Over the past several years our digital documentary archive has ballooned. Moore’s Law posits that the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles every two years. Butter’s Law of photonics says that the amount of data pumped through optical fiber doubles every nine months. Our library’s growth rate is somewhere in between. We have added more than 32,000 photographs of building, thinking, failing, experimenting, and executing artworks in the last two years. Video chews through storage at an even more alarming rate.
And so, one sunny Tuesday afternoon I sat down with Emily and Arlen to assess the bloated video catalog. Half of us have no idea what we’re doing with a camera and the other half have too much else to do. Consequently, the real gems are scattered amidst an overwhelming amount of trash. As a test case, Arlen had run through footage from our fall installation in Hong Kong. He seemed a tad forlorn; the task of cobbling together compelling snippets was admittedly daunting. But he did perk up when he offered to show us one in particular: nothing more and nothing less than Steve Cipoletto, our very own diamond in the rough, caught at the beginning of an especially tough day on-site in Hong Kong.
I don’t think the clip needs more of a setup than a brief sampling from his wondrous professional resume before he joined our team: book binder, florist, master painting restoration and conservation assistant, bronze worker, teacher at the Santa Barbara Rock & Roll Academy, bar back, and typewriter technician as well as beloved grandson to Dominic Alfonso of Domco Business Machines in Jersey City, NJ. In this featured clip, Steve is caught at the beginning of an especially tough day on-site.
And if the spirit moves you, get to know Steve better still by watching the video of his singing cameo with Joey Ramone at the now defunct club Coney Island High. He makes his appearance at 1:38 in the timeline. Thereafter he stage dives.