In Dialogue: the map is not the territory

March 10, 2019 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Trustee Room, Mark Building

In Dialogue is an occasional series of interdisciplinary, discussion-based seminars that explore art on view at the Museum in relation to works in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Over the next three months, we will take inspiration from the map is not the territory to consider timely and key exhibition themes and will be led by the facilitators below.

The Shape of the Beast
Facilitated by Ryan Pierce, Artist, the map is not the territory

Using one of his paintings in the current exhibition the map is not the territory as a starting point, artist Ryan Pierce will consider the precedence and potential of monsters as an analogy for human-caused climate change. We will read and discuss several short examples of humanoid beasts from around the globe (such as Robin Wall Kimmerer’s account of the Windigo of Anishinaabe legend, or the Bigfoot of the Northwest) and see how these stories have served variously as cautionary tales of human greed or examples of the beneficence of the natural world. We will then use surrealist writing and drawing activities to makes some monsters of our own.

Ryan Pierce
Ryan Pierce makes paintings, sculptures, and texts, and facilitates journeys inspired by the resilience of the natural world. He draws on influences from ecological theory, literature, and folk art to suggest visions of a near future amid dramatic climate change. Pierce is the co-founder of Signal Fire, a group that facilitates wilderness residencies and retreats for artists of all disciplines. His work is on view in the map is not the territory.

Suggested Reading
Kimmerer, Robin Wall. “Windigo Footprints” in Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants (Minneapolis: Milkweed, 2013), pp. 303 – 9.

The In Dialogue series is cosponsored by Portland State University–University Studies.

Upcoming In Dialogue programs

April 14, 2019
1-3 p.m.

Facilitated by Sara Siestreem

May 5, 2019
1-3 p.m.
Facilitated by Sasha Archibald

Space is limited. Registration required. Cost per session: $10 Members/$20 non-member and includes Museum admission.

Purchase tickets


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, or call 503-226-2811.

Annette Bellamy, Moving Mountains, detail, 2017.
Annette Bellamy, Moving Mountains, detail, 2017, stoneware, UV resistant line, steel pins, epoxy.