Wednesday, December 31, 2008

the daybirds

doin' some cleanin' on the pc and ran into this old pic of me on a daybirds album cover as the 'photographer' .. the daybirds were the best little pop band to come out of these parts in my collective memory .. smashing kids, they were .. enjoy yer '09, kids ..

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Painting from the Time Vault

I recently stumbled upon a painting of my first car, which was a Mercedes Benz 280E. A highly stylized piece from the early days of figuring out how the brush dances over the whiltes .. cheers ..

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

vangoghinchicago - needleartvideo

came across an old photo a van gogh viewing in chicago and a video about a needle artist - this man is quite insane - click here to view ..

Monday, November 17, 2008

porch sunsets all postcard worthy

we love the sunsets on the back missouri porch .. lately, the fall and new time change has infused a nice painting each and every night worthy of a picture ..

Friday, November 14, 2008

Zen Podcast Interview

One of my favorite things is to fiddle with pods with Zen Boy .. we did one last night as a recap of what's been going on lately .. I sold one piece at the recent Muddy's show and have a piece that will be in the upcoming Gallery of Tree's auction in Parkville on December 4th .. click here to listen to the Zen interview and good luck out there ..

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Old Interview That Was Never Published for Vintage Computing

I have one of your pieces hanging in my office right now. What sort of parts do you use in these works, and what are your favorite sources?I’m not picky or beholden to certain parts of computers. Mainly, most of my pieces come from outdated or trashed computer components that either companies are getting rid of or that I’m personally getting rid of. My favorite sources are old Apple’s and generally older equipment. I like cracking those heavy pieces open and finding fairly rudimentary elements that were all a part of my Junior High years and my initial understanding of computers.

I notice quite a few components from older computers in many of your works. What draws you to these vintage devices as sources for your art?
These are a bulk of the computer components that folks are getting rid of. The laws of entropy in computer technology befit me very well. In addition, I guess I have acquired an affinity for these old pieces. The sentimentality of my childhood flood through these antiquated pieces that will be displayed for the audience to once again enjoy and appreciate.

How did you get started recycling PC components into artwork? How long have you been doing so?
This all started about 1996 during my first big job after graduating from College (UMKC, B.A. in Communication Studies). The healthcare consulting firm I was working for at the time was throwing away a plethora of computer equipment. So, I decided to scoop them up and crack them open. Initially, I wanted to see what was on the inside and just inspect the architecture of the CPU, keyboard, hard drives, power supplies and such. Then, I realized after my technological archeological dig that these pieces looked completely cool. I think I had some spare wood and good glue to assemble my first piece. From there, the relationship was solidified.

How do you come up with your ideas -- you know, what sort of creative process do you go through? My ideas evolve over the course of weeks gathering a wide range of different computer components. Once I have accumulated enough pieces, I begin laying them out all over the ground. At that point, planning and spontaneity meet and the piece begin to mentally form. From there, I start to assemble that ensemble into the beginnings of a piece of artwork. Do you start with a firm idea in mind of what the end product will look like, or does it grow on its own as you work? All of these pieces of art essentially evolve out of spontaneity versus serious planning. It’s all basically a whimsical activity minced with hard work that produces something worthy of a thought or smile. Are you always working on ideas in the back of your mind, or do you sit down and plan them out? I know the ideas will come, but I do have to hoard as many old computer parts as possible to make the concept a reality. How does your full-time job in IT influence the type of work you put out? My full-time job acts more on my subconscious when I go into creating the pieces that I make. I mean, it’s there in my conscious brain, but the repetitious sight of computers and their innards play on my creative side that produces the art I create.

How do you start a project? I start a project based on the amount of old computer parts that I acquire over a said amount of time. Then, I find a sturdy piece of wood and begin constructing what I would consider cool computer assemblage art.

How do you know when you're finished? I know I’m finished when my gut says my full vision of the work is done. This is a very subjective assessment of my process, but it’s hard to put a finger on the pulse of my creative flow as to when the conclusion happens. It just feels right.

What other artists or pieces have influenced you? I really like the surrealist movement (Salvador Dali), early abstract period (Picasso) and a couple of guys called ‘The Art Guys’. These two fellows used humor throughout cleverly constructed assemblages. In one piece, they actually had 99 bottles of beer across a wall on a ledge and had a little anecdote over each one. Their art influenced my notion of assemblages.

Existential question time -- As an IT professional and an artist, what sort of lessons have you learned about yourself through building these pieces? Both of these crafts and desires of mine have taught me a lot about the construction of a great many things in our world. The time, troubleshooting and planning of an IT related issue or project has taught me a great deal of patience in my art process, as well as my personal life. So, overall, I have learned that there is literally an infinite amount of ways to construct art work as there is to construct computing code or actual PC’s.

How do you get your kids involved in your art? My 8-year old Zen likes to unscrew all the covers and see what’s inside the CPU, Power Supply and such. He’ll strip all my pieces into nice digestible components that can be put into my assemblages. He really enjoys the whole process of tearing the technology apart and seeing the final techno/art assemblage that results. My 2-year old boy, Miles, loves to look at and touch the final pieces of artwork once completed.

Do you ever worry about people not 'getting it' when they view your work?
Naw, I don’t worry about this. The one thing I drive for with my work is a response no matter if it’s someone getting it or another being confused. I have taken my life and made an imprint on theirs. My vision became a reason for them to ponder another facet of this reality that is so vast, cool and fun. I have had many confused looks and perplexed stares at art shows over the years that it’s worthy of a solid chuckle when it happens.

If you were completely free to do any type of art you could think of, what would you do? I would love to go much larger. First, I would love to recreate a version of Max Headroom with all the CPUs and monitors I find. Also, I would like to construct big assemblages of full power supplies, CPU’s, monitors and motherboards into a cool looking robotic concept or UFO kind of thing. Finally, I would love to make these assemblages in a large scale to be placed in schools and government facilities. Essentially, I would like for this work to be placed in institutions where idle time could be used looking at one of my ensembles and would make waiting feel like time well spent.

As you know, I collect PC games and write occasional article for Vintage Computing & Gaming. What are your thoughts on the intersection of art and technology? Have you seen computers or programs that can stand on their own as artistic works? The reason why I do what I do is because I genuinely feel that computing is art. From the design of a custom CPU case to the ingenuity of computer animation, I feel that art is the backbone of anything that is worthy of capturing a huge audience. That said, there are a plethora of quality games that are really complete canvasses that have come to life in a fascinating way via the magic of a programmers ‘0’ and ‘1’ knowledge. The fact that an enormous stack of zero’s and one’s can make something as cool as Sim City is completely fascinating if you really think about it. I think the line of new Mac’s are sleek pieces of artwork, while any number of new computer games that are on the top of gamer’s lists are indeed artwork all on their own.

Do you have an educational background in art? Most of my education was through the public school system in Liberty, Missouri, some classes at UMKC and one course I took about 5 years ago at the KC Art Institute. Other than that, it’s been a process of having good friends in the beginning and a thirst for teaching myself new concepts and patience over the years in the grooming of my artwork.

Do you try to convey a message through your artwork, or do you work more on a purely aesthetic basis? I want people to laugh, smile and be otherwise entertained by my work. If folks can forget their bills or politics for that one brief spate of time while peering into my art construction, then I am a very happy person worthy of the title ‘artist’.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Loss of a Tree

I had nasty IT meltdowns last week .. in the loss of a massive 500 gig drive, my chances at a tasty autumn tree time lapse went down in hot licks of invisible flame .. i have attached a recent shot as a lament to the massive hunk of nature i tried to get from green to orange .. technology dents the armour as nature wins, kids .. cheers.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Web Enhancements & New DVD

Been busy lately putting together a new DVD compilation of my work, shows and other shots. It came out quite nice. The plan is to send these out to folks involved with the travel project, those that purchase a piece or really want a copy. All the elements are on the newly redesigned - take a look around and enjoy. I added new work, put up new shortcuts and made everything a bit 'less' .. enjoy ..

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Travel Drop in Peru

Hey, Joe,
Attached is a picture of the family that received your painting in Urubamba, Peru, in the Sacred Valley fairly near Maccha Picchu. Our group of 15 had gone to their home, and after a dinner that included guinea pig prepared in our honor, we presented them with gifts that we had brought from the United States. Everyone loved your painting and the whole concept of traveling art. It was fun taking part in your adventure! Thanks.

- Sarah

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

turning our basement into an art gallery

at the urging of my beautiful wife, carrie, i am transforming our basement area into a jam packed art gallery. every inch of wall is going to be covered with the plethora of artwork i have amassed over the years. i'm about halfway done and it's a complete trip to see that many colors, forms, memories and mediums all smashed into one spot. i'll post a video tour of the area once it's all done.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Pop's Digital Camera

I have inherited my dad's old camera and have been having a time with the sleek Nikon design. It's the digital camera I started out with and this new 10 megapixel is quite nice .. here's a slug shot with the new digs ..

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

NYC Bound

A friendly stranger named Amanda caught an article on my photo.paint travel project and has offered to take several of my pieces to the best city on earth .. New York, NY. There's nothin' wrong with that .. let me know if you want to spruce your travels up while decorating the world's art museum ..

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Travel Article - Show at Muddy's

A new article has been posted in the eROOS Newsletter - UMKC's Alumni Newsletter - click here to view. Also, I'm going to hang a new show down at Muddy's by UMKC tomorrow morning for a month long tour. Cheers ..

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Pappa Joe

Gonna be a bit slow around these parts .. we said good-bye to my father and hero, Joe Sr. on August 31st. He worked hard as hell his whole life and passed 10 minutes shy of labor day. This painting was done about a week before as a sort of homage to him. Kind of his likeness in a moment of serenity .. rest in peace, pal ..

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Vietnam Wall Art

Years back, I took a kid from the YMCA on a trip to Washington D.C. I love that town and always took it to the limit in that city. Recently, I came across a pastel sketch of the names on the Vietnam Wall I grabbed while looking at that captivating testament to American War .. enjoy your world out there today ..

Thursday, July 03, 2008

4 Cool European Travel Drops

There must have been something in the air today .. I was pondering a journal I kept back in 2000 during my first trip to Italy .. as I was thinking that, a teacher at the high school by the name of Mel was talking about some drops he made recently .. my work was placed in Rome, Venice, Sorrento, Italy - along with Athens, Greece .. the proverbial travel dot continues to spread .. Cheers out there ..

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Advocate Article on Travel Series

The Jackson County Advocate threw together a rather tasty article on the photo.paint travel project. Thanks, Stephen. Here is the link and enjoy -