I just took this fun time lapse video of the early stages of cutting down a F-94 aircraft tank for my latest project. If only these things went as fast as it looks in the video!
On October 25th the exhibition “Re:New” (Curated by myself and Jeff Hantman) opened at Lost & Foundry Gallery. The show featured works produced by former Artists in Residence at Recology after they had completed their residencies.
I’ve uploaded a slideshow of the event here: Re:New at Lost & Foundry, October 2014
If you’re in the vicinity of Ephraim Utah, I’ll have a piece in this show, opening Friday November 14th.
“Modern man has always been fascinated by mechanized modes of transportation. From the invention of the wheel to the first space flight, the compulsion to travel further, higher, faster, deeper has resulted in a multitude of mechanized vehicles and vessels. This exhibition explores the obsession to motate, and showcases assemblage contraptions which reinterpret modes of transportation on land, in the air, and at sea. The exhibition includes both unique visions of 2D collage and 3D assemblage work.”
I finally have a few more short screen tests of the tiny animation armatures I’ve been working on. These little guys have been incredibly challenging for a number of reasons, but its worth it to see them come alive on screen. Despite all the hours invested so far, I’ve still only spent a few of them actually behind the camera so there is still much to be learned about the actual art of animation. Up to this point I’ve been focusing on miniaturizing my process and learning how to produce reliable linkages between the parts that will allow for a nice range of motion. Up next is further study of the pacing and strategy required with the camera work to produce smooth, lifelike motion. As you can see in these clips, things are still pretty choppy.
Hey Bay Area people. I’m curating a show with Jeff Hantman that features former Artists in Residence from the San Francisco Dump. I’ll have some of my new tiny pieces to share and I’ll have my studio open, as will several of the other awesome people in our compound.
Facebook event here.
See below for full details, tell a friend!
On October 25th, Oakland-based Lost & Foundry Studios and Gallery will present Re:New, an exhibit featuring work created by a selection of artists after they completed their residencies at Recology’s Artist in Residence program.
For nearly 25 years Recology’s Artist in Residence program at the San Francisco Dump has been providing artists with the facilities and support necessary to make art from the city’s waste stream. Over 100 artists have passed through the program making their own personal statements about art, waste, and reuse. Through the years Recology has amassed an impressive collection of these works, and has worked hard to exhibit them throughout the city at a variety of venues.
Lost & Foundry co-directors Nemo Gould and Jeff Hantman are both alums of Recology, and have felt the impact this program has had on their work. This exhibit will pool together several diverse artists who have been similarly impacted by their experience, and demonstrate Recology’s role in shaping art in the Bay Area.
The Re:New exhibit will open Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 5-8 PM at Lost & Foundry Studios and Gallery, located at 305 Center Street, Oakland CA (only half a block from West Oakland BART.)
Featured artists (year in residence):
-Ellen Babcock (2007)
-Micah Gibson (2007)
-Nemo Gould (2007)
-Barbara Holmes (2008)
-Ferris Plock (2011)
-Lauren DiCioccio (2011)
-Jeff Hantman (2012)
-Benjamin Cowden (2013)
-Yulia Pinkusevich (2013)
-Hannah Quinn (2013)
Lost & Foundry Studios and Gallery is a collective art space in West Oakland. Twelve artists and craftspeople currently work in the three building compound. In addition to the exhibit in the gallery, many of the workspaces of the tenants will be open for viewing during the event.
For as long as I can remember I’ve been in love with stop motion animation. I would say it was early exposure to films made this way that helped convince me to pursue a life in the arts. I’ve made a number of half hearted attempts to try the technique myself over the years, but have always met with some level of disappointment or failure. Well, I recently mustered the nerve to give it another go:
In the span of just seven seconds I think I managed to cram about a million rookie mistakes, but its a good start none the less.
Not visible in the clip above is the rigging that had to be made in order to position the character:
This rigging was photoshopped out of each frame after the sequence was filmed. Now that I have a serviceable character, and a way to position and pose it, I have a lot to learn about the actual art of animation as well as pesky details such as narrative, sets, sound etc.
I mentioned before that I have usually met with some kind of misfortune at this stage. This time my camera broke during my first day of shooting! I’m shipping it off for repairs today, and won’t let this setback stop me this time!
Meredith May just wrote a very insightful piece about me in the San Francisco Chronicle. It was an honor to have had an actual journalist come over for an actual interview, with facts! The issue is on the stands today, or you can read the whole thing online here.
I just added a new little piece to my portfolio titled “Hang on, it gets better“:
“The discovery of an image of boys climbing the rope in gym class brought back some early trauma for me. This piece takes a look at the sort of world in which such an activity could be considered relevant in preparation for adult life.”
Equipment case, radio tuning dial cover, doorbell button, magazine clippings, voltage meters, LEDs.
Well, its that time of year again, Maker Faire is this weekend!
I’ll be bringing my large scale piece “Armed and Dangerous” as well as some new miniatures (image above) that I have been working on for a stop motion animation experiment.
You can find us at booth #111 in the South/East corner of Expo Hall at the San Mateo Event Center. Saturday May 17 from 10AM to 8PM, Sunday May 18 from 10AM to 6PM.
Above: Armed and Dangerous at Lost & Foundry’s recent open house.
Last week I had the pleasure of visiting artist Al Honig in his San Francisco studio. He’s definitely a sculptor after my own heart, a lifelong hoarder of wonderful things. He is on the verge of some structural changes to his studio, and a shift in his creative process that led him to invite me to help myself to his awesome supply of treasures! It was a huge treat to peruse such a carefully curated trove of found objects. Below is a collection of images from the visit, and the resulting pile of stuff that made it back to my studio. Countless creative possibilities here.
Thanks for your tremendous generosity Al!
Here are a few examples of Al’s work from his website:
US Products 2006
14″ x 8″ x 12″
Yesterday the New York Times ran an article by Trevor Tondro about the fabulous home of Jonathan and Wendy Segal in San Diego. The impeccable taste of its owners was demonstrated by the placement of two of my smaller pieces: “Psychos-O-matic” and “A Head for Numbers” (Works by Dan Jones were also shown but not credited). Its always a joy for me to see where these pieces wind up, especially when its in homes as lovely as this.
Our technological age brings us closer to people we don’t actually know. Many of whom, we’d rather not. This fellow uses his limited processing power to fill the internet with thoughtless commentary. You’re welcome.
15″ x 15″ x 8″
Typewriter, stenotype machine, calculator, film camera, coffee pot handle, binoculars, relay, wall paper, book binding paper, light bulbs, LEDs
I’m pleased to announce that my studio collective Lost & Foundry will be having another open house and exhibit!
Join us at the event on Saturday, March 15 from 4-8 PM at 305 Center Street, Oakland, CA.
We are literally bursting at the seams with talented people these days. Join us to view the work and studios of:
If you can’t find anything here that interests you, you should probably see a doctor.
You can see photos from our last event in February 2013 here.
I’m super excited to be able to share final images and video for my series of Cephalopods commissioned by the Monterey Bay Aquarium! The pieces are destined for the upcoming exhibit “Tentacles: The Astounding Lives of Octopuses, Squid and Cuttlefishes,” opening April 12, 2014. These pieces will help tell stories about the impacts that pollution, overfishing and habitat destruction have on these animals. The project has truly been a dream come true for me and I’ll be sure to post images of the pieces once they are installed among real sea creatures in April. I will also be displaying these pieces briefly at an open house event in my studio Saturday March 15th. Stay tuned for details to follow.
In the mean time I’ve posted details of each piece individually: Cuttlefish, Octopus, and Nautilus here on my site, and put together a quick video overview of all three (above). Below is a very cool little video that the Aquarium produced about the making of the pieces as well as a few teaser images of finished pieces:
I’m in the final stages of my diorama project. The last step is to generate decorative frames that mask away some of the mechanical components of the pieces and focus the viewer on the creatures in their environment. For this aspect I wanted each one to be identical, to tie the three together thematically. While simple in concept and design this actually posed some technical difficulties. Fortunately my neighbor (Hero Design) was ready to help with their CNC router. Its the first time I’ve ever made use of this type of machine, a real time saver!
I had to finish the inside edge with a hand router to make it look more decorative:
Well, the Cuttlefish “tank” is really starting to shape up. A breakthrough moment came when I decided to throw my whole collection of stove top coffee maker lids at the ground plain. I’m not entirely sure what kind of plant they are supposed to represent, but their sheer numbers work to suggest some kind of life. I’m still on the fence about the single color changing spot light. The idea was to direct it at the large Cuttlefish’s back to suggest their color changing skin. Once I’ve added in the general “water” lights I’ll make a decision.
While researching the extremely weird Cuttlefish for this project I was stuck by the odd shape of their eyes. It’s difficult to capture all of the nuances that make these creatures, but its a start (I know, technically the irises are inverted in mine, don’t be so literal!).
The Octopus I posted a while back finally has a home! I settled on a deep blue fade background with beveled side mirrors to create a sort of infinity effect. The real trick was getting all of the seaweed (refrigerator coolant lines) to twist in sync with each other. This was important because I wanted to create the effect of a current running through the “tank”. They are powered by the motor from the seat adjust mechanism from a BMW sedan. I found it ran a little fast so the large gear was added to slow the speed and raise the torque of the system.
The long, ugly cuts in the center are to allow for strips of LEDs to illuminate the interior. I’m pretty anxious now to move on to that stage so I can see how it looks all lit up.
A good deal of work still remains. I hope to better develop the floor and raise the Octopus higher to better center it in the frame. More little jelly fish will also be added to the background.
It’s a little difficult to make out in this shaky video, but the Baby Cuttlefish are now properly mounted on the “piers” and have little mechanisms causing them rock gently back and forth. I’m looking forward to introducing them to the larger Cuttlefish I’ve already assembled.
I’ve just finished up a new little piece (“Tipsy”) that will be on display briefly at the Exploratorium in San Francisco CA. The event will be celebrating the launch of a new book “The Art of Tinkering” which I’m proud to be featured in. There will be a small exhibit featuring some of the artists in the book as well as numerous other attractions throughout the venue.
Artists in the exhibit are:
This event is Thursday, November 7 from 6-10 PM at Pier 15 San Francisco CA.
Admission is $15 General, $10 Members.
Check it out: Tipsy
I’ve explored the corkscrews-as-people theme before, but it was the discovery of an unusual brass one that got me interested again. This piece was also an excuse to delve into patinas. Note that the figure is polished shiny, while the rest is stained a deep brown/purple.
Corkscrew, door hardware cover plates, cooking pot, candle stick parts, toy gearbox, motor, aluminum and brass stock.
This months issue of Vanity Fair (October 2013) has an interesting article about the influence of socialite/tech entrepreneur Trevor Traina in bringing tech heavyweights into the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. Many years ago I had the good fortune to install my “Goliath” sculpture (part of my M.F.A. work at U.C. Berkeley) in this neighborhood. The reception was mixed, as not everyone there felt he was a welcome addition. None the less I’m pleased that the piece is still relevant to the discussion on class and taste that continues to rage on the hill.
Below is an excerpt (you can read the whole thing here) of the article where the sculpture is mentioned:
Some bad blood followed Ellison (thats Larry Ellison of Oracle) to the Gold Coast when Nicola Miner- daughter of the Oracle co-founder Robert Miner, with whom Ellison had clashed- bought across the street from him and erected on the terrace a nine-foot robot sculpture which you can’t help but notice is male, due to the steel gas-pump nozzle and hose he has for a penis. It’s aimed directly at Ellison’s house. “There was a lot of talk about this being a thumbing of the nose at Larry,” recalls Traina. But Miner replies that the robot “has nothing whatsoever to do with my father’s (or my) relationship with Larry Ellison,” which she describes as “largely harmonious…. We just thought it would make a fun contrast to our serious neighborhood…though I do know some neighbors disagree.”
An image of the sculpture did not actually appear in the article, I just couldn’t resist photoshopping him next to Kate Upton. The second image is a helpful map that illustrates the sort of company that Goliath now keeps.
As I move forward on my undersea diorama series I find its time to get serious about the backdrops. I found some really terrific psychedelic plastic material that looks a good deal like water. By overlaying it with some blue acetate the effect is even stronger.
I wanted to back light it with color changing LEDs but ran into some trouble getting a good sequence of colors. I face pressure daily to get with the times and start programing my own electronics for these pieces, but its just not in my nature to turn to my computer to solve tangible problems in the studio. The LEDs I chose for this project come with a handy little sequencer that you can program (with actual buttons) to output all sorts of patterns. A gentle color shift selection was really nice, except that the reds were out of place for an underwater scene. I struggled with this until it finally occurred to me: Connect the “red” signal wire back to the “blue” contact on the LEDs! Worked like a charm. Shown in the video below is the result with two parallel rows of the LEDs with the blue and green lines crossed between them to change up the pattern even more.