Project Description

The Music That Makes Us

With The MFA Art and Social Practice Program at Portland State University:  Emma Colburn, Roz Crews, Amanda Leigh Evans, Emily Fitzgerald, Harrell Fletcher, Lauren Moran, Anke Schuettler, Renee Sills, and Kimberly Sutherland.
Curator: Chiara Giovando
March 13–April 24, 2016

The Music That Makes Us Festival/ Saturday, April 23, 2016 / Doors at 4 pm
A day of songs by collaborating musicians from Kenton

Access the Kenton Audio Walk component of the exhibition here.

The Music That Makes Us is an exhibition presented by the Art and Social Practice MFA Program in collaboration with musically-inclined partners from Kenton, the neighborhood surrounding Disjecta. A cross-section of community members have been invited to expand their musical practice and collaborate on an installation of ephemera that explores the broad range of musical experiences in the neighborhood. Throughout the exhibition there will be programmed events, including temporary rehearsal space, music lessons, and a guided audio tour exploring public space through personal histories. The project culminates with a closing reception/festival of performances by the musicians featured in the exhibition, ranging from local church and school choirs to bands and individual artists. The Music That Makes Us investigates a neighborhood through its music, and emphasizes the value of diverse musical expression within a community.

With Zahra Ahmed, De La Salle North Catholic High School Choir, Dorian Neira and Daniel “D.J. Max” Lasuncet, Austin Green, Robin Gordon and the Celebration Tabernacle Ministry of Music, Kenton Brass, Kenton Church Choir, Shirley Meador, The Obo Addy Legacy Project, Peninsula School in collaboration with Caldera, Heather Perkins, André Roberson, Lisa Schonberg, Norman Sylvester, and The World Famous Kenton Club.

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Friedrich Nietzsche. “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” – Bob Marley. “Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.” – Maya Angelou. “Music is … a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.” – Ludwig van Beethoven. “Play it fuckin’ loud!” – Bob Dylan.

This exhibition is part of the Season 5 Curator-in-Residence program, Sound is Matter, curated by Chiara Giovando. Exhibition design in collaboration with Neil Doshi.


The MFA Art and Social Practice Program at Portland State University combines individual research, group work, and experiential learning to explore critical practice, collaborative social engagement, and trans-disciplinary immersive educational environments. The program has presented projects and presentations at institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Portland Institute of Contemporary Art and Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; and SOMA, Mexico City.  Ongoing partnerships include an annual artist exchange program with the British Council, London; the founding of and presentation of exhibitions at the King School Museum of Art, Portland, OR; ongoing projects with Mildred’s Lane, Beach Lake, PA; and from 2010 to 2014 an evening of socially engaged art called Shine-A-Light at the Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR.

ABOUT THE CURATOR                                                                              

Chiara Giovando is a Los Angeles-based curator and artist. She received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and a MFA from California Institute of the Arts. Giovando has a diverse portfolio; she curated Sound Structures in San Francisco, a series that recreated indeterminacy scores ranging from early Japanese Fluxus works to Steve Reich’s Pendulum Music. This spring she curated In Search of an Author at the Unge Kunstneres Samfund in Oslo, Norway. Other recent projects include The Third Ear, an exhibition of new sound art curated as part of the Fellows of Contemporary Art Curators Lab Award, and Thousand Points of Light, a site-works and residency program founded by Giovando in Joshua Tree, CA. Prior to accepting the Curator-in-Residence position at Disjecta, Giovando was Co-Director and Curator at Human Resources L.A. for two years. In 2013 she was invited to arrange a score for the Calder Quartet at the Barbican in London based on Christian Wolff’s work Edges 1969. In 2012 she was awarded a research fellowship with German collector and curator René Block that culminated in Hammer Without a Master: Henning Christiansen’s Archive, an exhibition that included fourteen artists and composers as well as archival material.


The Curator-in-Residence program provides an opportunity for emerging local and national curatorial talent to develop and expand the scope of their practice through a one-year residency. Curators engage with a broad range of artists to create a series of exhibitions in Disjecta’s dynamic 3,500-square-foot space. Past Curators-in-Residence include Rachel Adams (2014-15), Summer Guthery (2013-14), Josephine Zarkovich (2012-13), and Jenene Nagy (2011-12). More information can be found here.

Disjecta’s Curator-in-Residence program is funded in part by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Meyer Memorial Trust.




Free public reception:
Saturday, March 12, 6–10pm

March 13–April 24
Fri / Sat / Sun
Noon to 5pm

The Music That Makes Us Festival:

Saturday, April 23, Doors at 4pm