A chronicle of Portland’s musical vortex

I was lucky enough to pick up a free copy of Vortex Music Magazine at a tattoo parlor on Foster. I found valuable connections and insight into music less than 30 years old which I simply don’t have.  I also found wisdom; scan following of Fred Cole’s Indie Rock Dos & Donts:

cole dos donts

The article in Issue 15 is a memorial to Portland band Dead Moon.  Drummer Andrew Loomis died of lymphoma on March 8, 2016.  Fred Cole was front man and guitarist. His death on November 9, 2017- also by cancer – was reported in an obituary in the New York Times.  A separate Vortex article spoke convincingly about the importance of community.

Women Olympians: Reimagining Greek Vases

As a rule, women were excluded from participation in society of ancient Greece outside the home.  There are a very few individual exceptions.  For a few years in the 6th century BCE there were the  Heraean Games, dedicated to goddess Hera. They were the first official women’s athletic competition to be held in the Olympic stadium at Elis. Spartan women were more highly esteemed than in the rest of Greece; they were not prevented from learning hunting, riding and other physical activities; they were encouraged to take part in the same physical activities as their male counterparts.

By 396 BCE Olympic rules were relaxed just enough to allow women to compete in the less-esteemed equestrian events. Cynisca – a Spartan woman – won the four-horse chariot race twice, in 396 as well as 392 BC and in doing so became the first woman champion of the Olympics.

Male participation in the Olympics is a frequent subject in the decoration of classical Greek vases.  Shown below is an exception to the rule, a vase from the  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, labeled ‘Jar (stamnos) with female athletes bathing’, dated 440-430 BC.

Karen Chernick of Hypoallergic describes how  Mary Frances Dondelinger was inspired to expand upon this dearth in the archaeological record:

Two years ago, Mary Frances Dondelinger, a conceptual artist, stumbled across a website claiming that then-First Lady Michelle Obama was a man. Simultaneously horrified and intrigued, she was amazed at how easy it was to pass off fiction as reality. The encounter inspired her to create a new series. She aimed to one-up online fabrications by inventing a wildly alternative history of ancient art. …
The resulting series, titled M.Flandia (a composite of the artist’s first two initials and the word ‘land’), consists of new pottery designed to look like a cache of recently-excavated vases, bowls, and statues.

women olympians

Comix have power

I feel vindicated and less alone.  I’ve been pushing my agenda – sometimes furtively, sometimes stridently:  Comics have unique powers of expression – aesthetic and polemical. They can be directed in many ways that can’t be matched by blogs, articles, documentaries or single-panel posters.  ‘Nuff said about that. Iris Flores reports in Hyperallergic:

The worlds of surveillance, journalism, and comics come together in Verax: The True History of Whistleblowers, Drone Warfare, and Mass Surveillance: A Graphic Novel, a recent piece of comics journalism by cartoonist Khalil Bendib and journalist Pratap Chatterjee.

The review examines the advantages that comics have over straight print journalism and documentaries and the accessibilityof Verax in particular.

Verax shows how compelling the comics medium can be as a platform for journalism. Documentary films, like Poitras’s Citizenfourtransport the viewer into the scene in a way that cannot be achieved in text-based newspaper articles or even long-form reports — a picture is worth a thousand words, after all. However, documentaries are at a disadvantage when reporting on events that the camera did not or could not capture. Verax doesn’t have this problem because comics are able to present images from any time and place. Even when real events are not on record, they still happened and can be represented.
verax-220-221-720x490
 A two-page spread illustrating the monstrous reach of the intelligence-military-industrial complex in chapter 17 of Verax (all images courtesy Metropolitan Books):  Hyperallergic

Don’t forget the Event Horizon comic contest.

 

Decolonization and its Brooklyn poster child

Whoa.  Brooklyn Museum is taking the heat.  Museums as a group comprise a formidable – and vulnerable – institution.  Museums are defacto caretakers and interpreters of our collective art history and  our cultural consciousness.  Big responsibility; a slippery slope. The conflicts that have existed since inception are no longer being ignored. There are scores to be settled and debts to be paid.  Among the grievances, the stridency of the correctness police, the historical record and the tone of the times there is a thread of justice that must be found.  Decolonization – plus Restitution and Repatriation – are the dues that eventually must be brought current.

Nineteen signatories are demanding action from the museum on at least seven particulars.  The signers are: Decolonize This Place, Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network (BAN), Flower Lovers Against Corruption (FLAC), Equality for Flatbush (E4F), Movement to Protect the People (MTOPP), Mi Casa No Es Su Casa: Illumination Against Gentrification, NYC Stands with Standing Rock, Black Youth Project 100, Eagle & Condor Community Center, Bronx Social Center, Chinatown Art Brigade, Dancing for Justice, El Salón, Free University-NYC, Global Ultra Luxury Faction (G.U.L.F.), Occupy Museums, People’s Cultural Plan, Take Back The Bronx, W.A.G.E.

Hyperallergic

brooklyn museum

Ozette – “The Pompeii of America”

I was off the grid for a few days.  Caught up on some reading and learned about the “Pompeii of America”.  There is an archaeological site now stewarded by the Makah Cultural and Research Center at Neah Bay on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. The Ozette site was a Makah village inhabited continuously for 2000 years and inundated by a calamitous mudslide. Radiocarbon dating places the slide 500 +/- 50 years ago, which “buried six longhouses and their respective contents, locking the pre-contact wooden and wood-based artifacts in a shroud of mud.”  This anaerobic seal preserved the longhouses and 55000 artifacts that have so far been recovered at the site.

I call my off-grid excursion a “vision quest” – a hyperbolic allusion to the Native American tradition of solitary spiritual reflection, isolated in austere circumstances, sometimes to identify a personal spirit animal.  I am planning my next vision quest for the Olympic Peninsula.ozette relic

Cartoon/Comix Contest. Deadline Extended! ~May 15

Pictorial Art and Story Contest

Event Horizon announces the Event Horizon Pictorial Contest; a pictorial art and story contest to encourage submissions in manga, graphic novel or comic book formats.  There will be at least one prize of $100.  There is a $5 entry fee to fund the prizes.  Second and third prizes may be created – award to be determined.  Stories and art should take  a minimum of two pages and a maximum of 10.  Page format is 8.5 x 11 inches; see back issues for examples.  The deadline for submitting entries is extended to May 15.

Contest winners will be featured in Issue 4 which comes out in mid-June. As usual, you do not have to pay a fee to be considered for publication in Event Horizon.  Your paid contest entry will be featured in Issue 4.  Please provide a 3rd person bio for both writer and artist as needed.

comic contest ad anthony

 

“Sondra Perry’s First Solo European Show Engulfs Visitors in Turner’s ‘The Slave Ship'”

This announcement caught my eye because I was intimately familiar with the painting, The Slave Ship by JMW Turner.  I used it in a PowerPoint in US History when we studied Middle Passage and the slave trade.  Words can only go so far. A teacher will stretch to provide meaning in the face of the ineffable.

 “.. The Slave Ship  (was) originally titled “Slavers Throwing overboard the Dead and Dying — Typhoon coming on. Sondra Perry, an African American artist who uses open source digital software to create video installations, takes the title of her first solo European show from Turner’s painting.”

Typhoon Coming On by Sondra Perry can be seen at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London until May 20.

Hyperallergic

Slave-ship-720x541

 

A glimmer of hope for poets

The blog site Submittable sympathizes with you – even a Genius Award winner took 30 years to get a poem to be accepted by The New Yorker.   Another widely published and honored poet got two poems accepted by Poetry in a ten-year stretch.  “Partly, this is a numbers game. Rattle, for instance, provides submissions statistics on their website—they receive 120,000 poems per year, of which they only publish 250.”  I sympathize with you also.  Keep trying.  “So with the unreachables out of the way, where can poets and writers find venues for their work?”  Submittable has a list of 10 possible alternatives to Poetry, Threepenny Review or The New Yorker.  Number 11, send your poetry to Event Horizon.

beachcombing

As I’m sure I’ve told you, I am a shameless scavenger of the public domain.  I discovered a newsletter, The Public Domain Review, and was delighted to find my first issue today.  Included here is a shared print just for the hell of it, Fukami Jikyu In Moonlight.  It is a woodblock print by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, ca 1887.

fukami in moonlight