Archive for the ‘Art’ Category.

You Know You’re Doing It Right When…

I was standing on the train talking to a student in my Electromagnetics class about a project I’m working on. He had come up with a really brilliant observation. His station came all to quickly and he hopped off while I stayed on. A moment later, the guy standing next to me on the train said, “That was a really interesting discussion you were having. Are you chemists?”

I responded with a glint of appreciation and a smile, “No, we’re artists.”

I revel that during the ride our conversation ranged from the nature of an electronvolt, linear accelerators, and power transformers to the hidden physics and volumetric-related difficulties of accelerating a stream of projectiles such that virtually no gap existed between them in flight.

SFMOMA Headgear

Here is the headgear I added kinetic elements to for the SFMOMA closing show last week.

Back row starting at left (sorry for a lack of creative names!):

  • Bright flickering and pulsating illumination on top
  • Machine-like pulsing illumination in the tea strainer
  • Colorful glowing kaleidoscope in the top-hat
  • Nervously rotating crown
  • Communications dish searching for a signal
  • (no kinetics)

Front row starting at left:

  • (no kinetics)
  • tubes jerking suggesting fluid flowing through them
  • (no kinetics)


I didn’t get a good shot of the best headgear:

Two lights pulsing out of sync with one another, illuminating the face of the wearer



A great shot of Desiree:

A shot of the performance:


(view in 3D wigglevision)

Come Close SFMOMA With Me

I worked on making some ridiculous kinetic time travel headgear with artist Desiree Holman. They came out pretty sweet.  The headgear is part of an event that will close SFMOMA. Yes, my techno-hats will be some of the last things you see at the current SFMOMA space. They are closing immediately after our event and reopening in a new space spring 2016!

Join us!

Admission to the museum and event is free, but it can’t hurt to register online.

Update 5-30-13: SFMOMA wrote to me, “We expect crowds and long lines to be part of the experience. Insider tip: bring a fun friend or a good book just in case!Your RSVP helps us anticipate numbers of guests so we can plan accordingly, but it is not a guarantee of admittance. With free admission and limited building capacity, we thank you for understanding that we may not be able to accommodate all visitors at once”

I will be there from maybe 3pm-6pm this Sunday. People will be making Future-Perfect Tin Foil Hats Sunday from noon to 5pm and then the procession into the future happens at 5:30. By 6pm we will have closed the place down!*

Oh and the event is co-sponsored by BoingBoing, check out their post.


* unless the time travel hats actually work. In that case, Happy New Year!


Come See My Time Travel Hats at SFMOMA on June 2!

What? Time Travel Hats? Yes, time travel hats!

I’m working with an artist, Desirée Holman, on part of a piece she is presenting at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

My name is down there at the bottom, next to “time travel headgear” (tol’ja so!)

Special Event
Sunday, June 02, 2013


Date + Time
Sunday, June 02, 2013
5:30 p.m.
Begins on the rooftop, then moves museumwide
As SFMOMA exits its current building to make way for the upcoming expansion, artist Desirée Holman conducts a series of movements that bridge our present potential to our future tense. Drawing on eccentric histories of time and space, from New Age culture and extraterrestrial encounter to paranormal powers, Holman mobilizes extraordinary characters, costumes, and objects that can make the museum’s and our own futures happen now. Help us bid adieu to our building by joining the processional as it winds its way from the museum’s rooftop down to the atrium and into the world outside.

Four columns of agents will conduct our journey. The Indigo Children, a living and evolving humanity whose emotional and intellectual intelligence outstrips our own, lead us through sound from our current place. Ecstatic Dancers demonstrate how our focused present can always lead us to a visionary space. Time Travel Captains sport empowering sculptural helmets, built by Holman, that open portals to where we want go. Our visitors are invited to join us in a final column populated by your visions of time travel, goddess worship, spaceships, aliens, druids, additional dimensions, and alternative worlds. We all have a key to the future in each of our traditions and fantasies.

Holman’s The Indigo and the Ecstatic: A Motion to the Future is commissioned by the Live Art program at SFMOMA. We are happy to invite back many of the performers from our 24-hour live art variety show, Future Countdown Live, for this important finale.

Co-presented by Boing Boing.

Featuring the Young American Patriots Fife and Drum Corps as the Indigo Children (director: Jason Giaimo; percussion instructor: Anna Cucciardo; fifers and drummers: Aditya, Anjali, Elizabeth, Jainam, Joshua, Mahika, Mayank, Nikith, and Surya; flag bearers: Jainav, Ishan, Namrata, and Nischay), Ecstatic Dancers (Dance Sanctuary™ with Valerie Chafograck, a Soul Motion™ teacher, featuring dancers: Brittany Barrett, Maya Batki, Art Busse, Robert Carroll, Cas Casados, Joshua Cross, Ajay D Dave, Effie Dobbertin, Jacqueline Duhart, Timothy Earle, Byron Kawaichi, Teresa Lesko, Shana LoPresti, Alexis Miller, Samuel Shin, Ah Yavorsky, Natalie Zeituny, and others), and DJ Joshua Kit Clayton.

Admission + Ticketing
Museum and program admission are free and open to the public.

Image: Desirée Holman, Channeling Aura 2, 2012; gouache on paper; image courtesy Desirée Holman

Costumes for the Indigo Children designed and produced by Job & Boss.

Dancers’ costumes designed by Desirée Holman; fabric printing by Standard Flag and Banner, sewing by Golden Guild.

Time travel headgear designed by Desirée Holman with assistance from Lee Sonko and Malia Rose.

SFMOMA thanks our associate producers Christina Linden and Malia Rose.

About Being Saved Twice: Part 1

I started writing this in 2006 and it has sat in my Drafts folder as a reminder of… I don’t know… a reminder. It’s about my first Burning Man experience. Dunno if I’ll ever finish it, it’s a good start though. Maybe if I put it out into the universe, it’ll get finished. So here you go…


Black Rock City, September 4th, 2004:
I was having a fine time on Saturday night, the night the Man was to be burned.

I had brought my art over to near where I was going to fly it. I was having some technical problems with it so I got out my soldering iron and I was fixing it on top of a giant box labeled “Glass Ball” in the New Day’s Eve camp. Some guy was trying to help me but was just distracting me with his constant questions; he couldn’t hold the light steady so I rode back to my camp and fetched my head-lamp. When he said that he was going to find some punani to put his meat kilbasi into (yes, he really said that), I knew I didn’t need his help and sent him away. Maybe he was on speed, doesn’t matter.

I got the plane to light up. I recall the happy neon glow on the box and the annoying guy. I was close. But then I had 2 problems. The playa was completely filled with people wandering toward the Man; I couldn’t be assured of a safe landing spot. And I couldn’t fit all of the electronics inside the fuselage. Argh! It was just too tight. If I had just 1 more day to put it together back home… When I realized it was going to be more of a pain than it was worth, and potentially a danger to bystanders, I decided to forget it. I was standing on the Esplanade and could see the Man. He was going to raise his arms any second and the anticipation was too much. My friends were waiting for me on the playa. So I stashed the plane in the Asylum container and went looking for Marah.

The plan was for Marah and I to meet at the Temple and watch the Man burn from there… A nice secluded spot (and Marah isn’t much for ambling crowds). But as I rode out, past the Man, past the solar system, I realized that the Temple was way too far out. Finally making it out there and looking back, the Man was just a dot on the horizon.

I looked about for Marah but wasn’t having any luck. Then I heard her calling me; She was walking out, alone, to meet me. I found her about 80 yards away in the dark playa. She said that, yes, the Temple was too far out. We were going to meet up with friends at an art installation.

On the way back… And while I was riding out, I got to look at the sky. The huge, gigantic, tremendous sky. I recall standing out there, looking back at our homage to “The Vault of Heaven”. So many people had put forth a tremendous effort to gather and praise the heavens and, from my vantage point just 1/2 a mile away, it appeared as nothing but a thin strip of lights on the horizon. And then I looked up. Just a 1 degree above our party, stretching for a billion billion miles in every direction, the heavens hung. My eye followed the bright swath of the Milky Way galaxy across the sky. I felt, as one does the first time they see our moon through a telescope, “Ah! It isn’t a cardboard cut-out, it’s real! It’s not just a picture, it’s a place. I could go there if I had the means. Maybe people already do live there and I just can’t see them!” I recalled how Galileo Galilei must have felt, being possibly the first person on this little marble to look up and see that the objects in the heavens were in fact real objects and not perfect celestial bodies and pinholes in the black velvet of the night’s sky.

Image: Stiched panorama of The Vault of Heaven Horizon from The Temple, Burning Man 2004

(to be continued)

Festa del Fuoco di Stromboli: Fire Festival of Stromboli Italy!

I was introduced to one of the flame effects designers of the Festa del Fuoco di Stromboli through the Crucible. This is a yearly fire arts festival held on an Europe’s most active volcano! Nicholas and I talked shop a bit and now he’s shown me some videos and stills of the festival. They gave me a big smile!

Let me show you:

Festa del Fuoco di Stromboli Facebook page

Me being a fire and machine nerd, I liked watching the clock (it really works!) in the background starting at 2:20. And the flaming stars work nicely!

More pix on their website