Rob Ray is a Senior Designer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Rob's art-making and curiousity leads him to make installations, interactive public artworks, experimental videos and sound compositions in public/outdoor spaces. Rob posts some of these experiments through the Shimmering Trashpile YouTube channel.
Rob also runs the EXOSKELETON arts project in Los Angeles, California and collaborates with artists to create enthusiastic and thoughtful events and installations in the EXOSKELETON house and in strange disused places across the earth. The infrequently published EXOSKELETAL newsletter explores this world through illustrations.
Rob was founding curator of the DEADTECH electronic arts center in Chicago, IL, USA. DEADTECH’s unique curatorial vision, residency facilities, workshop facilities and exhibition space were custom created to cater to the specific needs of the electronic artist and performer.
Rob received his MFA in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.
Rob is augh! on the vis.social Mastodon and @shimtrashpile on Twitter
June 6th, 2017 | 1 hr 10 mins
best friends, bflg, burbank, carbon, center for land use interpretation, charcoal, circuit, circuit boards, composting, copper, cryptography, cryptoparties, diamonds, foundry, gallium, homegrown evolution, humanure, hydrogen peroxide, learning, microwaves, milk, mosfets, muratic acid, nitrogen, peanut butter, plastic, poop, recycling, root simple, sharpie, simparch, styrofoam, tip120, utah, vinegar, world power systems
Dan Bustillo is our guest this week! It's plastic buckets all the way down as we don our ordnance disposal suits and mix up some homemade chemicals! Polystyrene and acetone don't mix. No! Wait! Dan shows us they do mix... into a very goopy suspension. Your very goopy lower intestine seems like a good place to hide secret messages but... is it? Rob puts the doo-doo in Do It Yourself. What's in the boooox?!? Taylor concocts a potion and sketchy is transformed into etchy! Can you make diamonds in a microwave? Mmmmmaybe... and if that fails you could probably make a death ray.
A big thanks to Kelly (kellymariemartin.com) and Luke, our top Patreon supporters!
Mike and Jen also joined the "Opposable Thumbs League of Patreon Supporter Badasses!"
You can check out our projects for this episode at http://projects.opposablepodcast.com/project/7/
May 22nd, 2017 | 1 hr 20 mins
bearings, celery, cnc, colonialism, curiosity, fidget spinner, foster parenting, high school, python, race, reparations, robin diangelo, self-study, sms, suburbia, twilio, w.e.b. dubois, white fragility, whiteness
No guest this week! Just Taylor and Rob digging into whiteness... Whiteness. WHITENESS. We poke and prod woke suburbia, white fragility, guilt, walking the walk, confederate monuments, and complicated family stuff. We discuss creativity as more than the act of making things, but we did make things also. Taylor concocts an object to help him stay frosty while digging into fidget-inducing whiteness studies. Rob looks to interruptive technologies to help him navigate life in the smog of whiteness. A big thanks to Hương Ngô for this very challenging challenge!
Listeners! Please let us know what you think about this episode!. Also, how do you stay informed and move through your day thoughtfully? How do you stay curious about daunting topics like whiteness? How do you turn talk... into walk?
Thank you Kelly and Luke for being our top sponsors on Patreon!
May 8th, 2017 | 1 hr 23 mins
artists, balloons, bone folders, cameras, cnc, common, databases, etching, github, helium, internet, juice, maker culture, oblique strategies, paper, rock, scissors, trans, trees, usb drives, whiteness, women, word jazz
Artist Hương Ngô joins us this week! Chicago in the house! We consider the cinematic grossness of windblown shopping bags to the face. Our helium shortage is real and Rob is wasting it being dreamy. There is a champion of rock, paper scissors... and a robot champion... Hương hurls a rock through "I would show more work by ________ but I just don't know any..." Taylor creates some high burrs with his orthogonal strategies.
Ken Nordine and Brian Eno walk into a bar and say to the bartender... "Pour me a Pull Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps." The bartender says "Who do I look like, Ben Franklin? Try the Dream Machine, instead." Put that in your technicolor dream coat and smoke it! Try to end the day on a solution.
April 24th, 2017 | 1 hr 16 mins
adafruit, arduino, audacity, comedy, darth plagueis, demos, google, green rooms, maxmsp, nuclear, preppers, reddit, ribs, solar, sound, soundflower, teaching, twilio, unity, youtube
New media artist and educator Nick Bontrager joins us this week! Texas in tha house! Taylor eats too many ribs. Google conjures boy bands, pizza, and dogs on skateboards. Nick unravels and re-ravels the mythologies of place, spelunks the man-cave, and makes Max/MSP do backflips.Taylor scrapes r/all for comedic gold and finds... it? He found something, anyway. Nick invites us into the green room for a good panic. We learn Unity is so powerful it can fill a toilet with the entire ocean. Rob's fascination with Nuclear End Tymes makes him think preppers are his people... Never assume preppers are your people. Oh! and an extra special thing! Ranjit Bhatnagar sent us a really cool video piece inspired by this weeks Opposable Thumbs challenge! Wait for it at the end.
April 10th, 2017 | 1 hr 8 mins
arduino, chemistry, comedy, computing, doppelgangers, einsturzende neubauten, electronics, hacking, lovelace, new media, tattoos, theremins, witches
Digital witchcraft practitioner Meghan Trainor is our guest this week! Seattle in tha house! We chat about our search engine doppelgängers, "Bertha" the sonically wondrous SR 99 Tunneling Machine, and electricity as a kinda-natural resource. We like funny people. One of us shares a tattoo with an angry, muscly singer. Can you guess who it is? Art... man... It gets co-opted by global hyper-capitalizm quickly. Meghan melds the knowing and unknowing of engineering and witchcraft. Do you even verte, bra? Taylor distills a pink ringing thing down to its most elegant and intriguing components. Rob gives you another reason to steal.
Check out what we made at http://projects.opposablepodcast.com.
We have 49 links in show notes filled with interesting stuff. 49 links! That's bonkers.
Listen to the episode, jump in on our next challenge and send us photos of what you made!
March 27th, 2017 | 1 hr 4 mins
3d printing, arduino, bevels, bones, casting, dice, eeg, icosahedrons, leds, mind control, pin nailers, relays, rng, salvage, scrollsaws, solenoids
We welcome materials engineer Ian Doran as our first guest! Taylor shares knucklebones as an ancient method of random number generation and combines the old-school with the new-school. Ian brings the icosahedral heat! Rob thinks about rolling dice and... the dice roll. We also discuss steam turbines, lost wax casting, teenager as scientist, driveway as science laboratory and bevel math! You heard that right! Bevel math!
March 9th, 2017 | 1 hr 14 mins
2x4, accessibility, art, comic sans, containers, creativity, crimetown, critical making, diegetic prototypes, inventions, lock picking, master-carr, paperclips, prisoners, sewing machines, silicon beach
Our first episode! We completed our "Paperclip and 2x4 "challenge! Some things went great. Other things went... pretty darn wrong. We also introduce ourselves, share what inspired us this week and talk about the structure of the podcast. We discuss the goofiness of "Silicon Beach," the awesomeness of Prisoners' Inventions, and the rise of Critical Making. And... a lot more!