Sexi Midi

November 11, 2003



Dearest friends.


I'm having a brief event at my gallery Saturday, Nov 15 . "Oh, is the gallery done?" you ask. No. Not Yet. Soon. Maybe.


I shall now describe Sexy Midi. Prog rock video with live guitar and bass shred. Bud Light keg beer. Also kittens.


We're following a very tight schedule for this event. Doors open at 10:10. Doors are locked at 10:20. No late entry. Set starts at 10:21. Set ends at 10:29. Everybody out at 10:30. Once again, no late entry. I'm not kidding.


You know all those times you went to see your friend's band, and had to wait through 2 opening bands, and then even though your friend's band was awesome, you kind of wished it was over after 20 minutes? This isn't that.


Hey, wait, where is this gallery located? 1200 D North Alvarado. Just north of sunset. Nestled between the downbeat cafe and the echo park film center. Look for the brown paper over the windows.


Tell your friends.


no gladiators

November 17, 2003



sorry, no video game competition featuring men dressed as gladiators. This rumor turned out to be false.


The is not the door to the film center

November 22, 2003



The way back to the film center is the door on your left. This is the door 

      to the emergency bomb shelter. In case of attack from the air, fbi raid, 

      or ìsocial callî by Attorney General John Ashcroft, please rap lightly on 

      the door three times while singing ìthe Battle Hymn of the Republicî. Lyrics 



      Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord He is trampling 

      out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored, He has loosed the 

      fateful lightening of His terrible swift sword His truth is marching on. 

      Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! 

      His truth is marching on. I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred 

      circling camps They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps 

      l can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps His day is 

      marching on. Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! 

      Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on. I have read a fiery gospel 

      writ in burnish`d rows of steel, "As ye deal with my contemners, So with 

      you my grace shall deal;" Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent 

      with his heel Since God is marching on. Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! 

      Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on. He 

      has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat He is sifting 

      out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat Oh, be swift, my soul, to 

      answer Him! be jubilant, my feet! Our God is marching on. Glory! Glory! 

      Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth 

      is marching on. In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, 

      With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me: As He died to make 

      men holy, let us die to make men free, While God is marching on. Glory! 

      Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His 

      truth is marching on. 





1 inch = 5 deg, inverse triangulation

November 30, 2003





Dangerously strong magnets for sale or trade

December 2, 2003



I have 12 very strong magnets that I no longer need. Each magnet is about the size of a silver dollar and 1/4" thick. Very useful for pulling iron filling out of teeth, erasing hard drives, and I'm sure all kinds of other things.


These are neodymium rare earth magnets with a magnetic field strength in the 45MGOe range.


Will trade for a high quality paper shredder, $50, or best offer.



December 4, 2003



I'm having an opening at my new space this Saturday afternoon, 1pm to 4pm. Holy shit, is it not ready. The artist isn't installing until the morning of the show. The interior walls keep falling down. I keep taking a nap when I'm supposed to be getting stuff done. It's going to be glorious!


Unlike the last show, I'll let you in a little early, and you can hang out as long as you like. Find the so called "press release" below. Also, before I forget, huge shout out to master builder Beau Heggen and architect supreme Fritz Haeg.






We've been looking for a place to show sculpture, installation and technology that doesn't entail any of the following;


art on the wall

net art

white cube

black cube


a subconscious desire to emulate the apple store.


We didn't find it, so we're opening a space called Machine. The gallery opens this Saturday afternoon, December 6th from 1-4pm with "Story Teller"  by Los Angeles artist Tom Jennings.


Story Teller is an experimental narrative about British mathematician/code breaker Alan Turing told using obsolete media -- perforated paper tape, teletype,  phoneme-speech, glowing phosphors and ink-on-paper. The text is encoded 8 bytes per inch on a 700 foot roll of paper tape, which runs through a variety of cold war era technology on a daily eight hour journey from spool to floor.


Historian of cold war computing and archivist of obscure and extinct technologies, Mr Jennings is the founder of FidoNet, the largest amateur computer network in the world, as well as a recipient of Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer Award. We're very flattered to present his first one person show in Los Angeles.


Created to function as a research lab, project space and short term residency for visiting artists, Machine was designed as a collaboration between C-level co-founder Mark Allen and Los Angeles architect Fritz Haeg.  Machine rejects the implied neutrality of the empty white cube - constructed of modular mobile units, the gallery transforms itself for each exhibit. Machine is located at 1200 D North Alvarado Street, just north of Sunset. For more information email, or call 213-483-8761.


Tom Jennings: 





Tom Jennings Opening

December 6, 2003



The Tom Jennings Storyteller show opened this afternoon at Machine. In keeping with our new tradition of confusing people we had the opening in the afternoon instead of the classic 7-9 pm opening slot. This threw some people off, but those who made it seemed to enjoy the show. Except for Jeff Kwong, who can be seen here making an expression I've never seen before. I think the next opening is going to be at 2:30 am just to keep mixing it up.


The day starting with some last minute soldering, but everything was working by 12:30 so I wasn't too freaked out. I've been the artist frantically fixing right before the opening so many times that it's actually relaxing to have someone else have to worry about it. 


Tom and Josh brought their dogs, a Xoloitzquintli and a Peruvian hairless. They hung out in the front window seat, which I actually think drew in half the crowd. Here's Molly guarding the papertape reader from errant gallery goers.



I'll post some proper installation photos later, but here are some lowish res images... 

ASCI Alan Turing

Setting up



For more information of this piece I recommend going to Tom's site, which has an absurd amount of information.





Dangerously strong magnets for sale or trade 

December 11, 2003



I have 12 very strong magnets that I no longer need. Each magnet is about the size of a silver dollar and 1/4" thick. Very useful for pulling iron filling out of teeth, erasing hard drives, and I'm sure all kinds of other things.


These are neodymium rare earth magnets with a magnetic field strength in the 45MGOe range.


Will trade for a high quality paper shredder, $50, or best offer.



December 16, 2003





Looking for an Intern

December 30, 2003



I'm looking for an intern for the gallery. I hope this is a good idea.


Whoever I find can't possibly be less organized than I am.


buy my damn magnets

December 31, 2003



Seriously, I can't believe I can't unload these magnets. I'm reconsidering my new career as a magnet wholesaler. Who am I kidding anyway? I suck.


Anyway, I'm not going to rest until they're sold. I've put up a page so you can purchase them online. 


this way to our luxurious magnet store


In other news, I think you all are very nice.


please don't buy my magnets

January 2, 2004



Fritz Haeg and I designed Machine, a space that I'm running in Echo Park. Part of the design uses this really beautiful ploycarbonite material called Polygal for the interior walls. This material is highly unreactive - nothing will stick to it. Because the surface of it is so nice, we were opposed to drilling or bolting it. So we came up with the idea of using these really intense magnets. In the end, we couldn't get the magnets to stick to the polygal either. So I put them up for sale on my website, thinking it would be a joke between me and Fritz and the one or two random friends who occasionally visit


Imagine my surprise when I checked my email this morning and saw that I'd sold 40 magnets. Oops. It was posted to boing boing, which is of course terribly flattering, but since I only have 12 magnets, and I'm selling them basically for what I bought them, and I'm not charging for shipping, I end up losing money.  


So, if you're here looking for magnets, you can buy them from All Electronics for $4.75 (plus shipping)


Waco Resurrection

January 13, 2004



Waco Resurrection is in a show at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts called "Bang the Machine" that opens on Friday. We're also showing it in the Rotterdam Film Festiva the following week.


Like the other gaming projects (tekken torture tournament, cockfight arena) that I've worked on with people from C-level, I think it functions best as a hybrid form of theater. There is something undeniably creepy about walking into a room with four people wearing identical, expressionless masks of David Koresh giving total focus to a computer. (thanks Tom Moody for the waco images)


I've been soldering non-stop for days getting ready for the shows, the reward for the relentless procrastination of the last couple months...


America's Army

January 18, 2004



Back in LA for 24 hours before heading to Rotterdam. Waco Resurrection looks great at Yerba Buena. We got to meet the guys who made painstation, which was cool, I like their project a lot, we had fun trading notes about using electric shock on audiences. The show itself was weird - America's Army had the lions share of the floor space, including a giant castle that Sky told me was the same set up they had a E3, minus the heliocopter. 






January 26, 2004



I've finished reading the Count of Monte Cristo, and smuggled smoked eel filets and unpasturized cheese into California from Europe. The feeling of accomplishment is total.


Seed of Chucky

January 27, 2004



I'm going to do some animatronic work on Chucky 6, "Seed of Chucky". I'm really confused because I can't find any references to Chucky 5 anywhere. The last Chucky movie at IMDB is"Bride of Chucky", which (as every film connoisseur knows) is Chucky 4.


Chucky 6

January 27, 2004



Ok, the title of the Chucky movie I'm working on isn't "Seed of Chucky", which Andy figured out was indeed Chucky 5, and currently in post production. I'm not high enough in the information loop to know the title of Chucky 6 yet, but if anyone hears of a tragic accident on the set involving a malfunctioning animatronic control system, you'll know who is to blame.


Journal extravaganza at Machine this weekend

January 27, 2004



There are several delightful events at my gallery this weekend, and I'd be so pleased if you'd come. It's a three day extravaganza organized by the The Journal of Aesthetics & Protest to celebrate the release of their second issue. 


Thursday night Elizabeth Hansen and Ben Ehrenreich are going to read at the gallery at 8pm. Normally I like to read silently to myself, but I've seen Liz and Ben read before and they're really great. I believe Liz will be reading this story about getting back in touch with a stalker friend from 6th grade in Egypt from the latest issue of the journal. Ben refuses to tell anyone what's he's reading but the last time I saw him read it involved a lovesick octopus, which was as fantastic as you're now imagining.


Friday there will be films at the Echo Park Film Center.


Saturday there will be an art raffle to raise money for the next issue. Tickets are $10, but of course you can come hang out for free. The raffle starts at 7pm. My very dear soon to be ex-roomate Adam will be MCing and providing musical accompaniment. Some of my favorite artists, including myself, are donating stuff. The art will be up at the gallery all weekend, so you can come pick out your favorites ahead of time. The gallery will be open all day Friday and Saturday. And by all day, I mean sometime after I wake up and change out of my pajamas. How about noon? Ok? Ok!


For a less casual version of this, as well as the shockingly awesome list of artists donating art, find the official press release here >


More information about the Journal here >


Harvey Sid Fisher!

January 31, 2004



Holy Moly, Harvey Sid Fisher is going to give a suprise performance at the gallery tonight (January 31st) at 7pm.


volcanoes, flowers, hot chocolate

February 4, 2004



My dear friend Holly is having a show at Machine this weekend, please drop by, we'd love to see you. press release here >


 Machine is delighted to announce Mount St. Holly, a one day installation by floral mastermind Holly Vesecky featuring winter weather, Mount St. Helens made of flowers, and a bubbling lava pit of hot chocolate.


Made entirely of hydrangea, carnations, apple blossoms and gardenia flowers, Mount St. Holly will live its brief and romantic life inside the arms of Machine, located at 1200D North Alvarado Street in Los Angeles. Due to the fridged temperatures on top of the mountain, viewers and curiosity seekers are advised to wear winter clothing while visiting the exhibit. Mount St. Holly opens Saturday, February 7^th from 6-8pm. Hot chocolate will be served. The show will remain on exhibit Sunday February 8^th from 12-5 before disappearing into a cloud of dried pedals, vapor and vocanic ash.



February 7, 2004






free roll of chicken wire

February 8, 2004



I have a partial roll of chicken wire, free for the taking. It's 50' long and 2' high, good with children, doesn't bark, nice disposition, affectionate.


free bags of trash

February 8, 2004



I have seven large bags of trash, free for the taking. Contents - Assorted papers, flower stems, and pizza boxes. Looking for a good home.


free grass

February 8, 2004



320 square feet, used.


the rise and fall of mount st holly

February 11, 2004



Recovering from a weekend of building and then destroying a seven foot mountain of flowers with the artist Holly Vesecky and ten of our friends. Some documentation is up at the machine web site. My favorite part was climbing inside the volcano on Sunday before we tore it apart.




NTNTNT vs Butterknife Kr¸sh!

February 18, 2004



There are two events at Machine this Friday. First, we're going to have the honor of hosting the book launch/purge of NTNTNT at 8pm. Dear friend Jason Brown seems to be the ringleader of this. There will be an associated reading, and (I've been informed) the possibly of bud light on the premises. More information about the NTNTNT event here.


Following that at 10pm will be a very rare Los Angeles performance of Butterknife Kr¸sh. I shall say no more about that except that dear friend Jee is somehow involved and also all this stuff >


"Butterknife Kr¸sh is ultra metal riot. We sing about pink poodles, bloody zebras, ramen noodle monsters, clowns in coffee cups, and smashed brain treats. We are pirates of the fantastic golden islands, murderous mega-polka twisters, and violin rocking robots. Welcome to the ever so crazy world of Butterknife Kr¸sh!!! Long Live Roooooooock!!"


GI Joe psa

February 21, 2004



Those of you who don't surf the internet for 3-5 hours daily may have missed Eric Fensler's reconfigured GI Joe public service announcements. In order to remedy this, I've taken the trouble to set up a acreening of them at C-level tonight (Saturday Feb 21st). I wish I'd taken the trouble to post this earlier, since he's here from out of town, but whatever. My point being that A) they're really weird and funny and amazing, and B) watching two dozen 30 second internet meme videos on the biggish screen at C-level makes them even weirder and funnier


So - you, me, Eric, C-level, tonight, 8pm.


A nice article about me

March 4, 2004



A very flattering article by Jessica Hundley about my new space appeared in the LA Times today in the calendar section. It's impossible to view online without sacrificing a goat and three major credit cards, so I've placed a static copy on my site for ease of viewing.


LA Times Article about Machine Project


Hutchins vs McCann

March 22, 2004



On Saturday March 27th at 8pm, Machine will be hosting a reading by two of my favorite writers and human beings, Jessica Hutchins and Anthony McCann. The reading will be preceded by a musical performance by the New Jersey folk trio Sudden Souvenir, and followed by casual socializing until the beer runs out. Please bring your own beer.


Artist and Writer Jessica Zoe Hutchins will read a story from her upcoming collection "The Collected works of Jessica Zoe Hutchins" to be published by Machine Project Press in conjunction with the opening of her one woman show at the gallery May 18th. A fine example of her writing can be found on the website of the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest.


Anthony McCann will be reading from his new book of poetry, Father of Noise. All who hear Mr McCann read later describe the experience as "rad". Examples of Anthony McCann's poetry can be found here.


Should you wish to purchase Father of Noise ahead of time, follow the link below.


purchase Father of Noise



April 7, 2004



Tonight I came home after teaching and found two slices of cold pizza in the fridge that I'd totally forgotten about. Is there anything better? No.


Last chance for oyster+mushroom art

May 12, 2004



Phil Ross's fantastic show "Organized" comes down this Sunday, so if you haven't had a chance to see it, the gallery will be open on Saturday (May 15th) from 12-5. Phil will be in town for the de-install, so if you have lingering questions about how to grow Reshi mushrooms into the shape of Abraham Lincoln's head, this may be your last opportunity.


Dark Pastoral

May 26, 2004



Frantic work continues as we prepare for the opening at Machine Project this weekend. I'm very excited about this show, having been a fan of Jessica's work since we met at art school.  The show opens this Saturday, drop by and say hello. There will be beer, and you can ride the art. Press release below.


Machine Project announces the exhibition opening AND book release of Dark Pastoral by artist Jessica Z Hutchins this Saturday May 29^th from 6-9pm.


The installation features a larger-than-life leather body builder torso, mounted on computer controlled pneumatic lifts, somewhat like a mechanical bull. Equipped with stirrups and a conveniently located "panic" switch, viewers will be allowed and encouraged to ride the sculpture *at their own risk*.


Dark Pastoral is also the title of the collection of stories written by Ms. Hutchins, who will be reading from it at 8:30. She may give the reading while riding the sculpture. We're unsure but hopeful.


Printed in a limited edition of 500, signed and numbered copies will be available at the opening. Dark Pastoral is the first title published by Machine Project Press.


Here are some additional words.



erotic dancing




Jessica Hutchins opening

May 30, 2004



Last night was a particulary satisfying evening at Machine, with the bonus of no serious or lawsuit worthy injuries. Jessica read a story called "summer landscape with bird trap" involving a group of artists who (driven mad with drink) end up humping a mysterious sculpture. After the reading everyone kept drinking and ended up humping the sculpture. More images from the Dark Pastoral opening.



hot musk

June 9, 2004



I'm wagering that I'm the only gallerist in town who has to refill a sculpture with doe musk every Saturday morning for the next four weeks. Find below a scan of the bottle, which I've been blithly keeping in my refridgerator.


Summer plans

June 25, 2004



1) 10 pm bedtime

2) One hangover (no more, no less) per week

3) Return of the mustache.





Untitled War

July 4, 2004



Is there a medieval battle at Machine this Saturday night? Yes. Do you have to bring your own beer? Yes. Will there be men and women dressed in full plate armour hitting each other with pieces of metal? Yes. Can you safely watch the action projected next door at the film center? Yes. Is this the best idea ever? Yes. Will there also be monguls, vikings, and centurians? Maybe. Will I wear my chain mail suit? Unclear.


More information about Brody Condon's Untitled War can be found at the Machine Project website


mirror helmet

July 10, 2004



Made for Jody Hughes in 2001, borrowed by Isabelle Spengler in 2002, dropped off at the gallery this week, now looking for a new home. Contact Mark Allen if you'd like to adopt. Battery powered and user activated by a thumb switch. Tooth rattling 2300 rpm max speed. Modeled by Emily Joyce.




Untitled War 

July 15, 2004



Is there a medieval battle at Machine this Saturday night? Yes. Do you have to bring your own beer? Yes. Will there be men and women dressed in full plate armour hitting each other with pieces of metal? Yes. Can you safely watch the action projected next door at the film center? Yes. Is this the best idea ever? Yes. Will there also be monguls, vikings, and centurians? Maybe. Will I wear my chain mail suit? Unclear.


More information about Brody Condon's Untitled War can be found at the Machine Project website


Video Gong Show in Houston

July 20, 2004



If anyone is going to be in Houston this weekend (July 22-24), I'll be there as well. Let's hang out. I'm doing a couple shows at our dear friend the Aurora Picture Show. Friday night is a piece called Video Gong Show, and Saturday is a screening I curated called "remade, re-remade, and re-re-remade" starring Martin Arnold, Eric Fensler, Kelly Sears and Eddo Stern. 


I put up a webpage on Video Gong Show. it's going to rock, and by rock I mean possibly stop working half way through


a web page on the Video Gong Show



July 29, 2004



Brian Crabtree has organzied an evening of electronic music and fresh juice at Machine Friday night at 8pm. The fact that they will be operating an industrial juicer in front of the gallery matches the fantasy of California I had when I was stuck growing up in Vermont.  So I'm really happy to be part of that.


Here is Brian's Description of the events >


"a nonlinear presentation of diverse artists employing a huge mound of adorable noise objects (including but not limited to custom hardware and software, fashionable computers, gameboy, contact mics, drums, projection, and random junk we got on ebay)."


More information about prompt/select can be found here 


chemistry lab, remaining pickles, a couple other things

July 30, 2004



1) The Partnership for a Drug Free America filmed a commercial next door this morning, which makes the main topic of this post even more delightful.


2) Sunday afternoon (August 1st) from 3-6 at Machine Project there will be a series of home chemistry labs, covering the manufacturing of ice cream, smoke bombs and extracting DXM from Robitussin. These will be presented by David Burns and Matias Viegener. More information on Three Labs.


David, Matias and Austin Young recently did a great piece on mapping all the publicly available fruit trees in Los Angeles for the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest. 


3) There are still two large jars of pickles left. They're waiting for you here






smoke bombs

August 2, 2004



The chemistry lab was very fun yesterday. Smoke bombs are incredibly easy to make, assuming you can get your hands on KNO3 without a fireworks permit. Expect more workshops from Machine in the future.


more images from Delicious|Delirious|Disappearance


car press press

August 10, 2004



1) Someone stole my car last night. That was not very nice. While I realize that the Honda Accord  is the most stolen car statistically, my car was very dirty, rather aged, and filled with an alarming amount of trash. Will I ever see that trash again?


2) Josh Bearman wrote a cool piece about the Untitled War show by Brody Condon. 

read about Untitled War


3) RES magazine has a short article about Machine this month, printed over a large semi-glamour shot of myself. 

view RES article


dude, where's my car? part 2

August 11, 2004



As the lovely Ms. Daniella Meeker predicted, the police found my car and were kind enough to return it to me. Except for my beloved boogie board and the 5kg brick of cocaine that I think I left in trunk, nothing was missing or destroyed. 


I'm particularly pleased that the collection of fast food wrappers and empty soda cans that I so painstakingly accumulated was almost completely unmolested. Apparently the era of the gentleman thief is not over.


Thank you all for your support during this trying period for the Allen family.







August 23, 2004



Kelly Sears of Sexi Midi fame came up with the idea to make a pinata of our beloved friend Jeff's head for his birthday. Then she built it and we helped. Contents included beer, porn, candy and panties. Nice photos and a video can be found here.




Best of Aurora Picture Show 2.0

August 27, 2004



My friend Andrea Grover runs the Aurora Picture Show in Houston, a fantastic microcinema in a converted church. I was recently there doing the video gong show. She's in LA this Saturday 8pm showing "BEST OF AURORA PICTURE SHOW, VOL. 2" a collection of films under 15 minutes at the Echo Park Film Center (our beloved neighbors). 


here's a decription of just one of the totally awesome films you could see should you wish.


Bloodhag: The Faster You Go Deaf, The More Time You Have to Read documents the Puget Sound library tour of Bloodhag, a death-metal rock group dedicated to the discipline of EDU-CORE; a philosophy of teaching rock fans an appreciation of reading by playing short, heavy metal songs about science fiction authors VERY LOUDLY. The fact that they perform to mainly pre-teens within the hushed atmospheres of neighborhood libraries creates a surreal and hilarious synthesis that has to be seen to be believed. Bloodhag was chosen by YALSA (The Young Adult Library Services Association) as one of the top ten recommended videos for youth in 2003.


A full write up of all the films can be read at 


Following the screening we're having a party at thegallery, featuring drinks, lots of clarinets, bellydancing, good times, maybe some snacks, and more drinks. Also, the shower is installed so if you want to take a shower that's cool too, I've got soap but bring your own towel. Flip flops are probably a good idea. But I digress.


After the party is the benefit for the bicycle kitchen downtown at Little Pedro's, west side of 1st St. Bridge. So you now have a full evening of entertainment all planned out for you. 






Electronics Workshop at Machine

October 1, 2004



I'm going to be offering a class in basic electronics at the gallery starting Nov 7th. It will be four Sunday afternoon workshops. Each workshop covers a different aspect of analog electronics (DC, AC, electromagnetism, transistors, integrated circuits, soldering, reading schematics and constructing circuits, etc) and consists of a lecture and hands on lab. The cost for this is $100+$50 for materials.


I've taught this a number of times in the past - it's always fun, and although things occasionally explode, nobody ever gets hurt.


There are a limited number of spots, so please register early to avoid disappointment.


Registration information





October 2, 2004



I moved servers a couple months ago, and now i wonder if anything works. Does this work?



October 27, 2004



ok, I survived moving servers. Here's what happened since I posted last.


Naps, teaching, freelance, a chunk of the ceiling fell in during the rain. Jeff and Kelly have keys to the gallery and I've seen a lot of them, I went running a lot in Griffith Park, got a new cell phone, read some books, the new library opened, my old friend Nina emailed me, and more naps were taken. 


A modest number of drinks were had, pizza and beef jerky was eaten, but also a lot of salads.


Planning commenced on a new electronics class at Machine, I rented a giant screen to show ASCII Bush and I've been watching a lot of baseball.


cockroach world domination

November 1, 2004



Friday at the gallery Gernet Hertz is showing his autonomous cockroach controlled robot. This should be interesting. I'm curious in how people react to the enslavement of the cockroach - I find it oddly disturbing, despite the intutive hatred humans have for roaches.


Once I ate a 3" waterbug stuffed with chicked at typhoon. They used to have a full insect menu, although apparently it's now limited to ants, grubs and crickets. It was very chitinous.


Anyway, here is the info, I hope you can come.


Garnet Hertz - Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine: Cockroach-controlled Mobile Robot 

Machine Project Friday, Nov 19th, 2004 8-10pm. 

Artist Talk at 8pm.


Garnet Hertz will be showing his most recent prototype: a cockroach-controlled mobile robot system. The system uses a living Madagascan hissing cockroach atop a modified trackball to control a three-wheeled robot. Infrared sensors also provide navigation feedback to create a semi-intelligent system, with the cockroach as the CPU. This work will be framed within the contexts of intelligence, embodiment, artificial life, the history robotics, and Michael Jackson.


Electronics Class 2

November 2, 2004



The electronics class is full, congrats to all the lucky winners.


Also, I've heard something about an election this week, has anyone heard anything about that?


Video Gong Show! Power Point! Arizona State Fair!

November 8, 2004



1) Having my birthday the day after the election totally sucked for obvious reasons. But pizza was eaten, which made me feel better. I'm feeling good about turning 34. Real good.


2) Friday, this Friday Nov 12th 8pm, we're doing the video gong show at the Echo Park Film Center (right next to machine). Here's how it works - anyone is welcome to bring a video they've made. Everyone in the audience has a button hooked into a diabolical electronic gong ringing system. When dissatisfaction reaches a fever pitch of 50%, the gong gongs and the video stops. Prizes will be bestowed for the video that survives the longest (most entertaining) and the shortest (most annoying). I did this in Houston this summer and it was very fun, although a video of people chugging beer stayed on for a disturbingly long time. Echo Park Film Center, 1200 North Alvarado Street. Bring a video.


3) Saturday, this Saturday Nov 13th 8pm, Kelly Sears has curated an evening of xtreme power point presentations. Starring Emily Cummins, Jeff Kwong, Kelly Sears. Topics may include Nordic death metal, underage drinking and who knows what else. All that Kelly touches turns to gold, and I assume this will follow that convention. Bring beer.


4) Isn't it great that Kelly finally moved to Los Angeles?


5) I was looking at hoping for an update and saw this link about the Arizona state fair, and it's very pleasing. You must read this.


country fair

December 1, 2004



Tomorrow night (Saturday) egg sculptures at Machine. More info on that very soon. >


Tonight (Friday) I judge a giant (store bought) vegetable contest. Bring your veggies.


My Life = The Country Fair.


Here's the info on Enid's event, at which I shall be judging.



An artist presentation and large vegetable contest


Bring your largest vegetable and win a prize!

Friday 3 December at 7:00 pm


Enid Baxter Blader, one of the few banjo-playing artists in Los Angeles,

often features fake chickens, grunting pigs and howling dogs in her videos

and films. Her commitment to winding roads, scratchy sounds, drunken power

tool use and art world events that more closely resemble the State Fair

has inspired a giant vegetable contest to accompany her display of

never-seen-before-(in L.A.)-film.


Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions

6522 Hollywood Boulevard

Los Angeles CA 90028



December 2, 2004



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December 5, 2004



(image not found)


Fan Mail

January 1, 2005



Sometimes people find my website and send me random emails. Here's one. My reply in blue.


Once again looking for an intern or three

February 2, 2005



Despite undeniable curatorial brillance, social grace, and "can do" community spirit, Machine Project finds itself in need of help of all kinds. With this in mind, we invite you to consider becoming our Administrative intern. Areas of activity include press, website, organization, and working with artists on upcoming shows, performances and lectures. This would be a good internship if you're organized and interested in the day to day operations of running a post profit art space. 


Requirements - you must be willing to commit to spending one or two days a week at the gallery. It would be fantastic if you weren't a total flake. Skills in video editing, web design, and grant writing would be a profound plus but whatever. 


Sadly, this is an unpaid internship, but we're prepared to offer an unlimited supply of cookies of your choice. If you want college credit, bring the papers, we'll sign them. 


Interested parties email Mark Allen > m at machineproject dot com



February 3, 2005



I've been doing a lot of stuff and I keep running out of time and forgetting to update this website, but everybody says that right?


Brian Crabtree was a student of mine the first year I taught at UCSD, which gave me really unrealistic expectations of the kind of student I'd be teaching. I'm a big fan of everything he and Kelli Cain do, teaching classes at the gallery, making awesome egg sculptures, helping me on my insane freelance engineering jobs, and especially his music and performance. So I'm really excited that he's put together an evening of music at Machine tomorrow night. Please come it will be really nice. Here's some more info >


Saturday night (Feb 26th) at 8pm we're having a free musical event curated by Brian Crabtree. It's a quartet featuring Brian, Ezra Buchla (of the Mae Shi), Corey Fogel, and Jeff Eliassen playing a variety of acoustic and electronic things. All of Brian's events to date have featured fresh orange juice and this will be no exception.


here are some additonal words we think you may enjoy.


gathering disparate methods and operators, an evening of small compositions and explorations. we unite from far places. we prefer a scattered collection of strings, brass, unpredictable drums, favorite toys, odd machines tied to computers, beep flurry, small and not small voices.


ezra buchla

brian crabtree

jeff eliassen

corey fogel


event link >


contact info >


Mark Allen



flesh eating beetles

February 9, 2005



Ryan Taber and Cheyenne Weaver's new show at Machine contains flesh eating beetles (admittedly a bit hard to see), a set from Wagner's ring cycle and a giant piece of bark. We've even posted a cheat sheet in case you need to brush up on the connections between Coleopteria, Malaria and the Dermestid Museorum Linneaus beetle. Ryan And Cheyenne will be speaking about their exhibit at 3pm Sunday Feb 20th, which is the last day of the show. 


David Pagel's review in the LA Times can be read here.


Gong Show Redux

March 1, 2005



Yet another opportunity to have your most personal moments judged and found wanting.


Video Gong Show

Echo Park Film Center

March 31st 8pm.


(The following description is a repeat broadcast that was taped earlier. Do not call in at this time.)


This Thursday March 31st I'm doing the video gong show at the Echo Park Film Center (right next to Machine). Here's how it works - anyone is welcome to bring a video they've made. Everyone in the audience has a button hooked into a diabolical electronic gong ringing system. When dissatisfaction reaches a fever pitch of 50%, the gong gongs and the video stops. Prizes will be bestowed for the video that survives the longest (most entertaining) and the shortest (most annoying). Bring a video.


Machine's underground bunker for rent

March 2, 2005



Underneath Machine is a secret bunker which my friend Karen has rented for years. I'm converting a small part of it into a cage for my white tigers, but the rest is available for rent as of this minute.


It's appoximately 800 square feet and comes with bathroom access, free wireless dsl and the hippest address in Los Angeles. Good for one or two people. $700 (bills included). Available April 1st. 


Insect technologies and free mycological workshop

April 1, 2005



Phil Ross is in town to do some stuff at Machine this weekend which should be great.


8pm April 9th (Saturday)

Machine Project

1200 D North Alvarado Street, Los Angeles, CA



Through the design and creation of highly controlled environments, Philip Ross manipulates, nurtures and transforms a variety of living species into sculptural artifacts. The objects he produces are at once highly crafted and naturally formed, skillfully manipulated and sloppily organic. His work lies at the disparate intersection of biotechnology, folk art, and ecological studies. Mr Ross will present a talk on his artwork, tracing the relationship between animal behavior, technology and the developmental processes that form the worlds we live within.




Phil Ross - Fungamongus

12pm-4pm April 10th (Sunday)

Machine Project

1200 D North Alvarado Street, Los Angeles, CA



Artist, educator, and fungal enthusiast Philip Ross will teach a four-hour long workshop on growing mushrooms for beginners. In this class he will cover all of the information necessary for setting up a lab, creating cultures, and the various techniques for starting home cultivation. Mr. Ross demystifies the ideas for this process using non-scientific language while utilizing cheap and easy to find materials. He has taught this class at the San Francisco Mycological Society, Symbiotica, and at various art schools.


Kung Fu Hustle

April 2, 2005



Everyone should go see Kung Fu Hustle at least twice.


Machine's secret underground bunker not for rent

April 3, 2004



I rented the space to a small cadre of canadian spies. Thanks for all your email and letters.


Video Gong Show notes

April 6, 2005



1. Cue your tape. Some tapes got gonged before they started because we were looking at color bars. This made the artists mad. We're very sorry.


2. Cue your tape to the most exciting part, even if it's in the middle 


3. If going for shortest tape, apparently raw footage of sim city is pretty annoying. 


4. Years of sitting through video sceenings, art school crits and movies have made people quite brutal. No tapes lasted longer than a couple minutes.


Some actual documentation soon in the form of a short video and maybe a photo or two.


Joshua Beckman

May 1, 2005



Machine Project is please to announce a reading by Joshua Beckman Sunday May 22nd 6pm. I really enjoyed Joshua's last reading, and we're confident that this event will take it to level of awesomeness heretofore unseen. Here is a poem by Joshua Beckamn and Matt Rohr >


I fell at the party

I'm still at the party


Take it as a given that not all of Joshua's poem will be that short, but be certain they will all be wonderous and moving. In addition there are rumors of  cheerleader-esque escapades. For those that require evidence of excellence before departing from your homes/fortified security enclaves, here is documentation in the form of video and audio recordings >


untitled poem





So, to get to the point, please join us this Sunday, may 22nd at 6pm. We will provide the reading, potato chips (both kinds), as well as a modest amount of beer. You provide the mind to be blown. Please tell your friends.






Mark Flood

May 2, 2005



I'm really excited about this opening I'm having at Machine on Saturday (May 7th), and I hope you and all your friends can come. Mark Flood is an old friend and sometime collaborator of mine from Houston, and I've long been obsessed with a specific body of his early strange+powerful paintings, which have been shipped out here for this exhibit.


If all goes according to plan Saturday may also be the secret unveiling of the secret gallery. And of course, there will be drinks and lovely humans for you to meet.


Mark Flood - Surprise Your Loved Ones

Opening Saturday May 7th 8-10pm

May 7th - July 12th.

Machine Project, 1200 D North Alvarado St, Los Angeles



Joshua Poetry Cheerleader

June 1, 2005



Emily Joyce decided that we needed an impressive entrance for guest poet Joshua Beckman.


Nice photos and videos


Click here to watch joshua beckman cheerleader [4.8 meg quicktime]


Monochrom part 1

June 2, 2005



monochrom at machine starting june 14th, 2005


new scheme

July 1, 2005





1st day of school

August 1, 2005






August 2, 2005






August 3, 2005



Karen's lovely show Believer opened at Machine last Saturday. After the over-stimulation of the hyperbolic space show it's nice to have something so spare installed. The gallery itself is empty with the entire show located in the secret gallery.


Labor Day

September 1, 2005



Pulled myself away from the computer and went boogie boarding with Al, Eric, Holly and Melissa. 



Table Tennis

September 2, 2005



We've taken possession of the Kwong family ping pong table. A new era for Machine begins tonight.



September 3, 2005



I was informed by IM today that people are getting tattoos of my drawings. I've been promised more (and less blurry) images. More as this story develops. Evidence below.



making stuff

November 1, 2005



no details, but I'm making all kinds of stuff right now, wiring up the ping pong table, biofeedback pyrotechnics and the machine project pneumatic cash machine




ASG cooks

December 1, 2005



A late post from thanksgiving. Absolutely unedible, but (as always with Adam) points for style. Emily as a remarkably open-minded taster.




Cash Machine

December 2, 2005



Behold the greatness of the pneumatic cash machine...


A nice article about me and machine

January 1, 2006



There was a nice little piece about me and Machine Project in the LA Alternative Press.


First day of school!

January 3, 2006



Actually the second day for everyone else,  but I missed the first day on account of food poisoning. Which is less fun than it sounds. 


Teaching electronics again, yay!





magic lamp

January 4, 2006






dome building 101

March 3, 2006



Work has begun on the dome for the floral planetarium. Mach Infinity by Holly Vescky opens Saturday March 11th at 8pm.


Final Tes?

March 4, 2006



testy test stes


machine project t-shirts

March 5, 2006



Jason Brown designed this using a drawing by Kelli Cain. I sat around and sent out some emails. The epic results can be purchased online by clicking on the picture below. Yay!



March 6, 2006



test 3



March 7, 2006



test 4


open heart surgery party

April 1, 2006



My dear friend Genielle O'Conner is having a party/fundsraiser in honor of her upcoming open heart surgery. Yikes! As someone who has had serious surgery done without the benefit of insurance, I can say that the support of ones friends is the greatest comfort+help, and I hope you'll come with me to support Genielle and have a good time. The event is Saturday afternoon from 2-5pm at Marvimon (just north of chinatown). It will feature music, snacks, drinks, and Genielle's art sale. Suggested donation $10, with all proceeds going to help Genielle's medical bills. 


Here is the website for Marvimon with directions



May 1, 2006



I find myself deeply moved by the spectacle unfolding endlessly below...



panda playschool

July 1, 2006



I realize that obsessing on the almost sinister cuteness of baby pandas is a universal activity, but just in case you haven't seen this video, brace yourself. You might want to sit down.


Menger Sponge

August 1, 2006



A new exhibit is up at Machine. It's great to have an installation, it's been a good while. I particularly like this one, it is a great blend of math and obsessive paper folding (the large structure is made of 66,048 origami folded cards). It also looks like a long lost Sol LeWitt sculpture.


more info on the business card menger sponge here


Recent Interviews

September 1, 2006



A couple recent interviews with me are now available online in all their grainy scanned pdf glory. Let the rejoicing begin.


The first is from Xtra magazine by Ken D. Allan, mostly regarding the Machine Project shows at Pomona.


[Mark Allen in Xtra]


The second is from an interview I did with Joshua Bearman about art and video games in the Believer. Includes a small illustration of my head done by Tony Millionaire. I'd like to call Josh and tell him how much I like the interview but he's in China trying to find a panda to cuddle.  


[Mark Allen in the Believer]



January 1, 2007






AD&D Art Faire

February 1, 2007



As part of the sprawling Machine Project presence at the ART LA 2007 art fair (more about that later) artist Brody Condon and Machine favorite Ryan O'Toole organized a lawful evil Hackmaster campaign. 


Poets Anthony McCann, Joshua Beckman and Emily Dickinson collaborated on a poem just for the occasion.


Uniforms of Snow


The barest chance

leaked through the trees--

a tooth upon our peace.

The wind began to knead the grass.

Another house I burned.

Adventure most onto itself

the soul condemned to hound

and cease to recollect

the chaotic and the good.

I wear my wings--I wear my belt--

a glee posesseth me.

The hours slide by fast and just

through realms and nether realms.



pepper friends

February 2, 2007



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(image not found)



February 3, 2007



So, last weekend I was out in Desert Hot Springs, hot tubbing and such, when my neighbor Paolo from the film center called and said there was some flooding at Machine. It turns out that our (perhaps negligent) landlord let another hot water heater fail in the apartment above us (yes, this has happened before), which flooded our office and destroyed a bunch of stuff. 


At first I thought this was really terrible, but I shortly realized that this was a great opportunity to fix a major problem, which is the gallery is really to small to hold all the people who come to events, and the back office is much larger than it needs to be. And since the office is trashed anyway, what better time to move the partion wall back 10 feet to make the gallery a whole bunch bigger. Yay! 


In another lucky coincidence, my friend Mark Dagget just made a new website for fund raising campaigns called Pledgie, so I went ahead and made a campaign to fund our repair and renovation project. Read more about my plan to renovate and repair Machine and see some photos of the carnage.


Should this all seem terribly uninteresting I can also offer you this insane video sent in by Ryan of a rabbit repeatedly attacking a snake.



February 4, 2007



another testimony to my pedagogical powers to thrill a crowd


Jordan writes in

March 1, 2007



"I need to call to discuss some details, but attached are the quotes and a note from the agent.  Two things jump out at me - first the policy excludes coverage for earthquakes, and second it excludes coverage for floods.  On a positive (or unexpected) note, it does include coverage for aircraft chartered by a crew and non-owned watercraft up to 25 feet - thus no princesses cruise line rentals.  Perhaps we should test our policies and plan events that may be subject to those coverage areas - or we could reserve that task for our advisory board. "


rock scissors paper robot 1

March 2, 2007







Emily Lacy at Machine

April 2, 2007



I've started work on uploading some of the great audio recording I've made from events at machine. Last Tuesday Emily Lacy came and sang five really lovely songs. Enjoy!








brian and peter

May 1, 2007





machine project erasure

May 2, 2007



Friend Anthony McCann has been making poems throught the process of erasure. He recently sent me the following, using a lengthy article from the LA Weekly about Machine as the source material. 




Machine Project


Medieval enthusiasts 

modeled in 

hyperbolic crochet

invite me to attend 

an evening of 

experimental heat


Tubes connect a 

giant hamster

to a lawn chair

up in space


A bunch of dads

have this 


somewhere in my box


And it either 

heals or

casts you 

from the room 



June 1, 2007





I'm hiring

March 1, 2009



I am looking to hire a personal assistant. This job is working for me, not for Machine Project but of course there is significant overlap since mostly I run Machine Project.


Person should be well organized, have a strong attention to detail, and have a car they can drive. Some minor lifting and ladder climbing involved. There will be weekly reporting of project status expected. Hours are approximately 3 days a week, 5 hours per day, plus additional weekends or evenings as needed during Machine Project events. $15/hour for first six weeks, then $18/hour.


This part-time job has three main responsibilities:


1. Writing. A significant amount of documents ranging from show proposals, applications, letters, plans, notes, explanations and press releases are generated weekly. These often need to be written in consultation with me for specific tone and style. The most important thing here is to be able to synthesize verbal ideas from me into written form, and quickly.


2. Assist me in phone, email and mail communication. I am involved in multiple simultaneous projects and need lots of help keeping them organized and moving forward.


3. Track and issue reminders for scheduling, meetings, and appointments,


4. Maintain and organize the Machine Project physical space. This place is a total (yet fun!) disaster. We do many events and projects at Machine and stuff is always getting moved around. You will be responsible for keeping everything in order and where it belongs. This involves setting up for events, breaking down after events, conceptualizing and maintaining an organizational structure for the space and activities that we do here. We have an organizational framework in place but it needs constant attention. This extends to unglamourous activities such as running errands, taking out the trash, recycling, etc.


I asked Sam, Michele and Liz who have worked for me to try and describe what it's like and  this is what they said:


"Fun work place with interesting subject matter and lovely co-workers (esp Michele and Sam and Liz). Lots of unannounced fun artists and visitors drop in regularly. Criticism is constructive, warm and direct. Occasional free lunch. Tasks are expected to be done quickly, sometimes without a lot of notice or explanation. There is an expectation that you are able to work independently while simultaneously reporting on the status of current, completed and pending tasks. You should enjoy functioning in a collaborative, loosely networked feedback structure. Mark has bursts of mania followed by extensive naps."


To apply, please email resume, cover letter and two references to Cover letter should explain qualifications, previous experience or knowledge of Machine Project, how you organize your own information and tasks, and interest in job. By reference I mean the phone number and email of someone who can vouch for you, preferably someone that I already know. Please feel free to email me at if you have any questions



April 1, 2009



rebuilding rebuilding rebuilding