Friday, July 10, 2009

Long time no post...

The Hand has had a very busy, violent, and exciting first year of life!

Since the last post, the Hand has:
• Toured Australia with the Big Day Out Festival,

(In this photo we are assembling the Hand in Melbourne with a very unusual crane. Well, it's unusual by our standards... it is in fact an Australian design and quite common there. We set the Hand up, ran it for the festival, and broke it down 5 times in 2 weeks! Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth. And each time we did it, we used different equipment.... We got quite good at it!)

• Returned to New Mexico where its wrist-rotate function was rebuilt AGAIN (for the last time... it is super-strong now)

(This design is very similar to the original design for the rotate function, insofar as it uses pairs of cylinders which are "cross-plumbed" and working "against" each other. However, whereas the first design used one pair of cylinders, this new design uses three pairs, with each cylinder being larger than the original ones.)

• Gone to California to perform at the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals in Indio,

(The Coachella Festival was in some ways the most successful appearance yet for the Hand. It was the first time that the new and improved wrist-rotate function was in full effect. It drew the largest and most appreciative crowds to date. Overall, it worked flawlessly. And, it generated some of the best photographic coverage yet! This photo is from Jeff Clark, who I will say is one of my very favorite photographers to work with, because he actually gives me the pictures that he takes of my work. It is a pet-peeve of mine, and many working artists I know, that so many photographers take pictures of artwork, and then refuse to share the images with the artists. That is wrong. Thanks, Jeff!!)

• Performed at the Maker Faire in San Mateo, California

(A lovely dusk portrait, wouldn't you say? It's a little hard to see, but at the rear of the Hand's base are twelve 55-gallon drums filled with water which are used as counterweights. Maker Faire was the first time they were employed, and they seemed to work well. They are now a permanent feature of the sculpture. Also, you can see twelve "road plates", or one-inch-thick sheets of steel, laid out on the ground in front of the piece. This was done in order to protect the ground, and was highly effective. In fact, protecting the ground at Maker Faire was such a high priority that we did not use cars as props, which made for a slightly less dramatic outing, but people had a good time nonetheless.)

• And been photographed for a double-page spread in Popular Mechanics magazine.

(I actually do have a copy of the photograph which will appear in the magazine, but I can't share it at this time! You'll just have to go buy yourself a copy of the September issue when it comes out on August 15th! We shot the Hand at NIMBY.)

I will return to California with Gregory and Christina next week to perform with the Hand again at the Crucible's Fire Arts Festival. This will be it's last showing in California for a little while, and it will finally return to New Mexico after that for some R&R (which, if you are a robot, means Repair and Resuscitation).

I am working on an appearance or two for the Hand in NYC in the fall, and also trying to line up some shows in Europe for next summer. Now that would be exciting!

If some of those things happen, you can bet I will update this darned blog again!