Important Thoughts On Altruism

Humans possess a great depth of capacity when it comes to altruism. Again and again, we demonstrate our tendency to reach out when others are in distress. Cultivating these instincts is one of the ways in which we connect with our own humanity. Studies have indicated that altruism is not entirely innate. Environment plays a key role in the development of the qualities of altruism. Practicing this trait strengthens not only our own individual ability to extend hope and help to our fellow species, it allows us to explore more deeply our own inner kindness.

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mark Guglielmo just finished an exhibition at Villa Victoria Center for the Arts in Boston, Massachusetts. Guglielmo’s work pieces together photo collages to form a larger image. For his recent show, he used photos from his time spent in Cuba. To complement the work, Guglielmo conducted interviews which were then incorporated in the exhibition. The particulars of the work involve thousands of photographs. Guglielmo captures detailed images of every nuance of a person, place, or thing. From these, he painstakingly compiles what he refers to as “a 1000-D version of reality.” A natural storyteller, Guglielmo says the audio portion of his work was important to transport people to Cuba. Guglielmo witnessed the recent changes to the island nation. He decided to record the perspective of the Cuban people when it came to the coming changes to their relationship with the U.S. Guglielmo kept his conversations informal and allowed Cuban residents to drive them in order to keep them safe from government targeting for speaking out. The conversations revealed the daily lives of Cubans often in the context of wealthy western tourists vacationing in the shadow of extreme poverty. Recent political tensions between the U.S. and Cuba have interfered with plans to show the work there. Guglielmo is considering focusing his lens on Puerto Rico next to document the ongoing hardship in the wake of hurricane Maria.

Bucanero en Playa Ancon | Buccaneer at Ancon Beach, Trinidad de Cuba, 2017, Photo-mosaic, 46 x 68 inches

Frank Juarez is the co-founder of the Randall Frank Contemporary Art Collection and project manager of the Randall Frank Artist Grant Program. Juarez says the Randall Frank collection began quite organically. Juarez and his high school and college friend Randall shared a lifelong affinity for art. When they wanted to work together, art was the common theme they shared. Together, they began a collection and strove to support artists from their area. In the early days, they worked under a tight budget, purchasing art quarterly and storing them in Randall’s home in Richmond, Virginia. The two began looking for opportunities to sponsor art events. Their first endeavor in this capacity was a mural project in Milwaukee’s Black Cat Alley. Randall Frank Contemporary Art Collection (RFCAC) hopes to one day create a public space where they can house their collected art and make it available to the public. As they became more established, RFCAC decided the best, most direct way to support artists was through a grant program. RFCAC’s pilot program seeks to support artists in the midwest and east coast regions of the U.S. The grant is presently privately funded. Juarez works in many capacities within the art world. He is a gallery director, curator, and educator. Randall works in the private sector as a chemist.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

Soften your heart and open your mind to the possibilities of altruistic behavior.

For the Silo, Brainard Carey.

Brainard  is currently giving free webinars on how to write a better Artist bio and statement and how to get a show in a gallery – you can register for that live webinar and ask questions live by clicking here.

Featured image– Induction #1 by Tony Conrad (l) and Katrina by Rob Neilson (r)  courtesy of Museum of Non-visible Art.

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Theft Of Artist Ideas May Not Be Theft At All

Recently, one of my readers wrote that “there is another kind of generosity that comes much harder to me. I know I shouldn’t be stingy in this way, but I find myself stubbornly so. It’s the generosity of sharing my ideas, my connections, or giving a leg up to those who could benefit sometimes from my knowledge – whether that’s contacts, networks, tips, or the meat of my ideas themselves.”

This concern, of course, is not unique and strikes at the heart of something that all those in creative professions fear and must face. The ownership of ideas is difficult to prove. If you tell someone your plan in confidence and they, in turn, use it for their own purposes, there is very little you can do to show that you are the originator. Spreading this rumor is likely to make you look like the bad guy. It’s no wonder that this sort of generosity is cause for concern.

Arguably, no one would really offer up their original ideas before they have been fleshed out and no one would expect this from another artist. Talking about work in progress in general terms is one thing, but detailing the entire plan is another altogether. There is nothing wrong with being a little protective of your creative capital, it is the lifeblood of what you do.

Steve Jobs and Apple on stealing ideasBut what about sharing your networks or some trade secrets that helped you get to where you are today? While you may have worked tooth and nail for everything you’ve gained, there were surely people along the way who said yes at the right moment and assisted your progress. No one can ask more than this, and as an artist of a certain standing, there is nothing wrong with offering this sort of help.

It’s important to ask yourself what you may gain or lose by offering your assistance in any way. While this may not sound like a very altruistic way of thinking, remember that you are indeed running a business and there is nothing wrong with a bit of shrewd thinking. Further, though, when you stop and think about the outcome of sharing your network, it is unlikely that helping an emerging artist by introducing people who might be able to help will in any way affect your position as a more established artist.

No one exists in a vacuum. Even you, who may have scraped and fought your way to where you are today, benefited from the acceptance and help of others. Sure, you may have pounded the pavement endlessly in order to secure your position but that is no reason not to pay forward the success you have achieved. It is too easy to forget, once you have achieved a certain status, the myriad small moments that led you there. While it may seem as though hardly anyone was out to help you in the early days, surely there were some, otherwise you could not be where you are today. Even if it was just a few gallerists who were finally willing to take a chance, there are always rungs of assistance in the ladder to every success, no matter how small.

In our present times, we live in a world where community is very much at our fingertips. The rules of social engagement have definitely changed. This is both a benefit and a burden. While the new landscape of online social engagement can absolutely open up opportunities that didn’t exist prior to this revolution in social connection, the online community can also present a world of its own difficulties. It is impossible to know who you are actually dealing with and with virtually everyone in the entire art world present online, it can easily overwhelm a newcomer to the scene.

For these reasons, there is a lot to be said for good old-fashioned face-to-face interaction. Being the sort of artist who is willing to mentor in the real world sets you apart. Establishing this sort of reputation, for being the one who will gladly share the bounty you have created, seldom reverses one’s own success and frequently opens new doors you may never have considered.

Getting back to the idea of sharing artistic ideas and concepts, this is a bit trickier. As I said before, it may be unwise to give away your nascent, unfruited plans to just anyone. On the other hand, allowing others to view works in progress isn’t likely to cause too much harm.

Arguably, there is no such thing as original art. Even some of the most contemporary artists’ work is derivative of past creations. Marina Abramovic, in her unique style, has absolutely drawn from (and occasionally been accused of copying) works by other artists. Pablo Picasso (and perhaps more famously, Steve Jobs who quoted him) said, “good artists copy, great artists steal.” This doesn’t mean that you should open yourself up to idea theft, but it does mean that perhaps being stingy with your concepts, your network, your position as an established artist, doesn’t count for as much security as you might think. Be smart about things, but in general, it is always a good idea to reach down the ladder and help those coming up behind you find the next rung.  For the Silo, Brainard Carey.

Brainard  is currently giving free webinars on how to write a better Artist bio and statement and how to get a show in a gallery – you can register for that live webinar and ask questions live by clicking here.

Featured image: Jarrod Barker.

An Artist Life Means Putting Your Guts Out Into The World

The formula for a life well lived might look something like this: Dive in head first > fail > repeat.

Life is a series of cycles. There is of course the broad cycle, we are born, we live, we age, we die. But within this scope are countless other cycles for every part and parcel of our time on the planet. The cycle of making mistakes, of continually pouring your guts out to the world and enduring the consequences, is one of the most important there is for artists. From this process you learn the most about who you are, and how you fit in the world. There will be plenty of moments when you are a total mismatch, when you throw yourself into the deep end and struggle to stay afloat. Under no circumstances should these moments be viewed as set-backs or failure.

Salvador Dali once said, “Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.” Take a minute to consider that. Really let it sink in. Let your mind internalize this notion and let it unleash a wave of relief through your whole body. What fantastic news this is, no matter what you do, no matter how long you live, you, I, we, not one of us, will ever be perfect. So how can you take this beautiful knowledge and use it to your own advantage? Once you are free from the restraints of perfection, how can this inform the way you continue on your path?

By adopting the formula above and not letting go no matter what.

You probably know stories about how mistakes have changed history for the better over and over again. The accidental discovery of Penicillin because scientists noticed that the mold on some forgotten fruit killed bacteria. Or the invention of silly putty (perhaps not on par with life-saving antibiotics when it comes to historic moments, but a great boon to childhood all the same) quite by accident in a military lab as scientists tried to create an inexpensive substitute for rubber. But have you ever really stopped to consider what these stories mean to an artist? How they can be freeing examples of the importance of making mistakes?

There is likely not a person out there who truly believes that perfection is attainable, but we are told far too often that we ought to strive for it. This leads to untold restraint, dissatisfaction, and who knows how many missed opportunities for glorious screw ups. Do not let this trap take hold of you. Throw your best and worst, craziest and most tame ideas out there for all the world to see. Who cares if you land flat on your face, as long as you’re still able to pick yourself up there’s no harm done.

As an artist you will be the recipient of rejection letters and emails. Stacks of them. Count on it. In every creative field, there are piles and piles of rejections to be gone through. Walt Disney was once fired for what his editor deemed a lack of imagination. Countless famous artists throughout history were rejected in their lifetimes, some only achieving posthumous success. Van Gogh, Manet, Turner, they all have in common that they faced painful rejection in their lifetimes. They also have in common that they didn’t give up their unique perspective on the world nor did they allow something as insignificant as rejection stand in the way of their forward momentum.

Collect your rejection letters. Create a special binder for them. Own them with pride knowing that you earned each and every one of them by putting a piece of yourself out into the world. Begin to think of rejection as a victory in itself because it means you tried. The moment you receive a rejection letter, consider that at that same moment, had you not tried, there would be nothing at all. Not trying isn’t really a way of avoiding rejection, it is simply a way of hiding from the world. You will never get anywhere at all if you don’t reveal yourself.

Artists are perhaps particularly vulnerable when it comes to the consequences of baring their souls to the world. Art is highly personal and the thought of making a mistake when the stakes are so intimately high can be enough to frighten even the boldest spirit. Rejection can feel like a very personal affront and can make it difficult to want to try again. It comes down to a choice really, to stay safe and make no progress, or let it all hang out and learn from every single mistake.

Just like with everything else in life, you will become accustomed to accepting rejection and mistakes as par for the course. There will come a day when you will leaf through your binder of rejection letters with a wisdom that can only be gained through the repeated process of failing. For the Silo, Brainard Carey.

Brainard  is currently giving free webinars on how to write a better Artist bio and statement and how to get a show in a gallery – you can register for that live webinar and ask questions live by clicking here.

Original Cast And Creator Bring Futurama Comedy Cartoon To Mobile Gaming

GOOD NEWS EVERYONE! TinyCo, a Jam City Company, and Fox Interactive have announced the development of Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow, a new game coming soon for mobile devices. The game features original content from Futurama creator and Executive Producer Matt Groening, Executive Producer David X. Cohen, and much of the team behind the beloved TV series. TinyCo is also working with Rough Draft Studios – Futurama’s original animators – to bring the show’s trademark humor, signature visual style, and ensemble comedic adventure to mobile players everywhere.

I love this game because it feels just like Futurama,” said Matt Groening, creator and Executive Producer of Futurama and The Simpsons. Except now you get to jab the characters in the face.

FUTURAMA focuses on the life of PHILIP J. FRY (Billy West), a 25-year-old pizza delivery boy who accidentally freezes himself on December 31, 1999 and wakes up 1,000 years later with a fresh start at life at Planet Express, an intergalactic delivery company. There, he meets a cast of characters, including love interest LEELA (Katey Sagal), a sexy cyclops with anger management issues, best friend BENDER (John DiMaggio), a beer-powered kleptomaniac robot, PROFESSOR FARNSWORTH (Billy West), a brilliant yet forgetful scientist and intrepid inventor, HERMES (Phil LaMarr), the company’s detail-oriented bureaucrat, AMY (Lauren Tom), an intern who is as cute as she is klutzy, and ZOIDBERG (Billy West), a lobster-like, self-proclaimed expert on humans.

Throughout their adventures, the team encounters MOM (Tress MacNeille), the foul-mouthed owner of MomCorp, ZAPP BRANNIGAN (Billy West), the vain, self- absorbed captain of the starship Nimbus, and many others.

Just as it is today, life in the future is a complex mix of the wonderful and horrible, where things are still laughable no matter how wild and crazy they get. Fry’s introduction to life in New New York includes a visit to The Head Museum, where the heads of humanity’s most renowned and influential people live on. Against a backdrop of pesky aliens, exasperating robots, and malfunctioning gadgets, Fry finds that people still struggle with the same daily anxieties of life and love.

FUTURAMA, the Emmy Award-winning series created by Matt Groening, is produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television in association with The Curiosity Company, with animation produced by Rough Draft Studios, Inc. Groening, David X. Cohen, and Ken Keeler serve as executive producers. FUTURAMA is distributed by 20th Century Fox Television Distribution.

The game is being produced in partnership with Fox Interactive, Twentieth Century Fox’s interactive division, and Matt Groening’s Curiosity Company. This partnership continues the strong teamwork that Fox Interactive and TinyCo established with Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, a mobile game based on the hit Fox animated TV series Family Guy. Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff has attracted tens of millions of players while winning multiple awards, and Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow looks to continue in this tradition.

“Futurama is back, bigger and better than ever! Or possibly smaller and equally good. But either way, it’s back!” said David X. Cohen, co-developer with Matt Groening and Executive Producer of Futurama. “We’ve got completely new stories from the original writers, cast, and animators. This is the real Futurama deal.”

Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow is coming soon for mobile devices via the App Store, Google Play, and the Amazon Appstore. More information on the game will be released in the near future. For more details on Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow as they are revealed, and to connect with the Futurama fans who will create and play the game, go to www.fb.com/playfuturama, www.twitter.com/playfuturama, and www.tinyco.com and by sending an email to contentproducer@thesilo.ca  Additionally, pre-register on Google Play at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tinyco.futurama or visit www.youwillplayfuturama.com to be notified when the game is released.  For the Silo, Kjell Vistad & Cindy Lum.


About TinyCo

Founded in 2009, TinyCo has developed more than a dozen successful games for the App Store, Google Play Store and Amazon App store with titles such as MARVEL Avengers Academy and FAMILY GUY: The Quest for Stuff. The company’s mission is to make people happy five minutes at a time through incredible, fun and original mobile entertainment. For more information about TinyCo, please visit http://www.tinyco.com.
About JamCity

Jam City is a Los Angeles-based mobile game maker with global reach. Created in 2010 by former MySpace co-founders Chris DeWolfe and Aber Whitcomb, and former 20th Century Fox executive Josh Yguado, Jam City is the creator of 6 of the Top 100 highest grossing games across Apple’s and Google’s US app stores. Its portfolio of titles–which includes Cookie Jam, Panda Pop, Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff and Marvel Avengers Academy–has been downloaded more than 800 million times and is regularly played by nearly 50 million people monthly. Jam City has studios in Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego and Buenos Aires.
About Fox Interactive

Fox Interactive, a division of the newly-formed FoxNext group, produces award- winning games and apps based on Twentieth Century Fox’s globally-recognized film and television properties. Fox Interactive’s products bring triple-A quality and enjoyment to millions of players every day with games including ALIEN™ ISOLATION, ANGRY BIRDS™ RIO, THE SIMPSONS™ TAPPED OUT, FAMILY GUY: THE QUEST FOR STUFF, FUTURAMA: GAME OF DRONES, SUGAR SMASH: THE BOOK OF LIFE and many more.


About Rough Draft Studios

Established in 1991, Rough Draft Studios, Inc. is an award-winning animation studio specializing in traditional character animation, computer animation, and the blend of both mediums. Supervising Director Peter Avanzino, Producer/Partner Claudia Katz, and the rest of the Rough Draft gang are thrilled to be lending a hand on TinyCo’s Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow.

Art Of Painting With Camera Focus At Hurban Vortex Exhibit In Cannes

hurban-vortex-boris-wilenskyIf you could choose just one photo exhibit to see all year, it would have to be Hurban Vortex in Cannes.
Often, photography is the visual equivalent of telling a one-word story, expressed through an immediately comprehensible image. In contrast, Parisian photographer Boris Wilensky takes you on a journey through time, space, and humanity. His photos are true documentaries which require time to contemplate, and listen to. Yes, listen to, not just look at. Because all of his work tells a powerful, juxtaposing story. A story of humans in cruel, all-consuming urban environments… facing challenges beyond their control… surviving in harsh conditions… A story that is already written but that is reinvented every time you look at the image.

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Boris Wilensky’s current exhibition Hurban Vortex at the Suquet des Art(iste)s in Cannes opened on December 9 last year, featuring a selection of 30 of his works. Much has been said and written about it, and him, since, so no further biographical introduction is needed. And what really shaped his life, are locations rather than dates – Israel and Palestine, Tokyo, Fukushima, and Cambodia.
An emotional trip to Israel and Palestine in 2005 left a big impression on the idealistic young man, and he started keeping and publishing travel journals to share his impressions. At some point he began illustrating those with photos. Meanwhile he kept working as a photographer in entertainment and sports.
In 2008, a café in Paris offered him space to display his photos. Thinking to himself, “This is a great opportunity… probably the only one I’ll ever have to exhibit”, he went for it. It was a success, and the impetus to turn his passion into a profession.

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A visit to Tokyo in 2009 would prove to be the pathway into that professional career as an art photographer. The swirling, frenzied city of dazzling lights around the clock inspired him to find a way to capture the craziness of the megalopolis and the loneliness of its citizens … and he found a way to do so by superimposing two photos taken in the Tokyo subway, of the train and its travelers. It turned out so well that this type of photography would soon become his signature.

On his next visit to Japan – and in fact to Fukushima, just one month after the 2011 reactor catastrophe there – he found a country that had profoundly changed. The Japanese were beginning to awaken to the consequences of boundless, unchecked use of nuclear energy. As a consequence, the garish lights all over town were dimmed, and the mood had become much more somber and sober.

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This was when the Hurban Vortex project started taking shape in the artist’s mind. “Hurban Vortex is an urban adventure with a big H”, he explains, the constant game between the concepts of humanity and urbanity, extending into notions of modernity and identity, future, sustainable development, ecology and economy. The City, symbolizing Progress and Modernity, in constant growth, now become a “megalopolis”, or a “City-world”, a space built by humans to live in but one that eats them up in return.

For this project, and forever drawn to Asia, Boris Wilensky returns to Tokyo, Shanghai and Bangkok to take as many “photographic backgrounds” as possible. Then he tours Cambodia for two months, the stark contrast to the other cities’ modernity. Here he immerses himself fully in the ancient Khmer culture, taking portraits of men, women and children. Many of those faces bear silent witness to the horrors of the Khmer Rouge regime, and yet retain pride and dignity that speaks of inner strength.

originsOver 15,000 photos later, Hurban Vortex sees the light of day. The ensemble of artistic, esthetic and human adventure are at the core of the triptych that represents his works: Origins corresponds to 2009 (present), the period of an oblivious, profligate, consumerism-driven world. Collapse takes us into 2011 (future)…Fukushima, with its worldwide impact. The glasses and gas masks worn by the humans represent the man-made destruction of a world as we had known it before and which will never be the same. And in Post we find ourselves in an urban landscape filled with waste and shattered ruins. But people are no longer wearing their blinders… Maybe there is hope after all that cities may disappear but humans are still around? Or does the urban jungle always win in the end? You decide, because it is your personal interpretation, after an intense dialogue with the image… exactly what Boris Wilensky wants.

origins2What the viewer sees, is how this artist sees the world – not in the literal but figurative sense. But he does not dictate, he suggests. He considers himself a storytelling portraitist first and foremost, and an urban photographer second. As you look at his large-size pictures (180 x 120 cm), the image in front of you transforms from a flat canvas to a three-dimensional scenography. You are drawn in, pulled onto a stage, you become part of the performance, an actor engaged in a dialogue. You are the person across from the man in the photo, but you also become him, turning outward to the viewer.

origins3The continuous movement – the vortex – pushes and pulls you as the borders between Human and Urban blur and become Hurban. There are violently cold and anonymous city landscapes, consisting of monochromatic and starkly geometric patterns, entirely unlike anything you find in nature. But the human element, superimposed, invariably bestows them with a strangely appealing aesthetic. For the Silo, Natja Igney. This article originates at Riviera-buzz. Banner diptych image Boris Wilensky- concept by Jarrod Barker.

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Gainsbourg Still Alive Exhibit In Paris, France Is Smashing Tribute

Emerging and established contemporary artists pay tribute in a new exhibit to SERGE GAINSBOURG, to his libertarian and rebel spirit. SERGE GAINSBOURG was very close to SALVADOR DALI, whom surrealist genius fascinated him.

Like Dali, Gainsbourg knew how to play with his image and how to manipulate the medias to communicate about him.

Author, composer, producer, actor and photographer, Gainsbourg is the Artist of the 80s.

On the occasion of the 25th birthday of his death, emerging and established contemporary artists revisit the famous portrait “Gainsbourg-Dali” immortalized in 1985 by the photographer ROBERTO BATTISTINI

READ the gainsbourg-still-alive-pdf   For the Silo, Nathalie de Frouville.

Exhibition address-

Etude Cornette de Saint Cyr

6 avenue hoche

75008 Paris

France

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L’IDÉE A l’occasion du 25e Anniversaire

Des artistes contemporains majeurs et de jeunes plasticiens rendent hommage à SERGE GAINSBOURG à son esprit libertaire et contestataire. SERGE GAINSBOURG était très proche de SALVADOR DALI qu’il avait côtoyé et dont le génie surréaliste le fascinait.

Comme lui, il savait jouer de son image et manipuler les médias pour communiquer. Auteur, compositeur, réalisateur, acteur et photographe, il est « l’Artiste » des années 80.

A l’occasion de la commémoration du 25e anniversaire de sa disparition, des artistes contemporains majeurs lui rendent hommage en revisitant le célèbre portrait « Gainsbourg-Dali » réalisé en 1985 par le photographe ROBERTO BATTISTINI.

LISEZ gainsbourg-still-alive-pdf   Pour le Silo, Nathalie de Frouville.

Adresse de l’exposition-

Etude Cornette de Saint Cyr

 

6 avenue hoche

 

75008 Paris

 

France

 

A Quest To Lost Arts In Chicago To Build My First Hyve Touch Synthesizer

I started out creating sound experiments while in high school, circa 1980 with circuit bent hardware and a cheap Casio keyboard.

I then entered the working world and forgot all about making music. Fast forward 30+ years, and the itch to make experimental music overtook me again, but now technology had changed drastically. I no longer needed hardware. I discovered apps on my iPhone, and music platforms like SoundCloud and Bandcamp were all that I needed. I was immediately obsessed.

Within a couple years, I had filled over seven free SoundCloud accounts, and two Bandcamp albums  as well as an artist page  with experimental music, and having a great time doing it. But, I started to grow tired of using the same software.

stylophone synthI yearned to use hardware/instruments again, but not being able to play an instrument is a definite hindrance 🙂 I searched for cheap keyboards on the net. I soon discovered the “Stylophone” and ordered one ‘sight unseen’. It was unique, inexpensive and fun, but quite limited in sound variety. I started mixing the Stylophone with app produced sounds/music, as well as other “found sounds”. (I really appreciate the functionality of software based mixing apps, which are almost essential to my creations these days). I then stumbled upon a couple of user videos of the Hyve synthesizer, and knew I had to have it. It was clearly non-musician friendly (and looked so different, cool and fun).

Then came the disappointment … You can’t buy one! (BUT I HAD TO HAVE ONE!!!) Turns out, the engineer/designer guru behind this awesome device (Skot Wiedmann), has work shops in the Chicago area, and you can go build your own, ( very inexpensively ). I knew what I had to do. I looked at a map, saw that Chicago was about 8 hours away, and realized that I had to go build it. I started to plan the trip. I knew that a fellow SoundCloud musician and Facebook friend (Leslie Rollins) lived in Berrien Springs, Michigan, about 2 hours outside of Chicago.

This presented a twofold opportunity. I could hopefully, meet Leslie face to face, and hopefully have a place to spend the night. I contacted Les and everything was A-OK! I purchased a ticket to build my Hyve, and started to plan my road trip. The workshop was going to be from Noon to 3pm, Saturday Sept.24 in a cool space called Lost Arts in Chicago.

I had the whole week off from work, because I was overseeing a contractor doing extensive yard work at my house all week, and I was hoping to leave Friday so as to arrive at Leslie’s place in the late afternoon or early evening, spend the night, and leave for the workshop Saturday morning. Alas, plans rarely work as hoped.

The contractor wasn’t finished until Friday afternoon, and Les wasn’t getting home from a business trip until late Friday night.
New plan! Early to bed Friday. Early to rise Saturday (2:30 am), and depart for Leslie’s place in Michigan. It was an easy drive, and I got to Berrien Springs (a beautiful sleepy little university village) around 8:30 am. Met Leslie, and got to trade stories over a great breakfast in a local cafe. Then, I quickly admired Leslie’s impressive modular synth racks at his home studio “Convolution Atelier” and then left for “Lost Arts” in Chicago.

Lost Arts is located in a cool old industrial complex. The workshop provided everyone with a surface mount board with the touchpad on one side, and components layout on the back. A sheet listing components and placement was also handed out, along with tiny plastic tweezers. Everyone then had their component side “pasted” with a solder paste applied through a pierced template, in a process similar to silk screening. Everyone then started to receive their very tiny components from the parts list. Following the placement locations, the components (chips, capacitors, resistors, etc) were set into their pasted areas with the tweezers (magnification and extra lighting was a must). Once all the components were placed, they were carefully “soldered” into place by simply holding a heat gun over each component until the solder on the board had adhered it. Once this was done, everyone had their 9v battery and line-out jacks hand soldered into place by Skot , and then … the moment of truth, Skot tested each one for proper operation.

It was a fascinating process and great experience. I met a lot of cool people at the workshop, both builders and staff/helpers! I can’t say enough what a fantastic experience this was, and what an awesome, diverse and versatile device the Hyve is. I doubted my sanity when planning this trip, but it turned out to be very rewarding!

Leslie and I then went back to Michigan, stopped at a local brewery in Berrien Springs (Cultivate) and sampled a few of their excellent brews, and then proceeded to Convolution Atelier to play with Leslie’s modular system. (I’m a newbie to all things modular, and I received a great crash course from Leslie on his very cool array!) Then it was out to dinner with Leslie and his wonderful wife Lisa, and finally back to their house where I stayed for the night, and finally hit the road towards home the next morning. It truly was a great adventure! For the Silo, Mike Fuchs.

Click Me!
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Video Art And Culture- The Distinctive Features Of The Medium By David Antin


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