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Saturday, December 1, 2012

It makes perfect sense

What's a worthless, budget-busting streetcar line without some worthless, budget-busting artwork to go with it? These are the people for whom the City of Portland is going to try to collect a $35-a-year head tax from us. What a waste.

Comments (24)

We need to start an "International Ugly Art Festival" based in Portland and judged by our City Council.

Because if anybody knows Ugly Art, it's Porland's City Council.

Third Prize will be called "Weird & Ugly". Second price will be Weirdnomah Squalor. And the coveted Grand Prize will be the coveted "You already paid me, Bitches".

It will be awesome.

Thanks for the reminder of the bizarre two percent tax added to these projects. However, don't forget the even more outdated 'tax' that adds over 20% to the cost of every single government project. Since the 1930's, Oregon's own 'little' Davis-Bacon Act clone has been helping bust budgets for three generations.


This city has such terrible budgeting priorities. They blow $700,000 on that monstrosity when there are so many better uses for the money. If you have money for that, please don't keep asking me to raise my taxes.

This art was selected by a panel of artists and community members.
My question is if this is a public/private project, does private pay share towards art % on projects?

It stinks! and the comments here are tame compared to the comments posted with the article.

Can we swap the 2% for art and just make it 2% for PERS?
Either way it is a waste of public money, but at least it would reduce the PERS solvency tax that is on the horizon.

Hey! At least the artist is paying homage to something that used to be there:
A factory that built real tangible goods. They don't make those in Portland any more.
Dirty manual labor, ewwww.

It was a mere 1% for Art, by statute. At some point, Sam and his artsy friends managed to get it doubled: now it's "2% for Art"

Then, when asked why the funds aren't spent on higher priorities, they'll respond, "we agree there are higher priorities, but we have to follow the law." As if the law can't change.

Well, Mr. Tee. once they have it in their clutches, they ain't never turning it loose, nor letting anyone take it away from them.

I thought the % for art was only like 1% and it had to come from the cost of the project NOT from the taxpayer in more fees.
Did I miss something?

I was ready to write long ago when they foolishly first took away the turn lane as it significantly affects traffic flow (but I'm sure the city justified it in terms of safety. The "artwork" just compounds the the folly.

Exactly WHO decides these things?

Stuff like this is often called “plop art” that often is more like overpriced junk art, but what is it?
1) An artist’s rendition of Sammyboy’s wired empty brain.
2) Something just to distract drivers and cause more crashes.
3) A burned out old building representative of the burned out electrical distributor just a couple of blocks towards the river.
4) All of the above.

That thing's no Deer Baby, but it's not far behind on the spectrum of Portland-area hideous monuments to government waste. Blech!

The only upside is that they temporarily deactivated the Xerox-run red light cameras there for the construction.

Part of a $700,000 commuter art project

Egh, for the cost of two brand new buses that would lower TriMet's operating expense (due to improved reliability and lower fuel consumption compared to TriMet's current bus fleet) we can have a massive piece of art that does nothing to improve, encourage or promote transit, but uses transportation capital dollars, requires maintenance (thus an operating expense that does not current exist), and is paid for by regional taxpayers (through TriMet's $10 million regional subsidy to the City of Portland Streetcar system) that thus reduces available funding for regional transit service.

For "art", on a streetcar line that exists where multiple bus lines already exist, and does not need a Streetcar line as it is already more than well-served by transit.

But, if you live on North Fremont, enjoy that new transfer, since TriMet will no longer route your bus to downtown. Or if you live in the Maplewood neighborhood, too bad if you want to get to work outside of "weekday rush hours". There's art that needs to be installed downtown, and your bus is the sacrificial lamb to pay for it.

Ironically, it may represent what Portland will look like when these barbarians are finished with sacking it.

Art represents the collective consciousness. To me this represents our understanding that we are living in a disconstructionist period- the Portand of the near future.

Sad, really sad. If we learn from this and change our future, $700,000 is a bargain. I am not sensing we have reached critical mass yet, so expect a lot more of this urban blight before we transpire to urban bright.

"it represents the ghost of a foundry building that once stood at that location"

I actually like this one. I have a sinking feeling that the Deer Baby would have been good, too.

Living in a cluttered, over stimulating urban environment, being able to just see the sky would be art enough for me.

As far as cost, one has to wonder if too much money is being afforded these artists. What's up with the art work being so big, in some cases, overwhelming it's surroundings. Think monstrous deer baby!

The taxpayers should be presented with an opportunity to vote on the final art selections. Kind of like naming the baby elephant.

Shannon, you hVe to be careful about letting in the public on naming issues, because the public tends to be more perceptive than the politicians allowing the voting. I'm reminded of the big foofarol made by the Wisconsin Legislature about looking for a replacement for "America's Dairland" on its license plates. The contest was ended rather rapidly when the public favorite, by a six-to-one margin, was "Eat Cheese And Die".


I would guess that "piece" contains about $80,000 in materials, or $200,000 if you had to pay kickbacks to somebody's cousin.

How did you spend the rest of the $700,000?

portland native,
I also read those comments. Unfortunately, this and along with the head tax I believe is going to cast much negativity towards artists and the art scene. I was opposed to the art tax for several reasons including the collection aspect. It would be interesting to find out what funds will reach artists and students, and in this project how many dollars will remain in our local economy?

The only genuine problem I have with the RACC/opera tax is the unconstitutional aspect, really -- although the fact that it was so heavily promoted by Sam "Mayor Creepy" Adams did help.

Enjoy your retirement, Creepy. Ten years from now, when those walls on the doublewide back in Newport are closing in, just remember how much everyone loved you, way back when.

Now we get to look like Detroit. A harbinger of what's to come perhaps, or just a statement of the dystopia of the creative class being stacked and packed into the "sustainable" city? Really, this work points out how transient ALL of our creations and concepts of the future are subject to obsolescence. The Smart Growth folks who want to go back to the 19th century should look at this hulk and see their future in it and then get on with life in the real world. A great homage to the hubris of the "smartness" of our times.

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