An Interview with Joe Gilmore, a.k.a. “Maker Joe”. More of his work can be found at: www.makerjoe.com. By clicking the image above, you can view a short video by William Murray about Maker Joe’s Kinetic Sculptures.
A little about Maker Joe:
I explain to people that I am what happens when an engineer gets an art degree because he can’t do four years of math classes.
On a grand scale I did have trouble with breaking down a complex situation, and seeing it through to completion, but the other side is where the art work comes from – I don’t see the face value – this gear that came out of a typewriter can go with this lever that came from a sewing machine. Things go together – this applies to machinery, words, people, psychology, spirituality.
What got you started on doing this?
I’ve always had the drive toward self-awareness, and the times I’ve been most disconnected, it was because I was trying to be something I’m not, trying to live up to someone’s expectations.
What is real, what is always with me, whether I am being paid for it or not, what appeals to me – if I see a machine opened up, the inner workings, I have to go look at it, its a compulsion.
These urges I’ve had all my life to take things apart, and explore, that’s something central to what I am. I need to embrace it. My big lesson lately is that I get many more ideas, than I can bring to fruition. So for everything you see here, there are hundreds of projects that didn’t make it. My workshop is a mess.
To get machinery to be organic is challenging. What my work is philosophically about is taking things that don’t belong together and making them work harmoniously together.
Is there an audience or market that you are targeting?
The people I like to target are – like me, both sides of my personality that see both the artistic and technical. I like engaging with those people, on a personal level, talking shop.
There are museums that have really bad art in them. That’s because they are about who you know, or when you were in the right place where people can see you. There’s a large social aspect to popularity. I like to joke that I’m a flaming introvert. I will occasionally turn it on to do these shows, but if I’m not in the basement, I’m reading a book, or seeing one friend at a time.
The Maker Faire is good because it makes me get out of the workshop, and get in front of people.
*This post was written for your reading pleasure by Atlanta MakerFaire Volunteer William Murray (firstname.lastname@example.org)