Steam Towers in process

Alcohol stove tests

Alcohol stove tests

Studio5.2 Studio7 Studio9

BACKGROUND: The beginning of a process started in late 2013 on a series of ‘Steam towers’.  In 2010, while finishing my MFA at the University of Delaware, I was researching the history of technology through out the ages only to find inspiration in the works of Hero of Alexandria from 1 a.d. Hero produced these wonderful inventions only portrayed today through descriptions and drawings from his notes. He built these fantastic and almost whimsical machines that ran off of steam that performed entertaining task such as opening doors when a alter fire aside them was lit. This play sparked the ingenuity that some 1200 years later became know as “useful” steam power. Using this platform I started a series of works that performed simple but useless tasks as working ‘machines’ in late 2013.  These images are studies of heat sources to power my designs which ended up being stoves run on denatured alcohol, homemade versions of the type that hikers use at high altitude.

To Begin…

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
Henry David Thoreau,  Walden