Back in Brooklyn for the month of Oct. to perform in a play called The Dreary Coast. Written and produced by my old friend Jeff Stark.
The play is set on the Gowanus Canal. To be clear, the audience and actors will be in boats and on the shores of the Gowanus. Lop off the G-O-W on the name and you pretty much have an onomatopoeia. The challenges of this production are many. I’ve been on a lot of crazy complicated art projects. This is cracky-crazy.
The Gowanus canal is a special wild part of Brooklyn that is transforming before our eyes. A super-fund clean up site with a Whole Foods on the embankment… and under construction, a beer garden and federal prison transfer station. NY changes in the blink of an eye for better and worse.
The story and setting of the play are epic. You can read about it in the Gothomist.
What am I doing? I’ll be driving a boat…and singing with a band behind me in one scene. Guess who? You’ll have to come see.
I was a crew member on the Burninator Grid project at Burning Man 2009. This was the 3rd incarnation of the Burninator – a creation of Bill Codding. Essentially it was a field of 16 large fire cannons 20 meters apart that were triggered by a computer sequencer.
The Burninator had some unique safety features, including a solenoid fuel shut-off valve and bullet spliced wiring… so that any sort of mishaps, such as an art car backing into a tank, would immediately shut down the whole system.
The effect was a very loud, hot and intense experience. At more or less two hours past dark each night, we lit up our pilot lights and waited for an unsuspecting person to wonder into the grid. At which point we’d fire all the cannons and watch the person jump out of the skin. Of course the lucky winner got to climb the 4 foot platform in the center, select a sequence, and trigger the fire cannons.
We were happy to get many people up on stage to trigger the big booms: friends, kids, Burning Man staff, EMS workers, cops, people with big stupid grins on the faces, as well as a long line of dudes asking ‘how does it work?… how much pressure in the tanks? how big are the valves? etc.” To which my response was, ‘less talk, more rock. Push the button and make the crowd happy.”