Sunday, February 27, 2011

Second Sauerkraut Dinner Party

The second Sauerkraut Dinner Party was great. Not at all what I expected. Not a single person from OSU art department showed up, which surprised me. About 10 people showed up, same number as the first party. And I had the evening better structured this time. We did the paper shredding at the beginning. Most people talked and shared a little bit about what they were letting go of. It was really cool to see people doing that and opening up a little. I must have succeeded in creating a space were people felt like they could do that.

In a way I'm almost glad that no one from the art department showed up, or at least I'm not upset about it. I'm not interested in making community artwork that is just for the art community. I'm excited to see who comes to the future Sauerkraut Dinner Parties.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Long overdue

I really should have started writing a blog about this a long time ago. I don't know what my resistance to this process is about. My first art project blog was over 5 years ago. Since then I have done two big public art projects where blogging was an integral part of the process and the work. It has clearly become a major part of my artistic practice. Why have I been avoiding it with this project for so long? Did I feel like it wasn't enough for this fellowship, like they expected more or something else from me. Maybe that is part of it, but I think it has something to do with putting on a show, pretending to be something that I'm not.

It is time to stop trying to be what I think someone else wants me to be (I've come to this point before, at the end of high school) and just start being myself.

Transparency. When I write these blogs about these art projects I am doing I am completely transparent. All my fears and insecurities and self doubt are exposed. I thought that since I got this vote of confidence in the form of a fellowship I'm not suppose to be insecure and have self doubt. I though that if they knew how insecure and scared I feel they would think they made the wrong choice. But if they read any of the blogging from my past major projects they would know that already, and they chose me anyway. Maybe because they also saw in the projects that I never gave up. That I fight and I stick with it.

So on with it.

I've got a new project I'm really excited about, well new in that I haven't written about it in a blog yet. The idea came to me about a month and a half ago. I'm throwing a series of Sauerkraut Dinner Parties as art events. It is kind of inspired by something either Ken Rinaldo or Amy Youngs said; artists are meaning makers. That phrase really struck me.

It helped me understand what I had been doing for the past several years with my tofu dinner parties, and it helped me to focus it. I started asking questions. What is the meaning that I am making? How do we make meaning? How do humans understand meaning? I realized that metaphor is at the core of creating meaning.

The tofu dinner parties were all about me, about my childhood, my identity, about me finding my community. They had meaning for me. So I asked myself, what other kinds of dinner parties can I organize to create meaning for others as well. And I came up with Sauerkraut.

But I'm really tired now because I just had my second Sauerkraut Dinner Party, so let me tell you all about it later.

Back to work

After a few weeks of just working on getting the Fuse Factory show ready and installed I finally got to work on this again. I tried using the desktop variable power supple to charge up the solar engine circuit that I build last time. I was hoping that I could get it to charge up enough to get it to trip. The first time I did it it seemed to work, I thought I heard the motor spin for a fraction of a second, but I couldn't get it to do it again. The zener was getting really hot and nothing was happening so I think I burned something out. I'm not sure how to test all the components though.

Laurie was there and she helped me make the executive decision to just order a kit online. It cost a bit of money but it will save me so much time and headache and move the project along to the important stuff, the stuff that it is really about.

Monday, February 7, 2011

1.96 V of pure kraut power!

I separated the sauerkraut jar into 3 containers and it tripled the voltage.

Then I connected the LED, and it lit up! You can barely see it light up in the picture above, but you can see that the voltage dropped.

You can see the LED light up a little better in the picture above.

The Zener-based solar engine (first attempt)

Got a Zener-based solar engine circuit made out of the parts I salvaged, plus some parts I bought at Radio Shack (way to expensive). I was able to capture some electricity from the Frankenkraut, but the voltage wasn't high enough to power anything. I need more jars of kraut to increase the voltage.

Friday, February 4, 2011


salvaged some parts by de-soldering them.
planning to make a modified BEAM robotics solar engine with them.