was a center for contemporary art in Southeast Portland, Oregon. It was led by a desire to support artists, propose new modes of production, and stimulate the ongoing public discourse around art. This website serves as an archive of Yale Union’s programming from 2011 through 2021.

Yale Union acknowledges that it occupies the traditional lands of the Multnomah, Chinook, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Tualatin Kalapuya, Molalla, and other Indigenous peoples.


Are, is being, will have been
A Lecture
May 24, 2011, 5pm
$5 suggested donation

What might it mean to archive the activities of a non-collecting contemporary art center? How should an institution record its present tense? How can the recording device function as a prosthetic, accomplice, or rival to what happens in four fat dimensions? What gets obfuscated in the transfer? How much is an institution beholden to its own past? Its neighbor’s past? Etc.

David Senior, Bibliographer, The Museum of Modern Art Library, presents a survey of artist publications from the 20th century. Senior is joined by David Abel, a Portland-based writer, editor, and executor of poet Gene Frumkin’s archive. A current Research Fellow at the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art, Abel will speak about how archives are adaptable to history in the making. Christina Olsen presents on The Getty Foundation’s Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative and Object Stories, a project at the Portland Art Museum featuring an interactive video booth where visitors’ stories are captured and published in an online digital archive.

There was a time when photographs and documents were thought of as recorders of reality. Now we know they largely invent reality. At one stage or another, whether in shooting, developing, editing or placement, pictures and documents are manipulated. Which means that we are manipulated. We are so used to this that we don’t see it; it’s just a fact of life. Art, which is in the business of questioning facts, often takes on manipulation as a subject of investigation.