PNCA Press Center

PNCA Presents Two Projects by Critical Art Ensemble

Release date: 02/07/13

February 6, 2013

Lisa Radon, Communications Specialist
Pacific Northwest College of Art, 971 255 5528

Becca Biggs, Director of Communications
Pacific Northwest College of Art, 971 255 5511

PNCA Presents Two Projects by Critical Art Ensemble Exhibition
Renowned art group presents two projects including Keep Hope Alive Block Party

Portland, OR—February 6, 2013—The Feldman Gallery and Project Space at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) presents two projects by the internationally renowned arts collective Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) Wednesday, March 13, 2013 through Sunday, June 2, 2013. CAE’s visit to Portland will include programs dedicated to the issues of income disparities and the practice of research within the arts, building on CAE’s expertise in areas of tactical media, archive and database reuse, and media literacy. One of the programs will be a lecture by theorist Brian Holmes.

Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) brings two projects to the Feldman Gallery and Project Space, the Keep Hope Alive Block Party (KHABP) and Acceptable Losses. For the KHABP CAE responds to the inequitable distribution of resources with a block party acknowledging that while the majority of wealth may be in the hands of the very few, the many have a handful of remaining assets to give us pleasure including sustenance (soup kitchen open all afternoon); delirium (forty-ounce bottles of Miller High Life for those of age, and Big Gulps of Mountain Dew for under-agers); and hope (raffle tickets offering big cash prizes, so that for a lucky few, economic mobility will not only be downward). The Keep Hope Alive Block Party will take place on NW 13th between NW Johnson and NW Kearney from Noon – 5pm on March 16. For one U.S. dollar participants will be presented with a bowl of soup, a 40 oz beverage, and raffle ticket for a chance at winning.

Acceptable Losses is an exhibition that examines which forms of human sacrifice are acceptable within US society and which are not. Acceptable Losses opens March 13th at 5pm in the Feldman Gallery, with Critical Art Ensemble presenting at talk at 6:30pm, followed by a reception.

This exhibition continues a relationship between PNCA and CAE that began last year when, as part of a Global Studios trip to Europe organized by Professor Modou Dieng, Feldman Gallery and Project Space curator Mack McFarland arranged for the students to work with CAE on their project A Temporary Monument to Global Economic Inequality at Documenta 13, Kassel, Germany.

Critical Art Ensemble is presented with the sponsorship of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Portland’s Regional Arts and Culture Council, and the Oregon Cultural Trust.


March 13, 5pm
Acceptable Losses, Opening Reception
Feldman Gallery and Project Space, Main Campus Building, PNCA

March 13, 6:30pm
Critical Art Ensemble talk
Swigert Commons, Main Campus Building, PNCA

March 14, 7pm
Critical Art Ensemble: A Conversation About Art & Politics
5th Avenue Cinema
presented with Portland State University and Lewis and Clark College

March 15, 6:30pm
Brian Holmes lecture
Swigert Commons, Main Campus Building, PNCA

Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) is a collective of tactical media practitioners of various specializations, including computer graphics, wetware, video, photography, text art, book art, and performance. Formed in 1987 in Tallahassee, Florida, CAE focuses on the exploration of the intersections between art, critical theory, technology, and political activism. CAE has authored six books on cultural production and political economy.

Brian Holmes was born in San Francisco in 1959 and lives in Chicago. With Claire Pentecost and the 16 Beaver Group he co-organized the Continental Drift seminars (2005–11). He is a member of the Compass group, exploring the “Midwest Radical Cultural Corridor,” and of the Technopolitics group, with Armin Medosh and others. His recent books include Escape the Overcode (2009) and Unleashing the Collective Phantoms (2008).

As Oregon’s flagship college of art and design since 1909, Pacific Northwest College of Art has helped shape Oregon’s visual arts landscape for more than a century. PNCA students study with award-winning faculty in small classes. In the last seven years, PNCA has doubled both the student body and full-time faculty, quadrupled its endowment, and added innovative undergraduate and graduate programs. PNCA is now embarking on its boldest venture yet by establishing the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design as an anchor for the College’s vision of a new campus home on Portland’s North Park Blocks. Focusing on the transformative power of creativity, the capital campaign, Creativity Works Here, was launched in June 2012 with a lead gift from The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation of $5 million. PNCA’s new home will be a bustling hub for creativity and entrepreneurship, reflecting the influential role of art and design in our 21st century economy – both in Portland and beyond. For more information, visit

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