Conceptual Ideas / Art

1.Be a local of my life

2. Local BBQ

3. elevator locals

4. Locality

5. Forced pages

6. Local maps

7. Local fruit

8. Unentitled 1 and 11

9. Like what?

“These are a series of art projects I created from 2014 to the present inspired by surf localism, and the idea of: what does it mean to be a local or belong? I grew up moving a lot, and I have lived in 55 houses. I am constantly pondering: Where am I from? And where do I belong? And who has the power to belong and w





1. Be a local of my life (2020)

Inspired by both surf localism and localism, “Be a local of my life” explores what it means to be a local of person and in a community. How can our identification as a local be shaped by memory-based knowledge instead of only site-specific factual information about a place? How does power, memory, and time influence a community member's journey to becoming a local? Community members will earn a certification to show that they have specific knowledge of artist Brianna Ortega's personal landmarks, being past memories in her life tied to site-specific spaces in their community.

I sent out an email to community members inviting them to participate in a local tour detailing five specific landmarks that have specific significance to me. In the email, the community members were invited to go to each of my personal landmarks and take a photo there as documentation of going to the place of my memory. After working through the personal landmark tour, the community members emailed back photos to me. Once I recieved their images, I emailed the community member a certification for  being a local of my life.

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2. Local BBQ (2020)

 In 2020, I participated in over 20 BBQs with my local quarentine group. I documented all of our BBQ’s through photographs over the year, and I created  a zine that compares our BBQ experinces on a local level to global BBQs around the world with facts about the biggest and longest running BBQs around the world.  There are also quotes from our local bbq members in the zine alongside the images. You can see Kelly (above) holding a copy of Local BBQ Zine.

To celebrate our BBQ Zine being pubilshed, we had a BBQ Zine Launch Party at the end of the year commeerating our BBQ Zine being published. This was open to more people of the local coastal community. 



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3. Elevator locals (2015)

I spent hours existing in elevators on the Portland State University campus. While inside of the elevator, I told strangers that I was a local of the elevator. I asked them questions such as, "Are you a local?" and told them I haven't seen them in the elevator before. Strangers responded in multiple ways, including: ignoring me, walking out of the elevator, staring at the wall silently, telling me I cannot be in the elevator and must leave, partaking in conversation with me, or going out of their way to tell me their history of being in that specific elevator, and how they have thought about it before.


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4. Locality (2015) 

When a stranger or new acquaintance asks me the "Where are you from?" question, I hand them a map with data. If you want to email me with that question, feel free to, and I will send you the map.

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5. Forced pages (2015)

I asked 50 strangers to respond to the question "What does it mean to belong somewhere?". They each wrote a response on every numbered page in a 50 page book. While in the Central Library in downtown Portland, Oregon, I ripped out each page the book, and placed it into selected Library books. A Dewey Decimal code list is available for anyone to discover where the pages now belong in the Central Library.


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6. Local maps (2015)

I paid locals of Portland one dollar to tell me where their favorite public spot is in downtown Portland. (They had to be born in the county of Portland to be a local). I drew out the answers in the form of a map. I walked around selling these maps for two dollars to non locals. I think I remembered selling 3 maps to strangers. 

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7. Local fruit (2015)

In this performance, I ate local fruit from each state I have lived in. I repeated "I am a local" over and over while simultaneously eating the fruit and stuffing my mouth with more and more fruit. Eventually, the audience could not distinguish the words "I am a local" coming from my mouth. Finally, the amount of fruit inside of my mouth stopped my ability to say "I am a local".


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8. Unentitled 1 and 11 (2015)

I took my surfboard to various public fountains and public pools in Oregon, paddled back and forth within them while laying on my surfboard. Special thanks to my colleague Nathan Sonenfeld for recording the videos of me (see screenshots above). 


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9. Like what? (2015)

I walked through the city of Portland, Oregon, sporadically asking strangers the following questions: "Do you like my face?" "Do you want to like photos of my cat" "Would you like it if I went to Cabo?" This video was a simulacra (replication) of Facebook, but in real life as a performance. 

The video is only shown on Facebook. If you would like to watch "Like, What?", and click the "like" button, please email me for the link.

Special thanks to Danny Shapiro for assisting and filming.

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10. My Normal Walk (2014)

I casually walked through the city of Portland, Oregon while carrying my surfboard. Strangers responded to me in various ways: someone told me I was too far from the ocean, others were surprised and confused by my behavior, and others thought I was carrying a snowboard.
The coast is 1 hour and 30 minutes from Portland, Oregon.

Photos were displayed on the surfboard in a corner of a room, along with simple descriptiosn of things that happened to me in each photo. Each viewer walked through a narrow pathway and took turns viewing the photos by themselves in the corner of the room.




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For inquries, contact: 

bri.ortega.m@gmail.com