The History of Weird Shift

Weird Shift began in 2012. It was named "Weird Shit Con" then, and was a gathering of interesting people so that they could talk about anything that they wanted to, outside of the standards of conferences and professional obligations. The idea worked well. When people got together to share things, chosen only because they wanted to share interesting things, a wide range of amazing topics were introduced. What started as a gathering of "weird" topics quickly became anything but. People talked passionately about what they knew and what they wanted others to know, and the common introduction "this might sound weird, but..." taught all who attended that the world is in itself much weirder than we give it credit for being, and that is in fact, normal. We went on a field trip, too.

In 2013, we renamed WSC to Weird Shift Con, and expanded the approach. With a month long gallery show at gallery:Homeland in Portland, Oregon, capped by a weekend-long conference in the middle, we extended the scope of what was work that could be shared. It didn't just need to be ideas. Weird Shift could be musical performance, video art, improvisational walking tours, rehabbed and hacked machinery, book collections, food, and interactive art installations.

For 2014, with a grant from the Precipice Fund, The Calligram Foundation, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Weird Shift will be opening up the Weird Shift Storefront. For a period of six months, Weird Shift will operate a center for marginalia studies. In this space there will be workshops, lectures, interviews, installations, and performances. And above all, there will be access to the archives, which will catalog Weird Shift work both old and new, so that time will no longer be a factor in sharing and experiencing what people find weird and interesting.

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