Mixtape 001

Recorded over a few months in mid 2012 by occasionally capturing the output of my laptop into a cassette deck. I usually hit record when something caught my attention or I wanted to save it. Not to be taken seriously, but maybe you'll enjoy it? It sounds a bit like channel surfing a radio since there aren't usually breaks between 'songs'. And sometimes the levels are pretty uneven, but there are some gems... though I can't recall where it all originated.

Materials: Laptop, Stereo Cassette Deck
Download: Mixtape-002.mp3.zip

Spencer Owen Timeshare

Pictured Above: Spencer Owen (center), Richard Caceres (me, left), Eugene Marder (right)

In February 2012 Spencer Owen put together a band to perform his music. I am the keyboardist for this band. Catch us live in the Bay Area, on one of our Tours, or live on the radio.

Here's some info about Spencer Owen.

"Driven by inspirations such as Prince, Laurie Anderson, Gilberto Gil and Todd Rundgren -- among many, many others [even some current musicians! -ed.] -- Spencer Owen (b. Los Angeles/1984, r. Oakland) is a musical polymath, interpreting his interests and influences with careful, passionate abandon. Unafraid of eclecticism both sonic and stylistic (not to mention his own powerful, unexpected falsetto), he supplements his particular approach to melody and arrangement with restless aesthetic creativity in action.

Over the years, he and/or the Timeshare have shared stages with the aforementioned Ariel Pink, Wooden Wand, Raven Fenbahn, Josephine Foster, Whysp, SAFE, Ava Mendoza, Dominique Leone, Cloud Becomes Your Hand, Emma Ruth Rundle (the Nocturnes; the Headless Prince of Zolpidem), Foxtails Brigade, Bells Atlas, Once & Future Band, Wildbirds & Peacedrums, Denny Denny Breakfast, Jackie-O Motherfucker, and, needless to say, more. His live shows are not, in any respect, to be missed. (Source)

Website: http://www.thespencerowen.com/

Object Photography

(Above: Some photographs in this series. Scroll to the right.)

In late 2011 I began photographing (mostly electronic) objects. Most of these are objects that I have owned and used and have some affinity for. A good photograph can capture the essence and convey the qualities that the owner saw in this object.

I end up selling some of these things on Craigslist or Ebay. This is preferred over throwing things away in the trash. Selling objects through these services provides a good sense of closure, and the photograph becomes an artifact and means to hold onto the object without having the object itself.

Instead of having a closet full of things, these things can be discarded, but kept alive forever through a photograph in a photo album.

Materials: Retired Electronics, Nikon D100 Digital SLR, Makeshift photoset

Facebook F8 2011

F8 is Facebook's annual developer conference.

I was contracted to develop projection software that instantly displayed an ever-changing grid of images. This allowed attendees to take a photo at a camera kiosk and then see themselves on a wall of projections. As the day went on, images were displayed on a random cycle, much like a screensaver.

Materials: Apple Quartz Composer

Music School

In September of 2011 I enrolled at College of San Mateo and began working on an Associates of Arts degree in Music. At the time I had taken up classical piano lessons again, but I felt that meeting for one hour a week did not satisfy me. Also, my main goal was to ultimately develop as a jazz musician, and CSM provided an avenue for that.

Over the next three years, I completed many classes but have not finished the degree yet.

Here's a list of the classes I completed.
- Harmony 1 - 3
- Musicianship 1 - 3
- Advanced Piano workshop - 2 semesters
- Jazz Big Band (piano) - 2 semesters
- Jazz Combos (piano) - 3 semesters

College of San Mateo has an excellent music program, and I would recommended it. Professor Jane Jackson is talented pianist and dedicated classical theory teacher. Professor Mike Galisatus is well regarded in the bay area jazz community. He encouraged me to play and has inspired myself and countless other musicians to develop their jazz abilities. Professor Chuck Mackinnon is a NY transplant and contains wealth of knowledge for aspiring jazz combo performer.

Finally, at CSM I met many other musicians who have become friends and musical comrades.

Non Projections

Using a custom VJ software I developed, I performed visuals at a couple of the early Nonprojects record label shows. The software I developed let me mix in a live video feed from a wireless camera which was mounted on the ceiling and pointed down at the performers.

However, after performing visuals twice, I concluded I didn't like it, and prefer performing music.

I released the software as open source on github. You can download it here: https://github.com/rchrd2/nonprojector

Tutorial Videos:
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FRYPPk-Ogk
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Glr_HuwdWWU

Materials: Wireless camera, midi controller, projector, custom VJ software
June 2010

Chimerical Toast

Artist and professor Tiffany Sum hired me to help her make a robotic toaster art installation.

Chimerical Toast reverses a domestic object and activity into a bodily regiment with a basic food item. Your physical presence, your diligence of gesture, your commitment to transformation, will conform a piece of grain into the charming and fanciful impression.

My job was to take an off the shelf toaster and reverse engineer it so that it could be safely controlled with a micro-controller. This was challenging, but I managed to make it work with an Arduino, a motor, and some switches. I then hooked up a pair of range sensors which acted as the controls. Tiffany created the enclosure and hand-shaped mold. The project was exhibited in an art gallery in China.

Materials: Toaster, Arduino, DC Motor, Switches, Ultrasonic Range Sensors
More info: http://www.sumworks.com/chimerical-toast/
Source Code: https://gist.github.com/rchrd2/81c371053fdf74798661

Cargo Collective

I worked at Cargo Collective from from 2009 to 2012.

Cargo is highly regarded in the design and art world as the best service for hosting a website where beauty and quality are at the highest standard. In short, it is an excellent service. To this day Cargo hosts over half a million websites and counting.

I was involved at Cargo Collective from very early on. I first interned with the founders my sophomore year of college (2006) and continued to work for them as the first employee (person #3) full-time immediately after I graduated college in 2009. I was a great fit, because of both my design and my programming abilities.

During my time at Cargo I grew into the role of lead backend engineer and worked on countless projects as the site grew. Below are some of the highlights of my time at Cargo.

  • Design and implement a custom MVC framework with ORM that allowed us to transition the existing codebase into a more maintainable system. In the process I designed a PHP-based router that replaced an Apache .htaccess-based router.

  • Migrate the site's image hosting from using a Linux and Apache based solution to scalable solution using Rackspace Cloud files.

  • Design and implement a queuing system based on Gearman for handling asynchronous and synchronous tasks such as image processing.

  • Design and implement a password protection feature for sites which allows users to set an encrypted password for their website.

  • Design and implement a comment system that allows users use Cargo Collective as a social network.

  • Design and implement Memcached-based caching system for the entire platform. I designed a clever cache breaking mechanism using composable cache keys. At the completion of the project, a site could be served 100% from cache without querying the database.

  • Install and integrate a search index (SPHINX) for searching the entire platform as well as filtered search within a user's individual website.

  • Help scale the architecture from one server to dozens of servers.