Category Archives: NYC

experiencing nyc

The Wrecking Crew • A Film by Denny Tedesco

Denny and I worked as production assistants one summer. I never met his father in person; but like a lot of us I knew his musical work. Click on the image to get to Kickstarter to see – and hear – the trailer for this film and help get it made.

“The Wrecking Crew” The Untold Story of Rock & Roll Heroes

by Denny Tedesco

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Past as Prologue

In preparation of an impending move back to New York in July of 2012, I made the difficult decision to clean my studio.  Part of what wound up as trash included floppy disks (8, 5.25 and 3.5 inch!),  one-off prototype circuits, models, and materials from my teaching days at New York City’s School of Visual Arts (SVA).  These included boxes containing experimental efforts and research into 3D scanning, laser cutting, CNC machining, stereolithography,  water-jet cutting, and wax-jet printing as new tools for artists.   As someone whose instinct is to save nearly everything of a technological nature (all my work and parts I use to make work!), I thought I was being extraordinarily adult with what was a very difficult purge of the past.

Ironically, a few days later and the night before that week’s trash pickup, I received an email from an author’s representative in the UK asking for information on my now historic work in 3D printing.  After some seriously panicked dumpster diving, I was able to salvage one wax-jet fabricated piece whose photo made it into Stephen Hoskins’s  new book.

My interests have shifted over the years and I did not know of Stephen or his work. The video below is a terrific introduction to his unique specialization and center:

I am honored to have work included in this book and I want to thank two very good friends who helped to shape this period of my life: Timothy Binkley and Bruce Wands.

Tim Binkley’s invitation to teach in SVA’s MFA program made many things possible.  Intimidated by then giant CRTs and the unnerving silence of Photoshop temple devotees  I was very happy when  I was allocated a terrific little space to use as a classroom.   It was a corner room, no heat, windows with wire in the glass, on a floor above the “serious fine artists” where I developed and taught “Electronic Engineering for Artists,” one of the first – if not the first – of its kind in an art or engineering school.

Bruce Wands was the department chair at SVA’s BFA Computer Art Department and the visionary who gave the “Digital Sculpture” class a chance.  Bruce was able to appropriate the funds not only run the class (first semester, three students) but to also purchase a CNC machine, and secure three site licenses of AutoCAD.   The machine – and my classroom – inhabited a closet at the end of a hall.

Life has changed a lot since then.



Roach – B – Dead

Our first project for class was a dream-it-up project. It didn’t have to work. We had to demonstrate the idea with a plausible story conveyed in a convincing manner. I don’t really think it’s my fault that most of my dreams are nightmares any more than I am responsible for my height or hair color.And so it came to pass that the first Physical Computing class/group project with Leslie Lin and Rodrigo Derteano was based upon experiences from living in New York City: Roach-B-Dead! An automated roach killing system that uses a hammer, wiper blade, and digital counter.

$elling out Science

At the same time that the United States has been slashing the budgets of NASA and continuing to muzzle federally employed scientists and researchers from publishing climate-related concerns and observations, Canada is now following the Bush-Obama protocol for muzzling science by, “performing research which only has a social or economic gain.”
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Phil Plait’s article on this in Slate is in the link below.   Meanwhile, I wonder if the recent flooding of Alberta will impact the outlawing of climate science in North Carolina – or the rest of the United States and Canada?

Muzzling science is not going to control public reaction to rising sea levels and rapidly changing climatic changes.  Burning dirt and/or fracking are also no longer viable energy options for our civilization, if they ever were.

  Over the past few years, the Canadian government has been lurching into anti-science territory. For example, they’ve been muzzling scientists, essentially censoring them from talking about their research. Scientists have fought back against this, though from what I hear with limited success.  But a new development makes the situation appear to be far worse. In a stunning announcement, the National Research Council—the Canadian scientific research and development agency—has now said that they will only perform research that has “social or economic gain”.

obelisk or beacon

I was exploring my home town recently and discovered “Cleopatra’s Needle” on the western side of New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Turns out that it was already a thousand years old during Cleopatra’s reign.

Having a little experience in rigging objects larger than myself, I was curious how something from Egypt wound up in Central Park.  In researching, I came across the following text which resonates with my feelings of unease and concern for the future of the United States:

The opening ceremony was held on February 22, 1881, before more than 10,000 jubilant New Yorkers. William Maxwell Evarts, then U.S. Secretary of State, asked to the crowds, “Who indeed can tell what our nation will do if any perversity is possible of realization; and yet this obelisk may ask us, ‘Can you expect to flourish forever? Can you expect wealth to accumulate and man not decay? Can you think that the soft folds of luxury are to wrap themselves closer and closer around this nation and the pith and vigor of its manhood know no decay? Can it creep over you and yet the nation know no decrepitude?’ These are questions that may be answered in the time of the obelisk but not in ours.

Focal Length

NYC: Ground-Zero + Climate Change

As if living with post-9/11 urban paranoia wasn’t enough, a recent map came out showing the evacuation zones for 3 million New York City residents.

Imagine that you are one of 3,000,000 trying to leave town...
Imagine that you are one of 3,000,000 trying to leave town…
Mayor Bloomberg has announced a 19.5 billion dollar program to protect life and property from hurricane storm surges and rising levels of the Atlantic Ocean.I’m a big fan of science fiction, solar power, Cold Fusion, and other fringe-type works of literature and politically charged paradigm disruptors of public utility monopolies across the planet.But Mayor Bloomberg, as anyone who has been out at sea will tell you, you are not holding back an ocean.

If they haven’t already, New York’s financial industries ought to be looking to relocate on higher ground — or maybe move to a state that they could take over like Idaho.

Then again, since the New York Stock Exchange was purchased (2012) by the energy-based InterContinentalExchange (ICE), maybe they will move all operations to Atlanta where ICE’s home offices are located.