Caged Pulse Jets is an interactive, kinetic sound sculpture. The caged birds are five spinning pulse jet engines of various sizes that create a range of percussive and droning tones. Through a completely interactive interface, the public can create sound compositions ranging from the symphonic to the cacophonous while they are held captive by the fiery jets spinning by their own thrust.

April 24, 2014

GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL, UK 2014

The Hand of Man and the Caged Pulse Jets are going to Glastonbury this Summer! We are so excited to be able to participate in this awesome festival in the UK. It is known as their Burning Man, so heaps of craziness lies ahead! 

Glastonbury Festival Video

October 04, 2011

Back from the Playa!





Ahhh, finally cleaned off the Playa dust from EVERYTHING! So Burning Man- we went, we survived, we returned. The new interface with the audience was disappointing, as it did not really work. I figure that the electronics involved with the new little (expensive) proportional valves did not hold up to the playa dust at all. Also, we managed to fry almost all commutators while out there, so it was truly a frustrating week of trouble shooting and fixing stuff. The highlight for me was welding in a complete white out! When do you get to do that? And having my kiddo, Kodiak around, that was pretty great as well. Then there was the pickle juice at the Front Porch, and operating the fire sails on the Clockship Terre...I digress. CPJ Rev 2 worked for a few days, while I was croutched down, running the jets old school stylie- with the tried and true ball valves. It was dangerous being at such close proximity to them, and fun at that. At least I had the DPW as my faithful audience, kuddos to them for coming out again and again... So for now I need to take a break, reconfigure the control system and polish everything back up. It will work as a true interactive instrument at some point!

August 04, 2011

Mesa Art Mash 2011


It's true! We are hosting another super fun event out here on the Mesa! This time we will be featuring THREE sculptures- all interactive, all kinetic! Caged Pulse Jets, with it's newly revisioned console will be up and running for all to play, "Fledgeling" Christian Ristow's newest pedal powered Stainless bird skeleton and the Heron with some more amazing performances by members of Wise Fool! There will be music, to the tune of DJ Paul Feathericci, food, beverages, and endless play time on these sculptures! We will also have the bad ass art car running for RIDES on the Scoutch! When you wonder? Sunday, August 14th, 2011. 5-9Pm Come one come all! A $10 donation will get you in and square- though you may donate with paypal as well! Help us get these projects on the road! see you there!!!

July 24, 2011

snail mail order...





Waiting for the EPC valves.... Again we are waiting for the valves that will help fine tune the controls of the jets, the electronic proportional valves. I ordered them through a NM distributor, who ordered regular shut off valves from some company in Florida, which I returned, so we started from square one two weeks later. I am expecting the valves this week. Meanwhile we have been forging components for the cage, and I have been repairing the electrical nest in the console. There are plenty of repairs. One sheared bolt resulted in a failed extraction and a complete dis-assembly of Jet 4's commutator. Hours. Most of the high voltage wire for each jet needs a splice repair due to hard traveling. We have hopefully remedied this problem by building a cozy wood base holder for each pulse jet. Each of the jets counterweight "sails" has also been furnished with bright colors and numbers which will make it easy to see which one you are playing. The shop has been bustling with volunteers for both projects and the excitement is growing. Christian's project takes up his entire part of the shop and my section of the cage is crammed into my space. It's a full shop! Now if only those darn valves could get here, so we can test and assemble the console!

June 25, 2011

Fixin' the Cage!






All right, between working in the shop for money, working on the Pulse Jet Cage and working on little Kodiak, this blog just falls by the wayside. We had a great crew come out and help yesterday- we set the cage up and evaluated what needed fixin'...luckily not all that much as it's in pretty good shape. Some new bracing on the jet stands will help stabilize the cage, and added rib supports for safety was also discussed. The jets are running fine, we even got the smallest one to rev up, by plugging one of the intakes. Eric Beck provided an augmenter for that jet which we will install this time around. For a small little jet, the thrust is pretty good. The console will be made much more user friendly- as in serviceable. I'm adding a hinged top, so it can be fixed on site. The first of the EPC valves will be here next week. The challenge will be to nail the communication between the EPC valve and the potentiometer in the console. Not always a plug and play situation, so we will trouble shoot that if necessary. All in all a great turn out in people power, and I am excited to re-vamp the project!!!

March 29, 2011

Caged Pulse Jets Rev 2

It's official! CPJ is getting a revision thanks to a small Grant! After going to Burning Man, I listened to the feedback from the crew and from friends who had played the sculpture and it will be getting better...much better! The main problem was with the lag time of the control knobs fueling the jets and the effect it had on the jets. Sometimes it took almost a minute for the input to affect the output. This made it difficult for people who did not fully understand the workings of the jet engines to manipulate the sounds. There will be added electric valves to illicit an instantaneous response from the control station. In addition I'll be embellishing on the actual cage structure with some more ironwork and spruce up the control station with more knobs and switches and fun gadgets! I will keep posting once the revision gets on the way!
And yes, it will be back at Black Rock City this year, with me, and my sweet little boy (and the other big boy too- who got a BM Grant to build "Face Forward"; a large stainless steel face in which each of the major muscles responsible for the formation of facial expressions is capable of being individually cable operated by a member of the audience.

So we go as a carnie family...

October 16, 2010


Another fabulous picture- this one thanks to Mathew Wanlin.

September 26, 2010

September 14, 2010

BM 2010


More to come soon, and video!!

September 03, 2010



Well, it's a mixed bag- I thought I was going to be relieved when the project left for the Playa, but found myself feeling a constellation of emotions instead. Mostly sad, as I really wanted to see the Jets up and running and to witness the reaction of the public. It's like rehearsing for a performance for months and months and then your understudy takes the role on opening night. Dave X, BM's fire safety Man, has been in touch with me (yes there is internet for some out there!) and let me know that the crew is doing a great job! He also was kind enough to send along these pictures for now. I am so proud of them, and I hope they are having a blast. In the meantime I will just keep dreaming about what it may be like out there, white-outs and all.