Primitive Photo Series – Winnipeg

Photos from the series “Primitives”, taken in various locations in downtown Winnipeg, MB, Canada on August 11th, 2014. This is an experimental series and I’m still working out if this will be presented in a gallery as just the final photos, stand alone sculptures or a mixture of both. I’ve posted almost all the cleaned-up images here so I can reflect on the next steps – maybe continuing the series here in SF.

Winnipeg Experiments – Primitives

From July 18th- August 12th, I’m borrowing an amazing studio in Winnipeg (way larger than our place in SF). I’m here to experiment and expand on a project, tentatively called ‘Primitives’, that I started but had to put down in 2012.

It’s been a life-long quest to develop ongoing creative projects where I can produce mobile temporary but substantial installations (minimal shipping of materials which can pop-up from 2D to 3D) that can be installed in interior (gallery) and exterior (public) spaces.

Towards this, I have experimented with overlaying shots of Google Earth satellite images (as I did in a previous project) and various other digitally sourced textures onto geometric primitives – 3D shapes like cubes, cylinders, spheres, cones, and pyramids. These flat  primitives are printed on heavy paper, folded and glued to create individual 3D paper models.

These shapes can be installed in physical spaces at various scales; attached to walls, suspended from ceilings, connected to each other in groupings (with other materials) like growths on the interior or exterior architecture.

Experiments with Geobacter Sediment Batteries

As part of my ongoing research and work about the recording and transformation of energy, I have been recently building a test-series of portable microbial fuel cells or sediment batteries.

The Geobacter is a biological organism that exists in water sediment and has recently been discovered to both recycle industrial wastewater (petroleum-based pollutants and heavy metals in groundwater and sediment) and generate electrons as a byproduct. Using equal amounts of water and sediment, a 5-gallon plastic container and 2 custom graphite electrodes can create simple and portable batteries. The harnessed energy from one battery is enough to power an LED or very low voltage/amperage device for several days.

My goal for this ongoing project is to take water and sediment samples from sites of urban renewal (Chicago, Brooklyn, etc) and develop the battery for a variety of artistic uses.  I would also like to answer a few questions. What would I power with these batteries? How would I exhibit this work?

Emotional Battery in Italy

In the summer of 2009, ten artists from seven countries met for a week in the countryside outside of Bolognia to create their own group residency. Each artist presented their work and led simple workshops to share their practice. In my workshop, participants assembled ‘Emotional Battery’ boxes, placed them around the surrounding countryside and documented them.