For seven years now, every September has seen the arrival of an overwhelming onslaught of visual and performance art. Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Time-Based Art Festival is like Of Mice and Men’s Lennie: It loves you to such an overwhelming degree, it just might kill you. Although, when your last days include a huge dose of avant-garde dance, challenging theater, indie noise rock and men in spandex, at least you’ll be entertained to the end. We hope these picks, organized into our own idiosyncratic categories, will help you survive. TBA takes place Sept. 3-13. Find a full schedule at pica.org.
It’s my understanding that the weather in Manitoba is fairly cold, and provides residents with a lot of indoor free time. This conception has only been bolstered by Winnipeg Babysitter, Daniel Barrow’s collection of programming from the ’80s heyday of Canadian cable-access television. Barrow (whose show Every Time I See Your Picture I Cry also appears in the Festival and below) has curated more than two dozen clips—which he accompanies with slide-projector commentary—and they put one in mind of a highly localized YouTube. But today’s Internet memes are never as hypnotic and hilarious as this display of Canuck sincerity. Consider these highlights: a heavy-metal band composed of sock puppets; a Crimestoppers hotline that helpfully reenacts attempted rapes, accompanied by classical strings; Magic Mike’s Castle, a children’s show in which longhair Mike strums a lute melody urging kids to “just say no to glue”; and Math with Marty, featuring the titular numbers whiz interrupting his blackboard calculations to croon The Love Boat theme with his sister. The second half of Barrow’s show chronicles cable-access becoming sadly self-aware, as with a bizarre faux-survivalist comedy program hosted by Guy Maddin, and a freak show called The Pollock Pollock Gossip Hour, in which two siblings bring in homeless men to dance. The Pollocks’ determined flaunting of their weirdness brings us just about to the place where we are today. AARON MESH. The Works at Washington High School, 531 SE 14th Ave. 10:30 pm Thursday, Sept. 10. $8-$10.
What’s our relationship to the channels of broadcast television and radio? Is the medium really the message, as Marshall McLuhan famously observed, or just a conduit for the dominant power structure? Broadcast is a traveling exhibit spanning four decades’ worth of artists’ interactions with mass media, including June Paik’s manipulation of television news, Chris Burden’s infamous 1971 hostage-taking of a TV host at knife point and the burgeoning movement of pirate FM radio stations popping up in basements across the country. MICHAEL MANNHEIMER. Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art at Lewis & Clark College. 0615 SW Palatine Hill Road. Opening reception 5 pm Tuesday, Sept. 8. Exhibit open 11 am-4 pm Tuesdays-Sundays, Sept. 9-Dec. 13. Free. All ages.
Younger: Ethan Rose, Laura Gibson, Ryan Jeffery
Before recording most of her recent album, Beasts of Seasons, local hushed-folk singer Laura Gibson collaborated with musician-sound artist Ethan Rose on another project. With Rose’s clanging, ethereal backdrops behind her, Gibson wrote songs almost on the spot, encouraged to sing words and phrases that weren’t bound to the rigid structures of her normal work. The resulting record is set for an early 2010 release on Holocene Music. This special multimedia performance, which sees Gibson and Rose joined by filmmaker Ryan Jeffery inside the glass box of PDX Contemporary Art, with the lyrics and music created as a reaction to Jeffery’s projected images, will be the first peek into what should be one of the finest collaborations of 2010. MICHAEL MANNHEIMER. PDX Contemporary Art, 925 NW Flanders St. 6:30 pm Sunday, Sept. 6. Free. All ages.
Johanna Ketola, The Walls of My HallWhere do we live, a house? Hmm-mmm.... an apartment? No, think more basic. Our body—that’s where we live. Finnish artist Johanna Ketola has teamed up with Jan Wolski to produce a multichannel video installation that removes furniture, lighting and all other background props we use as our personal infrastructure. What’s left is an eerily vacuumlike void with bodies floating in midair as they did in the 1970s novel and film Coma. It’s dark, disturbing and thought-provoking. RICHARD SPEER. The Works at Washington High School, 531 SE 14th Ave. Reception 8 pm Thursday, Sept. 3. Exhibit open noon-6:30 pm daily Sept. 4-13; noon-6:30 pm Thursday-Friday, noon-4 pm Saturday-Sunday. Sept. 17-Oct. 18. Free.
Brody Condon, Without Sun
In this 15-minute film about the nature of the psychedelic experience, Condon has collaged “found performances” off the Net, depicting girls and guys high on hallucinogens, narrating their trips in real time. How does an LSD or ’shroom high affect perception, memory or, for that matter, motor skills? Condon’s subjects offer an illuminating case study. Before he died, Timothy Leary declared the Internet the new LSD. Without Sun gives us a glimpse of the intersection of both worlds. RICHARD SPEER. The Works at Washington High School, 531 SE 14th Ave. Exhibit open noon-6:30 pm daily Sept. 4-13; noon-6:30 pm Thursday-Friday, noon-4 pm Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 17-Oct. 18. Free.
It’s just your everyday, around-the-globe sightseeing trip—except travelers Amy O’Neal and Ellie Sandstrom’s reunions with friends and encounters with strangers explode into idiosyncratic dances instead of hugs and hellos. The intriguing video and live-dance mashup follows the two fabulous movers through encounters with 50 people from Pocatello, Idaho, to Tokyo, filmed in the course of the past 2 1/2 years, a wild array of experiences during which they end up meeting everybody but each other. The video scrapbook gets paired up with O’Neal’s fascinating take on contemporary hip-hop during Too’s world premiere at TBA. KELLY CLARKE. The Works at Washington High School, 531 SE 14th Ave. 6:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 10-12. $15-$20.
Erik Friedlander, Block Ice and Propane
Erik Friedlander can make a cello sound like a cricket or a fiddle, a sonorous plaint or a foghorn. Over the past few decades playing with everybody from Courtney Love to John Zorn to the Mountain Goats, Friedlander has been expanding the role of the cello to include, presumably, almost anything. His current project, Block Ice and Propane, is a spare, lyric solo cello performance that melds the warm tonalities of roots Americana with jazz and modern classical, accompanied by his own narration and a series of photographs taken by his father on family car vacations. MATTHEW KORFHAGE. Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway. 8:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 10-12. $15-$20.
Between Us IMAGE: Megan Holmes
Tyler Wallace and Nicole Dill, Between Us
A pair of recent Pacific Northwest College of Art grads have tricked out a rented car with cameras, microphones and a cell modem. They will drive this technomobile around the city, transmitting their “private” conversations over the Web. At the end of the day they will park in front of Washington High School, where their interactions will be replayed on an enormous screen in a sort of inverted drive-in theater. Who says America’s car culture is dying? BEN WATERHOUSE. The Works at Washington High School, 531 SE 14th Ave. Webcast at betweenuslive.com 1-9 pm, live performance 9-10 pm Monday and Wednesday, Sept. 7 and 9. Free.
Robbinschilds, C.L.U.E. (Color Location Ultimate Experience)
The Andy Goldsworthys of the dance world, movement-art duo Layla Childs and Sonya Robbins focus on vibrant color and the texture of their surrounding landscapes to inform their dance works. The quirky pair have created pieces involving the sea and the desert, concrete skateparks and highways in the past. For TBA, they’re performing C.L.U.E.—their video collaboration with A.L. Steiner and Seattle rock band Kinski—live in and around the grounds of a defunct American high school. KELLY CLARKE. The Works at Washington High School, 531 SE 14th Ave. 2 pm Monday, 8 pm Tuesday, 1 pm Wednesday, Sept. 7-9. Free.
Pink Martini and the 234th Army Band: Oregon! Oregon!
When Blitz-Weinhard Brewing decided to commission a centennial tribute to Oregon in 1959, they could have chosen a distinguished old composer to write something solemn and patriotic and boring. Instead, they picked Stan Freberg, a TV and radio comedian, cartoon voice actor, advertising writer and musical satirist. Today, it’d be like signing up Weird Al Yankovic. Freberg slapped together a zany “plot” involving “two explorers [Harry and David] ad-libbing in the woods,” a witch, a California fruit inspector, music that sounds like a ’50s TV commercial and general nuttiness. Broadcast over the radio and narrowly released on a 12-inch vinyl album, the 21-minute Oregon! Oregon! A Centennial Fable in Three Acts was pretty much forgotten until the record found its way into the hands of Pink Martini’s Thomas Lauderdale, who decided to revive and expand it for this year’s sesquicentennial celebrations. He’s enlisted a potpourri of Portlanders (including Metro Council President David Bragdon, Flash Choir’s Sarah Dougher and Pat Janowski, and writers from OPB’s Live Wire!) to create a new fourth act that brings the characters, portrayed by various local musical comedy vets, into 2009. The concert also features sets by Pink Martini and the Army band. BRETT CAMPBELL. Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Road, ticketsoregon.com. 7 pm Saturday, Sept. 5. SOLD OUT.
Movements IMAGE: Eric Fisher
Ethan Rose, Movements
More than 100 music boxes playing at the same time: a new torture technique? No, it’s Ethan Rose’s Movements, a fascinating sound installation that combines antique musical instruments with cutting-edge electronic technology. The Portland soundscape artist is taken with music boxes, player pianos, carillons (a kind of bell keyboard) and the like. He used the 1924 Wurlitzer organ from Oaks Park roller rink in his last album. His fixation on old instruments springs not so much from a desire to simply preserve them before they vanish, but to recontextualize them among newer musical technologies. For TBA, Rose altered music boxes, carefully programming and timing them to tinkle and twinge at precise intervals. The result is a continually shifting sonic environment that envelops the gallery-goer in a stereoscopic, almost 3-D fashion. It’s disorienting, discomfiting and oddly suggestive of both the recent past and the distant future. Born in Mexico, Rose has been working in sound installation, live performance and film scoring for the past 10 years, with local venues like Gallery Homeland as well as with internationally known film director Gus Van Sant. In the coming season he will collaborate on an installation at the Museum of Contemporary Craft with glass artist Andy Paiko, well known for his intricate sculptures. Movements promises a sonic time-machine trip that will engage your mind and your ears. RICHARD SPEER. The Works at Washington High School, 531 SE 14th Ave. Reception 8 pm Thursday, Sept. 3. Exhibit open noon-6:30 pm daily Sept. 4-13; noon-6:30 pm Thursday-Friday, noon-4 pm Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 17-Oct. 18. Free.
Gang Gang Dance
Listen: Start with that anything-goes, we’re-making-this-shit-up feeling of late-’70s No Wave, make it ecstatic instead of intimidating, and you get something like Brooklyn’s Gang Gang Dance. They’re dynamic without specific direction, and their music goes everywhere: pan-tribal polyrhythm, tense pop synth, groggy drone, bristling guitar, theatrical vocal jumps and wails. From improv underpinnings they’ve moved to a pop that still feels uncontrolled, and in the meantime put on seven or eight of the best live shows I’ve seen anywhere, ever. See you there. MATTHEW KORFHAGE. The Works at Washington High School, 531 SE 14th Ave. 10:30 pm Thursday, Sept. 3. Free.
There’s no making Bugskull’s quietly ingenious musical trajectory make sense. From its 1992 start as Sean Byrne’s cassette-deck indie-folk tracks, the band has wandered through parades of inside-out nonsense, backtracked musical leftovers and psych-rock freakouts. But for all its refusal of category, Bugskull captures better than any other band the feeling of mid-1990s Portland, that transitional mess of loose ends twixt Old Portland’s Little Beirut and New Portland’s livability matrix. Best not to miss this show: It’ll be the band’s first live performance in quite some time. MATTHEW KORFHAGE. The Works at Washington High School, 531 SE 14th Ave. 10:30 pm Saturday, Sept. 12, with Quasi. Free.
HEALTH, from Los Angeles: It’s got billboard potential, with matte finish and desaturated light, in pastel. Except what’s in play here is the noisiest of post-Liars dance punk, charmingly anarchic with skittering drumstick beats miked behind angular guitar lines that dead-end into beeps and restarts and the thousandth disco remix. Still, there’s something in the sound that lets you know it wasn’t birthed in some cramped Brooklyn practice space but rather a place of near-constant sun—this is chaos giddy in its self-discovery. MATTHEW KORFHAGE. The Works at Washington High School, 531 SE 14th Ave. 10:30 pm Friday, Sept. 11, with Pictureplane. $8-$10.
“Dance isn’t about just being in the studio,” Seattle choreographer Amy O’Neal explained in an interview with a Washington cable-TV channel. “It’s about...the way you walk down the street, the way you wash your dishes, the way you put your clothing on, the rituals you have to feel like yourself as you go throughout your day.” That viewpoint holds true with Locust, her live/video collaborations with musician Zeke Keeble, which pingpong from pedestrian to fantastical and back again, using everything from live beatbox sessions to scritch-scratching Velcro straps for musical accompaniment. The pair’s new work for this year’s TBA is all about the “notion of being blindsided.” If that means we get to be caught unaware by O’Neal’s sinuous mix of hip-hop and modern dance, that’s just great, thank you very much. KELLY CLARKE. The Works at Washington High School, 531 SE 14th Ave. 6:30 pm Monday-Tuesday, Sept. 7-8. $15-$20.
Explode Into Colors with Janet Pants and Chris Hackett
It’s difficult to classify the sound of local trio Explode Into Colors. Is it dub rock? Basement punk? Gurgling drone-funk? The one thing you can say is that EIC plays dance music—hypnotic, rhythm-heavy tunes that turn any party, from a sweaty basement to a stuffy art gallery, into a swirling mass of moving bodies. So tonight’s collaboration with experimental modern dancer Jane Paik, better known as Janet Pants, and filmmaker Chris Hackett seems born not just of sense but necessity. We’re still not sure exactly what they’re cooking up, but you can be sure it will be a feast for both your eyes and feet. MICHAEL MANNHEIMER. The Works at Washington High School, 531 SE 14th Ave. 10:30 pm Friday, Sept. 4. $10. All ages.
Big, Big Stars
Erased James Franco IMAGE: Courtesy-of-Carter-and-Yvon-Lambert
Carter, Erased James Franco
The best actors make their charades look easy. In Erased James Franco, the ambitious young Milk star turns each gesture into an act of extraordinary difficulty. Sipping a glass of milk, moving a chair, answering the phone: He performs every movement as if OD’ing on heavy sedatives, his underwater motions occasionally disrupted by a rictus of agony. He might be emoting; he might be passing a gallstone. It’s all part of a one-day experiment by one-named multimedia artist Carter, who asked Franco to perform lines from his own movies—Spider-Man and The James Dean Story included—alongside reinterpreted monologues by Julianne Moore and Rock Hudson. If you could tell what movies were being stripped down to performer and script, it would be fascinating. But Carter, inspired by Robert Rauschenberg’s erasing of a Willem de Kooning sketch, pulls the “performances” completely out of context—I think there was some Pineapple Express in there, but I’m not sure—so that the effect is more like hip-hop sampling than anything else. (But with the beats provided by Erik Satie.) It’s an inspired idea, but it’s too fractured to reveal much, other than that Franco’s a good sport. AARON MESH. Northwest Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park Ave. 4:30 pm Sunday, Sept. 6; 8:30 pm Thursday, Sept. 10; and 4:30 pm Sunday, Sept. 13. $6-$7.
Rush-N-Disco (The Works, with Winnipeg Babysitter)
What did half-siblings Greg Arden and Alicia McDaid do before YouTube existed? YouTube is the medium the two use, under the moniker Rush-N-Disco, as the inspiration for their performance works. The Internet is a weird and twisted place, and Rush-N-Disco does something almost blasphemous in yanking it from cyberspace to plunk it on a stage near you. Naked and reimagined, YouTube marvels such as Penny Pearce’s public-access hit “Why Do You Think You Are Nuts?” and the slew of talking cat vids may (be warned) lead to a shattering epiphany of the IRL variety. CAITLIN MCCARTHY. The Works at Washington High School, 531 SE 14th Ave. 11 pm Thursday, Sept. 10. $8-$10.
Afrobeat Tribute to Michael Jackson
There are two reasons to be skeptical about this show, and they’re both pretty knee-jerk: We’re all getting sick of MJ-mania and, in recent years, Afrobeat has been the Auto-Tune of indie-pop, stamping aughts blog bands with a clear expiration date. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, some real talk: Commotion’s Ben Darwish is one of the brightest young stars on the Portland jazz scene, and he loves his pop music as much as anyone. But when he says “Afrobeat,” he doesn’t mean occasional guitar flourishes a la Vampire Weekend or a quick trip to Graceland. No, Darwish, who appears tonight alongside a host of distinguished guests including the great African drummer Neindow Mashud, has studied up on his Fela Kuti and he’s gonna make sure this set is tough, tight and quite possibly tear-jerking for those who miss the respective kings of American and African pop in equal measure. CASEY JARMAN. The Works at Washington High School, 531 SE 14th Ave. 10:30 pm Monday, Sept. 7. $8-$10.
Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People, Last Meadow
James Dean is still cool. Case in point: The brooding man-child is the jumping-off point for New York dance instigator Miguel Gutierrez’s newest work. Last Meadow snatches words and images from Dean’s last three movies (East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant) and reshapes them into a “patchwork that describes an America where the jig is up and the dream has died.” What the hell will this world premiere look like? Not even Gutierrez knows how to explain it: “I think this show will go over really well with people who like to be confused, ” he told WW, before adding that the dance-theater work aims to put the ideas of authenticity and honesty onstage into question. The artist, who has been making increasingly fragmented, experiential and in-your-face pieces of his own since Portland first saw him dance with John Jasperse at TBA in 2001, found the perfect framework for his free-floating themes in Dean after borrowing a double DVD of East of Eden from a friend. The movie wasn’t in the case, but the second disc of outtakes, commentary and extra information was. He found that disconnect intriguing. We’re betting Last Meadow, with original music from Neal Medlyn(!), will be too. KELLY CLARKE. Winningstad Theatre, Portland Center for the Performing Arts, 1111 SW Broadway. 6:30 pm Friday-Sunday, 8:30 pm Monday, Sept. 4-7. $15-$20.
Things That Make Us Deeply Uncomfortable
Small Metal Objects IMAGE: Jeff Busby
Back to Back Theatre, Small Metal Objects
In much of performance art, the point is being smarter than the audience. And in this regard, Small Metal Objects is no exception—it notices things you don’t; people you don’t. The characters in the piece, by Australia’s Back to Back Theatre, are played by performers with developmental or mental disabilities, and their interactions carry them to yet another category of person: the urban passerby. The premise is simple, a drug deal gone bad between business executives and the learning disabled, but it takes place amid unsuspecting crowds in Pioneer Courthouse Square while you, the audience, listen from headphones wired to microphones attached to the actors. Unknowing passersby are allowed to insert themselves into the fabric of the proceedings—perhaps annoyingly, perhaps as distraction; except that much of the point is that no one is distraction. MATTHEW KORFHAGE. Pioneer Courthouse Square, Southwest Morrison Street and Broadway. 6:30 pm Wednesday-Saturday, Sept. 9-12; 12:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 10-12. $20-$25.
Pan Pan Theatre, The Crumb Trail
“Can we live in a world without fairy tales?” So proposes a play that is Hansel and Gretel as experimental, existential calamity, with a backdrop of YouTube clips and Top 40 hits instead of a German forest or gingerbread house. Pan Pan Theatre’s The Crumb Trail is a shrink-wrapped and shredded version of the classic Grimm fairy tale, mashing up modern-day technology with two (count ’em, two) versions of Hamlet’s suicide-pondering soliloquy. The 18-year-old Irish troupe emphasizes experimentation and the international stage; in 2006 it helmed an all-Chinese production of Playboy of the Western World in Mandarin, and The Crumb Trail itself was created and premiered in Germany. It is funniest at its most disarming and iconoclastic: see, for example, Gretel (Aoife Duffin) recalling her father’s death, all intensity and wide eyes, while Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” plays accompaniment. This is its West Coast premiere. CAITLIN MCCARTHY. Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway. 248-4335. 8:30 pm Wednesday, 6:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 9-12. $20-$25.
Young Jean Lee, The Shipment
The last time Portland saw a Young Jean Lee show, at the 2007 TBA Festival, the Korean-American playwright and director was skewering Asian-American bigotry and bigotry directed at Asian-Americans in Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven. In her latest show, Lee goes out on a limb and gives the same treatment to popular (white) stereotypes of black culture: A foul-mouthed stand-up comic longs to move beyond race-related material, but worries that no one wants to hear it; a hapless young rapper encounters drive-by shootings, drug dealers, a “video ho,” prison and eventually success; a cocktail party casually exposes the preconceptions of the audience. Do not miss this one. BEN WATERHOUSE. Gerding Theater, 128 NW 11th Ave., 224-7422. 6:30 pm Friday, noon Saturday, 8:30 pm Sunday, Sept. 4-6. $15-$20.
With the lines of a woodcarving and the palette of a sweets shop left to decay, Winnipeg artist Daniel Barrow’s creations are at once whimsical and morbid. Every Time I See Your Picture I Cry is the mixed archaic-media tale of a garbage man on a mission to pioneer a new kind of phone book, with a page and illustration for each citizen. After sundown, he culls knowledge from detritus and sketches his sleeping subjects; the story is, like Barrow’s art, reluctantly touching. Throw a serial killer into the mix and all bets are off. Barrow presents the story via slide projector and intimate narration. CAITLIN MCCARTHY. Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park Ave. 8:30 pm Monday-Tuesday, 6:30 pm Wednesday, Sept. 7-9. $10-$15.
Ma Qiusha, From No. 4 Pingyuanli to No. 4 Tianqiaobeili
Spilling your guts in front of a video camera is a little like talking with a razor blade on your tongue. And that’s exactly what Ma Qiusha does in this confessional video installation. The twentysomething Chinese artist talks about dealing with her parents’ expectations, the need to prove herself creatively and professionally, and other issues hitting home with her as she tries to make a name for herself as an artist. All the while, the razor blade sits on her tongue, making speech difficult—and dangerous—and providing a Marina Abramovic-like edge that’s unsettling to the viewer. RICHARD SPEER. The Works at Washington High School, 531 SE 14th Ave. Reception 8 pm Thursday, Sept. 3. Exhibit open noon-6:30 pm daily Sept. 4-13; noon-6:30 pm Thursday-Friday, noon-4 pm Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 17-Oct. 18. Free.
Men In Spandex
Death Electric Emo Protest Aerobics
Miguel Gutierrez, Death Electric Emo Protest Aerobics, a.k.a. DEEP Aerobics
Isn’t the name enough to make you want to go? Rest assured that, yes, the New York choreographer-artist-musician is serious. “It’s just me leading this really fucked-up, ridiculous, New Age-y, leftist aerobics class,” Gutierrez says, laughing. “But you have to come in costume.” It turns out Gutierrez actually taught aerobics 17 years ago in San Francisco. “I hated it. I hated being that happy for an hour,” he says. But two years ago, while rehearsing a strenuous piece for a fellow choreographer, he realized he lacked the stamina to perform. “I need to do aerobics to get in shape for this,” he thought at the time. “It would be really fun if an aerobics [class] was just as stupid as it really is.” Video footage confirms the event as a happy-making, rainbow-colored bit of anarchy: The beats are pumping, there’s a girl with an Olivia Newton-John bandana twirling and a guy who looks to have a plush Kermit the Frog toy attached to his green leotard, well, getting DEEP. And really, Gutierrez, who says he wore a piñata on his head to a recent class, doesn’t care what you do as long as you come: “The only thing I care about is that I get credit.” KELLY CLARKE. The Works at Washington High School, 531 SE 14th Ave. 11 pm Wednesday, Sept. 9. $8-$10.
Kalup Linzy is a very strange man. Live, sporting a long, black wig and spandex unitard, he sings absurdist RB songs as his alter ego, Taiwan. On video, he writes, directs and performs all of the parts in a long-running soap opera series titled Conversations Wit de Churen. On paper, he paints crude stick figures with monstrous genitalia cavorting amid amoebalike clouds. The overall effect is deeply disconcerting; despite all the unintelligible muttering and crooning, one senses that Linzy is up to more than meets the eye. He has three projects in this year’s TBA: Screenings of the first seven episodes of Conversations Wit de Churen, a separate screening of the latest episode, and a live concert with Ben Darwish, Sam Howard and Kevin van Geem. BEN WATERHOUSE. Episodes 1-8: Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park Ave. 6:30 pm Saturday, Sept. 5, and Friday, Sept. 11, 2:30 pm Sunday, Sept. 12. $7. Episode 8: The Works at Washington High School, 531 SE 14th Ave. Noon-6:30 pm daily. Free. Live concert: The Works at Washington High School. 10:30 pm Tuesday, Sept. 8.
Neal Medlyn is the boy you stole lunch money from; he’s the guy that performed lip-synced versions of Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock” at the talent show; the one doodling in the back of the class, going prematurely bald. He has also brought Kanye West to tears. Such is the power of a stringy, bespectacled New Yorker, the self-styled “Paris Hilton of performance art,” who stages grand send-ups of (or is it tributes to?) the Top 40 world. His “fifth pop-star opus” is …Her’s a Queen, the first of a two-part saga homing in on Britney Spears and Hannah Montana. Presented in beta for TBA. CAITLIN MCCARTHY. The Works at Washington High School, 531 SE 14th Ave. 10:30 pm Wednesday, Sept. 9. $8-$10.
Stephen Slappe, We Are Legion
OK, including this Web-based art project under the category “Men in Spandex” is a little misleading. The Portland-based multidisciplinary artist Stephen Slappe’s creepily nostalgic online and live album of “contemporary cultural indoctrination”—otherwise known as everybody’s old Halloween photos, also include women in Lycra—not to mention boys in KISS masks, girls with Hello Kitty heads, Darth Vaders, Power Rangers and Freddy Kruegers, too. The artist is setting up stations at the Works during TBA to collect evidence of festgoers’ youthful carousing in person, but you can submit your own photos at welcometothelegion.org right now. Watch Slappe’s slow pan across suburban houses at nighttime with the soundtrack ON. KELLY CLARKE. The Works at Washington High School, 531 SE 14th Ave. Opening reception 8-10:30 pm Thursday, Sept. 3. Exhibit open noon-6:30 pm daily Sept. 4-13. Open noon-6:30 pm Thursdays and Fridays and noon-4 pm Saturdays and Sundays Sept. 17-Oct. 18. Free.