One Hour in Phoenix
|creation date:||2009 April|
This video piece documents the human and desert landscapes in and around Phoenix, Arizona and the spatial patterns each produces over time as the two exist independently or interact. For this video I filmed eight hour-long shots of life in and around the Phoenix metropolitan area. Phoenix is a community built in a desert valley punctuated by several mountains and mountain ranges. Here, differences between the human and natural environments are particularly pronounced; daily business maintains its frenetic pace within the stillness of the desert.
To study and document these modes of existence, I processed the shots using an algorithm I developed to shorten the duration of each to 30 seconds. Through the algorithm, only the points in space and time that change the most are transferred to the final piece you see. This process allows the viewer to immediately perceive long-term patterns of movement. For instance, a mass of hikers zigzags up a mountain and bushes become a swarm of static. But as the very different marks each environment leaves unfold, we see also that both share an existence as transient processes.
|creation date:||2010 April|
|medium:||maple wood, electronics|
|dimensions:||1'd x 3'h x 4'w|
The Day Table table acts as a record of the previous day by sensing ambient light levels in its environment and displaying them through 24 LED strips embedded just below its surface. The rightmost LEDs show the most recent light levels and the leftmost show the light levels of a day ago. Day and night transitions can be seen, as well as human activity through actions such as turning lights on and off in the room where the table resides.
The table is made of maple, with a bird's eye maple surface. Inside are electronic components controlled by an Arduino.
Below is a timelapse video of the table taken over a week:
This is an interactive Flash applet inspired by Google, information theory, and Jorge Luis Borges' short story, "The Aleph". Google states that its mission is to "organize the world's information." How much information is this? In "The Aleph", Borges addresses this issue as he sees the world continuing to rush on after his friend Beatriz's death and later as he investigates a point in space that contains all other points within it. He realizes that his limited nature prevents him from understanding everything.
The piece generates text character by character, making sure that each new added character is preceded in the text of The Aleph by a variable number of characters that were generated before it. As this number is shortened, the generated text becomes less and less readable while maintaining certain statistical properties that were present in the original work. In this way the piece uses the information contained within The Aleph to create a never-ending stream of new information. An infinite amount of information "exists" within a single short story.
The viewer can interact with this piece in two ways. First, when the viewer highlights a generated "word" with the mouse (e.g. "foremonstrange"), the word is replaced by the closest word to it that actually occurs in "The Aleph" (in this case "remonstrance"). Second, when the viewer clicks on a word, that word is replaced by its nearest match in the story and the piece is "reset" so that the generated text temporarily makes sense again. In these two ways the viewer can try (but ultimately fail) to make sense of the infinite stream of information passing by on the screen.
The Artist's Piece of Meat
|creation date:||2009 June|
|dimensions:||4"d x 15"h x 6"w|
This is an accurate representation of my brain, cast in aluminum and skewered by a meat hook (the meat hook does not exist in my actual brain). I reconstructed the outer surface of my cortex from structural MRI images using FreeSurfer, then printed out the resulting three dimensional surface mesh on a ZCorp rapid prototyper. I made a silicone mold of this, then a wax cast from that, invested the wax cast in ceramic, and finally cast the brain in aluminum (with the meat hook already embedded).
Band Saw Safe
|creation date:||2008 September|
|medium:||bass wood and oil-based stain|
|dimensions:||8"d x 6"h x 10"w|
The 13 drawers of this band-saw box rotate rather than open outward. Objects for safekeeping are placed into the large, central drawer through a hole in the bottom of the box. Since the arrows on the front of each drawer point toward the drawer's open side, objects may be moved from one drawer to another by first lining up the arrows on the two drawers and then rotating the entire box so that the objects fall from the first drawer to the second.