Recognizing a vital need for affordable creative space, the City of Portland and Commissioner Nick Fish, in partnership with Portland Parks & Recreation, have decided to award Future Prairie a grant of studio space so our artists can develop, create, and experiment with new work. We'll be making and sharing at the Multnomah Arts Center. We are excited to share this resource! Please let us know if you have ideas about how best to utilize the space and uplift our community.
In our second-to-last episode of season one of our podcast, musician and mathematician Vivian Tylinska discusses her Russian futurist-inspired transcendental black metal project, Victory Over the Sun.
"I like to make music that is complicated...to use math, to use the ideas that were developing in the 20th century in classical music using the language of metal. There is definitely correlation between math and music in terms of music being sets of pictures, the frequencies, the way elements interact. Over the last year, I’ve been very interested in microtonal music, which uses notes that are not the 12 notes that are most common in Western music. We get different relationships between tones, which gives you different flavors and qualities of chords. That can give you very different range of emotional feelings that don't exist in Western music. There's math in that, the way that you choose the notes, the way that you arrange things.
Rhythmically, there are also complicated rhythms that have more large scale structures. What I've been doing this year is, I will take off the frets on a guitar and fill them in and cut new frets in. I use 17 tones instead of the usual 12. You get different flavors. 17 is nice because you can do similar stuff that you can in 12 but there are alien sounds, there are foreign and dissonant sounding intervals, which I think are really interesting. Whenever I show people microtonal music, at first, they’re like, 'This just sounds bad and out of tune.' I’m like, 'No, but it's a different tune!'
My solo project is called Victory Over the Sun, which is the name of a Russian futurist opera from 1917. It's designed by this Soviet artist, Kazimir Malevich with text by other Russian futurists. I've been very interested in Russian futurism. Italian futurism was closely associated with fascism, which I absolutely condemn; I have no interest in Italian futurism. Russian futurism is what fascinates me most. I am working on a new project about Kazimir Malevich called 'The Objectless World', based on his ideas about art as pure emotional expression and a non-objective representation of feeling."
Hear the whole podcast episode on iTunes or SoundCloud: Future Prairie Radio Season 1 Episode 11: Victory Over the Sun.
For our latest podcast episode, we interviewed ceramicist Jackie Gow. Jackie makes narrative, symbolic ceramic art as well as laser-etched tableware and planters. She’s a student of International Migration and Public Policy at The London School of Economics and Political Science and previously worked on the Family Reunification Program for the International Rescue Committee, where she represented and advocated for her clients’ human rights.
We visited Jackie at her art studio in what used to be the immigration building of Seattle. Jackie’s art is quite relevant to discussions of the future as we grapple with a federal government shutdown while divisive rhetoric around the potential construction of a southern border wall rages on. We can’t have sensible discussions around options for our future without looking, at least in part, through the lens of the past, and ceramics are one of humanity’s oldest art forms. Jackie spoke about her art practice, the American dream, sustainability in ceramics, and her favorite form of tableware, a hybrid of a bowl and a plate that helps reduce food waste and is suitable for meals from many different cultures and cuisines.
Given her passion for human rights and migration policy, we released her interview on the 74th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. After the interview, in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we share a few fundamentals of universal human rights.
Hear the whole episode here.
See more of Jackie's work here.
Last night was by far the best variety show we've hosted thus far. We had a packed lineup of artists who were excited to showcase new work on our theme of "New Year, Old You". Our inspiration was dancing into the new year, drawing from our histories, calling on our past, dredging up what we want to carry forward and honoring what we are ready and wiling to leave behind.
We enjoyed an opening invocation by Reema Zaman, musical performances from Joni Renee Whitworth, Maiah Wynne, Layla Laubach, and Whisper Hiss, live oil painting by Jasmine Co, spoken word by Julia Laxer, Nastashia Minto, Tucker Garcia, Kalong Wong, and Meron Medhanie, an inspirational lecture by Natalie Rose Baldwin, and a beautiful burlesque dance by Evelyn R-w.
This was the first show we've held that was sold out. That meant that we were able to compensate our artists much more than we usually can. In our industry it is rare to be fairly paid, perhaps rarest of all for poets. We are pleased to be paying emerging and under-represented artists because we believe art is important to the health and happiness of a community. Thank you for your support as we continue to learn and grow.
For the latest episode of Future Prairie Radio, we interviewed artist, illustrator, and GIF queen Courtney Brendle. Courtney discusses GIFs, the future of visual communication, using art to make tech more human, and of course, how to make a GIF.
Check out the whole thing on iTunes and SoundCloud: Future Prairie Radio Season 1 Episode 9: A Thousand Words with Courtney Brendle.
See more of Courtney’s work here.
This past Wednesday, Future Prairie and Questions About Everything trivia hosted a benefit for the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, and it was a packed house! Several Future Prairie artists donated their art to the raffle. The talented Maiah Wynne performed while everyone scoped out the amazing prizes and assembled their teams to see who knew the most about current events, history, and pop culture. It was a tough competition, but in the end, Pier’s team won by one point!
We raised over $800, all of which will go directly to help the important work that IRCO does to provide immigrants and refugees with the cultural and linguistic social services they need to become self-sufficient and empowered members of our community. If you missed out on this particular event but are interested in donating/helping a fantastic organization, click here to be whisked away to the IRCO’s site.
Big shout out to Portland Mercado for being the perfect spot for such an event. La Arepa made delicious food and gave it out for free to all of our event attendees, which was so kind of them.
Thank you to our sponsors: Risa Lichtman, Mali Fischer, Heart Roasters, Little Bird, Kathleen Boudwin, Best Friend Juice + Espresso, Airbnb, Never Coffee, B-Movie Bingo, Infinite Companion, Katie Mudd Mugs, Xocotl, and Mob Cycle.
Thank you as well to our all-volunteer team: Jake Dockter, Rachael Elston, Rachel Reid, and Brittany Galvan.
Hope to see you all at the next event.
A short film made by Future Prairie artists was featured today on Film Pulse Selects!
Film Pulse is a film news site that brings a fresh and unique voice to film reporting and filmmaking commentary, exposing its readers and listeners to new and innovative films and filmmaking from around the world.
See the whole feature here.
Amber Case is an artist and designer who studies the interaction between humans and computers.
Amber looks at how our relationship with information is changing the way cultures think and act, and how they understand their worlds. Amber's work in the field of cyborg anthropology and user experience design led to a two-year fellowship at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and the MIT Center for Civic Media. Amber is the author of two books: “Designing with Sound” and “Calm Technology: Design for the Next Generation of Devices”. Amber’s TED talk, “We are all cyborgs now,” has been viewed over one million times. Amber was featured among Fast Company’s Most Influential Women in Technology in 2010, was the co-founder of a location-based software company acquired in 2012, was named one of National Geographic’s Emerging Explorers and was listed among Inc. Magazine’s 30 under 30.
Along this journey, just for fun, Amber founded CyborgCamp, a conference on the future of humans and computers. I caught up with Amber there, at the tenth anniversary of CyborgCamp, where we stole some moments away in a sunny corner of a little classroom. We enjoyed a wide-ranging discussion on career, creativity, class, the theory of time, and time management.
Listen to the whole episode here.
Find out more about Amber here.
We have been accepted into an arts mentorship program with Northwest Oregon’s Regional Arts & Culture Council, and I’ve begun the lengthy process of establishing Future Prairie, not as an LLC, but as a formal non-profit with the mission of developing emerging and under-represented artists. We’re going to need a lot of help from our community as we strategize development and finalize our 501c3 documentation. If you or someone you know is interested in helping out, either as a volunteer or as a board member, please get in touch!