Sooner or Later: the Neo Boys get their due.

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It’s hard to know how influential a band like the Neo Boys are.

For those who don’t know, the Neo Boys were a young all-female punk band from the late 70s in Portland, Oregon. Their first show was opening for Television. An auspicious start. The also played with The Wipers and recorded and released records with Greg Sage. Plazm published a brief text with a Thomas Robinson photo a few years ago in issue #29 when we did a chronology of Portland DIY music (poster below by Linda Reynen RIP).

The music itself has been hard to come by for a long time.

Yesterday, K Records in Olympia opened the doors for pre-ordering Sooner Or Later. They call it “as complete a collection as we can concoct of the Neo Boys history, told chronologically, from 1978-82.” They joined forces with Mississippi Records in Portland to create a gatefold double LP version.

The Neo Boys were important. The exciting thing about a release like this is that it not only celebrates, but has the potential to revitalize and expand the memory and meaningfulness of what these women did all those years ago.

It’s hard to know how influential the Neo Boys will become.
Rock on.

www.krecs.com

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100×100 art gallery

I last wrote here on May 18th, the anniversary of my bike accident. A few months prior to that there was an event at PICA to both help offset a mountain of medical bills and to celebrate my recovery. It takes time to become what we are. There were so many amazing contributions to the event. One of these was the one hundred works of art assembled in an exhibition that lasted for only a few hours. I have been collecting images of these works. While I do not yet have them all, I have quite a few. I am sharing them in the gallery below. I will keep adding to this gallery as more images they arrive in my email box. Enjoy.

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Plazm editor Tiffany Lee Brown’s Easter Island Project at the Cooley Gallery

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Plazm editor Tiffany Lee Brown at The Cooley Gallery
Reception & one-day video installation:
Saturday, June 15, 1–4 p.m.

Conversation with the artist, 3 p.m. Reed College Library Lobby

Anakena: The Easter Island Project
Anakena: the Easter Island Project is the culmination of an interdisciplinary artwork spanning five years, seven cities, and the island of Rapa Nui. The project explores the human urge to create and procreate, and our potential to transform through art, collaboration, and ritual.

The installation and event:
The Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, is presenting a one-day video installation by Portland artist, author, and PLAZM editor Tiffany Lee Brown in conjunction with her installation—Anakena: The Easter Island Project—housed in the Cooley’s CASE WORKS project space, Reed College Library.

At 3 p.m. the artist will speak about the work with Cooley Gallery curator Stephanie Snyder.

The CASE WORKS installation will continue to develop throughout the summer.

The Reed College Library is open summer hours, consult the schedule here. The artist’s June 15 video installation is free and open to the public, and takes place in conjunction with Reed Reunions 2013.

Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery
Reed College
3203 SE Woodstock Blvd., Portland, OR 97202
www.reed.edu/gallery

About the project —Tiffany Lee Brown:
First I was a happily child-free woman. Next, a happy step-mom. Then I was walloped by the biological clock, a surprise attack that plunged me into deep grief and existential meltdown. Questioning my life path and belief in the sanctity of art and creativity, I invited audiences in the Northwest, New York, at the Burning Man festival, and elsewhere to join me in exploring what it means to create. The “seeds” of creativity they made—tiny sculptures, writings, dances captured on video—are the true stars of “my” project.

A slow, arduous change occurred as I integrated the participants’ creations into the work and the generative urge into my life. Eventually I reached Rapa Nui transformed and very pregnant. A suitcase of “seeds” came with me.

Anakena: the Easter Island Project documents the transformative process and shows the “seeds” themselves. I’ll be changing the installation at Case Works every few weeks and telling the story on-line. The project’s 80-hour soundtrack, improvised in collaboration with Eric Hausmann, will also be available free on-line. I hope Anakena furthers the cultural conversation about childlessness and parenting in our culture, the human urge to create, and the ability of art to make meaning.

More at Tiffany’s website.

 

Dark Arts Gallery Music Schedule and info

 

Anakena: The Easter Island Project is supported, in part by RACC, the Regional Arts & Culture Council; Viator Travel’s “travelblog” website; and New Oregon Arts & Letters.

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May 18

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Hi friends

It’s been about two months since my last post following the 100 x 100 event at PICA. I aspire to be as productive as I once was, but the level of energy is slow in coming back. 

I wrote this note on May 18th, the one year anniversary of my bike accident, to friends and supporters who have helped throughout my recovery. Now I am sharing it here.

It’s quite a thing to think about. How life can change in an instant. I encourage everyone to take the time you need to do those things which give you the most joy and fulfillment. These are not things to put off and do later, they are things to prioritize.

Sitting here being thankful for life. It’s been a journey, this past year. That’s for sure. I have a deep appreciation for all of the help and support from all the friends, family, and community that has come our way. One thing I have learned — I guess this has always been obvious — but it comes into stark relief when something like this happens, is that now is all we have. Two minutes ago is history. Learn from the past, don’t dwell in it. Do those things which most fulfill you.

I have passed many milestones during my recovery from re-learning to walk and cook to getting back on a bike and playing basketball. I have worked my way back up to about half-time now at Liquid Agency. I am thankful to have such an understanding and compassionate employer. I continue to face a variety of challenges and work towards a 100% recovery. I am told that the recovery time for such a traumatic brain injury is about two years. However, I have learned through this process that there really is no plateau or finish line. The brain is an amazing thing and can continue to learn and grow throughout life. The book “The Brain That Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge is a fascinating read if you are interested in learning more about the growth potential of the mind. As long as I am recommending things, this TED talk by Jill Bolte Taylor is pretty inspiring too. She is a neuroscientist who had a massive stroke and spent like eight years recovering.

I am still working on collecting images of each of the 100 x 100 art pieces. The work was superb and since the exhibit was only up for a few hours, I would like to put together an online gallery of all the art. I’ll post here when it is available to view.

I also was recently was fortunate enough to attend some of the Dalai Lama events here in Portland. I will leave you with a few of his words.

“Be optimistic. A pessimistic attitude is the real source of failure.”

Love

Josh

 

PS. Thanks to my friend Jack for this photo he shot in Amsterdam last week.

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The future is going to be weird.

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The complexity of the brain’s connections comes from the complexity of our experience. Not only does our brain create our thoughts, but our thoughts create our brains.

Have a listen to these twenty-two minutes with futurist Ray Kurzweil interviewed on Marketplace Tech by David Brancaccio. Kurzweil works for Google on Artificial Intelligence and the convergence of humans and technology. There’s a point in this interview where he suggests we’ll all be backing up our brains to the cloud in a few years. Some of this stuff seems out there, but it does not surprise me. Frighten me, yes. Surprise me, no. We shall see. I can pretty much guarantee one thing, the future is going to be weird.

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Everything we do matters.

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I am writing to express my sincere gratitude and to share some reflections on the 100 x 100 event at PICA a few weeks ago.

First, thank you to all the artists, volunteers, friends, participants, musicians, and to PICA, for your making this event happen. I am thankful to be part of such a caring community.

The art was phenomenal, what a great exhibit! It was only on view for a few hours. Because of the way that the work arrived—some things coming in as the event was happening—we weren’t able to properly document all of the work. We are working on collecting images of all the art to have an online exhibition, which we will post here, so they can be more widely appreciated. You can see some of the pieces in these photos from Susan Seubert. There are more images of the event on the PICA Flickr page as well. 

 

***

 

I think we are made more perfect not by what we do, but by our experience—what happens to us. My experience over the past nine months has been life changing. I have learned a lot about myself, about my family, about this community, and about the brain and what a traumatic brain injury actually means.

This event was really a unique thing that happened. I can’t think of too many examples in a person’s life where this type of celebration occurs. There are the big birthdays, 50, perhaps weddings—though those are a different kind of celebration, and commemorations. I guess a commemoration is the closest thing I can think of. It’s ironic that a near death accident resulted in such a celebration. I am glad that I was there to be part of it!

It makes me think that we should all take stock periodically. It’s so easy to get busy in the minutiae of our day-to-day lives. But this experience has made me contemplate the effect we have on one another. Everything we do matters.

 

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100 x 100 for Josh: a PICA celebration & fundraiser on Feb 24

100x100-josh-logo-150dpi Hello, people of Plazm… On February 24, our friends at PICA are very kindly putting on an event for Josh due to his bike accident, with help from many wonderful friends and compatriots. We hope you’ll come. There’ll be art from 100 artists and designers, from Milton Glaser to Storm Tharp to Kristy Edmunds, with music from Sam Coomes of Quasi, e*rock, and others.

As you may have heard: Plazm art director & Liquid Agency creative director Joshua Berger was in a serious bicycle accident last May, and sustained a TBI, aka Traumatic Brain Injury. He will be there to say hi to everybody—though keep in mind it will be pretty overwhelming for him and he will spend some time resting elsewhere in the building. His recovery is still ongoing, but going very well. He’s now working ten hours a week, bicycling (!!!)*, and continuing his speech-language cognitive work and other therapies.

In addition, if you’d like to participate in the “Art Dash” that’s happening in lieu of an auction, the organizers ask that you please oh please purchase your art-ticket as soon as possible. You can be part of it even if you can’t be there in person. The Dash described below, but basically? You spend $100 and walk home with a work of art. Tickets are available at www.tinyurl.com/joshpica (Brownpapertickets).

=== EVENT DETAILS =====

100×100 for Josh
Sun . Feb 24 . 3-6 pm
PICA (Portland Institute for Contemporary Art)
415 SW 10th Ave, Suite 300, Portland
503.242.1419

Short musical sets from Sam Coomes (Quasi, Heatmiser), Ray Reposa (Castanets, Raymond Byron & the White Freighter), Tuvan throat singer Enrique Ugalde (Soriah), Grey Anne, WC Beck, and a special guest. And the inimitable e*rock will spin, too. Performative auctionary experience by AC Dickson. Beer from Fort George Brewery, food from Tastebud, love and good vibes from all of you.

All ages
Suggested donation $10-20
Pre-purchase Art Dash tickets for $100 (includes admission) at tinyurl.com/joshpica (links to brownpapertickets.com)

==== ART DASH ====

You can be part of the Art Dash even if you can’t come to the event. The dash involves donating $100 and when your ticket number is called by the inimitable AC Dickson, you select a piece of art off the wall. You choose from 100 works by artists like Storm Tharp, Ed Fella, Cynthia Lahti, Milton Glaser, Harrell Fletcher, Susan Seubert, and Kristy Edmunds… depending when your number gets called! Nan Curtis and Marty Houston are creating a special series of portraits of Josh as well. If you can’t be there in person, PICA will assign a proxy to dash for art on your behalf. More artists are listed below.

===== MORE INFO & YEP, JOSH WILL BE THERE =====

Back when Josh’s friends and family first began planning this event, we didn’t know when or whether Josh would able to walk or work, much less show up at his own party. His recovery is going well, so he’ll be there to say “hi” to all of you. His family has been blessed with incredible support of all kinds from friends, family, and community, but they’ve experienced medical expenses and a significant loss of income, and are grateful to PICA and friends for making this happen. Josh’s recovery is documented erratically at getwelljosh.com

===== THANK YOU! =====

Enormous thanks to PICA, Melissa Delzio, Tastebud Farms, Fort George Brewery, Pushdot Studios, AIGA, Premier Press, Derek Ecklund, Rebekah Scheer, Thomas Bradley, Jeremy Bittermann, Sarah Cline, Jon Raymond, Liquid Agency, and all the donors, sponsors, volunteers, artists, organizers, musicians, and friends who’re making this possible.

===== FEATURED ARTISTS & DESIGNERS =====

Adam Garcia
Adam Sorenson
Alexis Mollomo
Alfredo Muccino
Brad Simon
Chris Haberman
Chris Johanson
Chris Knight
Christina Seely
Clare Carpenter
Corey Lunn
Cynthia Lahti
Dan Attoe
Dave Walsh
Ed Fella
El Rey Del Art
Erik Stotik
Erin Holcomb
Gabriel Liston
Gus Nicklos
Harrell Fletcher
Heather Watkins
Jason Bacon
Jeff Foster
Jeff Jahn
Jeffry Mitchell
Jennifer Armbrust
Jeremy Bittermann
Jeremy Pelley
Jerry Ketel
Jolby
Jordan Domont
Jose Cabaco
Kathryn Lippert
Keegan + Meegan
Kristan Kennedy
Kristen Rogers Brown
Kristy Edmunds
Lloyd Winter
Malia Jensen
Marcus Swanson
Mark Faigenbaum
Mary Kysar
Melody Owen
Michael Brophy
Michael Buchino
Midori Hirose
Mike King
Milton Glaser
Nan Curtis & Marty Houston
Neva Knott
Patrick Long
Paul Fujita
Philip Iosca
Robbie McLaran
Sam Guerrero
Santiago Uceda
Sarah Cline
Sean Healy
Stephanie Snyder
Steve Sandstrom
Storm Tharp
Susan Seubert
Thomas Bradley
Tom O’Toole
Tsilli Pines
Vanessa Renwick
Will Bryant
Zak Margolis

* – worried exclamation points courtesy of Josh’s wife and Plazm co-editor Tiffany

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Extraordinary Machines

Jeff Faulkner poster

There’s a fun and engaging lecture happening tomorrow evening at the OMSI Planetarium, by a good friend of mine, Jeff Faulkner.

The lecture is part of the Design Speaks series produced by 52 Limited. I should mention that tickets are sold out, but you can add your name to a wait list.

Jeff is currently a creative director working on inventing the future up at Microsoft in Seattle. A couple of months ago he asked me if I would create a poster for his talk in Portland.

As some of you may know, I have been recovering from a bike accident for the past six months or so. I have been doing some small projects—a collaboration with my Plazm partner Niko on my brother’s new play, Volpone, in NYC, and some other personal work. I have recently been approved by my doctors for up to ten hours per week of work. It’s gradual, but it is definitely progress. So I am pleased. I am also pleased about the result of this poster project for Jeff. I just got handed one of the silkscreened 18 x 24 four-color posters, and they really turned out great. If you are attending the event, you will receive one. I thought I would share the art here as well.

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Raymond Pettibon Punk Years Exhibit hits Portland

These days Raymond Pettibon is a  well regarded, respectable—ahem—respected  contemporary artist who exhibits around the world in major museums and galleries. He found his way to artistic prominence in a circumlocutionary manner. He began, early in his career (it can really only be called a career now that we are looking back 40 years) in the early 70s designing posters and record covers for punk rock bands, most notably Black Flag and The Minutemen. That’s certainly where I was first exposed to his work. It wasn’t until years later when I somehow, through a friend of a friend, figured out a way to reach him by phone at his mom’s house, and request a contribution to Plazm magazine. That was for Plazm #11, around 1995. He also contributed work to the Plazm coloring book in issue #16 [a pdf of the full book is available @ that link], three spreads in Plazm #28, and he has the final page in Plazm #30, the current issue as well.

Anyway, a travelling exhibition culling over 200 pieces from the early years in the LA punk scene comes to Portland’s One Grand Gallery this winter, opening on December 7th, the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

Recommended viewing.

Raymond Pettibon: The Punk Years, 1978-86
December 7, 2012 – January 25, 2013
One Grand Gallery
1000 E Burnside St., Portland
Open Daily 11PM to 6PM

Opening Reception to be held Friday, December 7, 2012
7:00PM Gallery Opening
9:00PM Performance by Blood Beach

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The apple didn’t far fall from the tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, like father like son, I suppose. Gus Nicklos, who I collaborated with on the Mittopoly poster, which was featured in my last post, just forwarded this image to me. It was designed in 1967 by Herb Lubalin, but it is clearly applicable today.

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