Meaning Clouds

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I had a very nice lunch earlier this week with Marty Neumeier. I thoroughly enjoyed our wide-ranging philosophical conversation. Marty was talking about semiotics and symbols. How the way we communicate today, everything has become a symbol for something larger. The topic reminded me of an idea I had a while back—actually the idea came to me while I was waking up in the hospital, recovering from a Traumatic Brain Injury. I guess you could take that as a disclaimer :-)

I shared my idea with Marty over lunch and will also share it here. I have come back to this concept a few times over the past year and it still resonates with me. It has to do with meaning and the way that meaning travels. I came up with this term, “meaning clouds,” which I like. My original sketch from the hospital is below. Here’s how I would define them.

Meaning clouds: Groupings of meaning that congregate and move around and through humanity.

I guess I am thinking about these clouds like the way the wind moves about the earth, like on this rad interactive Earth Wind Map.


I don’t know if this is a complete definition, or if there are other phrases out there which conceptually hold a similar space. If you have any thoughts on this, I’d love to hear from you.

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State of Wonder

Art by Thomas Bradley

This Saturday at noon Plazm Art Director Joshua Berger and co-editor Tiffany Lee Brown will be interviewed on OPB’s State of Wonder program with April Baer.

OPB will be having a love-fest this week in honor of Valentine’s Day. There are two other couples featured on the program, talking about balancing their work and their creative lives.

Art above by Thomas Bradley for Josh and Tiffany’s wedding five+ years ago.


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Plazm at Liquid Space PDX: Drinks, design, & discussion

As Plazm exhibit inaugurates Liquid Agency’s experimental gallery in Portland, three luminaries of the city’s creative scene engage in conversation.

Join Plazm art director Joshua Berger, artist Kate Bingaman-Burt, and Namita Wiggers, director and curator of the Museum of Contemporary Craft, in conversation at Liquid Space PDX.

February 5, 2014
6:00-9:00 pm; discussion at 7:30 pm
Liquid Agency
910 NW Hoyt Street, Portland, Oregon

Silkscreened posters designed and printed by Bijan Berahimi will be given to guests on a first come, first served basis. Beer courtesy from Fort George Brewery will also available for free. Come join the conversation! Video: Every page of Plazm magazine with E*Rock soundtrack.

Plazm @ Liquid Space poster by Bijan Berahimi

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22 years of Plazm / 10,000x edit

This version takes about two minutes to watch. If you’d like to enjoy the full-length version, please visit the post prior to this. That one takes about two hours to watch. I guess it’s like a Hollywood movie preview. It shows you the whole movie in about two minutes.

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Plazm 1991–2013 with an E*Rock Soundtrack

A few months ago Alfredo asked me if I could fill the lobby of the Liquid Agency offices in Portland with a history of Plazm. Some of you may have stopped in during the Design Week Portland open house and got to see the exhibit along with a bunch of other Liquid work. We plan to have a public event around the Plazm exhibit in January.

One of the things we created for this show was this video. Katelyn, my intern over the summer, turned every page of every issue of Plazm magazine. E*Rock made a very cool score for the video. It’s on display in the lobby and visible from the street as well. Now you can view it from the comfort of wherever you are comfortable. It’s odd how time compresses. I don’t know what the math is, but in real time it took 22 years to make this work. You can watch it in about two hours.

Thanks to Liquid Agency for making all this happen!

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22 Years of Plazm at Liquid Space

Designed by Bijan Berahimi

Designed by Bijan Berahimi

The lobby of Liquid Agency’s Portland office acts as an experimental gallery called Liquid Space. It is currently filled with a 22-year retrospective of Plazm work. This can be seen during the Design Week Portland Open House.

In addition, Liquid Agency will be featuring a brand experience showcase, client stories, videos, a virtual bartender, Lego Serious Play and much more.

If that didn’t entice you, complimentary Fort George beer will be served.

Bijan Berahimi interned with us a couple years ago. He designed the Plazm 20th anniversary graphics while he was interning. He created this sweet poster for the event. Thanks, Bijan!

Design Week PDX Open House
Wednesday, October 9
4:00-7:00 pm

Liquid Agency
910 NW Hoyt
Portland, Oregon 97209

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David Carson: Never Snap2Guides


Wieden + Kennedy / Plazm present
Design Week Portland event.

David Carson 
Never Snap2Guides

David Carson: typography rebel, revolutionary graphic designer, and legendary art director of the magazine “Ray Gun” will show what he’s been up to over the last couple years, and talk about the importance of not letting computers make design decisions.

Carson is a creative/art+design director with a long list of worldwide clients and awards. In 2014 he’ll receive the biggest award our industry gives for his contribution to the field of design. (but it’s a secret ’till January when they announce it). He’s a TED speaker, and was the main graphic designer on a Microsoft worldwide brand campaign, when he spent two months at Wieden+Kennedy. On Monday, October 7th he returns. Newsweek, before their end of print, said he “changed the public face of graphic design,” while Creative Review (UK) called him “the art director of the era.” David sez “whatever.” Come see and hear David’s show+tell.

Another secret: he’s hoping to find a creative design related job (+mentor some younger designers) in the Northwest where his family lives…

Featuring a live audio / visual set by E*Rock & Dane Overton.
Beer by Fort George Brewery.

A limited edition of Carson-designed W+K silkscreened posters will be available at the event.

$5 advance / $10 door
Order tickets via Eventbrite

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Sooner or Later: the Neo Boys get their due.


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.


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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


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

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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