Inuit throat singers, modernist sculptures made of Pontiac cars and elderly Portlanders' sex lives: The Portland Institute for Contemporary Art has announced the line-up for this year's Time-Based Art Festival, which takes place on September 11-21. 

The annual 10-day spree of theater, dance, visual art, film and music (and other things not so easily categorized) is again globe-spanning, but with less emphasis on South America or North Africa than in past years. There are several performers who will be familiar to TBA audiences, including Japanese theater company Chelfitsch and Toronto group Mammalian Diving Reflex, who will be the ones working with those elderly Portlanders to explore, per PICA's press release, "intimacy, age, youth-obsessed culture, and sex." Locals on the lineup include choreographer Tahni Holt, comedian Jason Traeger and perennially popular drag queen Kaj-Anne Pepper, who's hosting his second "post-realness drag ball."

Still uncertain: the location of the Works, the late-night, social hub of the festival. Last year, it took over a former Con-Way warehouse in Northwest Portland, but that building is being torn down to make way for a New Seasons Market. Washington High School, the location for the four years prior, was sold to a development company that plans to lease out creative office and retail spaces. (Update: PICA spokesperson Noelle Stiles says the Works will be located in inner Southeast Portland but declined to say exactly where.)

Here's much of the lineup, with the full schedule for the Works to be announced Aug. 1.


Samita Sinha (NYC), Cipher, September 12-13


Cipher is a journey through a sonic landscape where multi-dimensional vocalist and composer, Samita Sinha channels characters of mythology, electronica (DJ Sharma), North Indian classical music and language to create a vibrational theater of sound. Cipher reveals the self-defining potential embedded in the rupture of self, culture, and language.

Tanya Tagaq (Canada), Tanya Tagaq in concert with Nanook of the North, September 12-13


In this concert for film, Inuit throat singer and tour de force vocalist, Tanya Tagaq reclaims the controversial silent film Nanook of the North. Tagaq's authentic sense of the Arctic creates a powerful soundscape of emotion and pulsing vocals against the backdrop of the film's racially charged clichés. Tagaq frames the vintage semi-documentary of an Inuk family in a revealing contemporary light. 

Eisa Jocson (Philippines), Death of the Pole Dancer & Macho Dancer, September 12-13


Choreographer and dancer Eisa Jocson investigates labour and representations of the dancing body in the service industry, and exposes gender formation, seduction politics, and Filipino social mobility in this evening of two works. 

BodyCartography Project (Minneapolis), Super Nature (an installation), September 12-14


BodyCartography Project's Super Nature is an intimate performance installation for an audience of one. One person and one performer encounter to have the kinesthetic interaction that shapes the performance. The result is distinct singular duets that range from the sublimely subtle to the grand. 

Tahni Holt (Portland), Duet Love, September 13-16


Duet Love performs love, lust and charged energy. Portland choreographer Tahni Holt returns to TBA with her latest work that presents coupled bodies performing around the romantic premise of the "duet". In Duet Love, Holt draws on images of iconic couples to drive an inquiry into how people perform gender.

Tim Hecker (Canada), September 14


Tim Hecker, Canadian-based musician and sound artist, explores the intersection of noise, dissonance and melody, fostering an approach to song craft that is both physical and emotive. Marking Hecker's Portland debut, this rare concert will be an immersive sensory experience.

Luke George (Australia), Not About Face, September 14-18


A choreographic experiment in anonymous intimacy and fake belief, Not About Face questions the nature of the unspoken contracts between performers and audiences, and investigates belief utilizing aspects of the supernatural and spiritual. 

Maya Beiser (NYC), Uncovered, September 15


Uncovered is a concert of startling classic rock songs recontextualized by virtuoso cellist Maya Beiser. Joined by the Portland Cello Project, Beiser juxtaposes classics by Zeppelin, Hendrix, Joplin, AC/DC, and more with Michael Harrison's epic Just Ancient Loops, performed live with a film by Bill Morrison; composer and Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche; and David Lang.

Cynthia Hopkins (NYC), A Living Documentary, September 15-16


A Living Documentary is a raw comedic reflection on the trials of earning a living as a professional theater artist in the 21st century. Intertwining elements of musical comedy, documentary, and fiction, Hopkins' newest theater work intersperses autobiography with portrayals of semi-fictional comedic characters.

Mammalian Diving Reflex  (Toronto), All the Sex I've Ever Had, September 17-20


Mammalian Diving Reflex returns to TBA with All the Sex I've Ever Had. Mammalian directs a group of elderly Portlanders to plunge into provocative uncharted waters with this vulnerable and humorous work that uses their real-life sex stories to examine intimacy, age, youth-obsessed culture, and sex.

Jack Ferver (NYC), Mon, Ma, Mes, September 18-20


In Mon, Ma, Mes, the NYC-based dancer, choreographer, and writer examines the line between the real and fictive in a disarming retrospective of his life and work. At first presented as a solo lecture-performance, Ferver scrutinizes his life as an artist through a stylized question and answer session then performs excerpts of his early works while deconstructing them with humor and vulnerability.  

Halory Goerger and Antoine Defoort (France), GERMINAL, September 18-19 


In GERMINAL, French artists Halory Goerger and Antoine Defoort create one of the most talked-about recent works of contemporary international theater.GERMINAL asks, if we had the opportunity to start the world from scratch, how would we do it? This work smartly dismantles theatrical conventions as a metaphor for human evolution.

Paul Clipson and Liz Harris, HYPNOSIS DISPLAY, September 20 


HYPNOSIS DISPLAY is an original live sound and 16mm film collaboration between experimental vocalist and musician Grouper (Liz Harris) and filmmaker Paul Clipson. Utilizing a slipstream of sound and imagery from the vast natural and urban landscapes of America, HYPNOSIS DISPLAY envelopes viewers in deeply felt connections to landscape, environment, and place.

chelfitsch (Japan), Ground and Floor, September 19-21


In Ground and Floor, chelfitsch and acclaimed playwright Toshiki Okada take the audience on an in-depth exploration into theater, music, and the dream-like realms of fiction. Influenced by the devastating Tohoku Earthquake of 2011 and the resulting impacts on Japanese society, Ground and Floor is a narrative of the dead and the living played out on the stage of a “Japan in the not-too-distant future.” 

TBA:14 VISUAL ART: "As round as an apple, As deep as a cup"

"As round as an apple, As deep as a cup" is a group of projects, perhaps an exhibition, maybe a poem.  The presentations are not odes to something… the artists may or may not be poets, but all of it is OF poetry. For sure the installations, performances, and publications produced will rely on poetics… the study of how different parts come together, contributing to the never-ending search for “subject.”  I hope that the endeavor feels like this. Like a thing broken apart and then put together again in the mouth—made real by reading it out loud. The projects are meant to behave like the carefully chosen discordant words in a certain kind of poem. The kind of poem that is a problem to ponder." - Kristan Kennedy

TBA VISUAL ART is curated by Kristan Kennedy. As round as an apple, As deep as a cup projects are free and open to the public from September 11 to October, 2014. Various closing dates:

Aki Sasamoto (NYC), Skewed Lies

“This is a story about mosquitos and how much I hate them.” Aki Sasamoto presents a two night  performance installation. 

Emily Roysdon (Sweden), Uncounted Futures


An exhibition and performance that addresses the embodiment of time.

Jennifer West (CA), Flashlight Filmstrip Projections 


Jennifer West launches the first of her new pre-post fragmented cinematic environments where viewers are invited into an environment of flashlights, project filmstrips, images, and shadows.

Jesse Sugarmann (CA), We Build Excitement

Assembling temporary modernist monuments with Pontiac cars, Sugarmann gives form to the precarious nature of the auto industry and our intimate relationships to cars. 


Lisa Radon (Portland), INFINITY INCREASER


A charged site. Ways and means. “...various little ways of changing things.” 

MSHR (Portland), Resonant Entity Modulator


MSHR presents a cybernetic system of hand built analog synthesizers and hieroglyphic sculptures. Light, sound, and shape are pulled through feedback eddies as the system unfolds. Visitors become part of the feedback cycle, steering a course through ritual space with intentional engagement and ambient presence. 


THE WORKS is where TBA goes after dark. Where artists wind down with a drink, and where dance parties dissolve into the night sky. Rock shows, drag balls, installations, sonic experiments, TBA Kitchen, mock reality TV shows, and more. Ten nights of experimental happenings, performance, music, and film. It's an after-party where everyone's invited, a  moonlit summer nitery, a warehouse venue that transforms with each new day. 

Pepper Pepper 

CRITICAL MASCARA "A Post-Realness Drag Ball"

Critical Mascara "A Post-Realness Drag Ball" returns to the TBA stage with a much anticipated sequel evening of fabulousness and extravaganza.CRITICAL MASCARA features some of the Pacific Northwest's most courageous talents all competing to win 666$ in a queer driven dance-off drag spectacular! Hosted by the one and only Pepper Pepper with celebrity judges, and wrapping up with a raucous late-night dance party for all! 

Larry/Laura Arrington, SQUART!

Instigated as a DIY project by San Francisco performance-maker, Laura Arrington, SQUART! (Spontaneous Queer Art) gathers performers to create work in a few short hours  framed through the usurped imitation of a reality TV show. An open call is made, folks sign-up, those folks/performers/artists show up a few hours before the show, are divided into random teams, given a list of criteria and a few hours to make a piece. Register to perform or just come to watch the madness!

Wanna participate as a performer/artist (self-define folks!), email:

Please include your name, email, phone number. We'll you send you all the deets.

Oneohtrix Point Never

Oneohtrix Point Never, aka acclaimed experimental composer Daniel Lopatin, takes the audience on an odyssey through his latest work R Plus Seven. Hypnotic and unexpected in equal measure, R Plus Seven is full of satisfyingly complex sonic puzzles.

Chanticleer Trü, Evelyn

Closing night at THE WORKS lights up the sky with an explosion of a million stars. Enter the world of Evelyn. Evelyn is a feeling… Evelyn is a nightlife event and performance art mash-up where revelers are encouraged to become part of the piece. It is a night of music, performance, and celebration. 

Christopher Sutton, RE: Disc Cover

RE: Disc Cover is part performance, dissertation, and dance party based on artist Christopher Sutton's lifelong journey as a collector of 12" vinyl. Joined live by the psychedelic sounds of Oven, Sutton highlights records that have influenced him and history against the backdrop of projected cover art that spans the history of modern recorded music.


Taking inspiration from his internationally recognized blog, Portland Stand-up Comedy Photo Album, artist and comic Jason Traeger will host an evening of boundary pushing stand-up comedy featuring some of his favorite funny people from Portland and beyond.