What to See at TBA:15

[Originally published for Noise & Color PDX, September 9, 2015]

As the air cools and the autumnal equinox shimmers on the horizon, Portland is once again preparing for the last hurrah of the summer: PICA’s Time-Based Art Festival. One of the most internationally-inclusive and important art events of the calendar year, this iteration of TBA promises to make good on the precedence set by its predecessors with a robust array of performance, dance, and music coupled with a visual arts program curated by Kristan Kennedy entitled Pictures of the Moon with Teeth.

In advance of further coverage by the Noise & Color team, this preview will point out a few of the events that are really piquing our interest and making it hard for us to wait until next week. (Note: While you can pick up tickets for individual events, if you’re interested in multiple TBA:15 happenings, consider the Enthusiast Pass, which is a pretty great deal.)


Combining an interest in memory and improvisation with feelings on melancholy and mourning, Portland-based artist Lucy Yim presents a solo work of sound and movement. Part of the performance collective Physical Education, this piece questions the body of the performer as it relates to dance and the private and public spaces it inhabits.

PNCA Mediatheque, 9/12, 9/13, 9/14, 6:30PM, $12 Member/$15 General (tickets here)


In this magical realist production, Quesne presents a band of metalheads bent on building a theme park centered around the pillars of hard rock. A visual artist and designer of stage and opera sets, Quesne’s practice immerses the actors in evolving tableaus that envelop and enhance.

PSU Lincoln Hall, 9/17 & 9/18, 8:30PM, $24 Member/$30 General (tickets here)


Former frontman of the experimental music group Battles, Braxton is also a prolific composer and performer. For TBA he will be performing works off of his solo album HIVE1 that feature modular synthesizer and sampled sounds.

PSU Lincoln Hall, 9/13, 8:30PM, $20 Member/$25 General (tickets here)


Responding to their environments through musical experimentation and the manipulation of sound, Aki Onda and Akio Suzuki use instruments purpose-built for their explorations. These two Japanese sound artists come together to perform a duet focusing on everyday objects and electronic noise.

Akio Suzuki is also included in the Visual Arts portion of TBA.

Disjecta, 9/13, 8:30PM, $12 Member/$15 General, Reservations Required (tickets here)


Combining vocal harmonies, stringed instruments, drones and drums with a mission to bring Ukrainian music to the world, this quartet treads the line between punk aesthetics and experimental composing. Swathed in the musical history of their homeland, the members of DakhaBrakha draw equally from contemporary society as they do from traditional village life.

PSU Lincoln Hall, 9/19, 8:30PM, $20 Member/$25 General (tickets here)


This year’s Visual Arts program at is curated once again by PICA’s own Kristan Kennedy. Entitled ‘Pictures of the Moon with Teeth’, it strays from the strictly visual and includes audio, visual, and performative works. Among the projects presented, pulsating LEDs bring a temporal quality to the words of Bertolt Brecht (Tannaz Farsi’s And Others), while Karl Larsson (along with Morgan Ritter, Pascal Prosek and Container Corps) take on the text of H.P. Lovecraft’s Commonplace.


The hot spot for daytime and after-hours events, The Works takes up residence this year in The Redd (831 SE Salmon). Be sure to stop by for opening night, where a who’s-who of Portland’s art world will be rubbing elbows with visiting performers and all of you! (Tickets for all The Works events are available at this link.)

Just a selection of the events happening at this central hub:

Thursday, 9/10: Opening Night w/ Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks (FREE!)

Sunday, 9/13: S1 Night with Zola Jesus DJ set

Monday, 9/14: Ten Tiny Dances ($8 Standing Room)

Wednesday, 9/16: Beacon Sound Night w/ Bardo:Basho, Benoit Pioulard, Apartment Fox

Nightly: Tap Takeovers by Fort George, Burnside Brewing, Ecliptic and more!

For further information on TBA, including passes, locations and times, visit: pica.org/tba