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Joseph O’Connell – Artist, Innovator, Founder and Owner of Creative Machines

March 2, 2022
Joseph O'Connell - Artist, Innovator, Founder and Owner of Creative Machines

In this episode, Woods Fairchild has a conversation with Joseph O’Connell – Artist, Innovator, Founder, and Owner of Creative Machines. Joseph takes us back in time and shares how his upbringing in a creative and “maker household” set the foundation for a life and career as an artist and innovator. He discusses the founding of his company, Creative Machines, and how he got his start creating interactive exhibitions for museums. We learn how the Arts Foundation, formally known as TPAC, helped set the foundation for his launch into the world of public art. 

Joseph then speaks to his connection to Thomas Edison and how he has not only influenced him as a creator but also his approach to leadership and facilitating innovation at Creative Machines. Finally, we get an insight into how Joseph sees and values collaboration, the importance of “preparing the brush,” and advice for artists!

To hear all this more, listen to the full-length podcast by clicking the link above! To listen to the mini, click below!


Joseph O’Connell – Artist, Innovator, Founder and Owner of Creative Machines


Chasing the Stars, 2021, stainless steel. Chasing the Stars is a monumental, kinetic sculpture that is powered by both wind and human interaction. The form of the sculpture sweeps through space, reaching upward to grasp and gather the universe into its arms. The Sculpture’s mandate is to invite curiosity and physical engagement; the audience is then rewarded with a magical, interactive experience of motion, light, and color. Image courtesy of Creative Machines.


piole Kabuto, 2014, stainless steel. piole Kabuto is an abstract sculpture made from polished stainless steel. It is made from many curved scales that fit together in a way reminiscent of the roof tiles at Himeji Castle, a UNESCO world heritage site that can be seen from the rooftop the sculpture sits upon. The effect is to marry the modern materials and clean aesthetic of the piole shopping center with forms and construction methods used in Himeji Castle and the traditional architecture of the region. The form is inspired by Samurai helmets (Kabuto) and the Kuwagata beetle that inspired these helmets. The shape of the sculpture invites visitors to take a seat or lift their children for photographs. Image courtesy of Creative Machines.


Sprouts, 2017, stainless steel. Sprouts is a series of perforated, curvilinear sculptures that reference the form of a plant shoot or sprout, but at a monumental scale. The field of sculptures creates an abstract yet referential environment that invites people to interact with the piece by moving in and around it. Sprouts’ gently curving forms create a calm serene environment that can be explored without eliciting a strong sense of play. The subtle perforation is made up of different sized circles, rotated and skewed slightly to provide the illusion of small water droplets hitting the surfaces. Overall, visitors to the piece are immersed in a strange yet wondrous world that invites them to use their imagination. Image courtesy of Creative Machines.


Desert O, 2014, steel, acrylic. Desert O is an illuminated, translucent torus located outside of the Tucson Museum of Art in downtown Tucson, Arizona. The piece is an outdoor public sculpture constructed with frosted, heat-formed acrylic panels attached to a complex steel skeleton. The sculpture is of human scale and its shape encourages interaction by inviting people to sit within the piece, children to climb through it and dogs to jump through the center. Image courtesy of Creative Machines.


artist,   Collaboration,   Creative Machines,   innovator,   inventer,   public art,   technology,  


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