Dhun 2016–present – Story engineer, Writer, Editor. I am providing poetic narrative guidance and copy for this planned community project near Jaipur, India. The brainchild of Manvendra Singh Shekhawat, a cultural conservationist, boutique hotelier and INK Fellow, Dhun combines time-tested traditional construction techniques and sensibilities with modern technological advances. Dhun is a township built from the inside out, considering the needs of the local ecology, the individual, the community, and finally the sustainability and efficiency of its systems, in that order.
The Decameron 2017 – Story engineer and performer. Directed by Karl Gillick, this homage to Giovanni Boccaccio’s original Decameron event during the Black Plague provides the audience with 10 stories a night for 10 nights, with each night’s performances referencing a specific theme. I assisted a group of 30 performers from 7 countries with over-arching and specific story elements, performed solo and with small groups, inventing and directing specialized 10-minute acts in an abandoned copper mine in Outokumpu, Finland as part of the country’s 100 year anniversary of independence.
The Exploratorium 2016 – Mechanic. I helped assemble a hands-on science museum in Kayseri, Turkey. Exhibits were designed, fabricated and shipped from the United States, Portugal and the Netherlands and then assembled and installed on-site.
Pier 70 Historical Neighborhood Putt-Putt 2016 – Experience Director. Researched and managed story elements and directed 18 artists as they each constructed a mini-golf link which references particular historical elements of the San Francisco neighborhood known as The Dogpatch. The course was constructed inside Pier 70, a massive, post-industrial, waterfront event space which used to manufacture submarines, warships, gunpowder and rope. It was open to the public in July and August of 2016.
Residencies, Curricula, and Fellowships
California Academy of Sciences 2014 – Artist in residence. Presented a lecture entitled “Repurposed Materials” on the subject of the human microbiome, endosymbiotic theory and its poetic implications for our perceptions of self. I also led a workshop where visitors assembled contraption shadow puppets inspired by microorganisms from an array of household items and random objects.
The Randall Museum 2013, 2014 – Instructor. Designed and taught woodworking course curriculum for children ages 9-12 for this San Francisco art and science children’s museum. Projects included wooden pinball machines and scooters.
TED Fellow 2013 – Selected for lifelong fellowship program sponsored by TED.
The Dream Community 2012 – Artist in residence. Designed and built floats and puppets for this international artist residency program in Taipei, Taiwan for the annual Dream Parade. Also travelled to villages in south Taiwan, working with locals to design floats for each village’s own traditional parade.
SFMOMA Visitors Art Workshop 2011 – Artist in residence at SFMOMA Koret Education Center. Constructed large-scale art installation with fellow artist in residence and guided visitors in day-long art workshop in which visitor’s completed the tree-like installation with various tools, found objects and reclaimed materials.
Recology Artist in Residence Program 2010 – Artist in residence at the San Francisco Dump as part of a 4 month program in which I constructed various sculptures and automatons from salvaged materials, culminating in a performance and exhibition entitled “The Uncanny Valley Orphanage,” which refers to a theory of robotics known as The Uncanny Valley and deals with our relationship with our own human form.
San Francisco Day School 2011, 2012 – Instructor. Designed and taught woodworking course curriculum for children ages 7-11 for after-school and summer programs. For the summer program, the children designed and built their own floating puppet theater raft on the water, then wrote, produced and performed their own puppet show on the raft for an audience at the Bay View Boat Club.
Performances and Exhibitions
Haul of 1,000 Wanders 2011–2018 – Designed and curated exhibition of my own collection of oddities and creations, as well as animals, insects, skeletons, scientific illustrations and paraphernalia, in conjunction with Paxton Gate and The Bone Room.
The Exploratorium 2014 – Exhibited kinetic junk sculpture/peepshow “Ship in a Barrel,” from my Uncanny Valley Orphanage series for the museum’s Tinkerer’s Night festivities.
The Crucible 2014 – Hosted and performed my own poems and songs with the Herring Bone Orchestra from New Orleans for this Oakland institution’s 15 year anniversary “Fire & Light Soiree,” featuring various fire and circus art performances.
The DeYoung Museum After Dark 2014 – Hosted the evening’s festivities and performed my own poetry for the museum’s monthly soiree of art and music.
The Decameron 2013 – Exhibited several kinetic junk sculptures and peepshow boxes and performed my own poetry and songs for this modernized restaging of Boccaccio’s Decameron (10 stories a night for 10 nights) at the Fort Mason firehouse in San Francisco.
All World’s Fair 2013 – Exhibition of my animatronic creations from “The Uncanny Valley Orphanage” for this large group show at the San Francisco Mint.
SMMMASH Science and Art Lecture Series 2013 – Exhibition of animatronic creations from salvaged materials at Stanford University.
Garbology 2012 – My poem “Broken Turntable” was published in this book by Ed Humes. Both the poem and book are on the subject of our relationship with trash and the consequences of its continued production.
Ocean Synapse 2014 – Collaborative trans-hemispheric video art performance with Dr Sarah Jane Pell, a performance artist in Melbourne, Australia. We each separately performed and filmed scenes of our own design based on the concept of water becoming a medium for information transfer in the near future. From opposite sides of the globe, we then played the films side-by-side live and for the first time as part of WaterWheel’s annual online symposium for art and discussion about all things water. We also submitted a paper on the subject as part of the event.
The Quest 2014 – Helped conceptualize and perform this extensive, 3-day immersive theater and games event in the Santa Cruz mountains for a large group of tech entrepreneurs. I played one of three scout leaders, emceeing the event and providing stories and poetry at particular intervals in the participants’ journey.
Swimming Cities 2008, 2010 – Actor, writer, theatrical director, helmsman, fabricator. Constructed large art-rafts from salvaged materials with a group of 35 artists for a two-week journey down the Hudson River into New York City for a large-scale final exhibition. Was lead actor in production performed on the rafts throughout voyage. Also reconstructed the rafts in Slovenia for a two-week journey across the Adriatic Sea into Venice, Italy for the 2010 biennale arts festival. Wrote and directed production performed on the rafts in Venice entitled “The Clutchess of Cuckoo.” Helmsman for Alice, the prettiest ship in the fleet, for both journeys.
Apocalypse Puppet Theater 2005-2010 – Co-founder, fabricator, actor, writer, lyricist, puppeteer. Constructed puppets and sets and performed both fictional and historical shows for people of all ages. Also constructed the Apocalypse Stagecoach, a travelling puppet theater pulled by a team of 8 bicycles. Venues included The Exploratorium, Burning Man 2005, Maker Faire 2010, Outside Lands Music Festival and San Francsico’s Dia de los Muertos procession.
“Ragnarok”: The great Norse tale of the end of the world.
“Revelations”: Chicken Little meets the Book of Revelations.
“Man-Killers of India”: True stories of wronged beasts throughout history.
“So I Married a Sea Monster”: The stirring tale of a man and his fish.
Stars & Garters Theatre Company 2004-2011 – Co-founder, writer, lyricist, director, producer, fabricator, actor, puppeteer. Wrote, produced and performed dark comedy musicals at local venues and on tour with this group of 12 actors, musicians, puppeteers and fabricators.
“The Curse of the Goddamned Ship”: A nautical exploration of the constellations, aboard a cursed ghost ship, with songs and a full band.
“The Robber Bridegroom”: A dark, poetic retelling of the Brothers Grimm tale, with puppets, a rotating cottage, cuckoo clock, a full band and a great deal of witchcraft.
“Show & Tell”: Bi-monthly variety show.
“Country Duet Roulette”: Country duet musical competition featuring beloved local acts.
The Fitzcock Follies 2003 – Writer, performer. Musical vaudeville theatrical production at The Odeon in San Francisco, featuring song, dance and storytelling by way of my character, Doctor Fitzcock.
Loop Quantum Theory 2003 – Poetic hip-hop project with Stephon Alexander, a theoretical physicist (one of National Geographic’s “Top Ten Young Minds”), saxophonist, music producer and proponent of loop quantum theory in relationship to the Big Bang.
The Specimen 2002-2008 – Lyricist, writer, performer. Victorian themed gothic hip-hop duo project. Songs on subjects such as Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Black Plague, Jack the Ripper, Masonic sacrifices and the trappings and pitfalls of modern medical science at the turn of the century.
Album: The Specimen
Attaboy & Burke 1999-2004 – Lyricist, writer, performer. Music, song and spoken word medicine show on subjects such as philosophy and science fiction with my compatriot in the art of verbal dismantling, Attaboy..
“The A&B Surreal Medicine Show”: Spoken word and musical theatrical production featuring Rubberboy, the world’s most flexible man, at the Seattle Fringe Festival and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
“LockJaw I & II”: Immersive variety show and musical performance at ACE Junkyard in San Francisco.
Album: “Atomic Batteries of Power”: Song and video compilation EP.
Popcorn Anti-Theater 1998-2000 – Writer, lyricist, performer. Solo and group theatrical productions in alleys, parks, abandoned buildings and other various locations in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Graduated in 1996 from U.C. Davis with a B.S. in Universal Design, a self-directed degree which incorporates environmental design, visual merchandising, graphic design, costume design, photography, fine art and early childhood education.