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Gearing up for fundraiser for Todd Blair

ToddNow.org

Todd Blair, whom I’ve known since 1999 through Survival Research Labs, suffered a traumatic head injury last year at the Robodock SRL show in Amsterdam. I posted previously about it here. He’s back home in the US slowly and arduously recovering. Traumatic brain injuries are probably the worst kind of injury a human being could suffer, and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. To help offset Todd’s massive medical and physical therapy bills, a fundraiser event is being held this Sunday, July 20th. It’s not just an event, but a culmination of lots of work and dedication from Todd’s friends and family with some unique creative twists.

The event on Sunday will be the unveiling of the “gear wall”. The 7′ x 8′ wall consists of 25 interlocking aluminum gears built by 25 friends and artists who have committed to raising a minimum of $500 each. I have taken on one of the gears and am currently fund raising to reach my $500 goal. If you’d like to support me and in supporting Todd, that would be super awesome. You can make a donation for as little or as much as you like through the PayPal link below. Or if you prefer to write a check, this page has details on where to send it. Be sure to mention my name when making the donation so I get credit for it. $5, $10 or $20 would be really spectacular, every little bit helps. Whether you donate or not, be sure to come out on Sunday to Rhythmix Cultural Works in Alameda for the grand unveiling of the gear wall. Thanks!! Hope to see you there.




Two Great Benefits for Two Great People

amytodd.jpg

This weekend there are two fundraiser events for two amazing friends of mine who’ve each had their more than fair share of hard times the past few months. The first event is Friday evening for Amy Woloszyn, who was nearly killed by a drunk driver while riding home on her bicycle in San Francisco. She sustained a lot of injuries and has no health insurance which means insane medical bills. To make matters worse, this is the second time this has happened to her on San Francisco’s streets. She’s a safe rider, an amazing artist, a passionate beautiful human being and doesn’t deserve the ugliness that the mean streets have foisted on her. She has a blog chronicling her ordeal which she is able to update regularly. Amy’s event is at Balazo Gallery, Friday the 30th starting at 6pm.

Todd Blair is a friend whom I met in 1999 while working on an SRL show in Tokyo. He’s one of the nicest and most giving human beings in the world and it is utterly heartbreaking the trauma he’s going through. He sustained massive head injuries while loading out the most recent SRL show in Amsterdam (I wasn’t there for that one). He is still in an Amsterdam hospital two months later slowly recovering as he battle complications. His love Alex is there by his side and constantly updating his blog with the daily ups and downs he’s had two endure since the accident. Todd’s fundraiser will be an amazing show of love and support from friends and artists at Somarts Gallery on Saturday, November 1st beginning at 8pm. I’m really bummed that I’ll be out of town and not be able to make either of these.

SRL in San Jose



SRL San Jose 2006 Show
Originally uploaded by Laughing Squid.

Last night was one of the best SRL shows ever! Tons of machines, copious amounts of fire, big range, brilliant lighting and weeks of hard work by the crew to produce this 40 minute spectacle. As always, Scott is the go-to man for the best pix.

Video of SRL LA show setup

Here’s a bit of video I shot during the setup of the last SRL show in LA. It runs about 10 minutes. I’m trying out YouTube’s embed to see how it looks.

Fish Boy Dreams



Fish Boy Dreams
Originally uploaded by ekai.

The SRL mayhem in Chinatown LA was a great little show, smaller than last year but just as scary, freaky and fun to work on as ever. The show titled “The Fish Boy’s Dream” ended in a nightmare for poor little Fish Boy as he was poked from a puking alligator above, tossed around like a floppy halibut by the shaker and finally seared from a fiery blast from the Boeing jet engine. Fish Boy lived a short humble life, but his spirit lives on in that stinky, fish water coated parking lot in Los Angeles’ Chinatown. Jack Nicholson would be proud.

I ran this sneaky soldier with Nina during the show, which performed admirably within it’s constraints. With the right pulsing movements on the remote control, Sneaky would inch forward slowly and zip backwards more quickly. Turning was out of the question, though with several tons of other fast moving machines dancing around, there really wasn’t anywhere to turn to. Sneaky survived the ordeal, though decapitated. He can be seen or bought along with his head and a couple of his brothers in the Fringe Exhibitions gallery until Feb 25th.

Here’s pix I took, mostly during setup. More links from the official SRL page, BoingBoing and Laughing Squid.

SRL in LA part II



Sneaky in LA
Originally uploaded by ekai.

Survival Research Labs is doing a little show in Los Angeles this weekend as part of the Fringe Exhibitions gallery opening in Chinatown. I’ll be there working it, so stop on by and say hi if you’re in the ‘hood. Gallery opening is 6-8pm and show starts promptly (heh!) at 8pm Saturday, Feb. 21st. FREE!

SRL on NPR



Bruce & Eddie
Originally uploaded by Laughing Squid.

BoingBoing‘er and NPR reporter Xeni Jardin was on hand for the LA SRL show, capturing the mayhem and madness on her miniDisc recorder. The results of which air today on her NPR show Day to Day. Includes interviews with fellow SRL’ers Karen and Violet. Audio should be archived here shortly.

Recent photos



Pitching Machine has a face
Originally uploaded by ekai.

Finally put my photos up from LA. They’re mostly pre and post show as I was otherwise occupied trying not to get fried in the frenzy.

Also, some pix from Tuesday night’s protest of the Shar-Pei skinned Governator‘s plan to privatize pensions for nurses, firefighters, police and teachers. Not your average San Francisco protest. Lots of middle age nurses, firefighters police and teachers turned out. And Frank Chu of course. Coincidentally, Ah-nawld today chose to drop the privatizing idea, at least for the time being.

Damn that was hot!



Eddie & Courtney
Originally uploaded by Laughing Squid.

I’m back from LA and finally getting a few moments to compose my thoughts about the experience that was the SRL show in LA 2005. What an amazing fucking time! For serious. Spending endless hours with old friends and new to create one of the most intense experiences in my life is umm, well, a good way to spend a few days. From the early morning rise n shine of Kimric as alarm clark testing the Boeing jet engine to the intense heat of the trojan horse as it combusted a couple feet away from me, I most definitely felt the love. I operated the Air Launcher with fellow SRL’r Courtney sending numerous rounds of Asian drink cans filled with sand and paint into the trojan horse, sneaky soldiers and whatever else happened to cross our path. I can happily report that many sneaky soldiers showed signs of air launcher penetration due to our diligence at the controls, or more likely just shear luck.

There were many people about armed with camera and video and the love is just starting to pour in. I like this short video montage that Naked Dancing Gnomes put together. Laughing Squid Scott Beale’s got tons of awesome hi quality pix of before, during and after the show. Fellow SRL’r Violet Blue has some thoughts as does rockstar science fiction author and SRL fanboy Bruce Sterling who knows not to lick the unexploded air launcher round he picked up. More stories and links later as I find the good shit.

SRL in LA



Sneaky in LA
Originally uploaded by ekai.

I’m in Los Angeles for a Survival Reseach Labs show tonight, Saturday night. This past couple of weeks I’ve been putting a bunch of time in over at the SRL shop for this LA show. It’s outside the Dangerous Curve gallery in downtown Los Angeles. Deets are on the site. FREE, no tix, just show up. Get there early for a good vantage point. Show starts at 8:30pm. Lots of remote controlled machines and mayhem. And Kimric’s merry-sheep-go-round. This will be a good one. Look for me, I’ll be the dork in an orange jumpsuit.

It’s been fun operating heavy machinery again. Cutting, drilling, sanding, lathing, lifting, twisting, screwing, unscrewing, bumping, grinding, etc. All in the name of art. Big ass art. These shows are so few and in-between that it’s not hard to dive into the mix for awhile to help realize the madness. Weeks of preparation for what amounts to an hour long show. An hour of mechanized mayhem, disorder, consciousness bending reality that you just can’t see anywhere else. Seriously. Mark gets approached by Hollywood all the time and he tells them to fuck off. This LA show is no Hollywood production. Yes, we’ve got kick ass catered food, but that’s about it. Personalities, salaries and stand-ins step aside. It’s all blood, sweat and fucking amazing art. Come on down.

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