Wow, my first blog entry in months! So, I guess the semester is finally pretty much done for me, and I can attend to things like this blog again. I spent a fair bit of last week installing a ten-year-old piece, Toy (Collapsing Elephant) as part of a show called Remote/Control at Works Gallery here in San Jose. The show was curated by Jason Challas and Sheila Malone, and is part of SubZero, which is in turn part of the bi-annual phenomenon called Zer01. It was kind of fun to be installing this piece, even though it's an older one, just because installing art is such a welcome change from the bureaucratic parts of my job. And the other artists were there, assembling things and troubleshooting them, and it was nice to be in this environment again. By shipping pieces out east as soon as I'm done making them, I've been missing out on the sense of community that arises during the installation of a show.
Works Gallery counted two thousand visitors during the opening reception of this show. The reception lasted seven hours--from 6PM to 1AM, which was enough time for the little elephant toy inside my piece to be broken once, after the first three hours of being played with. My friend Mike Lowell, a recent Photography graduate, happened to be there when somebody managed to break the elephant (his head was laying sadly beside him, and people just kept on playing with the joystick!) Mike kindly helped me remove the massive box that hides all the mechanical parts of the piece, and then he videotaped me replacing the elephant. Here's his video on Vimeo.com-- it's pretty funny (although I'd rather not have to hear my voice recorded!) And here are some pictures of people playing with the piece again, after the new elephant went in. I had forgotten to charge my own camera battery, so I only got a few pictures.
One very cool piece in the show was Monterey-based engineer Tom Rebold's robotic walking chair, "Chairisma." Here's the video of the chair at the Works show opening. I like how the cute little chair poses a constant threat to the inordinately large vase that orients it.