It’s tempting to think of SXSW Eco as the weird hippie brother of the massive music-film-interactive-free-vodka-was-that-Bill-Murray-and-RZA? festival. In reality, SXSW Eco is South By Southwest’s chic sister, just back from Les Ateliers and looking for ways to change the world while classing the joint up a bit. The conference, now...

Devastation Melody opens with a striking sequence. Dressed fairly androgynously in dark-colored linens, Lucy Yim recalls a Chinese railroad worker — an image made all the stronger as she slowly uses rope to pull nine cinderblocks towards her. After assembling them into a massive Pangea, she mounts their seemingly solid...

"I certainly have patterns and systems that I use, and I have a cache in my mind of certain shapes that follow other shapes -- but I'm totally working intuitively. I'm trying really hard to let my brain not get involved." - Julie Alpert...

“Language is the quintessential blueprint that can bridge between the senses. The more I attempt to describe music in visual terms, and the visual in musical terms, the more I’m training toward synesthesia. It’s not an ability that I naturally have, but I’ve developed it through language. It constantly informs...

Album Covers of the Year 2014
In contrast to modern patterns in music consumption comes our annual Album Covers of the Year feature, where, instead of forgetting album artwork even exists, we hyperextend ourselves to assert that it is an artform that is vitally connected to the spirit of the music. This feature, which is divided at times into thematic elements and at times into artistic medium, incorporates interviews with not only musicians, but also artists involved throughout the artistic process. We pride this list in being diverse and multi-faceted, as well as philosophically exploratory. See all of our entries from previous years or get started by choosing a category below. Happy travels through the artistic universe we've crafted for you.
New York City-based video artist Yoshihide Sodeoka is known for his disquieting psychedelic videos, which are characterized by saturated colors, mythological references and a tense expression of time. Working often on an intuitive level, Sodeoka often allows his audio-visual creations to assume their shapes through a combination of spontaneous assemblage and aesthetic choreography. His video art is unique for its translation of noise music into a visual language, and for the close relationship of his moving imagery to principles of stillness. Polarizing aesthetics and themes in particular lend a spiritual tendency to the artist's work -- though not overtly, and perhaps not even consciously -- yet the fine line between good and evil is channeled into intense representations of such duality through the artist's imagery. This symbolically rich language is revealed through Sodeoka's manipulation of the characteristics of distortion and his play with fragmented forms; a fantastical exploration of imperfection in his imagery works in contrast to the sterility of technology.
the13th-yoshi-sodeoka
Influenced by glitch, though not fixated on allowing the process to define his aesthetic, Sodeoka primarily uses the more ambient elements of computer-generated imagery. These aspects are most often expressed as spatial perspective, orientation, duration, and color. By combining glitch with the intentionality of his mythological composition, Sodeoka amplifies the ambiance, presence of error, and minimal gesturing which challenge linear narrative structures.
To trace one's own path from infancy to adulthood can sometimes mean ascribing new meaning to past events. It can mean uncovering moments that seemed innocuous at the time of their happening, only to discover later that they were, in fact, profoundly moving. Nature and ritualistic dance, two prime inspirations for Southern California artist Nathan Hayden, came to him down the pipeline of experience, in the form of significant life events he can now place importance upon as an adult. These moments, coupled with Hayden's curiosities towards the world-at-large, make him an artist that is ever-synthesizing and ever-seeking, eager to experiment and follow his many multidisciplinary whims.
Nathan Hayden Artist Interviewwhat was meant to be here was no longer, 2014, ink on industrial felt
"I'm just trying to access the possibilities of other things, and in the same way that I look at art throughout history and nature for little pieces of those other realms, I'm hoping that I can be a part of that process and for people to get a peek into other realms by looking at my stuff, that might bring about stuff that I can't even imagine." - Nathan Hayden

TBA Festival 2014 is upon us, and over the course of its two-week course, Portlanders will be graced with a number of audio-visual treats, eats, and experiments. This year's lineup seems less dance-heavy than usual, but brings with it perhaps the festival's most exciting musical acts in quite some time....

Phebe Schmidt Photography
In the hands of photographer Phebe Schmidt, everyday objects are set against backdrops that make one do a double take. With a refined and polished style, she highlights ideas of consumerism and stylized beauty through the recontextualization of mundane props as well as the exploration of "plasticity", or the ability of an object to shapeshift with its environment. The resulting works feel curious, having an effect similar to staring at something for so long that it begins to feel unreal by nature, its fine details becoming confusions within the mass of its existence. "My aim is to draw the viewer in with bright cheesy colours and curious props; on second glance, they realise that something is not quite right -- floating razors or a melting block of cheese often placed together with a profiled product," explains Schmidt, who gathers a number of props specific to each shoot, chosen both for their aesthetic and conceptual values.
Phebe Schmidt Photography

Multi-disciplinary artist Chad Wys is all about tricks of the eye that then tickle the mind. Whether by splotching paint on fine porcelains or enhancing vintage reproductions with pixel paint, his works live within a blurred space between the digital and the analog, via additions that also subtract — or...

The origins of Craig Leon's Nommos/Visiting lie in the ancient art of the Dogon tribe from Mali, who worshipped a race of amphibious extraterrestrials, known as the “Nommos”, who were said to come from the distant star supposedly known as Sirius B. The strange thing about Sirius B is that it is invisible to the naked eye, and science only verified its existence in the 20th century, long after the Dogon tribe had already established a deep mythology around it. This intersection of science and spirituality, of the ancient and the modern, lies at the heart of this stunning collection from RVNG Intl., packaged with the usual lavish care and attention to detail, in which Craig Leon simulates a soundtrack for interstellar travel for the Nommos, using a battalion of cutting-edge-at-the-time synthesizers and drum machines. Craig Leon - Nommos/Visiting Album Review Craig Leon is not some undiscovered private press new age genius. Rather, he is best known for production duties on some of the '70s most adventurous records, from some of New York's arthouse elite, including Suicide, Television, The Ramones, and Blondie, which places "Nommos/Visiting" at the intersection of punk rock and new wave, industrial music, early hip-hop, and world music. This is no slice of musical soma; this is a transmission from the crossroads.