Bio - Dug North, Automata Artist (Automatier / Automatist)
Born Douglas Ian North, I informally dropped the 'o' in my first name in 1985 for reasons I no longer remember. Now I just think it looks better without it.
I earned a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Vermont and a M.S. in Science and Technology Studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Most of my interests dwell in that area between art and technology. The combination of technical and artistic elements one finds in automata has enormous appeal to me.
While not terribly prolific, I endeavor to make each heirloom-quality piece unique. I have created several automata using heretofore unknown mechanical designs, one utilizing free objects.
A favorite challenge of mine is to create magic themed automata in which the automaton performs a trick.
My work has found its way to private collections of automata, both very large and very small.
I see automata-making as a life-long pursuit and I intend to continue to perfect my craft for as long as I can.
I owe a great debt to the automata-makers who came before me. I hope that by creating and writing The Automata / Automaton Blog,
I can honor other makers, encourage new makers, inform collectors, and advance the art of automata-making as a whole.
I write a quarterly column for the esteemed Cabaret Mechanical Theatre focused on automata construction techniques and assorted methods of creating motion. The column also highlights the works of various automata makers.
What is it that makes these automata so compelling to me? My Artist Statement may shed some light on this question.
Awards and Honors
In 2009, I was granted certification as B.A Giz. in Applied Gizmology with a specialization in Kinetic Gizmology from the International Institute of Gizmology.
I am honored to have been chosen to receive one of the Artist's Valentine Grants for 2007.
In 2007, I was named Kircher Society Resident Automatist by the esteemed members
of The Athanasius Kircher Society.