Contraptor, metalworker, global activist, steampunk... specializing in pedal-power.

Using steel, wheels, and sewing, I rend Victorian æsthetics into a Mad-Max setting with a rigorous use of found and recycled materials.

Loves Me, Loves Me Not

Redmoon Theater's 2005 summer spectacle was exemplary of their style: Sweeping stage, daring location, involved in the neighborhood, and hauntingly magical. It set out to be a sort of post-apocalyptic comedy, set in a flooded town, about materialism. The show opened on September 15, and three weeks before opening night Hurricane Katrina forced it to undergo a considerable re-write. You can read a New York Times article about the show's transformation.

Originally I designed a series of bicycle-cars representing various forms of modern-day consumerist vice, such as a grill-mobile with endless attachments and implements. As the location was chosen, we began to come to terms with the challenges of putting on a theatrical production over water. Each character needs a boat for every movement, each dropped tool or prop is gone forever, and the wind can considerably affect the timing of the show.

We set up an above-ground pool in our shop, for testing. My vehicles became boats, and with the set crew I created a floating house and gas station, as well as a mobile floating band platform. The house transformed with a fold-down kitchen floor, a grill in the chimney, and a nursery that spun upside-down to appear as part of the roof.

The two boats I built for this show were The Quadropus and a pedal-powered jet ski. During the show itself, as usual, I worked on the pryo crew executing a floating net-of-candles effect.

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Pedal-powered Jet Ski

This pedal-powered jet ski was made for Loves Me, Loves Me Not. I stripped the interior of all engine components and sealed up the resulting holes. Then I built the paddle-wheel mechanism (the bike frame was left whole to make it clear that it was made from salvaged goods, the play taking place in a kind of post-apocalyptic world), added a miniature railing around the deck to make it look like a ship, and put two deck chairs in place of the original seat. The barrels were added because a jet ski is a vehicle on which the rider expects to get wet (it rolls), and the actors couldn't have contact with the highly bacterial Jackson Park lagoon.

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This boat was made for Loves Me, Loves Me Not. The Quadropus' shape was created by running four pipes through an English wheel twice at 90 degree angles. The recliner's lever was the throttle, and a lamp was moved to steer the boat. The TV was lit from inside so that it glowed on the performer's face.

The boat is pictured in its original decoration; when the show was changed to a tragedy it was treated with burlap and vines to appear more disheveled.

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