About my work

Always putting my fingers where they don't belong.

Industry and science were a major part of my life from a very young age. I grew up in a cold-hearted rural suburb, my father an electronic technician in the Route 128 high-tech beltway around Boston (the birthplace of early computer, radar, and cold-war technologies), a radio amateur and technologist of great talent. I spent my childhood making things and taking things apart; having read about Edward Keinholz's Friendly Gray Computer - Star Gauge Model 54 (right) in International Science & Technology magazine (1960's), I naively made my own working interpretation.

Currently I make obsolete forgeries, functional "instrumentation" of a Cold War that didn't quite exist, new ways to view our present condition with humanely alien senses, to reveal discarded modes of thought and beauty.

My works are not entirely visual. They desire, but don't demand, manipulation and human touch. Each according to its design, may make sounds, physical motion, produce symbols (letters, numbers, or icons). The materials used are intentionally tactile, the objects built to the rigorous and long-standing standards of an obscure technical culture.

How I got here seems obvious to me. Always at a remove from the world I lived in (I knew I was homosexual at a very young age), too smart in a stupid town, and fascinated by the wrong things, I found beauty and challenge in the scientific/technical realm (too, considered an acceptable mode for a young boy). Until the 1980's my creative drives were directed to technological ends. Moving to San Francisco I left my old world, and its limitations, behind. My work then moved in decidedly non-linear directions.

By design it's often impossible to distinguish my instruments from historic objects; I use actual materials, components, and techniques from this peculiar period. Each instrument performs some historic function, genuine or revisionist; they invite human interaction but also work as "sculpture", subtlely or passively, sometimes silently, working by themselves. They are not simulations or virtual anything, but actual devices designed for longevity and reliability. My goal is to create a complexity of layers: rich and beautiful materials; forgotten paradigms of beauty and endurance and meaning; cold and functional components, hard-edged in their time but oddly organic now; beautiful to look at but with deeply functional internal complexity.