Spring 2018 Brewery Art Walk

This weekend’s Brewery Art Walk was my first visit to the facility. I arrived to find a larger than expected campus of artist lofts, roughly half of which were open for event visitors. I aimed to find artworks that are beyond the typical flat two-dimension works so in the interest of time I skipped most studios of painters and photographers.

The reason I even knew about the event was because a member of Two Bit Circus advertised the event (and their participation in it) during lightning talk segment of Hackaday LA’s March meet. So my first stop was the exhibit room for Two Bit Circus.

Their subtitle was “Engineering Entertainment” and all exhibits certainly fit the bill. Here’s one installation called the Ledge, where the customer dons an Oculus Rift headset showing footage of riding a window-cleaner’s platform up the side of a high-rise building. The illusion is enhanced by the platform, which was motorized to give a wobbly sensation. As far as I can determine the wobbling pattern is fixed and has no correlation to the visual motion but it is still cool.

Two Bit Circus - Ledge

I had hoped to get a view of the workshop area as well, but that was not open for visitors. All we got to see was the nifty entrance. The hand crank to the right of the door turns the gears and chains of the sign over the doorway.

Two Bit Circus - Workshop

Facing this door is a cellular radio tower wearing a palm tree disguise.

Cell tower palm tree

Walking into the loft of Dystopian Studios will transport you into a space fully implementing the aesthetic of a dystopian future. The space itself was as much a work as the individual pieces on display. The area which caught my attention was a collection of Nerf guns (some of which overlap with my collection) modified to fit with the Dystopian Studio theme.

Dystopian Studios Nerf.jpg

On the theme of artists applying their art to their space, Bruce Gray‘s studio was not open for visitors but there was enough visible for me to see he’s given his air compressor the Charlie Brown treatment.

Bruce Gray air compressor

One of the studios had a machine outside blowing soap bubbles filled with smoke. The space appears to be full of clothing creations. Personally I would have found it far more interesting if the whole space were dedicated to novel mechanical contraptions like smoke bubble machines.

Smoke Bubbles

I had expected to find a few kinetic art studios and was not disappointed when I found William Sandell’s Kinetic Assemblage.

William Sandell Kinetic Assemblage

On a larger scale, Richard Wilks studio had a few items on display. Inside the studio is a work in progress making a spinning metallic sculpture that aims to evoke the fluid motion of a jellyfish. The white wheel on the right is a prototype for visualizing motion before they are built out of metal.

Richard Wilks jellyfish

Parked outside their studio entrance is the Aquatrope. It is the type of work I expect to find at Burning Man and several pictures shown adjacent to the piece imply that’s exactly where it has gone.

Richard Wilks Aquatrope

The highlight of today’s visit was finding Sean Sobczak’s Sandman Creations studio. These sculptures made of welded segments of wire is an impressive level of sculpting beyond working in solid media. It’s not simply a wire mesh like the 3D data in a computer: the wires serve an aesthetic purpose in addition to their structural requirement. Sometimes they trace out surface features of the subject, sometimes they flow and move on their own path.

Sobczak Sandman Creations dreams

Many of the pieces on display feature strings of lights inside the skeleton and a fabric wrapping the metal on the outside.

Sobczak Sandman Creations octopus

Sadly photographs do not do these pieces justice, so full appreciation requires enjoying the work in person. Which I plan to do again in about six months! (Assuming the studio is open for Fall 2018 Brewery Artwalk.)


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