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Statement

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Why we're here

This web site is designed to give you an idea of me, what I'm about, what I like, what I can do, whether you're a potential employer, a potential client, a friend, a family member, a fan of photography, assorted geekery, etc. This web site is intended to provide a snapshot of who I am. In order to do that, there are some things that may need explaining.

Where we start

I grew up drawing spaceships, putting Legos together, building machines in special competitions. I like to know what makes things work, the secret codes which underlie the seeming magic of how things work. Computers came into my life very early; we had the first 128K Macintosh. Very quickly, I grew fascinated with the potential for making things work on the computer. Over time, this became my career, and I learned how to program. But I was never satisfied with just making something work. It always had to work well, work better than it could otherwise.

Where we've been

In college I worked on our student-run newspaper, becoming a member of the editorial board by dint of staying up far too late many weeknights and putting together an automated web site, where stories could get fed (with a minimum of formatting) into some scripts, which would then spit out the online version of our newspaper. The school loved it, parents loved it, it was a success. But it was never really done. It was then that I learned that an artist's - for that was what I considered myself, even though my tools were text files and scripts rather than brushes or pencils, my goals readability and utility rather than comment and beauty - work was never done. There was always something that needed improvement, always some graphic which could be tweaked, some detail to which attention needed to be paid.

That can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing. It's one thing to care about each detail, it's another to get dragged down the rabbit hole of excessive creativity, pulling the earth in after you. I think that's the biggest lesson my work has taught me, the need to prioritize and privilege certain aspects over others, but never sacrificing the intensity of focus which creates the best work.

Where we end up

The best kinds of human endeavor usually have one thing in common - they ask the person doing them to contribute something of themselves, to take a moment and consider the choices they are making when doing their work. They are engaged in a communion with their higher self, getting in touch with the part of themselves that has opinions, prejudices, that straight up gives a damn. They are engaged in higher-level thought.

All too often we talk about "art" as something which can be hung, mounted, staged, and, most importantly, purchased. But raw creativity surrounds us every day; we only recognize it as "art" when it's made manifest as some precious curio to be prized for its look or its message. I suggest that anyone engaged in creativity is an artist - not a member of a school or tradition, but accessing that higher level where the pure stuff of art, creativity, comes from.

If you analyze spreadsheets and decide what to do with that data, you're an artist.

If you have to decide what bridge supports to use to maximize traffic patterns, you're an artist.

If you use showmanship to sell a house, you're an artist.

There are so many dull, drab and downright boring areas of our lives that we owe it to ourselves to recognize when we're engaged in something better than that, to recognize that we are better than that. We're not just what we do, we're how we do it, how we live our lives, how we create our world.

That's who I am. I'm an artist.


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