A man, a plan, a canal, Panama! 2018, UV-cured pigment on polycarbonate, mechanism, strobe; 46"x46"x4"
Wildly undulating Panamanian jungle foliage, shot on-location, surrounds collaged cut-out images from an early 20th Century canal construction documentary. Theodore Roosevelt gestures adamantly, a steam shovel endlessly moves earth, workers from Caribbean Islands march with TNT boxes on their heads and spray oil onto waters surrounding the canal dig in order to control mosquito populations. Dr. Gorgas, the man in charge of eliminating the malarial threat, rocks in a chair, framed by clips from the 1912 film The Mosquito (an early comedic cartoon by American animation pioneer Windsor McCay). Churning steam train wheels and a gleefully waving TR encircle a pre-canal map of the Americas. Global advances in steam power and the discovery of malaria's source helped the Americans succeed where the French had failed three decades earlier. The artwork’s title is a palindrome.
Williamsburg Bridge 2018, UV-cured pigment on polycarbonate, steel mechanism, electronics, strobe; 46"x46"x4"
A temporal portrait of the iconic East River span that collages shifting perspectives a pedestrian or cyclist experiences when traversing the elevated paths, along with repeated forms played back like strips of motion picture film and MTA trains that move like an engine’s pistons.
Artisan Series each of the four: 2018, UV-cured pigment on polycarbonate, mechanism, strobe; 46"x46"x4"
With this series, I question future machine empathy through a familiar machine of today: the KitchenAid Artisan mixer. This mixer is a symbol of home: my mom baked often with the iconic mixer’s help as I do today for my own family. Its name is ironic, however – an artisan is a skilled craftsperson who works with his/her hands, but the mixer automates the tasks of the hands, replacing them by improving upon their efficiency and usefulness.
In Artisan Care, Giver brain-like lumps of rising and contracting dough cascade from the artwork’s center, transforming into baked bread behind a ring of mechanized peepholes. Formed by rotating mixer parts, the apertures provide a view of Artisan kids galloping around their mixer-mother. Artisan Care, Giver serves as a kind of prayer-mandala to help the hope that our technological offspring will love, care, and provide. Artisan Orphan depicts machine-offspring abandoned by stampeding grown-ups. Artisan Obsolescence shows a frantic kinetic collage of hands attempting to reclaim their usefulness by futilely emulating the motions of the machine that replaced them. I began the series with the creation of Artisan #1, a collection of every motion I could create with the KitchenAid mixer.
Futurist Ray Kurzweil observed that “The emergence of the first technology-creating species resulted in the new evolutionary process of technology.” Intelligent machines are created through and with logic structures (self-evolving software) while humans are created through biological, emotional, and physical processes. Will an intelligent technological species express empathy for their own creations/offspring? And as machine intelligence exceeds our own, will they care and provide for us, their original creators?
S.P.O, Peppers Impression, A Temporal Comparison of Apples vs. Oranges each is: 2018, UV-cured pigment on polycarbonate, steel mechanism, electronics, strobe; 46"x46"x4"
Referencing characteristics of Pop Art, S.P.O. (short for Sausage, Peppers, and Onions), Peppers Impression, and A Temporal Comparison of Apples vs. Oranges use a form of animation called “strata-cut” that is made by slicing through an object, taking photos along the way, then playing those photos in sequence. The images evoke an MRI or CT scan, producing kinetics that are mesmerizing, surprising, sometimes grotesque, often beautiful. Every static object has secret motion hidden within..
This is Baltimore, too 2018, UV-cured pigment on polycarbonate, steel mechanism, electronics, strobe; 46"x46"x4"
"This is Baltimore, too celebrates the vitality of the city, specifically the street dancing subculture, as a counterpoint to its despairing image perpetrated by the media of crime, poverty, and violence. Its composition pulsates either away or towards the viewer depending on which direction the artwork is spun. When animated, hundreds of images of local freestyle hiphop dancers come to life, whose individual styles were filmed by the artist, himself a Baltimore native. The diamond-shaped gold-on-black dance floors borrow their shape and colors from the city’s flag." - Ronald Feldman Gallery
Flora 2018, UV-cured pigment on vinyl and polycarbonate, mechanism, sync strobe, 47"x47"x4"
A motion portrait of Flora Muybridge, wife of Eadweard Muybridge. Her lover was murdered by EM, the child of their affair orphaned, and Flora died of what seemed like a broken heart. She was 24.
Zoetrope art/animations: David Gray - The Sapling (official video)