It's been 4 years(!) since I updated but I've continued to experiment with what technology can do for me, although to be honest, it's my brother who does the tinkering. I just ask him, "can we do this?" and so far, he's come through. One of our most ambitious collaborations to date is the Ghost Elevator. Visit the Projects II page for more on how that was constructed. If you're interested in seeing how he makes the magic happen Click here to visit his blog
Below are some photos of Man Stirring Something Up. This piece requires some patience on the part of the viewer. The longer you stand in front of him the more things will happen.
|Fitting the figure into the bowl was tricky. His feet had to be jointed as well as weighted to balance the load||He also needed to be fully dressed early, to ensure the clothes didn't interfere with the action.|
|As the figure stirs, the bowl he's sitting in spins, then disc the bowl sits on starts to revolve as well.||LED chaser lights circle the vertical and horizontal hoops.|
My pandemic buddy was Man Keeping an Eye on Things. Inspired by one of Buster Keaton's last performances in the film "Film", I made him small in case he needed to travel to the wizard Rochester via the postal service.
|Working on the eye and leg mechanisms||The shape of the rockers was critical to making the chair rock smoothly|
|Inside view||Now we're in Rochester awaiting the wizard's attention.|
For the Aching Head I wanted the piece to be sound activated. This is the first time I've made eyelids (blinkers) that move independently from the eyeballs. Loud noises will cause the eyes to open
|Eyes installed open...||...and shut|
|Inside view of eye mechanism||Getting to work on the cause of the ache!|
Fun With Motion Detectors
I've incorporated motion dectectors into two of my most recent works. The first was the Tau Tau, a figure commissioned by a friend to guard his remains by glaring up at anyone who comes too close. Now I'm working on a piece for a show of automata in San Francisco this Spring. My hope is this figure, who will be strapped into his chair, immobilized, will turn his head to follow the viewer as he passes by.
|waiting for clothes||waiting for haircut|
|Tau Tau not quite together||Tau Tau getting dressed|
Visit the Sculptures page to see the completed Tau Tau
It's been a while since I've updated but I have been busy. Below are photos of a new piece, "Coin Operated Hypnotist" in progress. You can see the finished piece on my"Sculptures" page. Also the film "Night and Day", that I have been working on with Peter Anthony, is finally nearing completion and we hope to start submitting it to film festivals in the next month. Scroll down the page to read more about that.
|Inside look at the Hypnotist||View of the pendulum mechanism||View of the coin mechanism|
I am very pleased that my friend Peggy Rambach asked me to do the cover of her new book "The Lons" which is already a local best seller barely a month after it was published. Peggy describes the book as " a mix of adventure, mystery, suspense, magical realism, scariness, and humor. And although the book is about weird watermelons (yes, that's right!) it also says a little something about us." I loved it and so should you. It is available on Amazon or you can go to Peggy's website: peggyrambach.com and get yourself a signed copy!
|front cover||back cover|
In other news, Peter has finished a rough cut of the film "Night and Day" and is now working on the sound track and final editing. I am finishing up a small piece... a little man who will hypnotize you for a mere 25 cents. I will post photos soon.
March 11, 2013
After reviewing miles of footage Peter decided he wanted to reshoot a couple of scenes. I wanted to reshoot another scene because of a mechanical glitch that occurred in the first shoot. So on Jan.23 we re-assembled our team for a marathon session at the Lynn Arts Center. It took nearly 14 hours but the film is now in the can (although these days there isn't an actual can). Peter has begun the editing process. It looks to him like, after 3 years work, the film will end up being about 15 minutes long! Never again will I wonder why it takes so long to make a movie.
During the lull between shoots I continued to work on the "Dummies Logbook" series of prints, which I just completed. Scroll down to the Aug.2nd post to read about that and visit the "Prints" page to see the 4 new prints.
Night and Day Stills
Below are some stills from "Night and Day", the film I've been working on with the filmmaker Peter Anthony. To learn more about this project, please scroll down the page.
Hotel room scene
Peter in his room
Peter sees his uncle's image in the mirror
Sept. 4, 2012
Great news! We finished shooting after four very intense days. Big thanks go to the Lynn Arts Center for allowing us to use their space and repeatedly go overtime. Also to the fantastic crew Peter assembled, all hard working, enthusiastic and underpaid. The next step will be for Peter to review the miles of footage and see if we need to reshoot anything. Next comes editing which he tells me will take about 6 months. I'll see if I can wheedle some film stills out of him to keep this page interesting. My thanks to Roberto for his help on day 2 and for taking the photos below on his iphone.
|Setting up at Lynn Arts Center||Our ace cameraman Richard Fomo||Lighting guy Shaun Clarke and director Peter|
|photos of Night and Day shoot: copyright Roberto Mighty|
August 2, 2012
There are two bits of news on the film front. No we have not finished filming... because of scheduling conflicts that had to be delayed from June. The good news is we have found a black box theater space and have 3 full days in late August to shoot. The other bit of news is that Peter has decided to change the title to "Night and Day". While we both liked the original title, it seemed a bit heavy. Peter feels the new title evokes not only the song, but the difference between his and his uncle's lives.
While my studio has been too filled up with puppet theater, puppets and props to start a new piece I have been doing some print making. Visit the "Prints" page to see the latest, "Dummy's Logbook (Act I)" a print that was inspired by a postcard project I've been doing with the poet Mark Decarteret. While Mark was Portsmouth's Poet Laureate in 2009, he came up with the idea of a collaborative project between poets and artists. Poets sent a poem on a blank postcard to an artist who had inspired them. The artist returned the postcard with their response on the other side. Mark and I kept going for 3 more postcards. I am planning to do a print based on each of the additional postcards as well.
Night and Day
former title, "The Father the Son, and the Uncle's Ghost"
A film by Peter Anthony and Pat Keck
For the last three years I have been working with the filmmaker Peter Anthony on a film about his Uncle Danny. Peter only learned about this uncle at the age of 21, when he came out to his parents. In 1952 his uncle was arrested in a public restroom and his name published in the papers. Shortly after being released from prison, he killed himself. The family erased all trace of him. Peter hasn't been able to find as much as a picture.
I was drawn to Peter's story because I too had an uncle who was gay, who was roughly the same age as Peter's uncle. He was a scenic artist in NYC and a huge influence on me. Not to have had him as a part of my life was unthinkable. I wanted to help Peter give his uncle a presence again, to compensate, in a small way, for his loss.
We are telling the story in the form of a puppet show, with Peter playing the part of puppeteer and narrator. Making the marionettes has been a challenge for me. While I have often used puppets as subject matter, building working puppets presents a very different set of problems. Peter's script called for some tricky stuff : a bicycling scene, a spaghetti supper, and a scene where one puppet's reflection morphs into another's. Although we're using film, I wanted to stay true to the form of a puppet show and not rely on editing to make a scene work. I have renewed respect for puppeteers, who have always been an inspiration to me!
We hope to be ready for filming sometime in late June. Watch this space for updates...