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Seattle Weekender: Terry Tempest Williams, edible garden pros, and the Pride Parade

Crosscut's guide to a culturally enriching weekend in the city. Or at least some fun.
People marching in a past Seattle Pride Parade

People marching in a past Seattle Pride Parade Wikimedia Commons

Terry Tempest Williams

Terry Tempest Williams is an American author writing from the arid landscape of the West. As a young girl growing up in Utah, she and her family were exposed to radiation during atomic testing outside of Las Vegas, to which she attributes a family history of cancer-driven deaths.

Her new book, When Women Were Birds, details her mother's struggle with the disease that claimed so many of Williams' kin. While on her death bed, Terry's mother handed over her journals but requested that she not open them until she had passed. To her surprise and bewilderment, Terry found the pages within to be totally blank.

When Women Were Birds explores the meaning of the journals' emptiness and asks the question, "What does it mean to have a voice?"

If You Go: Terry Tempest Williams reads at Seattle Public Library, June 22, 7-8 p.m., free.

 

Seattle Pride Parade

This year, the Seattle Pride Parade may be more important than ever. Washington's legalization of same-sex marriage, set to go into effect June 7, has been put on the chopping block with the successful addition of Referendum 74 to the fall ballot. In a nod to the debate, Gov. Christine Gregoire will be a marshal of this year's parade.

The event has long been known for promoting equality and bringing awareness to gay issues, but, as a recent critique in the Seattle Weekly pointed out, the parade seems to have lost much of its edge in recent years with the mainstreaming of gay culture. Chanting “We’re here; We’re queer; Get used to it,” doesn’t carry quite the defiant punch it once did. With so much on the line this fall, this year's march may actually buck that trend.

​If You Go: Seattle Pride, 4th Ave and Union to Denny Way, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., June 24, free.

 

Gary Hill’s glossodelic attractors

It’s almost impossible to try and explain the video art of Californian-turned-Washingtonian Gary Hill. Some might be tempted to call him the M.C. Escher of the video era, but that would be a poor comparison by art criticism standards. Just reading about Hill's work is a challenging feat.

Hill's rotating exhibit, featured at the Henry Art Gallery through September, is titled glossodelic attractors, a label no easier understood once explained: “The title indicates that the selected works perform singular initiations into dynamical/lingual events. As psychotropic languaging vehicles these works reorient the mind by altering our conception of what language is,” explains the Henry's website.

But the visual weirdness that characterizes Hill’s work is undoubtedly interesting, snapping back and forth between reality and illusion. The Psychedelic Gedankenexperiment, one of Hill's major works, incorporates the artist himself, on video of course, speaking gibberish and impossibly contorting his body. It's all part of Hill's effort to “investigate how visual and verbal communication are experienced at the phenomenological level.” Trippy stuff, indeed.

​If You Go: glossodelic attractors, Henry Art Gallery, 15th Ave NE, Wed-Sun, now-Sept 16, $6-$10 suggested.

 

Ballard Edible Garden Tour

Sustainable Ballard's mission sounds like something akin to preparing for the apocalypse. According to its website, the organization is an effort “to help prepare ourselves and our community to sustain and thrive in a post-peak-oil future.” Resiliency and sustainability are two important touchstones that Sustainable Ballard advocates.

This Saturday marks the group's fourth annual Edible Garden Tour, in which they will share with the community issues of self-reliance and sufficiency. Professionals in the field will impart their wisdom and educate people who attend by “giving examples of creative uses of parking strips, containers, raised beds, bee houses, chicken coops, fruit trees & berries.” Questions about sustainability, and eating what you grow will be answered as you tour roughly a dozen gardens in the Ballard area. Take close note: you'll need those edible gardening skills when the world deteriorates into warring factions or runs out of fossil fuels — whichever comes first.


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