Each September, before fall arrives but its chill hits the air, Portland is infused with the energy of a community of artists participating in the Time-Based Art Festival. Presented by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, TBA seeks to activate the city with cutting-edge live performances, workshops, installations and whatever else can be conjured. There are almost too many events for one person to visit during its run from Sept. 6-16. But here are five we're most looking forward to that push art past its norms and beyond any one genre.
Following the deadly Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, Calif. two years ago, many DIY art spaces have been forced to reevaluate, relocate and in some cases shutter completely. Experimental performance lab and synth library S1 remains committed to sharing its programming as these already rare resources become all the more scarce. Past and present artists in residence will be highlighted, including The Creatrix (San Francisco), Isabella (Boston) and Decorum (Portland). Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, 15 NE Hancock St., pica.org/tba. 10 pm Friday, Sept. 7. $5-$15 (sliding scale).
An old mill along the Willamette will host Ann Hamilton's habitus, a display inspired by one of the earliest human technologies: cloth making. The giant undertaking includes a field of suspended curtains manipulated by rope and pulley or the wind coming off the river, meant to illustrate the interactions between nature and culture. At the center of the piece is a model of Portland in the 1970s surrounded by shelves that contain literary excerpts on the topics of dwelling, shelter and sanctuary. Centennial Mills, 1362 NW Naito Pkwy, pica.org/tba. 3-7 pm Friday-Sunday, Sept. 7-9 and Sept. 14-16. Free.
Fin de Cinema: Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast
Often the most unique aspect of each year's TBA is the interdisciplinary work that crosses artistic boundaries. Fin de Cinema, a recurring live film score series curated by Gina Altamura of Holocene, certainly represents that. This time around the film is Jean Cocteau's 1946 adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. With source material rife with emotion and grandeur, the evening's performers have a lot to work with as they improvise a live score to the cinematic classic, exploring its timeless themes in a modern style. Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, 15 NE Hancock St., pica.org/tba. 10 pm Monday, Sept. 10. $5-$15 (sliding scale).
Another performance seeing its West Coast debut at TBA, Sanity TV seeks to explore the malleable relationship between identity, authority, communication and even sanity via a fictional, surrealist talk show. Artist Autumn Knight's interactive episodes challenge the audience's position and perspective as guests. Pacific Northwest College of Art, 511 NW Broadway, Room 107, pica.org/tba. 6:30 pm Thursday-Friday, Sept. 13-14. $0-$15 (sliding scale).
Andrew Schneider's last mind-blowing experiment, YOUARENOWHERE, landed the artist coast-to-coast accolades and an Obie Award. This time around, the interactive-electronics performer will be providing an experience so immersive, it borders on hallucinatory. This West Coast premiere features bodies and props that appear and disappear. Total darkness enshrouds audience and performer alike. Your senses begin to play tricks on you. It's all part of what happens after life, encouraging the audience to examine death and what happens before a person stops breathing. Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 SW Park Ave., pica.org/tba. 8:30 pm Friday-Saturday, Sept. 14-15. $20-$25.