Thursday, September 11, 2008

The next step

Well, I realized this blog is getting a bit outdated. It will now serve as an archive for the past.

For current info, images, and the Blog of Bland visit -


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dorthy's installation

At the Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, 60 decommissioned lamp poles are arranged in an expanding and curvaceous form spanning nearly 800 feet across the main entrance to the park. The installation will be exhibited for a period of four years, with the possibility of reconfiguring the work within that time span.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Real Deal

Mock up's and more!


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Memorial Day weekend marked a camping trip to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, a hard-edged chasm in the earth. There was fishing, hiking and all the associated activities. The river was flowing, big time. at 700-1000 CFS, a sign claimed that death was likely for kayakers and no portages existed. The river was free flowing over a dam at 7000 CFS, consequently toto and all of Kansas was underwater.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

BAP Sculpture

The proverbial buracratic bottleneck. Yes ladies and gents, I found myself smack dab in between those immovable walls, with no place to go, and then BAP!

The aforementioned is a recap of the previous week, and the challenges of attempting to install a large-scale sculpture in a public space. From public art board, to the Parks Department, to supervisors, and then administrators and then back to another board, I felt like a ping pong ball, richocheting off a ubiquitous wall of higher power.

Then Wayne Kackela, long time resident of Steamboat Springs and my fellow Art Buddy assisted me in finding a privately owned business to display my large-scale sculpture. We landed in front of BAP, or Bwear Action Products, where the I cajoled with Bill Gamber, the owner and former Ironman Triathlete, for a period of 2 minutes before he granted me permission to use his tree for my sculptural endeavor.

For more info on BAP, and an extra-special article check out:

Friday, May 09, 2008

Colorado Art Ranch

I am currently staying at Marabou Ranch in Steamboat Springs CO. I imported 86 Volant skis, and have chiseled, razored, scraped, stripped and sanded every ski into one homogeous group of stainless steel beauties. This work has been completed at the Kettel Barn, or Ranch shop. Soon I will instal a sculpture wrapping a tree about 25 feet tall. The location has yet to be determined, partly due to buracratic bottlenecks and sticky red tape...

One note of hilarity are the archery targets. Made of dense foam, these assorted mountain lions, pigs, elk, and antelope were recently mauled by a bear. The fake animals were attacked viciously on their throats, hamstrings and other crucial areas. The remedy - Great Stuff! an expanding foam which can be carved down and painted. The result- animals bandaged like impromptu patients to help contain the voracious foam.

Stay tuned for the next episode of this adventure, "The scraggly tree gets a corset!"

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Alfred Plaza Project

For the past 3 weeks I have been in Alfred NY, facilitating the completion of the Alfred Plaza Project. Upon leaving, the timber frame structure was raised, 7 Corian® benches are on site, and the project is now fully funded from a fund-raising bonanza.

More info on the project-

To sum it up, I believe this project will be a catalyst for continued collaboration between Alfred University and Alfred State College. The two schools have tremendous capabilities in terms of applied skills, conceptual strongholds and a creative broth of students that are capable of doing just about anything. It will be exciting to see how Alfred melds and morphs in the coming years.

Currently I am in Toledo Ohio, traveling west to Steamboat Springs with 90 stainless steel Volant Skis on my roof. I will be staying at Marabou Ranch, working in a shop and delving into the sculptural capabilities of the skis while researching locally available waste/decommissioned/borrowable materials. This should be quite interesting!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Colorado Art Ranch

I have recently been accepted as a resident artist at the Colorado Art Ranch, a nonprofit nomadic artist and writer's residency and Artposium.

The program travels to two Colorado towns each year and adopts themes that reflect the area's heritage, natural resources, topography and people.

The program is composed of two parts: a two-day Artposium open to the public and a one-month residency for literary and visual artists.

I am excited to have this opportunity and to work in an area of great beauty. I will be investigating the sculptural capabilities of 90 stainless steel Volant skis that were headed for the landfill. A conglomerate of plastic, mild steel, wood core and stainless top-sheet, the skis aren't easily recyclable, hence art provides a useful alternative. The original manufacturing plant was located in Wheatfield CO, and I may pass through this area on my trip west.

One thought was to create work inspired by Kenneth Snelson, on the basis that his primary material is shiny stainless steel pipes, held in sculptural arrangements by a patented structural concept called tensegrity.

I've been interested in creating sculpture that draws from the work of established artists, but utilizes sustainable sources of material. Imagine a Richard Serra sculpture using the curvateous prows of decommissioned navy vessels, or a Christo inspired structure wrapped in 7 old hot air balloons. The materials exist, and I am on a quest to increase my chances of acquiring and transforming this type of material (off-spec, decommissioned, excess inventory, landfill bound, scrap, flashing, drop pieces, manufacturing defects and other useful byproducts of the industrial process) into large-scale sculpture.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Materials! Sculpture proposal!

On an impromptu trip to Stratton VT, I acquired 46 Volant skis from a ski shop in need of extra storage space. These were helpful while visiting Stone Quarry Hill Art Park to propose a collaborative sculpture utilizing 60 decommissioned lamp poles measuring 25 feet tall. Previous installations ( utilized massive ground stakes to hold a series of arches static, however the ground is stone at Stone Quarry, hence we have settled on a tripod configuration, eliminating ground stakes or cable for support.

Sculpture Barn Installation

After fabricating 80 custom hardware units from laser-cut scrap, another iteration of lamp poles is born.

In an attempt to work efficiently, a process was established to standardize the hardware placement for incremental adjustments of the pole position. The only problem was the only way to verify the calculations was to construct the sculpture. The result: a tad bit off. This created a new problem which evolved into the eventual third spiral shape.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Lamp poles on the move

These 40 poles are on the move. Currently stationed in New Fairfield CT at the Sculpture Barn, awaiting a sculptural installation. Matt and I have chocked up a couple intense experiences working with the poles. First a night time loading session into a 24' Budget truck. The next work session was made memorable by a Connecticut ice storm. We slogged poles back and forth, flame cutting off nasty flanges and keeping careful to slip and drop a pole.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Annnnd Finally - Matter In Time edit

Matter In Time
24’ Tall, 40’ Wide, 240’ Long
May 2007
Alfred NY
60 decommissioned lamp poles, phosphorescent strips, fabricated hinges, stainless steel cable, hardware, and stadium lighting.

The poles were charged at dusk with stadium lights. After complete darkness ensued, the lights were extinguished to reveal a glowing mass of lines hanging in the air. USR Optonix provided the phosphorescent pigment, while Suncor Stainless donated the cable that enabled the sculpture to stretch 240' across a football field. The installation was exhibited for 2 weeks.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Syracuse University M-LAB

I am currently working with Matt Rink in Syracuse NY, on a unique project implicating a RV in the process of transformation. Imagine a Pimp My RIde show, and Matt and I have stepped in for a while to do the building of a flossy design, conceptualized by Syracuse Art and Architecture Students.

"M-Lab is the collaborative effort of the Social Sculpture class at Syracuse University, comprised of 10 art and architecture students and lead by artist and Director of Community Initiatives in the Visual Arts of Syracuse University, Marion Wilson. Our mission is to transform a used, 1984 Recreational Vehicle Bus into a Mobile Literacy and Arts Bus for use by the Syracuse City School District and the greater Syracuse Community.

Through the Partnership for Better Education, an incredible curriculum that bridges photography, poetry and literacy currently exists-- however due to a crisis of space, the schools don't always have the space or resources to house it. M- Lab will be this space. The bus will serve as mobile classroom, digital studio, gallery space, and community center. "

The reality is that drawn on paper or on a computer, everything is square and plumb. Working in a 1984 RV, everything is askew and requires a bit more thought than your average construction job. Overall the experience is worthwhile, as we are handed a credit card, and told to make it happen.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Production Junction V 2.0

Life is in flux, and will continue to be in a state of unpredictability for the upcoming future. I am in Alfred now, finishing up 7 benches with a friend and collaborator, Matt Rink. The materials are all recycled, consisting of Corian® flashing from injection molds, recycled composite lumber, off-spec Estee Lauder bracelts, and conduit from a repurposed lighting grid. It is integrated recycling, and will continue to be an interesting avenue to investigate for future public art commissions.

The Corian® flashing was the inspiration for the benches, and creates wonderful optical patterns from the rear. For more info on where these benches will end up visit:

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Jackson to ?

Living in Jackson Hole for the past 23 years has been a catch 22. It is absolutely beautiful in summer, fall, winter and spring, with abundant activities to keep one entertained and awed for a lifetime. However, in retrospect Jackson is very hard to leave, as many places don't have the Tetons in your backyard, or world-class skiing 10 minutes away.

I have a one-way ticket to New York state, where a friend (Matt Rink- fellow lamp pole collaborator and bus shelter co-founder) and I will be tackling life's challenges. These include 7- 600 pound benches made from excess Corian® from DuPont's factory in Buffalo, random fabrication for a mobile education laboratory bus in Syracuse, and finally a lamp pole sculpture or two for the Sculpture Barn. Amidst this swarm of activity will be proposals, applications, emails, and lots of grant writing with the goal of 'being a self employed artist, or artist team'.

Updates soon to follow...

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Central Otago Rail Trail

Its hot and dry in Central Otago. East of the Southern Alps, this area is in the rain shaddow of the towering peaks, and receives very little rain. An old railway was torn up and turned into a biking trail, and this was my choice of rides. No cars, busses or aeroplanes out here, only bikers and horseback riders.

The hilarity of riding the Rail Trail is how it contrasts to my current geography. The trail had to accomodate a train, and the gradient is no more than 1 in 50- a 2% grade. I am now biking the Banks Peninsula (see the model below). This nubblet of land was formed due to intraplate volcanism about 10 million years ago, and now is just hilly as hell. The elevation map looks like the trail of a bouncy ball, jumping between sealevel and 600m every couple kilometers. The maximum gradient in New Zealand is 1 in 5, and I am sure I have pushed my bike up a fair share of this on the Banks Peninsula.

One morning the sun peaked out from behind the horizon. I spied it from my hammock and was driven to sit on a haybale and watch the glorious event unfold. The resulting day was just as splendid.

I will soon wrap up this adventure and begin another. Life as I know it is about to go into flux...

Coming up: Planes, the Hole, and Production Junction V 2.0

Monday, December 03, 2007

Laid Back Wanaka

I have been presented a dillema. In the middle of the West Coast, another cyclist named Ian had a bit of advise to impart. He told me to avoid the journey from where I am now (Wanaka) across the dry and strait roads to Christchruch, and instead bike south. Perhaps the coast, or maybe to the most southerly point in the southern hemisphere. More on this later...

The transition between bush and dry country was almost instantaneous. I traveled east over the Alps via Haast Pass. The Gates of Haast ate me alive. This section of treacherous road passing over the raging river had an incline that I assume was illegal. Walking the bike was the only option, and after I had a cup of tea to calm the senses.

Things are wrapping up with the tour, and somewhere along the way I lost 2 days. Doh. Maybe the big 3k will be reached, but who knows..

Thursday, November 29, 2007

From Sea to Ice

My last wwoofing adventure ended with sea kayaking the Abel Tasman coast. I stayed with a german hippie named Richard Lochner, and worked above the normal wwoofing requirements in exchange for a weekend of travel through the beautiful coastline of New Zealands smallest park.

I laughed to myself when I cruised out of an estuary. "Its the only way to see the park mate," exclaimed Richard when I pushed off. Life was beautiful, and in the Golden Bay, the sun never stopped shining. A seal escorted me for a while, and I camped on a golden sand beach in Mutton Cove. In the morning I puttered along and watched another seal chom down on an octopus.

Opposed to riding New Zealands longest sustained climb twice, (15 km long, 800m tall over Takaka Hill) and backtracking 2 days, I took a bus to the West Coast. I have been quite apprehensive about this journey down the 'Wet Coast' with over 5000mm of rain annualy. So far I have seen about .05 mm HA. Maybe its global warming, or I am one lucky chap, but the sun is shining and I am booking it south.

One of the many spectacular attractions in New Zealand- The Pancake Rocks. Similar to gigantic stacks of flap jacks, this section of quirky coast boasts boisterious blow holes and hoardes of tourists. It was worth the gaggle.

Approximately 4 days south of golden sand beaches, I am approaching the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. Above is a sight from a spectacular camping spot where I started crocheting a scarf amongst the sandflies and dastardly Possums, that rooted through my belongings all night long.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The sideroad phenom and the Huia Cave

I chose to bike a sideroad yesterday. The first 10k was shingle (gravel), but coupled with steep banked turns and a constant downhill grade. Among the orchards and pastures I saw my first hops farm. Beautiful fields of strings for the hops to grow up.

I also visited a cave titled the Huia Cave. I chated with an Austrian farmer about the location and a bit about the cave itself. After scaling a little river that ran into the cave I found most of the interior clogged with logs and debris. Some people don't want anything to do with holes in the ground. I am not one of them, and thoroughly enjoy the looming ominious feeling when first approaching an enterance. It feels like there is someone peering out from deep within, and this sensation is thrilling.