Epic Ephemera: Breaking Ground

May 29, 2021 @ 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Pamela Z: 9:15 – 10 p.m.
keyon gaskin: 10:15  – 11 p.m.

This is a FREE event and does not require a ticket.

Attendees are asked to wear a mask for this event, and can also bring a low chair for sitting if desired. 

For full experience of this immersive work, please feel free to move around the courtyard throughout the performances to take advantage of the 360 view of the projection installation.

Mobile Projection Unit presents an outdoor digital installation series at the Portland Art Museum, reimagining space at an epic scale and unraveling hidden mythologies. The Epic Ephemera series ranges from a group screening of experimental media work rooted in ritual, sculpting canvases atop architecture to reveal the poetics of the natural world, to bringing leading pioneers of audio/video/coding to Portland through a digital portal. Epic Ephemera reinvents public space and shared experience, transcending the limitations of our screens.

The final event in the series—Breaking Ground—will be a massive live video and audio experience with two pioneers in interactive video, sound, and movement. Pamela Z will live stream a performance from her studio in San Francisco. Z combines various vocal sounds including operatic bel canto, experimental extended techniques and spoken word, with sampled sounds and found objects. Z’s musical aesthetic is one of sonic accretion, and she processes her voice in real time through software programs as a means of layering, looping, and altering her live vocal sound. Her performance work often includes special controllers with sensors that allow her to use physical gestures to manipulate sound and projected media. keyon gaskin will perform eat the mausoleum on site in the Museum’s Jubitz Center for Modern and Contemporary Art and the courtyard. In a first time collaboration with Mobile Projection Unit, gaskin will manipulate, layer and loop—their image, footage of a burning museum, devil emoji masks and a game of hangman with a phone—using software effects and motion capture cameras. While occupying the museum, gaskin will be live manipulating sound to create a noisy and ominous aural atmosphere and eventually roller skating amongst the projections. Through movement, sound, and text, gaskin’s works interrogate modalities that insist on clear pictures; they address “intimacy and the failure to see, nearness that obstructs rather than clarifies…” (Litia Perta)

Pamela Z
Pamela Z is a composer/performer and media artist who works primarily with voice, live electronic processing, sampled sound, and video. A pioneer of live digital looping techniques, she processes her voice in real time to create dense, complex sonic layers. Her solo works combine experimental extended vocal techniques, operatic bel canto, found objects, text, digital processing, and wireless MIDI controllers that allow her to manipulate sound with physical gestures. In addition to her solo work, she has been commissioned to compose scores for dance, theatre, film, and chamber ensembles including Kronos Quartet, Eighth Blackbird, the Bang on a Can All Stars, Ethel, and San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. Her interdisciplinary performance works have been presented at venues including The Kitchen (NY), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (SF), REDCAT (LA), and MCA (Chicago), and her installations have been presented at such exhibition spaces as the Whitney (NY), the Diözesanmuseum (Cologne), and the Krannert (IL). Pamela Z has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, and Japan. She has performed in numerous festivals including Bang on a Can (New York), Interlink (Japan), Other Minds (San Francisco), La Biennale di Venezia (Italy), Dak’Art (Sénégal) and Pina Bausch Tanztheater Festival (Wuppertal, Germany). She’s a recipient of numerous awards including the Rome Prize, United States Artists, a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation residency, the Guggenheim, the Doris Duke Artist Impact Award, Herb Alpert Award, an Ars Electronica honorable mention, and the NEA Japan/US Friendship Commission Fellowship. She holds a music degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

keyon gaskin
keyon gaskin prefers not to contextualize with their credentials.


The Portland Art Museum is pleased to offer accommodations to ensure that our programs are accessible and inclusive. All spaces for this program are accessible by wheelchair. Assistive listening devices are also available for lectures. All restrooms have accessible stalls but no power doors. There are single-stall all-gender bathrooms available. Please ask staff for directions.

We will do our best to accommodate your needs when you arrive, however, we need 2-3 weeks advance notice for some specific requests. Please email requests to access@pam.org, or call 503-226-2811.

TOP IMAGE: rubra (courtesy of Ars Electronica) BOTTOM IMAGE: Courtesy keyon gaskin