You know that person you grew up with – the kid who’s just better than everyone else in every way? The one that tells the best jokes, has the best hair, and is smarter than all the other kids and the teachers?
That’s not me. I’m Hackett.
I’m a teacher (Adjunct Professor at New York University), an occasional TV presenter – I like my coffee strong, my physics Newtonian and firmly believe in building and THEN measuring. At time of writing, I’ve not been arrested in over a year.
Above all, ‘m an artist, but not in a beret-wearing, wafty, nude-model kind of way – I make dirty, nasty machine art. Stuff that will scare the crap out of you and maybe, just maybe, jerk you right out of you everyday for a split second. I think artists should suffer for their art: good art should make you bleed – literally. If you’re not hemorrhaging, you’re not sculpting hard enough. This philosophy won me the respect of my peers and cost me both my youth and my looks (though at time of writing, I do have all my fingers).
In New York, I started the Madagascar Institute – which is the less descriptive way of saying “I got a bunch of artists, pyros and robot nerds together, and we make huge, mind-blowing installations.” If you get freaked out by oil paintings whose eyes follow seem to follow you, don’t come to one of our shows. But, if you think that absolutely everything would be better with a jet engine strapped to it, you should think about joining us.
All of my projects are made from what some people would call trash, but I call obtainium. Given the right amount of disregard for warning labels and your own safety, absolutely anything can be made into something cool and useful. And that’s kind of an addiction for me – a transformative sickness.
After the apocalypse, all that’s going to be left is the cockroaches, Cher, piles of obtainium and me.
Ah – I can’t wait.
In the meantime, I’m doing the next best thing. I’m going to remote areas with really interesting and crunchy obtainium. With it, I figure I can make everything I’ll ever need – and I have a lot of needs. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that life is worth living without handmade hot tubs, land yachts, and fast food. So, with makeshift blowtorches, hacksaws and bandages, I’m going to tame nature. No, that’s not right. Nature can do what it wants – I just want to be comfortable and to get the TV working.
Stuck With Hackett premieres August 18th at 10.30 Eastern on Science Channel