Creative and Teaching Portfolio of an Inter-Media Artist, Designer, and Technologist in the Philadelphia and Greater New York City Areas

As an inter-media artist, designer, and technologist, I unite facets of interactivity, play, fabrication, creative coding, animation, and environment to explore experiential design and human interactions. I approach projects with an active imagination, a love of narrative, a mode of inquiry rooted in liberal arts and the humanities, an abiding knack for learning necessary technical skills, the ability to parse complex processes, and a sense of fearlessness. The pinnacle of my work would be to serve as gamemaster for a grand narrative that operates in a transmedia mode occupying physical spaces, digital layers, and human interaction: Think MMORPG played in real places and real time.  I seek to augment the world with a sense of magic and wonder.

I discovered the films by Harry Smith, Maya Deren, Stan Brakage, Jonas Mekas, and Kenneth Anger in my college youth. A different understanding of narrative structure became evident to me in their styles and subject matter. For over a decade, I utilized two- and four-dimensional media as an expression of my sense of experimental narrative and as a diary of sensation and reverie. I encoded my memories, fleeting thoughts, and moments and transmitted them to others across time. I wanted media to be my time machine to the future. I explored the topics of consciousness, memory, relationships, intangible moments, the mysteries of the unknown, speculative science, and metaphysics.

In 2012, while exploring facets of programming in open-source electronics, I became captivated by newly emerging tools of digital fabrication and inspired by the physical installations of the Meow Wolf Collective, the Architects of Air, and The Void. This marked a shift in my creative practice. Now, by constructing physical objects and blending them with digital assets, I prototype and experiment with constructions of three-dimensional interactive projects.

In Critical Play: Radical Game Design, Mary Flanagan describes games as social technologies with procedures and “critical play” as creating or occupying “play environments and activities that represent one or more questions about aspects of human life.” A design practice based in critical play is about “the creative person’s interest in critiquing the status quo” as well as “using play for such a phase change.” Flanagan’s definition of games as social technologies and her interest in criticality parallel my intentions with my most recent body of work, Play Interventions, which are small scale installations engaging an array of cultural consequences of technologies, in part, by creating social interaction through audience participation and mediating technology. Play Interventions foreground social engagement to counter today’s social landscape; xenophobic practices, isolationism induced by neoliberal rhetoric, and chronic social media consumption leading to states of public alienation via algorithmic filtering.  Devices meant to connect communities now separate us in once public spaces. Play Interventions aims to create opportunities for strangers to casually engage with one another as a collaborative public. A potential outcome for this project is to draw awareness to consumer technology methods of shielding and avoidance in human interactions. I desire a world where strangers make eye contact and small talk, let down their guard a little, and express curiosity and wonder together.

 

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