Dec 21, 2008


Though this took place several years ago I've been meaning to write about it for some time. I went to this event a few hours after it started. There were six or seven electronic and acoustic sound stations set up on the floor at various points along the walls, which left the rest of the floor open for the dancers. The sound improvisers were listening intensely out of a desire not to dominate the sonic atmosphere, which remained largely on the ambient side. The occasional louder horn or processed electronics would steer the mood towards noise at certain moments, then the ethereal collaborations would resume. Notes were stretched out into long tones, sometimes for a half hour or more while the dancers challenged the limits of movement and exhaustion. Most of their movements were conducted with a mindfulness towards the need to save energy for the full twelve hours, and people would take breaks before resuming solo or collective interaction. A small crowd took in the scene, but not that many made it through the night as tiredness and a slight chill set in. Memorable moments included the players and audience members running around together, playing a piano in the lobby, and tearing up newspapers by dancing on them. Traditional human speech was almost entirely absent for much of the night and a profound alteration took place. I felt slowed down. When the sun came up as the event drew to a close, I knew this would linger in my memory for a long time. The bus ride home was uncomfortably jarring as consensus reality rushed into the hypnotic vacuum. Click on the poster above for a closer look.

Dec 18, 2008


'Pirate Town' is an area of land in North Portland near the Willamette River which consists of an abandoned creosote factory, a tall chimney, and several nearby derelict buildings. The wrecked ship a bit farther north along the train tracks has been removed. The properties are obviously used by graffiti artists, partiers, bike jousting groups, and others. Photo by Eric.

Dec 2, 2008


I went to a 'Surrealists Metanational' meeting a few weeks ago, but no one was there and the bookstore was closed. I sat on the bench in the cold waiting for someone to arrive, but the only person who came by was in a sense looking for the wrong group. He called the phone number on the printout, but it rang inside of Laughing Horse books just on the other side of the window, which had a certain humor. After a while I went to a slightly pretentious cafe before enduring the bus ride home.

Some ways I've tried to engage the world lately involve moving found objects around the city during walks and bike rides, and exploring long overgrown alleyways in the north and northeast parts of Portland. The alleyways cut through backyards and there are various points of interest, whether it be overhanging tree limbs obscuring the path, a broken down car that may have been someone's bedroom, cats, rats, possums, racoons, interesting piles of rubble, someone's trash, graffiti, overgrown weeds and crumbling concrete mixed with hard dirt trails, and so on. Some spots offer a feeling of clandestine passage due to fences and walls being on either side, and the glare of streetlights does not always penetrate. Thus the impromptu life of the city is shown in some of its aspects when one strolls through the out of the way avenues.

This is by no means comprehensive but I wanted to add a note given the lack of any current collective projects on the local level other than the occasional noise/experimental collaboration and some conversations.