The city's annual arts festival (no, kids, it's not all about Iggy Pop and Garbage) lives up to its name with a strong lineup of visual arts this year. It all begins with "The Pop Smear Test," a free kickoff party from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 31, in the Northwest Courtrooms. Assorted local audio-based artists will create compositions based solely on sounds provided by the audience (better work on that armpit-fart thing you do). Sound art is also the subject of "In Resonance" an ambitious exploration of contemporary audio art defying all categories. Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth will create an installation, artist/DJ Marina Rosenfeld has been commissioned to do a piece involving Super 8 film footage, and you'll have a chance to see work by internationally renowned composer and installation artist Stephen Vietiello. "Raw and Refined" is a project from local curator Jess Van Nostrand, who's commissioned multiple artists, including Etsuko Ichikawa and Diem Chau, to focus on two materials: one raw, the other refined (tree roots and Barbie Doll molds, for instance). Other visual-arts highlights include "Outside In," an investigation into nature, technology, and human impacts on the environment; the poorly named "Recontextualizing Vistas," a exhibit of artists working in the red counties of Eastern Washington; and the inevitable "Art of Modern Rock," an annual parade of concert posters by the likes of Frank Kozik, the Ames Brothers, and Mark Arminski. Bumbershoot Visual Arts, Seattle Center (Northwest Courtrooms, and Fidalgo, Shaw, Lopez, and Rainier Rooms), 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Free with admission ($18/day). Fri. Sept. 2-Mon. Sept. 5. ANDREW ENGELSON

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