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About

We created this site and organization because we use technology to create art. Many of us in our group have spent decades working in the fields of physics, microscopy, lasers, chemistry, pyrotechnics, and electronics. Yet, our passion in the disciplines also included sharing the expression of our expertise in the form of films, music, tools, new media, and involvement in special events.That's who we are.

Technology as art: Artists
Orb Swarm Making

:: Mission Statement ::

Our goals are to:

1) Support technology-based art by funding artists and organizations creating specific projects, and

2) To mentor young emerging artists with the skills they need to become successful with a broad spectrum of technologies, with the ability to market their work, and to acknowledge their skills as creative artists.

Regarding our first goal, we find brilliant artists and technicians who are using advanced technologies to build their art projects. If we feel that there is a project that is in the benefit of the public good, we will package the project as a proposal to groups that support the arts. We will then manage the project to its completion. In this process, we ask for financial and in-kind grants from art organizations and high technology corporations to support these projects.

Yet, our second goal is essential: Teaching, inspiring, and mentoring the next generation. Highly skilled engineers and scientists have spent decades refining their art. Yet, often their solitary skills are undocumented and lost. Furthermore, navigating through the system to obtain parts, gaining appropriate permissions, knowing how to work safely, and knowing how to work with creative people, bureaucrats, engineers, and volunteers is a skill that can only be learned from experience. When we are working on a project, we recruit young future engineers and visionaries - from high school age and up - to work together with us and learn the tools of this trade. We give them inspiration, common sense guidelines, technical skills, and a vision of an exciting future based on knowledge, capability, and self-esteem.

 


:: Background ::

We started Tech As Art because we realized that what we did - covertly - was art. We were highly skilled in several technologies and had jobs in high technology. Yet, what we loved doing was also creating new kinds of art based on the technical knowledge we possessed. We then realized that we were not alone. Engineers, scientists, technicians, welders, machinists, architects, and video production professionals were also creating artwork as a sideline, and were also feeling isolated in their activities. Clearly, there needed to be a hub for tech-artists to see other artist's work, get essential resources, obtain funding, be inspired, and share their work with fellow creatives.

Furthermore, we realized that there is a need to share what we knew about technology and getting things done to those who are less skilled - but equally passionate - about using technology for creating art. So, we invite the younger generation to join us in designing, building, and executing many of our projects. There still seems to be no better way then to have someone show you in person how to do things.

Luckily, we are based in Silicon Valley, the home of brilliant people, creative engineers, visionaries, and resources to build nearly anything.

In addition, we have started a non-profit whose goal is to find brilliant projects to share with the public, organize the project using talented and experienced people, and to obtain funding from sponsors and donors. We are constantly looking for new projects that are at the apex of brilliance.


 

:: Who We Are ::

Gregory MacNicol, Co-Founder, Executive Director

Mr. MacNicol is a pioneer in computer graphics having developed some of the first all-CG films in the late seventies. His prior work as a physicist and electronics engineer included working with electronic counter warfare, digital security systems, and missile control design. Later, he developed musical synthesizers and computer animation products and content (for Disney and Sony), and was involved with several Silicon Valley startups, primarily as Director of Engineering. He was the Western Editor of Computer Graphics World, Executive Director at SIGGRAPH, and Director of Information for the Very Large Array in New Mexico. His other activities include applying his technical knowledge to creative and artistic purposes, such as designing pyrotechnic/water displays, building art cars, creating technology-based art installations, and facilitating Burning Man projects, such as blowing up the Man. As a writer, he is the author of books covering technology, computer animation, and video. Mr. MacNicol is also the Executive Director of the Silicon Valley Art Museum, www.SVAM.org.

Chad Hays, Co-Founder, Legal Operations

Dr. Hays is a medical doctor in Los Angeles having extensive experience in the medical field as a practioner and developer of innovative operational systems. Mr. Hays also has a degree in law, and another in public health. Mr. Hays has been instrumental for setting up the legal and financial structure of Tech As Art, and has been an active participant at Burning Man. In addition, Dr. Hays is on the board of the Human Genetic Engineering Initiative.


:: Our Non-Profit Status::

TAAC, Technology as Art Collaborative, is a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible, non-profit corporation, registered in California. We are located in Silicon Valley and can be contacted via info@techasart.org.

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