steambot drops

Steambot Drops (vintage radio vacuum tubes, brass, copper, vintage beads, leather)

Steambot Drops (vintage radio vacuum tubes, brass, copper, vintage beads, leather)

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Steambot Drops (vintage radio vacuum tubes, brass, copper, vintage beads, leather)

In 2010, I co-curated Steambot with Cable Griffith. It was an exhibition at the Kirkland Art Center featuring artwork that combined both current and Industrial Age technologies. With generous funding from 4Culture, Steambot became an incubator, a collaboratory, a fablab, an heritage archives and a virtual community hub. Through a juried process, 5 artists (Rusty Oliver, Pat Gallagher, Rebecca Cummins, Randy Moss and Simon Winder) were chosen and the seven of us spent the better part of a year working together  exploring ideas around industrial heritage, technological advances, craftsmanship and collective authorship. The result…a steam engine generating powerful, poignant and whimsical site specific works of art that speak to place, partnership and possibility.

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Steambots: R. Moss, S. Winder, R. Cummins, Pat Gallagher, R. Oliver,  C. Griffith and G. Tremblay

First Steambot meeting at the Hazard Factory, 2010

In the spirit of Steambot and Steampunk, I created special necklaces for each of us to wear on opening night of the exhibition. Simon had some small, vintage radio vacuum tubes he let me use and I created each piece with the aesthetic of each artist in mind. We wore them to the opening and needless to say, were easily identified as the Steambots.  Here they are…made from all kinds of found industrial materials…brass, copper chain, vintage beads, glass, leather, etc…

silver leafed botdrops (in process)The exhibit was a success…but the real success was in spending creative time and collaborative energy with such an amazing group of thoughtful makers. I’m still in touch with all the Steambots, who are each onto more amazing feats. Simon tagged up with me a few weeks ago to share his cool new iPad app he developed called Treecrafter…(check it out!). I asked him to bring along some more vacuum tubes so  I could make more “bot drops”.

Here is one of my favorite shots from the opening…exhibit attendees playing with “Velotrope”, a piece by Rebecca Cummins and Rusty Oliver.

Velotrope, by Rebecca Cummins/Rusty Oliver, 2010

Velotrope, by Rebecca Cummins/Rusty Oliver, 2010

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