PORTLAND, Ore. — “Time-based art” is a fairly broad category. Confined, as we are, to a linear time-space progression, all art is in some way time-sensitive. What a convenient categorization, if your goal is to include as many diverse artists as possible, as it is Portland’s annual Time-Based Art Festival (T:BA), put on by the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA) and celebrating its 13th year of festivities. But looking more closely at the T:BA:15 program, which contains a whirlwind of activities, performances, workshops, and installations across every imaginable media, one quickly discovers some consciously embedded themes despite the open-ended terminology, and these banners loosely serve to draw the work together, helping it to form a conversation that evolves in real time over the course of the 10-day festival.
These themes, as they pertain to the Visual Arts programming arm of T:BA:15 — organized by Visual Arts Curator Kristan Kennedy — coalesce within Pictures of the Moon With Teeth, a show featuring performance, video, and sculptural works by artists including Dawn Kaspar, Akio Suzuki, and Karl Larsson. The designation of time-based art has, according to Kennedy, “Nothing to do with form. It has to do with art that is of our time, work being made now. [Work that is] reaching into different communities and areas of interest for us.” She says the imperative of PICA organizers, including Executive Director Victoria Frey, Artistic Director Angela Mattox, and herself, is to eschew curatorial ego and allow connections to emerge organically.