Curriculum Vitae

Biography

Multi-disciplinary artist whose background includes working as a commercial fisherman, a bus driver, a film and video editor, and teacher (preschool, middle school, and university level).   Kinetic sculpture work has been exhibited in the United States and Ireland, and has received press in NPR, the Village Voice, PC Magazine, CNN, Rolling Stone, and the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and Comedy Central.  MFA from the Arts, Computation and Engineering program at UC Irvine.

Skills

Power and hand tools, milling machine, lathe, MIG welding, MAX, programming Arduino microcontrollers.  Capable of building anything out of paperclips.  AutoCad.  Project Management.

Education

2009 Master of Fine Arts, Arts Computation and Engineering

University of California, Irvine

Thesis project: Phantom Limb Generator, a robotic amputation saw.

2004-2005 Fordham University Graduate School of Education

Major in Special Education

2003 Bachelor of Arts, Liberal Arts

New School University, New York, NY

1994-1996 University of North Carolina, Asheville

Major in Literature and Language

1993-1994 Northeastern University, Boston, MA

Major in English

1991-1993 University of North Carolina, Charlotte

Major in Architecture

Selected Projects

2013 Sweet! Los Angeles CA (Ongoing)

Designed and built the “Skittles Construction Site”, an elaborate candy vending machine/ game.   The machine has four stations, each with a miniature construction crane, made from waterjet-cut and welded stainless steel.   The cranes are controlled with a joystick, and pick up candy from a central reservoir.   They drop the candy into miniature dump trucks, which are then driven back to dump the candy down a chute .

2013 Google Mountain View CA

Commissioned to design, develop and manufacture 75 individual “desktop machines” to be given to VIP attendees of Google Zeitgeist Americas.   The final product was the “Automatic Lamp Snuffer”, a device driven by an alcohol lamp, which drove a piston, releasing a steel ball down a track, which ultimately effected a mechanism that snuffed the lamp out.   Parts were cut on a waterjet out of stainless steel, then TIG welded, then powdercoated before final assembly.

2012 Google Zeitgeist Paradise Valley AZ

Presenter at Google’s annual invitation-only conference.  Zeitgeist is described as “series of intimate gatherings of top global thinkers and leaders.”  Presented a “Rube Goldberg” machine in front of a live audience of over 300.   The machine was constructed over the course of a single day, and used a belt sander, a lawnmower and a sledge hammer to drop a single olive into a martini glass.  Feedback put this talk as one of the favorites of the entire conference

2012  Red Bull Kluge Orange County CA

Lead Engineer/ Creative Director of a massive “Rube Goldberg” chain reaction machine that incorporated Red Bull’s sponsored athletes.  The machine took place outdoors on a five acre site that included a decommissioned aircraft hangar.  The machine incorporated a helicopter, a drift car, a 60-foot vertical motorcycle jump, and used approximately .75 mile of 2×4 lumber.  The resulting video garnered 7 million Youtube views in the first week of release, and was covered by CNN, Rolling Stone, and other mainstream media outlets.

2012  Cellairis “Tweet Punisher”  Los Angeles CA

Designed and built a robotic typewriter to demonstrate Cellairis’ screen protector for smartphones.   The Tweet Punisher scrapes a twitter feed and sends messages with a specified “hashtag” to a modified Underwood Number 5 typewriter, which automatically punches out messages directly onto the screen of a smartphone, ultimately destroying the phone.  The Tweet Punisher won two “ADDY” awards for 2013.

2011 Kiehl’s Skincare New York NY

Commissioned to create custom mechanical sample dispensers for Kiehl’s 160 year retrospective.  The machines are made from brass and steel and are intended to fit a “victorian” aesthetic.   Coordinated services and vendors to complete design, construction and cross-country delivery from start to finish in three weeks.

2011 Scientific American Film Series Los Angeles CA

Created a number of kinetic sculptures to illustrate specific psychological concepts and brain functions, such as synapses firing, and Pavlovian conditioning.

2011 TED Conference for General Electric Long Beach CA

Commissioned by General Electric to build a mechanical sculpture for their pavilion at the 2011 TED conference.  Inspired by GE’s Jenbacher J920 natural gas engine, it was fashioned from waterjet-cut and laser cut steel, aluminum, and acrylic.  It features a functional four cylinder acrylic and aluminum “engine” assembly, and 180 miniature steel houses, each with a hand wired LED. Each house represents 100 homes, illustrating the J920’s generating capacity to power 18000 typical homes.

2010 George P. Johnson Torrance CA

Created a “Rube Goldberg”/ chain reaction machine that was filmed as a holiday greeting for a global marketing firm.  The machine contained 23 individual interactions and lasted approximately one minute.

2010 The Wilderness Machine Los Angeles CA

Commissioned by director Chris Milk and Radical Media for Google and Arcade Fire.

With collaborator Tom Jennings, created a 7 axis robot calligrapher as the physical manifestation of “The Wilderness Downtown”, a Google Chrome experiment and interactive music video by Chris Milk, featuring the song “We Used To Wait” by the band Arcade Fire.  The machine is a custom pen plotter that prints viewer-generated postcards and ejects them into the world.  It is designed to travel with the band while on tour.

2010 Disney XD (Disney) Los Angeles CA

Created a “Rube Goldberg” machine as a station identification spot for Disney’s XD children’s network.

2010 The Colbert Report (Comedy Central / Viacom) New York NY

Created a “Rube Goldberg” machine to replace the opening credits and commercial bumpers for the April 29th, 2010 show.  Incorporated a number of motifs and themes from the show in the machine.

2010 Wipeout (ABC)  Los Angeles CA

Consulted on the concept and design of obstacles for the 2011 season of the television game show Wipeout.

2010 OK Go- “This Too Shall Pass- RGM Version” Music Video Los Angeles CA

Primary designer/engineer/builder of a massive Rube Goldberg / Chain Reaction machine, built inside a two-level, 30,000 square foot warehouse.  The sequence was over four minutes long, shot in one continuous take.

Responsible for designing and building the connective parts of many of the individual mechanisms, and many individual parts of the machine itself.  The video won the Audience Award for Best Music Video at the Los Angeles Film Festival, the Audience Choice award for Viral/Web Film from the Association of Independent Commercial Producers, as well as the UK Music Video Award for Video of the Year, and is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Press for the project included pieces on CNN, BBC, Rolling Stone, National Public Radio, Make Magazine, and Wired.

2009 Phantom Limb Generator

The Phantom Limb Generator is a robotic device that is designed to facilitate the removal of an otherwise healthy limb via amputation.   An intentionally absurd device, it is intended to raise questions about what it means to “use” something, and about a consumer’s relationship to the products they use.  The user places his or her arm in the device, pulls a trigger, and a modified circular saw advances across the arm, severing it, then returning to its original position.  A pump bathes the spinning saw blade in an iodine solution to maintain a sterile envelope around the wound, and the device incorporates a custom speaker phone that automatically dials 911 at the completion of the cycle.   Conceived / designed / built / programmed all elements including the fabrication and design of custom parts and electronics.  Created and edited a corresponding instructional video for using the device.  The machine is controlled by an Arduino microcontroller.

2008 Bronco Table

The Bronco Table is a robotic “feral table”  which detects an object placed on its surface and launches into convulsions, kicking its legs out, lurching and bucking  until the object is knocked off.  It senses via a piezo microphone, so it “hears”, rather than “feels” the object, which adds complexity to the table’s behavior- it also responds to being yelled at, and earthquakes.   The machine is controlled by an Arduino microcontroller.  Conceived / designed / built / programmed all elements including fabrication and design of custom parts and electronics.

2008 Commission: Arthur Piccinati Residence, Paradise Valley AZ

A kinetic sculpture that rotates via a single fan.  The speed of the device is regulated by a mercury switch, and the rotation drives a sequence of lights and chimes.

2006 Autogamelan

An automated musical instrument made from pyrex pot lids, steel pipe, and electrical components.   Concentric pulleys close switches at slightly differing rates, triggering hammers that strike pot-lid “gongs” and steel chimes in a constantly evolving melody.

2005 Huffyphonic Gyrovalkyrie

A commission by Ed Hayes, a high profile attorney and author in New York City.  The Huffyphonic Gyrovalkyrie is a hanging rotating musical sculpture that is built around a bicycle wheel whose spokes have been cut out and replaced by guitar strings.  An electric guitar pickup is mounted above the strings and the signal is amplified and played through a speaker hanging below the apparatus.  Movement is attained through hand-made propellers and motors mounted on the wheel’s rim.  The strings do not need to be plucked, rather the motion of the strings past the pickup is enough to generate a signal.   The overall sound of the instrument has been described as “R2-D2 from the deep end of a swimming pool”.

2005 Lunchlady’s Revenge

A collection of musical recordings created with the Huffyphonic Gyrobanshee 1000, an automated rotating electronic harp, similar to the Gyrovalkyrie made from bicycle and electric guitar parts.  The Gyrobanshee differs from the Gyrovalkyrie in that it is a playable musical instrument.

2004 Robozoic

A menagerie of simple robots constructed from electromagnets and paperclips, controlled by a hand-made “music box mechanism”.  The control mechanism turns the electromagnets on and off, causing the bots to move freely across a surface, and in doing so they create collaborative carbon-paper drawings.

The drawings are intended to be analogous to fossilized tracks left by primitive creatures at the dawn of time, and and echoes the current, similar state of Artificial Intelligence.

Selected Exhibitions

2010 WIRED Pop Up Store New York NY

Exhibited the Wilderness Machine for WIRED Magazine’s nomadic showcase.

2010 Architecture and Design Museum Los Angeles CA

“Syynterstitial”

Group show with Syynlabs.

2010 LACMA Los Angeles CA

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Exhibition of work from the music video for OK Go’s “This Too Shall Pass”.

2008 ACM SIGGRAPH Los Angeles CA

The Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on  Graphics and Interactive Techniques.

“Maker’s Night”.  Exhibited the Bronco Table.

2007 Jonathan Shorr Gallery New York NY.

“Odds and Ends”  3 person show.   Group shows from 2004-2007.

2006 Artbots:  The Robot Talent Show New York NY

Location One Gallery

Part of New York City’s Science + Art Festival 2006.

2005 Artbots:  The Robot Talent Show Dublin Ireland

Co-Sponsored by The Ark: A Cultural Center for Children, and Columbia University Computer Music Center.

2004 Kerrigan Campbell Art+Projects New York, NY

“Winter Solace” Group show.

2003 P.S.1 Contemporary Arts Center Long Island City NY

Created and led the construction of a “Siege Tower”, made from cardboard and packing tape that reached a height of eighteen feet, breaching an interior courtyard wall. The tower was capable of supporting an adult male.

Brooklyn Fireproof Brooklyn NY

“InGen”, two person show.

2001 Tupelo Long Island City NY

“Foolish Technology”, solo show.

 

Presentations

2010 Dorkbot SoCal Los Angeles CA

“Doing It Wrong for Fun and Profit”, a talk about building Rube Goldberg machines.

Wikipedia describes Dorkbot as:  “a group of affiliated organizations worldwide that sponsor meetings of artists, engineers, designers, scientists, inventors, and anyone else working under the very broad umbrella of electronic art.”

2009    University of California, Irvine

“Perspectives on Practice”  series organized by Beatriz Da Costa.

2008   Dorkbot SoCal Los Angeles CA

Presentation of the Bronco Table.

2006 Dorkbot New York City

Presentation of the Huffyphonic Gyrobanshee 1000 and the AutoGamelan.

Press

2010             Make: Magazine

Make: Online, March 5, 2010

“OK Go Rube Goldberg video: meet the makers!”  by Becky Stern

Interview with the four chief designers of the Rube Goldberg machine for  the

“This Too Shall Pass” music video.

2008             National Public Radio

September 28, 2008

Weekend All Things Considered

“Odd Musical Instruments”. The Huffyphonic Gyrobanshee was featured

alongside other strange strange musical instruments across the US.

2008             Make: Magazine

Volume 16

“We’re Number 33!” by Jason Torchinsky

Member of a featured auto-racing team in the “24 Hours of Lemons”, an

endurance race for cars worth less than $500.

2008             Hack A Day (www.hackaday.com)

June 25, 2008

The Bronco Table was featured on the technology website Hack A Day.

2007             The Village Voice New York NY

February 14, 2007

“Hot to Bot”   by Robert Shuster

Artist profile.

2007              PC Magazine

January 2007

“Robot Showpieces”  by Sebastian Rupley

Feature about “Robozoic”.

2006              Rocketboom (www.rocketboom.com)

September 7, 2006

Coverage of the Huffyphonic Gyrobanshee and the Autogamelan on the daily

internet newsmagazine Rocketboom.

 

Teaching

2010-2011  Lecturer

University of California, Irvine

Created and taught  “Projects in Technology Hacking” for undergraduate level students in UCI’s Digital Arts minor, during Winter 2010.  Created “Issues in Art and Technology” for the Spring 2011 term.

2006-2007 Special Education Itinerant Teacher

Therapeutic Resources New York NY

“Push-in specialist” to individual preschool students with autistic spectrum disorders in classroom and home environments.

2004-2005 Special Education Teacher

Community School 066 Bronx NY

Resource room and inclusion teacher for special education middle school students in a New York City public school.

 

Other Experience

1999-2003  Video Editor (freelance)  New York NY

Edited a one-hour weekly television series, “Live From The Knitting Factory”, for

two seasons, which aired on BET’s “BET on Jazz” channel.  Edited a one-hour television show featuring live music performance and interviews for Music Choice Onstage.  Edited corporate films for Media On Demand, the National Urban League, and Xerox.

1998-2003 Assistant Video Editor (staff and freelance)  New York NY

Worked in several high-end television commercial post production facilities.  Logged and digitized dailies, prepared for and supervised audio mix, telecine and online edit sessions, prepared graphics elements.  Edited client reels, recorded audio for commercial voiceovers.  Clients included the US Air Force, Visa, Ocean Spray, Paine Webber, Fleet Bank, Saturday Night Live, and T. Rowe Price.

 

 

 

Writing

2003 The Sheriff

Original Screenplay, optioned by Ovie Entertainment, New York, NY.   Currently being developed as a television series, tentatively titled Emerald City.

 

 

 

Miscellaneous

2008 MAKE:Way Racing

Part of MAKE: magazine’s sponsored auto racing team.   MAKE: is a quarterly magazine published by O’reilly media, and is primarily concerned with technology and “Do It Yourself” (DIY) culture.  Competed in the “24 Hours of Lemons”, a 24 hour endurance race for cars worth less than 500 dollars.  Extensively modified and drove a 1993 Ford Escort.  Finished 33rd out of 105.

1993-1996 Bus Driver Nantucket MA

Operated a 60 passenger motor coach, conducted 2-hour historical tours.

1992 Commercial Fisherman Bering Sea, AK

Crew member on the MV Beauty Bay, a 130 foot fishing boat operating out of Dutch Harbor, Alaska.