shu and joe

Posts filed under ‘Portland’

Circular Logic

December 12, 2012

Circular Logic

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Black Market Type

May 11, 2009

Our friend Scott Ponik helped organize this show at PNCA. By organize, we mean he helped produce the graphics, design all of the communication and act as the gracious host for visitors who walked into the gallery. Curated by Joseph del Pasco, the Black Market Type & Print Shop features 30 fonts composed of the hand-lettering of prominent artists. Visitors are able to wander to the back room and create posters of their own using any of the fonts.

Artist types included in the project: John Baldessari, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mel Bochner, R. Crumb, John Cage, Henry Darger, Julie Doucet, Jimmie Durham, Marcel Dzama, Tracey Emin, General Idea, Thomas Hirschhorn, Chris Johanson, Jasper Johns, Ray Johnson, Mike Kelley, Margaret Kilgallen, Kathe Kollwitz, Annette Messanger, Duane Michals, Chris Ofili, Laura Owens, Gary Panter, Raymond Pettibon, Adrian Piper, William Pope.L, Richard Prince, Ad Reinhardt, Dieter Roth, David Shrigley.

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The Portland Building, revisited

April 5, 2009

Found this image of Michael Graves’ original proposed design for the Portland Public Service Building in a 1985 issue of Architectural Design. Interesting to note the original plan called for much more dramatic decorative garlands along the sides of the building and a collection of public arcades and shops on the rooftop. Both elements were vetoed by city authorities.

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Oshatz Organics

March 22, 2009

May sound like a local dairy, but I’m referring to the organic architecture that Robert Harvey Oshatz has been designing in the Portland area since the 1970s. I don’t know what to make of some of his projects, so I’ll let his website do the talking:

“While most architects today are specialists who associate with other specialists, Robert Oshatz is a generalist who associates with specialists.”

Rosenthal House, 1984

Fennell House, 2005

Fennell House

Wilkinson House, 2004

Williams House, renovation and addition 1990-1997

(via Lost at E Minor)

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New Windows

March 6, 2009

Fortuitous events allowed us to catch up with Matt Keegan while he was in Portland last month to give a lecture at PNCA. If I were in NY this month, I’d head to D’Amelio Terras to catch his recently-opened solo exhibition.

Matt Keegan, Untitled (Light Leak), 2005/2009

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February 20, 2009

The fates handed us tickets to last night’s Portland International Film Festival screening of Sugar, a film by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck about the economic and emotional weight felt by aspiring Dominican baseball players. Recommended viewing. (Thanks Ricky!)

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Thinking Through Craft

February 19, 2009

Glenn Adamson is the head of research at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the author of Thinking Through Craft, a critical appraisal of the value, position and possibilities for modern craft production. He’ll be speaking this weekend at the University of Oregon. (Saturday 2/21, White Stag Block, 70 NW Couch St. 2:30pm)

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Silver Summit

January 19, 2009

Sondra and Ahram’s band Silver Summit played at Doug Fir last night. They sounded great and the venue was incredible. The first time I’d ever seen an organized drink line. Courtesy is not dead!

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December 11, 2008

Enjoyed some toothsome pork belly and good company at Clyde Common last night. Diana and Scott were kind enough to bring us a copy of Fillip, a rather nicely designed art journal from Vancouver that features several inserted artist projects and some pretty thoughtful articles. Particularly liked the conversation between David Goldenberg and Patricia Reed on participatory art practices and Ron Terada’s kitten poster.

Image via Fillip: Patricia Reed and Societe Realiste, Manifesta 6.1, Dept III: Abschlussball/Contract of Discord, 2007. Contract of Discord was a collective project involving more than twenty of the people who were to participate in Dept. III at the canceled Manifesta 6 biennale scheduled for Nicosia, Cyprus. Photograph by Societe Realiste.

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Jelly Theory

December 5, 2008

Since I’m mentioning Wieden-related activities, Jelly Helm presented a lecture at Rontoms a couple of nights ago. I appreciated his humble approach to his role as MC, but had a few issues with the general argument. The talk was titled Conversation/Advertising, which sounds relevant to much current discussion about networks of communication, interaction, audience participation, etc. So I was a bit surprised to hear that Jelly’s notion of conversation (which was demonstrated via an exercise that required 5 minutes of passive intense listening to one’s neighbor) is awfully close to the classical TV model: A speaks to B who receives – but does not respond to – A’s message.

Jelly went on to present a diagram of what he calls post-consumer brands. These include Apple, Toyota Prius, Wii, Facebook, Nascar, Google and Barack Obama. I’m a bit perplexed by the use of the term “post-consumer” to describe these brands. What is it about buying an iPhone or a hybrid car or a gaming system that disrupts the model of production and consumption? Maybe I’m dickering about semantics, but economies are by definition about the production and consumption of goods, services and resources. All engagement equals consumption – an attempt to interiorize something outside oneself. That process in part shapes and defines the various identities associated with a person.

Jelly stated that what he means by a post-consumer brand is one “where experience trumps advertising.” But are the two really divisible? Jelly’s use of the Toyota Prius – and not the Honda Civic Hybrid – as an example is significant. Both are solid cars with roughly the same real-world miles-per-gallon performance/carbon-footprint-reduction effect. So why is the Prius an emblem of post-consumption, but not the Civic? Why is there a months-long waiting list to purchase a Prius, while the Civic hybrid hasn’t experienced that kind of demand? I have a feeling that the explanation has much to do with the same desires for goods of distinction that were diagnosed by Thorstein Veblen in the late 19th century, the same desires that have guided human consumption for, well, probably for as long as there has been human competition. People buy more Priuses not because the experience of driving this car trumps advertising, but because the experience allows for an invidious distinction to be bestowed upon its possessor. The terms of that distinction (its “cool” quotient) are shaped and enhanced by the advertising and marketing invested in the product.

What’s interesting to me is how transparent it has become that much brand marketing is performed today not by paid agencies, but by individuals who use technologies old and new to enhance their own self-concept through brand advocacy. Advertising isn’t something that we passively receive; it’s something that all of us are constantly engaged with through the process of telling others who we are. So, pace Jelly’s theory, I would venture that advertising isn’t dead; rather, we’re just starting to realize that it’s advertising all the way down.

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