Media Arts Program

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Dissecting Portland

Presented at:

Guest curated by Melody Owen

"Dissecting Portland is a collection of experimental video from Portland, Oregon. It is a mix of animation, appropriation, and documentary. An overall theme is that of shifts in perception. One movie is about the last remaining elevator operators in the city, while another goes below ground to traverse the tunnels. Most of the pieces are under 5 minutes. The longest is a video in which customers and employees of a gas station read the text of Ulysses from cue cards. I chose work that I saw while living in Portland and that I believe conveys a sense of the place and the people." — Melody Owen

  • Liz Haley White Circle (2006, 2:28)
  • e*rock Cherry (Ratatat) (2005, 4:00)
  • Zak Margolis Moonbabies (2006, 4:30)
  • Rob Tyler October of This Year (Unrecognizable Now) (2006, 4:00)
  • Matt McCormick Sincerely Joe P. Bear (1999, 4:00); fifty years later (2006, 3:00)

  • Melody Owen Waiting With Guns ( 2004, 4:00)
  • Gretchen Hogue Terrorshow (1999, 4:00)
  • Tanya Smith Speed Queen (2004. 1:30)
  • Morgan Currie Vertical City (2005, 8:00)
  • Ted Davee Below (2005, 4:00)
  • Vanessa Renwick Portrait #2: Trojan (2006, 5:00)
  • Harrell Fletcher Blot Out the Sun (2002, 22:00)

E*Rock is a video director, illustrator and music producer who also runs the Audio Dregs and Fryk Beat record labels and produces videos with the Wyld File collective, which has been recruited to produce music videos for artists such as Beck, The Gossip, Islands. His work is generally a synthesis between music and visual art.

Cherry is a flash animated video for the band Ratatat.

Edward P. Davee's began making films at the age of 16 by way of scrappy photo montages and experiments with sound recording techniques. After the purchase of a Pixel-Vision and a super-8 camera in 1987, there was no looking back. He has since made several films, all bearing his unique, textured, cut and paste style.

Below Assembled from pipe inspection footage shot on a "sewer cam", a small robotic camera that travels from manhole to manhole through underground drainage pipes beneath the streets of Portland.

Gretchen Hogue is a film and video maker who is also the new director of the Portland Documentary and eXperimental (PDX) Film Festival.

terrorshow my lady in the radiator song.

Harrell Fletcher has worked collaboratively and individually on a variety of socially engaged, interdisciplinary projects for over a decade. His work has been shown nationally and internationally. In 2002 Fletcher started "Learning To Love You More," an ongoing participatory web site with Miranda July.

Blot Out the Sun A garage in central Portland, Oregon is the setting for this conceptual re-working of James Joyce's Ulysses. The garage owner, Jay, mechanics and neighborhood denizens serve as narrators, reading lines from the novel that focus on death, love, social inequality and the relationship between individuals and the universe.

Liz Haley, born in Indiana, was raised with community and escape as equally strong and polar influences. Apart from formal training she considers her habit of extensive travel integral to her work. Through photographs, collages, sound and video she conducts an investigation into the intimacy of humanity.

In Perpetuity, Circle of Purity (2006) is a video conceived during a 10-day silent meditation retreat.

Matt McCormick is a 34-year-old artist and filmmaker who has made several award winning short films in recent years. His work blurs the lines between documentary and experimental filmmaking to fashion witty and abstract observations of contemporary culture and the urban landscape. Matt is also the founder of the video label Peripheral Produce and the Portland Documentary and eXperimental Film Festival. When not completely immersed in cinematic endeavors, Matt may be found making music under the guise Very Stereo.

fifty years later 2006 retracing the steps of family roadtrips and a forgotten road-side attraction. a father's day present.

Sincerely, Joe P. Bear 1999 Polar bears, ice queens, lost love... appropriated news clips from the 1960's combine with hand-painted film to tackle the momentous issue of how polar bears cope with heartbreak and rejection. Joe P. Bear has screened at a bunch of festivals including the 2000 Rotterdam International Film Festival and won the "Best Experimental Film" award at the 2000 Microcine Fest in Baltimore.

Melody Owen is originally from the Pacific Northwest. She currently studies electronic arts in the small snowy village of Alfred, NY. Her work crosses several mediums, fluctuating between analog and digital. She has curated this show because she is homesick and also happens to know a lot of people who do amazing work in Portland.

Waiting With Guns a collection of clips from old westerns and film noirs highlighting that tense moment before the shooting begins.

Morgan Currie makes short documentary films inspired by her travels and machines, such as elevators and weapons incinerators. By trade she is a freelance producer, film curator, and videographer living in Portland, OR.

Tales from the Vertical City The contemporary American cityscape owes its grand heights to the elevator. This is a portrait of these transporting spaces, as well as a story of human intersection along the city's vertical highways.

Rob Tyler is a graphic designer and filmmaker living and working in Portland. Working in both documentary and experimental mediums, his films and videos have been described as both visually stunning and atmospherically beautiful.

October of This Year is a music video for the band Unrecognizable Now.

Vanessa Renwick My primary focus is the region known as Cascadia, a place where optimistic people are gathering, trying to make a better world.I am having a lot of fun working with all of the incredibly talented artists who collaborate on the works with me. We all love being here. Here here. Documentary in new forms is what really excites me. I consider myself an artist and an activist, and being a documentarian allows me to do both in one fell swoop. Hunker down to rise above.

Portrait #2: Trojan is part of an ongoing series of filmed portraits with scores by musicians living in the Pacific North West.

Zak Margolis is an independent animator who has produced several animated music videosfor bands such as Unwound, Old Time Relijun, and Goldcard. More recently he produced a segment for Andy Blubaugh's film Scaredycat, which has already shown at the Sundance and Clermont Ferrand film festivals. Currently he's developing an expanded version of his project "Moonbabies."

Moonbabies chronicles the life and origins of twins who are separated at birth. It explores themes of family, our relationship with nature, the dangers of solitude, and the power of blood. Once completed, the movie will include the stories of three generations, the events that cause them to split apart, and their eventual reunion.

Some publications related to this event:
March, 2007 - 2007