Precipice Fund Project Update: Experimental Film Festival Portland

Experimental Film Festival Portland erupted in 2012 in the fair city of roses, in response to the need for a Portland-based experimental media showcase. We started from scratch and created the festival of our dreams: a festival accessible to local, national, and international artists who make experimental media for both cinemas and the expanded field, a festival that packs its days with celebrations and collaborations in multiple venues across the city and with various like-minded local organizations, a festival that is as committed to quality and cutting-edge programming as it is to energy, community, and fun.

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EFF3 went down May 28 – June 1, 2014 and marked another year of experimenting with our programming and structure. We had an amazing week of “experimental summer camp”, hosting almost 30 visiting artists and producing 11 screenings showing over 150 films from over 17 countries, as well as fantastic exhibit of installations and a night of performance and music madness!

Our inaugural EFF Portland Local Throwdown was a fantastic and hotly contested spectacle, beginning at our collaborative Kill All Festivals event when we drew the random match-ups and continuing through to the last night of the fest. EFF3 wrapped with experimental German films curated by Cinema Project, films made with natural process curated by Caryn Cline and Julie Perini, and an amazing program called Black Radical Imagination curated by Chicago’s Amir George. We want to thank the Precipice Fund, PICA, Calligram Foundation, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for giving us the opportunity to cover  travel expenses and honoraria for performers and curators, both local and visiting.

To watch a clip of the festival click here - EFF trailer

To read recent press about EFF click the links below: 

Portland Mercury

PSU Vanguard

 

 

 

 

 

EFFThrowdown

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About the Precipice Fund

Administered by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) as part of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts’ Regional Regranting Program, the Precipice Fund awards grants to unincorporated visual art collectives, alternative spaces, and collaborative projects in Portland, Oregon. Recognizing the barriers to funding faced by independent arts initiatives, Precipice Fund seeks to support both new and existing projects emblematic of Portland’s alternative, on-the-ground art community.

www.precipicefund.org

Precipice Fund Project Update: 12128 (The Boat Space)

12128 (“Boat Space”) is a contemporary exhibition space located on the Labrador, a decommissioned Bering Sea crab fishing vessel moored in Portland, Oregon. We support progressive work.

12128’s SUMMER MICRORESIDENCIES program concluded in early August. Each of the participating artists responded to the condensed timeframe and the exotic space in different and productive ways. It was REALLY HOT, and there were LOTS OF BIRDS EVERYWHERE.

JORDAN WAYNE LONG developed a performance that explored group dynamics by establishing a sympathetic relationship between himself and the audience. This piece was structured around the potential— and necessity—for the audience to prevent Jordan from physical harm, which was oddly subverted by a single person shirking the intended procedural flow. This work resulted in very unexpected outcomes and invited a level of open discussion among the audience that was both RARE AND UNIQUE. Jordan’s performance and his working practice were perfectly suited to what we had hoped these brief and intensive residencies would produce.  To view video of Jordan Wayne Long, Impact Piece #1, July 19 2014, 12128, click here.

MICHAEL TRIGILIO used newly-available scanning and modeling processes to generate 3D media from elements of the boat. This content dovetails into his ongoing work T2ERU, which explores speculative and fictive relationships between existing architectural objects and science fiction design. Michael exhibited works-in-progress from his time on the boat along with existing T2ERU content, and performed a set of his specific brand of experimental music. He also held a DIY synthesizer-making workshop in which participants soldered together a square-wave oscillator from basic analog electronics. Michael’s pedagogical tactics and general hilariousness made his workshop A HUGE HIT. 

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Michael Trigilio, T2ERU, August 1 2014, 12128

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Analog electronic sound performance

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Michael Trigilio, T2ERU, August 1 2014, 12128

 

About the Precipice Fund

Administered by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) as part of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts’ Regional Regranting Program, the Precipice Fund awards grants to unincorporated visual art collectives, alternative spaces, and collaborative projects in Portland, Oregon. Recognizing the barriers to funding faced by independent arts initiatives, Precipice Fund seeks to support both new and existing projects emblematic of Portland’s alternative, on-the-ground art community.

www.precipicefund.org

 

Precipice Fund Project Update: Spreading Rumours

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Sign|Tent 1, designed by Amy Harwood and Ryan Pierce

After a long and rich planning period of bi-monthly brunches, Spreading Rumours has begun executing in real ways. We have been working on three different projects, each of which at different stages of unfolding. The first is our sign|tent project, for which we invited 5 participants (Right 2 Survive, Amy Harwood and Ryan Pierce, Sharita Towne, Stephanie Syjuco, and Shani Peters) to create designs for a series of sculptural outposts. We invited these people to use the sign to address or pose questions about private property, public space, and development. The sign|tents are being installed at street-level on lawns and lots around the city, in both authorized, hosted locations and unsanctioned zones. Our ideas and expectations for these sign|tents evolved through the process of building the signs, and conversing with our invited participants and site-hosts. They will undoubtedly keep unfolding as the sign|tents occupy space around town and have life online through social media. If you see one, help us spread rumours by tweeting or tumbling images of them.

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Sign|Tent 2, designed by Brad Gibson for Right 2 Survive

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Sign|Tent 3, designed by Sharita Towne

The second iteration of Spreading Rumours will be a leaflet propaganda and strategic littering project. We are inviting 10 participants—a diverse group of writers, artists, activists, radical historians and more—to an August 30th workshop-event (with production party to take place the following week). At the workshop we will give a mini-lecture about our research into military leaflet propaganda design and dissemination, followed by time for participants to converse about target audience and dispersal strategy, as well as create designs from which we will make masses of hand-stamped leaflets that we (and the participants if they wish) will strategically distribute around Portland and beyond. We are interested in seeing what unfolds from the conversation between this diverse group of participants: in what ways might they mutate the forms and strategies we present in our presentation? And, what messages might they each choose to send when the risk of distribution and the burden of singular authorship are lifted? Keep your eyes out for these and feel free to re-distribute or archive any you might find. We are excited about the subtle forms of participation that might ripple outwards from all of these projects.

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Spreading Rumours leaflets and leaflet blanks

The third iteration of Spreading Rumours we’ve been cooking up is a spam poetry project that will exist as mass texts to cell phones in the 503 area code during the time of the November election. We are still researching the legality (the CAN-SPAM Act specifically) and the technical realities of this endeavor, as well as building our invitation list. We will be doing test runs in early September.

Again, as in our other two projects, we will be deciding on a form—character count, sender name, and recipient list, as well as a conceptual prompt—and invite 10-20 people to compose poetic content for the project. We are hoping that at least some of the cell-phone spam can address the political, either reflexively by referencing the form of unsolicited campaign communication, or directly, by making political or polemical word formations.

We are looking forward to fully rolling out these projects; opening ourselves to engage in conversations with others we wouldn’t normally work with around issues of city development and gentrification (with the Sign|Tents), propaganda, strategic media, and the spread of socio-political messages (Leaflet Litter), and the efficacy of political representation and policy (Cell-phone Spam Poetry). Our collaboration has gone through ups and downs and has taken some time to build momentum, but we feel solid about Spreading Rumours as an expanded learning process and a chance to blend our diverse approaches, priorities, and instincts.

 

About the Precipice Fund

Administered by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) as part of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts’ Regional Regranting Program, the Precipice Fund awards grants to unincorporated visual art collectives, alternative spaces, and collaborative projects in Portland, Oregon. Recognizing the barriers to funding faced by independent arts initiatives, Precipice Fund seeks to support both new and existing projects emblematic of Portland’s alternative, on-the-ground art community.

www.precipicefund.org

Precipice Fund Project Update: Container Corps – An Arts Press

Container Corps is a publication design studio, printshop, bindery, and exhibition space that serves as a platform for the creation, distribution, and discussion of new arts publications. We publish books-as-projects, or books-as-works in themselves, or primary sources.

The books we publish are collaborations between artists and their ideas and our skills as editors, publication designers, and printmakers. They are works of art in themselves, rather than documentation of works in other media.

Our vertically integrated, design/build studio allows ideas (concepts, images, texts, research), materials (paper, ink, board, cloth, thread, glue), and technique (layout, typography, printmaking, binding) to coalesce into a fully realized type of publication.

Container Corps

Our press works with artists to make multiples that explore and take advantage of the book and the processes of book production. Our Precipice grant will fund three such collaborations.

Most of the progress in our project thus far has been made in the cementing of a schedule of artist collaborations for the year. There has been a little bit of shuffling of artists from our original line-up due to changing schedules and availability.

Our book projects are a specific kind of collaboration between our production capabilities and the artists’ individual practice, and these collaborations necessarily require a long gestation period. The artist must become somewhat of an expert on our processes, and we must become experts on their work. Only then do we have the language to be able to communicate and find where their ideas can engage with our parameters. Practically, this means a lot of talking, ideating, thinking, and looking before anything happens on the press. This is the kind of work we’ve been doing with our three artists thus far.

Our first artist, Heather Watkins, has finished an intense period of installations (at PSU and the Art Gym) and is now free to work with us. Our process thus far has been an ongoing series of visits between our studio and hers. We are discussing the intersections of our production processes and her art making processes, and zeroing in on a definition of what her book project will be.

Our second artist will be Israel Lund. We are excited to work with Israel because like Heather, his work is process oriented and will benefit from hands-on time with the press. We have arranged for him to be in Portland at the beginning of July, working with us at the studio. We have been skyping with him in preparation for an intense week of production. Most of the development of this book will occur during this week.

Our third artist will be Jasper Spicero. He will be visiting Portland in late July, and we will be working with him on a book made in conjunction with a very exciting larger project called Centers in Pain. He will be renting out the newly built, unoccupied Wapato Prison in North Portland for 4 days, doing an extensive installation, conducting interviews with the skeleton crew that maintains the facility, and completing a screen play that is set at the prison. The book we create will be an integral document of this larger project. Like Israel, we have been regularly skyping with Jasper so that his time in Portland is best utilized.

 

About the Precipice Fund
Administered by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) as part of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts’ Regional Regranting Program, the Precipice Fund awards grants to unincorporated visual art collectives, alternative spaces, and collaborative projects in Portland, Oregon. Recognizing the barriers to funding faced by independent arts initiatives, Precipice Fund seeks to support both new and existing projects emblematic of Portland’s alternative, on-the-ground art community.

www.precipicefund.org

Precipice Fund Project Update: FalseFront

Since receiving the Precipice Fund, FalseFront has been able to host to four exhibits and featured works of performance, sound and visual art and visited numerous artist’s studios based in Portland, Oregon. Starting in February, Future Death Toll’s Edward Sharp performed three nights of noise, dance and visuals.

Each night consisted of Sharp inviting a musician and a dancer to collaborate for a continuous three-hour performance, with visitors encourage to enter and exit though-out the length of the show. Featured artists included, dancers Keyon Gaskin, Jin Camou and Danielle Ross; composers and musical engineer Jesse Mejia, Lucas Kuzma and Twon Moss.

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In April, FalseFront exhibited the paintings and sculpture of Portland-based artist Judith René Sturdevant. These particular exhibit was put together fairly quickly after the studio visit, as Sturdevant expressed interest in having all included work recent and “fresh”. She was given a little over two and a half weeks to complete the work exhibited in show titled Or Somewhere Else.

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FalseFront’s upcoming show is set to open the beginning of May with an installation from recent PSU MFA graduate Leif Anderson. Anderson will construct this installation around the entire front facade of the building, working from the idea of realty and commercial signage set in contrast with FalseFront’s rather residential location.

The Precipice Fund is allowing not only for FalseFront to exhibit these less conventional works of contemporary art in the alternative space setting, but also allowing the exhibiting artist the artistic freedom and opportunity to do the projects not likely seen in more commercial galleries.

 

About the Precipice Fund
Administered by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) as part of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts’ Regional Regranting Program, the Precipice Fund awards grants to unincorporated visual art collectives, alternative spaces, and collaborative projects in Portland, Oregon. Recognizing the barriers to funding faced by independent arts initiatives, Precipice Fund seeks to support both new and existing projects emblematic of Portland’s alternative, on-the-ground art community.

www.precipicefund.org

 

Precipice Fund Project Profile: M.A.S.S.

We continue our six-week series of 2013 Precipice Fund grantee profiles with M.A.S.S. (an ambiguous acronym), a bimonthly music,  performance, and visual art and media series set in a beautifully resonant, 350-capacity sanctuary at Alberta Abbey, a historic church turned mixed-use venue in Northeast Portland. Using exceptional sound engineering and equipment, the series aims to provide a contemplative environment for group and/or anonymous reflection while cross-pollinating local and non-local artists, musicians, writers, and performers. 

Hello from  the M.A.S.S. Collective!

Our first two rounds of programming (of six total) have been an exploration that’s grown exponentially from last year’s start to the series. We were particularly inspired by the collaboration (and ensuing chaos) of last year’s closing edition of M.A.S.S., a mashup event of music, oratory, exhibition, and video projection.

We have decidedly expanded the scope of our programming since the start of the series, in concept and medium. We kicked off the year with an album release from Cloaks and performances by Pinhead In Fantasia and Nour Mobarak. Craig Flipy  prepared a sound collage of field recordings from his line of work chasing the illusive Bigfoot, and our gallery featured the Google Earth glitches of Clement Valla.

We pushed further, and perhaps more frighteningly or funnily, depending on your taste, to do METAL M.A.S.S., a special 4/20 edition on Easter Sunday. Atriarch, Joe Preston and Daniel Menche brought the doomsday, while special guest Maja D’Aoust (The White Witch of LA) brought the prophesy by way of her unique presentation style/oracle performance. Our gallery featured the first solo art show by local illustrator Joshua Hardy. This event saw over 200 in attendance.

A couple of highlights from M.A.S.S. V and VI: https://vimeo.com/93669455

We are pleased to announce the next edition of our series, M.A.S.S. VIIon June 8th with Benoît Pioulard, né Tom Meluch, known for his glacial, cinematic ambient music that brings delicate pop sensibilities into the fold. A staple of electronic, experimental label Krancy, Meluch has crafted a body of thoughtful work that’s earned his solo music (as well as that of Orcas, his collaboration with Seattle musician Rafael Anton Irisarri) frequent attention from blogs and music news.

Like a Villain is the musical alter-ego of local songstress Holland Andrews, recently voted number five in Willamette Week‘s “Best New Band” list. Her music is equally dark and uplifting, bright and frightening–unafraid of taking leaps and bounds that stretch Andrews’ emotive, adventurous voice.

Colin Manning is a multidisciplinary artist from Portland. He received his MFA in Filmmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2000 and has been an active visual artist and projectionist, participating in numerous exhibitions and music performances down the West Coast.

In addition to putting the finishing touches on M.A.S.S. VII, we are shaping the latter half of the 2014 calendar with more local and international experimental musical acts, writers, performers and visual artists. For more information, visit www.mass-series.info.

M.A.S.S. VII
Sunday, June 8, 2014
8:00pm doors / 9:00pm performances
Alberta Abbey / 126 NE Alberta / Portland

About the Precipice Fund
Administered by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) as part of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts’ Regional Regranting Program, the Precipice Fund awards grants to unincorporated visual art collectives, alternative spaces, and collaborative projects in Portland, Oregon. Recognizing the barriers to funding faced by independent arts initiatives, Precipice Fund seeks to support both new and existing projects emblematic of Portland’s alternative, on-the-ground art community.

www.precipicefund.org

Precipice Fund Project Update: Amur Initiatives Media Research Group

Thus far, 2014 has brought about the first online PDF publication for Amur Initiatives Media and Research. To keep with the modus of the project, we’ve been programming a variety of activities in order to explore the range that we hope to maintain throughout the duration of the project’s life span. Throughout the months of May through July, we will be representing a series of 3-4 solo exhibitions by visual artists based in Portland and beyond. Fall will bring a second publication and a multi-national group exhibition, linking Portland-based artists with a larger global community. We are working to organize a regular reading and discussion group that will also facilitate public seminars.

Here’s a quick scroll-through video of our first publication and a brief outline of where we stand in 2014.

 

About the Precipice Fund
Administered by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) as part of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts’ Regional Regranting Program, the Precipice Fund awards grants to unincorporated visual art collectives, alternative spaces, and collaborative projects in Portland, Oregon. Recognizing the barriers to funding faced by independent arts initiatives, Precipice Fund seeks to support both new and existing projects emblematic of Portland’s alternative, on-the-ground art community.

www.precipicefund.org

Precipice Fund Project Update: Multiplex

We continue our six-week series of 2013 Precipice Fund grantee profiles. This week, we  hear from Multiplex, which launched in 2012 to provide a venue for emerging contemporary art and music in Portland. Multiplex showcases experimental projects from local, national and international artists, acting as a space that supports the constant growth of the artistic community.

Since receiving the Precipice Fund grant in January 2014, Multiplex has shown three local artists: Katy Knowlton, Luc Fuller, and Michael Reinsch. During this time, part of our project has shifted, as we ran into complications with our rental space and were forced to seek other accommodations for the project. Throughout April and May, we have  operated out of an annex gallery in the Holladay Studios Building near NE 24th and Sandy and opened an exhibition there by artist Patrick Cruz  (Vancouver, BC) on May 9th.

Katy Knowlton

Luc Fuller

Michael Reinsch

We have been developing a new space, S1, which we view as an extension of Multiplex‘s vision. Located in the Hollywood District of Portland, it will house galleries, artist studios, and a performance space. Programming at S1 will begin this summer with a film and talk series from London-based curator John Bloomfield, art exhibitions from Portland artist Eric Mast and Los Angeles artist Derek Corns, and a poetry series curated by Portland writer Zoe Tambling.

We are  planning a music and video festival for August and are continually reaching out to artists and curators to expand our programming.

As with any project, sometimes change is an inevitability, and we were fortunate in our transition to have support from the Precipice Fund. We are immensely grateful to have received this grant, as it has allowed us to grow and expand in ways we never thought possible.

About the Precipice Fund
Administered by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) as part of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts’ Regional Regranting Program, the Precipice Fund awards grants to unincorporated visual art collectives, alternative spaces, and collaborative projects in Portland, Oregon. Recognizing the barriers to funding faced by independent arts initiatives, Precipice Fund seeks to support both new and existing projects emblematic of Portland’s alternative, on-the-ground art community.

www.precipicefund.org

Precipice Fund Project Update: Portland Museum of Modern Art

Over the next six weeks, PICA will be posting project profiles and updates from some of its 2013 Precipice Fund grant recipients. This round of  profiles begins with the Portland Museum Of Modern Art  (PMOMA), a gallery in North Portland located in the stairwell and basement of the Mississippi Records compound. With a commitment to bringing diverse and interesting shows to Portland and joining the effort to enrich Portland’s art community, PMOMA’s main emphasis is on national and international contemporary art.

In January, PMOMA presented Portland Collects, a group show curated by director Libby Werbel of work borrowed from the private collections of community members. Also in January, we partnered with Free Spirit News for A Light Spray, an evening of film and video representing over 40 artists, curated by Ashby Lee Collinson.

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Portland Collects (2014). Installation View. Courtesy Portland Museum of Modern Art.

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Portland Collects (2014). Installation View. Courtesy Portland Museum of Modern Art.

In February and March, artist and part-time Portlandite Chris Johanson showed his latest drawings and paintings in an exhibit titled Self(ish) Expression(ism). We gathered a diverse group of performers who made the opening and closing parties truly memorable, with live entertainment by Tara Jane O’Neil, Dragging an Ox Through Water, Morgan Ritter, Kildajte Moussa Abade and Marissa Anderson.

Chris Johanson. Self Expressionism. Courtesy Portland Museum of Modern Art.

Chris Johanson. Self(ish) Expression(ism) (2014). Courtesy Portland Museum of Modern Art.

Chris Johanson. Self(ish) Expression(ism). Courtesy Portland Museum of Modern Art.

Chris Johanson. Self(ish) Expression(ism) (2014). Installation view. Courtesy Portland Museum of Modern Art.

April’s show was a solo show by Pacific Northwest visionary artist Richard Tracy (a.k.a. Richart). The opening party featured a screening of the 2003 documentary short about Richart by Vanessa Renwick and Dawn Smallman. We were fortunate enough to have Richart in attendance.

Richard Tracy. RICHART (2014) Courtesy Portland Museum of Modern Art.

Richard Tracy. RICHART (2014). Courtesy Portland Museum of Modern Art.

This summer’s programming will include an installation from fellow Precipice Fund grantee Julia Calabrese, as well as a show from acclaimed artist Lonnie Holley presented in partnership with Elizabeth Leach Gallery. Because of the Precipice Fund grant, PMOMA looks forward to a 2014 full of vibrant art and community.

Portland Collects Press

Chris Johanson Press

About the Precipice Fund
Administered by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) as part of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts’ Regional Regranting Program, the Precipice Fund awards grants to unincorporated visual art collectives, alternative spaces, and collaborative projects in Portland, Oregon. Recognizing the barriers to funding faced by independent arts initiatives, Precipice Fund seeks to support both new and existing projects emblematic of Portland’s alternative, on-the-ground art community.

www.precipicefund.org

Some lingering reflections

Collected from audience interviews by Ariana Jacob
“It was about relationships. Like with Linda Austen, she did the same dance, I think three times. The first time it was just her, the second time she did it with her sculptures, subtly, and then you felt you were rewarded, like, ‘oh, I recognize this dance, now it is clicking into place.’ The last time she started back-tracking through the movements the sculptures began to open up and do new things -  connecting into each other.
In Karen Sherman’s piece it was her and two other dancers and each of them had their own separate struggle. There was one part where they had this conversation, that would turn in and out of an argument where they would keep switching places with each other. It was so relatable, they each traded their places, going back and forth in a triangular argument. They made some jokes, but they were not spoken jokes, they were situational. They kind of prodded the audience too, but we became like a stiff block. I don’t think there is any role the audience is supposed to have, we are just a blob.”

“The tedious moments were, perhaps, more extended in this year’s TBA than, perhaps, last year’s. I try to be generous towards tedium because I believe in not satisfying people’s expectations all the way – that it provides a way of making people feel themselves having to deal with being the audience. But maybe it is a too prevalent color in this festival circuit’s palette. I am not sure that the audience’s reaction to it is expanding from constant exposure.”

“The small casts, and sometimes the scope of what was being dealt with, felt very personal. I don’t mean this in a political way, but it didn’t seem like the goals of the performances were to stretch out into space. They were very much about the people on stag: their experiences and their lives, as opposed to commenting on larger issues.”

“There has been a lot of visual darkness throughout the festival, and that lends itself to tacking stock of your own situation as audience. I am also a performance maker, so I check in a lot with myself about ‘what is this doing for me in the moment as an audience member.’ There were a lot of awkward moments in relation to audience logistics, like when the woman came and tied the curtain and then told us the performance was over in the Miguel Gutierrez piece, but I like that.”

 

Ariana Jacob is an artist whose work focuses on conversation as shared subjective research. Her project Working/Not working: What do you do all day and how do you feel about what you do? is on view at the Littman Gallery as a part of the Emerging Tactics exhibition curated by Recess Gallery.