Time-Based Art Festival

The Time-Based Art Festival (TBA, sometimes stylized T:BA) is an annual interdisciplinary art and performance festival presented by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA). It occurs over a ten-day period each September in Portland, Oregon.

About the Festival

According to PICA, the TBA Festival is:[1]

a convergence of contemporary performance, dance, music, new media, and visual arts projects that draws artists from across the country and around the globe. TBA celebrates artists from across and in-between all mediums, and activates the entire community with art and ideas. PICA presents a festival that bridges disciplines and geography with morning workshops, daytime installations, noontime lectures, afternoon salons, evening performances, outdoor happenings, and no shortage of late-night activity. Contemporary masters and significant emerging artists mix and mingle to bring you the best art of our time.
PICA Announces the 2010 Time-Based Art Festival, PICA Blog, http://urbanhonking.com/pica/2010/04/28/pica_announces_the_2010_timeba/, April 28, 2010.

TBA is "inspired by various European and Australian-modeled Festivals including the renowned Edinburgh and Adelaide Festivals" and features events in diverse venues across the city of Portland, OR, through partnerships with the Pacific Northwest College of Art, Reed College, Northwest Film Center, and many other local peer institutions.

Origins of the Name

The term Time-Based Media (and Time-Based Art) was first introduced by UK video art pioneer David Hall in 1972 through his writings in various publications including Studio International. He also established the first Time-Based Media undergraduate course at the University for the Creative Arts, Kent, UK in 1972 (then Maidstone College of Art). Use of the term has since rapidly spread around the world—particularly among academics—to identify moving image and sound work by visual artists, a popular development which arose comparatively recently in the mid- to late-twentieth century.[2]


The first TBA Festival occurred in 2003; it was curated by Kristy Edmunds, who founded PICA in 1995. As artistic director of the PICA, Edmunds curated the TBA Festival through 2005, when she left Portland for Australia, to direct the Melbourne International Arts Festival.

In 2006, PICA adopted a Guest Artistic Director model, hiring Mark Russell—former Artistic Director of P.S. 122 and current Artistic Director of the Under the Radar Festival at the Public Theater, in New York City—to curate the Festival from 2006 to 2008. Russell was succeeded by Cathy Edwards, formerly of Dance Theater Workshop and the Director of Programming for the International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven, CT, who curated the 2009, 2010, and 2011 Festivals. In 2011, PICA hired Angela Maddox as the organization's first resident Artistic Director since Edmunds' departure.

The Artistic Director programs festival artists and events in collaboration with the organization's Visual Art Curator Kristan Kennedy and Performing Art Program Director Erin Boberg Doughton. Since 2006, the Festival has included a month-long series of visual art installations, curated by Kennedy, often encampassed under the banner of "The Works"—events and exhibitions specifically held at the festival's central location.[3][4]

Previous TBA Festivals


The inaugural Time-Based Art Festival (curated by Kristy Edmunds) was held September 12–21, 2003, and featured an opening night dance by Japanese duo Eiko and Koma in Jamison Square, along with performances by Bill Shannon (Crutchmaster), Tere O'Connor, and Miranda July.[5] The late-night component of the festival, known as the Machineworks Cabaret Stage, was hosted out of the then-under-development Machineworks building in Northwest Portland's Pearl District.


In 2004, the second year of the TBA Festival, which took place September 10–19, featured performances by Diamanda Galas, Khaela Maricich (The Blow), Ethel, Butoh artist Akira Kasai, and dance/theater company 33 Fainting Spells.[6] The 2004 TBA Festival was rebranded by a team at Wieden+Kennedy, introducing the festival's recognizable pocketable "guidebook" and logo with its trademark time separators.


The 2005 Time-Based Art Festival (September 9–18, 2005) marked PICA’s 10th Anniversary and the departure of the founding Artistic Director, Kristy Edmunds. Over 6,000 people attended the free, opening night performance by Elizabeth Streb in Pioneer Courthouse Square. Artists included DJ Spooky, Daniel Bernard Roumain, and British duo Lone Twin.[7]


The 2006 TBA Festival (September 7–17) was Mark Russell's first as Guest Artistic Director. The events began with a multiple guitar orchestra led by John King in Pioneer Courthouse Square, which led into a public march across the Hawthorne Bridge to watch an art flotilla by artist David Eckard on the Willamette River. Other performers included seminal performance artist Laurie Anderson, choreographer Deborah Hay, the Spalding Gray Project, and the Portland premiere of Nature Theater of Oklahoma. Visual art joined the Festival for the first time with a residency project by Matthew Day Jackson, a film installation by Marina Abramović, and an exhibit by Harrell Fletcher.[8]


The fifth-annual TBA Festival, guest curated by Russell, was held from September 6–16, 2007. Composer Rinde Eckert led the Portland Flash Choir in an original choral performance about migratory birds, held in Pioneer Courthouse Square, Mikhail Baryshnikov danced with Donna Uchizono Company, and Elevator Repair Service performed Gatz, a seven-hour play based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. The ON SIGHT visual art program exhibited Arnold Kemp, Larry Bamburg, and Guido van der Werve, and collaborated with the Cooley Gallery at Reed College to present Peter Kreider and Marko Lulic.[9]


Russell's third and final TBA as curator took place September 4–14, 2008. The Festival opened with a reenactment of Anna Halprin's Blank Placard Happening and a symphonic collaboration between Antony and the Johnsons and the Oregon Symphony. Other artists who performed included Reggie Watts, Jérôme Bel, Mike Daisey, and the Superamas. Ryan Trecartin, Lizzie Fitch, Jeffry Mitchell, and Mike Kelley were all part of the ON SIGHT visual art program.[10]


The seventh TBA Festival was the debut of Guest Artistic Director Cathy Edwards and occurred September 3–13, 2009. The performance program of the Festival presented works by choreographers Miguel Gutierrez and Meg Stuart, Australian theater company Back to Back Theatre, playwright Young Jean Lee, and a sesquicentennial musical written by Pink Martini, entitled Oregon! Oregon. Visual artists included Fawn Krieger and Kalup Linzy in residency, performance duo robbinschilds, and local musician Ethan Rose, among others. On Labor Day, PICA coordinated with Slow Food Portland to host an outdoor, public picnic.[11]


TBA:10 was Edwards' second Festival, from September 9–19, 2010. Noted pop musician Rufus Wainwright performed on opening night of the Festival with the Oregon Symphony, and featured Festival projects included monologist Mike Daisey; performance troupe Nature Theater of Oklahoma; choreographer John Jasperse; and an interactive, 360-degree film by the Wooster Group, marking the company's first production in Portland. The ON SIGHT program hosted a residency by Charles Atlas, exhibits by local Whitney Biennial participants Storm Tharp and Jessica Jackson Hutchins, and the inaugural showing of People's Biennial, curated by Jens Hoffmann and Harrell Fletcher.[12]


Marking Cathy Edwards' final Festival as Artistic Director, TBA:11 occurred from September 8–18, 2011.[13] Dance was a frequent and prominent feature and performances by Shantala Shivalingappa, Rude Mechs, Japan's Offsite Dance Project, and Kyle Abraham. The festival again hosted Mike Daisey as he performed a 24-hour-long monologue. "Evidence of Bricks," the banner for the festival's visual art programming, included works by Claire Fontaine, Portland-based artist Jesse Sugarmann, and the Seoul-based web art duo Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries.


The 2012 TBA Festival, held from September 6–16, 2012, marked the tenth anniversary of the festival, the first time the festival was run by PICA's new resident Artistic Director Angela Mattox, and the last time the festival would make use of the historic Washington High School building in Southeast Portland for performances and exhibition space.[14] Notable performers included Laurie Anderson, Keith Hennessy, Gob Squad, who sought to recreate many of Warhol's films live. Sam Green and musical group Yo La Tengo's The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller, blending documentary film and performance, was also brought to the west coast a second time after having premiered at the 2012 San Francisco International Film Festival.


Held from September 12–22, 2013, the eleventh year of the TBA Festival saw The Works and its accompanying performances and exhibitions move to a former Con-Way warehouse in northwest Portland from their longtime home in at the former Washington High School.[15] Notable performances included those by Meow Meow and Thomas M. Lauderdale, Trajal Harrell, and The Blow. The visual artist component of the festival, "…community declared itself a medium," sought to explore some of Edwards' original notions of community engagement through art as a central tenet of PICA's mission and featured exhibitions, events, and works from A.L. Steiner, Jamie Isenstein, Lucy Raven, Krystal South, and an ongoing project at PICA's new headquarters from Anna Craycroft. Con-Way's central stage hosted nightly performances with the Julie Ruin, Peter Burr, Getting to Know You(Tube), and DUBAIS. The 2013 festival introduced the a new feature in the PICA Institute, a series of workshops, conversations, and talks around the festival's works and artists. TBA:13 also saw the introduction of the Critical Mascara drag contest


The 12th annual TBA Festival (held September 11–21, 2014) centered around themes of intimacy, language, social engagement, sex, and power. TBA:14 saw the Works late-night venue return to Southeast Portland, and saw performances from singer Tanya Tagaq, musician Tim Hecker, and the return of socially engaged performance group Mammalian Diving Reflex for a show about seniors and sexuality titled "All the Sex I've Ever Had". That year's Works venue also hosted many of the festival's visual art projects, Jennifer West's installation/performance "Flashlight Filmstrip Projections," MSHR's installation/performance "Resonant Entity Modulator," and a street-side screening of Jesse Sugarmann's three-channel film "We Build Excitement".[16]


The 13th annual TBA Festival was held September 9–19, 2016, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of PICA's founding. The festival hosted performances from international artists such as Alessandro Sciarroni, Tyondai Braxton, Philippe Quesne, Radhouane El Meddeb, DakhaBrakha, as well as a variety of local artists, including keyon gaskin, Holcombe Waller, Lucy Yim, and others. For the first time since 2007, visual art and the late-night Works venue were in separate locations, with the visual art program including performances and installations from Dawn Kasper, Karl Larsson, Akio Suzuki, MPA, and others.[17]


In April 2016, PICA announced that philanthropist Allie Furlotti had gifted the organization a 20-year lease on a building along the North Williams Avenue corridor.[18] TBA:16 (September 8–18, 2016 saw PICA utilize the new Hancock Street space as the Festival's central box office, late night venue, and as a venue for performances and A.K. Burns' multi-channel film installation. TBA:16 artists included New York artists Juliana Huxtable, Keijaun Thomas, Narcissister, Ivo Dimchev, Bunny Brains, and more. TBA:16 also marked the return of Rinde Eckert, who first performed with PICA's inaugural 1995–1996 performance series.[19] TBA:16 also saw program strands such as TBA's visual art, branded as ON SIGHT, return to their original names after having had them removed for a 2012 reorganization.


  1. "PICA announces the 2010 Time-Based Art Festival". PICA Blog. Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  2. , Media of Now: An Interview with David Hall, Joanna Heatwole, Afterimage, http://www.entrepreneur.com/tradejournals/article/182665021.html, July–August 2008.
  3. PICA - Leadership, http://pica.org/about/staff-and-leadership/
  4. PICA - History, http://pica.org/about/mission-and-values/
  5. TBA Festival 2003, http://pica.org/programs/tba-festival/tba-festival-past-events/tba-03/
  6. TBA Festival 2004, http://pica.org/programs/tba-festival/tba-festival-past-events/tba-04/
  7. TBA Festival 2005, http://pica.org/programs/tba-festival/tba-festival-past-events/tba-05/
  8. TBA Festival 2006, http://pica.org/programs/tba-festival/tba-festival-past-events/tba-06/
  9. TBA Festival 2007, http://pica.org/programs/tba-festival/tba-festival-past-events/tba-07/
  10. TBA Festival 2008, http://pica.org/programs/tba-festival/tba-festival-past-events/tba-08/
  11. TBA Festival 2009, http://pica.org/programs/tba-festival/tba-festival-past-events/tba-09/
  12. TBA Festival 2010, http://pica.org/programs/tba-festival/tba-festival-past-events/tba-10/
  13. TBA Festival 2011, http://pica.org/programs/tba-festival/tba-festival-past-events/tba-11/
  14. TBA Festival 2012, http://pica.org/programs/tba-festival/tba-festival-past-events/tba-12/
  15. TBA Festival 2013, http://pica.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/TBA13_Guidebook_Email.pdf
  16. Stiles, Noelle (July 31, 2014). "2014 TIME-BASED ART FESTIVAL: INTIMACY, LANGUAGE, SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT, SONIC EXPERIMENTS, SEX, POWER..." (PDF). Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  17. Stiles, Noelle (July 23, 2015). "2015 TIME-BASED ART FESTIVAL: TEN DAYS OF ART IN REAL TIME!" (PDF). Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  18. "PICA Lands a New Home in Northeast Portland | Arts & Culture | Portland Monthly". www.pdxmonthly.com. Retrieved 2016-11-05.
  19. "Rinde Eckert: The Idiot Variations". Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. February 1, 1996. Retrieved November 4, 2016.

External links

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