Have you ever found someone who’s a full-blown expression of your diverted dreams? Not at all moments in his life, but in the one where The New York Times saw fit to give him a richly deserved profile. The guy is probably the purest embodiment of Olive Green—however unintentionally.
I can’t say I met him, but I stood next to Hackett in a loud, darkened warehouse in 2005 or so. I was living in Bushwick, Brooklyn and going to a lot of the art/performance parties that started there after years of my own, smaller party in my warehouse subdivision (cranked drum & bass with air compressors & powertools). It was an exciting time, and as a metal artisan myself, Hackett and the Madagascar Institute were mythical forces to me. But I really had nothing to say: I was in journalism school and working full time, too tired to pick up a torch for weeks on end. Distracted from one love by another. Now that I have my own studio and the skills that stem from it, I’m strangely happy to see someone so dedicated to the mining and smelting of “obtainium” on his way to becoming a cultural icon.
We have a lot of differences, but the most personal things about us (as described in the NYT piece) are uncannily similar. His style is usually performative, where I’m more reclusive, and our politics are at odds. But our time in this world may be nigh, and it’s reassuring that I’m not alone so far east of Burning Man.