Projects, objects, and installations, born of experimentation and collaboration with electronics.

Can pixels feel emotion? Can they tell if they’re part of a smile, or the last image before a breakup? Do they have a sense of humor? Do they develop cognition as resolution goes down and they find dominance? What happens to pixels and sensors when they die? ​

​ Those familiar with monitors and cameras, sensors and screens, have come face to face with death. A dead pixel sticks out like a corpse in the mud. It is a limb that requires amputation; a blunt force object decapitation. But do they not deserve respect? Being the purveyors of information, the carriers of narrative, the evokers of emotion for humankind?

​ ​ In Funeral for a Dead Sensor ​I pay respects to a deceased ​sensor, in performance, in sculpture, and in video. ​The sensor is removed from the camera, and carefully buried in a handmade cemetery​. Finally, ​the video documenting the process ​is screened onto the back wall of the cemetery; giving a last honor that is replayable eternally. Or at least until some of those pixels die.

An odd thing has started happening to me in this age of virtual communication. I’ve developed an intense empathy towards inanimate, technological beings. Similar to my childhood relationship with stuffed animals and dolls -- LCD screens, camera sensors, and pixels suddenly seem alive to me. More than that. Each device, every bit and byte is personified, personalized, carries a life story that is as finite as my own.

In that, my artistic and investigative focus has shifted from software to hardware; to the tangible bodies of technological space.

My exploration comes from blindness, from a tinkering in absolute darkness. I started taking things apart, never to be put back together again, desoldering components that were born to stay put.

One day, fascinated by particular creatures, I murdered a camera sensor. As I burned away the frame that held the fragile body in place (toxic fumes filled my lungs), I justified the act. I spouted thoughts about the cheapness of the point-and-shoot camera, noted mentally that it wasn’t even working to begin with. I desoldered and cut and chipped away.

The next morning, I walked the cool streets of my neighborhood. I thought about the violence of the previous night. With Chopin in my ears, the eyes of my cynical mind welled up; a guilt traveled through through my cells.

Is a dead pixel or a hurt monitor a stand-in for human mortality?

When I am no more, will a sensor cry for me?

This piece is titled At My Funeral Please Play Chopin, and it comes directly from my morning walk, though the physical process began some time before. It started with an exploration of the body of a monitor, and the notation of physical response to experimentation with its liquid crystals, that are the fluid that gives it life.

With a sick LCD body in my hands, I set out to create an experience both humorous (as life and death are) and tragic (as technology can be), hoping to evoke the feeling of visiting a dying soul.

I took a camera that could not focus, and played for it Frédéric Chopin’s Nocturne en mi bémol majeur opus 9 n°2, played by Luis Fernando Pérez. I recorded every breath of the sensor and lens, as the camera reacted to the sound wave vibration and uncertain light, undetermined focal point.

At My Funeral Please Play Chopin is a meditation on the emotional world of silicon and bits, an investigation of surgical interpretation. It is a requiem for dying hardware, and an ode to the eternity of electrons and photons, of crystals and waves. It is the softness of hardware, brought forth to note.

Funeral for a Dead Sensor and At My Funeral Please Play Chopin were presented alongside Digital Metronome (2019) at "Suspended Animation", LL2 Gallery, March 2019.