:07 festival. it was a jam-packed impressive lineup of a wide variety of performance and media works. luckily i caught some goodies. of significant note: on saturday, i brought my out-of-town visitors (the annual SB2K trip with my childhood girlfriends from cleveland, who this year converged on me in pdx) to the interstate firehouse cultural center to see renowned local edgy theatre folk hand2mouth theatre company perform their new repeat after me, a show filled with american dreams, anthems and a dizzying array of american flag costumes. i love this company because of their enthusiasm and unabashed lack of inhibition. they're not afraid to go there. yes, they open up the can of worms that is being an american. and they rode the line quite effectively - of poking fun, challenging, dissecting, complicating, blurring and even embracing some of those stereotypes that are so often mockingly simplified by the left. the first act took a bit of time to blossom, but by halftime, they hit their stride, pushing forward on an epic musical journey. can't wait to see what they come up with next...

Friday, August 24, 2007

hey campers! special edition post dedicated to pgmc

ah finally. the day has arrived for the portland grassroots media camp (pgmc). it's a weekend of hands on media workshops and special events aimed at immigrant, activist and community groups. so many great organizations are involved! check out the website for a look at a great list of collaborators. festivities begin tonight and run through the weekend. everything's free, but of course we could sure use donations. there's still room in some of the classes so email bolivarianmedia [at] or call pcasc at 503 236 7916 to reserve your spot!

friday, august 24: tonight we'll have a bunch of activities. a few of us who are participating in the camp will appear on portland community media's "a growing concern" at 7pm on cable channel 11. at 8pm the opening night party for pgmc at the musicians union hall at 325 ne 20th street (at sandy). and then late night at kboo the first of many many workshops will happen at kboo, set and training to broadcast live music. the culmination of the training will be the randemonium from 11pm- midnight featuring the girl's rock 'n roll camp's revenants.

saturday, august 25: workshops all day at various locations around town. highlights include blogging, audio production using garage band (this class is in spanish), public records (did you ever wonder how to access government data, legislative records etc?) and write around language from the write around portland folks. then the evening includes a community dinner and discussion at musicians hall catered by las mujeres del brazalete (a group of women who were detained in the del monte ice raids). we'll eat some yummy food and talk media.

sunday, august 26: workshops all day at various locations around town. highlights include video art for women and queers, setting up a press conference, writing a press release and how to make a portable audio sound system.

come check it out!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

the real dirt on the real dirt

went to see the real dirt on farmer john at the hollywood theatre last weekend. it's a wonderful coming of age documentary, not only of farmer john, but of society and our country as we grapple with issues around sustainability, community and healthy living. the filmmaker taggart siegel and farmer john have known each other for over 20 years and that closeness reveals intimate moments in john's journey from failed family farmer in the 80s/90s to cutting edge eco-conscious farmer/artist/community builder in present times. included are clips from john's old 16mm art films shot on the farm which add a nostalgic, dreamy, quirky tone. the film brought tears to my eyes at several points, not from saccharine, sappy manipulations, but from visceral emotional connection to farmer john's odyssey. from an activist perspective, the film leaves you hopeful and encourages individuals to make pro-active choices in their own lives. as for me, it reminded me of the joy of being a csa subscriber when i lived in cali and now i'm looking for a farm to join in the portland area. highly recommend the film. i think it's at the hollywood for a few more days, then should be available on dvd soon at farmer john's website for angelic organics.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

early august happenings

had a surprise family visit this weekend. matt's brother christopher, his partner rob and their son oscar came back through portland on their way home from a 2 week road trip. we decided to hit oaks park, first because we know 4 year old oscar is pretty obsessed with rides and also because we've been wanting to check it out after cycling by it on the awesome springwater corridor trail. it was a bit trashy, but old school amusement fun. we even rode the "lewis and clark adventure ride" where you get in this rickety old car that's on a track and it takes you through these cheesy murals mimicking lewis and clark's journey through the old missouri. my brother in law rob observed "lewis and clark look like a couple of homos" depicted in smiley cartoony style in the ride. next time we'll probably hit the roller skating and maybe even the roller coaster.

next it's all about the hollywood theatre this week!

we caught the very tail end of the home movie day on sunday. it's a cool event where they invite the public to bring in their old super 8, 8mm and 16mm home movies to be cleaned and screened on the big screen. they'll be doing more screenings in upcoming months so i hope to bring in some of my own old films and watch others. actually one of matt and my earliest dates was at the home movie day in sf a few years back and was a good sign that my guy was adventurous and arty.

we're also planning to check out another film at the hollywood, the real dirt on farmer john playing this week. the filmmaker taggart siegel (who lives and works out of his se pdx home) and farmer john have been in attendance at some of the screenings this weekend. the film has gotten great feedback and follows a 25 yr long friendship between taggart and john - "Along the way, Siegel charts Farmer John’s astonishing journey from farm boy to counter-culture rebel to the son who almost lost the family farm to a beacon of today’s booming organic farming movement."

one more thing i'm planning to check out this week - 48 hour film project screenings. the films are being completed as i write this and will include a ballon as a prop and "do you smell what i smell" as a line of dialogue. the screenings are wednesday and thursday the week, yes at the hollywood.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

long time no see...

it's been forever since i've posted. guess i just got overwhelmed with life, weddings, projects. my brother mark married his sweetie kimmi in chicago last weekend. it was a fun, exhausting, hot weekend. of note were the neo-futurists' too much light makes the baby go blind a fun dada-ish show in which they attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes. always an interesting range of things from comedy to political to satirical. and every week they roll dice to see how many new plays they'll write/pull for the following week's show. (the particular show we saw was fun, not the best of theirs, but always worth a look). i also loved the cloud gate at millenium park (better know as the "bean" because it looks much more like a bean than a cloud). a simply designed yet, wonderfully engaging and compelling scultpure that somehow pulls you in.

i also started working part time at kboo community radio as outreach coordinator. it's fun and hectic for sure. i'm also part of the apa compass collective and we're currently looking for new members who are interested in helping produce our monthly asian pacific american public affairs program.

more locally some great stuff happening... i'm helping to organize the portland grassroots media camp a weekend-long event of skills trainings and workshops designed to make media creation more accessible taking place august 24-26 at various locations around portland. matt and i are teaching a workshop at scarlet star studio called generate, create, communicate: using improvisation to unleash the story inside. also, matt and i are trying to organize an improvisation share/playgroup which will probably come to fruition sometime in september.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sunday, no day of rest

Matt and I spent the weekend with a bunch of cool new friends at Nehalem Bay State Park in Manzanita on the Oregon Coast. As soggy as it was, we loved being by the ocean again. The beaches around there are quite beautiful. And for a coastal state park, Nehalem is pretty damn cool. About 30 of us shared yurts which in just about the most luxurious camping experience I've ever had. The yurts were large, well-sealed mini-cabins that slep 5 comfortably on a bunk bed and a futon. The skylight brought brightness into the room, despite the cloudy skies. Plus each yurt has heat, electric (yes you can plug in your cell phone and even get reception for the most part, but I would recommend just turning the darn thing off), a small deck with picnic table and parking for two cars. Call this super-deluxe, cush, car camping. Our group also rented out the meeting hall for just a few more dollars which included a full sink, tables and chairs inside and out (for non-rainy days), so we had a nice gathering place out of the rain. From camp, we walked out to the beach, up and through dramatic sandy dunes. It is gorgeous beach there, dramatic yet peaceful. Apparently this part of the coast is pretty unpredictable and they have plenty of signage for emergency tsunami action. Yes, tsunami in Oregon, USA. Who knew? Manzanita, is about 5 minutes away from Nehalem and offers quaint coffee shops, galleries and markets. Like I said, this is cush, almost like non-camping, camping. But it's fun and it is the ocean so you just can't beat it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The art of the debrief

A few weeks ago at my birthday cocktails, a few of us got into an interesting (some might say heated) discussion about art and the general question about whether art needs an audience. I'll admit that I'm on the side that says that yes, art is made for an audience, even if the audience is only the art maker themselves. I do believe that art is made for some kind of viewing and not just purely for expression. Otherwise what's the point of outputting that expression into some visual or tangible form, rather than just expressing away in our heads. Okay I see some points there that can be taken on, but I offer this in part to ruminate about why it is just so juicy and interesting to discuss art after we've seen it, experienced it. Whether it's dance or television or a painting - there's something inside us that wants to rush out the door and compare notes with our neighbor. Often it's just a re-hashing or inquiry about what we just saw. But other times it does become a dynamic dialogue not only about the work, but about some larger issue either directly-related or inspired by what's presented. For example I went to an interesting, lively debrief for Kitchen Sink PDX's recent Step into my office art event. Maybe it's not a fair example because this event was all about audience interaction (or was it?). There were certainly different levels of how artists expected visitors to engage with their work. And there was also a long discussion about the other major premise for the event - that of collaboration and the nature of how to collaborate. And of course a little tense talk about money and stuff. All in all, though, it was a good dialogue about the work. Well who knows if any of this makes sense. I'm just spitting stuff that's been on my mind. Yo.

Some links to explore ArtLex is a kind of nutty sprawling index of all kinds of art terms. Click on "Art" for some relevant fodder. I'm a sucker for so here's a link to some easy articles touching on the subject art appreciation.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

kitchen sink and minh tran

There's couple of art events that I'm looking forward to this week. I'm volunteering at Kitchen Sink PDX's Step Into My Office. It's an art show that's being installed in an office space with all kinds of crazy cool art projects including an email performance piece; a wild green installation including lots of botanical life and even a waterfall; id badges for all visitors; and several video installations. And that's just the tip of the cubicle iceberg. It opens at First Thursday in the Pearl.

The other event is a new completed program by Minh Tran & Company, Forgotten Memories. The piece reflects on the Khmer Rouge genocide, creating a powerful and interactive dance performance experience at the Wonder Ballroom. I had the lucky opportunity to see a recent rehearsal and it's looking to be a very intense and beautiful work. The dance company also collaborated with a visual artist, a composer and a filmmaker. Performances are Friday and Saturday night.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

it's my birthday

Fun fun. As I enter into my late thirties (okay, just barely) I ponder over the significance of the whole birthday thing. My brother just reminded me that my husband and I were apart on my birthday last year (to make a few bucks) just as we are this year. I love the idea of birthdays, but the execution is always somehow lacking. Trying to live up that great surprise 16th back in the day I guess. I've got a fruitful day ahead. Already written a review of Taste of Tea a Japanese for The Asian Reporter. Now off to make some bones at a Go Game then a few drinks in store for tonight... yipee

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

testing gabcast

I'm working on figuring out how to post audio to the web. At first I thought I'd learn how to create the flash file etc etc, but now I'm exploring alternative ways using existing services. I'm checking out the free version of Gabcast! to see how it works.

Gabcast! APA Compass test #1



Another rainy day in P-town. I'm not complaining actually. Just stating the fact as a backdrop to the days musings. It's been an interesting week of networking-mania. That sounds so funny and corporate, but we artsy, non-profity types need it. Especially when you're a new kid in town. I'm trying to be proactive about doing interesting, creative, community-oriented stuff while I search for some steady income. Joining the APA Compass Radio Collective at KBOO and the writing team for The Asian Reporter have been amazing ways to meet folks and get myself out into the community. And those projects are definitely keeping me busy. However, I'm still looking for ways to make a living - not just pay the bills, but help develop more contacts and knowledge to lead me to the next thing, my dream enterprise, a dynamic Process Space venue. I'm also always in search of folks to do collaborative, multi-disciplinary art projects with. With those things in mind I pursued some great local resources. Young Women Social Entrepeneurs recently hosted a meeting at a cool flexible office space in the Pearl, Souk. In addition to the usual networking type interactions, the meeting featured Dr. Kalyn Culler Cohen and Paige Coleman of Kindle Partners who shared some insights about how women bring a different approach to traditional enterprise models. And the big suprise came when I actually won a free consultation with Kalyn and Paige - I've never actually won one of those 'throw your business card in to win' things, so it was rather exciting. Definitely looking forward to talking with them. I also went with my friend Patti to a Sisters in Cinema meeting at the NW Film Center School. It's a mellow roundtable where you can bring completed pieces or works-in-progress to share with the group. And of course do the whole networking thing. Pam Minty, the organizer challenged us to bring some sort of work-in-progress to the next meeting in June. I met some nice gals who I might try to wrangle into a project so we'll see what happens. Oh I guess the other big thing is that I had a very good interview for the Executive Director position at Print Arts Northwest. Keeping my fingers crossed - I expect to hear something (hopefully second round interview!) by the end of the week. That being said, I'd better get back to the resume-generating machine while I'm in a chatty mood.