The world is all abuzz about sideshows and freak shows this week with the debut of American Horror Story: Freak Show so I thought I’d follow up by posting some images I just came across from my first season in the Coney Island Sideshow. Recognize anyone?
In the 1980’s I discovered Coney Island. It was a magical time when pieces of old New York were still visible. Coney Island was decrepit and lawless. Magical. I began staging performances at Dick Zigun’s Coney Island USA– a nonprofit arts center on the boardwalk. By the early 90’s my stage persona The Great Fredini was born- Sword Swallower, Human Blockhead and World’s Worst Magician. I became a full time cast member of the Coney Island Circus Sideshow until 1995, at which point I founded Burlesque at the Beach, a cornerstone of the burlesque revival sweeping the world today.
Enjoy some images from my archives here, and here:
Since 2011, I have been exploring the intersection of art, technology and entertainment using the tools of the third industrial revolution- computers, 3D printers, CNC, virtual and augmented reality, among others. All of these tools are causing a seismic shift in the world and I’m interested in how tech has historically been seen as magic. I often use this as a lens for envisioning the future as I teach, lecture and conduct workshops for audiences of varying ages.
Masthead Photo by TED / Ryan Lash, 2017
I tried ganging up five full body scans on one print plate on the new Replicator. Printing Katie alone at high quality (.1mm layer height at 144mm tall) took close to 6 hours to print. This gang of 5 has been going for over 26 hours now, but it took over 12 hours to just slice the model for printing. In the future I don’t think I would gang them up more than 2-3 per print. I prefer shorter printing times.