In mid-summer, a silver trailer appeared at Southeast Portland's Washington High School. For the city's art lovers, that trailer meant one thing: Portland's biggest and most ambitious contemporary art festival was just around the corner.
The Portland Institute for Contemporary Art's Time-Based Art Festival (TBA) is in its third year at Washington High School, and its third year and final year under the artistic direction of Cathy Edwards. Edwards has run a dance-focused festival, which this year sees the inclusion of local favorites tEEth; she's also presided over Washington High's vibrant late-night hub, where classrooms turn into art galleries, an auditorium hosts high-concept dance parties, and audiences fuel up on booze and food cart food.
It's hard to know what to expect from TBA's lineup each year—but elements of surprise, discovery, and, yes, even disappointment are what keep the festival vital. Our TBA:11 guide features interviews and previews of festival artists; for on-the-spot festival coverage (including attempts to survive Mike Daisey's ambitious 24-hour-monologue, see pg. 5 for more info), check out our annual TBA blog at tba.portlandmercury.com.