Archives: other people’s art

My friend Charlie has an exhibit of her Arduino controlled interactive wax paintings showing at Classic Cars West in Oakland through November 17th.

This is what they look like:

charlie's paintings

Click through that image to see a short video of people walking up to them. Motion sensors control lighting which changes the way these paintings look.

Let me tell you a little about Charlie. I’ve known her for a few years now. I met her in LA, but she already had an accomplished past in Chicago as a performance artist. She doesn’t have video of these performances online, but I’ve seen some of it and it was very good. The Box Show (pictured below) was fantastic. Every way two bodies could move through the space defined by a box was explored. It was geometry dancing.


She used to do these wax paintings live. Standing behind a giant sheet of upright plexiglass she would paint with wax in front of an audience. The paintings would be lit both from the front and behind, and their nature would change depending on where the light came from. When the piece was done, in front of the audience who had watched it made, she would then scrape the wax off, erasing the night’s experiment. The audience would react. People would be dismayed.

She has that kind of courage. To put impermanence in.

covered in wax

She’s been in Oakland for a couple of years now. She is a graphic designer professionally and continues to mount gallery shows of her fine art work. She is teaching two classes on encaustic painting at Wax Works West in 2013 (scroll down and look for her name as instructor to find them).

She gets why I want to spend a year in Antarctica. She will argue with you about interactive design and, if I’m lucky, she’ll argue with me about it here for you soon. She’s true people.

If you have the chance to experience her work you should take it.