Bioregional Beers Event to Launch Ecotopia Today: Learning From Cascadia Atlas

Join Brian Holmes, Howard Silverman, and Mack McFarland for a bioregional beer at The Oregon Public House, 700 NE Dekum St, on Saturday April 6th, at 3:30pm.

They’ll discuss the online atlas Learning from Cascadia, as well as the futures of bioregionalism in the Anthropocene and a new interactive mapping tool that we will be launching. All are welcome, the first 15 folks to show up will get a free beer.

Learn more at our event here or more info at:

PCNA Cascadia Bioregion Map

Learning from Cascadia, at, is a set of multimedia maps, bound together on a single web-based platform to create an atlas of the Columbia River Basin and the bioregion known as Cascadia. Focusing on the political ecology connected to this river system, Learning from Cascadia is as much a geography of persons, histories, and collective experiences, as it is a map of locations and sites. The atlas has its roots in Holmes’s past endeavors in cartography, such as the Living Rivers project across gallery.  Like that work it is highly collaborative, blending the insight and authorship of many different people. It is a work in progress, full of information and insights, but also gaps, errors and hidden prejudices or distortions that the authors cannot see. You’re welcome to enjoy it and to help make it better. If you’d like to see something here, or have comments or critiques or a revelation to share, just send a message to

Learning from Cascadia was commissioned by PNCA and is made possible thanks to the generosity of c3:initiative, where Brian Holmes has been in residency on three occasions, and thanks to the support of the Oregon Cultural Trust.

Brian Holmes is a polyglot art and cultural critic who got waylaid by the Anthropocene. After doing his PhD in Romance Languages in the 1980s at UC Berkeley, Holmes moved to Paris and became involved with art and activism, working as English editor for the publications of Documenta X and agitating in the counter-globalization movement. His essays on art, political economy and social change have appeared in journals and magazines such as Springerin, Multitudes, Brumaria, Open, #Errata and E-flux, as well as innumerable exhibition catalogues and three books of collected essays (Hieroglyphs of the Future, Unleashing the Collective Phantoms and Escape the Overcode). He has lectured at museums and universities around the world and taught occasional classes in cultural theory at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fe, Switzerland, and later at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Howard Silverman is a principal at the consultancy Pattern Labs, working with the tools of systems, scenarios, resilience, and design thinking and practice. He teaches systems thinking in the MFA Collaborative Design program at PNCA. For many years, Howard was senior writer and analyst at Portland, Oregon-based Ecotrust, where he led the development of publications large and small, for dozens of partners and clients, in a wide range of media. Along the way, he gained experience in sectors (food systems, fisheries and forestry, climate and energy, green building, regenerative finance) and with approaches (scenario planning, spatial planning, market design, event design, life cycle assessment, online-offline engagement, and developmental evaluation). Howard writes at Solving for Pattern

Mack McFarland is a cultural producer and has worked as Curator for Pacific Northwest College of Art since 2006. Currently McFarland is the Director of the Center for Contemporary Art & Culture at PNCA. His exhibitions at PNCA have included commissioned projects of new works from tactical media practitioners Critical Art Ensemble, Eva and Franco Mattes, and Disorientalism.  He has also curated a review of Luc Tuymans’s printed works, a group exhibit marking the centennial of John Cage’s birth, and a comprehensive look at the process of the comic journalist Joe Sacco.  McFarland’s current question is how exhibitions and artworks can meaningfully link to our shared experience of existing together and within the ongoing process of history.

Learn more at our event here or more info at:

About the Pacific Northwest College of Art

The Pacific Northwest College of Art works to reimagine what art and design can do in the world is the only art and design college located in one of the most progressive cities in the United States. For all of its one hundred-plus years, PNCA has nurtured the talent in its students for radically reimagining everything, transforming the lives of our students and everyone they touch. Our studios and galleries continue to give rise to a vibrant community of innovators and culture-makers who shape the cultural landscape. 

Post a comment