T:BA Day 1 | Refreshingly Inclusive

refreshingly inclusive

Last night, the 11th Annual Time-Based Art Festival had its kickoff. I picked up my media pass at the box office located next to PICA headquarters around 4 pm yesterday. It is worth commenting on their pricing. As large scale multi-venue festivals are concerned, and for what T:BA offers, passes are definitely fairly priced, plus an array of options are available for those . Volunteers are in great quantity and it’s a simple, low-commitment way to gain access. I am a volunteer blogger, myself, though I act independently. Their online box office is here. Their physical box office is at 415 SW 10th Ave.

I took the opportunity to go upstairs, through the Resource Room and in to the gallery, to see Anna Craycroft’s work. It is the culmination of a residency that started in June. I had attended one of the related C’mon Language events, specifically with legal-philanthropist Kohel Haver, but the series of talks, performances, and art-making sessions were far more extensive than I had realized. The emerging field of Social Practice influences her work, a fast-growing approach to art with the responsibility of the artist expressed and community utilized as a medium itself.

Having not the funds available to me for the purpose of supporting PICA at the Annual Dinner, I did get a chance to see it taking place in the outdoor seating area of the Con-Way building, where the dinner and all of The Works are held, at 2170 NW Raleigh St. The fundraiser was clearly a success, with all rows of seating filled. I would imagine that it provides the necessary operating capital to make it through the next two weeks—the most taxing two weeks of the fiscal year, no doubt.

The Works finally opened to the expected packed house, with lines for booze running across the hall.

As I am writing while referencing www.pica.org, it has crashed; signaling possibly that the site exceeded its maximum capacity for web traffic. Fortunately, I had cached the pages already that I need to share with you.

Julie Ruin was the opening night act, along with a Rock and Roll Camp for Girl’s band that I had failed to note by name. They were charming and impressive at the age of 15 and 16. I am increasingly falling out of favor with rock bands, however, though I still appreciate the energy and what it stands for. I am losing interest in the sound, as it is losing new territory for expression. But it was a unifying factor anyway. Some contemporary electro band wouldn’t celebrate the values of T:BA in the same way that Julie Ruin does. But I look forward to some heavy-electro at The Works coming up too.

The Works itself is a great improvement. Washington High School was amazing in many respects, but only now do I see the great value in keeping visual art decentralized and The Works in a more open space.

Firstly, the space is perfect. WHS led to child-like cliquish behavior because of all the pockets and entanglements of that building, moreover the reminder of childhood always present there. In this big open space, I ran in to and enjoyed conversations with old friends and new strangers. The opportunity for social engagement is far more inviting this year. What does that say about the social paradigm created by modern school architecture? That is another article entirely.

The outdoor space for food and drink is very welcoming and capable of serving far more attendees without overcrowding. It’s almost like an old public house. Of course, the downside will be the inevitable middle-of-the-week ticketed show that draws only a fraction of this audience and that large vacuous space could challenge that sense of a shared room.

Come to think of it, my entire experience was more welcoming and transparent than ever before. The Anna Craycroft installation and the artist talks are in public areas provided by PICA, in total view of their official offices–not to mention the Resource Room. The box office includes a waiting area and various literature for enjoyment. There is a complete info table at The Works, spreading literature about the arts indiscriminately.

Yesterday kicked off The Works and the Visual Art program. Today kicks off the Performance program. As I have a fluid way of attending and reporting on these events, my itinerary will change, but most likely, expect a report tomorrow on Campo, Trajal Harrell, and Peter Burr.

My desire is to grab a view interviews and post them via youtube and soundcloud. I have a feeling that The Works will actually help to enable this. Wish me luck.




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