Open Signal Explores Immersive Media with Four New Media Fellows

By Yousef Hatlani

Four local artists join Open Signal Portland Community Media Center for the third year of its New Media Fellowship, a residency program that supports artists exploring the social implications of immersive technologies.

Clockwise from upper left: Jessica Mehta, Laura Medina, Sam
Mendoza and Myles de Bastion.
Photo credit Sam Gehrke/Open Signal

Artists Myles de Bastion, Laura Medina, Jessica Mehta and Sam Mendoza will each work in residence for four months to create new projects that incorporate virtual reality (VR), mixed reality, 360 video and immersive media art installations. Their work will use immersive media to address science fiction, poetry, decolonization and immigrant experiences. The residencies begin September 2019.

The fellowship is the only program of its kind in the state of Oregon, and a unique opportunity for Portland-based experimental media artists to receive professional support and to create new work. Each artist will receive a $2,000 stipend, a $500 material budget and studio production training with 3D and VR software and equipment from Open Signal’s new media inventory.

Artists will also have a one-on-one mentorship with Matt Henderson of Portland Immersive Media Group and 360 Labs, a Portland-based company specializing in 360-degree media. Each artist will present a final exhibition of their work on site at Open Signal.

With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the fellows will also travel to New Mexico to exhibit their work at the CURRENTS Santa Fe International New Media Festival in June 2020. At the festival, they will show their work at the 360-degree Digital Dome at the Institute for American Indian Arts (IAIA).

“It is really exciting to be able to bring our fellows out-of-state for the first time,” said Taylor Neitzke, Director of Programs at Open Signal. “It is a huge honor to present the work of these artists at an international media festival in a truly one-of-akind space at the IAIA. We are excited about how this trip will help these artists take their careers to the next level and incite conversations with artists in other states.”

Past and current New Media Fellows have received grants, exhibitions, fellowships and residencies at locations around the country. Most recently, Fellow Sharita Towne received a 2019 Creative Capital award, Manuel Arturo Abreu was selected for a 2019 Emerging Artist Residency at the Centrum Foundation and May Cat for a 2020 residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute.

2019-20 New Media Fellows applied to the program through an open call for submissions. They were selected by a panel of local and national arts organizers.

The New Media Fellowship program is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Jackson Foundation.

Fellowship Bios
September – December 2019 Fellows

Jessica Mehta is a multi-award-winning poet and artist who works at the intersections of mixed and digital media. She is currently a poetry editor at Bending Genres literary review, Airlie Press, and the peer-reviewed Exclamat!on journal. Jessica is also the founder of the Jessica Tyner Scholarship Fund, the only scholarship exclusively for Native Americans pursuing an advanced degree in writing.

Jessica’s exhibition opens at Open Signal March 10,2020.

Laura Camila Medina is an interdisciplinary artist born in Bogota, Colombia and raised in Orlando, Florida. She bases her practice around memory and identity as a response to personal, cultural and historical research. Her work has shown at the Center for Contemporary Art & Culture, PLANETA New York, Blackfish Gallery and with the Nat Turner Project. She earned her BFA at the Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Laura’s exhibition opens at Open Signal May 12, 2020.

February – May 2020 Fellows

Sam Mendoza is an educator at Portland Community College, as well as the Manager of the Virtual Reality Development Center at PCC’s Cascade Campus. They work as an independent artist and activist focusing largely on technology, indigenous futurism, decolonization, immigrant rights, trans rights, equity and environmentalism.

Sam’s exhibition opens at Open Signal August11, 2020.

Myles de Bastion is an artistic director, musician and creative-altruist who develops technology and art installations that enables sound to be experienced as light and vibration. A strong advocate for disability rights, Myles’ work centers upon themes of inclusion, diversity, equity and access for Deaf and disabled people. He is the founder of CymaSpace, a nonprofit that facilitates arts and cultural events that are inclusive of the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing.

Myles’ exhibition opens at Open Signal October 13, 2020

Beer, Tamales, and Coffee: A Perfect Recipe of Collaboration

By Sue Stringer

Creative collaboration is the name of
the game for Labrewatory and Tamale
Boy with the newest addition, Dawn
Patrol Coffee. Photo credit Rachel
Wilson

“This town is about collaboration,” says Thad Fisco, owner of Portland Kettle Works and Portland’s craft beer lab, Labrewatory. In 2015, Labrewatory opened in Lower Albina with Thad purchasing the building at 670 N Russell Street, a few blocks north of Interstate, and it has been the definition of collaboration in every sense of the word. Brewers from around the city come together to create beers which are creative and delicious. For the first couple of years, beer was the headliner at this storage facility turned brewery. That is changing now.

In 2011, Portland Kettle Works designed a new brew system and brewers immediately started placing orders. Craft beer, it turns out, was the one part of the economy that was doing well during the recession. Sales have continued and their brewing systems are now in over 250 breweries worldwide and going strong. Now Portland Kettle Works was off and running and they had a building to house equipment. Thad says that “we decided to open a brewery of our own because we were very active in putting breweries into business but hadn’t started our own yet and so we kind of looked at it as a challenge and a learning experience so we could be more informed about what we were selling to people. What an experience it has been!”

“Now we get to start doing some new things down here!” says Rachel Wilson, owner of Dawn Patrol Coffee and brewery manager. “At the beginning of the year, we added the coffee shop and extended our hours.” Dawn Patrol operates at Labrewatory in the morning hours from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm. Tamale Boy started providing burritos in the morning starting at 8:30 am and beer can be sold any time of day. “We also have different beer and coffee cocktails and growlers to go,”

Rachel adds. Rachel has also taken on distribution selling kegs of Labrewatory’s beer to different restaurants and bars like Loyal Legion. Rachel continues, “We really started focusing on community events. We’re trying to bring in a different crowd of people and having the neighborhood have a place to meet. There are many different events and groups that meet at Labrewatory such as a moms club and the NoPo running club. There is even a $1 neighborhood discount for those customers who live or work in the neighborhood.”

“On Tuesdays, there is a new beer release. At 5:00 people come in and we’ll put a new beer on tap and Nick, our brewer, will take those (who have purchased a tour ticket) around and then they get their t-shirt. And there’s live music between 6 pm and 8 pm,” Rachel explains.

Labrewatory hosted a Smash festival celebrating the 100th brewed beer and tied in a nonprofit to work with, which was Special Olympics. In July they hosted a “Go Fund Me” for a friend of Rachel’s who had a climbing accident. On August 17th, there was an S’mores event, called Mighty Clementine, designed by a customer’s daughter, Clementine, who recently has recovered from an aneurysm. She chose the nonprofit, Randall Children’s Hospital Pediatric Development and Rehabilitation Fund, and also chose the flavors of the s’mores.

In addition, there are the classes that both Labrewatory and Tamale Boy offer. Classes are offered to all of the Portland Kettle Works clients. They get all of Labrewatory’s operating procedures for the front of the house, operating procedures for the brewery and get to see financial analysis. It gives the new brewery owners an idea on how to operate their business.

Jaime Soltero, Jr., owner of Tamale Boy, says, “Our philosophy is to always be training and always be evolving and getting people situated, getting their brains right and their work ethic right and let them go and explore themselves. We work with a couple of organizations that come and prep and train here so that they can get them back into the workforce. We have a person that actually went blind that used to work in the kitchen and we have gotten him back in the kitchen. That helps us also really think about what we’re doing and how we go about things. It’s a humbling experience for sure. That’s just one of the programs. We also support our community with gift certificates, fundraisers, and whatever we can do.”

The collaboration has been good for all three businesses. Thad says, “When Jaime came in with Tamale Boy our beer sales increased 30% when they opened their doors. That’s one thing we teach people. If you don’t have food you’re basically cutting yourself off at the knees. So you have to have some way to serve food and the better the food the better. So it’s been a great partnership.”

Jaime agrees, “It actually it worked out perfectly because at that time I was looking to expand to a commissary kitchen because where I started
off at Dekum (first location of Tamale Boy) it was super small and we were already saturated. Summers we were packed to the gills and we needed more space. Thad got wind of me and we got started and it’s the perfect marriage. We don’t have to worry about anything in the dining room.”

“It’s really interesting,” Thad says, “that’s the part of overhead that a restaurant hates, is the dining room, but that’s the part that we want – for people to hang out and drink beer. We tell a lot of clients if you can lease the kitchen out and keep the people in the dining area drinking beer as long as you can…”

“And coffee!” Rachel chimes in. “It IS the perfect marriage!”

Rachel says, “The fun thing is that with this space we can have all these people that want to have an event and Labrewatory can offer the beer, Tamale Boy supplies the food and then there is a different kind of profit without having to rent an event space so more of the proceeds can go to the business holding the event.”

With any business and especially with this unique collaboration there are going to challenges and surprises. Jaime says, “We’re always adjusting we’re learning together. Everybody’s strengths we pull in together and learn from each other.” Thad says, thinking about the challenges, the important thing is, “Keeping Rachel! Plus, without this (Labrewatory) I wouldn’t have been able to grow my business and without Jaime, I wouldn’t have had food to offer. We push the edge to find new revenue streams and are backed by Portland Kettle Works so we can take risk.”

Lastly, Rachel says, “It’s fun!” She is learning about the financial side of a business, managing skills, and is challenged to find new businesses with items that are needing distribution to offer at the taproom, as well as trying to scale cold brew coffee which will be on one of the taps at the brewery.

The classes that are offered by Thad and Jaime help pop-ups which in turn are helping our community become stronger and offer diverse food and beverages to all of the Portland metro. So if you have an inkling to start a brewery or restaurant, check in with this successful team on North Russell. Collaboration is the name of the game and to sum it up, referring to the old television sit-com, Jaime says, “We’re very tight here. We’re very three’s
company.”

For more information:

Labrewatory/Dawn Patrol Coffee

670 N Russell St
971-271-8151
http://www.labrewatory.com
Hours:
Monday –Thursday 7 am—10 pm
Friday 7 am—11 pm
Saturday 9 am—11 pm
Sunday 9 am– 9 pm

Tamale Boy

668 N Russell St
503-477-6706
http://www.tamaleboy.com
Hours
Monday –Thursday 11 am—9 pm
Friday –Saturday 11 am—10 pm
Sunday 11 am– 8 pm

Land Use and Transportation Committee Agenda

November 11th, 2019 7:00-8:30 pm

Location: 120 NE Knott St

  1. 7:00 Open meeting, Welcome guests, Introductions (5 mins)
  2. 7:05 Discuss agenda and accept any additions (5)
  3. 7:10 2306 N Vancouver Proposed Development (35)
  4. 7:45 Emanuel updates (35)
  5. 8:20 Discuss upcoming projects and if we want to get involved (5)
    1. Residential Infill Project, Better Housing by Design, and Anti-Displacement measures
    2. Lloyd-to-Woodlawn greenway and Safer 7th improvements.
    3. Broadway Toyota’s proposed parking structure
  6. 8:25 Approve Minutes (5)

With Micromobility, Tech Sparks Nimble Innovations in Transportation

By Jeff Mapes

It’s evening in Portland’s South Waterfront District, and Annie Rudwick is getting her kids loaded for the trip home from work and daycare. Many parents would see this as a job for something like a minivan. But Rudwick is helping her daughters – aged 1, 3 and 5 – onto the back of her electric-assist cargo bike. The e-boost gives her the power to easily carry a hundred pounds of kid. And because of Portland’s rush-hour congestion, she says her four mile trip each way is often quicker by bike.

Annie Rudwick bikes to work with her daughters.
Photo credit Cheyenne Thorpe/OPB

“I didn’t want to have to bike and take a shower. I wanted something I could just commute in and get to work,” said Rudwick, the associate dean for finance and administration at Oregon Health & Science University’s School of Dentistry. “The electric bike allows me to not have to exercise as much,” she added. “It really is just a mode oftransportation.”

Rudwick’s 12-foot-long bike-and-trailer combination is not the only vehicle that turns heads in the bike lanes. She’s part of a new trend that transportation experts are calling micromobility. It’s the idea that new technology – including smartphones and more efficient batteries – is sparking a big jump in small, nimble vehicles suited for increasingly crowded city streets.

“We’re seeing a lot more users in bike lanes – bicycles, electric scooters, electric bikes. I see people on kind of skateboard sort of conveyances,” said Jillian Detweiler, executive director of The Street Trust, formerly known as the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

Most notable are those rental scooters that have been sprouting up in cities around the world. About 2,600 are now on the streets of Portland.

“I think people are just looking for different ways to get around,” said Chris Warner, director of the Portland Bureau of Transportation. He added that the popularity of the scooters show that riders are finding them a fun and affordable way to make short trips. Those scooters themselves are evolving. Since June, two scooter companies have offered vehicles with seats and larger wheels. Warner said he tried one out and liked it. “You know, I found the seated one a little steadier,” he said, noting that it could attract riders who find the standing scooters intimidating.

A recent report from Deloitte, the international consulting firm, said the rapid growth of the scooter industry – at a pace faster than the early years of ride-hailing companies like Uber – has boosted business interest in micromobility. These vehicles “have the potential to better connect people with public transit, reduce reliance on private cars, and make the most of existing space by ‘right-sizing’ the vehicle, all while reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” the Deloitte reportsaid.

Nobody’s quite sure how far all this will go. For example, China is pumping out hundreds of thousands of low-speed electric cars that are typically about the size of golf carts. The Street Trust’s Detweiler said something like that could someday end up in Portland. “What we want to promote is using the right mode for the trip that you’re trying to take,” she said. Her trip to work, Detweiler added, is something she could readily make by bicycle. But maybe the “trip to the grocery store where I’m trying to get the 20% discount on a case of wine could be made a little two-seater electric car with a small cargo space in back.”

Sam Schwartz, a former New York City transportation commissioner, has long argued for reducing the use of single occupancy autos in dense cities. In his new book, “No One at the Wheel: Driverless Cars and the Road of the Future,” Schwartz argues that the advent of autonomous vehicles could be either a boon or a bane for micromobility.

“Something’s got to give,” Schwartz said in a recent telephone interview. “You can’t have so many modes that move at different speeds.” Schwartz said he wants to see self-driving vehicles regulated, in order to spur the use of transit and low-speed autonomous vehicles in cities. What he doesn’t want to see are large, single-occupant autonomous vehicles that wind up pushing other users off the street. That’s something that could happen, he said, predicting that the tech-heavy automakers of the future “will be the most powerful industry on earth.”

Of course, there’s plenty to argue about besides the future of robot cars. Today, the proliferation of scooters is riling plenty of people who complain that riders are too apt to use them on sidewalks – or to park them in ways that interfere with pedestrians or cars. Cyclists using their own energy to pedal are also having to contend with a lot of vehicles in bike lanes that move in different ways and speeds.

Joe Kurmaskie, a longtime writer on bikes in Portland and executive director of the Washington County Bicycle Transportation Coalition, started to say that the increasing diversity in the bike lanes has its good and bad points. “Well, bad is maybe not the right word,” he quickly added. “[It’s] more learning to share the limited space we’re given as cyclists.”

Warner, the Portland transportation director, said Portland still has a lot of capacity in its bike lanes and is well-positioned to be on the front lines of micromobility. The city has nearly 400 miles of bike routes and may expand its bike-share network next year to include electric bikes. That could attract potential riders who want the ease of e-bikes but don’t want to shell out the $1,500 to $4,000 cost of one. “We’re really open and hoping to encourage innovation and finding ways to get people around safely and sustainably,” Warner said.

Rudwick, who uses the electronic-assist cargo bike, said her daily commute gives her a glimpse of a city built around micromobility. “For me,” she said, “the system is so great.” Almost her entire ride is either in bike lanes or off-street paths. She gets free valet parking at the base of the tram up to OHSU, which means she doesn’t even have to lock her bike. In addition, OHSU gives Rudwick a $1.50-aday subsidy for cycling to work. More importantly, she avoids car parking fees that run at least $13 a day.

Annie Rudwick adjusts her daughter’s helmet as they prepare for
a bike ride. Photo credit Cheyenne Thorpe/OPB

“You can buy a lot of e-bike with the cost savings there,” said her husband, Allan Rudwick, who has long been avid about the potential of electric bikes. “I’m really excited to see where this goes,” he said of the emerging micromobility revolution.

Annie Rudwick said she now finds that the days when she has to drive to work are the most hassle. But she conceded that her daughters sometime complain about cycling in the rain.

Adopt-a-Block Update: Some Pointers for Keeping your Block Clean this Fall

By Jody Guth

Alas, the dog days of summer are behind us, and the cool, refreshing showers of autumn will soon be upon us. Along with that change comes the shedding of mature Linden, Maple, and Oak trees lining our streets, plus the many more, newly planted trees. A big shout out to Friends of Trees and the great work they do to improve Eliot’s green spaces!

Please remember to do your part and help to keep those leaves from clogging the sewers when the rain starts falling more heavily in the coming months. It also really helps those hard-working adopt-a-block folks who volunteer to keep the blocks you live on free of trash. When mixed with wet leaves, retrieving that debris and the tossed cigarette butts can be a particular challenge. In fact, the challenge is so great I hereby personally invite everyone reading this, now, to put down the paper, go to your phone and call me, Jody, at 503-331-1511 (ok, finish your coffee, first…) I’ll get you set up with all the bags, gloves, and info you need. I know, I know….it doesn’t really seem like the best way to spend a few minutes of your day, but trust me, you’ll feel great when people pass you by and thank you for your efforts. You’ll swoon when looking down the block you just toiled over and, in your own little corner of Eliot, along with 23 other toilers, you’ve managed to improve the appearance and sustainability of this one little street. Also, you’ll be thrilled to know that you are then entered into a drawing (1 out of 24 chances is pretty sweet) for a $100.00 gift certificate to New Seasons. Our next drawing is coming up shortly, and your name will be entered if you claim your block soon.

Of course it’s great to win prizes, but hopefully, your decision to join with other adopters is also one of simply caring for your community and a desire to give a little back. Our last two adopters, Cindy, who has adopted Cook Street between Rodney and MLK, and Laura, who decided to give some attention to Williams between Tillamook and San Rafael have gladdened those areas with their trusty Solve bags in tow. You might also be a hero like Brian who discovered some lost papers on his clean-up and is trying to connect them to their owners. Nice save, Brian.

I look forward to adding your name to our fine roster of dedicated Eliot Adopt-ablockers. So finish that coffee and call,
already, ‘k?

Surprise Geyser and Amazing Volunteers Rush to Save the Day

By Andrine de la Rocha

Who expected that weaving 72 native willow saplings into a dome in the middle of Boise Eliot Native Grove might invoke such magic? But in early August a geyser gushed forth from the center of the Willow Dome, flooded the Fremont Bridge ramp and created a sinkhole that appeared beneath the leafy structure.

City crews were called to investigate and immediately opened nearby hydrants to stem the tide. Turns out it was a broken water main under the Grove. Crews isolated the pipe under the Willow Dome and stopped the flow. The sinkhole that formed inside the Dome was cordoned off with warning tape. Pipe repair was scheduled but threatened to destroy some of the plantings.

Fortunately, Grove volunteers from Bureau of Environmental Services, Xerces Society, Ivy School, and friends of the Boise Eliot Native Grove leaped into action, digging up dozens of Willow and Ninebark plantings to preserve them from the backhoe. Plants were stored in 20 buckets until the repair was completed, and another crew of hearty volunteers worked to replant them at the end of the month. Hurrah for Community! Also, a huge thank you to all our Watering Heroes and Willow Guardians this summer for keeping the Grove enchanting.

Volunteers Cynthia Plank, Jack
Lazerek, and Jenni & Katie from
Xerxes Society. Photo credit Colleen Mitchell, BES

Stay tuned at the Boise Eliot Native Grove website, Facebook, and Instagram about upcoming willow weaving and other marvelous events! http://www.nativegrovepdx.org

Eliot Sewer and Stormwater Project Update

By Matthew Gough

Environmental Services has completed replacing or repairing approximately 10,000 feet of public sewer pipes in the southern part of the Eliot Neighborhood. These pipes were deteriorating due to age or were undersized for the sewer and stormwater flows in this area.

The project also constructed eight green street planters on public streets in key locations. These green street planters will divert 1.9 million gallons of stormwater annually from the sewer system, helping reduce the possibility of overflows into the river, basement backups, and street flooding during periods of heavy rain.

These improvements will help protect public health, property and our environment by reducing the possibility of sewage releases into streets, homes and businesses.

This was a major sewer and stormwater management project and we thank you for your cooperation and patience during construction. To learn more about the project visit http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/Eliot. If you have any questions or comments about the project you may also contact Matt Gough, Community Outreach for City of Portland Environmental Services at (503) 823-5352 or Matthew.Gough@portlandoregon.gov.