Updated Bio and Dali’s Table

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Dali’s Table, 2017 Patterns upon patterns over the distorted red pattern from Dali’s 1956 painting Living Still Life (French: Nature Morte Vivante) Dali painted this piece during a period that he called “Nuclear Mysticism.”[1] Nuclear Mysticism is composed of different theories that try to show the relationships between quantum physics and the conscious mind. The different theories are composed of elements that range from “Catalan philosophers” to “classicismpop art, and nuclear physics.”[2] The painting, done in 1956, currently resides at the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.

I find beauty in unexpected places.  As a “hacker” I take things apart and re-purpose them in cool new ways. I transform “e-waste”- discarded electronics and outdated computer components into dynamic compositions that combine 2D color and pattern with 3D abstract forms. My work touches upon issues ofintimacy, excess, ecology and raising awareness. My work has been described as being ”structural poetry.”

 

Growing up, my Dad worked at Raytheon (1960-90) and brought home outdated equipment that was being thrown out. I never opened a computer until I joined The Artisan’s Asylum, maker space in Somerville MA in 2012.  Since that time I have learned a great deal about the abundance of outdated technology and the toll it is taking on the world because manufacturers do not take responsibility for the full lifecycle of their products.

There’s an element of chance in my work since my materials are given to me and because each series of computer I open is different. It’s like a treasure hunt.  I know immediately if a piece is visually interesting or not (unless I’m in an indecisive mood). The visual excitement when a particular shape just POPS when in relation to a particular color or pattern is thrilling.

I weave in my background and love of Modernism by appropriating imagery from the past. Originally I built upon a surface made from old letters, post cards and other personal items that romantic people accumulate. Currently I incorporate digital imagery (mine, Modern Art, random print) which I alter with Photoshop.  The compositions place shapes of disassembled technology in relationship with abstract imagery with contrast, balance and repetition and suggest a connection or equivalence.

I grew up going to DeCordova summer camp where my creativity was always encouraged. At the age of ten I saw the Acropolis in Athens and knew I would be studying Art History when I went to college. Between visiting galleries and museums in NYC while at SUNY Purchase and a year in Paris, I developed my aesthetic sense and became focused on contemporary art.  After 5 years of doing administrative work at the ICA, I enrolled at Mass College of Art and earned a Masters in Art Education. I have run educational programs at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, Boston Ballet, Museum of Fine Arts. Once I got out of the office and starting making art, I taught at Watertown Arsenal Center for the Arts, Parts & Crafts. I offer workshops to people of all ages at the Artisan’s Asylum and at various community events.

www.hackercreations.com

www.artisansasylum.com

www.etsy.com/shop/hackercreations

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Where do you get your parts?

Melissa Glick, Hacker Creations

This is the most common question I am asked at craft shows.  Here are some of the more interesting origins.

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I once received a box of working clock inserts in the mail. The return address was from Malden but I did not recognize/remember who it was from. They have roman numerals but take an unusual battery. Thank you to my donor!

My childhood friend was clearing out her house to be sold and bequeathed upon me her family’s first PC. It was an IBM from 1987. I remember watching Karen annihilate aliens on a tiny 5″x7″ monitor.

At a crowded Flea market a gentleman told me he had some printed circuit boards. We met at a cafe and he gave me 2 boxes of green, shiny as new boards of all sizes. These are samples he said. Let me know if you want more.

 

July 6/17 I saw a black box on the side of the street the other day…. I thought about picking it up but I walked by. Then next day, it was still there, so I took a closer look. It was a 5 disc CD player. So I grabbed it and put it in the back of my car.  I opened it up and found a piece resembling a huge black plastic throwing star. I’ve  opened one of these before, but it did not have this design. I was most interested in the black plastic pieces, I photographed against a green background.

I started off making Joseph Cornell-like boxes using the things my father had saved in the dungeon of my childhood home. The house I grew up in was being emptied out to be sold.  Examples of my oldest work.

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Fellow Artisan’s Asylum members offer me their cruft, (left over parts of unfinished projects, surplus materials.)  Generally happy to see them being put into some kind of use, even if it isn’t electronic.

Once after doing a workshop at an after school in Southie, I was “paid” with a tower of PC’s they were upgrading from. Stacked, they were as talk as me.

My 100 sq foot studio is packed with components that need to be taken apart. At Open Studios a visitor said, entering my studio “is like entering another world, there is so much going on.”

Sometimes when I am offered parts, I take them, even if they are nothing special because I am grateful they think of me and for their act of generosity. I am also grateful for the time the other members give to me when they answer my questions. Although they often go into more detail that I need.

 

Melissa Glick has been an inmate at the Artisan’s Asylum in Somerville, MA since 2012. She grew up in a home where recycling and saving cool looking things was the norm. She studied Art History at SUNY Purchase and got a masters in art education at Mass College of Art.

 

 

 

Open Call: HackCycle Deadline for Submissions: May 25th

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The Nave Gallery (Somerville, MA) invites artists to participate in the curated exhibition, HackCycle.

HackCycle celebrates recycled art of the 21st century. We invite submissions from  artists, nerds, makers, burners and others who employ experimentation and serendipity using today’s technological debris and/or innovative techniques as part of their creative process.

The exhibition examines the transformation of bits, bytes, cruft, e-waste, circuits, doodads, odds & ends and more into objects of art. Work may (but is not limited to) demonstrate the use of 3D printing, laser cutters and/or CNC bots in combination with found art, assemblage and/or appropriation.

Entries sought may (but are not limited to) include unique and reimagined re-uses of the following elements:

 – robotics
– electronics
– sci fi
– cosplay
– anime, action figure toys & fun childhood memories

GUIDELINES:
– $15 entry fee payable through PayPal

– A maximum of five pieces may be entered for consideration

– Submissions will be accepted through September 8, 2015

– The Nave Gallery will retain a 30% commission for work sold

– Artist is responsible for cost of shipping work to and from the gallery

HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR WORK:
-Send up to five artwork submissions as .jpg files to info@navegallery.org.

-Each .jpg should be 1200 pixels in the long dimension and named as “NAME_#.jpg” where # is the submission number and NAME is your last name

-Include an image list with your jpeg submission email, indicating submission number, title, size, process and year, as well as a brief artist bio and statement

-There is a $15 submission fee, payable through Paypal. Paypal is available here. Please include “HackCycle” in the note field

– Please indicate where you learned of the call

Accepted pieces should be delivered to the Nave Gallery located in Teele Square (155 Powder House Blvd, Somerville, MA) ready to install.

CALENDAR:
Deadline for entries: May 25, 2015
Notification: May 30, 2015
Artwork drop-off: June 7, 2015
Exhibition dates: June 11 – July 11, 2015
Opening reception:  June 11, 2015; 6:00 pm-8:00 pm

ABOUT THE CURATOR:
Melissa Glick is a Boston-based artist and teacher who finds beauty in unexpected places. She creates dynamic compositions with abstract elements and bold colors by combining disassembled computer parts with appropriated imagery and personal relics. In addition to her work being fun and eye catching it address the environmental impact of our technological lifestyle and our emotional attachments to the “things” that represent and validate who we are. Melissa works out of the Artisan’s Asylum and is a proponent of the Maker Movement and the democratization of production. She has a Masters in Art Education from Mass College of Art and a BA from SUNY Purchase and has run educational programs at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, Boston Ballet, Museum of Fine Arts, Watertown Arsenal Center for the Arts, Parts & Crafts and at various community events.  View her work at www.melissasglick.com

Arduino Connects Art and Robotics

When I volunteered at Arduino Day on Sat. March 28th, it was snowing so hard, the Charles River was barely visible from the top floor of the MIT Media Lab. But what an interesting place to learn more about the “Lego” of electronics. Make Magazine posted a  slide show of photos I took that day.

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Arduino is designed by an international group who’s mission is to give everyone the tools needed to invent stuff, because you never know where the next life changing idea will come from.

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An Arduino controlled vehicle can follow the path of a black line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I first heard about Arduino from the collaborator on my piece The River of Connectivity which has 12 re-purposed computer fans across a 6 ft. long assemblage. Tyler built and programed an Arduino that turned the fans turned on then off in succession from left to the right. The fans, that look best when slowing down and starting up, recalled flowing water.

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Tyler Hutchison is the mastermind behind this controller – 2 wires go to each fan, powered by a DC plug.

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The River of Connectivity now hangs at the Edward M. Kennedy Health Center, Milford Ma. Thanks to The Art Connection, an organization that facilitates the collecting of art by community groups.

 

 

What is it? Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for anyone making interactive projects.  Therefore it is becoming popular with new media artists who create experiential environments and work with light and sound.

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How Does it Work? As with all electronics, components are connected to a board. The Arduino board comes with some components already attached so you can just plug into your computer and use a free software to program, tell it what to do. There are many companies doing this.

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Here I am using a toy that teaches the concept of programming. By putting different colored parts into the holes in my “control panel” I make the little box with the smile more in different directions.

The program spells out what steps to take in computer language. Using If statements allows the instructions to change based on options. Various roles of components include:

  • Sensors, that react to light, sound, touch, speed, temperature, moisture;
  • Switches, that turn things on and off and adjust speed;
  • Clocks and counters, used to schedule frequency etc.

How does it relate to art?  Some of my favorite artists made kinetic sculpture. Calder and Rikey made large metal shapes that moved, be they powered by the wind or human interaction. I once witnessed a couple of percussionists make wonderful rhythms on a large free-standing Calder swung around at The Neuberger Museum at SUNY Purchase, 1981. (This was it’s intended purpose.)

Alexander Calder, Red Mobile, 1956, Painted sheet metal and metal rods, a signature work – Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

 Closer to Home:  Some of my friends at the Artisan’s Asylum are experimenting with Arduino. Sage Kochavi’s piece Furry All, consists of  two feet high letters, covered in soft fun fur. She programed the Arduino sensor to trigger LEDs embedded in the fur. As your hand nears, the lights glow brighter and when you stroke the fur, the letter begins to purr via the embedded motors which are triggered by the interaction.

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That’s me at the bottom right, kneeling to take the picture.

Another Asylum member Mark Brownawell, has set up a little monitor connected to a temperature sensor. As people come near, red blocks of color increase and blue decrease. Temperatures in between are represented in yellow and green.

The best example of technologically assisted art I’ve heard about was Rain Room at the MOMA.

It is inevitable that the current technology would be integrated into the art of the period. Products like Arduino make it possible for artists to push boundaries and use it in ways corporations and scientists would never would. How can you imagine using Arduino in a creative project?

Where Can I learn more?

You can take a class  Introduction to Arduino

Arduino website:  http://arduino.cc/en/Guide/HomePage

Store: http://store-usa.arduino.cc/

You can see a lot of interesting projects on

Instructables: http://www.instructables.com/howto/arduino/

https://data.sparkfun.com/   There are other companies doing this sort of thing.

https://processing.org/ — another artist friendly programming language.

Resources:

http://www.makershed.com/?utm_source=makezine.com&utm_medium=ads&utm_term=Shop+Now&utm_campaign=makershed+banner

http://playground.arduino.cc/Projects/ArduinoUsers

Kaleidoscope: http://arduino-cool.blogspot.com/2014/06/kaleidoscope-with-arduino-and-rgb-led.html

Xmas Decorations: http://luckyresistor.me/xmas-decoration/

The Art Connection: http://www.theartconnection.org/

Trip to Providence Revisited

I wrote this blog on October 25, 2014 but never finished or published it, until now. Its April 11, 2017….It took 3 years & 4 months to use up the supplies I bought there! So here is the story with updates!

My friend Barbara invited me to go to Wolf E Myrow Inc  a jewelry warehouse in Cranston RI. A place I had heard about but never been so when this co-inmate from the maker space where I work, said she was going, I said, “Take me along!”  Barbara is a retired art teacher, who taught in the Somerville Public Schools for 25 years and she is one of the happiest people I have ever met! Since retiring she has been making and teaching classes in enamel, jewelry and watercolor painting at The Artisan’s Asylum.

Wolf Myrow is in a huge brick warehouse located just off the highway at 46 Aleppo Street, Providence, RI, 02909 It took me an 1 hour to get there driving Barbara’s Subaru Outback from Somerville, MA. (I didnt know then, that I would own a Subaru Outback myself in the future!)  It turns out Wolf Myrow it is very close to another RI fav of mine: Business Surplus is at 204 Hartford Ave, Providence, RI 02909…. that’s another blog.

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When you walk into the huge space, you are told there are 4 more rooms just like it. For someone to has a hard time focusing, you can not imagine the panic this brings on. As I thought, I wasn’t thru with the first room when Barbara said she was ready to go!

There are tall metal shelves filled with brown cardboard boxes as far as the eye can see. The overhead lights are kept off to save electricity, so you have to flick them on for each aisle you want to go down.

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The contents of each box is attached to its front. If you have limited time to explore, I suggest you take a look at their website before going, so that you can determine the general type of things you are looking for. Be aware the website does not represent the actually inventory!

prov10There are 6 different areas. Chains, beads, findings, gems… odds and ends… The catch is its wholesale and  you must spend $50 so its good to go with a friend. And you have to purchase $10 worth of each item. So I now have a life time supply of findings. I plan to bag them up and sell them on etsy or to my fellow inmates at the Artisan’s Asylum.

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Revised post script: I never, bagged up or sold any excess. I gave some away to people who needed them. It turned out, my rushed decisions turn out to be lucky accidents. The load of necklace hooks I bought, consisted of a hook and jump ring. I didn’t turn out using many of the hooks but, I unattached the rings and used them all up and now I need to go back to get more!!!!

Who wants to go?

 

 

Its July Everybody!

stopwatchA lot has been happening! I have been making lots of new work! After a bit of a breather after Open Studios and Craftopia, I am more inspired than ever! I so many hard drives, disc drives and vcrs I have no room left in my 50′ workspace at the Artisan’s Asylum. People are so generous with their donation and time. Thank you to everyone who has helped me to learn Solidworks and cut out my first piece on the CNC router!

 

 

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I am so happy to announce that I was accepted into the Boston Hand Made artist’s group! This collection of 10 artists works together to support and promote their handmade businesses together. Already I have attended a new member cocktail event at Gather by the ICA. Today is a meet up in Melrose and next week will be a workshop in Concord, I am looking forward to working on a potential Holiday Storefront in Coolidge Corner, Brookline. Check out their beautiful website and blog at: http://www.bostonhandmade.org/   Already I have upgraded my website and purchased my own domain name. You can visit my new and improved website at: melissasglick.com

 

Last week I led a lovely workshop by the River at the new mall Assembly Row. Set up on a grassy area with a view of boats Assembrowboyand the busy pedestrian path. There were participants of all ages – from 3 – 73! It was part of the series of free workshops every Sunday from 2 – 3 pm.

 

Tomorrow July 19th is Art Beat, in Davis Square, Somerville, MA from 10 am – 5 pm. There will be music performance, art, food and craft vendors! I will be manning an info booth about the Artisan’s Asylum. We will be located on Statue Park by the animals and other activities. There will be a glass blowing demo from 11 am – 2pm, map drawing and take a part. Come by and say HI!

The Incredible Clock Show

April Hacker Junk Creations News letter           Welcome Spring!!!
Wed April 16, 4:30-6:30pm Recycle Creativity Lab Reception University Place Gallery 124 Mt. Auburn St Cambridge.
Sun. April 27, 10 am – 4 pm CRAFTOPIA a super-duper day of art, craft, food & fun! in Pawtucket, RI. Fri-
Fri-Sun May 2.-4 Somerville Open Studios Visit the Artisan’s Asylum 10 Tyler St.Don’t miss The Artists’ Choice Exhibit at the Somerville Museum.
VISIT:  Etsy Store     Flickr Stream

UPDATE: I have been spending all my time in the studio. Making clocks and chokers for the Nashua Steampunk Festivaland working on my first large scale collaborative piece, The River of Connectivity!

Unfortunatesos copyly the Steampunk Festivalwas cancelled….. so instead, my theme for this year’s Somerville Open Studios will be: Melissa’s Incredible Clock Show. Re: my love for Modern Art, there is a Mondrian clock, Basquiat Clock, Escher Clock and lots of new work. I may also be selling Hacker Junk by the OZ. Mostly plastic gears spray painted silver and copper – for all your Steampunk costume making needs! If not you can get it at MELSPACE.

 RECYCLE CREATIVITY LAB : I spent 3 snowy afternoons with middle school kids at the Gately Afterschool as visiting artist for a Cambridge Creativity Commons  project. Each kid got a (broken) laptop to take apart and transform using collage and assemblage! After showing my Power point presentation about found art and abstract composition, a girl responded by saying, “It’s like how some people don’t think Graffiti its art.” Thank you Paul, Erin and Kyle for this opportunity! With support from the Cambridge Art Association  the results of the program along with my River of Connectivity will be displayed at University Place Gallery 124 Mt. Auburn Street, Harvard Sq. I hope you can drop by the reception Wednesday, April 16, 4:30-6:30 pm.

How Thtylerbox_web copye River of Connectivity came to be: 1) Erin from CAA said University Place Gallery is really large, and wondered if the children’s work would fill it & invited me to include a piece.   2) I had a collection of beautiful parts that were too large for my usual work.   3) I had a source of large plywood from the dis assembly of The Asylum’s Veladrome.   4) I saw Tyler’s awesome phone booth and I invited him to collaborate. Thus my first collaborative, moving, large scale piece was born! Again I hope you will come to see its debut on April 16th. So exciting!! Here is a description  of the work.

Somerville Library Workshop: We made mobiles a February mobkids2editVacation Week workshop that was well attended by regulars and new folks including a group from the Elizabeth Peabody House. The instructions were to balance parts off hangers that were suspended across the room, but some kids liked the challenge of attaching the MOST stuff.

Up Coming: I am looking forward to participating in some Indy Craft Festivals( If you hear of any other please let me know.)  My first will be: CRAFTOPIA  on Sun. April 27th. It is being held at the Hope Artiste Village 1005 Main St, Pawtucket RI. It’s a wonderful day trip!

I will be updating my ETSY store MELSPLACE with all my new work soon!. Take a look and while you are there, please click on the FAV button- so I will come up in the search algorithm.

Workshops for all ages are available at the Artisan’s Asylum  (for over 18) and other locations. Parts and Crafts. Please contact me if you are interested! glick.melissa@gmail.com

Take care and thanks for your support!

Melissa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White House Maker Faire taking place in 2014

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I have been working at the Artisan’s Asylum in Somerville, MA for almost 2 years. Its an amazing place where I have been able to merge visual art with technology! I make “mosaics” by combining old computer parts with colorful collage made with recycled papers. When I work with children (and adults), I tell them to look at the parts like “tiles” in various colors, materials, shapes and sizes – to use in compositions. I know 101 (not literally) fun projects to make out of recycled computer parts! While we are doing “take apart” and using our imaginations, kids are seeing for the first time, the multitude of parts (screws, heatsink, hard drive, gears, motors, wires, processors, springs, stators, transformers, copper wire, fans….) that fit together like a puzzle to make your computer work!

It is a fun and inspiring activity, that I love to share with others. You can see examples of my and the work from workshops at my website, on my blog and at my etsy store!!!!

The engineers at the asylum usually think my work is weird, but when we have an open house and they see the hoards of kids, they are very impressed! Artists make great teachers…….engineers, not always! Check out my and the work of my students.

Asylum Open Studios Dec 2013

I love a deadline! Moving into my space in November with the goal of 10 new pieces was a fun-crazy time! I may not have completed all 10 but I am very satisfied with the results of my productivity.

1. Gears was up in Lowell at the Zeitgeist Gallery.gearsm copy

2. I was still painting the edges of Little Pasha,  at Open Studios, I’m not ready to give that one up… I love having him around….

pinkweavedit3. Pink Weave was finished and I liked the way it turned out.

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4. Vasarelli was purchased by my bestest, oldest friend (along with 2 older ones: Mosaic with Grout & Stators). Karen, my patron,  is supportive,  encouraging & has plenty of walls to adorn in her big beautiful house.

5. Tabs and 6. Silver & Gold received many positive comments but no serious takers. They are both listed on line at Etsy and a new source called Artfully Reimagined This fee-free online market is like Etsy but solely for work made from recycled materials! How awesome is that?

There is 7. Mondrian Triad  and 8. Mod Squad ….. waiting on my bench to be finished are: China, Poka Dots, Peruvian Doll and Blue Stars. That would’ve been 11!

I took the advice and started making earrings and they sold very well. Since my attempts at resin were unsuccessful, I just started adding jump loops to the collection of laser readers I had saved up. (image)

It was lucky to find silver and copper colored jump rings at Building 19 a few months ago. (a real bargain store here in MA – unfortunately soon to be out of business:<) The rings that are like paper clips can be slipped the laser readers and other delicate parts to  make earrings and necklaces of various designs.

With the magic of luck (preparation, inspiration, & foresight), saving interesting pieces with an organized system, I just popped the pieces together and now they are dangling off the ears and necks of some very groovy young women! Thank goodness for holiday shoppers!

I updated the quilt image on a couple magnets and added pins to 2 small ones for broaches.  A woman who saw my work atmagnetsdec9 the Open House, later contacted me thru the etsy page and requested 6 to give to her staff. Now what a nice holiday gift for a “techie” company. There are so many of those here in Cambridge, MA. I just need to find a way to get the word out to them.

I think the 12 earrings, 8 necklaces and 15 magnets more than make up for the original goal……also what ever didn’t sell is coming to Vegas in August to the ultimate hacker convention: Def Com! (I hope!)