It’s April’s last show before heading off to Michigan … sigh. There WILL be more State of Wonder faves in the weeks to come, but right now we’re delivering some final thoughts on what it means to leave the place you love, and ways for thinking about the work ahead. 


Writer, illustrator, podcaster, and educator Nicole Georges splits her time between Portland and Los Angeles.

Writer, illustrator, podcaster, and educator Nicole Georges splits her time between Portland and Los Angeles.

Claudia Meza/OPB

Nicole Georges Takes Over L.A. 

Writer, illustrator, podcaster and storyteller Nicole Georges relocated to Los Angeles to upscale her prolific career. We’ve loved her work for years, from her zine, “Invincible Summer” to her band, The Sour Grapes. Georges’ award-winning memoir, “Fetch: How a Bad Dog Brought Me Home,” has been optioned for television, and her other projects are going full-tilt. Georges talks to us about making the transition, and why she still feels like a Portlander.  


Jon Bush, a gunsmith in Vancouver, WA, holds his AR-15 in his shop. Bush says the AR-15’s popularity has largely to do with the rifle’s appearance. 

Jon Bush, a gunsmith in Vancouver, WA, holds his AR-15 in his shop. Bush says the AR-15’s popularity has largely to do with the rifle’s appearance. 

Jonathan Levinson/OPB

The Gun Debate Is Obsessed With Form, Largely Ignoring Function 

The processes that bring us products like laundry soap and car logos also come into play for the rifles used in some mass shootings. OPB’s Guns and America reporter Jonathan Levinson has been looking into what makes the AR-15 desirable to gun owners — and how some of those same features muddy the debate over gun policy.   


Malia Jensen's "Nearer Nature: Worth Your Salt" structures some 27.000 video clips into a six-hour loop, on view at a dozen sites across Oregon.

Malia Jensen’s “Nearer Nature: Worth Your Salt” structures some 27.000 video clips into a six-hour loop, on view at a dozen sites across Oregon.

Courtesy of Malia Jensen

Malia Jensen Moves Us Nearer to Nature 

One of the most formidable contemporary artists in the Pacific Northwest, Malia Jensen’s latest project is a sweeping video installation that proposes a new relationship with wild places — and among everyone who experiences them. “Nearer Nature: Worth Your Salt” was culled from more than 20,000 video clips collected on Oregon wildlands, featuring all manner of animals, from elk and deer to rabbits, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, porcupines and others. The grist of the project stems from Jensen’s vision for exhibition, involving 12 sites playing back the video in a hypnotic, six-hour loop. At the same time a rejection of algorithm-driven alienation and an urgent call to connect, Jensen’s project is on view across Oregon through Dec. 2

 


Anne Ellegood was named director of the Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles in summer 2019.

Anne Ellegood was named director of the Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles in summer 2019.

Claudia Meza/OPB

Anne Ellegood at ICA LA

Oregon-born Anne Ellegood’s upward trajectory has taken her to some very exciting institutions. Her tenure as senior curator at L.A.’s Hammer Museum recently came to an end as she accepted a new job as director of the Institute of Contemporary Art - Los Angeles. Given her experience at organizations large and small, and some of the parallel issues of arts affordability and equity facing many West Coast cities, we sought out Ellegood for a conversation about her experiences. The conversation also delved into issues of identity and representation in art, particularly in the work of Jimmie Durham. For Ellegood’s perspective on Durham and this topic, check out this piece she wrote for artnet

 

Music Heard On 'State Of Wonder'

A Spotify playlist to share all the music we feature on our show and anything else that inspires us while we’re making it.