Getting Work Out There

It’s only October but I am getting into the spirit of giving.   I’m giving my work to people who will hang them in public spaces. A while back, I heard about an acquaintance who offered her work for free to anyone who wanted it. The following week, she received good fortune including a commission!monstermike

Whenever I walked past Monster Mikes Guitars at 869A Mass Ave. up the street from where I live in Central Sq, Cambridge MA., I noticed an empty space in the window. So I just went in, introduced myself and asked if could put my piece there and he said sure. So if you’re in the area check out Tango in Mustard. I also encourage you to patronize this fine establishment.

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Tango in Mustard, 2015

This Hacker Creation is a 3D collage of recycled paper, wood, and computer parts – a collection of abstract shapes and patterns unified by the “pea soup” color of the old circuit boards on the top. Press the button and the “muffin fans” spin.    The composition combines intricate details from a collection of traditional decorative patterns and an image of dancers painted by John Grillo (from a brochure I picked up at a gallery in Welfleet years ago) with disassembled and surplus parts from old technology. The appropriated image is mounted on a metal hard drive cover and framed by a grid from the plastic flexi-sheet (from under the keyboard keys.) Batteries and wiring are sandwiched between two boards, clipped together with improvised metal parts.

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Mario of CLM Mechanics 366 Webster St Cambridge, MA 

My mechanic is a great guy, I’ve known him for years and consider him a friend. Today I had to get new brakes on my car and when I picked it up, I gave Mario, Metal Weave to hang in his newly refurbished office/waiting room. I think he liked it. The piece has a lot of silver metal, black plastic and features an old vacuum tube and fits in amidst the car parts, tools and lifts. I’m not going to plug Mario’s garage because it is always too crowded and I like to think it’s my little secret. I doubt they have a website.

My goal is to increase my audience by getting my work out into the world.  When people stumble upon it, I hope they will have time to take in the variety of shapes and materials. Get a sense of the balance, composition and patterns. Its a non-verbal thing, if it brings you pleasure then, you get it!

I take pictures of everyone who buys one of my pieces. My audience may be limited and perhaps a collection of odd ducks, but when they say, ” I love it”, I know they are telling me the truth. It is such a thrill when people “get it”, confirming that we share a way of seeing beauty in unusual places.

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Working in my studio
Photo by: Anna Muench

The recycle loop has three steps: 1. I keep materials out out of the waste system. 2. They are transformed, given new life as art. 3. When you hang it on your wall at home/office to enjoy.  Be a part of the Recycle loop! Visit my Shop at: www.etsy.com/shop/hackercreations

www.hackercreations.com   

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Melissa Glick  • Hacker Creations    •  glick.melissa@gmail.com  •   Working from The Artisan’s Asylum, Somerville, MA since 2013.

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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/

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!)

Sugru Instructable

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Instructables is a website where you can learn many cool things. I was asked to document my use of Sugru, a new moldable adhesive material that hardens like plastic. It was the perfect solution to this tricky assemlage project.

Check out my first Instructable!!!  http://www.instructables.com/id/Hacker-Junk-Clock-ala-sugru/

Sugru http://sugru.com/us/about . Their slogan is Hack Things Better! I love that!

Hacker Pearly Hats

I am generally not interested in creating identifiable objects such as animals or characters in my work (although the suggestion is often offered). There are many artists who do amazing work in that style (Paul Gray). It’s just not what I do with ONE exception.

When I disassemble a hard drive or cd reader, I break it down to the tiniest of parts. I sort them by color: sliver, black, white, brown, copper. I group them by shape: springs, squares, circles, zigzag.  I must admit I was pretty giddy when I discovered a zoo of tiny animals including penguins, giraffes, camels and some little guys I call space men.

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Hacker Pearly Hats

Seeing all the shiny silver shapes against a black background reminded me of one of my favorite photos of the White Stripes in amazing button covered suites. I remembered seeing suits like these a long time ago as a child and thought it had something to do with London. Once I googled it, that thrilling curiosity, itchy feeling of needing to know and solve the mystery was satisfied!  Cockney Pearlies!

“The “pearlies” have their origins a century ago in a street sweeper named Henry Croft, who adapted the button-festooned clot hes worn by London costermongers — apple-sellers….”  

That is how the hats were started. By calling them Hacker Pearlies, I hope other curious folk will learn about this beautiful creative tradition. I can now add Pearlies to the collection of my Assemblage Aesthetic influences.

When I asked my teenage neighbors to model the Hacker Pearlies, their reaction was very encouraging. “Awesome, I love this one! You should sell these…..I wish I had some money!”  So…. if I sell two hats, I will give one to her! I love making them!

Each piece is individually sewn and knotted using a nylon coated wire used for jewelry making. I can make one especially for you! You pick the hat color, the size, color or even type of parts you’d like. The durability of the hat has been thoroughly tested. (Thanks Michael!) If you have any questions about these Hacker Pearly Hats please contact me!

Please visit MELSPLACE   Be a luv and give us a fav, will ya?

June Activity

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Hacker Junk Art Trading Cards

Cambridge River Festival

Marina Seevak  www.TravelingArtCards.com invited me to join her at the age old Cambridge River Festival to try doing Hacker Junk Mosaics in their 2.5 x 3.5 trading card format, intended to make art less intimidating. It was a great success and amazing to see how much junk kids were able to glue on to that tiny piece of wood.

Although the overall festival was well attended, our table was pretty quiet. With so  much else going on, music, food, things to buy… I didn’t hand out many of the flyers I made up for my first workshop on Saturday, June 8th. Parts and Crafts, 577 Somerville Ave, Somerville, MA 02144 http://www.partsandcrafts.org 410-967-5207 /contact@partsandcrafts.org

There was a beautiful breeze coming off the Charles river in the midst of a heat wave. First time ever, I saw kids jump off the Weeks Bridge into the water! I dont know if you know Cambridge, but that river is so polluted there has been no swimming in there since the 1950’s. It was great to see!

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Art Trading cards with Basquiat

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Display Case at the North Easton Library

Ames Free Library, North Easton!

53 Main St  North Easton, MA 02356 http://www.amesfreelibrary.org

North Easton (near Brockton)  is an architectural gem! They have 2 incredible Richardson Buildings right next to each other. Additionally, there is a formal garden and a mansion in the backyard!  Back in February, Uma and Jason left a note on my pegboard while they were attending the How to Make a Maker Space – inviting me to bring my work down to their library ….. 4 months later and here it is! Although its just one display case in the periodicals room of a library, I think it looks really good! The scale of the pieces fit perfectly on the 4 glass shelves. Using a variety of stands, I was able to get 13 pieces into the tall glass case.  The contrast between the beautiful old wood work and the Hacker aesthetic is pretty exciting. The wood work in the building is amazing – they could shoot films in there… there’s even a huge fireplace just across from the girl reading at the table.

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The Ames Free Library

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The beautiful garden inspired me to go home and work on mine.

At the Asylum

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Baby’s first dolly!

Finally got around to building a shelving unit on wheels to replace my wooden pallet at the Artisan’s Asylum.  I have pushed the limits of official use of the pallet area and Molly and Rob have laid down blue tape lines to define space.

Like John’s, I attached metal shelves 3/4″  board which is drilled down onto a 2″x6″ frame with wheels attached. The sweet Moroccan guy at Home Depot got it half right, but he cut the board too small. Luckily I found a replacement in the scrap pile! Cost of materials: $130. Now I have a parking space for my grocery cart. The goal is to have everything is on wheels. I’d love to get a space of my own but I would really miss being at the intersection of Jim, Gretchen and Emily.

Dont forget to visit my Etsy store and click on Fav!!!https://www.etsy.com/shop/Melsplace

Thanks

Melissa

A Message from Hacker Junk Mosaics

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Melissa Glick

Hi and Thanks for signing up on my mailing list at one of these events: Artisan’s Asylum Open House, Cambridge Science Festival, Somerville Open Studios, Trash Bash, Brandeis Bernstein Festival….. I wanted to let people know that I have 2 upcoming youth workshops and to find out if there is interest in an adult workshop at the Artisan’s Asylum or other location.

Open Shop Take Apart & Hacker Junk Mosaics
Sat. June 8th 1 pm -3 pm & Weds. June 12th 3pm-5 pm $15-25, sliding scale

Parts and Crafts, 577 Somerville Ave, Somerville, MA 02144
Register at: http://www.partsandcrafts.org 410-967-5207 /contact@partsandcrafts.org

Use computer parts as art materials in this fun multimedia project. In Hacker Junk Mosaics, kids make design choices, experiment with shapes, colors and patterns and explore the interaction of 3D and 2D materials while making an abstract work of art to hang on the wall.

As adults, making art from computer parts is not only fun, but we get the extra satisfaction of knowing we are transforming outdated technology and putting valuable materials to use – rather than just sending them to the landfill. By attending a workshop you will meet like-minded creative people and get to have all the fun without doing any of the prep work. I invite you to contact me if you are interested in trying it out.


Info about electronic waste and recycling needs to get out to the public!

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that ~3/4 of the computers sold in the US end up in landfills, incinerators or exported to developing countries in Africa, India and Asia where toxic acid baths and open-air burning of mercury used to recover valuable materials, expose people to high levels of contaminants. Toxic chemicals in electronics products also leach into the land and are released into the atmosphere, over time causing serious public health and environmental impact.$3.1 billion worth of the United States’ scrap materials was imported by China. 25,000 workers are employed at scrap yards in Delhi, India. 50-80% of waste collected FOR RECYCLING is illegally shipped to the Far East, India, Africa and China.

http://www.epa.gov/international/ toxics/ ewaste/index.html —- http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/ campaigns/toxics/electronics/the-e-waste-problem/where-does-e-waste-end-u

April Fools Day Surprise

I sold my first two pieces off Etsy and it was NO joke! I am so so happy! I am over the moon! A guy from San Jose bought my Bauhaus and the Gear Clock. He said he’s opening a restaurant Imageand my work would fit well in Silicon Valley. The funny thing was, the Gear Clock was actually not even available. I was tempting fate by listing it for sale. I made that Gear Clock for my Secret Santa at the Artisan’s Asylum (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=528099703880529&set=pb.161850317172138.-2207520000.1365097449&type=3&theater).  But I whipped up another one, which was even better!  I thought I had learned the best method with the first one, but the 2nd one was a whole new struggle. NOW, hopefully the 3rd one will come easier.  The Gear Clocks are a combination of bike gears, motherboards with the cut out circle which many others have found to be the perfect size. (This  etsy guy sold 1000 of them!https://www.etsy.com/listing/117995468/circuit-board-alarm-clock-from-recycled?ref=usr_faveitems)  [Tangient google searching recycled computer art].

ImageBauhaus really pops! It is a small piece with a multi-level collage in blue and green. The story of this piece involves an image I cut out of a used Art History book 20 years ago….an image from one of my Dad’s old Scientific American magazines from the 70’s podged onto a large laminate sample from Home Depot and a big shiny copper inductor probably from a small hard drive. The similar colors of early modernism and the schematic gravitated together in the “pool” of my collection at the right place at the right time. I’m happy I could bring these 2 together and find them a new home all the way across the country in California…. Farewell my children be well!