Letter From the Editors

What makes you curious?

This question is often the starting point for an idea, project, new friendship, and in the case of this issue, an interview. This collection of conversations reveals the many curiosities we are following as artists as we go deeper into our own social practices. What did you learn at school today? How do we preserve our history? What new futures are possible? are amongst some of the inquiries this issue seeks to explore. 

Questions about the classroom are aplenty in Simeen Anjum’s conversation with substitute teacher Sophie Von Rohr about the current state of Portland Public Schools following recent protests. Midori Yamanaka explores the format of workshops as a type of performance art with Daiya Aida, the director of education and outreach at the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media in Japan. Meanwhile in the lunch line, Clara digs in with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Elementary’s beloved lunch lady, Ms. Ruby Sims. And just down the hall, Luz wonders how an 89 year-old painting at the King School Library commissioned during the Works Progress Administration inspires a kindergartener named Marlo. 

Where do you search for joy when you are in need of reprieve? Is it in the water, the open road, or in sports? Gili Rappaport and J Wortham discuss the queerness of nature and water as a source of grounding and community. Nina Vichayapai talks to Samip Mallick about the power of archives for South Asian Americans reclaiming the whitewashed narrative of the American road trip. Over tea, Olivia DelGandio speaks with queer elder Rose Bond about her experiences playing on an all-lesbian softball team in the 1970s and her involvement with the gay liberation movement. 

Sometimes questions lead to answers. Sometimes questions lead to more questions. In these interviews, questions have led to new connections, great conversations, and for many of us, new avenues in our practice. We hope you enjoy exploring our curiosities with us in this issue of SoFA and feel inspired to follow some wonders of your own. 


Your SoFA Journal Editors: Simeen Anjum, Clara Harlow, Nina Vichayapai

The Social Forms of Art (SoFA) Journal is a publication dedicated to supporting, documenting and contextualising social forms of art and its related fields and disciplines. Each issue of the Journal takes an eclectic look at the ways in which artists are engaging with communities, institutions and the public. The Journal supports and discusses projects that offer critique, commentary and context for a field that is active and expanding.

Created within the Portland State University Art & Social Practice Masters In Fine Arts. Program, SoFA Journal is now fully online.

Conversations on Everything is an expanding collection of interviews produced as part of SoFA Journal. Through the potent format of casual interviews as artistic research, insight is harvested from artists, curators, people of other fields and everyday humans. These conversations study social forms of art as a field that lives between and within both art and life.

SoFA Journal
c/o PSU Art & Social Practice
PO Box 751
Portland, OR 97207