The Oven

It’s time.. and it’s too cold outside. The minimum (un)recommended temperatures for curing epoxy are around 45-50 degrees (f). The warmer it is, the faster it cures. I was originally going to glass my board in the garage, but I decided last night that it’s not a good idea. I came up with a design for an oven that I can use for curing and post-curing. I’m going to pipe hot air into it with a heat gun to try and maintain a temperature somewhere around 80 (don’t worry… I’ve got a fancy heat gun). Then, I’m going to open up that window in the corner, and seal off a plastic room around the oven. This will keep the board warm, dust-free, and most importantly, the toxic fumes of the epoxy will be contained and piped straight out the window. Lastly, the whole setup is in my studio; it’s much easier to babysit.



Grad school is cooperating right now, and being fruitful.

West Missile Base Road

Worley is a small town in Idaho, just south of where I grew up. Now when I say small, I mean to say, according to the census between 2000 and 2010 the population rose from 223 to 257. W Missile Base Road is a road that I never knew about while growing up just 20 minutes north on the freeway. But I had always heard about an old decommissioned missile silo, so I took it upon myself to find it, and visit it on my last day in Idaho over the holiday.

I couldn’t actually find too much information about the missile base, or where it was. There’s a great website called, but they don’t list all of the coordinates for the eight missile bases that Fairchild Air Force Base operated in the 1960s at the height of the cold war. They do have plenty of great historic photos of missile base 3 (that’s the one in Worley, or Rockford as it’s listed…), which was operated by the 567th Strategic Missile Squadron, but they don’t tell you where to find it. As the saying goes, it’s always in the last place that you look, so I went to Google maps and searched for missile silos in Worley, ID, and that’s how I found out about W Missile Base Rd.

There wasn’t too much pavement, and fortunately for me the temperatures hadn’t dropped below freezing for a few days. This meant there was between 2″ and 4″ of mud on top of the frozen ground depending on if I was at the bottom of a hill or at the top. There was a point where I almost parked the truck and hiked the rest of the way… but instead I pulled out the manual and figured out how to drop the truck in to 4-low. Things got a bit squirrelly for a while, but I made it. And looking back from where I came, this is what I saw:

And this was the aftermath:

There were piles of logs and farming equipment parked around two sides of the missile base, which was decommissioned in 1965. Paying attention to all posted signs, and not observing any orange placards or “no trespassing” signs (the orange ones are synonymous..), I decided to walk the perimeter of the old base.

The first thing I noticed was an old sign, nearly blocked from view by the trees growing in front of it.

It reads: “This is National Defense RESTRICTED AREA. It is unlawful to enter this area without the authority of the Commander, Fairchild AFB. [] Violators will be prosecuted [illegible]”

This first barn was the one remaining, original building that was left on the site over the years. I was particularly interested in the vent hood laying next to it. The barn in the next picture is actually sitting on top of the old missile bay. Unlike a missile silo the Atlas E missile bases were constructed so a truck could back into a missile bay and leave the missile lying horizontally. Upon activation the missile would be raised vertical, fueled, and then launched. Notice all the old pipes and tubes by this next barn. Those are a few of the things that the air force left behind.

In this next photo, on the bottom right, you can barely see part of the vent for the missile exhaust (check the google maps link below for a good aerial view):

The next few photos are of the old Microwave Relay Site, which was used for communicating with whomever it was that would give the command to blow up the world.

At this point in time, someone pulled into the old missile base to unload a few things. I debated for a minute of approaching them through the gate to chat, but decided against it, considering that I was creeping around in the woods next to the relay site (outside the fence). Scaring the shit out of them would probably not have made a good first impression. Instead, I snapped a few more photos, and headed to town to wash my dad’s truck.

There’s definitely something poetic about grain silos on an abandoned missile base. Someday, perhaps, our generation will have something to look forward to.

The following are links to photos of the base hosted by

-aerial view of the site under construction:

-photos of the arrival ceremony for the missile, the base in operation, and the decommission:

-and photos of the base as is, taken in 2007:

And here’s a link to W Missile Base Rd on Google maps:


This morning I learned that the color PINK is trademarked by Owens Corning. Then I went outside and took a photograph of IDAHO.

California Love

It’s T-0 Somewhere…

Up until a few weeks ago, it had been a pretty slow quarter (which was nice for a change). The past few weeks however, have been a blast (literally?):

I had the opportunity to tour the open-door areas of the Mojave Air & Space Port on November 19th. Among all the closed hangers, we did get a quick peak inside Scaled Composites, who looked to be working on Proteus:

Scaled Composites is the company that won the Ansari X Prize, aka TEN MILLION DOLLARS for the “first non-governmental organization to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within two weeks.” Upon their success, they immediately began contracting with Virgin Galactic to work on SpaceShipOne, SpaceShipTwo, and their respective WhiteKnightOne and WhiteKNightTwo (Virgin Mothership Eve) (Link). Unfortunately, Virgin Galactic declined our request to tour their facilities.

One of the few companies that did grant us access was XCOR Aerospace (the above pictured rocket engine is one of theirs). The engineers working in the XCOR workshop showed us a whole plethora of awesomeness, including the XR-5M15 7,500 lb thrust engine(watch the video, & turn up your speakers…) that they developed on a NASA contract. That particular engine was sitting on top of a file cabinet in their conference room. We didn’t get to see it running, but we did have the opportunity to see two much smaller engine tests (more on the scale of these, except much, much fancier). Our professor Marko Peljhan pointed out the quirky rotary dial that the engineers used to dial-in the burn time for the engine tests:

We got to peek around the shop for a bit, sit in a prototype cockpit of the Lynx Suborbital Spacecraft, and sit in the actual cockpit of the EZ-Rocket. The EZ-Rocket was their first rocket-powered vehicle, and the employees were all explaining what a joy it is to work for XCOR, because everyone gets a free ride (there are only seven employees). The Lynx is being developed to compete with Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. Virgin Galactic’s strategy is to fly the VMS Eve up to around 50,000 feet, where SpaceShipTwo will be released from the plane to complete the rest of the sub-orbital space flight, peaking at around 68 miles high (360,000 feet). Lynx, on the other hand, is an all-in-one package. And frankly, it sounds like much more fun. The Lynx is being designed to take off and land on a runway. However, soon after take off the pilot and passenger go nearlyvertical, like a rocket to get to their destination altitude of 330,000 feet (link). And it’s going to be powered by the XR-5M15 mentioned above:

You can definitely tell this isn’t a government run lab. They even asked before hand if anyone in our group was allergic to cats (because they have one that lives there..) And I’m a sucker for details. I wouldn’t be surprised if she ends up on the dashboard of the Lynx:

The following day I flew to Chicago for a long and fun week that consisted of a bachelor party, a wedding, my birthday, a huge family vacation, and the opportunity to visit some friends at Roots & Culture, and also at SAIC. My pals Alex Gartlemann and Jonas Sebura were commissioned by Ox-Bow to construct a replica Ox-Bowian cabin, and take it down to the NADA Miami Beach art fair. The cabin will be used by Chicago-based Bad at Sports to host a pirate radio station streaming art talks at the fair. Tomorrow is the last day, so stop by if you get a chance. (also, if you’re in the neighborhood, check out LikeArtBasel, where a friend of mine Sterling Crispin has a new video sculpture on exhibit.

Shortly upon returning back to Santa Barbara I had the opportunity to visit Vandenberg Airforce Base for a second time. We got to see a whole bunch of things that weren’t featured on our first tour, including a tour of the Joint Functional Component Command for Space. You know that room in any movie about NASA where a bunch of people are sitting in a room with a gigantic video monitor and talking to astronauts? This is one of the facilities where they do just that. We couldn’t take pictures inside, but there were a lot of fancy computers. Next, we had the opportunity to tour the Orbital Sciences lab where they were assembling a Pegasus rocket. This rocket is launched in a similar fashion to Virgin Galactic’s space ships, except it is much, much bigger. I took plenty of awesome photos of it, but I’m not allowed to show you. They use a plane called Stargazer to launch it, and they take off from the Kwajalein Atol in the South Pacific:

Next, we headed to the same launch pad seen toward the bottom of this post, except this time the pad was empty, which means we could take pictures (unlike the first time around when we were hanging out with a Delta II rocket and a team of engineers). We started at the bottom:

And then took a short elevator-ride to the clean-room at the very top:

And I was very enthusiastic to receive another small piece of very expensive tape (NASA approved clean-room tape..).

The last stop on our tour was to the museum again, where I was happy to acknowledge that XCOR’s control panel was a throwback to the earlier days of space-flight:

We also had the opportunity to purchase some exclusive patches, which they make for each mission. They had some really cool ones for the mysterious X-37, but this was my favorite:

Bling Blong

UCSB MFA Open Studios

More Info Here

Weekend in LA

This past weekend was the opening of Pacific Standard Time in Los Angeles, along with Pulse LA, and Art Platform – Los Angeles. I drove down with Sterling and Nick for the opening reception of Art – Platform on Friday evening. We arrived around 6 pm, valet parked my dirty subaru, and proceeded to bump elbows with the art world. There were a myriad of international artists and galleries represented upstairs, including a special installation of Ai Weiwei’s Snake Bag, but there was a sense of vibrant energy coming from the basement. The Co/Lab segment featured a thorough selection of L.A.’s artist-run and non-profit spaces, like Control Room and Actual Size. These types of spaces are typically underrepresented at art fairs due to the high costs of purchasing a booth ($10k+), so it was a pleasure to see them getting a slice of the pie. Co/Lab brought a regional emphasis to the fair, highlighting one of the main reasons the art scene in Los Angeles is booming; it’s affordable to live/work here whether you’re an emerging artist OR curator. And speaking of booming, my congas were installed across the hall from Co/Lab in the second rendition of BOOM, juried and curated by Ali Subotnick from the Hammer Museum. After the opening we headed to the after party on the roof of The Standard hotel where we met up with Tim and a few other’s from Okay Mountain.

Okay Mountain was recently picked up by Mark Moore for representation, and they had installed Stationary Machines, essentially a medieval home-gym/torture mechanism, at the main entrance of Pulse LA. Mark Moore is now also representing Stephanie Washburn, and he is featuring Washburn and Mark Mulroney (both UCSB alumni) in the current Ultrasonic VI exhibition. We spent a good chunk of Saturday sitting at the main entrance to Pulse, drinking free beer with the members of Okay Mountain. Additionally, it was good to see the work of Eric Beltz, another UCSB alumn & lecturer in our department, at the Morgan Lehman booth.

On Sunday, Sterling and I did some thrifting around town and went to Venice Beach for some food before we headed to the Co/Lab after party at Angel City Brewing. This is where the art world started shrinking, almost incestuously. First and foremost, I was excited to see my friend Carmen Price, who was in town working with the Carrie Secrest Gallery (Chicago), who had a booth at Pulse. Before too long, Carmen’s friends Kari Reardon and Liz Nurenberg showed up to the party. I met Carmen at Ox-Bow over the summer, and Kari and Liz had both spent time there in previous years. I introduced Sterling to Carmen, and before too long we figured out that everyone at the table knew Lucy Chinen . Carmen went to school with Lucy at SAIC , and Sterling had done a show with her in Brooklyn a while back. Lucy had introduced us to Samia Mirza, who was gracious enough to let us crash at her house over the weekend. Samia had spent time at Ox-Bow in undergrad, and she also went to school with Carmen. Before too long, Valerie Green sat down at the table. Nick and I had met Valerie a few weeks back and had recently attended her performance at ACME, which was part of Martin Kersels’ exhibition Passionista. Sterling knew Valerie because he had liked one of her videos on vimeo. And then I realized that Kari Reardon always showed up in my ‘people you might know’ list on Facebook.

On Monday we headed back to Santa Barbara, and before too long I was sitting next to Martin Kersels at a bar. And I had a fantastic studio visit with him on Tuesday. It’s a pleasure to be a part of it all.