Monday, December 29, 2008

That's A Rap!

This is the sound file of the rap that Davis helped us make. If you can access it, try clicking here.
Groovy by Public Social University
Fandalism Free MP3 Hosting

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Images from Public Social University

Public Social University was a whole lot of fun and it was a great way to utilize the public library's free room. The students in the class clearly loved being facilitators and educators. Here are images of what some of the classes looked like:

Monday Nov. 24
The first class was organized by Gia. She brought in a friend who takes old shoes and gives them new life. She gave us a bunch of paint and some brushes to work with and we transformed the old shoes.

I was really into the shoe I painted, but I concentrated so hard on making it perfect that I ran out of time to paint the second shoe.

The next class was led by Lily with a participatory lecture style. Lily gave us helpful tips on how to be brave, and what she does when she needs the courage to do something.

She was talking about bravery in an everyday sense, not in a superhero kind of way. Each of us talked briefly about something we felt we needed more bravery for in our lives.

For the third class, Zach brought his newly finished, transportable printing press. It's modeled after the Gutenberg press.

Each person was given a couple foam plates that we could draw on and then we turned our drawings into prints. A bunch of younger kids showed up for this event and had a lot of fun.

For the final class on Nov. 24, Judith brought in a couple people who taught us some Capoeira Angola, which is martial arts disguised as a dance and practiced by slaves in Southern America.

This was a really great workout and we each learned how to do some offensive and defensive moves.

After this we also learned how to play instruments that are made of everyday materials. These instruments are an important part of the dance.

Wed. Dec. 3
For the second installment of Public Social University, Eric started with a class about utopian and dystopian science fiction. He explained how the two terms are blurred in sci fi movies. His favorite dystopian/utopian sci fi movie is Gattaca.

Discussion followed about the relevance of these movies to our lives.

The second class was led by Tracé. She gaves us a great tutorial on how to properly sew your buttons back onto your clothes, how to mend hems, and how to make frays in your clothes go away.

Each person got to practice what Tracé was showing us with our own practice-materials.

For the third class Davis organized a hip hop session where the entire class participated in making a rap.

Each person wrote some lines and rapped them into the microphone. By the end of the class, we had a 3 minute song! The audio file is posted here.

For our final class, Ace led us through a presentation about morality within comic books and his fascination with superhero comics.

He showed us the comic where Spider Man dies as well as the first Watchmen comic.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Public Social University Part 2 on Dec. 3rd

Free Lecture Series Part 2

This is second installment of the presentation/lecture series arranged by Public Social University - a free school and workshop group created by the members of the art and social practice undergraduate class at Portland State University. On Dec. 3rd, they will present a mini-lecture/presentation series to the public on the topics of: Utopian/Dystopian Sci Fi Movies, Permaculture and Chinese Martial Arts, Mending Clothes, and Making Hip Hop raps. All are invited.

Date: Mon. Nov. 24
Times: 2:00-5:00pm
Place: Downtown Central Library; U.S. Bank Meeting Room
More information: click on poster...more information will be posted below soon.

* * * * * MORE INFORMATION BELOW * * * * *

Sci Fi Movie Listings
by Eric Steen
Information: A presentation of utopian and dystopian science fiction movies, ranked from worst to best.

* * * * *

Permaculture and Chinese Martial Arts
by Greg Wandering Yeti and Adam Stone
Information: Lately Adam and Greg have had regular conversations centering on our practice of Chinese martial arts and permaculture. They will manifest one of these conversations for our presentation and include some demonstrations of basic exercises from the internal Chinese martial arts.

* * * * *

Simple Mending
By Tracé Hulette
Tired of Falling Hems? In need of Buttons replaced?
Come learn to thread that sewing needle and complete basic sewing tasks

* * * * *

That's a Rap!
By Davis Eliason Brown
A look inside the hip hop world. Learn to work in collaboration to formulate a positive hip hop rap. Learn how to Rap with others and how to mix sound with linguistics.
Davis grew up in Wisconsin and Iowa before moving to the west coast. He enjoys stimulating conversation and has been producing hip hop hop music for the last four years. Originally intending on studying Pre-med as an undergraduate, he now finds himself struggling to decide whether to continue in that direction or to switch to a more design oriented field.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Upcoming Public Social University Lecture Series!!!

Free Lecture Series Part 1

Public Social University is a free school and workshop group created by the members of the art and social practice undergraduate class at Portland State University. On Nov. 24th, they will present a mini-lecture/presentation series to the public on the topics of: Making something new with your old shoes, How to be brave, Printmaking, and Capoeira Angola.

Date: Mon. Nov. 24
Times: 2:00-5:00pm
Place: Downtown Central Library; U.S. Bank Meeting Room
More information: Click on the poster image and/or see below


* * * * *
Trick Out Your Trainers - 2:00-3:00
More information coming soon

* * * * *
How to Be Brave - 3:00-3:30
Information: A short workshop in Everyday Bravery. Come join us and learn the practice of everyday bravery. With guidance and support, we will seek and find our very own unique everyday bravery ritual and take it home to kick-start a practice of bravery that we can live by. Everyone welcome, brave or not.

Bio: Lily Gael is a performing artist, dancer and writer who still feels afraid every time she performs. By going ahead and performing anyway she began her own practice in Everyday Bravery. Lily's practice also includes talking to strangers, letting her awkwardness express itself in interactions that Are awkward, and crying in public.

* * * * *
The Print Factory - 3:30-4:00

Information: In the workshop we will be designing our own blocks from cheap materials and printing them. No experience necessary.

Bio: The primary Print Factory is centered around a portable printing press and it's crew. As Print Factory crewmembers, our goal is to make everyone who passes by us on a street corner an art collector, free of charge. All of our printing materials are donated by people such as yourself, who have either purchased a Travel Kit or have invited us to print at their venue. Local artists have helped build up the Print Factory library by continuing to donate original plates. Each print gets a Print Factory stamp of authenticity with the artist's name, making it part of our catalogue while recognizing the individual who designed it. We want to encourage artists to donate so they can continue the life of their plates and get their creations out to the public.
Producing art on-site while handing it out to the public sparks dialogue about the processes behind printmaking and the historical impact of the multiple in everyday life. Sharing the process and the product of printmaking stimulate community by provoking questions about the utility of printmaking and the nature of art.

* * * * *
Capoeira Angola - 4:00-5:00

Information: A workshop demo and introduction presenting the Brazilian martial art/dance, and music. No experience Necessary.

Bios: Judith
Fleming has been practicing capoeira for almost two years finding out about the dance form in Olinda, Brazil. Since her trip she's been training primarily with contra-mestre Pedro Cruz with grupo Raca in Portland, Oregon. Shaun Lauyers has been practicing capoeira for about the same amount of time. Though Shaun started practicing martial arts at a younge age and has dabbled in other dance forms such as hip-hop and breakdancing. Shaun began training with contra-mestre Pedro Cruz until he experiemented with another form of capoeira, capoeira Angola. Angola is the older, more traditional form of capoeira. It's a slow game, very low to the ground, but equally as challenging as capoeira Regional such as grupo Raca. Shaun trains under Leon and others with a group called FICA, in Portland, Oregon. This group has roots in Bahia, Brazil, and now, throughout the world.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Melfi, Marlaina's Dog, Lead's Class

Marlaina did an impromptu leading of the class last Monday when she had brought her dog to class for Tracy's Dog Co op project, so we let my dog (Melfi) lead the class and we all took turns letting her lead the way...we ended up in some (pissed off guys) driveway through bushes all the way to the interstate's off ramp...We documented the whole thing and thought I would send you the pictures for the class blog. Marlaina held her first, then Harrell, and Ace for the last bit...

Waiting for her to make a decision...

At the freeway off ramp.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Judith Takes Us on a Hopscotch Marathon

It was Judith's turn to lead the class. She took us to the Park blocks, directly across the street from the Portland Art Museum and had the class build one giant and wild hopscotch. The hopscotch map led in and out, over and around, and had all sorts of surprises. See the video below to see Davis hop through the entire thing. After we all jumped through it, we left it there for some lucky person or child (we were right next to a daycare of some sort).

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Lily Leads Sleep Exploration Class

On Monday Oct. 20th, Lily Gael led a discussion in the classroom about what makes a particular art project fall within the realm of social practice. She then took us on a mini-tour of the PSU campus in search of places to nap in public, wanting to get comments and support for her idea to create a Napping Station for PSU students/teachers. This seek-and-sleep experience became a collaborative experiment with everyone in the class suggesting places to stop and nap. The Roving Napping Pod eventually napped in both a fairly private landing space, and in a much- traveled hallway at Smith Hall, in the Psychology Dept's waiting area on couches and chairs, and on the first level of a stairwell in Cramer Hall where they stretched out shoulder to shoulder to fill up the space. Passer-bys (the audience) got into the Napping act and participated with spontaneous cultural gestures that seemed natural to being in the presence of others sleeping (even though the locations chosen for napping were unconventional). The audience tiptoed up stairs, lowered their voices to whispering when passing by, used charade-type sign language to communicate with friends if sitting close by, and took circuitous routes to where they were going to not disturb the napping group. The experiment led to many inspiring ideas from the class about how the Napping Project might evolve.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Our Trip to Hangar Orthotics And Prosthetics

The other day we stopped by an orthotics and prosthetics office called Hangar. This gentleman was nice enough to show us how some of the equipment works as he explained to us the many types of prosthetic devices they could produce.

In this image, he had scanned Zach's hand with a device. The computer could read Zach's hand and sent an image to the computer that could be turned and rotated in any direction. It was pretty amazing.

I also took a video of him testing an electronic device on Lily's leg. You can see how it causes her lef to move uncontrollaby.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Greg Leads Class To Marquam Park

Greg led our last class. He took us to Marquam Nature Park just off the PSU campus. We hiked silently for about an hour or so. Before we entered the park, Greg led us through some excerices that brought us into a greater appreciation and connection to our surroundings. He reminded us of how every breath we take is part of a cycle of life between people and trees. This was a beautiful experience for myself and for a group activity. Thank you Greg. These are some pictures that I took and a video of a Wooly Caterpillar at the bottom of the post.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Lori Gilbert Leads Class

Last Monday Lori Gilbert led the social practice class. She had us take photos with strangers as if we were in a band with them. Then she turned the photos into band posters. The one above was with some guy wearing a suit and carrying a brief case. He really got into it. Thanks Lori for the fun exercise.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Welcome Back!

The summer is over and a new class has started this Fall. I will be updating this blog with documentation of group projects and group activities. Feel free to subscribe via email or with an rss feed over on the right side.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Home Schooling

On our last day of class we visited a group of home schoolers. We drove to a park in Tigard and met up. A group of home schoolers meet together at this park once or twice a week so that the kids can meet up with other kids and the parents can get out too. The kids told us that they loved being home schooled and wouldn't want to go to public schools because as far as they can tell from movies, public school looks boring. They are glad they don't sit behind desks all day and they are glad they get to learn what they fencing. I know a bunch of people who home schooled, some of their complaints was that when they were high school aged they didn't have a whole lot of social networks and sometimes they wished they were at a school. They also had a hard time starting up college where there were due dates and they found they were "behind" in subjects such as math and writing. This may not be the case for every homeschooler though.

The home schooling option was actually my favorite out of every schooling option we visited. I liked that the parent or parents get to spend more time with their children and I liked that the learning was open to how the parent felt the child would learn best. There are a couple extremes for homeschooling: one is that it's just like school where the child is working at a table for 6 hours a day, the other is "unschooling" where the child simply learns things from living life and will hopefully want to learn how to do things that are important because they have a desire to. My opinion at this point is that something between those two, in the homeschooling realm, is the most attractive option.

Lastly, a few days ago we learned about the family with 9 kids that just surfed all the time. This seems to be an intense example of the unschooling, or more like ignore-schooling. There is a great radio piece on NPR here and a trailer for the documentary here.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


I'm glad I met you all. I learned a lot this quarter. Best of luck in all your endeavors--Sophia

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

We did a lot of schools and I have a lot of stuff I learned in the tours. Schools have a profound impact on who we turn out to be.

Monday, June 2, 2008


This is the truck we lived in. I feel a class distinction when I tell the story of dumpster diving for vegetables, lettuce and tortillas. I guess I felt awkward when everyone was talking about the documentary.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

School Trip

The school trip was fun. I enjoyed the kindergartners the most. They were thrilled by our help and interaction. Eric looks like he is having a good time here.

Monday, May 12, 2008

check this out. You could be part of this site!

Public School

Listening to our guide for the Metropolitan Learning Center tour. The realization that we were in a public school was blurred.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

These works of art should be assembled into a show of work in a large gallery so these children learn about the process. More people need to see their work.

Visiting the Metropolitan School was fun. I would like to see all the schools that we have visited so far join an alliance and share their strengths and probe their weaknesses .

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

on the radio

Starting my show now

May 7 Field Trip

Our field trip on Wednesday is to the Metropolitan Learning Center.
Please be there at 2:00 sharp.
We are meeting with Ruth Frankel.

here is their address: 2033 NW Glisan

Friday, May 2, 2008

Class Presentations

Friday, May 2, 2008
class presentations
So maybe my request to see other classmates work, was as Beth mentioned, an attempt to gauge what people in our class ultimately value. Because that in essence drives artistic practice right? Or creativity. What you think about informs your ideas and ways of navigating the world. They may not line up all of the time, but I think that they sort of do. Whether it is blatent like, I disagree with the war, so I will go to a protest. Or I like to hang out at my house so I sit around a lot, even if I think I value protesting the war, the real value is the hanging out at the house. Maybe if there was a way to meld the two, like protesting from my couch, it would align the differing values of Values. Plus, maybe it is worthwhile to know what work we value in order to be good social practitioners.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Field Trip

Today we will be visiting the Trillium Charter School in North Portland.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Dear Alex,

I would like to employ your assistance.
I'm having trouble getting started.

Will you help me approach food cart owners to see what their slow hours are? I want to start recording some interviews, taking some pictures, identifying some interest and working with the people who seem most into the idea of having a publication that gathers words and images from Portland State food carts.

And another question for everyone: if everyone (and every newspaper or publication) in the city is suddenly into foodcarts (or if I've just noticed that people have always been interested) does that make my project less interesting? Am I regurgitating something that's already been done?

Thanks dudes.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


I live down by Johnson Creek and I sit out on the shore to do a lot of my painting. Its actually my residency. I get most of my ideas gazing into the creek.

Friday, April 25, 2008

week long "spring focus" at PNCA

If anyone is interested in seeing the proposals for theses or defense of semester long thesis projects at my school please come by (there is usually free food at lunch time)
My friend Ryan made a newspaper and his presentation should be pretty interesting. He is going to be in the MFA program next fall.  (Thursday 4pm rm 204)  There are some other great artists as well.  Email me if you are curious or want recommendations

1241 NW Johnson 


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Visiting the Village Free School

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One element of this class is traveling to alternative educational centers around Portland, learn about the different models, and somehow incorporate a pedagogical element into our own residency projects. Last week we visited the Village Free School in SE Portland. In the picture above, Paul is telling us that the school operates on three overlapping principles: freedom, democracy, and community. Here, the school maintains a noncercive education; anything the students do, they choose to do. There is no standard curriculum, instead, the staff helps the students find their passions and develop those as naturally as possible. Also, the students have an equal vote with the staff and the parents in deciding any rules and decisions for those school. This model was interesting to say the least and we have had many conversations since then about ideals and if there is value in learning something you don't want to learn.

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Pictures from Village Free School

We visited the Village Free School last Wednesday. Here are some pictures. Thank you Paul & Chris for being lovely hosts.

Some more interesting sites
We talked quite a bit about Summerhill, here's the web