This video contains short clips of documentation from many of the collaborative performance projects represented on this page. For high quality full length videos click on the name of the project below.
An installation at Tulane's Carroll Gallery, January 2011, and then at the CAC, February 2012. From the exhibition statement: "I am a recent transplant to New Orleans, and my introduction to the city was a wreck outside the windows of my soon to be home on Saint Claude Ave as I was first touring the live/work space. The sound of screeching tires and a loud crash drew me out the doors to the nearby Family Dollar only to find an unharmed obviously intoxicated man investigating his totaled truck and the light pole he wrapped it around. After signing a lease in August and settling down from a life on the road with traveling artist collective Transit Antenna, the wreck soon became a metaphor for the move, with my family’s crash into the Bywater driven only by our intoxicating love for the city. With the imprecision of a memory as the only reference, this installation attempts to cut, fold, and glue the scene with refuse from local dollar stores and cardboard packing materials from our move."
2012, New Orleans Healing Center.
Because of the improprieties of the Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans, twenty artists including myself removed their work from the organization prematurely last month. In response to this action I edited my Wreck installation and posed it as a stolen vehicle with tires removed on cinderblocks, and then left it to the public domain for a two week period. The resulting efforts that others imposed on the wreck are on view through April 2012 at the New Orleans Healing Center.
Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans 2012
This was an interactive installation where viewers could touch the screen to begin a conversation with the ATM. Because he has been hired to be security and ensure no one touches the art, he eventually becomes offended by their constant touching and asks them to stop. If the viewer continues to touch, the actual security guards were instructed to state, "Sir/Ma'am, he asked you to stop touching him."
Various Location, 2010-12
This is another interactive installation where viewers can touch the screen to begin a conversation with the ATM. This ATM is in the midst of an extreme case of depression and wishes only to be left alone so that he can wallow in self-pity. If pressed long enough he eventually turns himself off.
A late night performance in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans for the instructions exhibition at Antenna gallery. As part of the exhibition, the gallery invited people from all over to provide instructions that could elicit responses by the featured artists. For this instruction, artists were asked to make a sign that represented their neighborhood.
As the summer heat blanketed my New Orleans studio, I felt compelled to access my memory of being an Alaskan butcher by recreating one of the frigid meat lockers I frequented in the summer of 2009. I set out to create the scene completely out of fabric, utilizing my sewing machine to stitch the heavy canvas and vinyl. After finishing the hind quarter of a moose, the machine started to smoke and a panic ensued. Scouring Craigslist, I discover an affordable used Industrial machine that could surely handle the workload. I arranged to take a look at it with the owners- a Canadian man and his Voodoo Priestess wife. When I sat down to test it, something wasn't quite right, but with my eagerness to finish the original project and an arrogant thought that I could fix anything, I gave the Canadian his 350 bucks anyways. A week of tests and fine adjustments resulted in a ramping up of frustration and a deep desire to throw the machine out the window. The Fix was born.
As part of the Parallel Play exhibition in the outdoor New Orleans gallery T-Lot, this larger than life cardboard replica of my sink was left to the elements for three months in hopes that the dirty dishes would simply disintegrate an disappear. They did not.
Redux Contemporary Art Center, Charleston, SC 2010
As part of a new collaborative art project, called the Planning Committee, Seth Gadsden and I developed the basic structure for this mural and then asked people involved in the organization to submit a brief description of their ideal living situation. From those ideas, we built a city, suburbs, farmland, and desert hippie outpost along with the utility infrastructure (including food, water, sewage, electricity, and pornography) to support them. Throughout the course of the week of painting the mural, we developed a narrative of a city in the midst of a cold war. The Fundamentalist Hippies (deemed "The Cult") that live in a former missile silo on the edge of town have waged a media campaign against the sins of pornography in the city, encouraging people to join the silo and forsake their pornography. Only few know that the Cult is actually the main supplier of that utility, and that buried deep in the silo is a weapons cache intended for a hostile takeover of the city.
From a series of paintings about the awkward moments that arise while utilizing sustainable energy sources.
Performances at various locations (see video for a short clip), 2007-2009
ATM was miserable at doing what he did best. He felt as though his job had defined him for too long. After falling in love with one of his frequent customers, and being rejected when he confessed his feelings, ATM had a major meltdown. Eventually being out-of-order for nearly two months got him fired and suddenly he felt free. Despite having to hustle bootleg dvds on the streets to make ends meet, he was happier than he had ever been. His new found freedom gave him the ability to pursue his long time dream of becoming a stand-up comedian. After getting arrested for his street activities, he laid low and eventually landed a new day job working in the gift shop of the Aldrich Art Museum. Old habits die hard and soon he was once again given a pink slip for what the director deemed "inappropriate behavior". ATM couldn't fathom the problem with propositioning museum patrons or trying to sell them bootleg dvds. More depressed than ever, I've heard he's taken up drinking and now lives somewhere in Ohio. For full videos click here
various locations, 2007-2009
TRANSIT ANTENNA is a mobile living experiment, creative workshop and artist collective comprised of various folks living and working while traveling the roads of North America. I was part of the original group which lived on a retired city transit bus converted into a veggie oil guzzling RV named Walter. This bus was as much about design as it was functional, and as you see in the above pictures we used many creative ways to solve living/work spaces, exercise, and power. Since the burial of Walter (which is featured at the end of the video above), I have assisted in getting a new crew on the road in a cross country MCI bus to continue the adventure where we left off.
Though artists, writers, filmmakers, chefs, and musicians, these roles seldom defined a collective goal. Our crew made it through Mexico, Canada, and most of the US states including Alaska, visiting communities and collaborating on art projects. Because Walter was our home, we were free to move spontaneously, staying put for a week or shooting across the continent on a whim. The Transit Antenna project defines itself as the unfolding road carries it to new places, people, and experiences. These experiences are the pearls handed to the group along the way.
Many of the projects you will see below are a culmination of collaborative works that I created in conjunction with the crew of Transit Antenna.
(365) 8"x8" panels, 2009
For this collaboration the Transit Antenna crew made an attempt to represent a year on the road with two dimensional work. The above image represents a third of the 365 pieces. The larger details are some of the painting I created for the project.
Bombay Beach, CA 2008
"The Majestic junk boat launch was quite an enterprise on the desolate beach where the Luck of the Irish once stood. A group traveling North America in their city transit bus, dug up and fixed two local boats, built a wooden platform spanning both vessels, added clusters of inflatable trash, affixed a mast and sail, and lastly painted their ship with plans to sail the sea. People arrived from all corners of Bombay Beach to send off the young voyagers and wish them fair passage in the lonely Salton. After a successful launch, apparently they ended up across the Salton Sea somewhere near Salton City, and had to catch a ride back to Bombay Beach." -excerpt from the Bombay Beach Sentinel, January 2009
"Only 10 days after arriving in Bombay Beach, we are floating on glass. Slowly we drift north along the coast, the people who came to see it for themselves now disappearing into the horizon. We paddle in circles, singing sailor songs, and lose ourselves in the big bowl of the sky. Only trains penetrate the quiet. They come and go for miles, stretched out like lines of ants carrying their cargo along the earth's curve." excerpt from the article From Dumps to Dreams, by Jamie Self. Several videos can be seen from our time in Bombay Beach, click here.
(365) 8"x8" panels, 2009
After all of the turmoil of a year as a collective of seven- living, working, and traveling together on a bus, the members of Transit Antenna took on a project to rewrite history with this suite of handpulled silkscreen prints. Each print takes on a problem encountered on the road and flips the outcome. The detail is one of the prints I made for the project tackling the interpersonal dynamics that naturally occur within close quarters.
Regent, North Dakota, 2009
At midnight on July 10 we drove our bus into Regent, ND. We arrived only three weeks shy of the day Apollo ll landed on the moon forty years earlier. First thing in the morning, we began our mission: to build a replica lunar module and to reenact man's first moon walk for the 250 residents of the town, located in the middle of farmlands that stretch out for miles, interrupted only by the dark cow hides dotting the green hills.
We scoured the landscape for the materials that after many sleepless nights became the vessel that would take us to the surface of the moon. Two weeks later we completed the module named Eagle, built out of scrap steel, trashed yard equipment, windows and other cast aways, and successfully landed it in a lot on Main Street. Using the original broadcast of the Apollo ll transmissions, we produced a remixed version of the module's landing and Aldrin and Armstrong's momentous stroll on the moon's surface. We broadcast the audio from the FM radio transmitter housed on our city transit bus through our antenna to the audience sitting in lawn chairs spread out in the grass.
While the grasses rolled on in the expanse beyond the little town, the people of Regent came to Main Street, clutching their radios, to watch the event unfold. They listened as Apollo ll and Houston worked together to land the module safely, watched as the astronauts took man's first step on the lunar surface, and heard them speak in awe of the moon's "magnificent desolation." The astronauts left an American Flag and a plaque to commemorate America's achievement. President Nixon's voice streamed through the radio, giving thanks to the astronauts on behalf of mankind. After the performance, the community met the astronauts and explored the spacecraft.
The interior of the moonlander was designed to be a greenhouse, allowing it to continue its function as a vessel for life in its permanent resting place in Regent, ND. We installed a rainwater collection system in the form of gutters that will naturally water the plants that we left inside during wet weather. There is access up and into the moonlander via two sets of steps and a pathway which lead to the interior of the cabin where one will find a nice bench and a place to enjoy the plants and view outside. We encourage folks to go and enjoy the moonlander, and of course bring your plants and leave a little water behind. For the full performance video click here.
This project was produced near the small fishing village of Popotla, Playas de Rosarito, Baja Mexico where I spent a month with Transit Antenna. After having little money and still being able to survive on an exotic assortment of sea creatures personally caught or from the local fishermen, I felt inclined to produce a mural about and for the community. The mural takes its name from the two bathrooms available at the fishermen's adhoc market. The technique used to develop the mural made for a unique video that utilizes the soundtrack of Michael Larsonís legendary appearance on Press Your Luck where he cracked the game show's pattern on prime time TV in June of 1984. The full video can be viewed here.
New York, NY 2007
Seth Gadsden and I developed a simple task for ourselves - to create a spectacle by lifting gallerist Jeffrey Deitch into the sky with red and white balloons. We failed miserably. I could list a number of excuses, but in the end when we attached the harness to Jeffrey there were no fireworks. The event was designed specifically to produce a photograph for a feature article in New Yorker magazine, and while successfully doing so, the resulting image completely altered the intention of the project and the perception of Jeffrey under the title "A fool for Art".
New York, NY 2006
Marching down the streets of New York City, excited Walmart greeters shared their love for their employer yelling chants like "I heart Walmart!" "Who's the greatest American hero? Sam Walton is! Sam Walton is!" or "Guns, cigarettes, booze- make room for porn!" Carrying picket signs that proved their love, greeters handed out smilee stickers and Sam's Choice cola while being embraced by a city starved for a connection with the biggest of the big box stores.