I’ve had a lot to say about the mothballed Wapato Jail in North Portland. Last year, I said it’s use as a film set for an activist web series against solitary was the only good thing to come out of the facility, so I was very happy this year when artist collective ERNEST was brought to Portland by c3:Initiative to work on an artist residency about the vacant lock-up.
ERNEST produced a film, photographs, hosted community engagements, a roundtable, artists’ event and a book-club about mass incarceration. They also put out a publication to which I contributed. That essay, I’ll post here with illustrations shortly. But I just wanted to let you know that the book is now for sale.
The design of the book is by Container Corps, it’s a bit mad with tip-ins everywhere. And it’s brilliant.
The book features contributions from Ace Lehner, Sarah Fontaine, Ernest Jerome DeFrance, Dan Gilsdorf and the ERNEST team (George Pfau, Amanda Curreri, Llewelyn Fletcher and Hannah Ireland).
Demos: Wapato Correctional Facility, which is on view at c3:Initiative until Nov 22, probes the many concerns that the vacant jail suggests: breakdowns in democracy, prevailing power structures.
Here’s some “episodes” of themed footage that were woven together for ERNEST’s final centerpiece video installation.